The new and improved CocoonJS is coming for your HTML5 games and now also apps!

We have some much awaited news! As you know, CocoonJS wasan incredible cross platform for only games…up until now at least. The future is now and Ludei has been working hard to make CocoonJS an awesome platform for not only games, but for all kind of HTML5 apps. Exciting, isn’t it? Our entire team is thrilled about expanding our platform to support what everyone’s been waiting for: cross platform development for all kinds of HTML5 projects, even apps! We know you probably got that tingly, exciting feel just itching to use this new and improved CocoonJS for apps and games.

This is a big achievement for us and opens new doors to a whole amazing world of opportunities for you as a developer. You can now focus your development projects on all types of apps and work with Ludei and our cloud and tools for test and deployment, CocoonJS, to publish them across iOS, Android, and more! This web based development will work with native features and with absolutely no code changes. Code once. Publish everywhere. That’s our motto; it’s as simple as that.

You must be excited to know when you’ll be able to use CocoonJS to create your amazing apps. Hang tight and stay tuned- it’s coming soon ;). Before we make this available for everyone, we’re going to be opening up a private beta and we’ll send you more information by email. Interested in learning more? All you have to do is provide us with your email and if you qualify, you’ll get more info, tips, and tricks straight to your inbox.

CocoonJS is really the easiest way to have your web based app on mobile. You’ll save a ton of time…and..well, you know what they say..time = money! Don’t wait, start using CocoonJS for both games and apps!

Do you want more information? Sign up!

The Nick App on Amazon Powered by Ludei

The much awaited Nick App powered by Ludei is now available on Amazon! 

As you may have read on Techcrunch and Venturebeat, Nickelodeon has become one of the biggest and latest Fortune 500 customer for Ludei till date. The debate about whether HTML5 is a viable option for app and game development seems to be an issue of the past. With the popular Nickelodeon joining hands with Ludei’s HTML5 expertise and CocoonJS technology, this exemplifies that HTML5 is truly ready for app and game development. CocoonJS is a cross platform development tool that allows developers to code once, and then publish their app or game across multiple web platforms and mobile devices with native like performance and HTML5. It even supports amazing features like WebGL, multiplayer support, etc.

Nickelodeon strongly feels that Ludei’s CocoonJS technology has helped them speed up their game performance for Android mobile devices, thus allowing Nickelodeon to get the HTML5 performance they want and need for their games.

These past months, Ludei has been working with Nickelodeon to help them launch a very important app. This much awaited, Emmy award winning, Nickelodeon App, is published and ready on Amazon. All the games in this application are powered by Ludei’s CocoonJS technology. Check it out here and download it for free on your Amazon Kindle Fire or any other Android device. It will also be available on Google Play soon.

Ludei’s CEO, Eneko Knorr, states “Nickelodeon’s use of HTML5 technology is another example that HTML5 is ready for prime time, and Ludei’s technology will be instrumental in powering HTML5 game deployment,” said Knorr.  It’s already received 5 stars with great reviews from customers. The Nick App is merely just an example of what all HTML5 and the CocoonJS development platform can do.

Here’s wishing you all a Happy New Year from the Ludei team! We wish you the best, and cheers to a wonderful 2014!

 

“Tic Tac Toe by Ludei” turns into an HTML5 mobile game

We want to present to you the new Tic Tac Toe by Ludei, one of our famous board games, originally a native game and now re-written in HTML5 and JavaScript and published thanks to CocoonJS. This new version incorporates many of the advantages of our games development platform providing the same as native gaming experience.

HTML5 development has led to a complete makeover of the original game so we hope you enjoy it.

 

Tic Tac Toe by Ludei

 

Tic Tac Toe by Ludei is already available on the App Store, Google Play, Google Chrome Store and Firefox MarketPlace . The versions for Tizen and Amazon Store are coming soon!

Find out the different game options and enjoy playing:

-Player vs Machine
-Player vs Player
-Multiplayer online

Who will be the first to get three in a row?

Download it now!

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iBasket HTML5

The past few weeks have been loaded with new developments at Ludei. In addition to the new release of CocoonJS, our client virtual machine, we announced the delivery of our new HTML5 version of iBasket. iBasket, originally a native game, has been completely re-written in HTML5 and JavaScript. The game has over 15M historical downloads.

This new version, launched simultaneously for the 1st time by any company on iTunes, Google Play, Facebook, Desktop Web Browsers, Chrome Store and Amazon (additional markets coming soon), incorporates many of the advantages of our games development platform. Some of the capabilities include our game acceleration technology, hardware accelerated physics, advertising, social features, in-app purchases and analytics, providing the Same as Native gaming experience.

Here’s a new video showcasing what we’ve accomplished with the new version and the platform.

Making HTML5 Games Work.

Yee-Haw!!!!

Read about iBasket on TechCrunch.

Interview with Appoint Solutions

Appoint Solutions company, founded by Rob and Bert Boerman, is about to launch MonsterMove HTML5 game using our technology. We sent some questions to them and  the brothers talk about their experiences in launching complex applications.

How did you get started?

After closing some other projects, we started working on a mobile online multiplayer game in November 2011. Until that time most experts agreed that HTML5 was only usable for simple turn-based board games without much movement. We wanted to prove that it was feasible to create a mobile game with fast moving graphics, realtime multiplayer gameplay and interaction, and multichannel sound, all using HTML5 techniques. At the same time, the game should be deployed to iOS, Android and Facebook with a single code-base. Not an easy task, but hey, we do like a challenge.

What approach did you take?

To solve the many technical challenges we tried everything from game engines (Custom, ImpactJS, CAAT), server possibilities and deployment strategies. The almost weekly pivots made us a bit nervous (in fact, it was driving Bert crazy) but we decided to continue to anyway. The deployment was the most challenging. We already used PhoneGap for deployment to different app stores. PhoneGap solved some multichannel sound issues in standard HTML5, but to be honest, the solution felt uncomfortable. We also had a number of challenges that were left unsolved:

– Canvas rendering performance was below par. Even after extensive optimization we only achieved around 10 frames per second when we had many movements on screen. For 1990 this would have been great, but for 2012 perhaps not!

– Websockets were available, but because the rendering was so intensive on the browser and therefore CPU, packets were being delayed. This caused the realtime game functionality to be broken (we require around 20 packets/second minimum server rate).

– Sound was working, but hacked-in at best. We needed to create a separate sound player for browser deployment and a hook into PhoneGap for mobile.

– Ad-network integration in a HTML5 based game was buggy at best.

That meant: Back to the drawing board…

So, What did you do next?

We first tried appMobi’s services and tools, both commercial and open-source. AppMobi’s game developer tools solve a number of problems like rendering speed and multichannel sound (and from what I hear add integration as well). The Websockets however still work from the browser, as well as user input. Therefore as a developer you have 2 separated environments that have to communicate with eachother though serialized calls (EG. directCanvas.execute(“movePointer(“+x+”,”+y+”);”) ). That communication channel is a nasty bottleneck and is not usable for anything that requires fast updates. Aside from that, the game has to be separated into 2 environments for mobile, breaking our write-once-deploy-everywhere requirement.

So you decided to give CocoonJS a spin?

Yes. Through our CAAT experiences I (RB) got into contact with Ibon Tolosana and Ludei. The description of CocoonJS on the site, a seamless environment that runs HTML5 games without any changes, sounded too good to be true. Ibon emphasized however that that was exactly what was being created and told me about some other solutions that would be accompanied by it. He then offered me the chance to beta-test CocoonJS on our own game sources which I happily accepted. The current version of CocoonJS solves all our problems for us. In the most extreme cases we are still getting around 50 frames per second rendering speeds, multichannel sound and Websockets without delay. It also gives us easy ad-network integration and more. The best thing about that is that it hardly requires any work to make all this work in CocoonJS. Almost all HTML5 functionalities like sound, canvas operations, local storage and sockets are supported transparently. We can’t wait to launch our game ‘MonsterMove’ and start work on the next project using CAAT and CocoonJS!

About the company:

 

Appoint Solutions SARL is based out of Luxembourg due to it’s favorable VAT and IP legislation. The company was formally launched last year by the twin brothers Rob and Bert Boerman. The brothers share their passion for customer excellence and the use of smart technical solutions to solve complex client issues.

Rob has 15 years of experience in web development. He worked for 10 years as CTO and COO of a dutch company focused on large-scale online customer satisfaction research. In this period he designed and co-developed a realtime, open-source based, analytics database and tools for the hundreds of thousands of surveys handled each year. Bert has worked as an executive in a large banking corporation for 13 years. During this time he has set up 5 different business lines in Private banking, Corporate Banking and Institutional services.

Appoint Solutions currently creates custom applications and provides technical consultancy services for a number of clients, including other software houses and an international banking group. Besides that, the company also works on their our own projects in the field of game development and mobile applications.

The main expertise of Appoint Solutions is on the development of mobile and web-based-desktop applications using client- and serverside javascript and HTML5/CSS3 techniques.

Introducing CocoonJS

Around a year ago, our development team started to get curious about JavaScript and HTML5 capabilities for games across diferent platforms. It seemed that major companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft and Mozilla were really trying to push the standard and their web browsers started to introduce as many features as the standard committee was adding (each one at their own pace, of course). Canvas seemed a great feature for 2D gaming. It offers most of the basic capabilities needed: image rendering and transformations. We started to develop our own game toolkit for canvas and got really good results.

But not everything were sunshine and rainbows. The performance varied in different platforms and browsers. Some features like sound and video seemed to be supported in many different ways and formats depending on the browser developer. But most importantly, specially for Ludei, mobile devices had really poor performance while running simple 2D canvas based games. The rendering was done by software. Then, our tech department saw that CSS3 has 3D transformations and that many browsers (including Apple’s iOS Safari) supported these features using hardware acceleration. It was a great opportunity to try our game engine’s abstraction layer (Our development team is a true believer in abstraction when addressing software design) and see if we were able to make a transparent HTML5 rendering context that was able to use Canvas or CSS3 whenever available. It worked. But CSS3 didn’t turn out to be as flexible as it could seem at a first glance and although we added canvas and CSS3 rendering support to our game engine, the latter showed up as a non viable option for many animation needs in games. Moreover, only Apple mobile web browsers offered hardware acceleration, so our cross platform dream could still not be true.

Having our game engine rendering abstraction, we started to look at WebGL. After solving many difficulties related to this new web feature, we end up with a full game engine that supports rendering abstraction for Canvas, WebGL and CSS3. It worked like a charm in desktop web browsers, but mobile devices were a different story. We concluded that Canvas was the best option (at least nowadays) for our games in these platforms, as CSS3 had many problems and webGL support is nearly inexistent in mobile web browsers. But the performance was still really poor for real time animation and videogames. This was the moment when Ludei’s technology department started to look for an alternative.

There are different options out there to make a JavaScript HTML5 application go native in mobile platforms. Most of them offer non standard JavaScript API-s so the Canvas could be accelerated. It was not a option for us. We wanted to have exactly the same code base on all the platforms because that is our understanding of a true cross platform development. We started a new project to be able to get a JavaScript interpreter that would notify whenever a Canvas related feature was being used, and catch those calls and make our own native rendering. This way, the JavaScript application code would remain the same and only the rendering commands would be accelerated via openGL ES. This is how CocoonJS was born.

By that time, we already had our native multi-platform framework up and running, which by the way was called Cocoon. Once again, in our pursuit of abstraction, we developed most of our code in C/C++ (around 80%) with some parts in Objective-C for iOS and some parts in Java for Android (around 20%). It means that most of our code base is multiplatform. We also designed it as a service oriented framework that allowed us to include new features easily:

  • Ad network integration. There are multiple services that allows integration with some of the main ad networks in both iOS and Android platforms to show banner, interstitial and video ads.
  • In App Purchases (IAP). There are services for both iOS and Android IAP support.
  • Analytics. Cocoon supports app tracking via third party SDKs or even server to server management.
  • Multiplayer infrastructure. We already have both GameCenter support for iOS devices and our own backend infrastructure.
  • Online resource update. Our applications can update their resources (images, sounds, texts, configuration files) online without having to create a new app version.
  • Access to device hardware specific features like the camera and the GPS.

This native framework is the core of our mobile development and allows really fast and reusable native cross platform project development. CocoonJS is included inside the framework as a new service. And it turned out to be a great design decision because we managed to offer all of the services listed above to CocoonJS because in our native framework, a service can use other services. This way,  JavaScript HTML5 development can get advantage of all the services listed above (and the ones that will come in the future), all of them offered as extensions.

But we had to prove we were able to develop an application once in JavaScript and HTML5 and deploy it in multiple platforms (desktop web browsers, iOS and Android). This is how our game Sumon was born, as a proof of our new technology. We used our whole development stack to develop this game: our game engine that can render using Canvas, WebGL or CSS on desktop web browsers and our native JavaScript HTML5 Canvas wrapper CocoonJS. The game worked like a charm inside CocoonJS. The overall performance of the game was multiplied by 1000 compared to the mobile web browsers we tried, and the CocoonJS extensions allowed us to include ads to the game. We were really happy with the final result, but did not stop there. Adding more features to the system became a priority. We developed more HTML5 capabilities like non-blocking web sockets and internal storage. We also developed more extensions like integration with social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, camera management and more. At the same time, we saw a great interest among the JavaScript and HTML5 game developer community to be able to try CocoonJS. Minor initial modifications were made to some known HTML5 games to make them run perfectly in iOS and Android using CocoonJS. This is the moment when we decided to offer it to the world and started to develop the CocoonJS launcher, a mobile device application for iOS and Android devices that allows any developer to easily try their JavaScript HTML5 Canvas based games inside CocoonJS.

And here we are now. We are proud to announce that CocoonJS is publicly available for anyone to try it. It is just a matter of using our launcher application available on the app store and the android market. In it, any developer can check out our demo examples with full source code and experience the performance boost that CocoonJS provides compared to a mobile web browser. A developer can read the easy steps needed to follow to be able to prepare any JavaScript and HTML5 Canvas game so it can be executed inside the launcher. It is as simple as creating a zip file with the JavaScript code and assets, upload it to a web server and execute it. We would like to gather as many developers as possible in order to check how CocoonJS will respond to their needs to execute their projects on iOS and Android devices. If you are a JavaScript HTML5 game developer, you are more than welcome to download the launcher and try your game!

We are currently working hard to provide new interesting features like:

  • A cloud based compiling system. Any developer that has tried the CocoonJS launcher will be able to get both an iOS and/or an Android final binaries that will be prepared to be uploaded to the app store and the android market.
  • More Canvas primitives. Although we think that the most commonly used Canvas primitives are supported right now by CocoonJS, we are trying to add as many new rendering primitives as possible.
  • A brand new multiplayer game that will demonstrate the true cross platform capabilities that CocoonJS offers. It will be playable from a desktop web browser, from an iOS device and an Android device, all using exactly the same code base.
  • More services integration so that any JavaScript and HTML developer can benefit from them as extensions.
  • Multiplayer online infrastructure. We already have a Game Center extension that allows multiplayer capabilities for iOS applications. We are working on providing a full online multiplayer experience.
  • Camera support. The developer will be able to get a camera stream and draw it intro a JavaScript HTML5 canvas or even take pictures.

As you can see, it has been a busy and exciting year for Ludei and it seems that Ludei is starting to become not just a successful content developer but an innovative technology provider. We are looking forward to see if the JavaScript and HTML5 game development community wants to answer our call and provide them with the best mobile application deployment experience to distribute and monetize their developments.

 

Welcome

Welcome to Ludei’s brand new web page and blog. We have been working really hard to bring everything together and launch our new site and image. And what’s best to start with but with a blog post that describes the things we have been working on these last months.

As you might know, Ludei is Ideateca‘s gaming brand. We have been developing games for the web and mobile devices quite successfully during the last year and a half. Our main game, iBasket, has been a huge success and it has been downloaded more than 15 million times. We have worked hard to develop our next titles like VideoPuzzle, an awarded innovative and fun game, or Slide Soccer, that has been downloaded more than one million times in it’s first month after the official launch. Ludei’s other games like Four In a Row or Tic Tac Toe, after getting to the top charts in countries like Germany and Japan, are still played by casual gamers all around the world, and we have versions of them for both iOS and Android. It has been quite a ride to get all these developments done and working. A mixture of programming, great design/art work and product placement, result of an effort from all of our departments in Ludei.

Now, we are working in CocoonJS,  a wrapper that aims to turn JavaScript applications into performance-enhanced native applications (iOS and Android) by providing a huge performance boost by using OpenGL native binding and other features.

In this blog, we will have information about both things. Our technology and our games.

Stay tuned!