Onslaught! Arena takes 3rd place in the Pokki 1up Game Developer Contest

by Matt Hackett, 2012 Mar 10
Onslaught! Arena up on the big screen Onslaught! Arena up on the big screen at GDC

Less than a week after Onslaught! Arena went open source, it took home 3rd place in the Pokki 1up Game Developer Contest. This got us tickets to GDC, a day of awesome fun with the Pokki team, and (last but not least), a cool $7,000. (If you listen to our podcast you know that we’re indie now so this is a real stress-reliever for us!)

Developing with Pokki

Gotta say, it was really easy to work with Pokki’s tech (though granted, we already had a full working game, so all we had to do was stick it into their stack). It only took about an hour to integrate! Their platform is basically Chromium stripped of its user interface, which means it’s very similar to developing within Google Chrome. This is great; familiar tools like the Web Inspector are at your fingertips.

Onslaught! Arena takes 3rd place Onslaught! Arena takes 3rd place

We had to switch from mp3 to ogg for audio to work with Pokki. Can’t really blame them here, as who wants to worry about the crazy mp3 licenses? I’ve got a handy VLC-based CLI script I use that made the conversion easier. Audio performance is also buggy and inconsistent (but we all know this is a problem with Chromium and will go away eventually).

We also had to include a minimize button in order to be accepted into their gallery. This was a straight-forward process and only took a few minutes.

The other winners

Nicklaus Liow sportin' a horse head Nicklaus Liow sportin' a horse head

What about those other games, hm? First place went to Nicklaus Liow for his delightful game Four Horsemen. It’s a simple puzzle game with a quirky theme and a ton of polish. He really knocked this one out of the park, and that song-and-dance tutorial really takes the edge off of teaching the player to play. Really well executed.

Second place went to Evgeni Gordejev and his wacky alien-physics game Tupsu. Evgeni was a particularly interesting developer to chat with, as this was the first game he’d developed. He also has a C++ background but chose to program in Java using Google’s cross-platform game library playn.

Thanks Pokki!

The Pokki homepage after the contest Anybody else dying to see the rest of those graphics?

We spent most of Tuesday chatting with the Pokki team. They’re a really smart, impressive group of developers who have a history of making impactful technology (some of them having founded DivX). They’re extremely developer-friendly, which obviously we are thrilled about. Their plans for Pokki are numerous and ambitious, and I believe that they have the skill and experience do accomplish whatever they put their resources toward. Looking forward to seeing what’s next!

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