Palm Helping WebOS Game Development | webOS Nation

Palm Helping WebOS Game Development 24

by Jason Robitaille Mon, 17 Aug 2009 9:56 am EDT

There's been a lot of concern surrounding the WebOS and gaming development.  Having an SDK based on html/js/css limits things and virtually rules out 3D gaming. However, Palm wants to remind us that some level of gaming is possible and that HTML5 is more powerful than you might think.

To that end, Palm has posted a "webOS™ and Game Development" article on their developer website detailing what kinds of games are possible on the WebOS; "puzzles, word games, card and board games, innovative social games, and the list goes on – even simple arcade games" according to Palm.  Also posted, is an article describing Palm's implementation of the tag, which allows for 2D dynamically generated graphics.  It's not 3D fast-paced gaming, but it's a start.

Not only that, yesterday it was announced on the Palm Developer Network that Palm has opened up a "webOS Game Developer Café" forum section where game developers can share experiences, tips, and most importantly, give Palm feedback that they can use to improve the SDK. The new forums section is already starting to payoff. This thread reveals both a lightweight javascript animation library and information on CCS3 animations.

These things, combined with that recent Game Frameworks Engineer job listing make us think Palm's actually listening to users and wants gaming to be a competent part of the WebOS. I wonder what the gaming situation will be like a year from now. If the twenty five games already in our Homebrew App gallery are any indication, we'll be seeing better games in the App Catalog than you might have expected.



Now if only it'll support Open GL 2.0

But it's great to see Palm support developers on the weak spot!

I think 3D gaming on a phone is lame at best anyway. If I really wanted that, I would own a PSP or the like.

Give me very good graphics and sound in my apps and some cool thinking/logic/puzzle games and I am happy.

Most 3D games I ever played on my iPod Touch, Treo and older PalmOS devices were cool but only ran to try. I played them, said wow, then loaded up Mahjong.

I am more concerned for the lower level radio, graphic and sound control to make good utilities. Things like real time mapping software, Internet video/audio streaming and GPS/WiFi tracking utilities etc...

This is just my opinion of course and I am sure having a PSP clone on the Pre is important to others.

Would it be possible to create a sub system that is 3D graphics capable?
IE Classic, but for Gaming

I don't need 3D gaming either. On the iphone, it sucks anyways.

But at this point, we don't even have a decent 2D game. I'm still surprised Palm didn't assure a couple of decent games at launch or by now. I'm thinking on the level of Bejeweled. Not the crap that's passed for games so far.

Pandora is still the only one palm app i'd pay for and its free. The only other one i'd actually pay for..i did (my tether).

Once again palm can't get things straight. They just can't get it through their thick skulls that OpenGL is more then just gaming. It can be used to speed up the Pre in every aspect. It can be used to save battery life. The possibilities are endless.

The Pre can already handle 2D for the most part, all of this we know. For them to post this, its almost a joke. They aren't listening to customers. Just tell us, will you open low level access so we can have OpenGL? Or aren't you. Personally , I'll leave and take my losses. I've been eagerly awaiting some kind of confirmation (along with A LOT of other developers), so we can start making intense applications. OpenGL isn't just for gaming.

Perhaps OpenGL is more than just gaming, but 3d acceleration is not instrumental in the strengths of the Pre. To me, the core usefulness of the Pre is the multitasking card metaphor. And the core strength of a phone app is rendering information: Primarily text.

I'd prefer that Palm continue to perfect that core competency first rather than obey the whims of developers like yourself which yearn for a direct iPhone clone. Given time, I'm sure that they would have preferred to satisfy both you and the features that set them apart from the iPhone. And I'm sure they'll work it in later.

Unlike you, I can't speak on behalf of a LOT of developers. But as a consumer none of the key features that made me purchase the Pre would benefit from 3d acceleration. OpenGL opens doors, but those doors will be a nice bonus, not the reason for the phone's existence in my pocket.

Palm needs to work with some big game developers on an online multi-player game, the pre is all about being connected, it's time for connected games.

I agree. I'd like to see some multiplayer games, like Texas Hold'em, Checkers, or Chess. They don't have to be 3D games, just something that I can play against another Human...

That guy who made the calculator app posted a video about his time at the pre dev camp. In the video someone showed a multiplatform multiplayer card game. So there are some multiplayer games in the works :).

I would love games based on the accelerometer. Like bowling, fishing.....

I would pay for that (anyone listening?)!

Yes we are....

Thanks, my credit card is ready.

Palm (currently) doesn't allow access to the accelerometer at a high enough sample rate to make it useful for games

With every other platform that I can remember (including Palm OS), the intrinsic features of the device were rapidly exploited by innovative game developers to do things that nobody knew the device could do.

Here we have Palm writing articles trying to convince game developers of what WebOS can do. Sounds a little backwards to me and is not very convincing. Instead of writing an article, Palm should commission an actual game to show what the platform supposedly can do.

The problem is, they can't do it. Why? They shot themselves in the foot and they know it. They are going to let developers try and dig them out of a hole.

They can make game's, from 1995 work on the pre. of course. But they can't make any intensive app/game w/ out opengl. This is a long shot announcement from them, hoping to calm developers and consumers down. Its a joke. Trust me, if Palm COULD get openGL to run on the pre right now, they would. It would solve a lot of Lag issues w/ the pre. Something is wrong and they aren't going to be forward about it.

Well, to be fair, if they are truly trying to support OpenGL 2.5, I don't think it will take them much time, it's a linux OS, OpenGL should run with in minor time.

I'm pretty sure OpernGL will come. Will like to see some cool 2D games in the mean time, however I know these things take time.

I really like to program a game using the Canvas element but unfortunately I have no access to a REAL Pre yet and therefor can't check the real speed of it. The emulator may run faster because of the CPU power of the host system. Or maybe it runs slower because of missing hardware acceleration. Who knows.

Can someone please install this small benchmark app on the phone and post the frames per second number it displays?

This would help me a lot to get a feeling for the video speed of the canvas element on the pre. The emulator gives me 65 frames/s on my laptop.

I get around 50-55 fps on the actual device. When running in the background it dips to 35. I think that should be fast enough for games.

Actually, 30fps is all you need for "smooth" motion. 60+fps is "silky-smooth". Remember the PSX was 30fps in the early years until devs learned how to utilize the hard ware better.

The other thing that no one has mentioned is since Pre is a WEB os device and Flash is comming, that opens up TONS in *browser* based games for us. :) which would run natively on the Pre just how Java games are running now no? Some quick examples.


Great javascript HTML 5 example that will work on your palm Pre. Just dont try to rotate the screen when its loading/running.

Which leads me to believe that we need space invaders pre asap.

Just a thought could it possible to somehow use ZII processor for your next palm pre web os Hardware?

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