WebGL breaking into the real world
A few weeks ago I attended the Khronos WebGL Meetup during GCD week. It was a pleasure to see how much amazing real companies got real work got done, many in just one year. Here are some of the highlights:
A place to share and explore shaders created by many people. Kinda like Github, but for shaders.
Verold is similar to Shadertoy, but for full 3D models.
Fractured: Fractal Att Studio
Amazing GPU accelerated fractal exploration tool. More on their post
Goo engine (which showcases some pretty good demos) is both an 3D Game Engine in WebGL and a distribution mechanism.
Mozilla running Unreal Engine 3 on WebGL
Mozilla outdoing themselves again. After their great work with Banana Bread shooting game, they, alongside Epic Games, ported Unreal Engine 3 to WebGL. Well, WebGL and Emscripten optmized to be compiled to their also recently launched asm.js. It was announced a few days earlier, but the Mozilla team was showcasing some new impressive demos.
We talked about many things, including ASM.js which had just been announced. I also asked him what was the thing that was impeding WebGL to get more traction, and he shared his two cents: getting gigantic asset deployment is a pain. Most 3d applications have gigabytes of assets, and, comparitevely when you are downloading 2GB assets from Steam, you can go to work, leave your computer at home doing the work, come back, and you are done. Storing the assets and running these long requests on the browser is not yet as frictionless as it could be, and that adds barriers to developers going into WebGL.
If this is not enough, Florian Boesch recently wrote a great post on Why you should use WebGL