Coconauts 2017 Retrospective

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It’s the fourth year we’re doing this, my, time flies!

2017 was an incredibly packed year for us at a personal level, and the fun is still to continue in 2018. We still managed to scratch a bit of time for Coconauts, with highlights being:

Hoping all of our readers enjoyed following us during 2017. It’s still not too late to whish everyone a happy 2018, and stay tuned for more exciting stuff to happen over at Coconauts!

Live Picture Frame

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I recently moved from UK back to Spain to work remotely, and since then, I’ve been curious about how the weather is there, specially when talking with people on the other country. Is it raining today ? Is the sun gone already ?

To address that problem, I found a few live videos/webcams about london like earthtv or London Tower Bridge so I kept those videos on one of the tabs of my browser.

But, wouldn’t be cool to have it on a separate picture frame, always there, just like a normal picture, but live.

picture-gif

That’s why I built a slim picture frame from old recycled components. To see the Tower Bridge at day and at night.

picture-day

picture-night

Websocket vs REST

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We, as web backend software developers, have enoguh experience with RESTful APIs for web services, because they are clear, easy to implement, and scalable.

However, websockets are since some time ago becoming a viable alternative for communicating between a web browser and a server. But what are good usecases for them? Can the replace REST completely?

In this post we’ll take a look at both architectures from their definitions to their implementations, and we will see which one is the best for building the future of web apps.

Procedurally Generated Engine With Websockets

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We have been working for some time on an engine for cocos2d for persistent procedurally generated 2D worlds, for building a few ideas based on this concept, like a Zelda-like RPG multiplayer game.

screenshot

The engine is built in NodeJS, and the server-client communication is fully implemented with websockets (using Socket.io), cocos2d in the frontend and built together with docker.

Engine features

  • The client will only render the sectors around you, not the whole world.
  • When the player discovers a new sector, the server will populate that sector (new discovered sectors apperars brighter to the user)
  • The currenct sector will appear as red
  • Supports multiplayer (you can see other players next to you)
  • Random name generator for players
  • Move the player using the keyboard, the camera will follow.

description

Try it out (docker)

If you want to use it for your own game, You can find the code on the repo https://github.com/rephus/proc-cocos and share your creation in the comments.

so all you need to run it is to install docker and then docker-compose up.

Open the client on a browser in http://localhost:8000

We may use this engine eventually to build our own game, stay tuned for more details.