Kiwi.js is a fast open-source mobile-first HTML5 game engine supporting both WebGL and Canvas rendering. After 12 months of development, the full 1.0 release of Kiwi.js is available from www.kiwijs.org.
Kiwi features its own renderer optimised for fast graphics on both WebGL and Canvas on smartphones and desktops, a library of plug-ins and game blueprints, CocoonJS for fast App performance, open-source community support and already has commercial clients supporting its ongoing development.
“Our vision is for Kiwi.js to be the WordPress of HTML5 game engines, so it comes with plugins, game templates and solid documentation to support the community,” says Kiwi.js founder Dan Milward. Mr Milward is well-known in open source communities as the creator of popular WordPress e-commerce plug-in, WP e-Commerce.
Kiwi.js is open sourced under the MIT license but already has commercial clients using it.
Kiwi.js is being used to produce a game based on award-winning children’s show “The WotWots” (co-created by Lord of the Rings visual effects Academy Award winner Sir Richard Taylor) and iPad sci-fi strategy game Stand Off for Nyuk Nyuk Games. The Gamefroot drag’n’drop game making tool is also being converted to use the Kiwi.js libraries.
In true open-source spirit, Kiwi.js has been designed to be easily extended by community contributors. Much development effort has gone into Kiwi’s own rendering engine, optimised for both canvas and WebGL on smartphones and desktops. “Having our own renderer, not a third-party one, was key as it gives more control to the community of Kiwi users. Game developers can optimise it to their needs. If they need unique particle effects or even faster sprites they can just make a plug-in.”
Kiwi has partnered with CocoonJS to run on smartphones, creating apps that run at close to native speed and allow In-App Purchases. “HTML5 has really matured for for cross-platform on-demand game development,” says Iker Jamardo, VP of Engineering at CocoonJS creator Ludei. “Great tools like Kiwi.js show the power of developing games for the open web. Combined with CocoonJS technology it allows a native-like experience, both on performance and on monetization, when deploying to mobile. Powerful cross-platform gaming is a reality.”
Kiwi.js has been developed by GameLab in Wellington, New Zealand who plan to fund ongoing development of Kiwi.js by selling plug-in packs such as IAP, multi-player and improved particle effects as well as professional support and development services. “We want to provide the best of open source community practices along with professional support when needed, so commercial developers are being looked after as well as indies. A high level of customer service is required so HTML5 game development can be taken seriously,” says Milward.
Kiwi.js 1.0 features a host of game development features such as WebGL rendering, In-App Purchasing, entity/component system, sprite sheets, state management, great documentation, path to mobile appstore, plug-ins and game blueprints.