Working with Royalston on the promotional site for his album release provided a great opportunity to take advantage of the ubiquitous Box2D engine. Box2D is the open source project in large part responsible for the billion dollar Angry Birds empire. It’s a great engine that has been ported over freely to multiple platforms including JavaScript. Using the Box2DWeb package and the charming illustrations from the musician himself it was a relative breeze putting the pieces together and creating a simple sandbox filled with objects taken directly from the album cover. The idea fits with with the OCD concept of the album.

Using a JavaScript solution the interactivity is able to work in mobile as well as desktop browsers however due to the mobile vendors refusal to allow GPU access via the browsers, the site is limited to using the HTML5 canvas element. As a result it highlights the need to manage expectations regarding the capabilities of interactive sites for mobile. Where as there is a lot more achievable these days there’s still a performance ceiling which has no sign of being raised under the current mobile vendor policies.

It also needs to be kept in mind that HTML5 canvas is not natively supported in some older browsers that still have significant enough user penetration. Given the likely audience for this site though it wasn’t considered an issue.

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