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Cube Slam Chrome-based Video Game and Google App Engine 1.8.1 Released

A new Google Chrome Experiment called Cube Slam, released today, is built with WebRTC, that connects players into a three dimensional, virtual gaming arena, complete with real-time audio, video, and data feeds.

To play Cube Slam, visit cubeslam.com, click “Play a friend,” and share the unique URL. You and your friend’s video feeds will appear across from each other in the game arena, so you can video chat while you play.

If none of your friends are online, you can always play online against Bob the Bear and see what level you can reach. And, by installing the Cube Slam app, you can even play Bob when you’re offline.

Cube Slam Google Chrome Experiment

Cube Slam is an open source project, available via public repository at Google Code, leverages following new web technologies:

  • Cube Slam uses WebRTC to transmit a live audio and video feed from your opponent’s webcam, so you can see and hear your opponent react as the game unfolds. “WebRTC” is a free, open project that provides Real-Time Communications (RTC) capabilities via simple Javascript APIs is built right into Chrome and other modern browsers (no plug-in required!).
  • Cube Slam using a combination of WebGL and the three.js JavaScript library, provides smooth, responsive, and fast rendering of 3D graphics.
  • Cube Slam is hosted on Google Cloud Platform, a scalable, high performance back end written in Go and served by Google App Engine. A STUN/TURN server running on Google Compute Engine is used to exchange data across and between firewalls.

Here is how to win Cube Slam, “just hit the cube against your friend’s screen three times until the screen explodes. Shields, obstacles, and gravity fields change with every new level, and you can unlock power-ups including fireballs, lasers, multi-balls, mirrored controls, bulletproof shields, fog, ghost balls, time bombs, resized paddles, extra lives, and death balls–though you might want to avoid the death balls,” explains Google.

In other Cloud news, Google App Engine version 1.8.1 released brings some of the significant changes including:

  • Search API moving to Preview (one step closer to General Availability (GA)), allows your application to perform Google-like searches over structured data. “You can search across several different types of data (plain text, HTML, atom, numbers, dates, and geographic locations),” informs Google.
  • App Engine now supports deployment of Python and PHP applications via the Source Push-to-Deploy Git tool. “Once you complete the initial setup steps, you will be ready to deploy apps with the same ease with which you push code to a git repository: % git push appengine master,” google explains.
  • Preview of Google Cloud Storage Client Library, contains much of the functionality available in the Files API (Python | Java), but provides stronger integrity guarantees and a better overall developer experience. “The Cloud Storage Files API (currently Experimental) and the Cloud Storage Client Library overlap significantly, so we plan to decommission the Files API in a future release,” google adds.

    Google further notes, that Cloud Storage Client Library will be upgraded to GA in an upcoming App Engine release.

  • Task Queues enable developers enqueuing tasks in asynchronously. “Developers can quickly add tasks to any Task Queue without blocking, allowing your applications to process requests more efficiently.”
  • Google also introduced 2 significant changes to Google Cloud Datastore including: “improved performance that comes with changing the Datastore default auto ID policy to use scattered IDs”; and for Python developers “the NDB library now supports ‘DISTINCT’ queries.”
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