The Mighty Jungle

Posted on Wednesday, 28th September 2011

The JavaScript Jungle

The two Async meetups in September were transformed into hacknights as part of the Brighton Digital Festival, with local developers and designers working together on a collaborative art project: the JavaScript Jungle -

Both sessions were a great success, with around 25 attendees for each meet-up, with some people coming down specially from London and beyond to take part.

Async regulars and newcomers alike descended on the regular Async meeting place The Skiff. Seasoned JavaScript coders were joined by artists and others curious to see how the jungle was being put together.

Building the JavaScript Jungle

The technical goal of the sessions were to experiment and try something new, to learn drawing and animation with JavaScript, as well as event-based interactions between different objects. The wider goal of the project was to to bring together local developers and designers who may never have worked with one another, for a bit of community bonding.

Working together in small teams or flying solo, creatures were created using a variety of techniques, including Coffeescript, SVG, Canvas, CSS3 animations and even good-old animated gifs and image sprites.

A world of fascinating creatures has evolved, including an elephant, flocking birds and the amazing flying hippo-bee.

In advance of the meetups, we created the barebones environment, and provided a simple way for people to add their own creatures. The creatures can interact with one another and the environment. The Pavilion Crab, for example, only comes out during the day; flowers grow after each rainstorm; the UFO abducts unsuspecting victims. And don't get too close to the lion, unless you want to be eaten!

All of the code used to create the Jungle (and the creatures within) is available on GitHub. If you want to make your own addition to the Jungle, it isn't too late! Take a look at the wiki for tips on creating your own creature.

The JavaScript Jungle

Visit the Jungle in all its glory!

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