Ok, its time. AJAX Games via Rails

A couple of years ago I was building an online multiplayer game doing
the frontend in Flash MX 2004 and using Colin Moock’s Unity server
(http://moock.org/unity/) for the backend. This was to be along the
lines of JungleWar and the Hidden and Dangerous mini games for those
whom remember these:
http://moock.org/unity/showcase/screenshots/hiddenanddangerous.gif
http://moock.org/unity/showcase/screenshots/junglewar.gif
Strangely enough these games were VERY addictive and when launched they
expected maybe at most 5000 people to have tried them. Well, 80,000+
people later everyone was surprised.

Back to my efferts now. I had an entire game engine completed with the
exception of some spit and polish in a few places. Then, I ran into my
stumbling block. For you see I am not at all graphically talented and
any game needs characters drawn, items, rooms, etc. I figured it would
be easy enough to recruit a graphics person and offer 50% sharing of
what eventually would be a low cost subscription (we are talking $3.95
per month or so or less) to the game(s). I’d handle the servers,
coding, etc. They just needed to do the graphics. I had the first
server setup and ready to go and began my recruiting for the graphics
person to help me plug in real images into my placeholder images. No
takers. Nada. Zip. So, the game got dropped.

Time went on. Then AJAX began popping up everywhere and I have to admit
the first thing that popped into my head was “I can do the same thing I
was doing before, but without Flash, and with a server backend of my
choice” - I’m not saying the Unity server is bad - its a very good
server and Colin did a great job with it. I’ve seent he AJAX online
Chess, battleship, etc. games now rolling out, but no one has done any
RPG or war type games – and that would be fun to be one of the first to
do something like that. I’ve got a lot of the game engine thought out
and several proto-type engines built and tested (in .Net actually).
I’ve pieced together a crude Javascript library and can essentially say
the “guts” are there now. What I don’t have (again) is anyone whom
knows graphics - and without that I’m dead in the water again.

Heres what I think. I think an online multiplayer RPG can be done in
RoR, AJAX, and run on at least Firefox and Internet Explorer. I think
cheap hosting for the game can be found easily (Linode, Rimuhosting,
VPSLand, etc.) to get started. The game will start small and grow.
Obviously this type of game cannot compete with stuff like World of
Warcraft and its not meant to. I don’t plan on allowing people to play
for free other than a trial period because I don’t want to have to foot
server bills, etc myself. I don’t expect to get rich either. I’m doing
this because I think it would be fun.

So what am I looking for? Graphics people, other RoR programmers,
hybrid graphics/programmers, etc. Doesn’t matter where in the world you
are to me. I cannot promise riches, glory or fame. (I do think though
we’d have a good chance of getting digged and who knows what could
happen!)

Just a note of clarification, I mentioned some prototype work had been
done in .NET - that is not my first choice for the backend. My first
choice is using Rails, a Postgresql DB, and probably Litespeed and
Mongrel. I’d like to be able to have it so that new server instances
could be put online easy and quickly. I use an Apple iMac (Intel), so
iChat is a preferred communications medium.

Well, I’ve really just glossed over this but its long enough. If there
actually is some serious takers on this, I’ll toss up a link where we
can meet and greet online (perhaps a Campfire session) and talk a bit
more.

Hi Mr. No Spam,

I’m interested in chatting. I have a couple of rails-based game sites (
smarkets.net & trivionomy.com). One of my next items was to build a
multiplayer trivia tournament game as part of and using content from
trivionomy. While I’m not much of a graphics guy, I’ve got a nice
dedicated
server that still has excess capacity. Maybe I can offer to host your
games
in exchange for some help on the multiplayer foundation? I’ve
implemented a
lot of ajax in my sites, but I’m unclear at the moment on how to update
the
dom in multiple browsers upon an event, like you would need to do in a
multiplayer game or chat app. It might be easy, I’ve just never done it
before.

Steve
http://www.trivionomy.com
http://www.smarkets.net

Classic based first person shooter with obvious AJAX
potential:

http://www.abrahamjoffe.com.au/ben/canvascape/

No Spam Please wrote:

coding, etc. They just needed to do the graphics. I had the first
server setup and ready to go and began my recruiting for the graphics
person to help me plug in real images into my placeholder images. No
takers. Nada. Zip. So, the game got dropped.

…and apparently the graphics people are still hiding :slight_smile:

You might want to try another forum. I’m not so sure true gamer type
graphics people will be hanging out on the RoR forum.

–> Steve

Brez! !! wrote:

Classic based first person shooter with obvious AJAX
potential:

http://www.abrahamjoffe.com.au/ben/canvascape/

This is really cool, but only seems to work well in Firefox. When I try
it in IE 6 its very, very slow.

Robere Houseman wrote:

This is really cool, but only seems to work well in Firefox. When I try
it in IE 6 its very, very slow.

Scratch that, it seems to be fast enough on both IE and Firefox as long
as you use the non-textured version.

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