Web-based games?

Who’s interested in developing a few web-based games?

I’ll try to follow this thread, but please feel free
to email me… [email protected]

There are several kinds of games, of course…

  1. Solo – cards (solitaire), puzzles, Sudoku, etc.

  2. One on one, realtime or not – cards, chess, checkers,
    Hnefltafl, Othello, and so on. (Some of these would
    be deadly dull in non-realtime.)

  3. One against many – trivia, etc.

  4. I’ll probably avoid MMORPG and such for now.

  5. I also have a cool three-player game in mind – a chess
    variant that I (thought I) made up (though someone else
    created something virtually identical ten years earlier).

Let’s talk…

Cheers,
Hal

On Fri, Mar 28, 2008 at 8:10 AM, Hal F. [email protected]
wrote:

Who’s interested in developing a few web-based games?

I have a continuous personal project to make a game web,
but I’m focused on turn board games like Alhambra, Citadels, Ticket to
Ride, etc.
The problem is that I have 0 time (I have two daughters age 18 months
and 5 months).
I have 90% of Alhambra’s engine already coded, and I’ve started
Citadels,
but in command line, and now I was taking the opportunity to learn Shoes
and
Ramaze to make some GUIs.

My idea is to build non-realtime games in the line of
(http://ciudadelas.frenopatico.net)
but for more games. You go to the website, play your turn, next player
receives an email,
etc.

Anyway, I’m really interested in web-based games…

Jesus.

On Mar 28, 2008, at 2:10 AM, Hal F. wrote:

Who’s interested in developing a few web-based games?

I’ve been working on a Web based game for a while now. It’s a turn-
based strategy game based on an old game practically no one ever heard
of. I made a lot of changes to it though and it’s really a different
beast now.

My friends and I have fiddled with a prototype I made and had some fun
with it. I’m now trying to get a public version ready to go. I’m
getting fairly close to having that, but work has been busy lately and
slowing me down.

James Edward G. II

Hal F. wrote:

Hnefltafl, Othello, and so on. (Some of these would

Let’s talk…

Cheers,
Hal

  1. I’ve just started playing a web-based MMORPG called Ikariam … it’s
    sort of a “Second Life” set in the ancient world. It’s written in PHP,
    though. I think something like that is a natural for a Rails app.

  2. Be careful about intellectual property, especially trademarks,
    branding, etc. You’d be surprised how many ways you can get someone to
    hire an attorney and sue you. :slight_smile:

I’m buried in a bunch of other projects at the moment, but since I
discovered Ikariam I’ve been toying with the idea of doing a space-based
MMORPG in Rails. Another thing I’ve looked at is a “management
simulation” game, where you get to build big multinational corporations
and compete with each other. That’s somewhat like Ikariam, actually.

On Mar 28, 2008, at 8:40 AM, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:

  1. I’ll probably avoid MMORPG and such for now.
    Rails app.
    somewhat like Ikariam, actually.

I would not recommend Rails for a MMORPG. It’s not going to scale to
that well.

Be careful about intellectual property, especially trademarks,
branding, etc. You’d be surprised how many ways you can get someone to
hire an attorney and sue you. :slight_smile:

I think people are overly nervous about this. Now let me first state
that I do of course encourage everyone to use their own artwork, but I
have a certain strong stance against attorney-trolls (only the trolls,
not against attorney’s in general), and in my personal experience people
often overestimate their sue-power. But this might be that I am not
living in the USA :wink:
I know of several projects that started (or still have) artwork that is
claimed and used somewhere else (and before they used it).
In most cases the artwork has been replaced completely. In some cases
even with better artwork.

My basic point actually is that, while artwork is extremely important to
a game, I believe ultimately the logic behind the game (that it works)
is more important - at least to “ignite” interest to other people into a
project. (And dont get me wrong here again, I am well aware of people
that frantically point out about “thief” - which is funny insofar
because they are not representing anyone at all except their “concern”.
They could opt to simply not waste any time with such a game, but
instead opt to argue and argue for long time about it…

Ok, back to another point I would like to make, and I want to make it
rather clear, even if Rails people get mad at me:

I would not recommend Rails for a MMORPG. It’s not going to scale to
that well.
I think that is a fair comparison, but we may disagree about the term
MMORPG. When one says MMORPG these days I immediately think about World
of Wa***ft.
But a browser game should be much simpler and less resource-wasting than
that, and I think if Rails does not scale well for a simple browser
based game, it would not be worth anything at all.

Finally, back to the thread starter:

Who’s interested in developing a few web-based games?
I am interested but only in a flexible framework. (And I unfortunately
have time constraints as well)
What I would personally love to see would be a framework that is
perfectly adequate to develop browser based games.

I played around … 15 different browser based games over time, maybe 3
of them for actually a long time (one of that I started playing in
1999… had a quite nice concept but the korean company went bankrupt
after some years, and a “clone” appeared which was quite nice, added a
lot of new stuff etc… but also changed the game more and more over
time, up to the point that it was a completely different game, with
different problems, and the biggest problem being that “old” players
were largely ignored when the code was “adapted”…)

So a framework for developing browser based games in an easy fashion
would something I’d try to help out/would love to see implemented.

On Fri, Mar 28, 2008 at 8:40 AM, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky
[email protected] wrote:

  1. Be careful about intellectual property, especially trademarks,
    branding, etc. You’d be surprised how many ways you can get someone to
    hire an attorney and sue you. :slight_smile:

No kidding. I’ve been thinking about doing a Monopoly or Clue game
with AI players, but I don’t think it’s legally possible.

Todd

There is a company that produces a whole slew of online games at
http://www.skotos.net/. I loved their strategy game, Hegemony. Was fun
(don’t play it much since all my gaming time is trapped in Warcraft).

I don’t know what language they use to write these games. Have a look
(and no I don’t work for them).

I can’t see using rails for this project.

Eleanor McHugh wrote:


raise ArgumentError unless @reality.responds_to? :reason

Looks a bit like Ikariam in its demands on players. I spend maybe an
hour a day in Ikariam … once you realize how long things take, you can
play it in bursts. And Ikariam does look like it could be done in Rails,
although

  1. I wouldn’t mount a free browser-based game in any language.
  2. It’s not really pay-for-play quality and may never be. They are
    talking about adding some “convenience” features for people who want to
    pay, but until they clean up the core, nobody is going to pay for it.

I think a Rails-based browser game would be easier to maintain and
enhance/evolve that one written in PHP, but I don’t see the point in
creating a game that people won’t pay money to play.

I’m currently addicted to BattleMaster (http://www.battlemaster.org)
which is written in PHP. This sort of game could very easily be done
in Rails though, or probably even Camping :slight_smile:

Ellie

Eleanor McHugh
Games With Brains
http://slides.games-with-brains.net/

raise ArgumentError unless @reality.responds_to? :reason

From: “M. Edward (Ed) Borasky” [email protected]

I think a Rails-based browser game would be easier to maintain and
enhance/evolve that one written in PHP, but I don’t see the point in
creating a game that people won’t pay money to play.

Another approach that might yield something more eye catching than
traditional browser-based games, could be to implement the game as
a Java applet. I recall seeing JRuby running in an applet… and
the Java APIs for graphics appear to have have finally matured to
point where high-quality hardware assisted rendering is now possible
in applets.

Even OpenGL support in browser applets is near ubiquitous now.
I’ve asked several gamers to try this OpenGL applet demo, and as I
recall it worked for all of them, after a one-time update to the
latest JRE if they had an older Java version installed:

https://jogl-demos.dev.java.net/applettest.html

There’s also the Lightweight Java Game Library, which supports
applets: http://www.lwjgl.org/

And a 2D game library which I believe is based on top of LWJGL:
http://slick.cokeandcode.com/index.php

Of course… this is all probably moot unless JRuby can be
applied to the problem, right?

Hmmmmmmm… Seems as of last September, at least, there were
still some issues:

http://mountaindude.blogspot.com/2007/09/jruby-in-applet.html

Oh well… I was hoping we were finally at the point where
we could easily write some high quality applet games in JRuby,
but it looks like we’re not quite there yet…

Regards,

Bill

On 30 Mar 2008, at 18:03, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:

I think a Rails-based browser game would be easier to maintain and
enhance/evolve that one written in PHP, but I don’t see the point in
creating a game that people won’t pay money to play.

I could see the point of doing it for fun if it wasn’t for the fact
that servers and bandwidth cost money. BattleMaster gets around that
thanks to player donations but I suspect it’s a rare exception, and I
wouldn’t want to ruin a game with advertising or by giving paying
players a competitive edge over their non-paying counterparts as that
sucks.

Ellie

Eleanor McHugh
Games With Brains
http://slides.games-with-brains.net

raise ArgumentError unless @reality.responds_to? :reason

Eleanor McHugh wrote:

On 30 Mar 2008, at 18:03, M. Edward (Ed) Borasky wrote:

I think a Rails-based browser game would be easier to maintain and
enhance/evolve that one written in PHP, but I don’t see the point in
creating a game that people won’t pay money to play.

I could see the point of doing it for fun if it wasn’t for the fact
that servers and bandwidth cost money. BattleMaster gets around that
thanks to player donations but I suspect it’s a rare exception, and I
wouldn’t want to ruin a game with advertising or by giving paying
players a competitive edge over their non-paying counterparts as that
sucks.

playchess.com allows everybody to play for free. Paying members however
have privileges: they can play rated games, they can play (when lucky or
good) real life grandmasters, they can chat and so on. There is no
competitive edge, chess is just chess. Playchess is doing fine, AFAIK.

Regards,

Siep

I don’t see the point in creating a game that people won’t pay money to play.

I guess the problem at hand here is not that people want to create a
game that is free, or where you have to pay (or pay for extras etc…)
,but rather what focus one sets for a game or creating one.

Personally I see several different possible philosophies here:

  • Creating a game in a language (let’s say ruby) helps you (and others
    who choose to help and may help too) learn more. Learning is always a
    potential advantage. Problems somewhere may also help the language grow
    (if it is actively maintained) by exposing certain problems. My
    favourite example is rails, it for sure has put an influence on the
    whole of ruby (and to the “outside” world too)

  • It is advertisement for ruby too and it is one reason I dont really
    mind rails etc … even if one chooses to not use rails, it generates
    awareness of ruby as language. I think almost noone really considered
    ruby seriously as an alternative to PHP before rails :wink:

  • Building an ecosystem for games. In my personal opinion games are
    extremely important. I mean games in general, not only high-cost games
    one buys for PC or plastat**n or Xox and similar. In this regard I
    think every game in ruby is a good idea. I write ecosystem because I
    think solutions dedicated specifically to create games of various kinds
    is very important. Just look at what lengths Microoft goes to ensure
    that their game clientel is somewhat
    happy, with all the Direc
    X stuff, their XNA license and so on.
    And with ecosystem, I also mean a social aspect. Games help bring
    different people together. Sure you may find bad examples :wink: but just
    think of meeting people in town who also happen to play that game
    (browsergames mostly, I actually dont really know of anyone meeting
    others due to WoW, they seem way too attached to sit for hours … oh
    wait, stereotype grin)

Generating money from games can simply be a different priority. (I
challenge the notion that generating money should be the first aspect.
The first should be to build a great game. I know several different
examples of games that are self-sustaining with donations only for
example. Most games these days seem to be free for all but an extra for
those that pay a little or donate, while these extras are normally only
incentives, not really “game decisive” extras)

Anyway, just my opinion and basically one more reason why I think this
is a good idea

On Mon, Mar 31, 2008 at 4:10 PM, Marc H. [email protected]
wrote:

I don’t see the point in creating a game that people won’t pay money to play.

I guess the problem at hand here is not that people want to create a
game that is free, or where you have to pay (or pay for extras etc…)
,but rather what focus one sets for a game or creating one.

My motivation is the following: I love games, I’m more into
card and board games (Magic the gathering, settlers of catan, ticket
to ride, citadels, caylus, tigris: the eurogames in general) than
computer games, though. I love programming.
I love playing turn based online games, cause I don’t have 2 hours to
play
a real time game. So I started my personal project of building a web to
play all
those games the way I would like (well, I’d rather play them face to
face, but
currently don’t have the time to do that :-).

I don’t have the motivation of making profit with a site like this. In
fact, I think that if I ever finish something,
I will have a real issue of placing it online, for the reason that
hosting, bandwith, etc all cost money.
I also think it’s difficult to do live through donations, or in a
model like mine, to make people pay.
In this thread I’ve read about playchess, which seems to have a
premium account where your games are rated, etc.
and that could be a good idea, because people love to see rankings and
how they fare against each other…

Also, in my case, several people have mentioned possible legal issues
with taking an existing commercial game
and making an online version. So that’s another thing to take into
account.

Jesus.

Hal F. wrote:

Who’s interested in developing a few web-based games?

Who isn’t?:slight_smile:

Take a look at vying.org. It hosts several classic and modern (board)
games. The API has recently been open sourced.

On 20:28 Tue 01 Apr , Mathijs Claassen wrote:

Hal F. wrote:

Who’s interested in developing a few web-based games?

Who isn’t?:slight_smile:

Take a look at vying.org. It hosts several classic and modern (board)
games. The API has recently been open sourced.

Thanks for mentioning Vying Games (vying.org), Mathijs!

I was planning on making an ANN email later when the library reached
version
1.0, but I suppose there’s no time like the present.

Anyway, Vying Games is a rails based site that supports multi-player,
turn-based strategy games. The rails code is closed source, but the
library
it’s built on is open source. The code is over here:

http://vying.org/dev/public

There are 17 games on the production server and something like 23 in the
library (some in various stages of incompleteness). There’s some basic
AI, and
bots for most of the games.

From a development standpoint, I think the library gives a very nice,
simple
interface for adding games in fairly few lines of code. Games that use
a lot
of the existing data structures can be coded up in as little as 100
lines of
Ruby.

Here’s a quick sample of what the code looks like in irb:

g = Game.new Othello
=> #Game:0xb78c7a64

puts g
board:
abcdefgh
1 1
2 2
3 3
4 wb 4
5 bw 5
6 6
7 7
8 8
abcdefgh

turn: [:black, :white]
=> nil

g.players
=> [:black, :white]

g.has_moves
=> [:black]

g.moves
=> [“d3”, “f5”, “e6”, “c4”]

g << “d3”
=> #Game:0xb78c7a64

puts g
board:
abcdefgh
1 1
2 2
3 b 3
4 bb 4
5 bw 5
6 6
7 7
8 8
abcdefgh

turn: [:white, :black]
=> nil

puts g.history.first
board:
abcdefgh
1 1
2 2
3 3
4 wb 4
5 bw 5
6 6
7 7
8 8
abcdefgh

turn: [:black, :white]
=> nil

g.final?
=> false

g << g.moves.first until g.final?
=> nil

puts g
board:
abcdefgh
1bbbbbbbb1
2bbwwbwbb2
3bwbbbbwb3
4bbbbwwbb4
5bwbwwbbb5
6bbwbwbwb6
7bwbbbwbb7
8wwwwbbbb8
abcdefgh

turn: [:white, :black]
=> nil

g.score( :black )
=> 45

g.score( :white )
=> 19

g.winner?( :black )
=> true

There’s a lot more to it than that, but that’s the heart of the library.
There’s no GUI right now (other than the closed source server), but I
plan on
adding an api to interact with the server. At that point it should be
pretty
easy to write bots to play online (or other applications).

If anyone’s interested in contributing, send me an email. I’ll give
commit
access to the svn repository to anyone willing to send me even a tiny
patch.

Eric

Le 28 mars 2008 à 09:10, Hal F. a écrit :

Who’s interested in developing a few web-based games?

I’m also working on a game, more or less, when the real life ™ lets
me.

It’s will be multi-player turn based strategy game, where players
control secret agencies around the world, and conduct missions,
sometimes one against the other (without always knowing it). The goal
is, of course, world domination. There are very strong crpg elements to
the game (very detailed statistics about the spies, their relationships,
some quirks, etc), and the goal to make a very random but coherent
world…

I’m also trying to keep the system very open, with a fixed framework and
data/scenari files that could be easily swapped to make a game in a
different setting (historical, scifi, fantasy, whatever).

Of course, it’s mostly vaporware at the moment, but, with 15 KLOC of
ruby (including the rails site), it’s one of the most solid vapor I’ve
produced in a long time… :slight_smile:

Fred

On 01/04/2008, Jesús Gabriel y Galán [email protected] wrote:

to ride, citadels, caylus, tigris: the eurogames in general) than
computer games, though. I love programming.
I love playing turn based online games, cause I don’t have 2 hours to play
a real time game. So I started my personal project of building a web to play all
those games the way I would like (well, I’d rather play them face to face, but
currently don’t have the time to do that :-).

One game that’s been popular around here lately is Tactics Arena
tacticsarena.com - it’s sort of like chess with some randomness thrown
in. It’s done in flash, realtime, and pretty good example of a web
game I would think. It could be probably done with SVG + JS as well.

I don’t have the motivation of making profit with a site like this. In
fact, I think that if I ever finish something,
I will have a real issue of placing it online, for the reason that
hosting, bandwith, etc all cost money.

Perhaps if you could make the framework so that multiple servers can
be set up in rotation people could host the thing from their DSL lines
or such. Still you need to set up the rotation, though.

Thanks

Michal

On Apr 1, 2008, at 6:55 PM, F. Senault wrote:

is, of course, world domination. There are very strong crpg
elements to
the game (very detailed statistics about the spies, their
relationships,
some quirks, etc), and the goal to make a very random but coherent
world…

I’m also trying to keep the system very open, with a fixed framework
and
data/scenari files that could be easily swapped to make a game in a
different setting (historical, scifi, fantasy, whatever).

Wow, sign me up for that beta! Sounds like a blast.

Of course, it’s mostly vaporware at the moment, but, with 15 KLOC of
ruby (including the rails site), it’s one of the most solid vapor I’ve
produced in a long time… :slight_smile:

Hey, if they can ship Duke Nukem Forever… :wink:

James Edward G. II

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