Web-based games?

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by Hal Fulton, Mar 28, 2008.

  1. Hal Fulton

    Hal Fulton Guest

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

    I'll try to follow this thread, but please feel free
    to email me...

    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...

    Hal Fulton, Mar 28, 2008
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  2. 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
    but for more games. You go to the website, play your turn, next player
    receives an email,

    Anyway, I'm really interested in web-based games...

    Jesús Gabriel y Galán, Mar 28, 2008
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  3. Hal Fulton

    James Gray Guest

    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 Gray II
    James Gray, Mar 28, 2008
  4. 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. :)

    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.
    M. Edward (Ed) Borasky, Mar 28, 2008
  5. Hal Fulton

    Todd Benson Guest

    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 Benson, Mar 28, 2008
  6. Hal Fulton

    John Joyce Guest

    I would not recommend Rails for a MMORPG. It's not going to scale to
    that well.
    John Joyce, Mar 29, 2008
  7. Hal Fulton

    Marc Heiler Guest

    Be careful about intellectual property, especially trademarks,
    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 ;-)
    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 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:
    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.
    Marc Heiler, Mar 29, 2008
  8. Hal Fulton

    Stephen Cox Guest

    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.
    Stephen Cox, Mar 29, 2008
  9. Eleanor McHugh, Mar 30, 2008
  10. 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,

    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.
    M. Edward (Ed) Borasky, Mar 30, 2008
  11. Hal Fulton

    Bill Kelly Guest

    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:


    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:

    Of course... this is all probably moot unless JRuby can be
    applied to the problem, right? <grin>

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


    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...


    Bill Kelly, Mar 30, 2008
  12. 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


    Eleanor McHugh
    Games With Brains
    Eleanor McHugh, Mar 30, 2008
  13. 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.


    Siep Korteling, Mar 31, 2008
  14. Hal Fulton

    Marc Heiler Guest

    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 ;)

    - 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 pla*stat**n or X*ox 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 Micro*oft 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 ;) 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
    Marc Heiler, Mar 31, 2008
  15. 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.

    Jesús Gabriel y Galán, Apr 1, 2008
  16. Who isn't?:)

    Take a look at vying.org. It hosts several classic and modern (board)
    games. The API has recently been open sourced.
    Mathijs Claassen, Apr 1, 2008
  17. Hal Fulton

    Eric K Idema Guest

    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:


    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

    Here's a quick sample of what the code looks like in irb:
    1 1
    2 2
    3 3
    4 wb 4
    5 bw 5
    6 6
    7 7
    8 8

    turn: [:black, :white]
    => nil
    1 1
    2 2
    3 b 3
    4 bb 4
    5 bw 5
    6 6
    7 7
    8 8

    turn: [:white, :black]
    => nilboard:
    1 1
    2 2
    3 3
    4 wb 4
    5 bw 5
    6 6
    7 7
    8 8

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

    turn: [:white, :black]
    => nil=> 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 K Idema, Apr 1, 2008
  18. Hal Fulton

    F. Senault Guest

    Le 28 mars 2008 à 09:10, Hal Fulton a écrit :
    I'm also working on a game, more or less, when the real life (tm) lets

    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

    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... :)

    F. Senault, Apr 2, 2008
  19. Hal Fulton

    James Gray Guest

    Wow, sign me up for that beta! Sounds like a blast.
    Hey, if they can ship Duke Nukem Forever=85 ;)

    James Edward Gray II=
    James Gray, Apr 2, 2008
  20. This could be tricky to set up... but I think you have a good idea here.
    What about making a web-based multiplayer game that communicates
    entierly peer to peer? That's how most of the fat client online games
    work... the server let's meet and chat with people to set up a game
    with. Once the game starts, each player's computer talks directly to the
    other player's computers and not to the server.

    Does anyone here know of this already being done in a Flash or Java
    web-based game? I think it could be done, although it would probably be
    Seth Mccauley, Apr 2, 2008
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