Archive for the ‘Games’ Category

Some experimental geek time again…

2011/07/30 1 comment

Hey everyone,

Since I was quite busy these last month working on Toonracer at BigPoint I didnt get time to work on my personal projects much…
I am also still working on FDPoker with the fairydwarves available on the chrome store , and wondering how make a little bit of money from it, in order to get enough time to improve it.

And as I am looking for my next assignment, job, or contract,  I recently experimented gradle and webapp deployment in tomcat. In two days I had a basic build and deployment process running, which indicates to me that gradle is a good candidate as a build system if I ever do any java again. I had a quick look at groovy, but the fact that many things are implicit ( or is it only gradle ) is still quite disturbing to me, as it means you need to understand everything before you look at some code. I prefer when it s the other way : you look at the code first, and then from the code you can understand how things work.
And for Java, I still think that either you do something properly in C++ and it runs everywhere you test it, or if you want really scalability and lots of other nice features, you’d go for erlang for back end, or web based for front end, since it seems to me that the future is that way.

While I have been experimenting with javascript to make a poker game I came to the conclusion that OOProgramming is useful, at low level. When you do functional or higher level programming, you need to organise your code differently. Javascript being functional, I will need to spend time to rewrite the Poker code that I wrote in an imperative style ( as I was used to on C++ ).

I am also wondering if prototyping things with Node.js could be a good option for later erlang programming ? maybe the way python is a good prototyping technology candidate for C++ project, as you can migrate from one tech to the other step by step…

So as I am still interested by Distributed Game Engine Designs, I am thinking that designing a quick javascript game engine on client side first could be a good step towards that goal. It will also be used in small web games, to keep it active and maintained. Then some parts could be move to a Node.js based backend. Experimenting with this system could be a good way to get a better understanding on how to design and write a distributed game engine, at a relatively low cost ( given the size of the project). It would also be functional so we can hope to make it scalable easily by switching to erlang later on when needed ( erlang-js could also help there ).

I am at the moment working on FDPoker, understanding what makes code maintainable and yet efficient in javascript.
FDPoker - First MenuFDPoker - Table screen
As you can see all the display is there and input is also working in different browser and web engines, on different platforms.
We are primarily using the dojo toolkit and dojox.gfx so we dont worry about implementing for different browser, versions of web standards, etc.
And while we dont have time to test a lot of different platforms, we were developing the engine to run on top of the EFL libraries.
It has been working ok so far for us, but on our platform for deployment ( Freebox ) it was tricky to get things right… And It seems they had enough problems to justify dropping the support of the EFL in the last version of the Freebox… but anyway no matter where that project goes, by building a solution on top of javascript we should always be able to run on most platforms.

However this little javascript engine is not very reactive yet and supports only gui-based interaction. As soon as we can get some income, then we will turn it into a full 2D game engine, client-side, in javascript. With similar features than the one in Project0 (which is based on SDL).
The more money can be made with FDPoker, the more nice features could be developed in the next javascript engine, preparing for the next game 🙂

So if you want to help fairydwarves making better games, please do not hesitate to tell us you love us 🙂