In my first article “so you want to be a game developer?” (, I discuss various genres of games, including web / email games. This is one of the easiest ways to start developing games – you are not limited to one language or platform and the cost is quite low. In this article, I will see various technologies that you can use, and give you an idea of ​​what might be done and how you start.

Web games fall into various sub-categories – email games, game browsers, and multi-player games. Email games so far the simplest – technically they are not web games and you don’t even need a computer to moderate them, just to send and receive. The browser game can be implemented in Flash, JavaScript (DHTML), Java and even ActiveX / COM. I think most single player games are implemented in flash but I will save it for upcoming articles. To start, even though I will take you through what is involved in developing multiplayer web games.

Before you start, go and look again at the Multi Player online game directory – This is a good source and gives you an idea of ​​the type of game out there starting from a small free game to big games like Sony’s Everquest.

Big multiplayer games are not web-based but they work on the internet. They tend to have their own special written clients, with encrypted protocols, fast 3D graphics and large customer support staff teams. I recommend as a very good blog about this – you will find articles and quotes from luminaries such as Richard Bartle which produces the first mud (short for multi-user dungeons), and Professor Edward Castranova; A virtual world economist. Muds also tend to use their own clients, usually based on telnet. Even though this is not a web game, I suggest you expand your experience as much as possible. Mud especially though not the most popular genre still exists and provides a good model for interactive games.

Breaking the design and programming of computer visit games is as easy as a full-time commercial game programmer – eg. Not this one! But nothing stops you to develop your own web game, and MPOGD will be happy I’m sure to register in their directory. If open source you can set it and find another developer on

There are two categories of web games: real-time and based based, and this determines the type of technology that encourages it. Real-time is more complicated – the server must support multiple connections simultaneously and care must be taken to synchronize actions between clients. If you attack someone and they have moved but your client doesn’t follow then your game will not be popular.

Crossover between multiplayer web games and custom client games is possible with Macromedia flash. The possibility of a multiplayer action game based on flash will be more productive – there are some around now. Sadly Sourceforge has many ideas like that which hasn’t passed the planning stage. Also what is there may not be open source because it makes such games need a lot of work. Googling for Flash, the multiplayer game returns several million results but adds open source and drops to several hundred thousand.

Unless you are a very good flash developer and can write a good server code too, I suggest you stick to game based. The good news is that web-based is an area where open source development is very productive. Searching on for ‘game servers’ returns some mature or beta projects. Want to develop RPG in Java? Use Arianne. Or if C # is more your style, see Ovorp. The most popular language is C ++ and Java (for servers) but the C # project is now starting to appear and you will find C, Perl, and Python too. But don’t limit your search to SourceForge – there are many projects elsewhere too.

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