Online Game Development

All aspects of Online Game Development, including genres, monetization, technical aspects such as hosting, servers, clients, and programming

Can Atari’s Vintage Games Rescue IE?

Atari Centipede
How do you transcend a negative impression, especially when it’s deserved? Over the years Microsoft left users determined to do their Web surfing with anything but IE. In November, IE generated just 15.1 percent of browser usage, according to w3schools.com. Ten years earlier, it generated more than 83 percent. Why the plunge? By failing to innovate, Microsoft earned little for IE besides Web-wide derision. No longer willing to hold last place in the browser race, last summer the company finally… continue…

How to Use a Linux Virtual Private Server

Linux VPS
For my development of Web games, I’ve hit a point where I need a Virtual Private Server. (For more on this see My Search for Game Hosting Begins.) I initially chose a Windows VPS because I know Windows best. A VPS is just an Internet-connected computer. “Virtual” means it may not be an actual physical computer, but a virtualized host, one of many, each running as if it were a real computer. Recently, though, I’ve run into a dead end,… continue…

How to Win a Capture-the-Flag Programming Challenge

capture_the_flag
Back in May, I described how entering coding challenges can be a way in to the industry. A recent AI competition that’s just started is offering prizes, and one of the competition’s supporters, Guerilla Games, is hiring AI programmers. The competition, Capture the Flag (linked below), is free to enter. You just need a Windows or Linux PC to run the software on, and then submit your entries. What is AI? Short for Artificial Intelligence, AI is a branch of… continue…

How to Produce Dynamic Mulitplayer Games With PHP

world-of-phaos
It’s relatively easy to set up a Web-based massively multiplayer game (MMO), though realistically you probably won’t have more than a few hundred players. I’ve chosen World of Phaos (WoP), which you can access from the SourceForge.net, an excellent site for open source projects. WoP is a PHP, MySQL game and can run on a shared server, VPS or dedicated server. Shared servers are cheaper and are just fine for most games, but will generally limit you to running PHP/MySQL… continue…

Developers Take Dynamite To Skills and Win

SVCC12_10
Peter Kellner, founder and coordinator of Silicon Valley Code Camp, says that if you’re a developer, you need to be ready for the next big thing. Kellner has been running this event for seven years and the one constant he’s seen is constant change. Developers are always trying to figure out what the next big thing is, said Kellner and this year the conversation surged around HTML vs. native. Facebook’s recent switch to native for its phone app, was the… continue…

What’s Better: Online IT Certifications or Advanced Degrees?

I’ve been a bit lucky in my career. I graduated in 1981 and quickly got a job creating software at Price Waterhouse. Apart from a couple of layoffs, including six companies going out of business, I’ve spent the last three decades writing software for banking, finance, accounting, and game programming and design companies, as well as working as a software engineer. But over those years, as the technology and job market has continued to change, I’ve noticed that credentialism —… continue…

Special Report: Job Opportunities in Games

Modern Warfare 3
Games today are as slick as movies, sometimes as expensive to produce and worth big money, some earning hundreds of millions dollars. Meantime, the technology behind them is both sophisticated and powerful. Twenty years ago, an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation had aliens capture the Enterprise through an addictive computer game. Far-fetched? Now it seems prophetic. The business offers cutting-edge opportunities and very often good money. So how do you break in? As they say, knowledge is power.… continue…

The Basics of Google’s Dart Milestone 1

Dart Language
A year on from its initial release, Google Dart’s Milestone 1 has a whole raft of improvements and new features, though the removal of the string concatenation for performance and consistency reasons has left a few scratching their heads. It’s OK, though. You can also use StringBuffer, string interpolation (see below) to concatenate string literals. What isn’t in doubt is that Dart is starting to gain traction, having recently entered the Tiobe Index Top 50 and is currently at the… continue…

Pressured Zynga to Cut 5% of Its Workforce

Zynga
Zynga will cut 5 percent of its workforce as it begins a major restructuring as it contends with weak results from its Web games and delayed launches of new titles. Facing weak results from its Web games like The Ville and delayed launches of new titles, Zynga says it will institute a major restructuring of its operations. It’s game plan calls for cutting 5 percent of its workforce, or roughly 150 positions, and folding 13 games including The Ville, according… continue…

Top 5 Ways to Monetize Free-to-Play Games

Money
Games industry consultant Nicholas Lovell presented 15 rules for how to monetize free-to-play games at the recent F2P Summit. Rather than get into all of them, let’s look at the five that I believe merit close analysis. As you look at these, bear in mind that it’s way easier to build rules in at the design stage than to introduce them later. Waiting usually changes the game’s dynamics and alters players’ expectations for the worse. Here are my top five of Lovell’s rules, in decreasing… continue…