I recently released my first ever game to the Windows Store marketplace: Bet Bet Roulette!
Bet Bet Roulette is what I call a modern twist on the classic casino game of roulette. The current version has a very modest feature set, but I’m working on some big features that will really set this game apart from the other roulette games that try to directly recreate the casino experience and are sometimes dry and boring.
I’ve learned a ton and used a lot of new tools in the process of making this game, so when I’m not busy working on enhancements and other projects I hope to blog about some specific things worth sharing. For now, this post will serve as an introduction.
Why Windows Store?
Good question. The iOS market is certainly appealing, but it is overly saturated with games and I feared mine would get immediately lost in the mix of all the AAA titles on the platform. I don’t use any Android devices, so that didn’t really interest me either. Windows Store was a platform with less competition, inviting in a way (same goes for Windows Phone, which I have plans to support in the future).
No game loop
Most games have a “game loop” in which the game is constantly running at 60 times a second. For each iteration, the game checks for any player inputs, responds accordingly, and then redraws the screen. There’s no loop in Bet Bet Roulette. This game is essentially just has a bunch of event handlers and some timers. It’s actually just as much a traditional event-driven web app as it is a “game”, as far as how it’s composed. Is this good or bad? I make no claims either way. I determined that it would be easier for me to build this particular game with an event-driven model.
The convenient result of creating a game using standard web dev technologies is that it let me run and debug the game in the browser. In fact, it wasn’t until I was about 75% done with the game that I even started to think about, and write code specific to the Windows Store platform.
I’ve always had a fondness for this casino game, despite the fact that it is mathematically foolish to bet real money on it. There’s something fun about placing bets with long odds and then hedging them, with well over 100 different bets to make. Practicality is the other huge factor. The great thing about roulette, or other casino games involving cards or chips, and other games based on words, or boards, etc., is that they don’t require a massive amount of artwork and animations to produce! If you are a typical programmer who lacks that artistic talent (or a friend with it) but you want to make a game, there are plenty of options for you still. There are a lot of places to find cheap or free artwork that can go a long way to creating a decent looking game.
And then what?
As I have time I hope to write some more about the game, the technologies I used and the things I learned along the way.
Until then, I’ve got to get back to working on a huge new feature that I’m really excited about.