Introducing Bet Bet Roulette, a Windows Store game made with HTML5/JavaScript

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I recently released my first ever game to the Windows Store marketplace: Bet Bet Roulette!

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).

On the technical side, the Windows Store platform would allow me to “natively” create a game in HTML5 and JavaScript, which reduces a lot of the friction of dealing with new toolsets. Sure, there’s Phonegap and other engines that can transpile JS and canvas into native code on all platforms, but that’s still an extra layer of complexity that I was hoping to avoid for iteration one.

Why HTML5 and JavaScript?

I wanted to hone my JavaScript skills and explore some areas of HTML5 that I hadn’t worked with before (canvas). This game certainly could have been made with many alternative technologies. A dedicated game engine like Unity might have given me some extra power and options, and even one of the many JS based frameworks would have provided several out-of-the-box features. In the end, I didn’t see a need for an engine at all.

Bet Bet Roulette

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.

Why Roulette?

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. 😉

Bet Bet Roulette (Windows Store, website) is currently available for any device running Windows 8.1 (x86, x64, ARM) and it’s FREE. Try it out and let me know what you think!

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  • WinMetro

    2 years ago, you posted, “Windows 8: The Bipolar Schizophrenic OS”. What the hell? Hypocrite. It seems that you forgotten that you did not want Windows 8. Maybe Windows 8.1 changed your mind? So eat your words and admit that Windows 8 isn’t that bad.

  • kurtschindler

    I was and still am critical of Windows 8, but I never said I wouldn’t develop for the platform. When Win8 launched about a year after that post, I did install it and it basically confirmed my previous analysis. The Modern UI is completely worthless and slows you down if you are trying to be productive in a sitting-at-your-desk setting. Fortunately, you don’t really have to use it, and 3rd party start menu replacements make the experience even better.

    I certainly admit that Windows 8 isn’t a bad tablet OS (the main knock against a Surface compared to an iPad is just lack of apps). If you think like Intel and desire one device that’s “a laptop when you need it, a tablet when you want it” then Win8 isn’t bad per se, but that’s mainly because it’s the only OS that can do both things. As I concluded 2 years ago, serving both as a “pc” and as a “tablet” makes the experience bipolar & schizophrenic because it’s impossible to use one side without the other side creeping up in annoying ways.

  • kiquenet kiquenet

    Good sample. Great reference, Thanks a lot.

    Any updates in aug 2014 ?

    Any final solution with full source code sample application ?

    Another FULL source code samples ?

    IMHO, better samples for minimize learning curve are real applications with full source code and good patterns.