A while ago MightyFingers won Garage48 hackaton where we got Samsung special prize. Because of this grant we were able to start work on our game called MightyDigger . The goal was to ship the same game to web and mobile platforms and to test how MightyEngine behaves in real life situations. For first platform we chose social network based in Latvia – draugiem.lv and in just two weeks we got around 50’000 users playing our game. The next step is to launch MightyDigger in Samsung app store and Firefox market.
MightyDigger isn’t just a game, it’s also proof of the fact that you can build bigger 2D games on HTML5 and they are as good as flash based games (or even better). And soon after launching mobile version of MightyDigger and doing some more user testing we will be ready to publish our home brewed game engine!
One could ask why technology company is developing games. the answer is simple -. We want to field test the technology in real life situations and kill all of the bugs and flaws that could arise while developing and publishing any game that our users decide to make. For the first bigger scale test we can say – it went really well, we fixed some flaws the engine as well as improved the development/deployment process as a whole.
While testing we did run in some problems, that were not obvious in the smaller scale tests. The first issue popped out in the beginning. Somehow Firefox and Opera loaded game forever. Especially on older hardware. We realized that the game froze while creating map with a huge amount of tiles because it was very CPU intensive and sometimes even crashed the script. After realizing this issue we made some optimizations. After these optimisations our tests show that now we can run 1 million tile map without any problems http://mightyfingers.com/supermap/index.html . In next release we are planning to add even better algorithm that will allow you to use unlimited amount of tiles which will be be created and streamed dynamically.
Previously we have developed a few games using nodeJS but for MightyDigger we decided to stick to the good old PHP. It seemed like this kind of casual game requires more work on client side than server. Later on we regretted this decision because we had to duplicate quite a bit of code on both sides. In the end we once again came to the conclusion that nodeJS should be obvious choice not only for real time multiplayer games but also for more simple casual and social games.