AJAX Games

I made a comment recently on a blog that was talking about streaming HTTP, AJAX and other hot web technologies. I realized that as far as Google and del.icio.us know, nobody has made a game using these technologies. I hope that this post will help me to find, create or inspire games that do so.

I remember back in the 90’s there were JavaScript games. Java and Flash were big and slow to download over dial-up connections. Yet people wanted to play games in the web browser. People created a bunch of CGI and JavaScript based games using form elements and gifs to create poor renditions of classic turn based games. Mostly card games IIRC. But as technology advanced we got Director, Flash and Java to provide the browser embedded games we desired.

Recently there have been advances in web technology like AJAX, SVG, XmlHTTPRequest that allow web pages to be more dynamic than ever. Without using iframes we can have pages that both update information in a database and update their display based on information from the database without reloading. I think it’s freaking obvious that we should make a game based on that architecture. It will load fast, look cool, not require plug-ins, work in any new browser, allow multi-player and just be fun.

My current vision is to recreate versions of European board games such as Puerto Rico, Tigris and Euphrates, St. Petersburg, Carcassone, etc. using this platform. Much like the version of Settlers of Catan made with Java, this would be a huge hit and a great way to kill shit tons of time.

Now, there is more to it than in-browser games that don’t require a plug-in. ANY modern browser will run the games. That could potentially include browsers on cell phones, Palm devices, Blackberries, etc. Imagine if instead of paying your cellular carrier money to download a shit version of Tetris because they disabled phone functionality you can instead just visit a page and play board games with your friends for your standard data charge. And different style sheets for different media will enable the game to have a proper interface despite your chosen browser, device and network speed. The day when 5 people can play the same game of Puerto Rico on a phone, palm, blackberry, PC and PSP in different parts of the world will be a very good day.

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12 Responses to AJAX Games

  1. eric says:

    Has anything become of this? I was thinking the same thing and googled your page :-) Would love to see a settlers Ajax based game.

  2. Cornea says:

    There are probably more games out there but Weboggle is simple and playing against others makes it fun. I’m sure there must be more advanced games using Ajax.

  3. Cornea says:

    I started a blog where I was going to list the hundreds of Ajax based games I thought were going to appear. So far only found …
    Weboogle
    Alexadex
    Llor
    Fastr
    Brewster Jennings Protects (a Google maps mashup)

    Ajax Games

  4. pit says:

    Nice Ajax-games can be found here:

    http://www.pitstreet.com

    Also: Ajax-powered multiplayer zone, tournaments, chats, forums, and much more.

  5. Brian Gefrich says:

    I also found this page through google, looking for other examples of more advanced AJAX games

    I am currently developing a “massively multiplayer” AJAX/PHP/MySQL strategy war game called Division of Power. Being as I am one man and relatively new to AJAX as a combined tool (although I have worked extensively in each of the component pieces) it is taking some time, but in the end, it will be a game where large armies face off in a war for territory, each player commanding a section of the army. AJAX will allow updates to appear to you as they happen, and for instant processing of orders and commands.

    I can’t believe more people haven’t gotten more inventive with the technology, instead of just creating some pages with draggable boxes.

  6. Brian says:

    You need to check out “Get Hostile!” at http://www.gethostile.com

    It’s an AJAX game similar to the all-time classic boardgame Acquire. Lot’s of fun.

  7. Jacob says:

    I also googled your page looking for examples of interactive AJAX fun.
    Maybe AJAX games face a chicken-and-egg problem, like IPv6, where the public doesn’t even know (or care) about AJAX, so they don’t search for games using it, so the people who put up “Free Games!” types of pages don’t include or look for such games, so the games do not get created, so then nobody has yet played them. Then again, maybe not, and all it’ll take is for some cool games to be made first.
    But if this is the case, then one question is how to get the word out (If for no other reason but to promote the use of a cool technology and the creation of cool distractions) but, also, would one (a games peddler, I suppose) even need the public to know the difference? Is there a good reason for the average web-surfer to know the difference between games built with Javascript, Flash, and AJAX?
    Maybe just so that they’ll know to ask for it…

  8. Alan Walker says:

    There are quite a few links to Ajax games at http://www.ajaxgames.blogspot.com/ and http://ajaxpatterns.org/Ajax_Examples#Game.2FToy

    One of these games is my Chihuahua word puzzle (http://chi.lexigame.com)

  9. ajax says:

    this is the future of gaming industry

  10. You should check out Grand Strategy, an Ajax powered Risk clone. The most advanced Ajax powered game that there is:

    http://www.denizengames.com

  11. Randy Henson says:

    I created this ajax game. It’s amulti player boggle game

  12. Bill Renner says:

    I’ve made an AJAX game. Its like Civilization in a web browesr — multiplayer, to boot.

    Enjoy.

    http://www.voximperium.com

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