Mikey's Games / Hello, World!

I’m in the process of building a game server that runs on a Raspberry Pi (or any Linux system). The idea is that you can hook it up to your TV, have your friends or family get their smartphones or tablets out, and play a game together. It’s like a cross between board games and video games like Playstation or XBox. And hopefully better than just playing board games on your Playstation or XBox.

For example, board games are usually a bit limited in some way. For example, with Yahtzee it’s hard to see the other players score sheets and the scoring is all manual. I think Yahtzee would be more fun if all the scoresheets were visible at the same time and automatically scored– kind of like those scoring systems that most bowling alleys have these days. Plus, then you’re not accidentally rolling dice off the table and stuff like that. So hopefully it’s all the fun of board games, but without some of the drawbacks.

With everyone having their own screen on the smart phone or tablet (or a separate laptop), there’s a potentially much richer personal controller than a joystick or gamepad (obviously the games wouldn’t be arcade games where those types of controllers are best).

Anyway, I’ve recently fallen in love with Formula E racing… and I was reminded of an old game called “Racetrack” that I’m sure I learned as a kid or teenager. I even found a really great version of Racetrack for Android called “Paper Racing”. Also, when I was a kid there was this board game I had called “Speed Circuit” – and while I appear to have passed that along at some point, I did just pick up a similar board game called “Formula D”. And for getting the hardcore racing simulation experience, I’m positively addicted to “rFactor2”.

And not that I expect it to take off, but I want to make a racing strategy game that capture the spirit of Formula E. And to do that I’ll be starting with a multiplayer, interactive web-based version of Racetrack. Then I can build on that until I’ve got something to write home about.

Plus, like a lot of good hobby programming projects, a big motivation is the learning involved. So my plan is to write in vanilla JS, pure CSS, and HTML5. No jQuery, no React or Angular, no Bootstrap, nothing. Frameworks have been giving me a headache and getting in the way of my learning the nuts and bolts and all the new awesome stuff out there.

OK. I will be using ONE framework: Express in NodeJS. I don’t think that’s going to keep me from learning the new client-side stuff I’m hoping to get a grip on.

Anyway… off we go!