Manmade Games

Web-Based Tech

In my day-to-day job, I work as a software engineer building web interfaces for our company’s products (think websites). That means I work with HTML, CSS, and Javascript extensively.

I’ve decided to use the same technology for Realms. Javascript is a great scripting language for quickly building things. The ecosystem is filled with tools to make development easier and better.

As an example, I’m using Electron to package the game for the variety of desktops that it supports (Windows, OS X, and Linux). Electron makes creating desktop apps about as simple as you can get, using the web technologies that I’m familiar with.

I’m writing the game in Typescript, a superset of Javascript that includes static type checking. That doesn’t mean much to non-programmers, but type checking enforces certain contracts inside your software, making it easier to maintain and less prone to bugs (IMO).

The game development community has traditionally written their games in a language like C++. This is partly for performance. I’ve written software in C++ a bit in the past, but it’s always been too cumbersome and difficult for me to write with. Luckily, Realms doesn’t need to be super-fast — it’s a turn-based game with simple graphics. Web engines have advanced to a point where they are quite fast at rendering and scripting. Of course, as the game progresses I’ll be sure to keep an eye on its performance and report any findings I have.

Introducing Realms

I’ve always enjoyed fantasy settings — I read Lord of the Rings, Shannara, Xanth, and many similar books when I was younger. I’ve played a good share of RPGs, both on the tabletop and on the computer. Dungeons & Dragons has provided me a wealth of experiences over the years.

Though I don’t always have the patience for it, Civilization-style games have always interested me as well. In these, you can craft an empire, expanding your reach and allying with or exterminating your neighbors.

A game I played a lot was Heroes of Might and Magic (mainly 1 through 3). What’s neat about this series is that it’s less of a traditional 4X game and more like a strategy + RPG hybrid. You have individual heroes that can gain experience and level up, and you explore the map to pick up treasure and fight monsters (and other players).

HoMM is sort of the foundation I’m working from for Realms (working title), a turn-based strategy game that tries to capture that feeling of excitement and exploration as you take on the role of a hero exploring and conquering the world.

I love creating stories, whether they’re written directly or they emerge naturally from a game system. And I love creating worlds. This game should have plenty of both.

Freeciv screenshot by Nybygger at English Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0. HoMM 3 screenshot from

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