Games, Prototypes, and gRPC

Rob is back, and JD catches him up on the latest developments with their game. JD shares some background about the inspiration for the game, considerations for an early prototype, and the technologies he wants to use to build the game. The two discuss Rust, React, and gRPC, and share their concern for the complexities of designing an interesting video game.


Rob is back after moving to Austin, Texas! And JD survived a heatwave in Europe that made it very tough to be productive. Nonetheless, JD managed to think more about the game he wants to build. And he set up a prototype with some technologies he is interested in exploring. To get Rob up to speed, he introduces the game Screeps, which is an MMO strategy game for programmers and an inspiration. From there, the discussion turns into a general reflection on video games, and what will be important for their game.

JD then shares his vision for the game's technical architecture, consisting of a game engine, the player's code, and a UI at the minimum. For the game engine, JD is thinking about writing it in Rust. It's fast, has good memory management, but it is still young and the comparatively small ecosystem might make things more complicated. For the UI, JD wants to go with React since that runs almost anywhere. And finally for the API between the engine, the UI, and the player's code, JD was considering a REST interface, GraphQL, or gRPC. JD really likes the features of gRPC, and intents to use it in the prototype.

Feeling a little bit overwhelmed by the complexity of designing a game, the two discuss a good strategy to get started with a very small feature. One idea is to generate events, and have the player react to them. This could be easily implemented without the need for a feature rich UI or advanced rules in the backend.

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Copyright 2019 Jan David Nose & Rob Pando