Have you ever wanted to create your own web game but were unsure how to go about it or what languages you would need to learn to do it? Or even know what languages to use but not how to get them to work on your home machine? Well this post should give you a starting hand.
Currently on the web, most browser based/PBB games are written in PHP/MySQL. Yes there are other languages used but I will cover these first. Both PHP and MySQL are open source languages, meaning they are free and have a ton of online communities and support. Personally I am using those languages for the few games I am working on/plan on working on.
So, what is PHP? PHP put simply is a server side scripting language which returns html to the clients browser. What this means is that PHP isn’t ran on the players machine, but ran on your server. This give’s a little security because players can’t see your code, meaning they don’t know passwords, variable names, equations.
MySQL? MySQL is your datbase. It is the thing that stores your players information, such as names, experience, levels. You can even use it to record money transfer in game, mail, friends, and any other form of information you would like to view later.
Now, you have an idea hopefully what both of these languages can do for you. But how do you get server side languages to work on your home pc so you can build and test? Well the easiest way is to download and install WAMP if you are using a Windows PC. (Mac version : MAMP Linux – A guide on setting up a LAMP )
WAMP is Windows Apahce MySQL PHP. Basically it installs a server (Apache) which is needed, since it basically turns your pc into a mini server to run PHP/MySQL which have files that interpurt the scripts. After you have WAMP installed, are good to go. Browse into your wamp directory and you’ll see a folder called www. You will want to place your scripts there for testing. So lets say you write your first PHP script :
echo “Hello world”;
You save it out and drop it in your WAMP www folder. You go to your browser (no need to be online) and type in http://localhost/*name of file*
To create databases is also pretty simple. Click on the wamp symbol in your system tray and click PHPmyAdmin. There you can set permissions, create databases, and insert info. I will write a starters guide for myAdmin at a later date and demonstrate the basic way to connect, insert, delete, whatever using PHP.
So after that you may think that PHP/MySQL isn’t for you but you still want to create web games. Well for web games you need a back end (database) be it SQL, MySQL, Access (*shudder*), Oracle or whatever database language/server to have access to. You also need a scripting language of some sort, the two most popular PHP and ASP.NET, though others do exist.
I hope this has given you the knowledge you need to know, not to script, but to know where to start looking. I know personally when I first started I didn’t know what languages to use, or what options I had.
Also, for anyone that develops, please feel free to post the languages and set up you use.