In addition to web development, I have a somewhat parallel interest in game development. Most of my web projects throughout the years have been in some way game related. Those have included numerous Flash game websites, gaming forums, reference websites, and even a review website. I’ve always been really good at working for weeks or months on a new website and then abandoning it.

Around 2009 the web started to really mature enough for me to contemplate making an entire game using my web development skills. I didn’t want to write a Flash game because they typically catered to a more casual audience and were by necessity smaller than other mediums. But why not make the entire website the game?

I liked the idea of online multiplayer games where you only play for a few minutes (or hours) a day, but the game world is persistent and things can happen when you’re not playing. A good example of a game that (somewhat) successfully did this is OGame.

So around 4 years ago I started building a clone of OGame written in PHP and MySQL called PrimaNova. I had most of the features working, and I even had a few people playing it. I wanted more features, so I rewrote the game from scratch many times over the years, switching from PHP to Node and now Python. Now it bears very little resemblance to OGame, at least on paper.

The Game

What is the game about? Ok, are you sitting down? Good.
It’s a massively multiplayer online browser-based real-time grand strategy game with a science fiction theme set in space. Think Civilization meets Europa Universalis, but set in space. Whew!

The player takes on the role of the leader in a space faring society just starting to explore and colonize space. One of the goals I have for this game is to be immersive, even if it’s just a browser game. Lacking pretty 3D graphics, the best way to do this is by telling a story. One of my many sub-projects of this game is developing a way to intelligently create a procedurally generated story based on input from the player and the AI.

At it’s core, the game is a classic empire building game. Players can construct buildings and ships, gather and exploit resources, manage their population, explore a huge galaxy, and attack or work with other players. Players can send colony ships to other planets and moons to expand their empire and capture valuable resources.

When can I play this awesome game?

Soon!™ I haven’t had a production version in over a year and a half, but with my recent obsession with continuous deployment and other software engineering buzzwords, I hope to change that soon.