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Create Multiplayer HTML5 Games

by Mike Hahn

Nojotalk is at once a multiplayer HTML5 game portal and an open source tool for creating multiplayer HTML5 games and game engines. All games and game engines are written in the Nojotalk scripting language, which is interpreted on the developer's local machine, and deployed as JavaScript code on the server, running on the Node.js platform. Most games and game engines are open source and hosted for free by Nodejitsu.com (games which are very popular require game developers to pay fees to Nodejitsu). Nojotalk is implemented in Python, so it's cross-platform.

Nojotalk IDE

The Nojotalk scripting language is based on the subset of JavaScript as laid out in JavaScript: The Good Parts, by Douglas Crockford. However, the syntax of Nojotalk is a major departure from JavaScript, whereby infix operators are absent and parentheses are used for all grouping (except string literals are delimited with double quotes). The Nojotalk-to-JavaScript Converter is used to deploy games and game engines on the server. The NojoTalk Markup Language (NTML) is used to lay out screen elements. NTML is similar to JSON, except its syntax is a subset of Nojotalk, and its functionality is a subset of HTML. Developers have the option of writing their code using JavaScript syntax instead of Nojotalk syntax.

Nojotalk comes with 3 built-in game engines: Board (used for board games and non-game apps), CellGrid (regions where multiple players congregate), and DynaGrid (a 2-player animated game). A fourth game engine is a split screen consisting of Board and CellGrid. Game engine developers are free to modify any of the built-in game engines, or create their own game engines from scratch. Nojotalk databases are built with MongoDB, which is itself open source.

Business Model

Nojotalk has no business model: it's completely free. The Nojotalk Game Portal web site consists of a searchable directory of Nojotalk games, along with links to those games (which are hosted elsewhere). The only expenses of Nojotalk are web hosting fees of less than $300 per year.

To Do List

  1. Nojotalk Byte-Code Interpreter
  2. Nojotalk Compiler
  3. Command Shell
  4. NTML Parser
  5. Converter: Nojotalk-to-JavaScript
  6. Board engine
  7. CellGrid engine
  8. DynaGrid engine
  9. Multi-user
  10. Database support
  11. Nojotalk IDE
  12. Game Portal
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