Today, gaming exists entirely on complex, dedicated machines running resource intensive GPUS and low latency graphics and controls. Although the future must be ripe with more advanced and dedicated gaming services, SendGame offers a more laid back and patient approach to gaming. From the same creative brilliance of cookie clicker, or cow clicker, games in which the whole idea is to test your patience, Sendgame offers it's users the ability to game day to day in a casual environment, their own email inbox.
What it does
Sendgame is a plugin to any email service. It is a minimal game composed of a character who ventures through a deep dark dungeon. The game is played by sending emails to a client, who then responds to the email with a new game state. For example, a user can be at a certain position on a map and they suddenly encounter a spider, being forced to slay the spider and work their way up the leader board. The beauty in sendgame is it's simplistic approach to tracking progress. Each character is given a total amount of points based on their kills and coins collected and the overall leader board can be viewed on the main webapp built in the django framework. If users desire a more team based method, the webapp offers a "pokemon play's twitch" version per say, where everybody is in charge of the command and only a single command is sent to the service. The main advantage of this program is that the user never needs to download any of the game files on their own computer, all of it is hosted on the server.
How I built it
The webapp and webhook were designed in django, using the back end database sqllite. The main app, however is written all in python. This makes it very easy to incorporate different types of services in a single package. The project isn't only design for sendgame, businesses are able to install the email service to utilize email services for clients as well as just a fun game to play in their free time.
Challenges I ran into
The app's low speed is a significant deterrance of its performance. However, we chose to embrace this fact. The same way games like cow clicker and cookie clicker have become popular, users are forced to start early on and keep a keen dedication to the game in order to advance up the leader board. Otherwise, they lose to more dedicated users who respond to their email immediately.
What I learned
Although a relatively simple concept, this project used database technologies (notably in the django framework), game control loops, security and authentication with google oauth and webhook technologies with sendgrid emailing service.
What's next for SendGame Dungeon Crawler
Dungeon Crawler was inspired off of minimalist games that rely on user patience as well as dedication to work their way up through a leaderboard. However, the game is only in its initial stages. In the future, SendGrid could be integrated into a more intricate game in which each email sends static data in the form of images or maps. However, for a more practical approach, SendGrid's email technology allows users to build their own portfolio on the website. In the future, users can use the same technology to send a personalized email to themselves or even a report or analysis of their current state or emotions. Having access to email is a very powerful tool that could be easily implemented in more complex ideas.