screenshot of Ping

Check out Ping! I created it for my team’s booth at Red Hat Summit 2015 (Red Hat’s huge annual conference), to promote Access Labs. It’s a 1-4 player pong clone with special powers.

It’s Web-based, so you can play it right this minute. Our booth had a quartet of USB gamepads, but your keyboard works just as well. Enjoy stomping the AI (instead of your fellow humans).

photo of Ping USB controllers

Play now!

Even as a lifelong gamer and programmer, this is the first videogame I’ve made. I built it within the excellent Phaser framework. Building it was incredibly fun and a hurty lesson in the difficulty of game development. Complexity can really soar out of control when so many subsystems are woven into a single program.

Fortuitously, I had recently stolen a copy ($35 is a steal!) of what turned out to be an excellent book: Game Programming Patterns by Bob Nystrom. Several of the patterns described in that book can be found inside Ping.

photo of game booth at Red Hat Summit

Roughly 400 people played the game over the course of the event. The top score was 597, which earned one dedicated player a pair of sweet headphones. It was enriching to see so many people enjoying the game. Each player experienced the game in a unique way, which was both surprising and instructive.

In short, it’s fun to make games. It’s even better when other people enjoy them. I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.


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