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mmo with expressjs and socket.io draft
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README.markdown

Genesis

The name of the project was chosen by its creator, Lucas Nasif, to suggest a grand beginning. This is an experiment of combining Crafty.js and Socket.IO to make a dom/canvas only (no flash) form of a simple MMO. Currently the features are extremely limited (you can only walk around in a room and see others walking) but hopefully it will grow much beyond that. Your help would be appreciated towards that goal too. Feel free to file an issue, open a pull request, or to get in contact for help setting it up/deploying it/whatever. Note that this is currently entirely free (as in speech and beer, since it runs on heroku).

Dev setup

You need to install nodejs and ought to install npm.

node: http://nodejs.org/ npm: http://npmjs.org/

All node dependencies are listed (some with loose versions) in package.json. All the dependencies are vendored in the node_modules directory, as per convention for a deployed app.

To run the app, you'll need the foreman gem (yeah, it's weird that it's a gem, but it's how github suggests running it locally) then just do foreman start and open localhost:5000 (or whatever port it says). Try opening it in different browsers/tabs and seeing the websockets magic in action.

Also, this now works on heroku. Just run something like the following commands to get it up and running: (will make a raketask for this soon)

heroku create username-genesis --stack cedar
git push heroku master
heroku config:set DEFAULT_ROOM='http://yourroomserver.com/rooms/1234' #see [genesis-rooms](http://www.github.com/jcwilk/genesis-rooms)
heroku ps:scale web=1
heroku logs (look for "State changed from starting to up" at the end)
heroku open (or just go to the url in your web browser from the output of those commands)

Heroku limitations

  • AFAIK heroku doesn't currently support websockets so I have it limited to xhr long polling, which, as long as you're not continuously streaming data, isn't bad at all. I could imagine it having a noticable impact on a sketchy connection like mobile though.
  • The hiredis package cannot compile on heroku since it's missing the underlying library. This means you should be careful when updating the vendored dependencies as Socket.IO seems to try to include it by default. I deleted the hiredis folder as the Socket.IO code suggested it had a transparent fallback and now it seems to work fine... Though I would expect if I did an npm install again that it would put it right back.
  • Heroku currently (AFAIK) limits you to 1000 connections. If that becomes a limiting factor though, I would consider that a non-problem problem, as Adam Carolla would say.

Current features

  • Instant player allocation on page load
  • Chat
  • Scrolling view following the player
  • dataNode infrastructure for piping data between heterogeneous entities/systems
  • Collision detection with walls
  • Room data stored/generated from a secondary server
  • Room data retrieved on player connect and forwarded to the client by the genesis server
  • Player updates only sent to players in the same room

Known bugs

  • Currently makes the viewport too large for mobile (fix is known, just need to get to it)
  • Chat is currently a bit awkward mainly due to it being parsed as HTML (d'oh)
  • User gets too much trust, they can currently arbitrarily set their position
  • Currently it fetches the room data after the "loading" screen has gone away, which can take up to around 10 seconds if the rooms server isn't spun up. This should happen in the loading screen with a more explanatory message.

Features planned

  • Better mobile support (text box for chat, onscreen arrows for movement)
  • Server side heuristics to detect cheaters (specifically, forging your location)
  • Hazards/Death/Respawning?

Hypothetical further delegation to an external node or rails server

  • Player persistence
  • Movement validation (anti cheat)
  • Entity tracking (mobs, items, etc)
  • Player cookie-based authentication
  • Limit information to line of sight

Testing

  • gem install guard-jasmine-node (requires ruby)
  • guard (from project root, will autotest and libnotify/growl)
  • Note that this is a little buggy/finicky. YMMV but having coffeescript specs with autotest and libnotify is freaking sweet. If you can't get it to work though, just use jasmine-node spec, the binary is in node_modules

Pull request dogma

  • Make a branch and get it in sync with master of this repo (either rebase or cherry pick)
  • Include only the code you want to contribute on top of that
  • Please thoroughly test the code before sending it over, either manually or, preferably, via automated test
  • Send the pull request with a relatively detailed description of the whats and whys
  • Thank you!

Special thanks

  • Lucas Nasif ( http://lucasnasif.com/ ) for the idea and implementation of combining socket.io with craftyjs. This is his project that I've, at least for the time being, picked up and as you can see from above, have great ambitions for :D
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