As an active member of the communityat Torn City, the team behind the text-based MMORPG approached me to join their community management staff. After a few months of dealing with user issues and requests, a new feature of the game had started to evolve; the casino. The development team had no experience with game development beyond text-based browser games and Flash was the most popular gaming platform in the world at the time. As the only staff member with experience in this area I was taken on as the lead developer to create the Torn City Casino – a feature that still plays a major part in the game today (although is no longer my original Flash version).
Rigging The Casino
Players could enter the casino and gamble with their in-game money in the hopes of winning more through a variety of games, including Slots, Roulette, High-Low and Blackjack. Although real casinos ensure the odds are always stacked in favour of the house, we decided to switch this the other way. The game was constantly introducing new features for players to spend their money on andensuring users remained satisfied and continued to play was essential – so giving them a slight advantage in the casino was a decision based around user satisfaction and retention. Unlike the real world, these games could be completely and utterly fixed, so this task was easy enough.
Front Of House
My development knowledge didn’t stretch beyond HTML and Actionscript when this project got underway. Unfortunately this caused a lot of problems with the money being thrown around in the casino coming from the player’s game accounts. The developers behind the main game whipped up some basic PHP files and told me to learn how to interact with them through Flash. It seems so basic now, but at the time I struggled to wrap my head around this. By the end of this project I finally understood how front-end and back-end parts link together and just what PHP does. It was also during this time that I learned I am not a back-end person; I break things far too often and find no enjoyment in it.
Although the Flash versions I created are no longer being used, Torn City can still be played at www.torn.com and the casino still exists as a whole.