For a stand alone version of Connect!, I could have gone with a number of different solutions.
One, I could just distribute a zip file with the html and js files in it. This did not appeal to me, as it wasn’t really any better than just having it on the web.
Two, I could make an Adobe Air application. While I still may do this at some point, I don’t want to go through learning where all of the little tweaks have to be done to make it work. Also, I don’t want to force players to install Adobe Air.
Three, I could translate it into a Yahoo! Widget or other widget/gadget/doodad thingie. While I am likely to still make it a Yahoo! Widget, the same idea of requiring the user to have a particular install on their machine isn’t what I want.
Four, I could translate it into another language. I considered C#, ActionScript, and the ECMA-esque scripting language of Wintermute.
I actually decided on C# (realizing that I’m limiting the players to windows, but the Mac folks can wait for the Yahoo! Widget), but I also decided not to translate the game itself… I decided to simply use the WebBrowser control in .net to run my game inside of a very simple C# winforms application.
As it turns out, this is a pretty easy thing to set up. It’s pretty easy to link the C# application to the script running inside of the browser. The script can tell the application to resize, and the application can tell the script to start a new game, and that’s about as far as I’ve gotten, but the proof of concept is there, and I’ll be able to flesh out all of the functionality within a normal windows menu bar once I’ve got the game itself done.
Here’s what it looks like:
And here’s where you can download a RAR file with an installer. Keep in mind, not all of the functionality is in the stand-alone yet…. this is merely a concept demo.