Tuesday 16 December 2008

Slot Machines

Up until two years ago I worked on gaming / casino related projects. Mostly stuck on the server side making sure all the calculations added up and random numbers were properly random. But early on in my casino days I did come up with an entire end to end solution (I have to admit I did have some graphics artist help at the final stages - I should NOT be allowed to do art! ).   This involved writing the client side game , server side systems and reporting / banking systems.   I thought I had lost most of the code but while looking in some backups last night I came accross the original source of two of them - written entirely in assembler of course :) 

I fired them up and took some screen shots. Which I can post here as I the company in question is no longer operational. You will see from the screenshots the jackpot totals and scrolling news are blank - no servers to connect to.  Megavault had a really nice bonus system where you would eventually crack the vault and have 3 spins on winning the jackpot with vastly increased odds. It was quite a hit and on the launch weekend it had 10 000 "simultaneous" players all one one dual core p3 (700mhz) with 2gb ram (if I remember correctly the machine was barely ticking over at about 40% occupancy).

For what its worth here are the screenshots:

[caption id="attachment_320" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Megavault"]Megavault[/caption]

As a follow up we needed a full screen game so "Lucky Bucks" was made. Note it was entirely self contained and not part of a suite of casino games (like most were back then). Unfortunately the screen shot is static and doesn't show the wide variety of little animations that were occuring.

[caption id="attachment_321" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="Lucky Bucks"]Lucky Bucks[/caption]

After these types of stand alone games and some really nifty realtime affiliate reporting software (I really am blowing my own horn today... )  I moved into developing / maintaining some large casino software collections and then into bingo. For which I wrote the game engines and db engines powering a lot of the bingo companies you see advertising on TV. (Can't name names for obvious reasons). Now bingo is the prime reason for this post as it leads on rather nicely to the next post - how to use GPU hardware to speed up calculations for web servers with many people online at the same time. (sadly never implemented in the real world)

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