The question is asking what language to use for small, in-browser games, such as tower-defense games, RPGs, and multi-user dungeons. The OP was told somewhere online that ASP.Net MVC would be suited for this, however is (rightfully) questioning that answer since it doesn't seem right.

I think the question, in it's current form, is a decent one for this site and should not be closed. The only suggestion I would really make is to write out the example game types because not everyone knows what muds, tds, and roguelikes are.

I do not think this is too broad of a question since the answer the OP seems to be looking for is to use an RIA technology. Which one to use is up to her. I also don't think it should be edited to include a specific example because it would limit the question to only being useful to the OP, and not to any programmer wishing to build small browser games.

  • 2
    I voted to reopen
    – user2567
    Mar 10 '12 at 16:51
  • 1
    Voted to reopen.
    – Jim G.
    Mar 11 '12 at 3:19

Everyone and their mother (and their dog and their robot dog and that dog's AI subroutines and their subroutines and their subroutines and their circuits and their atoms) has a favorite programming language. My answer to the question would be HTML 5 and Javascript but others will disagree and most of the answers would be equally valid.

People are forever looking for that one "true" language that will split the atom and instantiate Rainbow Unicorns all in one statement. When people typically ask "what language should I learn" they are really asking "how can get other people (compiler writers, language designers, library developers, etc) to work for me so I don't actually have to learn how to do this." It's one thing if your boss says learn language X. It's another thing if you are learning language X on your own so that you can enrich yourself.

We are not a substitute for reading the manual(s). It's a hard manual to be sure and I've been looking into some kind of chart or application to make it easier. Until that can happen this stuff gets closed. Another problem is that much of the time we don't know what the Questioner knows or how much they understand. Are they an expert programmer looking for the ideal tool? Are they are a newbie who literally doesn't know the difference between an array and a list? There are no magic bullets; only hard work and experience.

  • 3
    We are not a substitute for reading the manual(s). should be in our FAQ... <sigh>
    – yannis
    Mar 9 '12 at 22:42
  • 2
    Wouldn't that blow up the Rainbow Unicorns?
    – psr
    Mar 9 '12 at 22:54
  • @psr not if you use proper encapsulation.
    – user28988
    Mar 9 '12 at 22:55
  • @WorldEngineer - I think the correct explanation is that is that the unicorns will survive because the unicorn instantiation and the explosion are guaranteed to work as though they happened simultaneously, because you used an atomic constructor.
    – psr
    Mar 9 '12 at 23:00
  • Plz check my ans.
    – Noname
    Mar 10 '12 at 12:55
  • The difference is I think the answer is not a language, but a technology. The answer the OP needs is to look into an RIA technology, not a web one. In addition, I feel her scope was small enough that there are only a handful of languages which would be suitable, so even if the question was answered badly by nothing but language recommendations, it would get at most 3-4 answers. Pretty much ANY project could be built in more than one language, and I don't see there being anything wrong with a question getting a few different answers, with the best one being voted to the top.
    – Rachel
    Mar 10 '12 at 14:46
  • @Rachel There is nothing wrong with a question getting a few different answers, the problem is that the question doesn't give us enough parameters so we can choose (via our votes) which answer is the better one. Especially since the two options presented so far in the answers are competing, there should be a tie breaker. There isn't, and that's why we need more info.
    – yannis
    Mar 10 '12 at 18:50
  • @YannisRizos A question can have more than 1 good answer, in the same way that there is more than one right way to write a program. Both answers are equally valid and useful to future programmers who have the same question, and which one the OP chooses will be up to her.
    – Rachel
    Mar 10 '12 at 18:56
  • @YannisRizos As a side note, you said you'd re-open the question if it got 3 reopen votes.... :)
    – Rachel
    Mar 10 '12 at 18:57
  • @Rachel: A good question can have more than 1 good answer, but not an infinite number of equally-good answers, otherwise it's not a question at all. So far, neither answer presents any really convincing rationale for why it's better than any other answer, nor does the question itself ask for such a justification or even give any basis on which to form a justification. It's another "what language" poll, plain and simple.
    – Aaronaught
    Mar 11 '12 at 17:34

Here are some things I can think of that would be required to determine which language would be best for your small browser game:

  1. You would want to know what features you plan to use, and what browsers or plug-ins can be used to implement them, plus how much utility each provides you so that you make the trade-off between that utility and how many people actually have said browser/plug-in combination (ideally the percentages would be for your target demographic rather than all browser users). On the server side you would want to know platform and library out there and which fits best with what you are doing on the client (though you can do more or less everything you need on any server platform, some will perform better or be easier to implement).

  2. You would also want to know how everything mentioned in item 1 is going to change in the future. For example, it currently appears that HTML5 has a shinier future than Flash or Silverlight but especially for Silverlight it's complicated.

  3. You would want to factor in you own personal skill set, both now and in the future, what skills you would like to learn, and to what degree learning one skill helps you with others.

  4. You would want to know you prioritize all of this when it comes to trade-offs. Do I want a technology that is easy now but in decline, something not ideal for the game but teaches me marketable skills, something usable by few people but has more features (browser version, PC/tablet/phone)?

Given all of these factors, I don't think we can give someone a good answer in the format we have, unless they give us enough information that for their case it's pretty obvious. And I don't think we can give blanket advice for all programmers building browser games because the answer will depend on all these factors, and we can't cover all the combinations.

It could maybe be a blog post but it would still be a fair amount of work without limited the scope further.

  • It sounds to me like if the OP had included all that information, it would have been closed as too localized. She originally did have some of that information in her question, and I removed it because it made the question too localized. And see my comment above to WorldEngineer. The answer that is needed for a question like this is not a language, but a technology.
    – Rachel
    Mar 10 '12 at 14:51

This question should have not been closed

It is a good programming question and encouraging for young budding programmers. The fact that they can't ask simple question that can broaden their horizons and point of view is not good for programmers site.

I have seen a trend lately that this was not the only question that was closed as off topic, there were a couple of others which probably were ok questions.

Let me address some of the issues raised by @wordengineer in his answer.

Lets not talk about absoluteness. Everyone has an answer and every answer is a valid answer. Some answer can be too out of the way, that might get negative votes. Others will be dead on target, they will get up votes. The reason that we have up/down voting system, strengthen the idea that the right answer get selected. Let say I answer this question with C++. I am sure I will get a couple of negative votes and that way I will realized c++ is not a good language to program the browser. May be another person says, JavaScript and HTML. May be he gets a few up votes and the OP realizes well, this might be it. Why would you close this question off topic? If the community can vote a answer up/down to make it clear to the OP that this might be the answer, why is such question not answerable or off topic?


What is in this question that is off topic? I totally disagree.

And by the way there is an absolute answer for this question?

Explain to a non-technical manager that the tool he chose isn't apt

Doesn't it work on the same principle. You post your answer, I post mine. The one that gets voted up, might be a good candidate for correct asnwer? Or you think there really was only one answer and the rest were just totally useless?

  • We expect questions to present a well defined and specific problem to be solved or a well defined and specific issue to be discussed. What you are describing is exactly what a Stack Exchange site is not, there is a ton of languages that are valid choices for several types of projects, however if we just adopt your model then we could just automatically post every language there is on every question regarding language choice and people could just up vote the ones they like and down vote the ones they don't. That would get too boring too fast.
    – yannis
    Mar 10 '12 at 14:25
  • (cont...) It's not really about what language would better fit the question, but about a well presented explanation of why the language you suggest is a better fit. In your own answer you completely missed that, other than a vague generic statement that "ASP.NET MVC is way too complex to create something simple and small". It might be true for you, but how is it that helpful to anyone else but you? How do you know that what you found complex others will too? And how do you even know that "too complex" is a deal braker for this particular question?
    – yannis
    Mar 10 '12 at 14:32
  • (cont...) I do agree with you that HTML5/JS is the better solution for this specific question, however I wouldn't be able to do any better than you in supporting my opinion. Simply because there isn't enough information in the question to do so, which I'm pretty sure is why you yourself didn't bother to elaborate any further.
    – yannis
    Mar 10 '12 at 14:34
  • (cont...) Questions that don't present a well defined and specific problem to be solved are not what the site is about, Programmers Stack Exchange is not a generic discussion forum but a very well defined Q&A site for professional programmers interested in getting expert answers on conceptual questions about software development. It's not a site where we simply post answers and vote on them, there are plenty other sites for that and we really don't want to become yet another one.
    – yannis
    Mar 10 '12 at 14:37
  • First, the question is not off topic because it is related to software and design related. 2) There is nothing wrong with the question. He presented his case very well 3) It is not argumentative. He simply is asking for the right tool. I think it can be even helpful to me but I might not know everything and I would like to get into it. Part of the reason we all browse here (or it is just me) we try to learn from something new here too. This was an opportunity, someone would have learned something but he did not because his question was closed .. cotd
    – Noname
    Mar 10 '12 at 16:23
  • I do not believe he needed a 2 page technical answer why he should use this technology and not that. Sometime you might just not know about something and once you know, you found the answer. Is my answer the correct one? I don't know. But I was sure about it so thought I will answer it. If someone comes with a better answer, I would learn something from him. It is good for me and good for OP. Why should there be fight about my answer is correct or his answer is not correct.
    – Noname
    Mar 10 '12 at 16:25
  • and more ... If someone argues that his answer was correct and all others are wrong, I am sorry to say, he has a problem. The site should not divert from the right course, just because some users have problem. And yes if this question was purely argument, with no learning values in it, I would down vote it 10 times to close it :)
    – Noname
    Mar 10 '12 at 16:27
  • The question was closed as off topic as it's on a topic that is on our off topic list on the FAQ, not everything that relates to software development and design is on topic.
    – yannis
    Mar 10 '12 at 16:44

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