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Web based game development

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What language is normally used in the development of browser based web games? How complex can they get before other alternatives should be considered?

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Action: like Tetris or a space shooter
Flash - for simple, 'Play N Go', games. (Cheat-able)
Shockwave -
Java -

Managing: like Neopets, or Hattrick.org
<your favorite serverside scripting language>

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I guess I should have stated that I was thinking along the lines of a multi player game where they would be able to come and go as they please joining a game already in session if one was already going. More strategy based then action in that their wouldn't be a lot of graphical intense things going on.

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PHP works pretty well. The web is saturated with code samples and tutorials, it interfaces easily with databases. A lot of browser-based games rely on a mixture of PHP with javascript to fine tune the interface.

If it's "real-time" though, PHP isn't really the best choice, and things get more complicated.

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If you're looking realtime, javascript and Flash are the most common. javascript games are free to create (text editor and browser), whereas you'll have to have access to Flash to use it, which unless your school/company/whatever has a site license, you'll need to buy it.

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