Mechanical

Lacuna Expanse

Like strategy games? Like science fiction? Want to conquer the universe, facing off against real people instead of bots? Want to do it from your browser and not pay for it?

Lately I've been playing Lacuna Expanse (www.lacunaexpanse.com), a free new MMOG whose back end is written entirely in Perl. I've been pretty impressed with it so far. What's really impressive is that the company behind it is well known for supporting the Perl community and given that I've been so heavily involved in Perl marketing, I'm quite pleased to see a project this significant, written with Perl as the back end.

What's even more interesting, if you're a developer, is that they have an API you can develop for. Plus, if you feel creative, you can download their mission editor and submit missions that they might include in the game. So they encourage a lot of public participation in growing their game (not many games can claim this), but they've also released a lot of their code to the CPAN so developers can take advantage of new tools and techniques they've developed.

Give it a try! It's free, it's fun, and it's a great tool to market the technology I specialize in :) (I'm the "Ovidian Order" in that game).
It's a fun game. I should say hello in-game, huh?
My empire's name was inspired by breakfast the other day. :) You should have an in-game email from me.
Did you get the hello email? I haven't heard from you, but I know you must be nearby since I get updates about your empire from Network 19.

Also, if your alliance could use another power, I seem to be an independent.
Bah!
Somehow I didn't grok the breakfast reference (I'm slow sometimes) and had no idea that was you :)

I'll let our cabal know. Not sure if we're full up yet.
Cool, looks interesting!

I once was quite a Perl hacker but then I found Ruby. Its not that I don't like Perl, I just love Ruby so much!
I completely understand. Ruby is a lovely language. I was offered a job in it once, but it was a six month contract and I needed a permanent job.

Today, I still prefer Perl, but that's mainly because the Modern Perl movement has taken hold and newer code is beautiful to work in. Plus, with Moose, it has one of the most advanced OO systems of any programming language available (with a complete meta-object protocol to boot!).
Do you still have to do "my $self = shift;" inside every method in order to call other methods in the same object? When I first saw Perl OOP it looked so "stuck on with sellotape" that I just avoided it altogether.
You don't have to if you don't want to. Check out Method::Signatures for one of the many new ways to avoid that. It's still sad that you need an external module for that, but it's being done in a way that is improving core Perl to the point where we can do such things sanely (no source filters required).
I've heard a little bit about this (being in the MMOG industry), but I didn't realize it was all done in Perl. It's good to see the language getting some attention and love in a fairly cutting-edge way.
Can you wangle me an invite to your alliance? I'm the Serpentine Empire (but am foolishly unable to figure out how to send in-game emails). I have an embassy...
I've just sent an internal email to the alliance partners. It's a "Perl group", but that's only because we're deliberately inviting people we know to avoid backstabbing like you would get with EVE Online. Mr. Muskrat is the guy who gets to make the call. I've told him you're not a Perl guy, but a friend I know personally. Also, you only get a certain amount of invites based on the size of your embassy, so he might not have space.

Either way, I've tried and I hope you get in!
Ta, appreciated. :)

I am about to get my 2nd colony at last, in an hour or two. It's fun so far, mostly in a typical "silly browser game" kind of way, only with a vastly improved interface, better graphics, faster loading, etc.