Last week was JavaOne in San Francisco and a number of us from the WebSphere Microservices squad were lucky enough to attend (@MarkNSweep, @ebullient, @ozzydweller, and @rossyp83). We had a section of the IBM booth showing Game On!, a retro text adventure that lets you explore and have fun with microservices.


We spoke with hundreds of people over three days. What really comes across with Game On! is how accessible it makes microservices, WebSphere Liberty, and cloud native development. A retro text adventure is something that almost everyone is familiar with. You start out by writing a room that registers with the Map microservice and then receives incoming data when players enter the room, when they type in commands, and finally when they leave.

Explaining something like eventual consistency becomes a lot simpler if you ask someone to imagine two instances of the your room and how changes in one, such as taking an item, would need to be reflected in the other room. People also really liked the fact that Game On! is open source, can be run locally, and is available all the time–it’s not just something that is run for conferences.

We ran a workshop on the Monday which took people through how to write a room and get it hooked into Game On!. In the workshop, we also showed how to control an LED attached to a Raspberry Pi using IBM’s IoT service running in Bluemix. We had a great turnout (in fact the session was over subscribed) but, for those who missed it, the first part can be found in our Java room example.


We ran a competition to see who could write the ‘best’ room for Game On!. We awarded points for using various technologies but, most importantly, the judges were looking for that Wow! factor. The workshop was a handy quickstart for the people who took part in the competition. A big shoutout to @ilanpillemer who was our winner and took home a Raspberry Pi 3.


And as for the winning room (which I’m happy to say is still alive and well), can you find it in Game On!?


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