Gaming Dwarf

written by Creston

The 2012 Rails Rumble was a hackathon that happened over the weekend of October 13-14.  Participants had to build a web application using a variant of Ruby (Rails, Sinatra, etc.) in 48 hours.  1-4 team members could work together to build the app.  I decided to give it a go solo and build a game discovery service called Gaming Dwarf.  

Not Just Building an App

In this competition, you don't just build an app.  They provide a virtual server that you have to configure and deploy your app to.  This means a fair amount of admin skills are needed as well.  They did have pre-configured templates you could use, but they did not have one with my preferred Rails stack (postgresql, rbenv, nginx, unicorn).  In addition, I wanted to get my feet wet with Nginx and Unicorn since I am used to using Passenger on Apache.  

So, How Did I Do?

Well, it was live and functional before the deadline.  The bad news is it looked awful, hehe.  I am not a good designer so getting something to look halfway decent takes a ton of time for me.  Time is one thing you don't have in a 48 hour hackathon.  This definitely hurt me in the competition.  Good news is I did not deprive myself of sleep or food so I did not crash afterwards.  Although, I did have quite a rush doing the final deploys to fix last second things before the deadline.

What Does Gaming Dwarf Do?

Gaming Dwarf is a game discovery service.  I also play a lot of dwarves in games, so there you go.  Right now, it just works with Steam.  You log in with your Steam credentials and as long as your Steam profile is public, it records the games you own and retrieves the games of your friends.  Next, you tell it what platforms you have and the genres you prefer.  Then, taking your preferences and the games you own into account, it makes new game suggestions for you.  Eventually, I plan to add the ability to rate the games you own to give better recommendations.  I also want to make this a platform agnostic service.  Meaning, I want to support any platform or vendor who has an API (e.g., Apple's App Store, Amazon, Microsoft, etc.).  

If you are interested, please check out the service (its free) at Gaming Dwarf.

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