Writing the new SketchPort game and deploying on Node.js


I’ve just launched the newest addition to SketchPort, a word guessing game, which runs on Node.js. Players get 90 seconds to draw the word that is given, while the other players try to guess it.


The game uses the same SWF as the draw page, so all users get a clean image with no pixelation, and the standard tools, such as alpha, blur, and layers. Also, the viewport is synchronized, so the user who is drawing can zoom and pan freely.

This is my first time deploying Node.js code into a production environment. I’m happy with the post-receive hook in git, which made running the new code after a push pretty easy. I’m also happy with npm, which I think is one of the best parts of Node.js.

On the other hand, I haven’t figured out how to neatly break Node.js websocket applications into separate processes. Maybe I’m just spoiled from using Flash Media Server, but it seems like pretty basic functionality to break applications and instances of applications into their own processes. I’m looking into using Seaport, the new nginx websocket proxying, or most likely a custom Node.js solution using cluster or named pipes.

Overall, working with Node.js is fun, because it runs well, has good documentation, and adding new features is as easy as npm install that-thing-i-need. Working with client side JavaScript is the same nightmare it has always been, in terms of obscure browser-specific bugs, writing maintainable code, memory management, profiling, and debugging to name a few. I hope in the future, the web becomes more open, and we can go back to using Flash or something similar.


One thought on “Writing the new SketchPort game and deploying on Node.js

  1. wondering if this web site will keep the omgpop games going?? and if so can you get our game levels and our coins working agan?? also are there any way we can upload our pictures. like we use to be able to do on the old omgpop befor they shut down that game site. thank you for any help on the above matter. james myers ( danser )

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