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I own and operate the correspondence gaming site I started out with chess back in 1998, and am now up to about 30 games, with a few more close to completion. is an excellent venue for anyone wanting to develop and playtest a game.

The games are written entirely in JavaScript. They are the finest examples of client-side scripting anywhere on the net, by orders of magnitude. Nobody, private or professional, even comes close. That said, it is relatively easy to create a game on GamesByEmail's foundation.

Here is what is available:
1) An extensive and comprehensive tutorial:
This tutorial starts from scratch and takes you step by step through the process of creating a Tic-Tac-Toe game that is completely compatible with the GamesByEmail system. Note that although the games are cross-browser compatible, the tutorial uses a lot of features that are Internet Explorer only, and you must use IE when going through it.

2) As the games are written in JavaScript, no special development tools or applications are required. You will only need a text editor. You can develop in Notepad if you like.

3) You can develop and play a game completely off line, on your own machine, even from a USB keychain if you like. No applications, servers or programs are required to play in development mode, just a browser. When your game is complete, the code can be loaded (without modification) onto GamesByEmail's server, and played by anyone in the world.

4) The game code is object oriented. If you are a programmer, you know this is good.

5) The foundation is designed with multi-lingual support in mind. Your game can support Kanji, Mandarin, French, Spanish, New Jersey, and whatever else you want to.

6) The foundation is very generic. You can shape the game however needed in terms of players, teams, nested teams, cards, dice, board, whatever.

7) The boards can be whatever you want. I've got some with squares, hexagons, world maps, dynamic boards, different boards for different players, you name it.

8) The games can easily be played in development, testing and production release environments.

9) Versioning support, with easy update, release, and rollback.

10) Good cross-browser support.

11) Rules support.

12) Game log support.

13) Player preferences support.

14) Problem reporting already handled.

15) Chat already handled.

16) You can zip up your game and send it to anyone and they can test it without installing any applications.

17) Although not implemented yet, I have gotten permission from and plan to use for random number generation, which will be handled automatically.

18) I have numerous tools for helping to create maps with highlights, polygons definitions and the like. Just let me know.

19) More stuff. Like example code, etc. The list could go on.

The foundation code is very robust. You can create a simple game:
Or a complex game (currently in development):

Reading this forum, a few people seemed hung up on the correspondence part of other sites, that they weren't "live play" and therefore did not suit their testing needs. Although GamesByEmail is not a "live-play" site either, the only difference between correspondence and live play is how often you automatically refresh the game. I have plans on adding an automatic "live-play" mode if all the players happen to have their game open at the same time. If it's that important for someone who was willing to try and write their game on my system, I would move that to the top of my priority list.

Along the same lines, I also have an optional "My Turns Notifier", which sits in your system tray and lets you know when you have a turn waiting.

A word of caution that I will bring up only because someone else will: as the games are client side script, it is possible for people to write scripts to cheat. Dice rolls, hidden cards or other elements are susceptible. However, a couple of points on this:
1) It ain't easy.
2) Cheats can be built for any system. There are plenty of flash decompilers out there, even .NET decompilers. No system is bulletproof.
3) You gotta figure your target audience really isn't interested in cheating anyway. is a low-key site. There is no registration required, and you can be playing any game in just two clicks. There are no ads, no limits, and is its free. The games are bare bones, no flashy interface, and have no noises (read: easier to goof off at work). It is very simple looking and simple to use. No components or installations are required.

I have a few stipulations:
1) The foundation code is mine. Period. Any code you write for your games is yours, but the foundation remains mine. You may not host your game anywhere using GamesByEmail foundation code or any derivative thereof.
2) I am under no obligation to host any game. I can stop hosting any game at any time.
3) strives to be a positive influence on the web. I will not host games with any kind of pornography, foul language, etc. If you have any doubt, ask.
4) I will not pay you or reimburse you in any way for hosting your game. The site costs me a fortune as it is.
5) If in the future you want to remove your game from my site, just let me know.
6) In the event GamesByEmail is acquired, I will make sure the buying entity knows your code is not part of the deal, and do my best to notify you and let you decide what you want to do.
7) I may have to alter your code from time to time to keep up with changes to the foundation code, or remove bugs, or implement best practices, and I will be under no obligation to notify you when I do (even though I probably would).
8) Your code is still yours, even if I modify it according to 7 above.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask. Although I can't hold someone's hand through every aspect of learning to program, I am willing to jump through several hoops if they are willing to give this a go.


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