Companies looking to take advantage of emerging tech are willing to offer some of the best perks on the job market to top developers. Generous salaries, health benefits, pension plans, and higher-than-average holiday allowances are all commonplace for powerful coders.
However, in order to secure these roles, coders must be agile, fluent and demonstrate an ability to think differently – all of which comes with hours of study and regular practice.
A good way for developers to find perspective on their work is to approach a project outside of their comfort zone and build up a portfolio of interesting projects – such as apps, aggregators and simple games like poker.
While poker is popularly deemed a game of luck and of psychology, its foundations are rooted in probability theory and much of what players do to improve their poker skill revolves around calculating odds for different scenarios.
This is something that lends itself well to the profile of developers – people who are generally comfortable with numbers and logic.
Where other forms of gaming development might require lots of collaboration, or at least a relatively broad range of skills, coders looking to flex their muscles can easily tackle this type of project alone. After all, a game based on math, with a set range of outcomes, is easier to build than one with a wider range of scenarios.
This type of programming is easily accessible and can be approached through Java with tools like Dr. Java or Blue J. In a nutshell, your programme will need to generate a deck of 52 cards and randomly distribute two hands of 5 cards to two or more players. Hands will then need to be evaluated and the strongest hand wins.
The beauty of poker-dev is that you can decide how simple or complex you want to make the game. You might want to begin by keeping things as straightforward as possible, and then introduce further complexity and additional features as you approach later builds.
It’s easy to give up on projects that prove too complicated or require lots of learning, so break yourself in gently at first and then challenge yourself once you’ve got a firm grip on the basics.
The core of the game will revolve around subtle graphics like the visual display of card decks which should be easy enough to create. Elsewhere you might need to learn how to programme shuffle functions, randomise outcomes of your games, or integrate AI-focused one-player gaming. There are lots of options to explore and enjoy.
In terms of internet-based gaming, poker is up there with the best of them. Successfully making its way from brick-and-mortar casinos to the online podium in recent years, the game attracts millions of players across the world to its virtual tables and has experienced a post-pandemic boom of late.
With such a dedicated following, a well-developed game not only serves as an opportunity to showcase your skills for your portfolio but could also be lucrative if it offers something new to the gaming market.