Global Azure Racing Lab 2016

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The GAB Racing Game Lab

The GAB Racing Game Lab allows Global Azure Bootcamp attendees around the world to compete with each other to set the fastest lap times in a 3D driving game. The back-end game services are hosted in Azure and will process the lap time, telemetry data and achievements unlocked in the game. Attendees will have read access to the data generated, allowing them to complete a hands-on lab and publish their own high-scores websites to Azure.

Videos

There are some short videos for GAB location organizers to watch to help them get up and running with the lab and the game.

GAB Organizers Test Drive

For the next two weeks the GAB organizers will have access to the game and the hands on lab. This will allow them to get a feel of the game and the lab, and to plan them into their event timetable. It will also be a great opportunity to discover and resolve any bugs and issues in the game, and resolve them before the big day. This will of course open up an impromptu competition among the organizers over who can set the best times.

To take part in the test drive it would be great if you can do one or more of the following:

  • Verify that you can access the website using your lab key (instructions provided below).
  • Install the game and verify that it works on your hardware and on your network.
  • Drive a lap or two, and try to beat some of the other organizers times.
  • Check out the hands-on lab.
  • Report any issues with the game to Alan at cloudcasts.net@gmail.com.

Check out the Racing Game Hands-on Lab Implementation video for details on the how install and play the game.

Accessing the Game Website

The website for the game is located at: http://gabracinglab.azurewebsites.net/

To find your lab key, log into the GAB site: http://global.azurebootcamp.net, then go to Profile => My Profile => Events => My Events. If you click your event, the lab key should be at the bottom of the event details page.

racing-lab-key

Installing the Game

The racing game was developed using the XNA Racer sample, and therefore requires the Microsoft XNA 4.0 redistributable to be installed. A link to this is provided in on the game website. The game itself installs as a Click Once Application, which is currently unsigned, so you will have to accept the warnings.

To install the GAB Racing game:

  1. Log into the GAB Racing Game Website at http://gabracinglab.azurewebsites.net/ using your lab key.
  2. If required, click the link to install the XNA 4.0 Redstributable.
  3. Click the link to install the GAB Racing Game.

Requirements

The game should run fine on a reasonably new PC or laptop running Windows. For optimal gameplay the framerate should be between 30 and 80 FPS.

Playing the Game

In order to play the game you will need to authenticate with your GAB location lab key.

To find your lab key, log into the GAB site: http://global.azurebootcamp.net, then go to Profile => My Profile => Events => My Events. If you click your event, the lab key should be at the bottom of the event details page.

The game can be controlled with the keyboard and mouse, and it also supports the X-Box for Windows game controller. Other gaming devices and driving wheels and pedals may be supported, depending in the drivers. (The hardware drivers, not the drivers playing the game J.) Instructions for the controls are provided on the help screen in the game. The game has three tracks of varying length and difficulty, with players competing to drive a single lap in the game from a standing start and set the best lap time.

If you have a Windows compatible driving wheel, it would be great to know if this works with the game, please drop me an email at cloudcasts.net@gmail.com if you get the chance to test this.

Running the Game at your GAB Location

At your GAB location you may want to set up a communal PC with a large screen or projector and a controller for people to play the game. Alternatively the attendees can install the game on their own PCs.

Hands-On Lab – Create a High Score Website

The main game website will show the best lap times for the entire Global Azure Bootcamp. Attendees will be able to create websites to show the best times for their county or region. Instructions for the hands-on lab will be available on the racing game website.

…For the Win

  • Players at different locations can compete in the overall championship and will score points for the times they set on the three tracks.
  • Players at your location can cooperate to unlock achievements for your country.
  • Countries can compete for the total number of achievement points that attendees at their locations unlock.
  • Attendees and locations can compete to implement the coolest features in the challenge stages in the lab.

Accessing the Game Data

The hands-on lab provides instructions for accessing the lap time and telemetry data from Table Storage. As attendees have read-only access to the data they will have the chance to explore different ways of using the data with the different Azure services. Feel free to contact Alan if you would like more details instructions on how to access the game data.

Race Control & Fair Play

The racing game will provide a great opportunity for developers from around the world to learn about Azure technologies and have fun whilst doing so. Alan Smith will be running Race Control throughout the event, and will be monitoring lap times and telemetry data.

As authentication is based on the location key, the only option available for preventing misuse of the application affecting the experience of the other attendees around the world is to revoke access for the relevant GAB location. Please help to ensure that the attendees at your location use the game and lab in the spirit in which they are intended.

Feedback

If you have any issues, questions or opinions about the game, please feel free to email Alan at cloudcasts.net@gmail.com, your feedback will help to ensure that things run smoothly on the day.