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I have absolutely no idea about game developing but want to know following things about internet sweepstake games: Click on demo and play any of the game.

  1. What technology (programming language) is used to develop these games. e.g. Flash, Silverlight, etc.
  2. If I wish to develop such game(s) what is the best technology to use, how much time it might take to learn and develop a simple commercial product.
  3. Is the algorithm/code behind the scene re-usable while changing the front graphics. I mean a scalable/adjustible game.
  4. In case I wish to hire a game programmer what would be the approximate cost or per/hr charge for such developer.
  5. Any good books or online tutorial/videos to learn/see this in action?

Or any other ideas or suggestions? Sorry if these are lot of questions but this is the only good place I see asking such questions. I will more than happy to post them as separate questions if that is necessary.

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I would separate those questions out. Anyway, those games are probably made with Flash. You can use Flash or Unity (or HTML5...) to make games like that (they play in your web browser). Those are the main ones I know of. –  Michael Coleman Apr 3 '11 at 23:09
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up vote 3 down vote accepted

Separate and, more importantly, straightforward (answerable) questions work best on this site. That said, here's an answer to each of your sub-questions:

  1. Any web technology could be used. The particular one you linked to is Flash (as you can tell if you right-click the game).
  2. The best technology to use is generally the one you know best, or if you don't know any of them, maybe just choose the most popular one (or the one that best fits your needs, but in this case your needs can be met by any of the interactive web technologies). Flash is most popular by far for interactive web things; Silverlight is a good choice too, but fewer of your customers will come to your site with it installed. Java is another option; it probably has more coverage than Silverlight, but it is (in my opinion) more complicated to create things in, especially to a beginner or non-programmer. We are slowly moving towards HTML5 and JavaScript, so if you want to be ahead of the curve then look into that (it has the advantage of not requiring plugins and thus generally being lighter-weight, but on the other hand the user needs a recent browser).
  3. Of course, you can make anything you want. If you plan it to be so, then make it so. If you are interested in the details from the programming perspective, you could browse through our architecture tag, and do searches (here and on your search engine) for the MVC or MVP pattern. This would get you started on a game engine which has a completely separated model and view, which would be the most "clean" way of doing this. For simplicity's sake you might just want to put conditional statements on the image loading and/or algorithm pieces of code and load them from a file or something. Again, this is very feasible, you would just need to plan it out and then make it.
  4. This varies widely, depending on the quality of the programmer/team, country, and so on. It might be a good question for the Programmers Stack Exchange, but then again you will likely get the same answer from them. You'll need to do your research on this, maybe look at websites like vWorker if that's the kind of place you want to hire from. If you are looking to hire a local programmer, look up local companies' average salaries for software developers.
  5. Sort of. We have a number of questions on books and tutorials (search for those keywords using the box in the top right corner) but they are about game development in general. Look for books and information on serious games, as that's what I believe this would be classified under, but I don't think you will specifically find a tutorial on creating "internet sweepstakes games".
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Thanks Ricket. Ahhh, so stupid of me for that Flash. Nice insight. I will dig in through the references to see if I can find some good examples. –  gbs Apr 4 '11 at 0:35
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