Tech Preview: Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games

From the same folks who brought you the Windows Azure Accelerator for Web Roles that I blogged about earlier this week, comes another gem: The Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games!

watgames_bannerSocial gaming is a hot new trend that is thriving, especially in a world dominated by games played on mobile devices.  These games and applications require backend services to enable them to operate with communicate between clients and other external services.  Also, depending on whether a particular game goes “viral” or not, it may need to grow from a small number of users to millions in a short period of time.  My Canadian colleague Jonathan Rozenblit writes more about the social gaming market and its potential here.

That sounds like the perfect scenario for a cloud computing backend!  Queue the music and enter the Windows Azure Toolkit for Social Games. From the WATSG website on Codeplex:

The toolkit includes accelerators, libraries, developer tools, and samples that you can use in your own .NET or HTML5 game. The toolkit also enables unique capabilities for social gaming prerequisites, such as storing user profiles, maintaining leader boards, in-app purchasing and so forth.

The toolkit includes a sample game called Tankster that is built with HTML5 and comes with source code and documentation. Tankster was developed by Grant Skinner and his team at

The toolkit was just released on July 19, 2011 and appears to be in an alpha/tech-preview state. However, it looks as though this could make backend game development in the cloud easier.  It’s exciting to learn about all of the various solutions that cloud computing can provide.  Take a look and let me know what you think here in the comments!