Abstract form

Dig and Win Islands

Posted in Architecture, Dig and Win by Homam Hosseini on December 8, 2008

One of the most exciting features of Dig and Win is its Islands. Anyone who have ever heard of virtual worlds is familiar with islands concept. The most prominent ones are SecondLife Islands. In general islands are parts of a virtual world (or universe) which are independent to some extend and have some kinds of authority.

In my opinion and in Dig and Win architecture, virtual islands are something more than pieces of lands (codes) surrounded by water (universal infrastructure). Dig and Win Islands are more like “island universes“, the term first used by Kant in describing some kinds of nebulae. These are independent and somewhat isolated ‘complete universes’ living on their own, but are being governed by invariant universal laws.

The formal definition reads:

An Island is an instance of Original Dig and Win running own its own, independent of other parts of the Multi-Island Universe.

At a large scale point of view, Islands are terminals of the Multi-Island Universe and act as interfaces between players and the universe itself.

So what is this “Original Dig and Win” is the immediate question that arises. I am not going to discuss it into the details, but for an analogy Original Dig and Win is like the legacy Win32 codes of Windows server. There are a lot of codes written to wrap these codes into more manageable modules. An Island is not totally made of legacy code, but its core is.

As the name suggests Original Dig and Win is something old, it has not been intended for this code to be part of a virtual world. The way we moved from this stand-alone application to a virtual world is an example of how it is possible to integrate individual software applications in very large networks, such as a virtual world. The key in it most ridiculous way is simple: see the isolated software application as a black box and wrap it into interfaces that facilitate its network communications. If you’re my boss, don’t expect me to incorporate every smaller can into a larger one seamlessly.

I generally enjoyed the efforts, as it showed me how it is possible to extend a business while keeping almost all the old aspects unchanged.

I can’t close my first post about Dig and Win Islands without at least, quoting one of their most significant features:

Islands are independent entities. An Island must be able to live on its own, even if its connections to the universe fail.