.NET makes a Touchdown

May 2003

Touchdown Television has offices in London, Los Angeles and New Zealand. Their primary business is producing Game Shows for New Zealand and Overseas Audiences.

Total Recall

Their latest Game show, which is currently in production (called 'Total Recall') is a game that requires contestants to operate a Touch-screen Console, to answer questions that are put to them by the Game Host.

Touchdown Television required a software application to drive, control and report on the show results during the ½ hour duration of the show. The game software:

  • Needed to be a basic interactive Computer game.
  • 5 Computers needed to be networked and work interactively, and each computer had dual monitor outputs.
  • A Game Controller Computer would push content to individual client PC on a "as required" basis, which would either be a timer event or a command from the operator.
  • All contestant responses had to be monitored, recorded and scored in real time
  • The Games host also had to monitor and report on Contestants responses as well as respond to instruction which the Game Controller may place on the Games Host console.
  • All consoles should also (if required) be displayed onto the television screens of the viewers.

Touchdown approached Computer Craft and they discussed how all this could be done.

The Solution

Microsoft .NET was now a technology that had been around for a year, and Computer Craft had already successfully developed an application using the remoting services available in the .NET Framework.

The software consisted of two applications which shared a common library. The first application (Game Controller) was able to push instructions down to the second application which resided on the Contestants computer. These instructions controlled when a game loaded/unloaded and when to start/stop a game.

The Contestants Computers where also able to push information back to the Game Controller and this happened at every keystroke from the contestant, or after the time may have elapsed to finish the game. The Game Controller application was able to use this information to score the answers.

Technologies Deployed

The Total Recall software was developed in Microsoft .Net using C# and Remoting services. The Computers where linked together on a small TCP/IP LAN.

The Contestants had touchpad Consoles and the second console on the contestant machine connected to the television Camera's