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Learning through gaming a SQL Server tale

I’ve been teaching my 17 yr old SQL Server and other various topics. I have quite a bit of experience training technology and speaking but it never fails; after about 5 minutes his eyes glaze over and he nods and “umhums” and then starts checking his phone.

 

Maybe technology isn’t for him. He got interested a while back when we went to a car show. I put a for sale sign up and a 17 yr old who contacted me via Autotrader was going to meet me there. When he saw her and realized that she makes enough money to buy my car for $40k cash via freelancer gigs he got the glint in his eye. Sadly it had lost it’s luster with my attempts to train him.

I knew I had to either help him find a new passion or come up with a new way to foster this idea. Both is really the right answer here. Here’s what I came up with:

Gaming through SQL

How can I captivate the wondering mind of a 17 yr old who would probably rather be gaming on his phone than listening to dad about tech? Tech gaming. HAHA.

I wrote some games for Windows Mobile 6.5 and Windows Phone. XNA made it so easy and on a side note, I’m still very sad Microsoft let it go. I even made some playable demos on my XBOX 360 using XNA. One problem: XNA is C# and SQL is not. So how do I squeeze gaming into the mix?

As it turns out SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) can display many types of emoji and this is the key.

Keeping in mind that the whole thing was not written with performance or best practice in mind, I’d like to introduce the world to the very first action adventure game 100% written and played in SQL Server!

Seacrawl Adventures

In the magical world of Seacrawl, you’ll visit places like Shiloh and Denali. You’ll fight monsters and find items scattered about the land.

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To me this project is more than a simple game. This was not only a quest to help my son and others interested in technology discover SQL Server through gaming; but, it was also a challenge of could this be done. I’ve never heard of a game in SQL and it’s really a silly thought. None the less I wanted to see if I could make something and I did.

There may be some bugs but I trust those that are reading this blog can probably fix them on their own. If you find some please feel free to report them back to me.

What you’ll need to run the game

First thing is get the SQL Server 2016 compressed backup. You can get it on technet here: https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/SQL-Server-game-31c25d1d

Next you’ll want to restore the database and create a new query in the context of said database.

Next, you’ll want to setup SSMS by changing the the output of the query window to text by pressing CTRL-T or by finding the option on the toolbar.

Finally, you’ll want to change the amount of text that can be displayed by following my blog post here: How to display more text in SSMS.  My SSMS is configured to 1500 max characters per column.

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Conclusion

I hope this project brings you joy and spurs your mind to new innovations. I’m also hoping this project can help those that are new to technology gain a deeper love for it rather than just seeing this as a career but as an exciting adventure where anything is possible as long as you put your mind to it.

You can find more of my posts on my blog site: SQLTechBlog.com and you can find more about me at LinkedIn, Twitter, & Instagram.

This may be there only game ever designed in SQL Server and it’s got a fun 80’s RPG nostalgia feel. Aslo, this isn’t Call of Duty so I hope that’s not what your expecting. Learn SQL by picking it apart or building your own. Check it out here:  https://gallery.technet.microsoft.com/SQL-Server-game-31c25d1d

Confessions of a Microsoft Addict

Daniel Janik has been supporting SQL Server for 18 years as a DBA, developer, architect, and consultant. He spent six years at Microsoft Corporation supporting SQL Server as a Senior Premier Field Engineer (PFE) where he supported over 287 different clients with both reactive and proactive database needs. Daniel has spoken at several SQL Saturday events across the US and Caribbean and regularly speaks at PASS local chapters.

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