When we refer to online games we are normally referring to video type games that we play on a computer via the internet. Some video games are played over the internet using mobile phones and video consoles, but generally speaking online games means computer games that need an internet connection to be played. Simple text-based multiplayer games were the first of these types of games as internet connections were slow and expensive when these games were first introduced in the 1980s. Gradually these games became popular in the 1990s, with today’s online games featuring virtual communities, realistic graphics and multiplayer games where people can even play one to one or in knock out tournaments for cash prizes. We all know that the internet is the fastest growing market place in the history of the world but did you know that there is an online games sector that is growing 4 times faster than the internet overall! Yes! and it’s the “Online Skill Games” market.There are many styles of Online GamesSome of the different types of online games that exist:1. Real time strategy games: This type of game is all about strategy where, for your army to fight successfully against the other internet players you need to develop a game plan by building lots of resources2. First person shooter: Here the players compete with each other one to one. In most first-person type games, the online game allows the death match or arena style of play. In this style of game play the view you see is the one seen from your character’s eyes.3. Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games (MMORPG): In this type of game each person has to keep trying to reach the next highest level until he has reached the top one written for that game and these online games can have, simultaneously, thousands of players from every part of the globe, playing in a giant virtual world interacting against or with each other. Gamers can keep playing these types of games for months or even years!4. Browser type games: These are pastime games that are quick, simple and small that are played in your browser. The popular Java and Shockwave technologies are used to develop these games.5. Online skill games: An online skill based game is a web game played in tournament format or one to one. Each player pays a cash entry fee to play with a cash or merchandise prize going to the winner or winners. The outcome of each competition is based on the player’s ability and performance not luck.How Do Online Game Companies Make MoneyAll games today, are playable online. How do we make money? This is the question that companies making the online games have to ask themselves. The majority of companies make single-player games that are played at home and in this the player has to beat the artificial intelligence of the enemy. Today these games normally include an online multiplayer version which can be played against or with other Internet players. By selling their game DVD/CDs is how these companies earn their profit e.g. Warcraft 3 and Counter Strike. Advertising and promotions is how browser game companies make their money. MMORPG companies generally charge their players a monthly fee and continue to add content by programming new scenarios etc in their games e.g. Everquest 2 and World of Warcraft. Some don’t, but survive because their DVD/CD sales are high e.g. Guild Wars.What is the future of online games?Soon there will be a new entry into the online skill games market. According to their Free Online Games Market Report they will be the first company with their new online skill games platform, to launch a business that encapsulates three of the newest phenomena on the internet today. Online Games Entertainment, Social Networking using web 2.0 and a new way of marketing which has been described as Social Marketing 2.0. One of the core differences with this new platform over the conventional models is that we the players can if we want share in the profits while we play our games. With the market today (2007) worth approximately $5.2 billion USD and predicted to rise in the next 3 years to over $13 billion USD that’s $412 per second and with social networking sites already reaching 45% of web users and the 4 major Instant Messengers having more than 400 million users between them this potentially could be a whole lot of money.
Whilst a folding card table could be designed in any shape (square, circular, oval, hexagonal or octagonal) traditionally they are square shaped. This shape is very convenient for games where there is a fixed at number of players. For example, there are always four players for the games of auction bridge or whist. Similarly, there are always two players in a game of bezique or piquet. Having a square table allows the different pairs (or players in the case of two-handed games) to sit facing each other in such a way that there is no chance of another player’s cards being seen.A typical square folding card table would be around three feet square as this size allows a decent playing area whilst at the same time keeping the folded table small enough to be easily stored when not in use. It will be designed so that only a minimum of floor space will be taken up when the table is not in use. A round or oval shaped table would be better for those card games that are played without a fixed number of players; rummy and canasta are in this category. Round tables are far more common than their oval counterparts if only because it is a simpler matter to design and construct a round folding card table than an oval one.Other shapes (hexagonal, octagonal, etc.) are seen only occasionally.Whatever the shape, the covering of the playing area of the table will need to be non reflective (so as not to reveal cards during the dealing process), need to be non slip (to keep cards from skidding around whilst being dealt) and need to allow the easy picking up of dealt cards. In practice, these properties are provided by fixing a baize covering to the surface of the table. This covering will normally be colored green, although blue baize is often used. The more sophisticated tables will not have their tops completely covered in baize. An area of wood will be left uncovered for each player to use for drinks, without the problem of staining the baize, which, being fixed to the surface of the table, would be difficult to clean.Folding card tables are made of a lightweight material (typically wood or aluminum) in order to allow ease of carrying from storage to place of use and vice versa. Lightness of construction also simplifies the setting up and taking down of the table before and after use.