A little over a year ago, Telegram published its Telegram Bot API. The free, open API allows developers to integrate bots on the Telegram platform with an AI mindset. This week, Telegram took a step beyond simple Bot activity by launching a bot-powered gaming platform. The platform, which runs on top of the Bot API, allows users to play games within chats.
Telegram expects hundreds of games to be available soon, with thirty currently ready for play. Building games with the API is simple. To demonstrate, Telegram built MathBattle in three hours and Corsairs in five hours. Games range from simple arcade-type and puzzle games, to multiplayer, real-time strategy games. Those interested in building games should check out Telegram's Introduction to Games, and follow @BotNews for updates.
Games are offered in HTML5; accordingly, games are loaded on-demand as needed (like typical webpages). The gaming platform uses 0 disk space and won't add a bit of size to apps, which developers and users should find inviting. Games constitute a new content type represented by Game and InlineQueryResultGame objects. Developers create games with BotFather. Games can be sent as regular messages with sendGame or inline mode. Check out the docs for more details.
TechCrunch's Natasha Lomas wisely commented, "The messaging wars are really a battle for attention. It's all about which comms app giant can embed the stickeist and most addictive features into their platform to keep users inside their own well-tended garden...". We've seen a number of messaging platforms launch bot capabilities, with Line being the latest to announce. With most of the messaging "giants" now onboard with bots, Telegram has upped the ante with gaming capabilities built into its bot platform.