Building the Project

BUGOUT started out as an excuse to implement something (anything) using Kafka. My previous two professional engagements had barely skirted opportunities to legitimately include a Kafka install: one was simple enough to rely on HTTP microservices, another had opted for Kinesis.

Fresh into successful semi-retirement, I didn't want to bother with finding a use case for my implementation. I wanted what I couldn't have reasonably argued for in past, commercial settings. I wanted to play with Kafka Streams!

It turns out that mapping the tiny domain model of a GO game to kafka streams is... easy. Initially BUGOUT was envisioned as a multiplayer GO board which could easily run in any modern browser and provide an enjoyable, boutique alternative to more popular servers and venues. I wanted to play again with my old friends, just like when we were kids. So the project quickly incorporated a game lobby system which allowed players to choose between joining a quick 19x19 game with the next person to visit the web page, or creating a nicely-formatted URL ( for their private game and sharing it with a friend.

Choosing a Venue

Board Size Options

Turn Order Preference

Sharing a Link to a Game

Joining a Link to a Game

Finally, both players can be fairly assigned a side, and the game can begin.

Your Color

Finally, A Game

It basically worked. I spent time making sure the websocket connection between the browser and the BUGOUT gateway server was solid. I had to guarantee that Kafka and all its dependent apps started up in an orderly fashion. And I enjoyed writing functional-ish Kafka Streams code in Kotlin: from a cognitive perspective, it felt clean and tidy, even if the topology graphs quickly got out of hand.

Game Lobby Message Processing: This is Getting Insane