I'm trying to create some basic implementations of simple games (tic tac toe is the starting project) which can be played over the internet without requiring a central server. The page would not even need to be hosted and could be run locally on the machine, or it could be hosted on a web server. When hosting the game, the page would inform the host of his IP address, which could then be sent by any method (phone, instant message, etc) to a friend. That friend would type or copy/paste the IP into a join dialog and be able to play the game in question. I would like these 2 parties to be able to do this without installing any additional software, and without contacting a central server of any kind.
I have looked into many potential solutions involving node.js, webrtc, websockets, flash, java, etc. Each one of these has a problem associated with it, such as requiring a central server, or requiring the client to potentially have to download something that isn't already installed on their computer, or only transferring audio and video and not being useful for sending data messages. It may seem trivial to tell someone that they need to download java.. or for me to develop the application with flash, but that is all contrary to my ultimate goals.
The simple explanation of the exact requirements for what I'm trying to do is:
After pubnub was recommended, I looked there and was partially impressed. However, I eventually stumbled across exactly what I was looking for UNBELIEVABLY. RTCDataChannel is the answer. This site finally showed that what I want is possible. The browser support for this functionality is small but growing and the entire ordeal has strengthened my faith in the growing support for peer to peer applications in the browser community.