An astrophysicist and a programmer have developed an online dog racing game for people to play during lockdown.

And it's proving a runaway success with players all over the world.

Brothers, Paul and Mike Campbell from Highworth, are big fans of the Swindon dog racing scene, which led them to develop their own version for online platform Zoom audiences.

Mike explained: “These Zoom quizzes take a lot of participation and they get old quite quickly. You end up with 40 people in the session and you can’t really talk. It’s a bit intimidating.

“We wanted something that was background focused so we built this to play and it went down quite well.

“We’ve played with a couple of friends and they loved it. So we thought we’d push it a bit further and we put it online.

“We’re pretty big fans of the Swindon dogs. We grew up here going to the dogs quite regularly and it’s something we’ve always enjoyed.

The game was originally designed for Mike and Paul’s family and friends.

Mike explained: “About a month ago it was Paul’s birthday and we were stuck in lockdown.

“We couldn’t really celebrate so we were thinking about what we could do to get over this problem of not being able to socialise with people.

“Personally, we’ve got a sister in Hong Kong and a sister in Sydney so we’ve had this problem anyway

“And we thought what we’d do is try and make something where we can properly interact with each other and have a good chat, but have something that’s a background thing at the same time.”

The game lets people make a hypothetical bet on a dog race which can be watched via the screen-share action on Zoom.

All the players need to do is visit the game website,, on their phones and join their own game.

It is set up by one person who sends a link out to the other players.

The game was only let out of the traps just over a week ago and has already attracted hundreds of players across the world including in Singapore and the US.

Mike said: “So far over 1,500 people have played it from something like 40 different countries.

“It’s just spreading, we haven’t really done anything to spread it, it’s just been through word of mouth.

“Every time we check there’s been more and more people and we have no idea who they are or how they’ve found it but it’s going down well.”

Looking to the future, Mike added he would love to work with the people behind Swindon Greyhounds to make the game part of the overall racing experience.