Category Archives: Know what to Build

A series of articles on identifying what kind of architecture should be used for a given game server.

Network cables - mess :D

Know what to Build: The Server Loop

The Know what to Build articles discuss how to identify our multiplayer game’s server architecture early in the project. This reveals technical risks and key engineering questions before we’ve invested much development time.

In a recent post I described how to assess the impacts of our game’s key design features on the server architecture. In this post I’ll describe a way to develop a high level estimate of the amount of work our server will have to do, to help us know what to build.

The Server Loop as a Model

Developing the architecture for our game server requires making trade-offs. Knowing how to do this requires a general understanding of the operations the server will perform, and the amount of work required.

We’ll use the server loop as a conceptual model for this. The server loop is a variant of the classic game loop pattern, applied to server-side functionality. Because this is just a model, we’ll ignore implementation details such as fixed or variable step sizes. Also, for now we’ll assume our server is single-threaded and runs on a single core machine. Continue reading Know what to Build: The Server Loop

Homefront - Multiplayer Screenshot

Know what to Build: Assessing Impacts

In an earlier post I described some multiplayer game types and identified several clues about the server architecture required to build each type. Now I want to take a closer look at some of those clues to see how they can help us know what to build. Continue reading Know what to Build: Assessing Impacts

Collage of multiplayer game types.

Know what to Build: Multiplayer Game Types

Software is a solution to some problem. As I’ve already saidsoftware architecture is the foundation on which we build our software. It’s at the core of the solution we offer in any software we build. Continue reading Know what to Build: Multiplayer Game Types