Tag Archives: assumptions

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

Know what to Build: Assessing Impacts for MMORPG

Assumptions for MMORPG Feature Impact Assessment

The feature impact assessment for the MMORPG game design requires a number of assumptions that aren't documented in the main posts or in the "reference problem statement" for the game. I've provided them here to serve as a rationale for impact rankings that I chose.

 
FeatureSizeComplexityImportance
Persistent item state
Rank: 5
Rank: 5
Rank: 5
Large shared world
Rank: 5
Rank: 5
Rank: 5
"Items are important
and ubiquitous"
Rank: 4
Rank: 5

Rank: 5
Unique character visuals
Rank: 4
Rank: 5
Rank: 3
Large number of players
Rank: 5
Rank: 3
Rank: 4
Persistent mission state
Rank: 3
Rank: 4
Rank: 4
Persistent character state
Rank: 3
Rank: 3
Rank: 5
Text and voice chat features
Rank: 3
Rank: 2
Rank: 4
Persistent alliances
Rank: 2
Rank: 3

Rank: 3

Return to Know what to Build: Assessing Impacts.