This page presents a collection of multiplayer game server architecture patterns that describe solutions to common problems in multiplayer game server development. Over time, I hope to build a library of patterns based on real-world experience, research and experimentation by game server developers.
Problem How do we create a game server that permits unlimited freedom of movement and game play on an expansive map with no apparent boundaries? Context We are developing the server for a massively multiplayer online game with a client-server architecture. The game design seeks to create an immersive play experience by enabling thousands of players to interact with … Continue reading Pattern: Seamless World Game Server→
Problem How do we ensure a balanced distribution of client connections across a set of connection servers in a distributed game server architecture? Context We are developing the server for a massively multiplayer online game with a client-server architecture. The game design seeks to create an immersive play experience by enabling thousands of players to connect simultaneously … Continue reading Pattern: Client Side Load Balancing→
Problem How do we distribute the load of running core game play functionality across multiple processes to support thousands of concurrent players? Context We are developing the server for a massively multiplayer online game with a client-server architecture. The game design seeks to create an immersive play experience by enabling thousands of players to interact with each other in a … Continue reading Pattern: Map-Centric Game Server→
Problem How do we distribute core game play load across multiple processes in a way that supports flexible scaling and efficient allocation of computing resources? Context We are developing the server for a massively multiplayer online game with a distributed architecture. The game design seeks to create an immersive play experience by enabling thousands of players to interact … Continue reading Pattern: Responsibility-Oriented Game Server→
Engines of Delight is a blog about multiplayer game server architecture created and maintained by Matthew Walker.
Online game development is a school of hard knocks. Over the years I’ve made many mistakes, shared some successes, and learned a hell of a lot. I love collaborating and sharing knowledge with my teammates. Yet, the transient nature of game development often dilutes our shared wisdom when projects end and teams split up. I’ve often wished for a venue where I could share in a larger pool of wisdom from like-minded game server developers. This venue would give us with a way to not only capture our shared experience, but refine it, build upon it, and most important, make use of it in future work. I’m not sure I can describe clearly what I have in mind yet, but I hope to explore it through Engines of Delight.
My mission for Engines of Delight is to enrich the online game development community by advancing our shared understanding of software architecture as it applies to multiplayer game server development. I hope to do this through a blend of shared real-world experience, professional discussion and feedback, and curated references to external works.
This is a tall order: the term “architecture” is broad, complex, and ill-defined. It’s certainly bigger than me, and I can’t do it alone. With Engines of DelightI also hope to offer an environment where other server developers can teach as well as learn, share their failures and successes, and apply their unique insights to common problems and solutions.
Some features that I hope to explore with Engines of Delight include:
Regular blog posts on a variety of topics relevant to multiplayer game server architecture. Standard blog fare, so to speak.
A catalog of known patterns and architectural “styles” found in the industry.
A catalog of common multiplayer game types.
A cross-reference between known patterns and game types, identifying combinations that work well and those not so much.
Postmortem articles that document architectural decisions from real projects, their outcome, and lessons learned.
Curated references to recommended third-party sources, including blogs, podcasts, books, and other works.
A vehicle to encourage contributions from community members in all the above areas.