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
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 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
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
A description of the Monolithic Architecture pattern as it applies to multiplayer game server architecture.
Use the Distributed Network Connections pattern to maximize the number of connected clients with minimal impact on game server performance.
If you have feedback, corrections, or questions about any of the patterns you see at Engines of Delight, please leave a comment on this page, or any of the specific pattern posts.
This page is a collection of various resources relevant to the topics discussed on Engines of Delight that I’ve found to be useful or promising. If you have suggestions for adding other resources, or feedback about the ones already listed, please leave a comment on this page.
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Scott Hanselman talks with Next Games’ CTO, Kalle Hiitola, about the server architecture of their newest game, The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land. This is a great opportunity for those of us interested in game server development to learn from others’ real-world experience.
I was researching stateful distributed systems for an article today and found a post on High Scalability that was a perfect fit. It’s an unofficial transcript of a StrangeLoop 2015 talk by Caitie McCaffrey, Tech Lead for Observability at Twitter. I read the transcript first, then felt compelled to watch the presentation.
I discovered this post today while doing some research for another post I’m writing. It’s about the server architecture of the sci-fi MMO sandbox game, Face of Mankind: Fall of the Dominion, published by Nexeon Technologies. The post is a couple of years old, but I think the topics are still important. Sadly, the game was recently shut down. However, … Continue reading [Discussion] A Journey Into MMO Server Architecture
The concept of evolutionary architecture is a good fit for game server development. Game servers are complex enough to warrant a disciplined focus on building a good architecture. Yet, game development is very subjective, and making a great game is an exercise in evolution. The five principles of evolutionary architecture discussed in this podcast can help us in evolving a solid game server architecture.
I recently ran across a Quora discussion from a few years ago about the technology stack of Ultima Online’s original servers. In it, a few of the game’s developers recall some of the game’s early server architecture decisions and their outcomes. It’s an interesting read with some good real-life insights. Source: What was the technology stack … Continue reading [Discussion] Ultima Online Server Architecture
Podcast Summary Simon Brown, author of Software Architecture for Developers, talks with Sven Johann about using Software Architecture Sketches to visualize, communicate and document software architecture.
Podcast Summary Micro services is an emerging trend in software architecture that focuses on small, lightweight applications as a means to avoid large, unmaintainable, monolithic systems.
Podcast Summary Carl and Richard talk to Marc Mercuri and Mark Simms about resilient cloud architecture. The conversation starts out focused on the white paper called ‘FailSafe’ and the guidance it provides for building resilient cloud applications – but the information is applicable to any large scale system running on any sort of infrastructure.