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.
Continue reading [Podcast] Hanselminutes: Scaling The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land
Software architecture is about the big picture of development. It’s also about identifying and managing engineering risk. The development team is at the nexus of these two concepts. The team is your greatest asset, and the greatest contributor to the success of any software architecture. The big picture revolves around the development team and its ability to create the software for your game.
The team’s development environment is a cornerstone of its ability to deliver. A team with inadequate tools or support to do the work required is at least inefficient, if not ineffective. A team with an inferior development environment is a likely source of engineering risk. Continue reading Invest in your Development Environment
How do we distribute the load of running core game play functionality across multiple processes to support thousands of concurrent players?
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 shared virtual world. Continue reading Pattern: Map-Centric Game Server
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
How do we ensure a balanced distribution of client connections across a set of connection servers in a distributed game server architecture?
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 to the same virtual world. Continue reading Pattern: Client Side Load Balancing
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. Continue reading [Podcast] SE-Radio: Rebecca Parsons on Evolutionary Architecture
I have a Seiko analog watch that needs repair. When I pull out the crown to set the time, the movement stops. This is normal. But when I push the crown back in, the movement doesn’t resume right away. It sometimes takes several minutes for it to start ticking again.
I love this watch. My wife gave it to me for our anniversary years ago, and I’ve worn it daily ever since. I’m definitely going to have it repaired. Administrivia isn’t my strong suit, though, so I haven’t gotten around to it yet.
Meanwhile, I keep wearing it. I’ve learned that if I just stop messing with it, I can still rely on it to keep time. Now, I just remember the offset between the actual time and my watch’s time and do the head math. This works because the watch is consistent, and I’ve become consistent in using it this way. Continue reading Consistency FTW!
Software is a solution to some problem. As I’ve already said, software 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