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  Turn-based servers + hosting - recommendations / experiences?  (Read 5111 times)
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Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder

Medals: 1

« Posted 2012-03-04 15:59:42 »

I've got a turn-based tablet game that's almost complete for single-player, and now I'm adding MP. This is a personal project, so it's got to be VERY low maintenance and MINIMAL EFFORT to develop. I expect to launch with a free or very cheap server, and if it does well pay for something a bit better. If it does very well, I'd write something custom - but otherwise I wouldn't bother.

Does anyone here have recent experience with 3rd party game servers, especially SaaS?

So far, I've been looking at:

- OpenFeint
- Apple's GameCenter
- Amazon S3
- Amazon EC3

Pros/Cons I've seen so far:

 - unofficially, they've dropped their gameserver product. It's still listed in their marketing blurb, but they've removed all the links from their website. So, um. Yeah, I wouldn't trust them an inch.
 - API + hosting all from one company
 - it's a key/value store, trivial to work with
 - ...but has NO high-level mechanics, requires you to write all game mechanics
 - everything has to be written client-side, or you have to write a second server that queries Parse
 - billing model is "per method call" (ouch!)).
 - They assume you'll use lots of storage, and do few method calls - which is the opposite of a non-MMO online game - so their pricing isn't great
 - non-hosted
 - some (very minor!) support for game mechanics - looks like about 10-20% ?
 - low lifetime cost (3k euro to unlock unlimited use)
 - lets you write a custom server, in Java

Apple's GameCenter
 - iOS only (no Android - would have to launch as iPad only, then start again for Android)
 - provides 95% of game mechanics
 - only allows one player to take a turn at once

Amazon S3
 - Like Parse, there's no active server - it's just a shared data store - so you have to write everything client-side
 - cheap and easy and very well known

Amazon EC3
 - less effort than maintaining a dedicated server, but otherwise "you have to do everything yourself"

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline tigeba

Junior Devvie

« Reply #1 - Posted 2012-04-04 14:42:30 »

You should check out Electroserver 5. We don't currently offer this as SaaS, but as you may have found the problem with that type of offering is there are typically fairly tight restrictions on what you can do in their environment.  The good news is that you can easily use an EC2 or virtual machine that is fairly small as long as you don't need very high message rates and tons of concurrent users.  You can also develop with no cost upfront, so that is nice.

Without knowing all the details of your game, I couldn't say how much coverage would be there in terms of game mechanics, but the API is fairly rich and very easy to develop.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Edit: Full disclosure, I'm on the the devs at Electrotank Smiley

Offline Chromanoid

Junior Devvie

Medals: 3

« Reply #2 - Posted 2012-04-05 17:37:25 » (customizing is .net based)  might be interesting for you.

two interesting IaaS providers: (builtin VLAN) (I used rackspace for a test realtime game server, performance is great, internode communication not that good)
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »

Medals: 1033
Projects: 3
Exp: 20 years

Eh? Who? What? ... Me?

« Reply #3 - Posted 2012-04-05 17:59:45 »

I've had a great time with Slicehost for next-to-bugger-all-money.

Cheap as chips
Instantly scaleable should the unexpected occur
Will be exactly what you make it

You're on your own with a blank Linux box.

I always prefer to roll my own stuff anyway, but you know that Smiley But at least I know it's exactly right.

Cas Smiley

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