Presented by Amazon GameLift
Adding online options to your game used to require serious investment in additional staff, development time and hardware resources. Not any more. Amazon GameLift offers a plug-and-play solution that goes far beyond simply connecting players together. Here are five compelling reasons why you should be using it to solve all your multiplayer problems.
1. It’s easy to set up
You don’t need your own expensive network specialists and infrastructure to add multiplayer to your project using GameLift. Designed to be simple to implement, and flexible enough to meet the needs of everyone from the budding hobbyist game designer to a professional studio, if your server runs on Windows or Linux then GameLift requires only a little preparation, and the incorporation of the GameLift SDK into your game server, to get you up and running. If you thought that adding online functionality would add weeks or months to your schedule, think again: adding GameLift can be no more troublesome than a day’s work.
2. You make the rules
With many off-the-peg software solutions, you can find yourself limited to the same basic options as everyone else, and that can be a killer when it comes to online gaming, where developers - and players - like to be able to decide who gets matched and how. GameLift FlexMatch makes it easy to match players based on your own custom rulesets. Whether it’s including party play functions, or balancing the search for good player matches against the need to get players into the action quickly, it’s always up to you to decide what works best for your game and your community. There are lots of code samples in the Amazon developer guide that you use to get started right away.
3. No more scaling worries
Everyone dreams of their game becoming an overnight sensation, but that scenario can also quickly become a nightmare if you don’t have server capacity. Nothing kills the viral buzz faster than awkard “server full” messages. With GameLift, you won’t have to worry about that. GameLift can host your custom Windows or Linux game server, or you can create a server using AWS's own Node.js based server technology.
Both will automatically scale to your needs depending on server load, so when you do get a sudden influx of eager newcomers you’ll automatically have the capacity to seamlessly accommodate them all, and during quieter periods unused server instances are terminated to reduce load. Not only does this mean players are never left waiting to join a game, it means you never waste money paying for server capacity that isn’t being used.
Your Amazon Gamelift dashboard lets you see exactly where your peaks and troughs are and lets you update your auto-scaling settings on the fly, using simple if-then statements to tell the system when to scale up and scale down, and defining minimum and maximum server thresholds that meet your precise needs. It also offers game session protection, ensuring that an automated server scaledown doesn’t terminate active game sessions.
4. Servers wherever your players are
In today’s global gaming marketplace, it can be hard to predict where your customers will come from. You may find your game is unusually popular in Korea, India, Norway, or anywhere else in the world. With a server-based experience, that can cause serious latency problems if your servers are all located in one place. Using Amazon Gamelift eliminates this problem at a stroke, as Amazon has many thousands of servers around the world, all of which GameLift can benefit from. So whether someone is joining your game from Ohio or Tokyo, your players will always be hosted on the servers closest to them, making lag a thing of the past.
5. GameLift does all the hard work for you
GameLift manages every aspect of online gaming on your behalf, according to your preferences, so you can concentrate on the creative challenge of adding content and improving the game rather than obsessing over live server data. Getting online modes implemented in a game is only the beginning of the process, so GameLift doesn’t just make the start of the process easier.
GameLift’s reactive nature means that it not only handles matchmaking on a session-by-session basis, it provisions new servers when needed during peak play and consolidates the server load during quiet periods, constantly balancing player load for the best performance and monitoring server health to get ahead of any potential issues. It’s quick to set up, easy to maintain and designed to eliminate waste in development time, server load and cost. There’s an entire online developer’s guide full of step-by-step examples and sample code that you can use to get started, and even a free tier that will let you try out GameLift before making a commitment.
Learn more at https://aws.amazon.com/gamelift/.