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How to get a server

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i know a lot of u r making mmorpg''s and i was wondering what kind of servers do u use? do u buy ur own or r u with companies or do u use virtual servers? i was working on one, but i kinda slacked off because of this issue. i think it''s better 2 have ur own server, but they''re kinda expensive. virtual servers can be rented, but if the game crashes, u don''t have direct access 2 the server. how do u guys handle this?

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Try purchasing your own server but putting at an ISP''s location. Usually you can rent a 10-mbit connection on their backbone for around $250.00 a month. This is much cheaper than paying for a T-1 ($$$) or better yourself.

webmaster@lostlogic.com
LostLogic
"Ask about our book on multiplayer game programming coming out soon!"


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I get my 6Mbit (DSL) line for about $60 a month, I could technically run my own server if I didn''t live in a residential area.

I could, but if they catch me they''d get kind of mad =P (Restrictions depend on the provider, so maybe you can?). I''m also allowed to hook up my entire LAN through the line, so it is nice .

So, you may want to look into the nicer DSL lines out there if you want to run your server in a closet or your basement or something, heh.



http://www.gdarchive.net/druidgames/

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i c, thanks guys. i still want to do the game, but funds r kinda low. another bad thing is that dsl isn''t offered in my area yet so there''s another barrier! oh well, i''ll c what happens

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I''m currently running WinME on an AMD K6-3 333 128mb ram. The connection is a DSL 256k dedicated connection w static IP. Cost $40 a month.

It''s been going 50 hours straight now with no problems. I''m giving it another week before I do anything major with it. Currently it supplies the whole house with an internet connection. 4 computers. And runs Apache.

With no DSL in the area you''ll either need to wait or find someone willing to network a machine for you to use over their connection. I might be able to hook you up. I don''t have a dedicated game server machine yet but when I do I''ll see what I can offer. I need one myself so might as well put it to good use. Depending on demands I''d have to figure out cost if any.

Keep an eye out on my site for any news concerning this. I''m working on an MMORPG myself which is why I have the setup. I''m still doing my programming and testing over LAN currently with an occasional test using my server.

Ben
http://therabbithole.redback.inficad.com

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Windows ME isnt a very good server to run anything on, its unstable and cant handle much for the connection backlog. You should either use an operating system with the NT kernal (windows NT/2k) or a Unix/Linux/BeOS system (its free unlike winnt). It depends if you want an expensive server that can be hacked easily but is easy to setup or a server that has better security and is open-source. Either way, WinME uses the Win95/98 Kernal and is no good for servers... Just lettin you kno...

CorsairK8

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If you''ve checked out my site in the Server Updates you see that my Intel DSL card went bad or something and had to be replaced. I got my Cisco 675 running now and the computer is not on the house network which uses a dial up. Peace of mind reasons. I use Zip Disks to transfer if I need to.

Anywayz as I type this I''ve hit 827600sec uptime. 9.57 days.

It''s not conventional but it works. With my tax return I''ll being getting Win2k Pro for it so I can have a private SMTP server. And also set up a second network so I can share the connection with computers that don''t have private info on them.

Ben
http://therabbithole.redback.inficad.com

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Hmm a bit off topic but is your isp qwest?? Just wondering since you mentioned intel dsl card probally a intel 2100 and the cisco 675(much better) but has a nvram leak every time you loss power to it you have about a 17% chance of it needing reprogrammed.
Also if it is qwest you should be getting a 640k connection.

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If you are going to make an mmorpg, you will be faced with two choices, selling the game to someone else, or creating your own network.

Seriously, if you want people to play a decent mmorpg you are going to need more then one machine, in which may need to be observed at regualar and semi-frequent intervals.

A 10Mbit connection is not a whole lot. Lets look at EverQuest, I would estimate that it transmite at about 2 - 3 k/sec for a non-lagged connection. (which should be your goal).

a T1 (which is 1.5 MBits) would do up to 187k/sec in theory, I would bring that to about 150 burst max due to line resistance.

10Mbits is about 900k/sec burst max which would only hold up to 300 - 400 people maximum... and possibly less.

Most servers have a REALLY difficult time sinking 10Mbits... in fact most computers cannot sink over 2Mbits. a p3 at about 800Mhz could do a max of 5Mbits, and running a server which would have to synch data between 150 clients would really bog it down.

For an MMORPG, you are looking more along the lines of an OC3 connection, lots of money, but what you need if you intend on having more then 400 people using your game at once. You would also need a network of computers to handle all of the incoming information. And the types of machines that you would be looking at would be along the lines of Dual 1Ghz P3s.

OC3 is a 155Mbps connection capable of about 20M/sec, Running a dual p3, 3 machines should easily and safely cover this speed and likely any processes you will need for the server application itself. Items like RAm will be of great importance, 512Megs min in each machine would be recomminded although I suppose you could get away with 256Megs in each. You network should have a switch hookup, not a hub (if using 10baseT), a dedicated router owuld most likely benifit here. And fiber based ethernet networking. even 100BaseTX will not cut it in full duplexe).

I do not mean to be pessimistic, but if you are serious about this game, this will be what you will have to look at.

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Dsl is usualy not a good choice to run a server for many reasons (although rarely not applicable).

1) They tend to be asynchronus, faster downstream then upstream, normally a 1:2 ratio.

2) A lot of DSl providers like to incorporate a form of private networking to dynamic IP NAT (Network Address Transulation).. menas you have an internal and external IP address.. works in most situations however.

3) Not enough speed to run a severe gaming server like and MMORPG server intended to connect more then 80 people at once.

I have seen several static IP address DSl out there recently. If you are un capable of affording or getting an ISDN or T1 (T3) line, then a coaxial service may be better.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
For an action game such as Quake 2-3k/sec is a reasonable estimate, however for a slow paced MMORPG, it looks like it can be optimzed down by a factor of 10, to 200-300 byes/sec. So it would be possible for a residential DSL line to support say 2000 players. However you''ll need atleast a dual gighertz processor machine with load of memory to support that many players on one machine (assuming the server is doing collision checks, managing state changes, generating items, etc..). Design the game for robust and long uptime, so you don''t have to manage it so much. That proably is the main consideration for any MMORPG.

Good Luck

-ddn

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What I would recommend that you do is find a friend who is in university and have him/her host the game out of his/her dorm room (provided that they have T1 access.) This should do for a while, at least for testing purposes.

BSD (Berkeley Standard Distribution, I believe) is a unix operating system that is incredibly secure and can generate some great uptime. I have seen people with over 260 days of uptime on an active server running BSD. Best of all, it''s free.

RandomTask

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thx everyone. i have actually put this on hold for many of the reasons above and more. i work PT and school FT, so i don''t really have the time or $ right now. i think i''ll try later on, but there''s a lot 2 get going and i aint got the time now!

RandomTask, i thought about that too, or even moving back in the dorm myself, but the school had 3 T1 lines las year, now down to 1!!!(with 3,000 more students!) hahaha, so i''ll just have to get on this one later.



--I don''t judge, I just observe

Stuck in the Bush''s, Florida

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WEll me and my friends are making an MMORPG just for fun and our friend has a slow DSL line but hey it''s a server. at the beginning it''s just going to be some people from our school adn a few others. Our game is going to be in "Beta" for a while and free. If it becomes popular (really popular) then we''re look for a publisher and have it be a full game but in between then we don''t mind paying money for a server but not at the beginning since we will have almost no people!

Also since we all live in different houses (duh) we''re thinking of using an encrypted Back Orifice server so only we can access this so if the server goes down and whoever the server master is is not there then we can remotely turn it back up, update it, etc... I''ve gotten confirmation from someone i know who helped make BO2K and she says that encryption works good unless they get a hold of the encryption key!

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It is a qwest line but my connection is through Inficad. As yes it''s 640k down 256k up.

reprogramming it takes about a minute so I''m not worried and it''s on 24/7. I''ve secured a Win2K box so it''s going to be down for a day or so while I get the new set up working. I have no complaints about WinME as an OS but 2K offers more features for the net. I''ll be using WinMe for hosting games on-line still as it''s cheaper and it works.

Ben
http://therabbithole.redback.inficad.com

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Kalldrex, stop by the "Business of Game Dev" forum some day, you actually think a *decent* publisher would want to publish your Game/Server after you''ve released it *free* as a public beta ?

Think again. How ever I do agree that in the begining all you need is a small boardband connection (NOT ISDN, that technology is crap, and T1 technology is getting old too)

Cable, ADSL, DSL is ample connection for the start but if you really want to get serious then OC3 is the only way to go.

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Um dark Actully yeah i think they would. If the game becomes popular we add a TON of new features to the published version and shut down the free beta version. Why wouldn't they tell me that if they are required to buy it to play the game! Then if the game's real popular when we get a publisher BAM they get a ton of sells from people wanting to buy the game. Doesn't take math to figure that one out!

Also think about it. yeah we're going to charge people for a buggy program which has a crappy server that's sitting in someone's bedroom. Yes i agree that companies like OWO don't start out like this and have money but 1) we don't 2) they have all day to work on it and 3) It's just for fun. I said that IF IT BECAME POPULAR we would see about a publisher so we could afford to keep it online! I may be a teen but i know how stuff like this works. Your basically trying to tell me that even if a game becomes popular a publisher won't buy it because it was free before even if a lot of people play it and are Forced to buy the game from the publisher. Think about it!

Edited by - kalldrex on February 12, 2001 8:15:39 PM

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What''s the difference between a server sitting in someone''s bedroom and one sitting in an office?

The only thing that matters is the quality of programming. No one knows that IP such a such goes into someone''s room unless you tell them.

Ben
http://therabbithole.redback.inficad.com

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Hey KalvinB, you want to know the difference between someone''s home computer sitting in their bedroom with DSL and a dedicated server sitting sitting in a office with OC3 ?

PERFORMANCE, LAG, CONNECT SPEED, PROCESSING SPEED.
Okay perhaps not processing speed if your running WINNT with dual Intel processors (sorry don''t know any motherboards that support Dual Athlons)

Kalldrex, Name me a lsit of "big games" that we''re developed, released, then recieved a deal from publsiher''s ? Personally I can''t think of any. What *may* happen though is they would "buy" it off you, therefor they now own it... this is possible but unlikely.

A thread about this has already been discussed in the Business forum about 2-3 weeks ago.

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Sorry but i have to disagree with you agian. Just because no other game went through this doesn''t mean anything. Other games were developed by gaming companies that spend like hundreds of thousands of dollars on production to make a game TO MAKE MONEY! That''s the main reason why you don''t see games do this! Me and my 3 other friends are making this game FOR FUN. Hell i don''t care if we don''t make money off of it the only reason why wI''d like a publisher if it becomes popular because it will be way too expensive to keep online and that would be all i care about!

But think about it logically and not about what''s happened in the past. Think as a publisher and you are asked about publishing a game that''s already out! You can see the actual game in it''s gameplay, see how many people play the game, and more instead of publishers HOPING a game will be successful like they always do.

The main point is It''s never been done before because they are developing a game to make money basically and propose their idea to publishers hoping to get enough money out of them to pay for it''s production! We are doing it for fun and don''t care if we get money for it but if it becomes popular we will need money to keep it online!

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Actually, this develop then get published thing is becoming more popular, at least with the modification scenes. Just think Counterstrike or Gunman. Okay, Gunman was never released for free, but it was developped as a free mod since Quake 1 times. Now it''s released by Sierra (based on the Half-Life engine). They changed to making it commercial only few months before the actual release, which is a really short time compared to their total development time.

cu,
Prefect

---
Sanity is the trademark of a weak mind.

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Kalldrex, wouldn''t it be better to charge people to play your game, and use that money to maintain server''s ?
That way you can charge it for less without worrying about some publisher taking all the money and spending very minimum on server quality ?

Prefect thanks for that information, I haven''t really followed the First Person Shooting area very much, but MODS seem to be very popular and increase the ''creativty'' in FPS.

Also Kalldrex alot of Game Developer''s programe game''s because they want to, because it''s fun, the reason they bring money into it is because they can''t use their computer if they don''t pay the electricity bill.. A good example of this is ''Drakan Order of the Flames'', they started off as a small group just progrmaming game''s for fun and created a demo game which they used to pitch at publisher''s. Once they found someone to pay their living cost''s they made a full version.

I''m not doubting you or either of your friend''s on your ability to do this or anything, I just think you should get some info on the business side of things. I personally would recommend making it free to play with limitations or no limitations with a "fee" either monthly, yearly, or just a once off fee to play online.

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Yeah i agree with you about why companies make games for fun i worded it wrong. The problem with charging people to play it is that we are 4 16 year olds and it''s not the fact that we can''t but the thing is we have school and need sleep etc... so we can''t be there to help people when they are on. If the server goes down at midnight, well damn it won''t come up till i wake up at 5am and if i miss my alarm It won''t be up till 3PM (heh i wake up and use my computer, my friends just go to school lol)! The same thing if the server goes down at 6:30 or after! The thing is i know for a fact (and for the fact that i wouldn''t) pay for a game that would have so much downtime! It shows that we''re not professional and people don''t want to pay for something like that when they can go off to EQ and UO with sacrificing some good ideas that are only in our game. Tell me your honest answer. Even if you heard of this downtime or experienced it yourself would you pay for it? This is my first experience with network programming as it is with my friend who is learning the 3d engine calls and everything right now. I''m expecting a lot of crashes! Plus with our server we have now (384down/144up we think) It''s a crappy ass server! This means we will lag a lot. Just think aobut this!

p.s. Just so you know these posts aren''t meant as flames so don''t take em that way They''re just stating my opinion!

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Dark Angel. My point is that everything that''s available to an office is available to me in my house. At home I have a DSL dedicated line with static IP and a 56k dial up.

I currently get zero noticable lag on my current server with a single client. 128 meg ram and a 333AMD runs the server at 11000+ fps. I''ve got a few more weeks before I do a major test. From current tests it looks promising though.

You don''t need dual anything and buy AMD. Go to Tomshardware.com if you don''t think AMD is as good as Intel. AMD is also a lot cheaper.

Ben
http://therabbithole.redback.inficad.com


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Kalvin, YOU don''t need a dual client computer because you were talking about a SINGLE client! I have connections with some people who worked on network code on EQ and They''ve said that a single processer can only handle 150-300 clients simultaneously. Sure this is fine for like my game (well once it comes out) but once it gets popular we''ll need ot upgrade our machines.

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