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Looking for information on setting up a Server for Multiplayer Puzzle Game

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I currently have a programmer working on a puzzle type game (Java) that will be single/multi-player. I want to research the costs, equipment, and how to go about setting up a game server for our game. It will be via PC and Mobile platforms. Any articles or information somewhere on the net you can link me to for some research and know how on setting up a game server? I did some googling but mostly found those Game server for clans, etc. Any help is appreciated! [Edited by - arcarocket on November 14, 2008 11:44:16 AM]

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Look for root servers. You later install the server software on such server machine. Pricing will vary but around where I live it's between EUR 60 and EUR 200 per month.
Virtual servers (like root servers but on a shared system) may be a cheaper alternative, if it suits your needs.
If you are using HTTP as a protocol (e.g. for simple mobile games), you can get away with standard hosting.

The server setup depends on whether you do the server software on your own or use some of the libraries around. Either way, in the end you will have an executable program which runs on the server machine and listens to a specific port for incoming client connections to service them subsequently.

Before you go out buying into an expensive root server plan, you can develop and test it all on your local network first and only go live once it is all working that way (may be hard to test with the mobile though).

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The Forum FAQ talks about various hosting solutions.

If your game is not real-time (like a first-person shooter or MMORPG) then you may want to use a virtual platform, such as Amazon Compute Cloud, or Google App Engine.

If you want to run your own servers, then a "self-managed dedicated server" is what you want, where the really cheap ones start at USD 60 and the ones you really want are about USD 130 per month.

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