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      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
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Chris Reynolds

Dedicated Server Woes

6 posts in this topic

Hey guys - so I've hosted a few websites before with simple hosts where CPanel and an FTP client were all I needed. Now I'm looking to launch something a bit bigger, and am thinking about getting a dedicated server to do so.

However, I'm a little intimidated by the thought of having to set everything up myself (Apache, Firewall, PHP, MySQL, etc.) on an operating system I've never touched: Linux. I want to learn, but I also want to launch this website in a reasonable amount of time without too much ongoing hassle. I also am scared I won't be able to secure it correctly (e-commerce on the website), as I'm so new to it all.

So my question is this: is it worth it? My priority is speed and security, not necessarily low-level control. Thanks for any help!
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If all you're hosting is a web server, why do you need a dedicated one? Tons of web hosts provide a variety of features and security, including reasonably priced SSL support.
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[quote name='Chris Reynolds' timestamp='1331886530' post='4922523']

So my question is this: is it worth it? My priority is speed and security, not necessarily low-level control.[/quote]

Definitely not worth it.

If you were an expert in the field and it were your primary role, then dedicated can be more secure and faster. But lacking experience and not being a priority means just about any free/cheap managed host will offer more for less.

It might be worthwhile to think in general direction, but going on your own for sake of security and speed will deliver none. If anything, you'll discover a world of endless obscure errors if you're lucky. If not, you won't even know they exist and that 1/4 of your visitors experience random errors.
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If you want to learn about (Linux) system administration, and it's definitely useful to have at least some basic knowledge of it, get and old PC and set up your own local development server. You can crash it and burn it and spill coffee on it as many times as you need without risking your business.

Having a dedicated machine doesn't necessarily mean better performance and security. This all depends on the hardware, the setup, the network etc. However, if it makes sense for your project, you can ask your host about the possibility of renting fully managed dedicated servers.
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Ok, thanks for the info guys. Not going to jump into the deep end with this venture. Maybe some time in the future, but I can't afford to have a flimsy backend for this website.

Thanks!
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Do you really need a full dedicated server, why not go with a managed VPS? You will have full control over it, but also the backup of having a support team behind you if you screw something up.

I wouldn't worry too much about setup - whenever you buy a server (either VPS or Dedicated), it will be configured for you, and PHP, Apache, MySQL etc will already be installed. Although it might be worth learning how to install / configure it, as one day you may wish to upgrade or reconfigure it.

Although I would suggest setting up a linux server at home first, so that you can experiment and learn without affecting your love site.
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If you just want to play and learn, Amazon's EC2 will give you a free "micro" instance for a year if you're a new customer. Something like 512MB RAM, low-power CPU, 5GB hard drive space, 15GB monthly bandwidth: [url="http://aws.amazon.com/free/"]http://aws.amazon.com/free/[/url]

You get full root access, and if you (unlikely) use a lot more resources, you'll just get charged some tiny amount for the actual overage (like $0.15/GB of bandwidth).

If you are more worried about launching your site than learning new skills, though, it's a complete waste of time. Learning how to go from a clean box to a working web server is going to take a while. Heck, even figuring out how to SSH into a remote server can take a bit for someone new.
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