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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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gdops

Database locking/transactions techniques for browsergame PHP/MySQL

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Hi everyone,

I'm wondering what's the proper way to handle concurrent actions in a browsergame, that access the same resource (e.g. one player's warehouse), combined with the "on view" method instead of cronjob.

Basically that means, instead of running some script that processes the action queues each second, the calculations are made when that resource (warehouse) is accessed the next time (e.g. one attacks and take resources, or the player itself spends some of them).

Problem obviously occurs when two players access the same resource at the same time, and I'm not sure if there's a good-proven standard way to implement this...

Some guesses of me would be:

1. Using MySQL transactions (one transactions includes: read from actions table, execute them, delete executed actions)
2. Using MySQL table lock for actions table
3. Locking with PHP flock()
4. Using semaphore with PHP sem_acquire()


Any suggestions?
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There are several standard ways of solving the simultaneous-update problem. For example:

1) Use a database transaction around the entire thing (and, if MySQL, make sure transaction isolation is "serializable.")

2) Use a manual spinlock, using something like a short-lived key in memcached to automatically remove it if the process crashes.

3) Use consistent hashing to map update requests for a particular "ID" go to a particular server and thread/instance; this makes updates for a particular "ID" be inherently serialized.

4) Use a worker queue to serialize updates that need to be done.
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