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kirkd

Online card game - backend questions

8 posts in this topic

I've come up with an idea for a card game which I think would be good as an in-person as well as an online game. The details of the game are quite superfluous to my question, which is...

Given a multiplayer card game, or even something like Words with Friends, what are the backend requirements? I have no experience with this sort of thing, and I'm probably way out of my league on it all, but I'm curious as to what such a game entails. Is it run on a server which players log into and all the gameplay is managed there, or is it be done on the users' machines? How about as an Android app?

-Kirk
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Games can run on both private hosted servers (for instance, DotA) or on dedicated servers (loads of examples, all MMOs and Diablo 3 would be some examples here. The problem of the first one is that it is impossible to have a 100% safe implementation, so people WILL cheat. Also, storing information is going to be a pain and may be also hackable. It is possible to have multiple people hosting the same game to reach some kind of safety, but it is not 100% granted and it it incredibly hard to implement.
Having a server is way safer and probably preferable if it is not a game that people will play only with IRL friends.

A card game is a little vague, but seems the king of game that a single server could host a few thousands of games since there are no collision checks, no physics and it is very likelly that you won't have to handle more than 10 players in the same game.
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Thanks for the response. Certainly out of my league right now, but interesting to consider.

Regarding the game itself, yes it would be very simple relative to any sort of MMORPG. No more complex than poker or spades, most likely. Regarding the server, is this something that could be done on the cloud? Say, Amazon EC2?

I'm developing the idea right now as an actual card game, but it occurred to me that an online version or a phone app would be an interesting way to widen the audience.
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No ideas on how those cloud servers work, but as long as you there is some DNS that will take a "somename.com" domain to its IP, an open port and they let you run your own application on it, you sure can host it.
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I do a lot of work with cloud servers. If this is your first time and you need very low specs for dev (and don't have much capital) go with rackspace, cheap private slice with a dedicated ipv4 address. Any domain registrar can point your custom domain to the server. As for running custom applications on it, you can use it just like another computer in your home. It's virtualized so you have full root access and such, just copy over your executable or php files/what-have-you and run it.
If you want to skip the headache of building this yourself and scaling there are a ton of ready built options that can handle some of the backend logic, but really you will never beat rolling your own. (from a learning and customization perspective)

Some places to look though:
Parse IO: https://www.parse.com/
Game Minion: http://gameminion.com/
PlayPhone: http://www.playphone.com/

Good luck!
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Aeramor - thanks for the tip. They have a great selection of platforms - best I've seen thus far. I might have other projects that can use this sort of thing.
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This type of game would be perfect for [url="http://nodejs.org/"]Node.js[/url] with [url="http://socket.io/"]socket.io[/url]
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[quote name='kirkd' timestamp='1355359557' post='5010029']
Aeramor - thanks for the tip. They have a great selection of platforms - best I've seen thus far. I might have other projects that can use this sort of thing.
[/quote]
Anytime :)
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