View Full Version : Master server choices

05-19-2009, 12:05 PM
So I have been working on multiplayer for Kivi for a while now. Unfortunately, it has taken longer than I would have liked. Part of the delay is the master server. Players need a decent way to find other players to play with. This is what a master server does, it's basically a match maker. I was originally just going to use someone else's solution for this, because why write something that a bunch of people already have? Unfortunately, I found a bunch of reasons why.

I don't get very much control over something that can be very important to my gamers. What if my gamers hate how something works, can I fix it?

I can't completely customize everything to match my game exactly. This would be nice, but probably not a huge problem.

Many of the solutions are external programs. Ideally I would like the browser to be inside the game. An internal browser seems easier for people and I'm not telling them to run an external executable.

Responses to my emails sometimes took weeks. Would my emails get responded to faster if an emergency pops up?

Some of the options cost in the 5 figure range. Yeah, like that's going to happen. :)

Some of the options were free, but imposed lots of restrictions. This always annoys me. I understand that there must be some kind of restriction between the full version and the cheaper version, but they always seem to be some arbitrary rules that screw with my business. I had this same problem with our sound engine. It also feels like being treated as a child. If you do this, this, and don't do that, I'll buy you an ice cream cone.

Most of the solutions only supported Windows. I'm not going to dump our Mac gamers. They have been very good to us so far.

All of the options that cost money were per game. This might make sense for AAA games that ship 1 game every 2 or 3 years, but this really hurts indies that can make a new game in less than a year. So us small indies actually would pay more money than AAA studios.

What if they go out of business or kick us off for using too much resources? This isn't too likely, but would be a huge problem if it happened.

If I go with one of them and then move to our own server at a later date, is it going to be a pain that some people are on their server and some are on our server?

A few of these I could probably have lived with for a while, but for us every solution I found had a deal breaker. Oh well, in the long run it's probably best to have our own master server. I just wasn't expecting to do it quite yet. It's a lot of extra programming time and a new monthly expense that I could do without.

05-19-2009, 07:01 PM
This is why I get extremely irked when people demand multiplayer for every game. If you want multiplayer, go play a RTS or MMO. Programming takes time, servers cost money. I think I said it before, I would rather have a polished singleplayer game than a mediocre multiplayer game.

05-20-2009, 09:38 AM
Yeah, multiplayer is definitely not something that is trivial to add.

05-20-2009, 11:15 AM
Showing my lack of industry knowledge, wouldn't it be easier to just have LAN gaming? Why should Soldak have to pay for a server like battle.net? Sure, it would be nice, but I would rather see more content programming...


05-20-2009, 05:37 PM
Yes, LAN only would be much easier. The LAN stuff is working, although it still needs a bit more testing. Doing a full server actually gains us a bunch of things (some further down the road) like being able to do anything with the server I want, being to turn on the email functions on our forums, some day maybe having high score type things, hosting our demos again, not pissing off our host every time a big site like apple or slashdot turns their attention towards us, and a bunch of other things.

I think in the long run it will be better, I just wasn't expecting to do it just yet. I think after this we will settle down and get in a better rhythm of shipping games a bit more often.

05-25-2009, 12:25 AM
I love the updates!