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Post by trog @ 11:51am 19/11/09 | 6 Comments
Dedicated server chat is all the rage at the moment as the Internet still wobbles with the ripples of the aftershock of Modern Warfare 2 shipping without support for them on PC. Whether PC developers now begin a mass exodus away from the client/server model for game developer is now another story, but they're running out of reasons to bother.

Sadly, even those developers that do make dedicated server software often make a few mistakes, and history has shown that those sort of mistakes can seriously impact the multiplayer aspect of their game on launch - and if it's wrong on launch, then it's probably never going to recover.

Mammoth Media has managed game servers for the best part of the last 10 years and knows a couple of things about why they're important and what makes good dedicated server software. As part of an attempt to help educate game developers and publishers into why dedicated servers are important and how to make good ones, they've released the Mammoth Dedicated Server Guide, a comprehensive look at dedicated servers and how to make them work (at a high level) to best support the multiplayer component of a video game.

AusGamers hopes that by drawing attention to this document, more developers will become aware of the advantages of dedicated servers for their online games, as well as give them a standard set of guidelines to follow to ensure their server software is able to be as widely deployed as possible - allowing more gamers all over the world to enjoy the multiplayer experience. (Disclosure: Mammoth is AusGamers' parent company.)



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Latest Comments
skythra
Posted 11:56am 19/11/09
Your disclosure is so kind, although its already at the bottom of every page anyway
Copyright 2001-2009 AusGamers Pty Ltd. ACN 093 772 242. Internet services are kindly provided by Mammoth Media
thermite
Posted 12:15pm 19/11/09
There are these two guys VelourMammoth and VelvetMammoth that play tf2 as medic/heavy pair together and don't help the rest of the team. I have my suspicions...
TicMan
Posted 12:17pm 19/11/09
Read this the other when you posted it on LinkedIn - good read, things I never even thought of about dedicated servers were raised. Would be good for you guys to be consulted on when stupid game develops like IW create multiplayer games.
trog
Posted 12:23pm 19/11/09
While I don't usually stoop to asking people to digg articles it would be great if we could get some love on this this. If you don't have a digg account, you are able to do it with your Facebook account now, so it's really easy:

http://digg.com/pc_games/How_to_make_good_dedicated_server_software_for_developers

As a PC gamer from way back I'm obviously really passionate about this. As an Australian who has long-suffered at the hands of poor multiplayer design, I think it's really important that the client/server model isn't tossed out the door - it offers so many advantages for gamers and provides so much more flexibility than a simple p2p model.

As bandwidth limits in Australia become bigger and bigger it will become less of an issue - although I suspect we'll always have pretty low upstream availability, which will massively limit how far games can scale.
Snots
Posted 12:38pm 19/11/09
Good read for a learner like me, thanks. How about a article on game server hardware please as i see little info dedicated to this but heaps on data servers. I take it there is differences between dedicated game servers and data servers needs ?
Jim
Posted 01:14pm 19/11/09
not reeeaally, although 'data server' is a bit ambiguous

things change as cpus evolve ram becomes cheaper, but at the moment the current xeon's are very powerful and we've found that we can run a lot more game server instances on them compared to xeons from a couple of years ago. so much so, that we've had to start getting more ram to be able to better utilise the cpus by running more servers on them. previously we've typically used from 2 to 4gb of ram and found that the number of servers we could fire up under that amount of ram, was enough to work the cpus to about 80% or so during peak time. but now we need around 12gb of ram to push current xeons up to 60% or so during peak time

to give an example, a physical server with dual 5450 xeons (which are actually quite far behind the current 5500 series) with 12gb of ram can happily run say 40 or more left4dead servers with 8 players each, without stuttering zombies or other loaded-server symptoms you might experience in that particular game


I don't have any recent experience with amd cpus

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