Gaming Massively

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Metaplace beta test

Tobold pointed out that Metaplace will be doing a beta test to see how robust their servers are. In reading through their blog posts it occurs to me that I may not have been thinking through the game architecture they have proposed as well as I should have. It looks like, in addition to some form of web-based MMO platform, they're also planning on implementing APIs - functions that you can call from other applications.

Now, I don't know that their strategy works this way, but it suddenly occurred to me that the ability to call APIs from multiple servers means never having to instance, and never having issues of concurrent users.

Here's the deal - we need to track the location of everyone in our game, their current health, what they are doing, whether they have aggro'd monsters, etc. etc. That's a whole lot of computing power.

But rather than having each area chew up a giant server, we could allow certain functions to live on one server, certain on another. For example, hand off combat to a combat server, that only knows you, your weapons and spells, and the beasty you are fighting. Let another server track positions (use a mobile phone tower model, where position just gets handed off). Another just for chat. Etc.

Now that I've said it, it's so obvious I can't imagine people aren't doing it. What am I missing?

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