Google has announced that its Game Servers are now generally available for production workloads. The recent past has witnessed the exponential rise of multiplayer games. Back in March 2020, Google released the beta version of Game Servers, a managed service built on top of Agones, an open-source game server scaling project. Game Servers utilizes Kubernetes for container orchestration and Agones for game server fleet orchestration and lifecycle management. It offers developers a modern and simpler model for managing and scaling games.
As more and more gamers across the world choose multiplayer games, developers have to scale up to meet the demand of never-ending players queue. Further, they also need to make sure that gameplay experience is not compromised as they manage the complex underlying global infrastructure. To solve these problems, many game companies build and manage their expensive proprietary solutions or turn to on-premise services that limit developer choice and control.
By easing infrastructure management, Game Servers allows developers to focus their resources on developing better games for their users. Here is how Google’s Game Server can benefit developers.
Clusters and Realms
Google Game Servers allows developers to run multiple clusters in a single realm regardless of whether users are waiting for their games to build momentum in specific countries over time or global hit from day one. It ensures high availability and smooth scaling experience for developers.
After they have defined their realms and clusters, users can roll out their game to Google Game Servers using the concept that Google calls Deployment &Config. A game server deployment is a global record of a game server software version that can be deployed to any or all game server clusters worldwide. A game server config specifies the details of the game server versions being rolled out across your clusters.
Google Cloud’s gaming experts too work closely with the game developers to help them ensure a successful launch. Game Servers also provide the support to ensure that the user’s game grows continuously over time. However, Google is also trying to build Game Servers to be as customizable as possible.
Building an open architecture for games
Google allows developers to optout of Game Servers at any time and manages Agones cluster all by themselves to offer complete control of the game to developers. Moreover, Google also offers direct access to the underlying Kubernetes clusters so that the userscan add their game-specific additions on top of the Agnones installation.
Currently, Game Servers offers support only to clusters that are running on Google Kubernetes Engine. In contrast, Google is also working on adding support for clusters running in any environment, be it Google Cloud, other clouds, or on-premise.
Google claims that with the Game Servers’ hybrid and multi-cloud support, developers have the freedom of running their game server workloads wherever they feel comfortable. It provides custom scaling policies that enable the user to optimize the cost of deploying a global fleet across the hybrid and multi-cloud ecosystem.
Elliot Gozanksy, Head of Architecture at Square Enix, said, “As a Google Cloud customer for many years, we’re now following the progress of Google Cloud Game Servers closely.” He also added, “We believe that containers and multi-cloud capabilities are extremely compelling for future large multiplayer games, and Google Cloud continues to prove its commitment to gaming developers by creating flexible, open solutions that scale worldwide.”
As of now
Google’s new offering is free of charge till the end of 2020. However, the users will be billed for the underlying use of Kubernetes clusters.