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I'm in the planning stage of a new project. Without going into details, this is a real-time 2D game with some basic construction aspects, combat, and a large procedurally generated world.

Because of the design of the game, it really makes most sense for it to run directly in a browser with all of a player's progress stored on the server. Basically each player will have their own persistent 2D map which they can modify, and I want them to be able to access it from any computer. It's not multiplayer.

Imagine a real-time 2D action and building game that could be played completely offline, except it saves your progress to a server so it can be accessed from anywhere.

This will be my first foray into making an online game or web application, so I'm wanting it to be as painless as possible. Would GAE work well for a game like this? I've been told that GAE is simply not appropriate for a real-time game; however, this has always been said in the context of a multiplayer game, not a single player game.

I should also note that it would be acceptable for the game to have an ordinary save option and to only save data to the server when this option is used by the player. Since that means the player would lose progress if he just closed the tab or browser window without saving, it could be accompanied with a 5 minute autosave.

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So a 2D Minecraft, except with cloud storage? ;-) –  The Communist Duck Apr 30 '11 at 8:37
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How much would the client and server talk ? Whenever the player does anything, or only at some relatively rare checkpoints ? –  phtrivier Apr 30 '11 at 9:26
    
@The Communist Duck: No, not really. The world is not made of blocks at all. The "basic construction aspects" come in the form of city planning. If it's similar to another game, it's similar to Animal Crossing, not Minecraft. @phtrivier: It seems to me like it would work for data to be saved only every five minutes or so with no interaction between client and server between those saves. –  Zach Conn Apr 30 '11 at 13:47
    
@Zach Conn the fact it has basic construction, a large procedural world, and combat made me think of it. Apologies. –  The Communist Duck Apr 30 '11 at 14:05
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I've not personally used GAE and I have no idea how suitable it is from the specific perspective of game development. However, I've heard some pretty bad things about GAE in general. You should give this a read: carlosble.com/2010/11/goodbye-google-app-engine-gae Of course, that's only one perspective and I'm sure lots of people love GAE. But you should be aware of the downsides going in. Good luck! –  Mitch Lindgren May 1 '11 at 4:42
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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, it is quite usable and I'm developing a game myself on the platform.

However, the limitation is you have to choose between HTTP requests or XMPP somehow. I'm going the HTTP route personally.

Most games use some form of secure socket connections from the server to the client, so for that kind of setup you need a dedicated server running your software, but if you can set it up as a web service or website then you'll be fine.

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Could you please clarify your last paragraph. Do you mean the server couldn't be hosted for on client side or anything similar? –  iamcreasy Mar 3 '12 at 0:53
    
I mean GAE doesn't support sockets. –  Kenneth Posey Mar 3 '12 at 4:41
    
For 16/32 multiplayer FPS back end system what are the alternates of GAE? –  iamcreasy Mar 3 '12 at 9:12
    
FPS = custom server software on a dedicated server (or self hosting or equivalent). GAE is appropriate for something like mafia wars or maybe farmville type games. If you want more details then you'll want to ask a fresh question. =) –  Kenneth Posey Mar 4 '12 at 6:59
    
I wish I could, but I don't know what I don't know. Is there any service for FPS genera? It would be great if you could redirect me so some provider or some guide to what-to-look-for for this kinda stuff. –  iamcreasy Mar 4 '12 at 9:37
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