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I'm working on a card game and its server. There will be a lobby with many tables and many players. The only issue is, how can I see how it might handle 100's of concurrent users without hundreds of concurrent users?

How is this sort of thing usually done?

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See if my answer to a similar question helps in anyway: stackoverflow.com/questions/7940967/… –  Greg Bala May 15 '12 at 12:04

2 Answers 2

up vote 22 down vote accepted

Two words: headless client.

Basically it's an AI driven client that's had the all graphics bypassed so that you can run many multiples of copies on a machine, you can even run them on servers because you never initialize the graphics at all.

Above all those clients is a supervisor that is responsible for starting, monitoring and stopping all the clients to test, log and re-run after client crashes.

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+1 Bring on the automation. –  Byte56 May 15 '12 at 2:22

I think you are worried about the wrong things Milo. I see from your other questions you are planning on writing the game is C++.

Even a not very well coded sever written in a scripting language would be able to handle 100's if not 1000's of requests with out apparent lag in a card game.

These kinds of technical details are probably not going to be a big problem. If they do become a problem it would only be a day or two of optimization or moving things around a little. But only after the game is finished and only after you have identified what exactly the problem is..

Writing a headless client now to simulate lots of uses is a waste of time.. focus on the really hard problems like..

  1. actually finishing your game and getting it online and
  2. finding the 100's of people who want to play your game simultaneously.
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