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I near completion of implementing mymultiplayer game (in WPF/.NET). I want to exploit the game commercially. To do so, I compiled a list of requirements:

  • .NET/WPF
  • Game server (multiplayer)
  • Data server (website/ingame info/widgets/etc)
  • Website (rules/docs/download)
  • Forum
  • Rating system (chess-like, but for 4 players)
  • OSS is a big pro (or ability to move to OSS in future)

What options do I have to create a platform for hosting the game? Obviously, I can create everything myself, which has advantages and disadvantages. Do you have any experience utilizing exisiting services offering (part or complete) above requirements?

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Amazon Web Services might serve as hosting for your game server, database, and website, etc. I believe you could run one instance for your .NET services and a second instance, running linux, for your PHP services. You'd likely want to find open source PHP based forum software. You may have to roll your own rating system.

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Windows Azure might serve as hosting for your game server, database, and website. I believe it has support for PHP in addition to .NET meaning you could use any open source PHP forum software.

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I'd suggest the multiplayer server run locally on the host's machine. WCF is a great choice if you don't need very high throughput. Otherwise, there is a pretty decent networking library for .NET called Lidgren; it supports TCP as well as reliable UDP-based messaging.

I would try to find a lobby system that you can hook, preferably one with a web service API that your clients could use to locate and advertise multiplayer games. I have no idea what's available in this area, but I suspect you may have to wrap an unmanaged library or roll your own. The lobby application, if you host it yourself, could be hosted on Windows Azure, along with your game's website and forums.

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Why can't you use WCF for high-throughput? – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Jun 22 '11 at 20:41
Sorry for the late reply. I'm not saying you can't use it for high throughput. I haven't used WCF where throughput and latency were a concern, so I don't know how it would perform in those cases. I can, however, say that it has worked well for me in cases where performance was not a primary concern. That said, there is definitely some overhead involved in using WCF with any of the out-of-the-box message formatting options, which could make it unsuitable for games which send and receive frequent updates with low latency requirements (e.g. FPS or RTS games). – Mike Strobel Aug 29 '11 at 13:53

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