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We are making a small FPS, and want people to be able to play it online and fetch a list of all servers from a master server. We only have experience in C#, and we have already written a master server that tracks all the servers.

However we realize that we'd have to host it on a windows application server. These are expensive, and making our master server completely reliable and watertight may be a lot of work. Also it seems a waste to have a server out there running windows and our tiny application that only tracks a list of servers...

Should we make the effort to learn PHP and SQL and make our master server that way? Does anyone know of any master servers written in PHP to get us started?

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I would write the server in the language/toolchain you know best, rather than learn a new one for that purpose, especially if you have any concerns about making the server "watertight." You're more likely to make mistakes with technology you are unfamiliar with. Unless the cost is prohibitively more to run a Windows server, I would stick with that platform.

However, you may also be able to find hosting providers that will run *nix servers with mono available, so you can run your master server that way.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Great minds think alike. :) \$\endgroup\$
    – ChrisE
    May 9 '11 at 22:27
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You might find this article to be of particular value.

Long story short, you can get an Amazon server set up running *nix and Mono, and so have a cheap C# server to do your server stuff.

If you are just doing a master server list, this shouldn't be too hard--hell, even just a servers.txt that gets polled might do it for you.

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