I have a turn based strategy game for desktop and mobile, the game app uses a sqlite database to play local games. There's nothing special about the database design, I have tables to keep track of units in the game, player commands, etc.

I want to implement multiplayer now on a dedicated game server, and am thinking of using the same setup as the client apps. I'd create a sqlite db on the server file system for each game my users create. I'm expecting around 1,500 simultaneous games (based on other games I've run).

Here are the pros I imagined:

  1. I can reuse all the game code as-is - I just point the game wrapper server-side to a sqlite db on the server machine.
  2. Cheap to start and delete games (happens quite often with turn based games).


  1. Hitting disk a lot, since sqlite is a wrapper around a file basically (my game server has SSD drives, tho).
  2. Portability - I'd have a mess of sqlite files on the file system. If I have to move servers, could be a little gross copying them to a new machine. Also have to check the # of files in a directory limit for my OS, or shard them.
  3. Front end synchronization - I'd still have to have a centralized mysql db or similar to keep track of all the individual games on disk, their general states (started, waiting, ended etc) for general user queries on their games list.

I'd be interested if anyone has tried a setup like this. I can always use a single mysql instance and one set of tables shared between all games, just need to add a gameId column to separate all the data. It would be interesting to see the Units table though with millions of rows shared between all the games.


  • \$\begingroup\$ Every database is just a wrapper around one or more files. \$\endgroup\$ – Philipp Dec 5 '16 at 14:08

I implemented a setup like this on my game Spider Solitaire Online however even with an ssd on the server, the disk usage kept going up to 100% due to the sheer volume of players. You can start off with an approach like this but it is not scalable. The best way we found to do this was to use a service such as smartfox server to control the game play. You will find this will be more efficient.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Caroll thanks for sharing. Do you remember an approximate number of games at which the server started struggling? \$\endgroup\$ – user3203425 Oct 25 '16 at 13:15

i would suggest you to use in memory db such as Redis etc to manage all currently happening matches. e.g. give a uniques name to each match, store this match as a key and player ids as value.


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