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I have created a turn based multiplayer game (with Unity3d) in which three teams battle to finish constructing a cake before one another. The game mostly targets on entertaining kids at certain venues. It is free and is only running from time to time (it isn't online and does not run 24/7 like what we normally see).

The game consists of a few round that have two phases. Phase one asks for the joystick apps to enter their strategies (units to invest in construction and/or defense and/or attack) and send them to the server. This phase lasts for 30 seconds after which the second phase kicks in. Phase two is the MainGame talking to the server, getting all compiled strategies and rendering them on to the screen. The rounds follow one another until one of the teams finishes its cake. Kids love it!

The setup is rather easy. Players use a joystick App that they install on their iOS device enabling them to send strategies to the server. The MainGame is responsible of rendering the compiled strategies on to the screen. In between the Joystick Apps and the MainGame App is the server that glues everything up and manages the states of the game. The server currently runs on a free PlayerIO account that supports 45 players to be connected at the same time (actually 44 since one of the instance is the MainGame who does the rendering). When the game reaches its full capacity, all 44 joystick apps and my 1 MainGame app are connected to one single room. Everything works fine!

I now have this new client who wants me to boost the game so it can handle something between 1000 and 3000 players simultaneously. With you knowing this, here are my questions:

  • Should I stay with PlayerIO for my new and boosted version?
  • Is it just a matter of getting a bigger server? Can I still have one single room with 3000 players joining it? If not, how should I handle the weight?
  • How many players can normally connect to a single room (keeping in mind I am looking for a way to connect as many people in a single game at once… Not many games at once)? What’s the rules of thumb?
  • Being that the game will only be running a third of the time every month (when my client’s starts it), how much can I expect to pay in backend fees? (I really have a hard time knowing how much PlayerIO is going to charge me with its new pricing).

Thanks in advance for your help!

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