Dev blog 14 July 2017

Backer goodies, game servers for all regions, what this means for you...

First up, we have sent out links via email to all our wonderful backers to allow them to collect some of their backer-only perks. We saw a few mail delivery failure replies, so if you are a backer and have not received anything from us, please get in touch.

Over the last few dev blogs I've talked about our current work on getting game servers available for players all over the world. We are currently testing our system, which uses two hosting providers to start and stop game servers according to demand.

Most of the time, starting servers will be invisible to the player. You'll join matchmaking, you'll wait about a minute, and then will be playing. Behind the scenes, one of three things will happen: 

  1. A game server will already be running and configured for the match you want. You'll have the usual wait of about 30s for other players and then will be playing.
  2. A server will be running, but not configured. It will take about 30s to configure the server (e.g. to set it to 5v5 and change the map), and then you'll be playing.
  3. No servers will be running in your chosen region. We will boot up and configure a new server. This can take between 2 - 5 minutes depending on the provider and region.

Now, at first glance, that third situation sounds bad. Waiting 5 minutes to play? However, this will only happen one time per region. As soon as one server is started, we'll actually start running several servers. So the next player that comes along (assuming they can't join the ongoing match) will only have to wait the 30s for configuring. We will only shut down servers if they haven't been used for a couple of hours, so as long as there was at least one person playing in your region in the last two hours, there will be no extra wait.

We are going to support the following regions using servers in the following locations:

  • Oceania (e.g. Australia, New Zealand) - servers in Sydney
  • East Asia (e.g. Japan, Korea) - servers in Tokyo
  • South East Asia (e.g. Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam) - servers in Singapore
  • North America - servers in Chicago
  • Central America (e.g. Mexico) - servers in Dallas
  • South America (e.g. Brazil, Argentina) - servers in Miami
  • Europe - servers in Frankfurt
  • South Asia (e.g. India) - servers in Bangalore
  • Middle East (e.g. Saudia Arabia, UAE) - servers in Bangalore

We will continue to have our existing servers hosted by SimRai in Europe and North America.

The game will attempt to pick the best region for you by ping, but you can change your region very easily if you can see you'll get a better experience elsewhere. The game will remember your preference if you override the auto-selected region.

We are also exploring the possibility of having dedicated servers within South America. The latency to Miami from Buenos Aires or São Paulo is playable, but definitely at the limits of what is acceptable.

Here's some ping times from some typical places to the server locations for those regions. It's highly subjective, but 120ms or more is about the point where the game experience starts to degrade noticeably.