Technology evolves at a rapid pace, increasing expectations and demand from those users dependent upon consistency and real-time troubleshooting for communication. When it comes to the world of gaming, the expectations are no different, and experts within the engineering field have to stay current to match the need for reliable hardware and cloud-based server requirements.
For those computer engineers and aspiring gamers looking to develop their own knowledge base and experience for an engineering degree focused on dedicated server maintenance, here we will look at how modern gaming servers work. In addition, we’ll look at modern advances and the needed disciplines for a career in game coding for the types of engineers responsible for the manufacturing process.
The Basics of Game Servers
Video games have come a long way in a relatively short amount of time. For those strictly console-based gamers whose preferences tend to lean towards single-player challenges, the technology needed is largely dependent upon the console itself, and perhaps their connection for any online games occasionally played. For experienced, dedicated online gamers, however, the challenges for real-time, consistent play can become a little more advanced. Likewise, so do the hardware requirements.
While a single-player game runs at its true capabilities using the player’s own computer, a multiplayer option runs off of a unique platform that must maintain the integrity and speed qualities for everyone taking part. Here, the gaming server (or “host”) is constantly in a state of data sharing between players, ensuring an accurate response to the high demand of each individual user meeting up within the shared virtual world. The game server constantly is in a state of data exchange, providing the same information from its internal state to everyone, keeping a shared accurate display of the game for all those playing in the real-life, process each player’s input concurrently.
Game Server Maintenance
In the world of online gaming, there are various forms of gaming servers responsible for the needed data sharing that goes into the workflow. In order to both create and maintain these different forms of servers, we look at two major elements: the server type itself, and the type of engineering background required for design and maintenance. Although “engineering” itself is a broad term, there is a specialization in the tasks performed for proper computer science and server construction.
For example, the innovations of modern information systems, coupled with the hardware expertise and real-time troubleshooting for multiplayer games not only calls for an engineering degree but also the engineering discipline to continue learning as technology evolves. It certainly helps if the branch of engineering studied is coupled with a genuine enthusiasm for gaming, although it’s not mandatory.
However, unlike aeronautical engineering, or the tasks of electronics engineers, the branch of engineering most commonly associated with gaming servers would either be a background in software engineer studies (although either field can play an important role), or a related field where nanotechnology is coupled with computer systems and material science.
Common Gaming Servers and Their Use
When it comes to the practical hardware for gaming server variations and the advanced technology needed for popular multiplayer workflow and customization, a dedicated game server is, far and away, the industry standard. Simply put, the specifics of a dedicated server simulates the environmental surroundings of a player, maintaining the “world-building” associated with the immersive experience. Without supporting direct input or output, players connect to a dedicated game server utilizing autonomous client programs in order to interact with the game itself.
In recent years, game developers and systems engineers have agreed that the major benefit of a dedicated server is the sustainability from a professional data center, unlike the slow and inadequate lack of reliability that could occur with a single-player host or shared local network (the most common cause of frequent “crashes”).
Likewise, there are also Listen to Servers, as well as Peer-to-Peer hosts, both of which have their own pros and cons, as well as similarities. Listen Servers share the same core functions as a dedicated server, yet have to connect with remote players over the host’s internet line, rather than hold the advantage of a dedicated system for all involved. The specifics of the connection utilizing the host’s connection (and wholly dependent upon the strength of their powerful server), while also generating an output image, can lead to lag-time and potential crashes. With a Peer-to-Peer alternative, there is no actual server, instead, allowing each individual player to receive raw data streams of each other, often unable to handle the workload and making for an unstable consistency.