Google's App Engine?

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by Applewood, Apr 11, 2011.

  1. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes Received:
    2
    We're looking at implementing some asynchronous multiplayer tech for our iOS game, Great Little War Game. Think along the lines of "words with friends" in terms of end result.

    Anyone have any recommendations about what to do for a server? We need something scaleable, secure and easy to develop on. We can write server code and mySql stuff etc., but we're not skilled in hardcore server deployment, security issues etc., so going bareback is not an option.

    App Engine is a name I keep hearing, but it seems expensive. $8 a month per user?!? That has to mean administrator right, not user logins.

    Anyone have anything to share here, generally speaking?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Adrian Lopez

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    0
    Judging by this, Google App Engine is a web application hosting service and it charges up to $1000 a month based on the number of users accessing your hosted application. I don't think it's intended for the sort of application you have in mind.

    Some hosting companies offer management services for an extra fee. Rapidswitch is such a company, though I have no experience with them.
     
  3. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,388
    Likes Received:
    12
    App Engine was a big fat distraction for me. Bought a couple of books but could never figure out where to get started with it and have subsequently moved on to doing what I need to do with PHP. Google sized scalable back end was the enticement for me.

    What does "words with friends" mean?
     
  4. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Messages:
    5,130
    Likes Received:
    0
    the whole www.wolfire.com website uses appengine from what I know :) also a space multiplayer game posted here a few months ago (forgot the name...)
     
  5. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes Received:
    2
    It's essentially play by email, but can work at dynamic speed (for turn-based) if both players are online together. Works pretty nicely for phone games that aren't all action.

    Move files are stored on a server and players access them when they want.
     
  6. Adrian Lopez

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    0
    On further investigation it looks like the $8 per user is only for the enterprise version of Google's App Engine. It looks like the regular App Engine is billed according to resource usage:

     
  7. Adrian Lopez

    Original Member

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2004
    Messages:
    489
    Likes Received:
    0
    Interesting. I just found this while looking for confirmation.
     
  8. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes Received:
    2
    Thanks, this is starting to look like a goer now.

    Anyone want a full time in-house job doing this stuff?
     
  9. richtaur

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2009
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0
    We use App Engine exclusively for our server needs and highly recommend it. It's robust, easy to learn/use (great documentation) and cheap as hell. You also might find this article interesting.
     
  10. MFS

    MFS New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2007
    Messages:
    314
    Likes Received:
    0
    Great Little War Game doing that well? Awesome :D (And congrats.)

    Curiously, has anyone used Amazon's EC2 and S3 services rather than App Engine? I know their paradigms are a bit different, but was curious where one is better/worse than the other. I believe many of the big FB devs used EC2 and S3 but not sure if that has changed or if it's simply a matter of taste.
     
  11. gormlai

    gormlai New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2009
    Messages:
    27
    Likes Received:
    0
    What I have found really cool about the app engine so far, is that I can actually write everything in Java, and the toolchain takes care of translating the necessary stuff to javascript. This means I won't have to learn a new language, and I get the all the good stuff such as type safety from Java, and I can even hook up the debugger to it and make changes to it realtime, as the toolchain recompiles it on the fly. Real awesome stuff!
     
  12. mooflu

    mooflu New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0
    Heh, funny, I switched my hosting to the app engine today. So far it's hosting a simple home page, online scores, and full version game and license download. The free app engine version has a pretty generous free quota. I don't expect to get billed except to handle post announcement spikes. And of course it's designed to scale - my previous shared hosting setup certainly wasn't. The downside is that you lock yourself into a Google API. That said, it took me a day to convert all my php stuff to Python and another day transfer the domain and to migrate the score and license data.
     
  13. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2004
    Messages:
    3,859
    Likes Received:
    2
    Thanks. It's doing well enough that we can afford to spend some money making it better still, but we won't be phoning any Ferrari dealerships just yet. Maybe after the multiplayer goes in... :)
     
  14. richtaur

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2009
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0
    I opted for the Python API personally but GWT sounds pretty slick!
     
  15. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Messages:
    5,130
    Likes Received:
    0
    Yes using python instead of php to code the server is really a neat thing, but what I found TERRIBLE is the DB system (the datastore). Maybe is because I am used to MySQL... but I haven't yet been able to fully understand how that works :(
     
  16. lakibuk

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2004
    Messages:
    961
    Likes Received:
    0
    A friend of mine made an online quiz game with the free app engine. He likes the framework and he's pretty fast with it (not his first web app though).
    You guys (richtaur) use it for non-website server stuff, too?
    I've got the impression that sometimes the site is slow, it can take some time to load pages. Is it because he only uses the free version?
    Here's the site in case you want to take a look:
    http://www.thehardestgameonearth.com
     
  17. lennard

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Messages:
    2,388
    Likes Received:
    12
    Richtaur's link was appreciated and has me re-evaluating my planned PHP/mySql implementation for my next game.

    Does anybody have a rock solid service provider solution for scaling PHP/mySql cost effectively? Ideally that allows sending email without a per email charge although I do have a backup on that front that lets me send 18k emails per day.
     
  18. zoombapup

    Moderator Original Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2004
    Messages:
    2,890
    Likes Received:
    0
    Dont forget that the humble indie bundle app site thingy is using appengine too. That seems to scale pretty damn well.
     
  19. Tobias

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Messages:
    158
    Likes Received:
    0
    We've used it for a simple turn-based battle game that we scrapped. App Engine worked well.

    The slow start-ups are due to infrequent hits, since the Java VM shuts down after 30 seconds. You can pay a small amount to keep it up, or just make sure to have enough traffic :)

    We use it for madskillsmx.com which gets a couple of hits per second, and it's never ever slow. I hope.
     
  20. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Messages:
    5,130
    Likes Received:
    0
    even if you use python you have this problem?
     

Share This Page

  • About Indie Gamer

    When the original Dexterity Forums closed in 2004, Indie Gamer was born and a diverse community has grown out of a passion for creating great games. Here you will find over 10 years of in-depth discussion on game design, the business of game development, and marketing/sales. Indie Gamer also provides a friendly place to meet up with other Developers, Artists, Composers and Writers.
  • Buy us a beer!

    Indie Gamer is delicately held together by a single poor bastard who thankfully gets help from various community volunteers. If you frequent this site or have found value in something you've learned here, help keep the site running by donating a few dollars (for beer of course)!

    Sure, I'll Buy You a Beer