Google and Ubisoft recently announced the debut of Agones which is an open source game server hosting solution that was designed specifically for multiplayer titles. It is constructed on Google’s automated deployment system dubbed, Kubernetes.
Agones is a project that takes the strengths of Kubernetes and develops game-specific architecture on it. While the platform is far from the first dedicated service for the purpose of multiplayer game hosting, it is meant for the disruption of the industry through giving a highly scalable, open source solution which can be used by anyone.
An example, in this case, would be accelerating the process of developing and hosting of complex workloads like contemporary multiplayer experiences. According to Carl Dionne, from Ubisoft, the objective would be to find new ways of providing the highest quality and seamless service to players so they would be able to better focus on games.
How It Works
The collaboration essential makes it possible to combine the expertise of Google when it comes to deploying Kubernetes at scale with the company’s deep knowledge of game development supply chains. Agones is meant to extend Kubernetes with the sort of tools necessary to run the game server. These would include a custom Kubernetes Controller and custom resource definitions for the game server. The team notes developers would easily be able to integrate their custom mode of matchmaking services for pairing gamers with each other with the standard Kubernetes APIs in order to start the game server.
In the usual game servers, the players tend to connect to a matchmaker service which groups them via skill level to play a game. Once the players have been grouped for a session, the matchmaker would inform the game server so as to give a dedicated game server process on a cluster of machines. The players would then connect directly to the dedicated game server process and play against one another.
Now, Agones replaces the custom cluster manager and the server scaling solution with a Kubernetes solution that has the ability to provide a dedicated a game server as required. Kubernetes streamlines the operations and runs the supporting services like inventory and account management. Considering the software is open source, companies would be able to run it within their data centers or even utilize third-party options as required.
Though Google would endeavor to have the developer’s host their games on the Kubernetes engine, Agones is cloud-agnostic and so can run on any cloud system or on premises. Kubernetes apparently simplifies operations as well. Multiplayer type games are not dedicated game servers only, there are supporting devices, inventory and marketplaces to consider.
Kubernetes as the single platform that may run both the supporting services and the dedicated game servers significantly reduces the needed operational knowledge and complexity on the supporting development team. As such, the people behind Agones are not just a group of individuals that are building the game server platform in an isolated space. Agones and the developers which utilize it leverage the work of several Kubernetes contributors and the diverse ecosystem of modes which have been constructed around the platform.