PlayFab's multiplayer server hosting service allows you to operate a dynamically scaling pool of custom game servers in Azure.
All PlayFab indie, pro, and enterprise tier customers can access the service and use a limited, free quota of multiplayer servers for product evaluation and testing.
There are three key concepts to PlayFab multiplayer servers:
- Game server executable. This is the application that you are running in Azure. This server may be a simple network repeater, a fully authoritative game server running physics and AI, or anything in between.
- Build. This is the game server executable, packaged with assets and certificates needed to run the game. This content can be uploaded as individual certificates, zip files, and/or a container image. If you do not need a custom container image, you can use PlayFab managed Windows containers.
- Game server. A container running your game server executable. There may be multiple servers running on a single virtual machine.
These are the typical steps for using the service:
- Author game server. Scaling your server requires integration with the PlayFab game server SDK (GSDK) and testing the server executable in a container. You can download a mock agent and the Windows container image PlayFab uses for local development.
- Upload game server executable and assets. Upload the server and manage builds through Game Manager or PlayFab APIs and SDKs.
- Scale game server build. Once you've uploaded server assets you can create builds. PlayFab dynamically creates and recycles virtual machines to fulfill player demand and maintain standing-by levels you specify.
- Measure player latency. When players initiate a multiplayer experience, send UDP messages to PlayFab quality-of-service (QoS) beacons to measure network latency to Azure.
- Request multiplayer server. When players need a multiplayer server, request one to be allocated from a build's standing-by pool. This request can come from a lobby or matchmaking service you operate, or directly from a client calling PlayFab.
- Connect and play. PlayFab will fulfill a server request within 1 second if standing-by servers are available. Once a server has been put into the active state, clients connect to the server and play.
Reference Documentation and Tools
Game Server SDK
- Game Server SDK (GSDK) for C++ Windows servers via nuget
- Game Server SDK (GSDK) for C# Windows servers via nuget
- Game Server SDK (GSDK) for Java Windows & Linux servers via Maven
Game Server SDK Samples
Links navigate to PlayFab's sample repo in Github