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How to Create Better Gaming Experiences on the Edge

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Games need the right platform and protocol for fast reaction times. The edge offers smoother gameplay and less lag. It can also simplify management and reduce costs compared to the cloud or servers.

Let’s run through the advantages of the edge and compare TCP and UDP protocols. Then we will go over the Macrometa for Gaming solution and how you can get started.

Edge gaming vs. the cloud or servers

Many games run in centralized clouds or data centers for scale and management. Traffic delays with the cloud or faraway servers can degrade cross-play or cross-save gaming experiences. At the edge, you can store and process data close to your players - resulting in better response times. Common cloud providers can be expensive as your data volumes increase. Backend servers need time and resources for set-up, maintenance, and updates.

Protocol choices: TCP or UDP

TCP connects players around the world. It is a reliable, connection-oriented protocol that provides error checking and flow control. Many online games use TCP for network communication and to keep data secure. Real-time strategy, multiplayer online role-playing, chess, and puzzle video games are often TCP-based. Some multiplayer first person shooter games and “Netflix-like” experiences use TCP.

The main difference between TCP and UDP is that TCP is connection-oriented while UDP is not. TCP requires a three-way handshake to establish a connection before data can be sent, and UDP does not have this requirement.

UDP is popular due to its low overhead and its ability to send data quickly and efficiently. It is often used for first-person shooters, racing and sports titles, and massively multiplayer online role-playing games when faster response times are required. Not all games need the same response times and TCP is still a good option in many situations.

Macrometa for Gaming

With over 175 points of presence (PoPs), Macrometa enables multi-region gaming efficiencies. Data is automatically replicated across the Global Data Network (GDN). API requests are routed to the nearest available location. Updates at any location propagate across the network and bring all nodes to parity within milliseconds. Macrometa’s geo-distributed, real-time data layer is available within 50ms of 80% of the global population. This allows you to reduce network jitters and conquer lag.

You can maintain a persistent state using different types of data within the Macrometa Global Data Mesh. Developers can use simple SQL queries, integrated search, real-time analytics and event & log capture to streamline development. The GDN also provides an Edge Compute layer that’s deeply integrated directly with the data layer itself - that brings compute to where the data is originating, or the data is being consumed.

By using a single platform with analytics, you can have a clear view of all gaming activities. Spot early trends and recognize patterns to create business opportunities or prevent threats. For example, you can detect lag switches, or prevent bad actors from stealing gamers' information. Use real-time, live ops dashboards to check game health and gamer activities. Create new revenue programs and personalize gamers’ experience with real-time leaderboards and incentives.

Currently, Macrometa supports TCP for dynamic data. If UDP support is needed, a microservice can be created that connects to the Macrometa GDN.

It’s game time!

Check out the tutorials, QuickStarts, and documentation to quickly get started with Macrometa. I mean you can actually build a streaming app in 10 mins or less! Start with a free developer account, or schedule a demo with one of our experts. 

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