How to Prepare Your Multiplayer Game for Steam’s Next Fest

By Pritesh Patel, Director of Platform and Product

Feb. 9, 2024 —

In preparation for Steam’s Next Fest, RallyHere provided crucial support to Prophecy Games, ensuring their team-based first-person shooter, Tribes 3: Rivals, was perfectly tuned for the event running through Friday, February 12th. From a technical perspective, ensuring your game is primed for the spotlight demands meticulous attention to stability, performance, and user experience. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to navigate the technical intricacies and prepare your game for the heightened visibility and influx of players during the event.

Scalability of Backend Systems: Ensure your backend infrastructure is scalable to handle a potential surge in players. This involves optimizing server performance, ensuring database stability, and planning for dynamic scaling if you’re using cloud services. RallyHere’s Fleet Commander ensures hybrid scaling is at your fingertips, allowing you to establish preferences on which type of fleet and failsafes you want to use per geographic region. We can use a combination of bare metal and cloud servers across multiple vendors to optimize performance, cost, and flexibility across a global server fleet. Beyond Fleet Commander, our GaaS platform is battle-tested, providing a reliable and resilient foundation for your game. It is designed to dynamically scale to meet players’ demands, ensuring seamless gameplay even during peak times. Our comprehensive approach not only includes innovative features like Fleet Commander, but also leverages the proven strength of our entire platform to support your game’s growth and ensure an optimal player experience worldwide.

Load Testing: Conduct load testing on your game and any online components to ensure they can handle an increased number of simultaneous users without degradation in performance. Our Fleet Commander conducts load testing simulations directly on game servers. This testing ensures that your games are running on correctly spec’d servers, optimized for both peak and off-peak periods. By focusing on the game servers, we guarantee that your infrastructure is not only robust, but also perfectly aligned with the specific needs of your games.

Monitoring and Analytics: Implement monitoring and analytics tools to track game performance, player behavior, and any potential issues in real-time. This data is invaluable for making quick adjustments and understanding player engagement. To get a better understanding of how players play the game, developers can pass event based data from their game clients and instances choosing from several predefined events or creating custom events through the event manager. By monitoring server management metrics as well as game KPIs, developers can make the best real-time decisions in service to their passionate communities.

Update and Patch Plan: Having a plan for quickly deploying updates or patches during the event when unexpected issues arise is crucial. Being responsive to community feedback and technical issues significantly impacts player perception and interest. Beyond merely collecting customer feedback, our integrated solution empowers developers with more direct control over their response strategies. Using our centralized tools, developers can not only gather customer insights with easy access to player inventory and states through our Player Support Tools, but also utilize our self-service tools to have full control over pushing updates or patches as needed. Moreover, our community management tools are at your disposal to swiftly rectify any issues that arise, ensuring a proactive and responsive engagement with your player base. This comprehensive approach allows for a seamless update process, guaranteeing that your game remains up-to-date and in line with player expectations and needs.

Security Measures: Verify that your game and servers are secure against potential attacks, such as DDoS attacks, which can be more likely during high-visibility events. Recognizing the significance of robust security, we collaborate closely with specialized partners who provide comprehensive DDoS mitigation services. These partnerships are integral to our security strategy, ensuring that our infrastructure is equipped with advanced protection to safeguard against such threats. By leveraging the expertise and technologies of our partners, we offer an added layer of security, minimizing the risk of disruptions and maintaining a seamless gaming experience for players even during peak times.

Optimize Network Code for Multiplayer Games: If your game features multiplayer elements, ensuring the network code is optimized for low latency and high concurrency is crucial. This optimization process involves minimizing bandwidth usage, implementing efficient data serialization, and ensuring reliable packet delivery mechanisms. Additionally, with Fleet Commander, server regions that are geographically close to your player base are strategically selected. This placement is key to ensuring low latency, which is vital for enhancing the multiplayer experience, especially during periods of high player traffic. With Fleet Commander, developers can make informed decisions on server locations, thereby significantly improving the responsiveness and smoothness of multiplayer interactions.

By addressing these technical aspects, you can provide a smooth, engaging experience for new players discovering your game during Steam’s Next Fest, maximizing the opportunity for visibility and growth. Want to talk more about preparing your multiplayer game for success? Schedule a demo today and follow us on LinkedIn, X and Medium!