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Date Posted: 18:11:58 02/10/02 Sun
Author: Pern
Subject: New Servers

Found this whilst looking around the Myth Village, any thoughts?

Technical Forum

Myth community server project

Posted By: Flynn
Date: Saturday, 9 February 2002, at 2:31 p.m.

I would like to see the community work together on a Myth II server project and actually complete something fun and usable, rather than a bunch of individuals doing a little work and growing tired of it and never completing anything.

The first step is to decide on what we want to do. I've got plenty of ideas, and I'm sure many other people do too. So I will throw some out to mull around and check back for feedback and ideas from others. We can then form a decision making process to figure out the overall scope of the project, what it will entail, and break it down into chunks volunteers can easily manage.

First, I not only think many Myth servers will spring up, I think it could be a very good thing. If they are all linked in some fasion, that is. So I think the first project should be a central server that performs the following tasks...

1) Tracks the number of players currently on all linked servers. I think this is of the utmost importance as if there are only a couple dozen players spread out across a dozen servers Myth will appear to be dead and people will just move on. However, if you go on a server, and no one is there, and you do a .command to check the load of all the servers and find 10 players on server A and 12 on Server B you can just go to one of those servers to play, adding to the player count and making Myth more attractive to the next person. (I call this the sheep factor) ;)

2) A central registration and player profile database. No one wants to sign up for 10 different servers. With a central database, players can sign up just once and then be able to play on every server in the network. A small utility could be written to change the pointer to the various servers in the settings file so players could just run the little app before they launched Myth to see all the networked servers and who was playing where, then just select the server they want to play on and it will set that in the settings file. Plus, a player's profile and scores from various servers would be accessable to all servers, making it possible to have a unified ranking system, or simply an overall ranking system.

3) Possible map server. If a player tried to join a game on any networked server and did not have the map, it could initiate a download from the central server that would download and install the map while they waited on the server, giving them a "Map installation complete, please restart Myth now." message.

4) Centralized ranking system. If people wanted to run their own server, but didn't want to bother with a ranked system of thier own, they could just report scoring results to the central server. Even if they did have their own ranking system, they could still report the scores, or the rank itself, to the central server that would then keep track of individual scores from various servers.

There's other possiblities for the central server, but I think that covers the most important aspects that I have thought of. Redundancy would be cool, and easy to impliment, so that if a server in Florida went down for whatever reason, a server in Alaska could pick up the slack. If the down server ever came back online, it could just sync up with the other servers and be back in business.

Well, that's something to think about. If you are interested in contributing to such a project, whether it be programming, testing, server donation, bandwidth donation, or just giving your opinions about what's going on in the forum..... just jump right in.

I figure we need at least 10 average programmers with a little time on their hands, or a few reall good programmers with lots of time on their hands. We need at least one actual server machine, and of course one person with bandwidth to burn, two or more would be great for redundancy sake. I'm sure I could scrape together a server machine, but I only have a cable modem that doesn't allow running a server, nor has the upload bandwidth to support a server. We would of course need some server admins, and I mean actual administrators that looked after the actual servers both remotely and locally (basically, if you are going to donate bandwidth, you are going to have to know at least how to restart the machine and launch the server software).

Most importantly, we need a decision making process. If the community doesn't like what we make, then we did it all for nothing. Yet, if the community were in charge of everything it would get so bloated it would never be completed. We need to find a middle ground where feedback and ideas from the community are taken into consideration, yet the project still remains in the realm of possibility.

Once we have a game plan and the resources needed to move forward, we can then begin work. Oh, I guess this should be mentioned too, timeframe... if it takes 2 years to finish the project no one will be around to even hear about it let alone use it. I'm thinking 6 months tops, however, having something usable by at least mid summer would be best.

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