Meta Servers are the servers that distribute players and information between game servers of a specific game as well as stores global information about the players.
Online games are typically constructed around the concept of a game servers which people log onto to play. For games with more people that want to play than the individual game instances can support, Meta Servers can function as a service to lead players to free servers as well as provide community functionality such as being able to find on which game servers one's friends are playing.
- 1 Examples
- 2 Using the pattern
- 3 Consequences
- 4 Relations
- 5 History
- 6 References
- 7 Acknowledgements
Most Online Games using Game Servers also make use of Meta Servers so that players have some place to connect to when they wish to play. Examples of this can be found in many genres: the Battlefield, Unreal Tournament, and Quake series for First-Person Shooters; Eve Online, World of Warcraft, and Ultima Online for Massively Multiplayer Online Games;
Social Media Games with limited interaction between players, e.g. Candy Crush Saga and FarmVille, many have Meta Servers but this is hidden from players since they never need to log onto specific Game Servers.
MUDs such as BatMUD and DragonMud are examples of Online Games that due to how they are created and maintained by players only reside on single Game Servers. Eve Online is a rare example of a Massively Multiplayer Online Games that by having only one Game Server can ensure that all action players take can have a persistent effect on the game and that all narratives that emerge from playing the game relates to the same game instance.
Using the pattern
The prime reason for using Meta Servers is to augment Game Servers and help players connect to the Game Servers suiting their needs or desires. Game Lobbies are common solution for fulfilling the second reason, although games with Private Game Spaces do not need them (this in practice typically means Massively Single-Player Online Games).
Given that Meta Servers fulfill these reasons, there are various types of functionality that they can offer players. Friend Lists lets players find each other, e.g. locating with Game Server a friend is currently playing on so one can join him or her there. Player Kicking allows players or game facilitators to regulate how can play based upon their behavior (although this might be more commonly used per Game Server). Chat Channels let players communicate outside the game, which for example can lead to more consensus in relation to the two previous forms of functionality. Global High Score Lists lets players compare themselves with all other players of the game as well as store Gameplay Statistics between game instances.
Regardless of the specific functionality the Meta Servers are to provide, they typically do so by collecting Trans-Game Information such as Gameplay Statistics from the Game Servers. If these are to be used to explicitly create Meta Games is a design option when creating Meta Servers but in many cases this is more or less unavoidable, e.g. when storing and presenting Global High Score Lists.
The possibility of Meta Servers to store Trans-Game Information such as Global High Score Lists make them support Meta Games built upon the statistics, Scores, etc. that the players gain or loss in the individual games.
with Game Servers
Can Be Instantiated By
Can Be Modulated By
Possible Closure Effects
Potentially Conflicting With
New pattern created in this wiki.