[erlang-questions] What is best way to maintain state in a web-based multiplayer game?

Tue Jul 15 21:05:21 CEST 2014

Hi Garrett,
Back in antediluvian times I designed and built with help of much more talented programmers than I several hundred educational and consumer games and applications for the Apple II series, Commodore 64s and, dare I say it, IBM PC Jr. --- all in Forth. We didn't have to worry about networks or multiusers since in our markets there were none. Biggest problem was getting graphics up fast enough and synchronizing with beep beep sounds. Oh, and fitting all the game play and graphics into onerous memory and disc constraints.
I did design and build an algebra equation solver that was kind of cool and a fun promotional game for Illinois Power based on finite state machines. The Forth representation of FSMs is really really elegant. It now occurs to me that I also designed and built a promotional game for AT&T running on the IBM PC that had a high-level loop not unlike what I'm thinking about. But we had to keep the game part fairly easy to win since we were trying to sell AT&T services.
The conference management stuff I worked on for many dreary years was written in Cold Fusion with an MS SQL Server backend. Not sure how much of that carries over to my current problem/interest--- other than certainty that I don't want to build in Cold Fusion and MS SQL Server.
I played with Python, but only enough to be dangerous.
In short, consider me an enthusiastic wet-behind-the-ears rank noobie.
I truly do want to become journeyman competent with Erlang. Progress is slow, but this wonderful Erlang community and folks like you helps goose it along.
-----Original Message-----
From: "Garrett Smith" <g@REDACTED>
Sent: Tuesday, July 15, 2014 1:55pm
To: "Lloyd R. Prentice" <lloyd@REDACTED>
Cc: "Erlang-Questions Questions" <erlang-questions@REDACTED>
Subject: Re: [erlang-questions] What is best way to maintain state in a web-based multiplayer game?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 11:03 AM, Lloyd R. Prentice
<lloyd@REDACTED> wrote:
> I'm thinking through the design of a web-based multiple-player game. Each player maintains a private database--- most likely dets. Each player moves through nested finite state machines. Each player may be logging in or out at any state of play.
> At this point my grasp of Erlang architecture breaks down. I don't understand how best to:
> - parse game structure across players, processes, and directories
> - maintain player state between sessions
> At this point in my Erlang education I feel like I know the words but can't play the music.

Out of curiosity, and as a possible valuable exercise, how would you
tackle this problem in another platform -- one that you're more versed
in for this type of application?

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