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Game Programming Gems 8 by Adam Lake

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Chapter 5.3. Asynchronous I/O for Scalable Game Servers

Neil Gower

Scalability is a critical concern in today’s online gaming market. The small-scale networking of 8- to 32-player LAN games has given way to massively multiplayer Internet games and centralized game-hosting services. Even if a single game instance supports only a small number of players, the ability to run additional game instances on a single server has serious repercussions for the cost of operating a game service. Every physical server incurs ongoing space, power, and cooling costs on top of the initial hardware purchases and software license fees.

This gem explores asynchronous I/O as a technique for improving the scalability of multiplayer game servers. We ...

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