Backend solution for asynchronous game


I am developing currently an asynchronous freemium game. It’s like a monster collection (Puzzle and dragon for instance) : requiring network once to launch a dungeon, and at the end of the dungeon, so you can play offline while in the dungeon. So mainly to having leaderboards, to prevent cheaters, and to tracks users.

I have already did a little search about what backend solution to use. Lots of results say to use HTTP request, so having a webserver. Is it a good way to do ? I have no idea how to optimise the calls, to manage multiple servers etc.

Also, there are a bunch of clouded solution like Photon. These seem to be nice as i will not have to worry about the administration/maintenance of the server (I have not a great skill at this domain). However, it seems also a too big solution because they are built for realtime games, with room and lobby …

So I need your advice.
Thank you !

I’ve been doing games similar to yours for a year, i’m using a PHP server, using WWWform(POST) in unity is one of the easiest solutions you can have, you can send the user the data before goes into the dungeon, and when it finish retrieve the data like the time to complete, points, life, exp… or whatever.
I’m not the most expert in that matter, but it’s a good way to make this kind of games, and remember to check the users connection before send messages, if they lost the connection during the game show a info panel at the end so they can activate the connection and send their score to the server.

I’m using an Apache server, and I also use JSON for the messages, I use a field in the JSON called topic, so I know what type of message is, and I can use only one PHP. I use MD5 to check if the data I received is the correct one, it’s no the best and more secure option, but it’s very useful.