Which server solution should I choose to develop an EVE Online alike game, but with a much smaller scale (2-4 players in a room, server/client architecture for anti hack)?

Hi, I’m looking for a good “enough” (best price for my needs) server solution to develop a traditional target-lock game (similar to EVE Online, but only for 2-4 players in a room).

This is the game I’m planning to make:

  • Players’ inputs are limited to swapping weapon types of their
    spaceship (laser/projectile) (with a
    cooldown of 10s) and occasional
    ability activation (once every

  • Each player can control 1 spaceship. Their spaceships automatically lock
    target on nearby enemies (NPCs) and
    fire at them.

  • There will be waves of NPC enemies come in screen to fight the players.

  • Each spaceship can lock on and fire at multiple targets at a time, depends
    on the type of that ship.

  • There is no continuous rapid fire (like mini-gun or continuous laser
    beam), there are only single shot
    weapons, which have a cooldown of 1-5
    seconds between each shot to reduce
    server strain and make room for lag

  • The occasional abilities are like launching a volley of missiles or
    jamming enemies’ weapons. Players on
    different teams can also use these
    abilities to attack each other (target
    is randomly selected by server).

I imagine most of the logic should be done server-side, and stream the data to clients to “playback” the game match. This would also enable “observe mode” from other players who want to watch the match.

I’m looking at Photon solutions. But I’m not sure which service should I purchase from them, BOLT, PUN, or Fusion.

Based on this chart, I think BOLT would be most suitable, since it’s more recent than PUN, but not as fast as Fusion (which seems a bit overkill for my need).

Which one do you think would be the best for me?

Thanks a lot in advances!

Hey there,

yes Fusion will definetly be an overkill for your purposes.
In general you should try to answer the following:

  • how many MAU do you expect?
  • how much budget for networking service do you have?

In general PUN (no matter how old it is) is not server authorative → you can not do server side logic here. I have not worked with Bolt and Fusion so i cannot really say how those work. However from my time with PUN i expect that all Photon products scale in a similar way when it comes to costs. Calculate that through before you dedicate yourself to one of these products. There are other ways out there which might need more work but scale way better in regards to cost.

For your described approach you could possibly write a really really lightweight server instance and run a lot of those on a cheap rented VM. For this approach you should take a look at DarkRift2 and Mirror.