Games for the Masses (QCon London 2012)

Building a backend for a successful social game is always challenging: It needs to service over 1 million users per day that generate 10.000 http requests per second or more whereas the vast majority of those requests are changing persistent state. Using a conventional technology stack that leads to over 50,000 database writes per second. Throughout the last two years half a dozen teams at Wooga have set out to build a backends for social games, each trying to improve on previous solutions. Each team was able to leverage experiences made by other teams but was free to choose their own technology stack and hosting environment. They also operated the game themselves in a DevOps way. This talk will trace back that evolution of backends: Starting out with a simple LAMP stack, first replacing PHP by Ruby, then replacing relational by NoSQL databases and ending up in maintaining stateful application servers utilizing Erlang OTP - and more. We will discuss limitations and problems we faced in live operation and show how later teams improved on the overall design.

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