It creates a sense of community, inspires friendships that transcend borders, and generally makes for a great experience for everyone involved. But maybe that sense of camaraderie isn’t enough. Maybe you want to run your own server, and create your own community.
That’s awesome – just make sure you’re prepared for what that entails.
Game Servers Have Huge Resource Requirements
Consider the computing resources required to support a single instance of the game you plan to host. Now multiply that by however many different instances you want on your server, and how many players you want per instance. While that may not be a 100% accurate means of determining your game’s resource load, it should give you an idea of how heavy an online game can get.
And note that your server needs to offer pretty near flawless performance. If it starts to lag or chug under heavy load, players are going to quit and go elsewhere. In short, you should probably spring for a dedicated server that offers a bit more than you’ll need in terms of power – or at the very least, look into cloud bursting.
You Need Cheat Prevention Systems
Not everyone who plays on your server will be interested in playing fair. Many people will stop at nothing to win – including installing hacks that give them an unfair advantage over other players. While plenty of games do feature built-in anti-cheating tools, it’s your responsibility as an administrator to ensure such tools are present on your server.
Additionally, you should implement some form of access control for your server, as well as looking into a DDoS mitigation appliance. Most decent hosts will provide both functionalities for you. Do a bit of research, and you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding one.
They Require Far More Community Outreach Than Most
The servers that enjoy the most success are those whose leadership is active and engaged with the community. They regularly talk to their players, discussing questions and concerns about the server’s direction. They participate in or run special events, and they communicate openly about server status and upcoming updates, and generally create a positive atmosphere.
Basically, what I’m saying here is that you’ll want to work on your people skills if you want your server to survive and thrive.
Get Out There And Game
You probably won’t make a lot of money from your game server. If profits are what drives you, look into something else. However, if you want to stand at the head of a tight-knit community and help other people enjoy themselves, a server’s the way to go.