Cloud Platform as a Game Service

Google has recently really been pushing their cloud services as a solution for game developers. Let’s take a look at a few of their blog posts in the last week, shall we?

  • November 3: Yes you can use Google Cloud Platform for a mobile game backend, and here’s the sources for two projects showing how
  • November 4: Hey look, a Japanese company uses us for their social games!
  • November 5: The super-popular word game Ruzzle runs on the Cloud Platform
  • November 6: Yup…
  • November 7: Real-time games are possible too, with Compute Engine, Node.js and WebSockets

In other words, what I’ve firmly believed ever since I created Gemini oh so long ago. Only now developers are buzzing in the “mainstream” media (“oh wow this is amazing and innovative and cutting-edge look what’s possible in games with App Engine whoaaaaa”) because Google is saying it. DANGIT GOOGLE.

On the other hand, I’ve been slowly growing disillusioned with App Engine as a game backend. The most glaring reason is this, quoted directly from the docs:

Because all queries are served by pre-built indexes, the types of queries that can be executed are more restrictive than those allowed on a relational database with SQL. In particular, the following are not supported:

 – Join operations

 – Inequality filtering on multiple properties

 – Filtering of data based on results of a subquery

Such things are almost essential in implementing game systems like leaderboards and server filtering. And Cloud SQL, the other Google-backed alternative, is still SQL (in other words, too static for the ever-changing data a game can produce).

It’s tough. Because just now when I’m facing a ton of dilemmas with my own Google-powered game service, Google comes out and says they have the answer to all my problems.

Still yet, I’m excited to see what people can come up with now that the idea of the Cloud Platform as a gaming solution is more widely known.

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