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Kodiqi

Cloud Saving

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Cloud saves are a feature I'd like to add to my games at some point (which have all been client-based so far). 

Are there any services that would be useful for implementing this? Or would I generally have to organise the hosting myself and connect to it from within my game?

For reference, I use Gamemaker: Studio but I'm mainly just trying to understand the mechanics of it at this stage. :) 

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With the popularity of lambda-based APIs, i.e. stateless idempotent APIs that run only when requested rather than all the time (see, serverless deployments), database-as-a-service is booming. Try a search for database-as-a-service, there are loads of providers, both AWS and Azure will offer comprehensive services to allow you to store arbitrary data without too much infrastructure work, there are probably smaller and cheaper providers also, I'd also expect you can find providers that offer one-click deploys of services.

I'm not sure exactly how these work, you'd probably also need to deploy a small API to handle taking your client data and stuffing it in to a database. Services like netlify.com, apex and now.sh can make deploying these sorts of lambda functions much easier than it used to be (they're superb for client-side only apps, like many games, too). They make 'one-click' deploys pretty easy, with the caveat that they are transient lambdas, not actual servers, so you get no persistence (hence the stateless bit).

The biggest problem is handling how these things connect, tools like Kubernetes and Terraform (and even docker-compose) can handle orchestrating spinning up these services and connecting them, but I doubt you'd need to go that deep. Most of these deploy tools can give you static IPs to handle connections manually, and you'd probably want to setup DNS to point at those IPs anyway to make things a little more manageable.

Again, there may be providers that can abstract all of these sorts of things away from you and give you 'one-click' deploy style. I've no idea on how effective, or costings, for this sort of thing.

I just did some quick searches (I find this sort of stuff super interesting), https://www.netlify.com/blog/2018/07/09/building-serverless-crud-apps-with-netlify-functions--faunadb/#2-set-up-faunadb, this outlines all the steps you'd need to get all the pros of serverless, you can use different bits and pieces of course, but I think this covers the base steps to get it up and running, and make deploying updates and new features to your codebase pretty neat (I only skimmed that article, I'm not sure if the client interacts directly with the DB or goes through an API service also in the project, either way would work, you'd probably prefer to go direct from the client if you can, but there are cons to that).

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