Using an orchestrator ultimately helps your players have a better time in your game. But how? We explain all.
Good orchestration is like good city planning – nobody notices it when it’s all working well. You drive to your destination on smooth, clear roads, find a parking space and get on with your day. You don’t stop to think about how the roads were built, how the streets were designed to keep traffic flowing, or how the parking was calculated to handle the number of visitors.
We tend to only notice these aspects when they go wrong – when the pothole causes a bumpy ride or you miss your appointment because you couldn’t find a space.
It’s the same with orchestration. It impacts so much of the player experience, but it’s hidden away behind the scenes.
A good orchestrator will make sure that every player in a multiplayer match has the lowest latency possible. It’ll pick servers as close to the players as it can – lowering the lag.
The better the orchestrator – the more servers available to it – the lower that latency is going to be. And the lower the latency, the more they’ll enjoy the match.
It’s one of those hidden variables in the experience. Most players won’t consciously notice a slight difference in a few milliseconds of latency. But they’ll feel it. In the same way that you don’t really notice the quality of the highway you’re driving on, but it affects your mileage and how relaxed you are on your journey.
Players don’t want to wait for a match. They want to get straight into the action and actually play the game. But loading up servers and filling the seats takes time.
You can cut down this time, though. For example, we have Smarthost – which predicts how many servers you’re likely to need in the next few minutes. It then preloads those servers, booting them up so they’re ready and waiting for players.
Little efficiencies like these trim down the queue times and get players straight into a match, like having a parking space ready and waiting for you. You don’t necessarily think about it, but you feel glad – lucky even. Unaware that it wasn’t luck – it was meticulous planning.
Perhaps the most important part of an orchestrator is to make sure there’s always a match available. There’s nothing more frustrating than getting home after work, sitting down to play a match and the servers are down. Hopes are dashed and controllers inevitably fly. (Okay, maybe that’s a bit too dramatic. But it still sucks.)
That’s why we have multiple providers all over the world. If one goes down or suffers a DDoS attack, we can just use a different provider. We swap over, keep the game running, and the player gets to enjoy their well-earned leisure time.
Not everywhere in the world has ubiquitous, easy access to the internet. Some locations have duelling ISPs who refuse to allow traffic to cross over. It can be a lot like when you’re driving and suddenly a bridge is closed and you have to travel hours to get back on track.
Using multiple providers, our orchestrator can overcome these issues and make sure that players can join a match no matter which ISP they’re using. Sometimes that’s matching them together, sometimes that’s using a location that’s just outside both ISPs territory. Either way, the result is the same: the players can join a match without needing to worry about it.
Even if the player doesn’t always notice or appreciate it. It’s a vital part of the chain and keeps your matches running smoothly. So if you’d like to host your multiplayer matches, without the stress – get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.