30,000 Players On The Same Game Server Is An Impressive Sight

30,000 Players On The Same Game Server Is An Impressive Sight

One of the goals of Dual Universe, an upcoming massively multiplayer science fiction sandbox game, is to have every one of its players, potentially millions, playing on the same game server together. Earlier this month developer Novaquark ran a large-scale experiment, simulating 30,000 concurrent players wandering the same in-game planet. It’s a sight to see.

Getting everybody playing in the same place is an issue every massively multiplayer game faces. Techniques like multiple servers and instanced game zones ensure that there are never too many players in the same place at the same time. Dual Universe’s developers want everybody in the same universe.

If a dozen players want to come together and build a base using the game’s robust construction tools, they can meet up without having to change shards or connect to their own instanced servers. If 30,000 players want to throw a massive party planetside, that’s fine too. Just watch.

The 30,000 players were AI, of course, aimlessly wandering the planet’s surface. It’s not quite the same as having 30,000 live users online at once, each with different connection speeds. There were alpha test players present for the event as well, however, and it seemed to work fine for them, without significant lag or the game crashing.

I’ve been following Dual Universe’s development for some time now, and I really like what I’ve seen. It’s got that mysterious science fiction vibe that endeared me to games like Anarchy Online. Maybe I’ll run into several thousand old friends when the game launches next year on PC.


  • Watching the video I noticed that there is no collision detection on the movable assets (You can tell by the models walking through each other). I remember Dark Age of Camelot used to do the same thing, allowing 1000+ player battles. Although laggy when there were lots of spell effects on screen, I was able to play that game over a dialup connection.

    While this is interestingthe real test will be to have lots of assets, different models at different speeds and a myriad of spell effects taking place. It’s one thing for a server to pass information about location and direction to a client, it’s another thing for the client PC to handle all the draw effects and for all clients to be passing back information that the server then has to act on. Not saying it can’t be done (DAoC is proof it can), but the simulation is overly simplistic in what it is doing.

  • I guess once you’ve solved the server issues the real challenge is how you can get a computer to render all the players if people decide to gather into close groups. PUBG with 100 players in one spot was tricky enough

  • Having them exist and sync basic data like position is one thing, having it track system elements like inventory, health & mana status, current casting action, cooldowns etc.

    THAT is where the complexity comes in.

  • Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet.In 12 months there will be billions of people on that little digital planet and it will be surrounded by space junk, covered in smog, and half of it will be underwater. Poor little planet.

  • A subscription model game.. nar, I’m far too inconsistent with my play time to ever do such a thing, basically be throwing money down the toilet.

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