Been busy busy busy lately, working with interns Nathan and Thomas, securing licenses for Mixamo’s All Access pass (all their characters and animations for 1 year), as well as committing to the MuchDifferent UnityPark Suite for networked game instances, and getting further into the deep end on network deployment of our client/server app.
For the last couple of months we’ve been deploying our game server and related applications to the nifty little cube on the table behind me, which goes by the name Darwin (that’s him, smiling for the camera in the photo on the right). Darwin runs Windows Home Server 2011 on my gigabit LAN. It also serves up our PostgreSQL database, acts as a remote Mercurial repository for our source code version control, and other functions which are obviously vital to national security, such as hosting my vast MP3 collection. 😉
But now it seems that Darwin may not be the fittest to survive into the next stage of development, which involves online testing, and maybe even some public review of a pre-pre-pre-alpha version of our game client software for Arcanoria. I was shopping around for a low cost place to begin such testing when I discovered that Amazon Web Services (AWS) are offering limited EC2 server instances for 12 months for the low low cost of… FREE. That seemed to me like a good way to deploy for our initial (internal, but internet-based) testing.
So, for the last few days I’ve been poking around the AWS EC2 Management interface, creating various instances of Linux and Windows server machines, logging in, installing software, testing secure connectivity, etc. I’d really like to be able to deploy to Linux if possible, mostly because Linux instances are cheaper to rent, once we grow past the Free Tier service. I’ve also always had a soft spot for Unix based operating systems, having done some decades in the trenches doing admin and support of SunOS/Solaris, AIX, HPUX, and of course Linux boxes as an IT professional. Unix based systems just feel more like servers to me.
Anyway, I got PostgreSQL running (with our uploaded game data), and installed Erlang, but when I try to run our Arcanoria game application server, it aborts after a few seconds, and unfortunately my debugging options are limited. The scuttlebutt is that Unity 4.1.x still doesn’t quite work with Linux in non-graphical mode (i.e. as we need to run our server app). Supposedly Unity 4.2 will be coming out soon, and should support it fully, but time is money, so…
I’m now in the process of outfitting a new EC2 instance as a Windows 2008 server. Big fun! This should be a smoother process than the abortive Linux attempt, since I already have the server running in a very similar environment here on my LAN.