One massive persistent map

In 2008, I set it in my mind to create a single massive game map able to host hundreds of thousands of active players.  What I wanted, I had not seen before; and I wanted to build it as an AJAX website using the Google Maps API.  Cue June of 2008.

I expected the biggest challenge to be the system architecture. Boy was I wrong.

The real trick is balancing new player experience with established players in a long-lasting multi-year game.  Compounding that, BattleCell’s map can host well over 100,000 active players, all eager to pounce on those most vulnerable –the newbie who takes their time deciding whether they even want to join, years behind their biggest competitors.

I’ll discuss our experiences, challenges, and solutions as we work our way through this project.  This has been, and continues to be a learning experience.  Most solutions have not worked well.  Though, some have.

BattleCell is now in open beta.  You’re welcome to try it out. But the gameplay is not complete. We’ll be adding the finishing touches over the next few months, and we want to hear from you.  Give us your thoughts, suggestions, and concerns.