Augmented reality (AR) games are unique from other games due to the amount of dynamic content displayed to the user. Google Ingress and Pokemon Go are two examples of popular AR games that have millions of subscribers. These games display an overly in front of a GPS location view that shows the user game elements. These elements are dynamically created a long with the environment view, and without a CDN they can suffer from performance degradation easily.
Dynamic Content Delivered Across the Globe
AR games are in a class of their own. They aren’t fully virtual reality where the entire environment is computer generated. But they are more than just the GPS location and image from your location. These AR games are a combination of both virtual elements and actual reality elements.
When you look at an AR game, you see the image of your GPS location but a character displays over it. Pokemon Go looks more like the real geographic location image, but Google Ingress has much more digital overlays that make it look like a space environment. AR developers can place as many overlays as they need to make the game interesting.
Because these games are based on the user’s geographic location, content is constantly changing. Input is frequently sent to the main server, and output is sent back to the user’s device. These games also update data to users in the surrounding area.
Another issue AR developers face is that even if a user starts playing in one location does not mean this location is the player’s permanent location. Players move around, sometimes between continents. The game must be able to download content quickly if, for instance, a player got off a plane in a distant geographic location for the original play environment. This can be done with a CDN.
CDNs Speed Up AR Dynamic Downloads
Because of the constant data sent to and from the main AR game server, developers need a way to dynamically update content without ruining performance. With AR games, a cluster of users are found in big cities while fewer data requests would be found in small, rural towns. To distribute the load across servers, an AR game developer can leverage a CDN and its data centers.
CDNs cache data at data centers and deliver content based on the player’s location. The nearest edge server delivers the dynamic content and handles data requests as the user moves in the games augmented reality.
Even with users clustered in one location, a CDN has load balancers and failover to keep performance at its best during spikes in traffic. As the user moves, a CDN sends updated location data and overlays. Because of a CDN’s infrastructure, updates are fast keeping the player environment constantly updated without any skipping or lag.
Integrating a CDN into infrastructure scales with the game. Costs start low when the game is first released, and only increase as more users subscribe to the game. Even when a game is new, AR game developers should implement a CDN to keep performance high and avoid gaming lag.