Warning about auto-connecting to Scirra signalling server

Discussion and feedback on Construct 2

Post » Thu Jul 17, 2014 3:47 pm

On the signalling server we've noticed people appear to be developing games that upon disconnection will automatically reconnect to the signalling server. This is not a good practice.

If clients connect and log in, but do not join a room and sit idle for (currently) 20 minutes, the server disconnects them. This is to prevent large numbers of "AFK" idle peers accumulating on the server and wasting its resources. (Even idle clients use small amounts of bandwidth to maintain an active connection, and will correspondingly use memory and CPU power to manage this.) The server drops idle connections for a reason: to prune inactive users who probably aren't looking at their computers anyway, and to ensure an optimal quality of service for everyone else who uses the server.

Automatically reconnecting upon being disconnected currently defeats this measure taken by the server and allows idle peers to gradually accumulate. While this is not currently a significant problem on the signalling server, you should be warned this is bad practice and could be blocked in future. If it becomes a problem, we will start blocking or banning peers which try to circumvent the server's removal of idle peers. For example we may decide to introduce a temporary ban for IP addresses that are idle-disconnected 5 times within 2 hours. Therefore any auto-reconnecting apps will cause their idle users to get temp banned.

To avoid this ever happening, don't design multiplayer games that auto-reconnect upon disconnection. If the user is disconnected, provide an easy option to reconnect, but ensure it is manual (such as the user clicking a button). This guarantees that users who connect and then never look at their computer again will not end up permanently using resources on the signalling server.
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