Non-italicised points represent notes taken from Google’s official case study documentation, with keywords highlighted in bold. Points in italics represent additional insights and possible solutions.


  • Online, session-based multiplayer mobile games
  • Already migrated on-prem to Google Cloud
  • Starting to expand from mobile to other gaming platforms
  • Latest game:
    • Retro first-person-shooter (FPS)
    • Expected to be popular
    • 100s of simultaneous players
      • Not a huge number, but sizable
    • Games take place in a geo-specific ‘arena’
    • Multiple platforms and locations
    • Digital real-time banner displaying global leaderboard
  • Planned architecture:
    • Plan to deploy backend to GKE
    • Wish to scale rapidly based on demand
    • Usage of global load balancers to route players to the closest regional arena
    • Usage of a multi-region Cloud Spanner cluster to keep global leaderboard in sync
      • Streaming data

Existing Environment

  • Recently migrated to Google Cloud
  • Five games migrated via lift-and-shift to Compute Engine VMs
    • Suggests Migrate for Compute Engine
  • Each new game exists in an isolated project, with a parent folder maintaining permissions and network policies
  • Legacy games with lower traffic have been consolidated into a single project
  • Dev/test environments also exist

Business Requirements

  • Support multiple gaming platforms
    • Potentially multiple back-ends
  • Multi-region
    • Consider different sets of compliance requirements
  • Rapid iteration of features
    • CI/CD
    • Cloud Build / Cloud Deploy
  • Minimize latency
    • Global Load Balancers
    • Premium network tier
    • Cloud CDN
    • Caching with Memorystore
  • Optimize for dynamic scaling
    • GKE node and pod horizontal autoscaling
    • Spanner doesn’t autoscale—need to implement custom solution, e.g.
  • Use managed services and pool resources
    • GKE autopilot not an option, as GPUs required
    • Pooled resources: shared project for management and analytics
  • Minimize costs

Technical Requirements

  • Dynamically scale based on game activity
  • Publish scores on near real-time leaderboard
    • Streaming data
  • Game activity logs stored in structured files for analysis
    • Import to BigQuery from Logging
    • Store logs in Cloud Storage—load as BigQuery external table
  • Render graphics service-side via GPUs for multi-platform support
    • GPU support in GKE (but no Autopilot)
  • Eventual migration of legacy games to platform

Executive Statement

  • Build on existing success of Google Cloud
  • Wish to analyse player behaviour and game telemetry
  • Use cloud native design principles
  • Latency is a top priority
  • Cost management a second priority
  • Expect advanced analytics capabilities to rapidly iterate bug fixes and new functionality

Potential Solution Design

Mountkirk Games design


Graph View