Sun Publishes Source Code of Darkstar Game Server

Sep 03, 2007

Sun published the server and client source code for the Sun Game Server (project name "Darkstar") under the GPLv2 this weekend.

Sun describes its game server as a high-performance, scalable server technology for online multiplayer games, saying that users should be able to run any kind of online game on the platform. Server side programming is simpler and is expressly targeted at smaller developers: the developer environment hides the complexity of the network technology giving programmers the ability to focus on developing games.

The developer package includes an API and software for the developer server and/or client. Clients can be implemented using MonkeyEngine or Panda3D, for example. Programming has been in J2SE only thus far; APIs for C/C++ and J2ME are planned. It is necessary to compile the code to create Java bytecode, however.

The development server in the Software Development Kit (SDK) runs on a single host, and lacks several features of the production game server (Sun Game Server, SGS), for example the ability to build server clusters. In its comment on the project website the team does not disclose when the clustering-capable version of the game server will go Open Source. Source code and a binary archive are available for downloading.

The Darkstar project is one of ten projects run by the Sun Labs research department and has been classified as "System Software" by Sun. Other fields of research include "Network Clients" with ten projects, "System Science" with four and "System Hardware" with three projects.

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