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Introduction
With this question I aim to understand the exact reason behind the absence of popular public game servers (e.g. Call of Duty Servers) in certain countries/geographies and what can gamers do, if they can, to solve the problem.

I am looking for local/nearby public servers because my gaming experience joining the available servers, which are mostly in Europe or US, was very frustrating because of my high ping value, which is probably because of the physical distance in between. For more details about the problem, please read this question I had asked earlier -

http://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/15803/good-public-dedicated-call-of-duty-servers-list-for-players-in-india-please
Note - I am not asking you guys to provide me a list of servers in this question.I am instead asking what could be a generic and sustainable solution to this problem. This is not a localised problem in India or Pakistan or Brazil. Please try to understand the frustration we are going through and try to contribute to make this discussion helpful to many others like me.

Here is one more similar question to this

http://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions/19526/are-there-any-romanian-battlefield-bad-company-2-pc-servers

Some Ideas and description
I am sure I am not the first person facing this issue and there are lots more who are looking for the solution to this. One idea that came to my mind was what if me and my friends purchase some hosting space in India (server physically located in India) and initially bear the hosting cost ourselves for some time. What if we simultaneously advertise about this and attract players from India. Then when the server gets popular, which I guess will most probably be, we will start charging some minimum fees to keep playing and this will pay back our expenses. Is that a good idea guys? But I wonder how come I have never heard about any such advertisement? Is this a tried and failed idea guys? Can anyone tell me something.

Please note that I am a software developer by profession so if there is anything to be done using those skills, I can do it but am not much aware of the details of hosting services. I have never purchased a hosting space. Please give some feedback or any other ideas guys. Those who can answer some questions related to the actual details of hosting a dedicated game server can check this question http://webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/12465/hosting-a-public-dedicated-game-server-with-user-authentication

I do not think this is a localised issue and a sustainable solution will help a large number of gaming enthusiast.

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Maybe one way to avoid closure as a localized question (which, in a sense, it still is, because some regions seem to have more than enough servers) would be to make the question less specific: rather than asking about servers in a specific country, you might ask about how to set up a server for gaming no matter where you live. Even gamers in countries with plenty of servers might have either an interest in setting one up or experience in doing so. –  Dave DuPlantis Apr 17 '11 at 20:03
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Thanks @Dave DuPlantis, like I have already said, this question is not about any specific country but about all those countries where the problem exists and I guess the total number of such countries with this problem will be more than those without. However I agree that asking "how to set up a server for gaming no matter where you live" is another good way of asking the same question. Let me see what others say. –  Sandeepan Nath Apr 19 '11 at 11:08
    
I have a very simple 'idea'. Just stop buying games unless a vendor offers the ability to run a dedicated server. (i.e [modern-warfare-2]) –  Zoredache Apr 25 '11 at 23:43
    
@Zoredache, @troynt and @all, which of the following answers do you think deserves the bounty? keeping in mind the points of expenses to maintain the server in a sustainable way, the difficulty in setting up P2P with partial centralization? I think the answer lies in what is the probability of success with P2P with partial centralization - if possible - this answer, otherwise not this answer. Your opinions please guys. –  Sandeepan Nath Apr 26 '11 at 8:58
    
I honestly don't think this question really belongs here, it's sad that your gaming experience is limited by the publishers decisions, but that's not something we can solve for you. Vote with your wallet and stop buying games that are restrictive like this. –  Ivo Flipse Apr 26 '11 at 9:22
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2 Answers

I would also advise you to look into setting up a peer-to-peer based service..with the added concept of partial centralization.

Basically this says: make a program to spread network info to all computers who are logged in, maintain one or two PCs as servers on some basic connections (or the best you can easily get) just to help with indexing so your client program can join the p2p network easily through this as an access point.

Another idea which is feasibly more scalable to multiple regions: Instead of charging for the gameplay itself, form a gaming organization like a union or club. I agree this is not a localized issue, more like a broad issue that needs local solutions.

So to take one of your examples, gamers in Brazil could form a Brazilian Chapter of some sort of "Global Gaming Union" or whatever crazy name you come up with. The key being that to join, there is a membership fee. This gamer-run organization takes care of hosting and paying for servers by use of these fees.

As far as hosting is concerned, if you are able to get a few memberships going, you may still want to use P2P as much as possible. You also have the options of renting a dedicated server for around $150 USD per month or get a really nice internet connection and a few computers to run servers on.

Edit: P2P x Centralized Server Hybrid

Try to visualize the client/server relationship. In a centralized environment this is pretty simple: data come into the server, gets processed and relative data goes back to the client. In P2P networks clients are also serving data and doing some of the processing. This is good for cost of network but it can be difficult for those clients to find each other. While sharing data, they also tend to share a list of other clients and receive the same lists from others to propagate the network. This relies on those clients actually finding each other.

With at least one central server to keep track of these lists, it's less of a hassle for one computer to learn that another is on the network. After they've discovered each other, it is fairly easy for them to share information within a sub-group (for instance all the current members of a game session).

The benefit of mixing these is that when you are developing the client-side program, they can all check one domain (like game.YouDomainName.com) that routes to your current server. This makes setting up the P2P connections much simpler. At the same time you get the P2P network to handle most of the bandwidth and processing overhead so that you aren't going bankrupt for a game server =)

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Thanks for your answer. I guess the P2P architecture with partial centralization is something in between - A peer-to-peer system of nodes without central infrastructure (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:P2P-network.svg) and Centralized server-based service model (upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/f/fb/…). But could you please explain how is it going to help. I was not very good in these subjects during college but now I can understand better because I am very passionate about doing this. Any useful links? –  Sandeepan Nath Apr 25 '11 at 7:53
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Also, is it like these are two different ways - 1. going for P2P - getting a really nice internet connection and a few computers to run servers on. 2. renting a dedicated or VPS server? –  Sandeepan Nath Apr 25 '11 at 7:55
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Well you can go P2P either way. P2P is basically a way to offload the bulk of your bandwidth needs to the users. They each act as 'mini-servers'. When you have a central server(s) in a P2P environment you usually just want it to help set up connections between peers instead of actually hosting the game server. If you're able, you may want to build the service so that core parts of the game server are on your rented/owned server. –  Garet Claborn Apr 25 '11 at 17:14
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@Garet Claborn - Thank you for your answers. I understood the P2P part. I have asked this separate question regarding the finer details. Please check –  Sandeepan Nath Apr 25 '11 at 20:30
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If the game isn't designed to operate in a peer to peer network, then I doubt you will have much, if any, luck trying to get one to work. A P2P network for gaming would be far more complex because of firewalls, and all the private IP addressing in use. –  Zoredache Apr 25 '11 at 23:38
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  1. Peer to Peer servers. As seen in games like Left 4 Dead and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. These are difficult to administrate.

  2. Provide value to donators. This can be in the form of admin privs, reserved slots, statistics ( e.g. kill to death ratio over couple months, leaderboards etc ), special events, etc.

  3. Offer to setup video game servers for free. Some people have access to hosting services, but do not know the first thing about setting up video game servers.

  4. Sponsorship/advertisement, get a company to sponsor your server.

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Looks like you have experienced the problem and have some ideas. But could you please elaborate a little more. I could only understand your point 4 completely. Do you mean third party sponsorship is better than asking for game fees from gamers? I don't have any experience on this. Regarding your point no. 3, I too don't know about setting up video game servers. Do you many something other than starting a server while playing? Am I missing something? Thanks by the way for your answer. –  Sandeepan Nath Apr 20 '11 at 11:43
    
Correction to previous comment - Do you mean something other than starting a server while playing? I know how to start a server while playing a game. Start/Join server options appear during the game. Is there something more than that? Am I missing something? Those who can answer some questions related to the actual details of hosting a dedicated game server can check this question webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/12465/… –  Sandeepan Nath Apr 21 '11 at 10:08
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It is impossible for me to say which strategy will work best for you because I'm not familiar with the community around your game. Your overall strategy will be a combination of different things like donations and sponsorship. It is unlikely you will find someone to 100% sponsor a server. As for #3, if the server count for your game is particularly small in your area, you can notify a local hosting company to host a free server to encourage others to purchase their services. Volunteer to setup the server if they are not familiar with it. –  troynt Apr 22 '11 at 18:03
    
I will try that. Thanks again –  Sandeepan Nath Apr 24 '11 at 8:30
    
@troynt a +1 for you too. –  Sandeepan Nath Apr 26 '11 at 12:25
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