A51 Integrated Scapenation (2010)

ScapeNation is a virtual world created for kids ranging from the age of seven to about fourteen. It is based off the story that ScapeNation once a complete world is now broken up into six separate islands because of the villain of "darkness" who plans to destroy ScapeNation forever and players are intended to fight the "darkness".

Project Overview

Working directly with Red Tettemer in Philadelphia, the development team at A51 Integrated set forth to create a web based MMO for teens. The end result was a incredibly detailed MMO which spanned 6 islands and over 20 mini games. Users created their own avatars, dressed and styled them and then moved into and decorated their own home. Once ready to explore, users could easily move around their current surroundings by clicking anywhere to interactive to move there. Upon finding other users on the site, items could be traded, games could be played together and you could even invite someone over to you home.

Site Takedown

Although the project made it into the public beta stage and had a large amount of new a returning visitors from all around the world, the project became another victim of the worldwide recession and development was halted as a result. After just over a year of constant development the site disappeared from the web overnight, never to been seen or played again. As such, there is no public version of the site available for use at this point in time, but if you Google hard enough, you will find video, pictures and comments from the users that played the game while it was live.

Personal Role

Architected and implemented clustered Smartfox Server configurations with Redbox streaming video server backends for multi user interactivity. Multi user systems are used on the web as well as during live events.

Technology Used
  • ActionScript 3
  • SmartfoxServer
  • Terracotta
  • MySQL
Clustering SmartfoxServer Using Terracotta

To avoid the typical geographical region separation usually found with MMO games released to the world, Scapenation implemented one of the first ever SmartfoxServer clusters to allow for an infinite amount of multiuser socket servers running anywhere in the world connected to one another at the Java Runtime Environment level. This setup allows for each of the socket server nodes to communicate their current state to one another during runtime.

If for some reason a socket server node within the cluster was to fail or go offline, the users which are actively connected to that machine will have their current socket connections automatically moved to a new available node within the cluster without ever having noticed the issue from the front end. This system allowed us to easily add and remove servers from the backend framework without ever affecting a single user on the site.

After working close with the development team behind SmartfoxServer, I was asked to write and submit a whitepaper on how to setup a clustered instance of Smartfox. Although this whitepaper is out of date, as a new version of SmartfoxServer has now been released. This whitepaper carried on to append some of these great new features into the newest version of their software.

Download Whitepaper (PDF)


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Email: fisher.matt at gmail.com