Silver Style Studios Case Study


In 1996, Berlin, Germany-based Silver Style Entertainment began developing computer and console games. In 2010, after emerging as Silver Style Studios GmbH, the company expanded into massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPGs) that are powered by the company’s in-house game engine technology, LightStream. The LightStream engine enables players from around the world to play console-quality online games directly from a browser without installing software or downloading plugins other than Adobe Flash Player 11. Today, the company employs a staff of 42.

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We wanted to have one partner with a global data center to help make our games accessible worldwide. There was no better choice than AWS.”

Ronny Knauth
Managing Director, Silver Style

The Challenge

Silver Style wanted to develop an online game, and they wanted to base it on the popular pen-and-paper role-playing game The Dark Eye, which has attracted more than 6 million players worldwide. The new, browser-based game would be called The Dark Eye—Herokon Online.

To be successful, the Silver Style team needed two things: a cloud infrastructure that would both support global demand and work with LightStream. Scalability and reliability were key considerations, especially given the scope of the user base.

“From the first sketches on the drawing board, we were always looking at the bigger picture,” Silver Style Managing Director Ronny Knauth says. “We needed a partner who would provide us with a global infrastructure and dependable security. AWS was the right choice for us.”

Why Amazon Web Services

Once Silver Style decided to move to the cloud with AWS, the team acted quickly. "Our AWS system was so easy to handle right out of the box that we did not need any extra training,” Knauth says. “We had the first servers up and running within a few days."

The AWS Cloud helped enable the Silver Style team to provide the kind of worldwide availability that online game players required. In June 2011, Silver Style launched its first Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) instance and started using Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) for reverse proxy caching as well as web and application processing.

Silver Style then began storing customized objects in Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), which also houses the static assets delivered by Amazon CloudFront. Amazon S3 is used for in-game videos, web site assets, and storing Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) maintains persistent data such as game worlds and player characters, in addition to supporting content management systems, forums, customer support, and online payment interface. Silver Style also uses Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES), Amazon Route 53, Amazon CloudWatch, and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM).

Silver Style is now focusing on fine-tuning its own technology. "We found some room for optimization in our code while the load has grown,” Knauth says, “and we have literally disassembled and reassembled everything multiple times. With AWS, we have the flexibility to do a lot of testing without worrying about the costs."

And if the company does encounter a technical problem, it has easy access to its Developer-level AWS Support.

Silver Style Studio Architecture Diagram on AWS

Silver Style Studios Architecture Diagram

The Benefits

In the last 12 months, Silver Style has achieved 99 percent availability, eliminated new hardware expenses and lowered operational costs with the consumption-based pricing that AWS offers.

“One thing that is especially important for us is the ability to scale to the exact amount of infrastructure necessary,” Knauth says.

When it comes to protecting sensitive customer data, using AWS also gives the company peace of mind. "Our customers' private data is always a sensitive topic,” Knauth says. “But the AWS good name and high security standards are very reassuring.”

AWS makes it possible for Silver Style to scale to the exact amount of infrastructure it needs to rapidly expand on user demand at a global scale. Silver Style can take advantage of identical environments in multiple locations, so that they can deploy seamlessly, worldwide.

“Our LightStream technology works great with AWS,” Knauth says. The company plans to use AWS with LightStream on future projects.

"We wanted to have one partner with a global data center to help make our games accessible worldwide,” Knauth concludes. “There was no better choice than AWS.”

About Silver Style Studios

In 1996, Berlin, Germany-based Silver Style Entertainment began developing computer and console games. 

AWS Services Used

Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers.

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Amazon RDS

Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) makes it easy to set up, operate, and scale a relational database in the cloud.

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Elastic Load Balancing

Elastic Load Balancing automatically distributes incoming application traffic across multiple targets, such as Amazon EC2 instances, containers, IP addresses, and Lambda functions.

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Amazon SES

Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES) is a cloud-based email sending service designed to help digital marketers and application developers send marketing, notification, and transactional emails.

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Amazon S3

Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) is an object storage service that offers industry-leading scalability, data availability, security, and performance.

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Amazon Route 53

Amazon Route 53 is a highly available and scalable cloud Domain Name System (DNS) web service.

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Amazon CloudFront

Amazon CloudFront is a fast content delivery network (CDN) service that securely delivers data, videos, applications, and APIs to customers globally with low latency, high transfer speeds, all within a developer-friendly environment.

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Amazon CloudWatch

Amazon CloudWatch is a monitoring and observability service built for DevOps engineers, developers, site reliability engineers (SREs), and IT managers.

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