This Guidance helps game developers build persistent world games and host virtual worlds on AWS using Amazon GameLift and serverless backend components. The architecture uses managed and serverless components to reduce operational effort and scale based on player demand. Developers can use this architecture to get started with persistent virtual world game development on MacOS and Windows. This Guidance includes infrastructure as code (IaC) automation, configuration scripts for setting up dependencies, and a sample Unity client/server implementation. 

Architecture Diagram

Please note: Steps A-C represent the back end of the system, and Steps 1-9 represent the front end. 

Download the architecture diagram PDF 

Well-Architected Pillars

The AWS Well-Architected Framework helps you understand the pros and cons of the decisions you make when building systems in the cloud. The six pillars of the Framework allow you to learn architectural best practices for designing and operating reliable, secure, efficient, cost-effective, and sustainable systems. Using the AWS Well-Architected Tool, available at no charge in the AWS Management Console, you can review your workloads against these best practices by answering a set of questions for each pillar.

The architecture diagram above is an example of a Solution created with Well-Architected best practices in mind. To be fully Well-Architected, you should follow as many Well-Architected best practices as possible.

  • AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) handles deployments and updates by using AWS CloudFormation to control resource updates and rollbacks. This reduces errors caused by manual configuration changes.

    For Amazon GameLift fleet updates, CloudFormation will create a replacement fleet. It will wait for the replacement to become fully active to accept traffic before terminating the old fleet.

    Read the Operational Excellence whitepaper 
  • The game client uses Amazon Cognito Identity Pool identities to secure access to the back end services. This is achieved by signing the requests with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) credentials provided by the Identity Pool. Only authenticated requests are allowed to the provided APIs hosted on API Gateway. Additionally, game clients are allowed to access only the data of their own account.

    Read the Security whitepaper 
  • In case the game server (and consequently the game world) crashes, the architecture will automatically replace the world with a new one, which will have access to the same persisted data of that specific world.

    Read the Reliability whitepaper 
  • Amazon GameLift allows direct client to server communication to optimize near real time performance. The architecture allows developers to host game servers across multiple AWS Regions, reducing the latency between the game client and the server.

    Read the Performance Efficiency whitepaper 
  • The architecture leverages serverless components including API Gateway, Lambda and DynamoDB, which allow you to reduce costs by paying for the exact amount of resources based on player traffic. Additionally, Amazon GameLift can be configured to scale based on demand so you have a minimal set of unused resources running at any given time.

    Read the Cost Optimization whitepaper 
  • This architecture uses managed and serverless services to run only the resources required for the current player load, reducing your individual impact on the environment.
    Read the Sustainability whitepaper 

Implementation Resources

The sample code is a starting point. It is industry validated, prescriptive but not definitive, and a peek under the hood to help you begin. 

[Content Type]


This [blog post/e-book/Guidance/sample code] demonstrates how [insert short description].


The sample code; software libraries; command line tools; proofs of concept; templates; or other related technology (including any of the foregoing that are provided by our personnel) is provided to you as AWS Content under the AWS Customer Agreement, or the relevant written agreement between you and AWS (whichever applies). You should not use this AWS Content in your production accounts, or on production or other critical data. You are responsible for testing, securing, and optimizing the AWS Content, such as sample code, as appropriate for production grade use based on your specific quality control practices and standards. Deploying AWS Content may incur AWS charges for creating or using AWS chargeable resources, such as running Amazon EC2 instances or using Amazon S3 storage.

References to third-party services or organizations in this Guidance do not imply an endorsement, sponsorship, or affiliation between Amazon or AWS and the third party. Guidance from AWS is a technical starting point, and you can customize your integration with third-party services when you deploy the architecture.

Was this page helpful?