×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Epic Details What Went Wrong in ‘Fortnite’ Playground Postmortem

New details of what went wrong during “Fortnite’s” Playground mode outage were released by Epic Games.

The limited time mode was originally released on June 27, and gives players one hour to build, explore, and practice in the world of “Fortnite” without the pressure of an ongoing match. However, shortly after launch the Playground was closed, leading to complaints from players and pressure on Epic Games to fix the issue.

At that time, we knew that there were errors with the matchmaking system the game uses. Now we know, more specifically, that the issue is related to how many matches the Playground mode made versus the Battle Royale mode.

Basically, each node in the matchmaking groups has a list of dedicated, available servers. Players connect to the matchmaking service, and the service then assigns the player to the appropriate node in their region, which then automatically selects one of its free servers for the player of that region.

The Battle Royale Mode has to match up 100 players to duke it out. The Playground mode is making matches for groups of one to four players at a time. So what this means is more virtual matches are being made overall, which required 15 times as many servers as other modes of “Fortnite.”

What this meant was the nodes were continuously requesting to join servers, requesting extra servers, and overall taking 15 times longer to check for available servers. As the news release puts it, this ultimately led to the CPU holding “a backlog of pending requests resulting in a feedback loop” which meant Epic Games had no choice but to close the Playground for repairs.

To repair the limited time mode, Epic split the Playground’s matchmaking service into its own service cluster. This was, in part, to stop the server jam from affecting other modes and would allow the developers to pick at the service until they could get it back online.

The solution was to ensure repeated searches from the nodes for available servers weren’t necessary, which meant the team had to bulk up the “rebalance sessions from other nodes.” The matchmaking system now shifts regional capacity from nodes with excess space to those that are running low, which means nodes won’t have to search outside of local region lists of servers as much as they used to.

Epic then tested the new process by hurling millions of theoretical players at the Playground mode, in a process they refer to as the “tweak-test-evaluate cycle” to be sure that the mode could withstand being relaunched.

While the takedown of Playground was a stressful event for the developer, it is noted in the news release that they learned a lot about their own matchmaking service and its “failure points.”

“The process of getting Playground stable and in the hands of our players was tougher than we would have liked, but was a solid reminder that complex distributed systems fail in unpredictable ways,” the news release states. “We were forced to make significant emergency upgrades to our Matchmaking Service, but these changes will serve the game well as we continue to grow and expand our player base into the future.”

More Gaming

  • Nintendo's Unique Approach to Entertainment -

    Video Games Industry Reacts to Reggie Fils-Aime Retirement From Nintendo

    News on Thursday that Nintendo of America president and COO Reggie Fils-Aime is retiring after more than 15 years with the company, led to an immediate outpouring of support on social media from other industry leaders. “All the best to Reggie Fils-Aime on the next phase of his life and career,” said head of Xbox [...]

  • Reggie Fils-AimeNintendo Switch Gaming Console Media

    Nintendo of America President Reggie Fils-Aime Retires

    Nintendo of America president and chief operating officer Reggie Fils-Aime is retiring on April 15, Nintendo announced Thursday, ending his 15 years with the company. He will replaced by Doug Bowser, NOA’s current Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “Nintendo owns a part of my heart forever,” Fils-Aime said in a prepared statement. “It’s a [...]

  • Fortnite Battle Royale

    'Fortnite' Season 7 Overtime Challenges (Week Two)

    Season seven’s special overtime challenges are live in “Fortnite,” and that means new ways to earn Battle Stars and experience. By collecting more Battle Stars and upping their tier, up to a season maximum of 100, players can earn limited-time rewards like cosmetic outfits and XP boosts. (Collecting 10 Battle Stars will unlock one additional [...]

  • Blizzard Details Its New 'Hearthstone Masters'

    Blizzard Details Its New 'Hearthstone Masters' Esports Program

    Blizzard Entertainment wants to make “Hearthstone” esports more sustainable, entertaining, and accessible to fans. So, it’s created a new program called Hearthstone Masters that debuts in March. The first two parts of the new program are the Hearthstone Masters Qualifiers and the Hearthstone Masters Tour. The qualifiers are open to all eligible players who want [...]

  • 'Fortnite' In-Game Marshmello Concert Draws Nearly

    'Fortnite' In-Game Marshmello Concert Draws Nearly 11 Million Players

    About 10.7 million players showed up for the Marshmello concert in “Fortnite” on Feb. 2, breaking the game’s concurrent player count by about 2.5 million players, Epic Games tells Variety. The previous record of 8.3 million people playing at once was set during “Fortnite’s” in-game butterfly event in November. The game saw it’s best non-event [...]

  • HTC Vive Announces Focus Plus VR

    HTC Vive Announces Focus Plus VR Headset With Dual 6DoF Controllers

    HTC Vive revealed its latest standalone virtual reality headset on Thursday. The Vive Focus Plus upgrades the company’s existing headset by incorporating dual six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) controllers, promising users the same freedom as PC VR devices. Adding the second controller will also make it easier for developers to port existing PC VR content, while making it [...]

  • Samsung Partnering With Valve For Galaxy

    Samsung Partnering With Valve For Galaxy S10 Steam Streaming (Rumor)

    Samsung might be teaming up with Valve to offer Steam games streaming on its latest flagship phones, according to Wccftech. The tech company unveiled its newest smartphones, the Galaxy S10 and S10+, during its Unpacked press event in San Francisco on Wednesday. That’s where word-of-mouth rumors reportedly began to circulate about the Samsung/Valve partnership. While [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content