I'm working on a turn based board game for iPhone and eventually Android. I'm using Appcelerator Titanium to develop it. My multiplayer design is similar to Words With Friends. Users take turns when ready, and then the opponent's game board is updated accordingly.
One of my needs is to have a messaging API which enables the 2 players' devices to update one another on the status of the game board after a move. Thinking of doing this with JSON and keeping a JSON object on the device which contains the location of all game board pieces at any given time. This is the object that will need to update on the local device and then send a change to the opponent's device after a move is made.
I've done APIs in the past for mobile platforms and to do so I've used PHP with MySQL and sent JSON back and forth between the API server and the mobile device. Works just dandy for low concurrent users, and generally non-massive apps. Here's to hoping this one will get massive ;)
So now, instead of a general httpd server and the like, I'm starting to think about persistent sockets and if they're needed or not for my new game. I'm also thinking that it might be smart to forgo the big LAMP stack, and for scalability and maybe ease of development, to lean more towards a data flow of something like Mongo/Couch -> node.js -> iPhone. I'll be honest, it would be my first foray into a non-sql db and node.js as well.
Interested to hear others' takes and experiences on this, more options/thoughts, and whether I am thinking about it the right way, or just creating headaches for myself.