How Reddit built r/Place

Each year for April Fools’, rather than a prank, we like to create a project that explores the way that humans interact at large scales. This year we came up with Place, a collaborative canvas on which a single user could only place a single tile every five minutes. This limitation de-emphasized the importance of the individual and necessitated the collaboration of many users in order to achieve complex creations. Each tile placed was relayed to observers in real-time.

This post details how we approached building Place from a technical perspective.

Next to detailing how the data is stored, synced, and drawn on the canvas; the article also covers some realtime problem solving after the RabbitMQ CPU load avg shot up from 6 to 60 (!) …

The 72h timelapse – condensed to 4’30 – is embedded above. The source code of r/Place is also available.

Reddit Blog: How We Built r/Place →
r/Place Source (GitHub) →