What service do you use to implement Cross-Platform Multiplayer?

Discussion in 'Public Game Developers Forum' started by kronetgames, Oct 17, 2014.

  1. kronetgames

    kronetgames Active Member

    Aug 14, 2014
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    Marketgin and Game design
    Ukraine
    Hi guys!

    I am indie developer from Kronet Games (Based in Ukraine). Two weeks ago we have launched or new game - Logic Lines - a tactical online puzzle game.

    Main feature of the game is: challenging cross-platform multiplayer, which is really addictive and connects people with different kind of smartphones OS (iOS, WP8, Android).

    So what's a problem. After release, we had a bad feedback about our online component - many players have connection problems. The issue is: when online reach 100 people, free cloud server which we use, start to work badly...

    Note: We use Appwarp Cloud Gaming Service. Now we working on our own server, but also we are interested in what other developers work with? Somebody working on Cross-platform online component in games? Or maybe you know analogues of Appwarp? (We decide to use exactly Appwarp, coz it supports even WindowsPhone and we need it...)
     
  2. Columbo

    Columbo Well-Known Member

    Sep 1, 2014
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    There don't seem to be many great choices out there. I'm still torn between hosting my own raknet NAT and matching server - which looks like a hassle and expense, or just giving up on cross-play and going with Gamecenter on iOS and Google Play Games Services on Android. There are significant benefits (in my opinion), to embracing the platform's own multiplayer services in terms of giving the user a familiar experience and access to their friends list.

    Still, I'm worried that by losing cross-play I might make it harder for my users to find games.

    I believe you can use Google Play Games Services on iOS (but not WP8), but I'm not too keen on making my iOS users create a google account to get online.

    One thing that's annoying me is how inflexible and limited the matchmaking options are (Apple's and Google's). All you get is a single gametype variable, and another variable to do with roles. There's no way to express any sort of matchmaking preference that doesn't absolutely split your user base into separate sections. It'd be good if you can have the flexibility to let your users say "I prefer game-mode X, but I don't mind too much" or "I insist on game mode X", or "I'd prefer to play an expert opponent, but any would do".
     
  3. gagack

    gagack New Member

    Feb 10, 2012
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    Im looking for one too. The issue with hosting on my server will be the bandwidth, i dont know how much i will be needing.
     
  4. rexopaxdev

    rexopaxdev Active Member

    That's the way we will do it when we design our multiplayer mode later on.

    It's probably the best way to do it, keep iOS and Android separated.
     
  5. pated

    pated Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2014
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    Game maker
    Paris
    If you are developping with Unity, but I don't think so, I'd say Photon Clouds if you don't care paying to maintain the multiplayer, or an excellent one-time-fee plug-in for universal multiplayer: Bolt Engine. It's still in beta but already brilliant!
     
  6. kronetgames

    kronetgames Active Member

    Aug 14, 2014
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    Marketgin and Game design
    Ukraine
    Hm, do you really think so? Many of our users are very exited with ability to play with friends, even with Android or WP8...I still think, that cross-platform multiplayer is a big feature of the game, and will attract more and more users...
     
  7. Destined

    Destined Well-Known Member

    Aug 11, 2013
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    Excited in theory.

    In reality logging into an additional platform is hard. I find 20% of users at most login to gamecentre. I imagine google play services for iOS would be significantly lower.

    Friends are generally a terrible way to find out if something is a good idea or if your game is good. Basically if your friend doesn't like your game then it is !@#$ing terrible lol.
     
  8. markofjohnson

    markofjohnson Active Member

    Apr 2, 2010
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    Game Developer
    San Francisco, CA, USA
    #8 markofjohnson, Oct 21, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
    I encourage you to NOT use google because of the requirement to log into GPlus. Thats not cross platform, thats wrong platform. We do our multiplayer & social stuff as a mixture of Heroku hosted custom (but simple) code and some Apple Game Center. I've looked at stacks of cross platform servers over the last 18 months, in the end only our own code matched the features & price we wanted. But only if you are comfortable with server side code & SQL or Redis (eg). Solutions tend to be cheap and inflexible or customizable and expensive. Also check out Parse (Facebook). They reduced pricing a few months back and have some ready made social integration. Watch out though that each table access, even if its from server side code, counts as a 'call' though (I think).

    Echoing previous replies about inflexibility of Apple's Game Center matchmaking. For Hit Tennis Multiplayer (now retired) we 'hacked' it by having our own server create matching pools using a Redis database. Our server would tell the player which matching group they were in based on their level and how many people were currently online, and then we'd use Game Center named groups. That way we could try to balance things with our own server, but the actual game ran through Apple.
     
  9. kronetgames

    kronetgames Active Member

    Aug 14, 2014
    40
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    Marketgin and Game design
    Ukraine
    Of course i think, using Google Play services on iOS is a terrible idea. Appwarp allows to you, connect to the server, by entering only yours name (also we use name-generator for those lazy guys) and that all. Just enter name and play, you loggin into gamecenter or googleplay just for leaderboards only.
     
  10. Vitamin Fun

    Vitamin Fun Active Member

    Oct 21, 2014
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    If you can separate android and iOS, you may give NextPeer a try :)
     
  11. Handle

    Handle Well-Known Member

    Aug 3, 2014
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    UK
    On Unity we have used Photon, which is great, really easy to setup, works well.

    I'm not sure if it's good pricing wise, as this was only for demo purposes but it's worth checking.
     
  12. dhruvkapil

    dhruvkapil New Member

    Nov 5, 2014
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    I have been using AppWarp for quite some time and found it really great. I have never came across such kind of issues even though i have tested my game with more than 300 CCUs. Have you contacted their support as they are really active and nice. They will surely help you out with the issue that you are facing. I have some doubts in the start and support people helped me to clear all my doubts.
     

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