The online gaming industry is exceptionally growing not only around the globe but at quite an alarming speed in India as well. In past years the gaming industry has seen a major transformation, especially with the advancement in the virtual and social world.
Gaming is no longer just a source of entertainment but has now become a huge source of income as well. PS4 and Xbox have played a major role in this. After selling millions of gaming consoles across the globe, it has changed the core functioning of the online gaming industry.
And of course, it is no longer limited to the console or PC, online gaming is gaining more popularity with smartphones as well. In fact, with speedy progress in the technical field high-end games are being developed for smartphones.
This means if you are thinking of becoming a gaming developer or launching a multiplayer online game, this is exactly the right time for you with several opportunities knocking your door. According to the experts, the gaming industry is going to be all about smartphones and to some extent consoles in the near future.
Like always, we are here to build your dream into reality. In this blog, I am going to list down top 5 back-end solutions for multiplayer games. But before jumping to that. Let us quickly dig in the history a little bit to get know…
Now I don’t have to exactly point out about how popular online gaming is. But we can talk about the reasons behind it. Basically, there are three important reasons for it.
Earlier players had to travel down to places offering different free games. With the trend of online casinos coming into practice, accessing these games with the comforts of your homes became possible. All you needed was a smartphone/tablet/PC and an Internet connection.
Previously, there were not many options to choose from. You went to a play station offering a few games and you had no other choice but play those. Now things have changed. With the gaming industry establishing its presence in the online world, now there are millions of sites that offer millions of games to play online. That too without stepping out of your house.
Without having to pay for the entry fee and limited pay time at any play area, playing online games has become a lot more feasible now. The console games were far expensive and to add on the validity of these games was limited. But now there are multiple options to choose from and play online games for free.
Over the years, things have been evolving in the online gaming industry too. The social side of playing games and the ability to connect with multiple players changed a lot how things worked. Though single-player games and story-driven games did not lose their fanbase, however, multiplayer games became the trend. Where millions of players were enjoying their entire day playing online role-playing games. Of, course I need not have to mention the popularity of Pub-G.
Now that we know, how things got this far and what online gaming holds in the future, let us get down to build your future.
Designing multiplayer games is a lot more complicated than single-player games. And not to forget the hundreds of back-end solutions available to claim to be the best. Choosing from all these options can be tough. And then there is again an option to build your own back-end solution, but then it too lengthy and the possibilities of errors are high.
Choosing from the ready-made solution seems to be the better option. Nonetheless, since you have made up your mind to make a mobile multiplayer game, let us get down to business and know the best back-end solutions.
Game Sparks was making it to the headlines sometime back when Amazon tried to buy it for $10 million. However, they did not make it through it because the developers knew its potential. After all, it was the reason behind the high success of Lara Croft: Relic Run. Game SPark is a cloud-based platform that allows the developers to build server components without having to worry about setting up or actually running a server.
It builds the server-side features for the game and manages it after the launch. All scripts are written in java which can be saved in the cloud for future use. Using this platform can be the best option to build a turn-based multiplayer mobile game. It becomes all the more an option as the server interaction in Game Spark is quite easy.
All you have to do is – send a message to the server, the respective script is fetched, it reads the message, changes are made, and sends back the results.
Another interesting feature of Game Spark is complex matchmaking. The game developers can easily use the in-built matchmaking feature. This gives them the open space to create separate rooms for online players.
By doing this the developers can keep a check on who is online, who left the room, or who is offline. In case of poor Internet connection, each request is cached and when the player reconnects he will synchronize back automatically.
Also, if you are short on funds, Game Sparks is the best back-end solution for you because there are no charges or you will not have to pay anything extra if the monthly active users do not go beyond 100,000.
This platform is specifically best for live games. It offers multiple features like a player can make its account, in-game messaging to other online players, leader boards, analytics, real money e-commerce, and virtual goods
The integration of this platform is easy with Unity, Xamarin, Cocos, and Unreal. According to gaming developer experts, PlayFab is quite user-friendly. It provides good storage implementation, unique characters and inventory, leaderboards, cloud storage, and the ability to connect various services within a large system. It can also create a store and domestic currencies.
PlayFab has a system of elimination systems and events to automate the operations in the back-end, but there is a restriction on the use of the number of API commands for a certain time.
Photon is considered as the most reliable back-end solution for multiplayer games. The extremely easy setup of this platform makes it all the preferable for game developers. It offers in-built cloud balancing on the cloud for enhanced room instances.
However, some game developers have registered a few drawbacks with Photon. They believe that in Photon’s binary protocol is not up to the mark and inefficient in comparison to other platforms like DarkRift.
Also, another problem that developers might face while using Photon is its inability to provide custom server logic. Which may not be practically good for building games. If you wish to run custom logic, you will have to modify server SDK and host the server on your own. Photon can be a little costly as well, as it charges $3500 for 500CCU.
Firebase is a product of Google that is somewhat similar to Photon. It offers matchmaking services, real-time database. It allows you to build applications through secure access to the database from client-side code.
In case of poor connection or loss of Internet connection, real-time events continue to fire. When the connection is restored, any conflicts occurred during the offline time are merged automatically and the database synchronizes the data changes with updates.
However, some game developing experts do point out a few drawbacks. According to them if the database has many nested objects, the functioning of the back-end solution becomes slower. Also, when it comes to filtering the data, the filter base is not quite efficient.
Another drawback is there are no in-build roles for the firebase, meaning the determination of the authenticated accounts can be done only through email, password, and universal identifier. However, the developers can assign roles for the firebase by using a database.
App Engine is also a product of Google. If the developer is using Google App Engine and Google Compute Engine for real-time player interaction, they get a reliable Google cloud platform.
The solution offers basic game elements, such as game matching and player customization, using Google App Engine, while using Compute Engine to run dedicated game servers and common game engines.
Another reason for its popularity is, it supports analysis and backup in the cloud. The plugin (for Unity) includes user authorization on Google+, the possibility of using achievements and rankings for players, the Google cloud for data storage and multiplayer organization in real-time.
There are 4 multiplayer operating modes in the plug-in
But like any other platform, App Engine also has a few drawbacks. If the player minimizes the screen while playing, he automatically gets disconnected from the room. This can be a problem for some players. Also, if you are looking for something to fit into your budget, this could be a problem because Google App Engine is one of the most back-end solutions in the market.
These were the top 5 back-end solutions for multiplayer games. You need to think and choose wisely depending on your requirements and game expectations.
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