Apple’s upcoming Game Center may be set to provide developers with an opportunity to add real-time multiplayer to their games, but it isn’t without its shortcomings. Dropped connections will result in spoiled games, for example. And being an Apple-developed platform, the experience can never be shared with friends on a non-iOS device. That’s why OpenFeint has just announced PlayTime, a new SDK that will allow developers to add real-time multiplayer with fewer limitations.
PlayTime will allow developers to add real-time multiplayer to their games in as little as one day, allowing for gamers to not only enter head-to-head competition on Apple devices, but to compete against friends on Android phones.
“The most successful games have one thing in common: they bring people together. Whether a simple board game or a stunning 3D console game, games are always better when shared with family or friends,” said Jason Citron, CEO of Aurora Feint. “Traditionally, multiplayer technology has been accessible only to top tier developers. It’s just too complicated and time consuming. So we invented PlayTime, which literally takes one day to integrate into a casual game.”
PlayTime will be available in two flavours; PlayTime for Casual Games and PlayTime for Core Games. The Casual SDK will include drop in widgets for displaying progress, an embedded VoIP client for group voice chat, a lobby, a matchmaking system for starting sessions, and a synchronized event system for passing data between games. For the more complex multiplayer experience, the Core SDK – developed in conjunction with Exit Games – will allow for 16-player experiences, group voice chat, a skill based lobby and matchmaking.
“Exit Games is proud to work closely with OpenFeint to bring thenormally complex world of multiplayer games to independent mobile developers,”said Christof Wegmenn, CEO and Founder of Exit Games.” Webelieve PlayTime willusher in the next wave of social experiences across the mobile ecosystem.”
PlayTime will also feature a unique solution to opponents dropping out of a game early. Unlike Game Center, which will bring any dropped game to a close, OpenFeint gamers will find their real world opponent replaced by an AI one – allowing the experience to continue seamlessly.
With Apple’s Game Center right around the corner, and OpenFeint’s ability to integrate into the new system, it should be interesting to see how PlayTime games stack up compared to similar Game Center-based multiplayer titles.
PlayTime will be launching later this year as part of OpenFeint 3.0. Developers interested in learning more can visit //openfeint.com/developers.