brainCloud directly supports the most common types of mobile multiplayer right out-of-the-box. And with RTT, adds support for custom multiplayer experiences of any flavor (using custom or third party tech).
brainCloud’s multiplayer support is organized along the following definitions:
Turn-by-Turn Async Multiplayer
This is arguably the most common form of mobile multiplayer – made popular by games such as Words With Friends, Draw Something, Trivia Crack, etc. This multiplayer is very popular because it supports very casual + social types of games – and because it doesn’t require the players to be online at the same time.
brainCloud has a full implementation of Turn-by-Turn Async Multiplayer, enabled via our BrainCloudAsyncMatch APIs, that works across all device types, and even supports anonymous matchmaking via the BrainCloudMatchMaking service. Players can also start matches with Facebook friends (by retrieving their profileID via the BrainCloudFriend API).
One-Way Offline Multiplayer
Another very popular form of mobile multiplayer is what we call One-Way Offline multiplayer [and yes, we’re looking for a better name!]. This is our name for the form of multiplayer popularized by games like Clash of Clans, Boom Beach, etc. In it, an Attacker attacks the settlement (base, camp, fort, etc.) that has been set up by the Defender. Once again, the great thing about this form of multiplayer is that the Defender does not have to be online during the attack.
brainCloud has a full implementation of One-Way Offline Multiplayer, enabled via our BrainCloudOneWayMatch APIs. Opponents to attack can be found using the BrainCloudMatchMaking service, or via the BrainCloudFriend API.
Refer to our One-Way Offline Multiplayer Example for more information.
This is our name for the form of multiplayer commonly used in Arena Shooters, MOBA’s, MMOs, etc. Examples include Team Fortress 2, League of Legends, World of Warcraft, etc.
The bad news is that brainCloud does not directly support this form of multiplayer at this time. The good news is that there is complimentary tech available that does, and brainCloud integrates well with it.
We have customers currently using brainCloud in conjunction with Unity Networking, Photon from Exit Games, Steam Multiplayer, etc.
In all of these cases, developers are using the key cloud data, identity, push notification, gamification, in-app purchase, monetization, etc. features of brainCloud, and delegating the multiplayer communications to the specialized tech.
Be sure to check out our multiplayer demo game, brainCloud Bombers, for more info!
Update – brainCloud RTT adds support for Online Lobbies and Matchmaking, together with support for custom Room Servers, that make supporting Realtime Multiplayer games even easier!
Semi-Realtime Multiplayer is very similar to Realtime Multiplayer in terms of technology – though the gameplay itself is less “twitch” based, and probably doesn’t require physics, etc. Examples of this type of multiplayer would include online card games, like Uno or Hearthstone. All players must be online at the same time, and the interactions *are* still in realtime, though the gameplay isn’t as sensitive to latency issues.
This form of multiplayer can be simulated using brainCloud, but it’s not recommended. You could, for instance, utilize the Turn-by-Turn Async APIs to mimic this gameplay – but you would need to keep polling our servers to see if it was your turn to move. The result wouldn’t be as good an experience for players, and would drive your API counts up (driving up your brainCloud costs).
Once again, utilizing third party multiplayer tech (in conjunction with brainCloud) is recommended for these types of games.
Update – brainCloud RTT adds support for Online Lobbies and Matchmaking, together with support for custom Room Servers, that make supporting Semi-Realtime Multiplayer games even easier! We even provide a simple example Room Server implementation that you can build upon!