Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
players are doing. Take a feature tour on the Scoreloop home page:
www.scoreloop.com .
Plus + is the social networking platform created by ngmoco, a big publish-
er of iOS games. It's currently available only to ngmoco's development
partners. Ngmoco is looking for select developers to partner with; if you
think you have what it takes, then you might want to apply on its deve-
loper web site: http://plusplus.com/developers .
▪ Chillingo's Crystal is the other big iOS publisher's social networking
platform. And as with Plus+, access is limited to developers working
with Chillingo and Electronic Arts, the new owners of Chillingo. You
can
get
information
on
the
Crystal
SDK
on
ht-
tp://devsupport.crystalsdk.com .
If you're missing Agon-Online in this list, you probably haven't heard the news that it
shut down on June 30, 2011. As for Geocade, it is still available at
www.geocade.com but simply does not play a role among its competitors.
Socket Server Technology for Multiplayer Games
If you're looking to build a multiplayer game that requires more sophisticated server-
side game logic and storage than the social networking platforms are able to offer,
you'll have to write your own socket server. Luckily, the hard part of writing a server/
client architecture with socket connection and other networking voodoo has already
been done for you.
Hosting your online games on a socket server has several advantages. For some games,
it's very important that players can't cheat, so running the most critical game logic isol-
ated on the server while being able to verify the data coming from clients can prevent a
lot of common cheating mechanisms. A server-based approach is also the only way to
write a game that supports a lot of players at once. With peer-to-peer technology, you
quickly run into scalability issues, because each device's bandwidth is rather limited,
and every player in a peer-to-peer match adds computational overhead to every device
connected to that match. Apple's Game Kit restricts peer-to-peer connections between
devices to a maximum of four players for that reason. The server hardware is ulti-
mately more powerful and has a higher bandwidth than any device connected to it,
which lets you host more players in the same match. In addition, the server hosts the
 
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