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An easy way to create multiplayer games, Player.IO

March 29th, 2010 - Category: ActionScript 3 , Developers , Flash , Multiplayer
As many of you know, Player.IO is a new company raised up by the Nonoba group.

They provide a very useful tool for developer that makes possible to create
multiplayer games without having a VPS or a dedicated server.
Client side will have to be built, of course, with ActionScript3, though server side uses C# which is actually not that difficult to use.
In the account created we will just upload the Game
DLL of the server side, not the SWF .

Player.IO Logo

After reading the
documentation and the great tutorial on their site i still had some questions, Chris Benjaminsen answered them:

Q: How many games can be stored in a free account?
A: You can have any number of
DLL games running under one account.

Q: How many rooms can be created for each game?
A: There is no limit to how many game rooms can be created.

Q: Is it against the TOS to create a different account for each game or to have the same DLL on 2 different accounts, using of course 2 different connections as it was 2 different servers?
A: Purposely gaming the system to prevent paying for hosting would constitute abuse.

Q: What happens if i sell one of my games to a sponsor? Will it be transferred to an account created for the sponsor, where the sponsor menages the connection and the type of account?
A: I cannot mention names. But we have agreements in place with several large sponsors for them to run their own accounts. Basically the more Player.IO games you run under one account the cheaper it gets. Thus most portals would want to run their own account as soon as they have more than one Player.IO based game.

Q: What happens if i sell 2 or more licenses of the same game to different sponsors, and those sponsors want for the same game to have only their own users playing?
A: This is a great example of where to use connections, as they can be used to create several separate user-bases for the same game.

Q: I know that each room cannot contain more than 45 users, but, is the lobby counted as a room or it has an exception to have more than 45 users inside chatting or doing other things?
A: There is no automatic lobby chat system in Player.IO, such features are up to the developer to create. Here the same limitations are in place as for ordinary rooms.
We are aware of the limitation being an issue in some cases. We will likely have some clever way to solve this, but for now I suggest you simply create several lobby chats for people to hang out in. Might even have the nice side effects that you get several sub communities.

Q: On Nonoba MP-API i remember there was a weird problem to go back to the lobby where the user had to refresh the browser, has it been solved?
A: There is no such problems any more. Basically you have full control over all aspects of room listing, creating etc.

Q: How will it look a Player.IO branding on a free account?
A: The logo (200
px x 50 px ) will only advertise Player.IO, will appear only once for about 5 seconds at the bottom center of the game and it will be triggered only when the player actually connects to the game.

Q: There is a big gap on max concurrent user between the free version and the plus version, is there in your plan to have a basic plan at a lower price for something like 1000 or 1500 concurrent players without being forced to buy the plus plan?
A: We are still looking at pricing, so I cannot comment on this point at this time.

Q: On maximum monthly bandwidth, is it intended to be the download of the DLL and the traffic of messages both sent and received by users?
A: There is currently no file hosting build into Player.IO, so the traffic cost/price is purely for game traffic and processing.

Q: About packets loss, do you have any particular system that protects from losing a packet, or the developer should always double check to make sure no packets have been lost?
A: The server runs
TCP / IP . Package lost is pretty much impossible.

Q: Can I send variables to a remote data base via server side?
A: Not with a free account.

Analyzing the answers I would say that this service is at least worth a try, even because it is free and it doesn't require a server.
Many people would say that probably is cheaper to buy a license of SmartFox and rent a server.
But honestly even if I find a cheap linux dedicated server, I need to worry about the setup, the maintenance and especially on cheap servers I need to make sure they always work.
It is anyway a developing choice, I am going to try it, soon I'll write if it was the right decision.


Article Comments

LOL - June 30th, 2010
can I make a game like everybody edits but more smileys and bricks and gravity?

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