Bringing connected games within reach with Google Cloud
At Unite Berlin, we announced a strategic alliance with Google Cloud. Together, we are building a suite of features that will help you create, run, and scale your connected games. In this post, I’ll share how we define connected games, what we have been working on with Google Cloud, and give you a peek at our upcoming plans.
What are connected games?
The term applies to games that connect players to other players as well as players to developers. Their characteristics include traditional multiplayer (player vs player gameplay) and dynamic content updates like daily challenges or new levels. Another defining characteristic of connected games is that they are successful because they provide emergent and engaging experiences that keep players coming back.
Although there are many types of connected games, we can divide them into four general segments:
- Dynamic Single Player: Single player focused games, with “live” features like social, leaderboards, and content updates.
- Turned Based Multiplayer: Asynchronous, turn-based gameplay, with more than one player.
- Real Time Multiplayer: Real time, session-based gameplay.
- Persistent Game Spaces: Real time game sessions that persist.
However, these categories are not rigid and defining. Connected games can pull from any and all these segments and there’s plenty of grey area between them. Still, within the overall category of connected games, there are a number of common game types and important features. Therefore, this structure helps us consider which features we need to create for you.
Collaborating with Google Cloud
To make connected games, you not only need network code, you also need infrastructure like servers and load balancers, and the specialized knowledge necessary to use that infrastructure. Furthermore, once you have this infrastructure, you need to support and operate it, 24/7. It’s a lot to ask for, and not all creators have enough resources.
Through our alliance with Google Cloud, we can provide you enterprise-grade infrastructure that is globally available, highly reliable, and customizable for your game. You won’t need to be a cloud expert to harness all that capability. We streamline your user experience by building and integrating features made first for game creators. At Unite Berlin, I demonstrated how technology from Multiplay, a Unity company, was used to scale more than 60,000 game servers to support over a million players in minutes.
By building a tight integration between Unity and Google Cloud, we aim to democratize connected games. From a robust global network that enables low-latency player connectivity, to worldwide synchronized databases, Unity developers will be able to take advantage of Google Cloud — right in Unity — without having to master the cloud.
Unity and Google Cloud engineers are already hard at work
We’re working on a suite of features to create, run, and scale your connected games. In addition to game server hosting, Unity and Google Cloud have co-founded an open source matchmaking project. Matchmaking is key to so many multiplayer games, with a lot of opportunity to innovate, so we’re collaborating to create something that is scalable and flexible enough to work with your game design. The open source project will be available later this summer. We’re also working a new ECS networking layer. The new paradigm will allow you to create fast, flexible networking code that delivers multiplayer by default.
Keep track of what we’re building to help you make connected games and harness the power of Google Cloud:
Tell us about your connected game! Your feedback helps us understand and prioritize your needs. You can also reach out to us directly by posting on our forum.