Thursday, August 29, 2013

Games Industry Concept: "Multiplayer Scalability as Middleware Game Software Suite"

Hello All,

Those of us as avid gamers be it on the PC/Mac or a video game console have had our noses against an artificial ceiling imposed by game publishers. What I mean for over a decade if not more multiplayer games as mostly FPS (First person shooters) combat games. Have only offered an upper limit of 64 (32 vs. 32) players per game round on a server. This Status Quo has created a vacuum of Opportunity for an enterprising game software company, if not a collective of grass roots coders / modders.

Game developers be they: DICE, Infinity Ward, Treyarch, Bungie, etc... Have forced fed gamers an artificial scale of multiplayer game play for far too long. Their reasons however have been valid to a point, be it restrictions on game development of time, resources such as labor and money, or plain lack of will power and vision in the final game design document. This game industry attitude has been prevalent for a dozen years now since the very first multiplayer games were 8 (4 vs. 4) players. Soon they leaped to 16 (8 vs. 8) and again they doubled over the years to 32 (16 vs. 16). Here's a little history the very first modern era multiplayer was on the "Atari ST" video game console for a game called "MIDI Maze". It debuted in 1987 and allowed up to 16 players to play together. Fast forward to the classic "Doom" in 1993 that allowed up to 4 players simultaneously. Where just a year prior in 1992 the father of the modern FPS shooter "Wolfenstein 3D" debuted by ID Software and Apogee Software as the publisher.

Now let me bring you closer to our early 21st century whereby a visionary game developer known as "Zipper Interactive". On the "PlayStation 3" console created a ground breaking FPS 256 Multiplayer Game Experience server side. The game is known as "MAG: Massive Action Game" that game title came out in 2010. I'm sad to say "Sony Computer Entertainment" the ones that support all things "Playstation". Bought out the once independent game developer and have shuttered them last year or so. The "MAG" multiplayer game servers will be shut down on January 1st, 2014 for good.

Aside from MMO FPS game titles such as "Planetside 1 & 2" brought to us by "Sony Online Entertainment". If not the MMOSIM known as "War World II Online" brought to us by game developer "Cornered Rat Software" with mixed results. Are the outstanding larger scale mutliplayer game experience that are combat shooter related known to the global consumer market.

Do take heart during my research for my innovative concept today I was pleasantly surprised it wasn't original. To say a Swedish non-profit staffed by 25 people created a Middleware Game Software that includes ground breaking multiplayer scalability. They're known as "Much Different".

Much Different "Man Vs Machine" (Link)

What "Much Different" accomplished took them 2 years to build and that was a 1,000 player internet browser FPS game. (technically they only got 999 players) They have moved onward to having supported "Battlestar Galactica" by game publisher "Big Point". Besides having recently been picked by "Behaviour Interactive" for the MMO of "Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade". Press Release (Link)

What I thought up as a innovative concept still stands as a market opportunity beyond that of a Visionary non-profit Swedish game software company. I would hope a competitor anywhere on this globe of ours could give "Much Different" a run on its world class multiplayer experience. Again I reiterate a game software company or a collective of like minded grass roots coders / modders could launch a venture in this direction.

This is what I a futurist innovator had in mind a software company or grass roots group offering an open source middleware of game utility software suite. Produces a demo that provides a 128 (64 vs. 64) FPS multiplayer game server experience. The demo could even provide a bare bones simplistic FPS multiplayer game as a proof of concept of said technology. That way anyone world wide could patch together either a rudimentry or sophisticated multiplayer game experience. That would Frickin Shame Game Publishers to jump on this Middleware Band Wagon. So tomorrow's FPS or even RPG games like "Neverwinter Nights" fame could have beyond the stagnant 64 (32 vs. 32) multiplayer game server experience.

The middleware game software suite can literally scale upwards to support 256 (of "Zipper Interactive" fame), 512, or even 1024 game multiplayer experiences. Such a software game company could go on to offer consultancy services to supplement their revenue needs.

Here is the (Link) to Pikkotekk multiplayer game technology experience provided by "Much Different" as an example. I believe they are coding in a language called "Unity" for their platform of choice.

If ambitious grass roots coders / modders did come together for such a open source venture. Their offering is only open source for non-commercial usage. So corporate clients would pay market driven license fees to use the middleware game software developed by their efforts. Where everyone else in a truer open source initiative becomes the guinea pigs. To test and help develop such a middleware software suite according to their specific project needs.

Like I've stated prior the Market Opportunity is here now! "Much Different", shouldn't be the only off the shelf middleware game software provider globally. For such a game technology that would otherwise be developed in-house by game developers. "Much Different", even has launched a kiddie MMO for toddlers called "Badanamu World"(Link) for the South Koreans from what I understand.

So who else in Europe, Asia, or in the United States is bold enough to pursue such a vision to break the dozen years multiplayer artificial barrier from the games industry?