Simplifying multiplayer mobile game development

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Creating and operating mobile multiplayer games is a great opportunity, but can also require more time and resources than indie developers can afford. That could be changing, however: Last week, Google officially launched its Google Play Games app, which will help Android gamers find friends based on their Google+ social networking circles. While Google simply said the app was designed to help "turbo-charge gaming on Android," Developer Relations Manager Woolf Dobson's Google I/O presentation suggests that the multiplayer approach could drive engagement across almost any platform. "That's how games become evergreen, like basketball, which people have been playing for 120 years," Dobson said. "That's what you want: to turn your game into a sport."

Google Play Services, of course, aren't the only way for developers to enter the multiplayer arena. Last week also saw the debut of a multiplayer platform for developers from GoInstant, a Canadian company based in Halifax, N.S., which was acquired last year by Salesforce.com. The GoInstant platform will give developers access to a compute stack to manage user presence, access control, real-time messaging, state storage and a security suite. Like Google, GoInstant is arguing that using its platform will free developers to focus more on user experience than upkeep of a system that can handle multiple players. 

"We asked ourselves, 'What if we were to develop an app from the ground up and design that for multi-user use cases? How would that change the decisions we make around the menus and the design and how would UX be different for multiple users?'" said Gavin Uhma, GoInstant's co-founder and CTO. Feature

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