Online Matters Transcending the single Player Experience.

Category: iPhone


Emotional Robots’ Warm Gun Gets Massive Update, Accolades


Independent start-up studio Emotional Robots recently released a major update to its GameSpy Technology-powered multiplayer iOS shooter, Warm Gun, that added new content, fixed myriad bugs in the game, and just generally improved the title’s performance for all players. The cherry on the update sundae? The developer also put the game on sale in the AppStore for just $1.99 until the end of February. Go grab it!

And when we say Warm Gun received a “major” update this month, we mean it. Included among the patch’s many refinements:

  • Increased performance across all devices by roughly 40%
  • Improved control schemes, AI, UI, registering/logging process for smoother online gameplay
  • Improved server browsing
  • Answering huge demand from users, added kill/death ratio in multiplayer status
  • Added all-new map, Coldshot
  • Improved stability, streamlined interface, resolved random crashes

Emotional Robots has also released a few screenshots of the new Coldshot DLC via its space on IndieDB:

Response to the update has been overwhelmingly positive. IGN.com noted that the game, “certainly stands out among the glut of FPS titles, thanks to its steampunk Wild West aesthetic,” while 148Apps commented that, “now looks to be as good a time as any to holster up and take a step into the past … or is it the future?” According to Emotional Robots, the update also had a substantial impact on user reviews, with the game’s average score climbing 1 1/2 stars — from a solid 3 to a stellar 4.5 — in just the span of a couple of weeks.

As we mentioned in an October blog post celebrating the game’s launch, Warm Gun gained access to GameSpy Technology’s online services via our Open initiative, which aims to make all of our technology more accessible for independent and mobile game developers. Emotional Robots — just like over 1200 other developers (and counting) — simply signed up for a free account via the GameSpy Technology website, downloaded our SDKs, and obtained support during development via our online forums and wiki-based documentation.



Emotional Robots’ Warm Gun Released for iOS with Multiplayer powered by GameSpy Technology


For anyone questioning the ability of small, independent studios to produce high-caliber video game entertainment, the crew at Emotional Robots has an answer: Warm Gun.

Set in a futuristic, dystopian version of the Wild West, this first person shooter for the iPhone and iPad delivers the sort of adrenalin-soaked, frenetic action that most gamers used to expect only from big budget PC and console games. More compelling, a team of six full-time (and 4 part-time) developers built the game over the past three-and-a-half years using the Unreal Development Kit, with multiplayer services obtained freely via GameSpy Technology’s “Open” Initiative (which puts the full suite of our online services – from multiplayer to player metrics & rankings to cloud storage – in the hands of start-up studios at no up-front cost).

You can view a trailer, loaded with gameplay footage, here:

Multiplayer works exactly in Warm Gun as you’d expect from any other shooter: dedicated servers host the game online, and players join by browsing through a server browser to locate the optimal host. Players can choose from any of four characters, each equipped with three weapons, and run ‘n’ gun their way through the game’s tried and true deathmatch game mode. New multiplayer modes, like Capture the Flag, Death Match, or Team Death Match, in addition to Warm Gun “exclusives” like “Showdown,” “Great Escape” and “Mad Cap” can be expected in future versions of the game, whether or iOS or elsewhere.

Warm Gun is available for purchase download now via Apple’s iTunes App Store. And, when you’re ready to follow in Emotional Robots’ footsteps, you can sign up for a free GameSpy Technology developer account and start coding your next online masterpiece right here.



Categories: Indie, iPhone, Matchmaking, Open

Dungeon Defenders Releases on PC, PS3, Xbox


The gang over at Trendy Entertainment has finally unleashed the long-anticipated “Second Wave” update for its wildly popular cross-platform RPG / tower defense game, Dungeon Defenders, bringing the game to PC and both PlayStation and Xbox consoles. The new version also makes use of GameSpy Technology’s multiplayer services to fold both PC and PS3 players into its co-op multiplayer community. Players on both platforms can now join players on iOS and Android devices in online games, ensuring that people new to the game have a massive, built-in community to play against.

Dungeon Defenders
, which Trendy initially released on iOS in December of 2010, has blazed trails from day 1. The first game to bring Epic’s Unreal Engine 3 to the Android platform, it also enabled players to join co-op multiplayer sessions across both iOS and Android platforms. Trendy always envisioned adding players on new platforms to the overall multiplayer mix as it released the game in new places. You can learn more about how Trendy approached the challenge of building cross-platform multiplayer into the game in our case study on the title, or by watching our panel discussion with Trendy at PAX Dev 2011 over at the GameSpy Technology YouTube channel.

The strategy has paid off handsomely for both the game and its community; since launching on its new platforms, the community has expanded dramatically in size, and the game has continued to win plaudits from publications like Destructoid (which scored the game a 9.5 / 10 in its recent review) to Joystiq, which commented that the game, “… gets damned near everything exactly right.”

Still curious? Check out the official Dungeon Defenders launch trailer below. The game is available for purchase now on PC (Direct2Drive, Steam), the PSN Store, Xbox Live, Apple’s iTunes App Store, and the Android Marketplace. PC players can also find a demo of the game now on FilePlanet.



Categories: Indie, iPhone

Dungeon Defenders: Case Study, PAX Dev Videos, Monk Trailer


Lots of news to share this week about our partners over at Trendy Entertainment, creators of the indie hit Dungeon Defenders (which uses GameSpy Technology’s multiplayer matchmaking services to enable cross-platform co-op play on iOS, Android, PC, and PS3).

First up, for those looking for some deeper information about what Trendy did — and why we feel it was so important — we’ve published a case study on Dungeon Defenders here on the GameSpy Technology Web site. It covers: the basics of what Trendy implemented; how GameSpy Technology’s services manifest in the game; why Trendy felt it was crucial to adopt a cross-platform (rather than just a multi-platform) strategy for the game; and what players can expect from future versions of Dungeon Defenders.

For those who want to go SUPER in-depth on Trendy’s implementation of our tech — and beyond — we’ve also uploaded “shaky cam” video footage to our YouTube channel from our PAX Dev 2011 panel discussion with Trendy’s Jeremy Stieglitz and Philip Asher (moderated by GameSpy Technology Director of Marketing Sean Flinn). Why “shaky cam?” PAX Dev is blacked out to the media and provides no taping services of its own; so, it was up to us to record video ourselves. The room wasn’t exactly lit for filming (and we have no pretensions to greatness as film makers), so the visual quality is a bit dim. Still, tons of useful information in here for developers of all levels — particularly indies and those working in the mobile space. You can watch part 1 of 5 right here:

Finally, Trendy today launched the final “character class” video for Dungeon Defenders, this one focusing on the “Monk” class. “How powerful can a class be that has no physical blockades or traps?” Trendy asks. Watch the trailer to find out — then prepare yourself for the game’s launch on PC and Xbox on October 19 (with the PS3 version appearing shortly thereafter).



Dungeon Defenders (Cross-Platform)


Cross-Platform Pandemonium

Dungeon Defenders doesn’t just provide a multiplayer gaming experience for mobiles — using GameSpy Technology, it obliterates the barriers between PC, PS3, iOS, and Android. Never before have players been able to connect to each other through so many platforms in one place; while other games have made vague inroads toward cross-platform functionality, Dungeon Defenders blazes trails into terra incognita, delivering connectivity that sets an entirely new standard for multiplayer gaming.

The indie developers at Trendy Entertainment used freely available online services from GameSpy Technology to deliver AAA-caliber game entertainment in Dungeon Defenders (Trendy is also the first developer to use the Unreal 3 engine on Android, to boot). Trendy employed GameSpy’s multiplayer matchmaking services to smash through walls that most major developers have never had the daring to cross: enabling cross-platform multiplayer. And they did it by bridging traditional and emerging platforms alike, connecting audiences across PC, PS3, Android, and iOS into a single, cohesive online multiplayer community.

No matter where they are, players can team up to mobilize against marauding monsters by logging in with their GameSpyID to access our GameSpy Presence services, including chat and buddy lists.

Goblins, Kobolds, and Orcs! Oh my!

A unique blend of action RPG and tower defense games, Dungeon Defenders pits brave adventurers against hordes of invading creatures. Co-op play is central to the game — only teamwork and the clever use of player towers can keep masses of monsters from shattering the player’s precious Eternia Crystals.

With co-op play so integral to the game being fun — but knowing that it can be difficult to grow a player base to critical mass quickly enough to support such a feature — Trendy took the approach of making newly supported platforms additive to the overall player base, rather than isolating them into their own walled-off communities. So, as the game debuts on PC and PS3 in mid-October 2011, those players will be able to join players already battling it out on iOS and Android. The pool of available co-op players will thus simply grow as new platforms come online, ensuring that new players have a great experience right away.

GameSpy Technology helped make this possible by providing Trendy with cross-platform compatible matchmaking services. This enabled Trendy to easily add new platform’s audiences to the overall co-op pool, and gives players choices to play the way they want and the players they want to play with:

  • Players who want to immediately jump into the thick of battle can choose Quick Matches and play right away.
  • Hosting Custom Games lets the player decide specific criteria for the game, like available campaigns and challenges, which platforms can access their matches, and level of difficulty.
  • Private Games give player the option to make sure they get to play with their friends while still taking advantage of GameSpy Technology’s Player Metrics & Ranking service.

Lobby interaction comes into online play via Home Taverns, which allow players to invite others to trade items and gather prior to matches. They also give heroes access to a store where they can exchange items for mana and a place to level up and upgrade weapons outside of the hectic pace of Dungeon Defenders battles.

Eliminating Cross-Platform Problems

In the past, factors like disparities in processing power and different control schemes have prevented cross-platform play from becoming an industry standard. Players on consoles and PCs have more power to throw behind games than their mobile-gaming comrades, and often their respective controls give them an advantage over touch-screen input schemes; not to mention the fact that home wireless networks have classically been more reliable than mobile networks.

Rather than dividing their player base, Trendy circumvents these issues with innovative techniques:

  • Controls: switching the focus of Dungeon Defenders from player-versus-player to co-operative play renders control disparities irrelevant — working together rather than against each other ensures that players can meaningfully contribute to their team despite any potential control inequalities.
  • Processing: while the mechanic of enemy hordes invading dungeons is a core part of Dungeon Defenders, some platforms are better equipped to handle larger numbers of spawns. Trendy provides an elegant solution — when players on mobile platforms group up with PC and PS3 users, the invading enemies are fewer, but more powerful; the challenge of dungeon defense remains, but players are placed on equal footing.
  • Networking: players on any network can join matches, but only players with Wi-Fi or wired Internet connections may host them. Doing so ensures that the host player has enough bandwidth and stability to host the match, but allows everybody to access games.

Who Doesn’t Love Stats?

Dungeon Defenders also uses GameSpy Technology’s Player Metrics & Ranking service — which enables developers to track thousands of data points for millions of players — for stat tracking to show players how they rank for each match in kills, defenses built, player deaths, damage done, and accomplishments earned, among other things. Leaderboards add depth to those stats by showing how players stack up against other heroes around the world.

Hang on to Your Butts, We’re Not Done Yet

Trendy Entertainment has devoted itself to making Dungeon Defenders a game experience transcending platform limitations and has several planned features in the pipe for post-release implementation:

  • Cloud Saves: The same technology that makes cross-platform interaction possible also will also give players options for how and when they choose to play: by using one GameSpyID account, players will be able to access their characters anytime, anywhere, on any platform. Dungeon Defenders will use GameSpy Technology’s cloud data storage services to let players fight on their phones or tablets during the day and their PS3 or PC by night, all while continuing to make progress on the same character.
  • Deeper Player Stat Tracking: Dungeon Defenders already tracks numerous player stats for things like kills and damage done. Trendy has plans to make use of the full power of GameSpy’s Player Metrics & Rankings service to blow the doors off of the stats that comparable games track. Future versions of the game will find it tracking deeper stats like damage done, kills made with weapon types and defenses, enemy types killed, and how players use the unique abilities of each class — to provide players with a rich portrait of their gameplay activity over time.

Dungeon Defenders already destroys old ideas of platform-limited multiplayer, and with more GameSpy Technology features on the way in addition to Trendy Entertainment’s incoming features — new character classes, more maps, and more accomplishments — the already-amazing Dungeon Defenders will continue to raise the bar for co-op standards on every gaming platform.

For more information on integrating GameSpy Technology’s services, sign up for a free account today at poweredbygamespy.com.



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