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A New multiplayer game API development project - bambino234 - May 1, 2012 07:15 PM

Hi all, I've been an IDG lurker for a while here and I've been working on a project that I thought the community could give me some great feedback. Smile

I've been developing a mobile app that uses QR codes to sync Bluetooth / WiFi peer-to-peer connections. I believe that are loads of uses for this type of "quick and easy, snap photo to connect" idea, but the use I've been working heavily on is multiplayer gaming.

The premise is that a game developer would be able to make use of my API, such that within their app a user can host a bluetooth connection and encode those connection parameters using QR. Following that, another user would be able to use the their Game App or my App to scan the QR and immediately join that local game instance. Once in game, my API would pass back a simple publish/subscribe communication socket for sending data between the devices.

There are upsides and downsides to this technology. The upside is the quick and hassle free connection for the user - there is no need to discover devices or navigate through a list of games to find your friend. The downside is that the user would need to download my app in order for this connection to work.

Does this sound like a platform you might use? Is there another use for this technology that you can think of?

Any feedback will be appreciated. Smile

RE: A New multiplayer game API development project - SethWillits - May 1, 2012 10:41 PM

RE: A New multiplayer game API development project - JustinFic - May 2, 2012 11:21 PM

(May 1, 2012 10:41 PM)SethWillits Wrote:

That's awesome.

I do think QR codes have a lot of potential that's just going unused. They've got this horrible marketing stigma though that I don't know if they can ever dig themselves out of. They can be a useful tool if used for good-- they just haven't been.

That said, I don't know if I would use them to connect to a peer-to-peer game at short range. I don't see the advantage something like this would have over choosing the other player's name in GameKit inside the game app, especially if I have to go through another app.

If you're gonna exchange information between two people at close range, you might as well do something super simple like have them share a one-digit number or their initials. I can just say to someone "join channel 1" way faster than I could generate a QR code and have the other person scan it.

RE: A New multiplayer game API development project - bambino234 - May 5, 2012 06:23 PM

@JustinFic those are great points that you mentioned. I've also used Gamekit in a game before and I agree that it is already very simple to implement. We are considering dropping the app version in the meantime and going with an API library.

The advantage this system would have over the stock Gamekit system is that the user would skip one or more of the following steps: the device scanning process, selecting from a list of device/game instances to connect or entering in channel number. I'm envisioning that a user would be able to host a game, where the waiting room consists of a list of players, game info and an embedded QR code. Another user would be able to enter scan mode, scan the QR and immediately sync up to the game. This way the user wouldn't have to do much beside point the camera.