All posts by Kalin Mihaylov

Taking control over networking

Hello game developers,

I have just got back from Casual Connect in Amsterdam. It was awesome. Among other things I met a lot of game developers and publishers, and cloud providers and in game advertisers, and soooooo on.

and we spoke about game networking

There were 2 types of attitude towards game networking

1. I will do it myself

2. I have tried doing it myself, and I don’t want to do it anymore

So let’s see what are the main differences between those two categories:

1. I will do it myself

Making game server sounds like an easy task. We just send messages back and forwards, some synchronized or async state and that is it. How hard can it be?

Well… It can be.

We participated on a presentation that literally said the following:

“we did our networking in house, because we had previous experience”.

“it took us only about 12 months”.

“we did it separately from the game” .

“at the end the game was not working with the server” .

“we have just figured it out and the investor closed the project”.

What I see in these sentences, that solving a problem that already has a solution can risk the project and eventually kill it. They never made it to production, so they have not seen the other risks – scalability, availability, support etc. All these issues are IT related and in my opinion a game studio must decide whether it is going to be a game studio or a technology company. Because both is a bit expensive and can lose the focus of the company.

Most of I-will-do-it-myself studios were with 1-2 games in their portfolio.

2. I have tried doing it myself, and I don’t want to do it anymore

The second group of game studios was the one that already have some previous experience and do not underestimate the hidden costs and risks of home grown solutions.

What did they shared about middleware:

– Choosing the right set of middleware is hard.

– Using middleware shortens the delivery time significantly.

– Using middleware greatly reduce the risks of scalability, availability and support issues.

– Also reduces the total number of needed human resource.

– By choosing the right platform for your game, you can still be in control.

Conclusions

As final words I would say that anyone is free to choose one’s own way, but you should not underestimate the hidden costs of home grown solutions and choosing middleware does not necessary mean that you loose control.

Happy coding and may the source be with you all.

Kalin

Game networking middleware
Game networking middleware

Witch please! Spell on you too

Hi,

My name is Ani and I am part of the GCC team. My job is creative, branding, marketing and GCC’s business development.

general view

A witch please tale

The story I want to tell today is about our last team project. A game. A Demo Game. You got it right. We are no game studio, but a mere platform for making and baking games. so in order to demonstrate the capabilities of the platform, we need to prove our innovation, that is to change the game networking world.

Most game studios are accustomed to the slow and poor networking so badly, that they refuse to believe that a small start-up could solve the problem of a huge game studio with tremendous # of game titles per year.

You might ask why?

A Game Idea is Born

The idea was born out of the fact, that it is so difficult to present something that has never been done before. We found no base to compare to, so our clients can easily define the product GCC pro and trust us.

So I hit my first problem. I do not know how games are made. I am no notorious gamer and have absolutely no idea where to start from. Luckily, we are a great team (chosen over beauty and ingenuity contests) and we help each other. We all met up and started brainstorming (useful and crazy ideas alike), and I shaped a concept in my head. Halloween is upon us. Let’s bind the game with it. Let it be with a fall taste of pumpkins, twilight and many many witches. Well, it turned out we will not be in time for Halloween, but the idea stands. The first concept art sketches are ready thanks to the most kind support of our artist Karolina Kalibatseva, who had no doubts for even a moment, when I enthusiastically enlightened her about the concept.

Witch please game concept art
Black Cat

Now, when I have dragged all the team into the idea, it was time for the real work on the game. It was a perfect timing to meet my friend from university, Ivaylo Gogov, who supported us and voted to create the 3d design and construct all 3d modeling that wee need for the level in Unity. Here we hit the stone again, trying to break the frames that the 3d artist was into. We wanted so many 3d objects in a single scene that he was afraid will be very heavy for Unity physics engine and the game itself. After short demonstration of BEPU physics integrated inside GCC pro cloud platform, we got a huge YES from our friend and he, joyfully, started working.

Bewitched Sofia

 

Flying Witchwitch standingExpect soon fairy, mythical ladies with warts on their noses and pointy hats, riding flying brooms with rear view mirrors, mastered black magic, flying around twilight Sofia. They are evil-cute, they are many and love to troll each other. Behold, a huge number of players on a single game map, that easily conquer airspace over the streets of Sofia.

 

Spell on you too….

Ani

Ani Mihaylova

GCC – a faster unity3d game networking

Hello World,

Welcome to Game Cloud Continental official blog.

My name is Kalin Mihaylov and I am co-founder and CEO of Game Cloud Continental.

This is the first time I ever write a blog post in my life, so I do not promise you a lot of exiting content in that particular post.

Company

The purpose of that blog is to share some thoughts and feeling that our team is experiencing in our journey for creation of a new kind of cloud – the game cloud. Our purpose – to improve unity3d game networking.

Since 2013 we are trying to build some new technological platform called Game Cloud Continental. It is a game server designed for Unity3d based games, but also for any c# based game engine.

The technological break-troughs are several and I will leave the detailed explanation to our CTO – Atanas Marinov.

The Product

The most important advancement is our “Advanced Context Serialization Technology” which enables the games to send only small fragments of information to the server, reducing the overall traffic with up-to 96% making it perfect for mobile games, played on slow, expensive mobile networks.

This is achieved by making our platform completely authoritative – meaning that the game core logic runs on our cloud platform as well as on the client devices. This enables the game developer to prevent cheating by leaving his game logic decisions on the server and do not fully trust what game client sent to server game logic.

The same fact, enables dramatic network reduction, sending and receiving only game meaningful data and not just messages containing everything that a game frame could have.

But in order to be fully authoritative, we needed to enable server side physics. Without it anyone could cheat about his condition and place in the 3d space. The problem there is that Unity3d physics cannot be run server-side, or at least the cost to run per player would be extreme. So we have decided to enable BEPU physics engine for server side collision detection.

Our efforts reached the point that we have declared Beta version of our product called GCC Pro and we are welcoming you – game developers – to try our cloud platform. It is free up to 30 concurrent users, and you do not have to pay until you officially launch your game.

To all game developers

We have created an SDK that is cross-platform (for Windows and Mac OS X). It is freely available after registration and have a nice integration within Unity3d editor and a local cloud emulator to play with.

The documentation is available at the company site and you can always get some fruitful help from our forum.

May the source be with you,

Kalin Mihaylov

GCC pro