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With Croquet for Unity, developers have no networking code to build or maintain. Croquet's unique Synchronized Computation Architecture eliminates traditional servers and server-side code. Instead, users connect through the Croquet Multiplayer Network, a collection of stateless microservers called Reflectors which are available globally on four continents that drive bit-identical experiences among players.
The key to understanding Croquet is that it is not just synchronizing state, it is synchronizing the evolution of state over time. By synchronizing computation itself, Croquet not only eliminates the need to transmit the resulting state of complex computations like physics or AIs, it also eliminates the need for specialized data structures to be used for synchronized properties, or having to mark certain objects to be synchronized. This makes writing multiplayer code very similar to writing single-player code, since the full game simulation runs on-device.
That code is executed in a shared virtual computer that runs bit-identically across every client so everyone stays perfectly in sync, while each player has their own unique point of view. Because the lightweight reflectors can be located on the edge of the cloud or on the MEC in 5G networks, they provide lower latency than traditional network architectures. Computations historically done on traditional servers are done in synchronized computation on each client, dramatically reducing bandwidth and improving latency.
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"Multiplayer games are the most important and fastest growing part of the gaming market," said David A. Smith, Founder and CTO of Croquet. "But building and maintaining multiplayer games is still just too hard. Croquet takes the netcode out of creating multiplayer games. When we say 'innately multiplayer,' we mean games are multiuser automatically from the first line of code and not as an afterthought writing networking code to make it multiplayer."
Croquet's goal is to make multiplayer game development as easy as single player. With no netcode to develop or manage, developers can focus on the player experience. They further benefit in lower overall development and deployment costs, faster time to market and better player experiences.
"Having worked on multiplayer games in a variety of engines, I'm well aware of the pain of setting up servers and synching player experience. Croquet has enabled me to write complicated multiplayer games by myself without even thinking about the netcode," said Brian Upton, Croquet's Chief Creative Officer and game designer for Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon. "I code the game like it's single-player, and when a second player joins it just WORKS. And there's no bandwidth limit to the number of simulation objects, which opens up the possibility of new genres of multiplayer games with interactive physics or crowd AI."
While Croquet for Unity is intended for a wide range of game developers, it is particularly valuable for small, independent developers who are often limited from building multiplayer games due to lack of in house networking and backend development expertise.
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Beta Waitlist for Early Access
Croquet for Unity will be available in beta in April. Developers can join the waitlist for early access today at Beta Waitlist. If you will be at GDC, schedule a time to meet David A. Smith and see a demo.
The Croquet for Unity Package is free and will be available on commercial release from the Unity Asset Store. It requires a gaming or enterprise subscription and developer API key from Croquet for access to its global Croquet Multiplayer Network.
Filed Under: Business
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