Approximately 15 years ago, in 2004, we released our first commercial version of SmartFoxServer, called SmartFoxServer Basic.
It was the fruit of our previous experience with SmartFoxServer Lite, a free multiplayer server launched one year before on gotoandplay.it, one of the top Flash developer communities of the time.
Fifteen years might not seem much, but in technological terms it feels like ages ago, when things that we give for granted such as Youtube, Instagram or the iPhone didn’t even exist.
In this blog post we’re going to take a look back at evolution of SmartFoxServer since its early days and the many changes and incredible growth of multiplayer gaming in the past 10+ years.
In this article we’re going to take a quick tour of the fundamental changes that Java releases 9 through 11 have introduced, their implications for development, deployment and how SmartFoxServer 2X will move forward in relation to the new and faster cycles of Java releases.
In part one of this article series we took a bird’s eye look at various client-server strategies for action multiplayer games. We then highlighted the advantages of running an hybrid solution with SmartFoxServer 2X and Unity on the server side to combine the best of both worlds.
In this second part we’ll be looking at the details of implementing such a solution, the potential difficulties and how to overcome them.
If you have skipped the first article we highly recommend to go back and read it, before you proceed. Continue reading
Realtime multiplayer games have been around for over four decades, even though their popularity is a much more recent phenomenon, and they remain one of the trickiest type of games to develop. Delivering a smooth and responsive action for the players while hiding the latency and limitations of the network is still a major source of coding pain.
Also many games heavily rely on physics to add extra realism and interesting mechanics which in turn adds more complexity to make sure that all players are accurately in synch with each other.
With the emergence of powerful 3D engines such as Unreal and Unity these complex features have been integrated with the visual and rendering systems, hiding the intricacies of physics simulations and networking, and making it more accessible to all developers.
In this article we’re going to take a deep look at the available solutions for multiplayer action games, explore different architectures and examine the multiplayer side of engines such as Unity.
For each method we’ll discuss the pros and cons and finally we’ll propose an integration with SmartFoxServer 2X that we think provides the best of both worlds. Continue reading
We have a strategy game for which we built native client apps in Android, iOS and HTML5. We are also exposing the client functionality as a rest api for apps to be built for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. That rest api is being built on Node.js and we want to consume the same services hosted on SFS2X, so that we can manage all the platforms from the same server base and provide unified experience.
Starting from this new version, we completely reviewed the build process of the API.
This fixes some compatibility issues of the internal third-party libraries with module bundlers (like webpack) and also brings:
- reduced API file size (-41%)
- a source map to help debug the API, should unexpected issues show up in the future
- the official SFS2X API package for the npm package builder
- Node.js compatibility
As always, the new package is available on the download page of our website (other than in the npm repository, from now on).
In order to showcase the usage of the API with npm and webpack, we also released a variant Connector example describing the project setup and build process, including the new source mapping option.
With the release of patch 2.13.1 SmartFoxServer 2X adds support for functional Java and lambdas in server side Extensions. In this article we’re going to take a closer look at how we can use lambdas in our server side code. Continue reading
In the last blog post we talked about what happens behind the scenes when we pull the ethernet cable or shut down the wifi network, and why this isn’t a reliable way to test a “sudden disconnection” scenario.
In this new article we’ll continue our journey “behind the scenes” taking a look at mobile devices and in particular at how to correctly handle the switch between networks, such as WiFi, 3G and 4G. Continue reading
In this brief article we’re going to take a look at what really happens when we shut down a device’s wifi or unplug the ethernet cable off of a computer. While intuitively one would expect the current connections to go down, this is likely not the case.
We are going to see why this happens and clarify a few misconceptions that arise when testing disconnection scenarios in a multiplayer game. Continue reading
A recent discussion on our support forum brought up the struggle of sending enough details to the log files when an Exception is caught on the server side. In this article we provide a few options to improve error reporting in your Extensions and avoid those puzzling, single-line errors. Continue reading