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A 15-year game industry veteran, Dustin Clingman has developed games for nearly every mobile platform. In 2002 he founded Zeitgeist Games, which was acquired in 2008 by IMI Labs and relaunched as ZeeGee Games to focus on a growing social games market.

With the 2013 launch of Together Games, Dustin aims to simplify the processes behind game development by helping developers with cloud deployment and distributed data management. To learn how to integrate The Together Platform into your Corona-powered apps, take a look at the plugin’s documentation page.


The Together PlatformBuilding a scalable back end solution has been a game development challenge for years. The technologies are less familiar and let’s be honest, it’s not a super sexy aspect of making great games.

Enter The Together Platform. We developed this technology to help developers with cloud deployment and distributed data management.

With The Together Platform, developers can easily manage asynchronous multiplayer games with our Corona SDK enabled API. You don’t have to worry about dedicated servers hitting their maximum load and shutting down your game ever again. We’ll handle the scaling and uptime so you don’t have to. Additionally, your game can now handle matching players from iOS, Android and other platforms at the same time!

A great example of the platform at work is the iOS game, Trickochet. Trickochet is a head-to-head physics challenge. Within the game, players slide discs trying to target their opponents “core” discs to score points. The Together Platform manages the turn based behavior between players and devices, and also manages the physics simulation between turns as well. Balancing a game like Trickochet is easy using Together Games’ backend interface. No additional iTunes submissions are required, saving critical time when you need to make minor adjustments to the game economy or in-app item costs.

Managing your game data in the cloud is also a breeze via our online portal. Let your designer balance the games in real-time without having to utilize valuable engineer time or costly resubmission delays.

The Together Platform is your IT and Data Management solution. Best of all, our Standard Tier is FREE and includes access to a cross-platform asynchronous multiplayer API, web based data management and the very best service possible. We’re super excited to bring this technology to you through the Corona platform and can’t wait to see the great games you create!


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29 Responses to “Guest Piece: Get Your Game in the Cloud with The Together Platform”

  1. dingo

    Have been using the framework for a few weeks now and it works great! For those who have used Corona Cloud before… this framework is much more mature and development is very quick and handy!

    Reply
  2. Chris Leyton

    Tried to sample the Free tier however the registration form only accepts USA addresses; is this correct, is the service unavailable in other territories.

    Reply
    • Narie Kay

      Opps! Forgot to hit reply to your thread! You can email me directly (nkay@playstogether.com) and we’ll get you taken care of!

      Reply
  3. Lerg

    Looks really nice.

    If I want to make a turn based game. Will it be 1 request per turn? Will the other player receive the message that I have made the move or he would need to poll the server each second for update?

    If I reach 20 requests per second limit, will the extra request be dropped or queued?

    Trying to estimate how many online matches your free tier can handle. Any ideas?

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Dustin Clingman

      @Lerg,

      Total requests end up being a function of how the game is coded. Using your example, pulling the turn data in a multiplayer game would be a request. However, if you also pull Leaderboard data or other info, you’ll be using additional requests. On average, we estimate that a game could use as few as 2 or 3 requests per turn or as many as you instrument for. Each time the cloud is polled for information, it’s a request.

      If your game goes beyond the burst limit, your additional requests will be queued, not dropped.

      Depending on the complexity of your game, the free tier should be more than sufficient during development and then give you a chance to understand how your game is doing before needing to bump up to the higher plan. If you use my math at 3 requests per turn and say 20 turns per game, you should be able to host up to an estimated 15-16K matches on a monthly basis for the free tier.

      Hope that helps answer your questions.

      Reply
      • Robin

        We have been considering Together for a while (for turn based multiplayer), but is on the fence, mainly due to the pricing. For the free version we see your calculation of about 15-16k monthly matches, which translates to about 500 daily matches. This means that if every user that downloads your game just plays one round, you cannot have more than 500 daily downloads.

        I now this is only for the free version and I have no problems buying for a good service. But let do some math for the Pro subscription, where you will get 5 times more requests. If we keep the same amount of daily downloads (500) it means that every user can on average only play 5 games before you’re over the limit of Pro subscriptions.

        Looking closer on the math, and keep our assumption that you have an average number of downloads of 500, and they keep their average number of games below 5 (Pro subscription). On average of F2P games, about 1% translates to paying users. Let’s say you charge $2 for a “Premium upgrade”, which will leave you with a monthly income of 500 (number of daily users) * 30 (days in a month) 1% (paying user) * $1,4 (your share of $2 after Apple/Google cut) = $210 of monthly income where you have to pay $199 to Together for their services, leaving you with $11.

        Reply
        • Dustin Clingman

          Hi Robin,
          Interesting observations. My previous experience as a developer suggests a higher percentage conversion on F2P IAP.

          Ultimately, the individual deployment/request usage of a game is completely controlled by the developer. I’m positive that creative and savvy devs can squeeze a great deal more out of a free account without having to incur a cost. Also keep in mind the additional benefits of our Pro subscription including additional Push Notifications, a higher burst rate as well as the great support we offer.

          For high traffic, high conversion or high game usage titles, we offer our Enterprise accounts. These programs take into account individual games and companies, allowing for pricing negotiations based on usage. We can definitely set you up with whatever you need to best address your tech needs and your financial terms.

          Please let us know how we can help.

          Reply
      • Lerg

        And what about getting other player to know that I have made a move? Will the server notify him somehow? I plan to have 30 seconds limit on a move, so during that time I need to either make many requests or maybe you support persistent connections for new events?

        That matters because it’s either 2..6 requests per pair of turns or 32+ requests (if checking every second). Push notifications are not acceptable for this task.

        Reply
        • Dustin Clingman

          Our solution is asynchronous so you have the option of requesting the game’s state directly through the launch of the app or notifying the user via a Push Notification.

          If you wanted a more direct mechanism for updating, you can structure your code to poll against the server as often as you like to make a request directly for the game’s state. This method would use requests based upon the frequency of the poll.

          Reply
  4. Armin

    Hei, that sounds really interesting.
    One question. I’m using now Google Cloud Messaging for Push Notifications what limits my app to android. I saw there’s a UserNotificationManager in together. Can I use this in a similar manner so that my users get push-messages even the game is not running at that particlar moment (with a notification icon in the status-bar)? If so (if not, maybe in the near future?) that would help dramatically in making cross-platform games/apps which intercommunicate.

    Thank you and cheers, Armin

    Reply
    • Dustin Clingman

      This is a good suggestion Armin. Presently, we handle managing push notifications to a broad range of platforms (iOS, Android, etc.). Our push system is agnostic to platform and handles the routing under the hood.

      Presently, we cannot support push notifications outside of the application, but I’m jotting that down as an awesome idea for a near term feature add. Thanks!

      Reply
      • Armin

        Thank you Justin,

        I used pubnub for agnostic notifications so far which worked great…I even communicaterd between Windows applications and Corona without the need of an own server..so that’s what you provide as well. Cool…I’m looking forward to hearing some news on that.

        Thanks and cheers, Armin

        Reply
    • Narie Kay

      That would be much appreciated Pablo! Make sure you shoot me an email when you come on board so we can give you some media support when you launch!

      Reply
  5. Mujo

    Excellent platform, but a little too expensive as someone mentioned.
    One thing is missing to make it an absolute winner – custom code logic. But I’m gonna test this out, since it seems like a better solution than photon cloud.

    Reply
    • Narie Kay

      Thank you Mujo! Let us know what you need and we can always try to accommodate you! Give the Free tier a try and then let us know what you think! If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to email me directly at nkay@playstogether.com. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

      Reply
  6. dave

    Hi, I tried your sample app Trickochet to see what kind of thing could be done… I particularyly like the connection to facebook friends which is what I want my game to do… It linked to my account ok and I got a list of ‘friends’ – at this point I invited my wife to play to see how that all worked..

    I expected that my wife would get a facebook request to play but she didnt get anything.. Now i have a game in the ‘waiting’ status for her..

    How is that mechanism supposed to work.. does your solution offer the facebook connect / invite out of the box or have you done extra stuff for that game?

    thanks

    Reply
    • Justin Macanufo

      Hi, Dave. Together’s integration with Facebook “out of the box” allows you to connect your Facebook friends to your Together account. Once populated you can then invite them to play a game with you of course, but this does not inherently post the invite to his or her wall, nor does it automatically send them a push notification. Instead it adds a notification to their Together account using an internal notification system(Which as a developer, you are able to poll for new notifications and display them). In your game, if you wanted to post to their wall and/or send push notifications there are easy methods for doing so, they’re just made as separate calls from the invite itself.

      Hope this answers your question!

      Best,
      Justin

      Reply
  7. Steve

    I agree with the too expensive comments. Parse.com is offering 1mil free pushes versions the 50k free each are $200 a month. Only a couple of advantages together might have over parse is the universal leader boards not that hard to setup on your own. And the being able to push to iOS and Android with your API.
    I might use it in my next app just for the android push & I might give the leader boards a try.
    It just seems like they’re trying too hard to be the go to resource.
    But limiting only 50k request a month the. Asking for $200 a month for the next step is a steep hill to climb.

    Reply
    • Dustin Clingman

      Good feedback Steve.

      Everyone who works on the Together Games team has extensive game development experience. We’re well aware of Parse and think they have a great generic system. Our solution is designed to keep game developers doing what they tend to do best, making great game experiences.

      Our motto is “Simplicity and Service”. Nobody will work harder to help you get up and running. Nobody will give more to help you work through issues. Give us a try and I think you’ll find that we’re a great partner and focused on helping make your games successful.

      Reply
  8. Damir

    Downloaded your game Trickochet and tried to login with facebook but getting the error:

    Error registering facebook user
    Security signature is invalid

    Reply
    • Justin Macanufo

      Thanks Damir, any additional info on this will be helpful. Signature can be made invalid if it expires for some reason, or if between calls your network configuration changed. Double check your clock and timezone to make sure expiry is not the issue. I will look into any other possibilities that could have lead to the security rejection. Additional details can be sent to support@playstogether.com if the bug is continuing for you.

      Reply
    • Justin Macanufo

      Hello, Juraj!

      I am sorry to say at this time we do not have an automatic match making in place, however plans on future version do include this feature. However, for now it is possible to have a match making system in place by observing the game types and sub types when a GameInstanceManager:GetAll() call is made to selectively pick and choose “match-made” games to join. An example of how this would work is by utilizing Type and SubType as Rank ranges or Level ranges of players in the game.

      Hope this helps!

      Best

      Reply

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