Today, Aurora Feint announced the release of their cross-platform multiplayer platform for OpenFeint, called PlayTime. This new system will allow gamers to play against each other, whether they are on an iOS or Android device.
Though this is the first update we've heard since the announcement of OpenFeint's expansion to the Android platform, PlayTime doesn't just feature the ability to take the Android versus iOS battle to mobile gaming. The platform does, however, introduce new features to the mobile multiplayer sector.
As the first system that works between the two mobile platforms, PlayTime brings voice chat to mobile gaming. Now you can take the taunting from text to vocalization while playing with your friends.
PlayTime will differ from Apple's upcoming Game Center in one regard. Game Center will provide real-time multiplayer gaming with peer-to-peer connections, however if a player loses connection then the whole game is disconnected. With PlayTime, if a player drops service the game will continue by substituting in an AI opponent.
Aurora Feint CEO, Jason Citron, explains the goal behind PlayTime and the benefit to developers:
“The most successful games have one thing in common: they bring people together. Whether a simple board game or a stunning 3D console game, games are always better when shared with family or friends. Traditionally, multiplayer technology has been accessible only to top tier developers. It’s just too complicated and time consuming. So we invented PlayTime, which literally takes one day to integrate into a casual game.”
To elaborate, the one day integration is thanks to the PlayTime SDK which is targeted to indie and mid-level developers who don't have easy access to developing this type of implementation. They will have access to creating achievements, highscores, and leaderboards. The SDK provides a VoIP client for voice chat, as well as a lobby, matchmaking system and event systems that synchronize information between games and devices.
CEO and Founder of Exit Games, Christof Wegmenn, shares his positive thoughts about PlayTime:
“Exit Games is proud to work closely with OpenFeint to bring the normally complex world of multiplayer games to independent mobile developers. We believe PlayTime will usher in the next wave of social experiences across the mobile ecosystem.”
Additionally, PlayTime will be able to integrate with Game Center by sharing and balancing the achievements and leaderboard data.
PlayTime is expected to launch later this year with OpenFeint's update to version 3.0.
The addition of voice chat is a great feature and solidifies Aurora Feint's goal to make an "Xbox Live Experience" out of mobile gaming. Broadening the competition and gaming opponents can only enhance the mobile gaming experience.
What about you, Ranters? Do you like the sound of cross-platform mobile gaming? Are you excited for any PlayTime's new features?