GDC 2012: Cross-Platform Play is All the Rage

GDC 2012: Cross-Platform Play is All the Rage

Mar 12, 2012

If there was a recurring theme at GDC this year, it was cross-platform play. This doesn’t just mean games that are released for both iOS and Android, but ones that are playable between both platforms, and even with computer players of the same game. Several games at GDC 2012 showed off how these boundaries were continuing to fall between platforms.

Brick-Force will combine multiplayer level-building akin to Minecraft, with the ability to then shoot friends in their stupid faces in those same levels. The game is built in Unity, and scheduled to come to mobile. Initially, players will only be able to build levels with up to seven other players no matter what platform they’re on; the main combat mode will be unavailable due to control concerns. A shooter mode called Titan Mode that would help balance things out between mobile and computer players is in consideration, though. Open beta versions of the game are planning to launch this spring.

As well, Heroes and Generals from Reto-Moto, comprised of folks who worked on the Hitman series for IO Interactive. The game is comprised of a massive, Battlefield-esque World War II shooter portion that will allow for massive teams to take on each other. The game also includes a strategic Generals mode, where players send resources to teams currently in battle, enabling extra player slots along with extra resources. Because the Heroes portion of the game is running on a proprietary engine and will have support for massive numbers of players, mobile support is not yet planned. However, mobile players will be able to act as Generals, sending their troops about the battlefield. The mobile support is still in works while the game is in Alpha mode, but the developer showed off how actions on the computer version are displayed on the tablet version, with direct interaction currently in the works.

Pangalore showed off their suite of techonologies for cross-platform play. They have two teams working on a variety of cross-platform technologies: one studio working on HTML5 games that will work no matter what platform they’re on, whether they be web browsers on a computer or through a phone’s web browser. Their other studio is working on Unity games that will run between platforms. For example, their upcoming Knightly Adventure, an action-RPG/simulation hybrid game was shown running on PC and iPad. Pangalore also is working to have progress carry between platforms, with Knightly Adventure‘s demo showing this transferring of save progress already working. The game is scheduled to release in May.

Finally, the current lords of cross-platform play, Spacetime Studios, let us go hands-on with the latest game Dark Legends. Fans of the franchise will find a darker, more brutal entry into the series, with scantily-clad vampires, and plenty of blood flying all over the place. Health and mana draw from the same pool, so special attacks (which can now be charged up before deployed for stronger effects) require a trade-off between having extra health, and dealing with enemies. Of course, there’s always the ability to drain enemies of their blood to help get more blood and blood refills. The game is about four weeks away from release, though it will be a two week exclusive on Kindle Fire, before eventually making its way to Android and Chrome (which the game was already running on at Spacetime Studios’ demo), then iOS.

Carter Dotson
Carter Dotson, editor of Android Rundown, has been covering Android since late 2010, and the mobile industry as a whole since 2009. Originally from Texas, he has recently moved to Chicago. He loves both iOS and Android for what they are - we can all get along!
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