Playing Games Against Users With Different Devices

One of the things I really love about mobile devices is that they have become very capable gaming platforms — so capable, in fact, that I think they seriously threaten dedicated hand-held gaming platforms like the PSP and Nintendo DS. And since our devices are easily connected, playing games against friends is usually just a matter of jumping on the same local network.

But the problem is fragmentation. Some of my friends have iPhones and some have Android devices which can make it difficult or impossible to play games against each other. But not so with games written with AIR. Last week, I decided to see how hard it would be to add network play to iReverse in order to enable two people to play against either other over a local network no matter what kind of device the two players have (iOS, Android, laptop, etc.). As it turns out, it was less than a day of work. Here’s a demo:

The key to game instances discovering each other on the network and passing data back and forth is RTMFP. The code is extremely simple to write, and no server of any kind is required. I haven’t updated the release versions of iReverse yet (I’ve been on the road a lot lately), but I should have them out before Christmas. In the meantime, you can see how it all works by checking out the code.