Indie games are all over the place these days, but one of the major design hurdles for indies is the ability to support large multiplayer environments. So in comes Improbable and their SpatialOS SDK. SpatialOS is a cloud based, multi-platform game hosting tool that eschews the traditional server structure. To boil things down to an absurdly limited (and slightly inaccurate) level, SpatialOS is a way to run multiple servers as one massive game platform. Each server controls a specific are of the game, with hand-off zones that help provide seamless transitions between areas. No instances, load times, or gates required. Because its a cloud based system, devs don’t have to worry about server upkeep or maintenance. That’s all on SpatialOS.
Which means indie devs can now make pretty sophisticated multiplayer games. In tests running live at GDC, SpatialOS was able to handle nearly 1500 players, with about 3000 AI, all at once. Which is goddamn bonkers for an indie game.
While Improbable has taken SpatialOS to GDC before, this year we just might here more about it. After all, there was a whole info panel about the SDK this year.