Enabling multiplayer action games on mobile.

The Power of PING

Latency greatly affects the quality of online realtime multiplayer games, ruining player experience and causing development headaches.

GAME INDUSTRY PROBLEMS

  • High latency makes high quality multiplayer gameplay impossible on wireless networks.
  • Network development for multiplayer games requires a lot of custom tuning for each interaction, with very few general tools offering easy solutions.

Kaading connects players over previously impossible networks, and provides turnkey tools to developers that enable exciting gameplay.

MY ROLE AT KAADING

I did some of everything at Kaading.  As the first hire for the company, my work spanned a wide gamut of objectives that required both creative and technical skills.  Kaading is ultimately about connecting people remotely through machines— something that directly appeals to me as both a designer and engineer.

What I dID:

  • Game Design and Development
  • High Level Competitive Strategy
  • Modeling and rendering 3D Game assets
  • Presentation design
  • Technology Demonstration
  • Technical Graphics and Explanations

Tools I Used at Kaading:

(Since our product is in development, I can only share a limited selection of my work.)

Game Development and Design

3D Modeling

I created and rendered models using Blender 3D.  For our main tech demo, we decided on a sci-fi hover-car aesthetic. Below are some showroom renders of a few of the vehicles.

Vehicle Dynamics

For Kaading's technology to function, it was important that we had a thorough understanding of the mechanics of the demos we created.  Here's an hierarchical outline of how I set up the vehicle dynamics and rigging in a racing sandbox demo.

Designing and building

Car games are fun to play (and design) on phones and tablets because the tilt control aspect feels  kinesthetically natural.  However, this interaction starts to become less natural once you add multiple instances of touch inputs on the device, because said touch inputs are devoid of tactile feedback.

 

For one demo, I set out to build a battle-car sandbox, where a user can drive around and shoot at objects.  Many racing games only have a binary gas pedal, which does not allow for fine control of the vehicle's velocity.  So, I designed this demo to have a 'slider' gas pedal, whereby not only could you dynamically adjust throttle, but also dynamically brake by pulling that same slider to negative values.

In order to avoid adding additional touch-controlled elements, I had the idea to control shooting by shaking the device.  At first I was worried that it would impact steering abilities, but after testing it turned out that the gyro and accelerometer were sensitive enough that you didn't need to shake that hard.  In fact, this shooting interaction felt more compelling to me because it fed into the kinesthetic experience, almost reminiscent of miming a machine gun.

 

I built the sandbox using various languages and tools within Unity Game Engine to be played on iPhone and iPad.

Programming

  • Core-Motion tilt steering:
  • Touch control throttle:
  • Shake-n-shoot (accelerometer) :
  • Vehicle Dynamics:
  • Camera Behavior:
  • Particle Systems:
  • Material Rendering:

Obj-C -> C# -> JS

JS

JS

JS, Unity Tools

JS

Unity Particles, JS

Unity, Open GL

Interactions in action

Shake to Shoot

Drafting

Jumps

Competitive Collision

Tech Demo

Working with our CTO, I designed and programmed our demo, and narrated our competitive advantage in this technology demonstration.

explaining kaading's importance

In addition to game design and development, I was deeply involved with high-level product strategy and investor pitch design, distilling complex technical problems into language and graphics that could be understood by laypeople.  What follow are some explanatory graphics and videos that I created for our website and presentations.

What are synchronous multiplayer games?

Understanding and communicating the problem:

Latency is the primary barrier to the success of synchronous multiplayer mobile games.

I tested lag in games and presented the results:

Wireless Latency

Online multiplayer titles dominate the console gaming market.  Kaading is working to enable this class of games on mobile.

Enabling multiplayer action games on mobile.