We’ve talked a bit here and there about some changes that we have to face with multiplayer for Dungeon Defenders Awakened. We wanted to go through and give an update here as to what’s happened, where we’re going, and what you’ll be seeing in the coming weeks and months.
We currently use a system called PlayFab to help manage cloud saves, profiles, and multiplayer. We were notified in late November that what we use for multiplayer within PlayFab would no longer be supported. They had an updated version, but we’d need to rewrite and reconfigure A LOT to make this work, so our three paths were:
Rework a lot of systems to try and get on PlayFab’s new system.
Rework our multiplayer system to work with Epic Online Systems (EOS).
Rework our multiplayer systems to work with each platform’s multiplayer system.
We spent time looking into each option. PlayFab for multiplayer wasn’t a feasible option as it would require a lot of time, and we’d potentially lose functionality by the due date to get this done (March 1st). Playfab also doesn’t support peer-2-peer, which is what our systems are built around.
Then we looked into EOS, which requires a whole login flow and account creation to work, which would also be a considerable amount of time to get up and running. EOS is also still experimental, so Epic doesn’t recommend using it in production environments, which means we’d have to do some pretty extensive work and testing to make sure we had our bases covered.
Ultimately we landed on using each platform’s multiplayer system to meet our deadline, while still continuing investigating options within EOS. So what does this mean?
We’ll be maintaining the ability to play with your friends online through invites using each platform’s friend system. However, we do lose the ability to have the session browser going this route for when these changes go live. That being said, we are still looking into additional options to get the server browser functionality back up and running (as well as any additional features and fun to add). For now, our main focus is to make sure that in some capacity, playing with friends and fellow Defenders is maintained.
What Does This Mean About My Account?
Nothing changes here. We’re still using PlayFab for account management, so uploading your profiles to the cloud and pulling them down should not change at all.
With this change, there are a few things that are different on each platform, and that is timing. We are wrapping up our work on these changes and getting things submitted. Here’s the expected timelines for each platform
PC/Steam - This is the easiest one to update, as we just push updates as they are ready. There is not a certification process, so PC players should not notice any major hiccups
Xbox One/Series X/S - The approval times for this platform tend to be pretty quick (usually a day or so), so players shouldn’t notice any major hiccups.
Nintendo Switch - The certification process with anything we push through varies in length (sometimes 5 business days, sometimes 20). We’re not really sure on the length until we submit and find out. This may cause some potential hiccups with players losing multiplayer services until the patch is approved. We’ll be keeping people posted as this develops.
PlayStation - We put a survey out previously asking if PlayStation preorders/backers wanted us to include multiplayer services. We sent this survey out via email to thousands of preorders/backers, it was a pretty dead even split:
This is the total votes after removing the unverified votes. Unverified votes were votes that didn’t match our database for preorders/backers (35 unverified votes were removed. 24 that responded “earlier release” and 11 that responded "later release”). Because of how close it was, if it was absolutely necessary to get PlayStation out at a reasonable time, we were going to forego multiplayer. We made this survey to see if that was the option we needed to take, and polling the community was a way to make sure if we did that, it would be okay to some extent. We’re showing the results here as part of our promised transparency on how development for DDA goes.
That being said, we’re doing multiplayer anyway. We kept working even as the results were coming in and were able to get multiplayer working. We’re currently in our larger certification process for the PlayStation release, adding tweaks and updates to multiplayer as they go through doing their extensive checks. We’ll keep you posted on when the release is as we get more word on where our approval for certification is, but multiplayer should be included on PlayStation release.
As noted, we’re still working with Sony on getting DDA out for PlayStation, we’re almost there! We just got a DD2 update out this week for Embermount, with a hotfix going out today with continued support and work to squash any bugs that appear. We’re plugging away on DDA and some really big work that we’re going to be excited to show and share within the next month.
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