Jawfish Games thinks it can solve real time multiplayer on mobile
That's according to founder Phil Gordon, who has a pretty stellar history, one that isn't that common in the mobile gaming world.
Gordon is best known as a poker player, having pooled more than $3 million in tournament winnings in the past 10 years. He also has a computer science degree, has been a TV host, and is a best-selling author.
A year and a half ago, however, Gordon quit professional poker to start Jawfish Games. His goal? To conquer the mobile game industry by changing how multiplayer gaming works on the devices in our pockets.
The backend created by Jawfish Games to support this multiplayer revolution comes from the same team that created the server architecture for Full Tilt Poker.
Previously, developing a server architecture to support hundreds of thousands of simultaneous users - all the while maintaining 100 percent integrity in real money betting accounts - and ensuring no cheating was no small feat.
Neither was dealing with the issues surrounding real time on mobile. But, after a year plus of heavy development, Jawfish thinks it has the platform down, and the firm is about to launch its first game, Match Up, with publisher Big Fish Games.
The game is already in testing and available in the Canadian App Store.
Gordon claims that Jawfish's multiplayer system can handle 50,000 simultaneous real time users at a cost of only around $200 per day utilising Amazon Web Services - and it's also easily scalable up from there.
The other key to Jawfish's planned success is the fast paced game matching that will fill in with human-thinking bots if it can't find enough players. This is designed to guarantee that the game will fill with players in 30 seconds, or faster.
The bots used are modelled on actual players - how they play, timing, making mistakes, etc. Once the game is started it also progresses at a much more fast paced clip than the usual real time multiplayer game.
Tuning the gameplay to make each round quick also helps the game fit with what is normally considered a mobile playtime session and keeps the competition going.
Without the long wait times for matching, turns, and the possibility of the asynchronous multiplayer drop-outs, the game should stoke the instant gratification urge and trigger that compulsion loop on through multiple plays.
For example, in a heads-up Texas Hold'em poker title currently in development at Jawfish called All-In or Fold, the player is presented with just that option once their hand is dealt - go all-in or fold.
One option per hand leads to quick paced gameplay with each poker hand taking just five seconds to complete. This keeps players interested and active.
Match Up, the first mobile game from Jawfish, will be released by Big Fish games worldwide this month.
Considering the number of users Big Fish is likely to bring to the game, it will be a good indication of how well both the backend handles the load and how strong the draw of real time tournament multiplayer is on mobile.
If it works, and Jawfish creates both a high grossing game and the multiplayer system that genuinely revolutionises the process on mobile, don't be surprised if the acquisition offers start rolling in.
Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki 2015 on 7-8 Sept.