Swedish tech company PikkoTekk -- now called MuchDifferent -- sent along a friendly email on Wednesday reminding us about its attempt to land in the Guinness Book of World Records with 1000 simultaneous players participating in an FPS. MuchDifferent asked if we wanted to participate, and naturally we gleefully agreed.
As reported back in March 2011, Man vs. Machine is an FPS based on the Unity engine that can support up to 1000 simultaneous players on a single map. The purpose of this game is to demo the capabilities of the PikkoServer load balancing product. By using the software, game developers can supposedly build any kind of high-player density MMO game that can handle up to 1000 players on one specific map across eight cell servers. It also supports eleven actions per second (10 movements plus 1 fire), a total bandwidth downstream per player of 420 kbit/s and more.
"MuchDifferent has created a dynamic traffic router/load balancer, PikkoServer, that divides the battlefield between the game servers and glues the result together for the clients, multiple times per second," the company said in a separate press release on Wednesday. "Although Man vs Machine is based on the Unity Engine, any modern game engine could easily be retrofitted with the technology to create something similar in a few months time."
"When we first announced it as Tanks vs Robots in Spring 2011, several hundreds of thousands took a look at the trailer that showed our pretty crude test game," CEO Christian Lönnholm said in his blog. "Even though we made a disclaimer where we kind of explained that this was by far not the best looking game and that the networking was the real eye candy, people simply assumed that there was some kind of trade off between graphics and having a massive battle."
He said that the resulting game which will be used for the Guinness World Records attempt stems from the studio's research into how the Unity engine can be tweaked for the best performance, graphics, animations and effects while still maintaining an acceptable framerate as 1000 players duke it out on-screen.
"I guess we might have overdone pouring love and time into this onetime event," he said. "However, it is not often that we network engineers get to stand in the general spotlight. For network nerds such as ourselves, this game shows a new dawn to completely new types of online games where massive amount of players, advanced AI and complex interactions with physics can be achieved with great ease. As a gamer, I just can’t wait to experience the feeling of rushing towards the horde of enemies and anticipating the thrill and insuring chaos of battle."
For more information about Man vs. Machine, head here. The Guinness World Records event will take place on January 29 @ 16:00 CET. Gamers can actual participate by purchasing a ticket via the Engineers Without Borders - Stockholm organization’s website here. All earnings will go straight to the organization.