I'm currently working on a multiplayer game. I've looked at a number of multiplayer services(player.io, playphone, gamespy, and others) but nothing really hits the mark. They are missing features, lack platform support or cost too much. What I'm looking for is a simple poor man's version of steam or xbox live. Not the game marketplace side of those two but the multiplayer services.

User accounts, profiles, presence info, friends, game stats, invites, on/offline messaging. Basically I'm looking for a unified multiplayer platform for all my games across devices.

Since I can't find what I'm planning to roll my own piece by piece. I plan to save on server resources by making most of the communication p2p. Things like game data and voice chat can be handled between peers and the server keeps track of user presence and only send updates when needed or requested. I know this runs the risk of cheating but that isn't a concern right now. I plan to run this on a Amazon ec2 micro server for development then move to a small to large instance when finished.

I figure user accounts would be the simplest to start with. Users can create accounts online or using in game dialog, login/out, change profile info. The user can access this info online or in game. I will need user authentication and secure communication between server and client. I figure all info will be stored in a database but I dont know how it can be stored securely and accessed from webserver and game services.

I would appreciate and links to tutorials, info or advice anyone could provide to get me started. Any programming language is fine but I plan to use c# on the server and c/c++ on devices. I would like to get started right away but I'm in no hurry to get it finished just yet. If you know of a service that already fits my requirements please let me know.


2 Answers 2


Raknet has an abstraction for a Lobby system (friends, rooms, emails, ranking) with different backends. You can choose between your own PC Lobby server backend (the "simple poor man's version" as you called it), or use their implementations for services like XBox Live, Steam, Games for Windows Live, in case you find out later you are allowed to publish on those services.

For more details search for "Lobby" in the manual

Even though Raknet is written in C++, there is a C# integration using Swig coming with Raknet 4

RakNet 4 is free for the PC, Mac, iPhone, gPhone or Linux for qualified Indy developers.

  • \$\begingroup\$ This actually looks like a good fit for most of the features but I will have to do some work on a custom WP7 interface. The fact that its free for indie devs sweetens the deal. I'm still scratching my head how to go about user account management and sharing the data between raknet and the website securely. \$\endgroup\$
    – nomad
    Jul 22, 2012 at 19:55

Badumna provides similar functionality and includes support for peer-to-peer networking as you seem to want. It actually has a hybrid model that can provide peer-to-peer and server based networking and the ability to pick and choose the approach for individual functionality.


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