Unity Technologies who work on the Unity game engine have announced that they have acquired the networking library MLAPI, along with the creator joining Unity.
In the post Unity's Brandi House mentioned how they're trying to expand the Unity ecosystem with a "first-party multiplayer networking solution for GameObjects that is easy to set up and extend, scales to meet the needs of high-performance titles, and is seamlessly integrated into the Unity ecosystem" and after considering many they ultimately decided to pull in MLAPI along with its creator, Albin Corén.
The good news is that it remains open source and will be developed in the open as expected, and they will not be changing the license which is currently as MIT. So now we have another open source solution for networking, fully backed by a big company - nice.
Unity said they will be expanding it in these areas, in addition to working on documentation and samples:
- Remote procedure calls (RPCs): Currently MLAPI has two RPC systems, “convenience RPCs” and “performance RPCs.” The convenience RPCs incur a performance overhead that performance RPCs address, but they are not straightforward to use. We are investigating options to replace both with a system that is performant, is easy to use, and has clean usage patterns.
- Snapshot generation: MLAPI’s current design poses challenges for incorporating features like delta compression or client-side prediction. To overcome this roadblock, we’re working on separating snapshot generation from packet-sending systems.
- Network relevance model: Sending the right data to each player enables developers to minimize their bandwidth costs and maximize players gameplay experiences. We’ll change MLAPI so new methods can be used to increase performance, lower the likelihood of cheating, and lower operating costs by lowering the amount of data sent.