Chapter 13. Networking and Social Media

Nobody games alone. At least, not anymore.

While single-player games remain one of the most interesting forms of interactive media, it’s increasingly rare to find a game that never communicates with the outside world. Angry Birds, for example, is by all definitions a single-player game; however, with only a couple of taps, you can send your most recent score to Twitter and Facebook. We’ll be looking at how you can implement this functionality inside your own game.

In addition to this relatively low-impact form of engaging other people with the player’s game, you can also have multiple people share the same game through networking. This is a complex topic, so we’re going to spend quite a bit of time looking at the various ways you can achieve it, as well as ways in which it can get challenging and how to address them.

We’ll also be looking at Game Center, the built-in social network that Apple provides. Game Center allows you to let users share high scores and achievements, as well as challenge their friends and play turn-based games. Before we get to the recipes, we’ll take a quick look at it to familiarize you with how it works.

Using Game Center

Many of the powerful networking capabilities exposed to your app come from Game Center, Apple’s game-based social network. Game Center handles a number of capabilities that you often want to have as a game developer, but that it would be very tedious to develop yourself. These include:

  • Player profiles ...

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