BitCraft developer Clockwork Labs announces new database platform SpacetimeDB for multiplayer games
Clockwork Labs, the video game developer behind the upcoming community sandbox MMORPG BitCraft, announces a new serverless database platform which empowers small teams to create massively multiplayer online games.
SAN FRANCISCO — August 3, 2022 — fully remote game developer Clockwork Labs today released the source code on GitHub for SpacetimeDB, the backend engine which powers their community sandbox MMORPG, BitCraft. Clockwork Labs credits this technology with enabling them to create their massively multiplayer online game with an unusually small team of only 20 developers. The company also launched the SpacetimeDB Cloud “Testnet”, a managed cloud service that provides developers an easy way to deploy their SpacetimeDB apps to the cloud. Clockwork Labs says that the Testnet will allow developers to get started building their apps in preparation for the launch of the “Mainnet”, the production ready cloud network, early next year.
BitCraft has received broad positive reception since it was announced in September 2021. Now the founders want to make the technology which has allowed Clockwork Labs to develop an MMORPG with a shockingly small team available to all developers by releasing it to the public.
“Indie game developers are largely restricted to making single player games. The only tech you need for a single player game is a game engine like Unity or Unreal,” said Tyler Cloutier, co-founder of Clockwork Labs. “Hosting a multiplayer game requires intimate knowledge of maybe 20 to 30 cloud services and technologies and an ops team to manage it all. By contrast, our BitCraft developers only need one: SpacetimeDB.”
Clockwork Labs co-founder, Alessandro Asoni, noted that although SpacetimeDB is a database system, developers shouldn’t think of it like the high latency DBMS systems of the past. “100% of our game’s backend data is stored and managed by SpacetimeDB. That means all data. All the trees, terrain, items, mobs, resources, buildings, and even the real-time positions of the players are stored in the database and synchronized to database clients in real time.”
Notably, not only is Clockwork Labs announcing a new cloud platform, but they’re also making the core product’s source code available to developers. “We felt it was important to make the source code available to developers because we think SpacetimeDB has the potential to change how developers deploy all kinds of applications to the cloud in the long-run, and it’s important that the platform be accessible to everyone,” Cloutier said.
While both founders are clearly excited about how the platform will allow indie game developers to make complex multiplayer games, they caution that the software is still “alpha software” and that developers should expect to run into a few bugs or performance issues until the launch of the 1.0 version of the database early next year. “This is what makes releasing the source code on GitHub so powerful. We can respond to developer requests and issues and make changes to the code immediately,” Asoni noted.
Developers can download and install SpacetimeDB at https://spacetimedb.com/install to try out the database right on their own machine. For developers looking to deploy production applications to the cloud with a single upload, the SpacetimeDB Cloud Testnet is available for developers to try out. Clockwork Labs expects to launch Mainnet, the production ready cloud service that developers can use to deploy their production applications, in early 2024. The documentation for developers to begin deploying to the Testnet is available at https://spacetimedb.com/docs.
About Clockwork Labs
Clockwork Labs is a fully-remote, privately-owned video game developer founded in San Francisco, California. The company was founded in 2019 with the goal of applying its founders’ unique engineering backgrounds in distributed systems to video games. The concept for its first project, BitCraft, has attracted investors and industry veterans. The company is currently growing.
More information about Clockwork Labs is available at https://clockworklabs.io/
BitCraft is an MMO community sandbox game that takes place in an enormous, fully editable, procedurally generated landscape, all hosted in a single unsharded world, providing players with an unparalleled level of creativity and depth in an MMORPG universe.
BitCraft puts emphasis on cooperation over combat within an ever-expanding world and supports a wide range of playstyles and specializations.
The game is currently in Pre-Alpha.
More information about BitCraft is available at https://bitcraftonline.com/
SpacetimeDB is a new server-side software product from Clockwork Labs. It allows small teams and solo developers to easily deploy production quality game and web servers to the cloud.
Star the GitHub repository to stay in the loop. The code of SpacetimeDB has been made available at https://github.com/clockworklabs/SpacetimeDB.
More information about SpacetimeDB is available at https://spacetimedb.com/