One of Unity’s top priorities for 2021 is 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.
The existing UNet HLAPI architecture is not well suited for the in-depth evolution that is required to support games at scale. Rest assured, we don’t want to reinvent the wheel. The ecosystem currently offers multiple strong solutions, and the best path toward providing you with the scalable framework we envision is to build on the amazing work that already exists in the community.
We considered various open source software (OSS) alternatives and found a framework that fit our needs. We’re thrilled to share that the OSS multiplayer networking framework MLAPI is joining the Unity family, along with its creator, Albin Corén.
As of today, we’re already working on integrating and evolving MLAPI into what will become Unity’s first-party GameObjects netcode solution. We plan to continue the development fully open source. Developing in the open and welcoming community contributions. If you are interested, you can join us on the GitHub MLAPI repo.
Here’s what you can expect in the short term:
We have taken a deep look at MLAPI’s architecture, and we want to evolve a few key areas before we start building new features on top of this framework. Some areas of focus include:
On top of the architecture and feature work, we’re working on documentation, samples, how-tos, developer tools, and generally making it easier for every developer to build multiplayer games without having to become a multiplayer networking expert.
As we mentioned above, this announcement is focused on developers working with a GameObjects pattern. For developers that are working with, or evaluating, the Entity Component System (ECS) pattern, either because of preference or because their title needs that level of hyper performance, the Unity NetCode package (Preview) continues to be Unity’s first-party framework for the scenario.
Our goal remains to set creators up for success by providing the technology that enables them to bring players together at scale.