What is Man vs. Machine?
It is a game that demonstrates the possibilities of a new kind of technology, developed by MuchDifferent, for creating massive online games. The secret behind being able to handle a much larger amount of players in one First Person Shooter (FPS) battlefield lays in having several (in this case 8) single-threaded servers working together as one, thanks to PikkoServer. Want to know more? Check out the “Technology” section below.
When can I play the game?
The game will be available on the front page of this website on the day of world record attempt, 29 Jan. 2012, 16.00 CET. Please check the count down clock on the front page to see the exact time of day in your local time zone.
How do I join?
When the clock on the front page runs out, the game will be available on the front page. Just be there before the 1000 spots are cleaned out and you will be a part of history. You can stay tuned by signing up, on the front page, and receive an email before it all starts.
Will the game be free to play?
Yes, the game is completely free of charge. All we ask from you is to take your time and play the game! However, space is limited, and to secure your place in the game you can buy a ticket. By doing this you will receive an email with a personal link that will let you join the game before it is opened to the public. The emails will be sent out some time before the event. Note that if you have failed to join before public access opens, your ticket will expire. These can be found at Engineers Without Borders - Stockholm, a non-profit humanitarian organization helping to develop water, power, sanitation, and transport infrastructure to improve quality of life and access to education and economic development in developing communities around the world. So all the earnings will go straight to them. MuchDifferent will not be able to refund tickets that have expired for any reason, but then, at least, your money will have made life better for someone who really needs it.
Will the game be available to be played more than once?
No, this is a one-time event. Only one match will be played. Why? Read a longer answer in the “About us” section below.
Will I be able to download the game or play it after the release date?
No, this is a one-time event. You only have one chance to be a part of history.
Will there be a single-player component in the game?
No, the game will be an online multi-player game only.
Where can I see screenshots and trailers?
Go to the Stuff page.
Gamers vs Developers
What is the difference between the two teams, Man and Machine?
Man is strong, handsome and red. Man has a deadly weapon that launches a projectile which explodes at impact, dealing splash damage to everything in its proximity. Machine is cold, big and blue. It rapidly fires laser beams with piercing precision when directed to its target.
What is your definition of a developer and a gamer?
A gamer is anyone who is passionate about playing games. A developer is anyone who, apart from being passionate about playing games, also is actively involved in game development. This includes both professional and hobbyist development.
What if I'm both a gamer and a developer?
Then you are a developer.
Still, I should be able to choose any team since you have no way of establishing what I work with?
What is the current world record?
This game is a First Person Shooter (FPS) game. The most player dense known commercial FPS game is PlanetSide which supports 399 players in the same zone. As our game is played in the browser and is made in Unity - it is very possible that we break a few other records as well.
What happens if less than 1000 players join the game?
Then less than 1000 players will play the game.
Will I still be able to join or spectate when 1000 players already have joined?
No, after 1000 players have entered the game no additional users are allowed. Note that when a player leaves the game, his or her slot will be available again. So check back again after a few minutes if the game is full and you might get lucky!
Can I reserve a spot to play the game?
Read the answer to “Will the game be free to play?” in the “Basics” section above.
What happens when the world record is reached?
Then men and machines will start to virtually kill each other.
Won’t the game be too laggy to play?
The technology running on the servers behind this is developed to remedy this exact problem. We have tested that our servers can cope with the load from the gameplay with uTsung. But we haven’t tested it with you guys just yet. As long as you have an Internet connection capable of downloading 31 KB/s the amount of lag you experience should mainly depend on your distance from Stockholm, Sweden, rather than the number of players in the game. Read more about our exciting network system in the “Technology” section below.
What are the system requirements for the game?
These are preliminary recommended system requirements, which may be lowered closer to the world record date:
• Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7 or Mac OS X 10.4 or newer.
• 2.1 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo or 3 GHz Intel Pentium D or equivalent AMD Athlon processor or better.
• 2 GB RAM or more.
• NVIDIA GeForce 9600 GS or ATI Radeon HD 4650 video card or better.
• Shader Model 3.0 support or better.
• Broadband Internet connection of at least 256 kbps.
• 1152x720 minimum display resolution.
Will there be a Linux or console version of the game?
No, currently there are no plans to support anything other than Windows and Mac OS X.
Will I need to install the game?
No, you will only need to install the Unity Web Player plugin, if this is not already installed for your browser.
Which browser should I use?
Any modern version of Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera or Camino can be used to play the game.
What are the controls for Man vs. Machine?
• W, A, S, D or arrow keys - Move your character around
• Mouse cursor - Look around
• Left mouse button or Ctrl - Shoot
• Hold right mouse button - Aim / Zoom in
• Enter - Show chat input box / Send chat message
• Tab - Show scores
• Mouse wheel or Page Up/Down - Scoll scores
• L - Toggle fullscreen
• P - Toggle PikkoServer vision
• I - Toggle invert mouse Y-axis
• ESC - Release mouse cursor
Who are you guys?
We are MuchDifferent - we are mainly based in Sweden and we are a non-profit organisation that aims to provide game changing solutions within the different fields in which we are active.
Why have you put so much effort into a one-match-only game?
It is because we could. There isn’t a really good reason except that even though we really love our game, we happen to enjoy helping others with their games even more. Making it into a one time event also made it more exciting for us to work with it.
Will there be a sequel to Man vs. Machine?
There are no such plans.
How does Man vs. Machine support 1000 players in a single battlefield?
The battlefield is hosted by 8 single-threaded Unity Game Servers that each handle a section of the battlefield. In addition we have a dynamic traffic router / load balancer, PikkoServer that divides the battlefield between the game servers and glues the result together for the clients, many times each second.
Is it true that the game doesn't use zones or shards?
Yes. For players the game is just one massive shard/zone. But on the server side it is actually a distributed system of several single-threaded game servers where each server has a limited awareness of the action in the game.
Where are the game servers and what machines are they running on?
The servers are located in Stockholm. We have two dedicated physical machines, one for PikkoServer and one for the 8 Unity game servers. Each dedicated physical machine has 2 processors (Intel Xeon E5430, 2,66 GHz). That is a total of 8 cores per physical machine (and no hyper-threading).
How much bandwidth does the servers use?
We will present these numbers in more detail soon. But the total outgoing traffic is about 256 Mbps.
What game engine does the clients and servers use?
The game is made with Unity3D, used by both clients and servers, sharing one code base. However, any modern game engine could easily be retrofitted with our technology to make a game such as Man vs. Machine within a few months time.
Will I be able to download the game source code?
The complete project will most likely be available with PikkoServer. We will also gladly share a lot of information, tips and general purpose code (useful for any Unity game) on our developer site, after the world record.