How Last Epoch added multiplayer to fulfill their game's potential

When Eleventh Hour was looking to form a party, Unity’s Multiplayer Solutions answered the call to manage critical backend infrastructure for Last Epoch, a Made with Unity ARPG.

Eleventh Hour: Game Server Hosting (Multiplay) case study

Eleventh Hour was founded by a group of developers with one goal in mind: Creating an epic ARPG. The single player hit has since enthralled half a million mages, rogues, and acolytes. When they set their sights on adding multiplayer to the game, Eleventh Hour trusted Unity Gaming Services to support the backend infrastructure.

  • The challenge

    Add multiplayer to a hit single player title with a large, engaged audience.

  • Launched

    April 2019

  • Platforms

    PC

  • Engine

    Unity

  • Genre

    Action RPG

Supporting a record-breaking launch

Since its humble beginnings with a team formed through a Reddit post, Last Epoch has become a hit title with half a million players. However, Eleventh Hour’s vision wasn’t complete; one thing that they knew their audience were clamoring for that had always been part of the goals for their game was multiplayer. The studio knew their inexperience in online architecture was a challenge they would have to get through to deliver the quality their player base was expecting, and after partnering with Game Server Hosting (Multiplay), the goal was finally in sight.

The results

  • Servers that can keep up with frequent ARPG scene changes for half a million players
  • Support building multiplayer architecture to free up time and resources for more game content updates
  • Guidance from Game Server Hosting (Multiplay) experts with experience in all genres of games
last epoch the results

Hurdles of adding multiplayer to a game

Hurdles of adding multiplayer to a game

Adding multiplayer capabilities was always the plan for Eleventh Hour. After a successful Kickstarter campaign amassed an audience of passionate ARPG gamers, Eleventh Hour started working on the single player iteration of the game which came out in 2019. The studio then focused on a monthly release cycle, and continued to build out content. 

They didn’t have the in-house skills to build the solid online component they wanted for their game, and were looking for a partner who could help them reduce time spent on backend infrastructure so they could keep focusing on quality content updates.

Daniel Stansens, production developer at Eleventh Hour, said: “The more we built the single player version of the game, from my standpoint, I knew it would become more and more challenging to make it a multiplayer game”

Building multiplayer with the gaming experts

Building multiplayer with the gaming experts

Eleventh Hour knew they needed to identify the right tools for their multiplayer development stream to take off. They needed a service that was stable and scalable to support the long-term future of Last Epoch.

Having determined that an action RPG meant a high-frequency, high-risk server model with a call for every scene change featuring more than one human player, Eleventh Hour wanted a solution with proven reliability and expertise in all genres of video games.

“There are a lot of online services and platforms and vendors who can work with multiplayer games, most of them work with multiplayer shooters. There are few people who have broad enough experience to enter the world of an action RPG, which is probably one of the more complex multiplayer games” said Stansens.

Time saved is content made

Time saved is content made

Having worked on other multiplayer titles in his career, Daniel is no stranger to the trials that come with launching multiplayer games. With Unity’s Multiplayer Solutions, Eleventh Hour is no longer tied up by the backend work that goes into launching multiplayer functionality, leaving more time and resources for building out their epic vision for Last Epoch.

“We know to survive as an indie game studio, keeping numbers and team size as lean as we can is critical and Game Server Hosting (Multiplay) has been very helpful in that regard, because they manage a lot of the parts of the services for an online game that we otherwise have to bring people in internally to do” said Stansens.

Daniel Stansens, Production Director, Eleventh Hour

“Game Server Hosting (Multiplay) is one of the biggest platforms in the world for multiplayer games, the reliability is there and the quality of service is astounding. It’s been really great to have Game Server Hosting (Multiplay) manage and orchestrate fundamental changes to the technology that make it work for an action RPG.”

Daniel Stansens, Production Director, Eleventh Hour

Add Unity Multiplayer Solutions to your team

The best studios put gameplay first and aren’t bogged down by complex infrastructure issues. Unity’s Multiplayer Solutions, including Game Server Hosting (Multiplay), augment your team with the specialist skills needed to deliver incredible player experiences. Tried and tested at scale, and evolving with industry changes, Unity’s Multiplayer Solutions keep you ahead of the competition.

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