PlayFab Party Just Got More Flexible: Request Parties from Your Own Services

Game developers get more flexibility and control over how they integrate PlayFab Party into their games.

October 12, 2023
Request Party Service Hero image

PlayFab Party is a set of cross-platform libraries and services for easily adding real-time multiplayer networking and player communication to your game.  Today we are announcing the launch of RequestPartyService, a new REST endpoint which gives developers more flexibility when provisioning a Party game network by using an HTTP call.

A Party relay server is an intelligent, cloud-hosted network relay that manages the network topology and routing of data and voice packets on behalf of Party clients. Until now, requesting a Party server was limited to a client-oriented flow using one of the native SDKs from any of our supported gaming platforms and engines. With RequestPartyService, you can specify the parameters of your desired Party server, such as the region, the network configuration, and the cognitive services options, and receive a response with everything you need to connect your clients together – all from a simple REST call.

One of the advantages of using a REST API for requesting PlayFab Party servers is that it allows you to request parties from your own services, rather than strictly from the client. This can be useful for several reasons:

  • It gives you more flexibility and control over how you integrate PlayFab Party into your games. For example, you can use your own authentication and authorization mechanisms, or customize the user interface and user experience of party creation and joining.
  • It enables you to allocate PlayFab Party strictly on your own terms. By restricting relay network allocation to the service side, powerful multi-network topologies can be fully and reliably orchestrated exclusively from your own service or through the use of PlayStream and CloudScript.
  • It gives you more control and adds additional defense against abuse by clients by giving you the power to restrict Party creation to services only.

To request a PlayFab Party network from your own service, follow these steps:

1. Gather your PlayFab title secret key from GameManager.

2. Obtain a PlayFab entity token using the GetEntityToken REST API from your service.

3. Use the entity token to make a POST request to the RequestPartyService endpoint with the desired parameters for the party server.

4. Receive a response containing a network descriptor, which contains all the details necessary for clients connecting to the party server.

5. Share the network descriptor with any would-be participants of your network.

6. Clients use the network descriptor to connect to the Party server using the native SDKs.

With RequestPartyService, you can enjoy all the benefits of PlayFab Party’s low-latency, secure networking and voice solution with the added benefit of more flexible topology and policy enforcement options that meets your specific use cases. 

We hope you find this new Request Party Service REST endpoint useful, and we look forward to hearing your feedback and seeing your amazing games powered by PlayFab Party in the PlayFab Community Forums or in the Microsoft Game Dev Discord Server.

Azure PlayFab Party is available on Windows PC, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Linux, Android, macOS and iOS across C++, Unity Plugin, and Unreal Engine Online Subsystem. Check out our quick start guide to get started with Azure PlayFab Party, or find links to the latest version releases at Azure PlayFab Party SDKs.