Networking and Online Games concisely draws together and illustrates the overlapping and interacting technical concerns of these sectors. The text explains the principles behind modern multiplayer communication systems and the techniques underlying contemporary networked games. The traffic patterns that modern games impose on networks, and how network performance and service level limitations impact on game designers and player experiences, are covered in–depth, giving the reader the knowledge necessary to develop better gaming products and network services. Examples of real–world multiplayer online games illustrate the theory throughout.
Networking and Online Games:
- Provides a comprehensive, cutting–edge guide to the development and service provision needs of online, networked games.
- Contrasts the considerations of ISPs (e.g. predicting traffic loads) with those of game developers (e.g. sources of lag/jitter), clarifying coinciding requirements.
- Explains how different technologies such as cable, ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) and wireless, etc., affect online game–play experience, and how different game styles impose varying traffic dynamics and requirements on the network.
- Discusses future directions brought by emerging technologies such as UMTS (Universal Mobile Telephone Service), GPRS (General Packet Radio Service), Wireless LANs, IP service Quality, and NAPT/NAT (Network Address Port Translation/Network Address Translation)
- Illustrates the concepts using high–level examples of existing multiplayer online games (such as Quake III Arena, Wolfenstein Enemy Territory, and Half–Life 2).
Networking and Online Games will be an invaluable resource for games developers, engineers and technicians at Internet Service Providers, as well as advanced undergraduate and graduate students in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Multimedia Engineering.
2 Early Online and Multiplayer Games.
2.1 Defining Networked and Multiplayer Games.
2.2 Early Multiplayer Games.
2.3 Multiplayer Network Games.
3 Recent Online and Multiplayer Games.
3.1 Communication Architectures.
3.2 The Evolution of Online Games.
3.3 Summary of Growth of Online Games.
3.4 The Evolution of Online Game Platforms.
3.5 Context of Computer Games.
4 Basic Internet Architecture.
4.1 IP Networks as seen from the Edge.
4.2 Connectivity and Routing.
4.3 Address Management.
5 Network Latency, Jitter and Loss.
5.1 The Relevance of Latency, Jitter and Loss.
5.2 Sources of Latency, Jitter and Loss in the Network.
5.3 Network Control of Lag, Jitter and Loss.
5.4 Measuring Network Conditions.
6 Latency Compensation Techniques.
6.1 The Need for Latency Compensation.
6.3 Time Manipulation.
6.4 Visual Tricks.
6.5 Latency Compensation and Cheating.
7 Playability versus Network Conditions and Cheats.
7.1 Measuring Player Tolerance for Network Disruptions.
7.2 Communication Models, Cheats and Cheat–Mitigation.
8 Broadband Access Networks.
8.1 What Broadband Access Networks are and why they Matter.
8.2 Access Network Protocols and Standards.
8.3 Cable Networks.
8.4 ADSL Networks.
8.5 Wireless LANs.
8.6 Cellular Networks.
8.7 Bluetooth Networks.
9 Where Do Players Come from and When?
9.1 Measuring Your Own Game Traffic.
9.2 Hourly and Daily Game–play Trends.
9.3 Server–discovery (Probe Traffic) Trends.
9.4 Mapping Traffic to Player Locations.
10 Online Game Traffic Patterns.
10.1 Measuring Game Traffic with Timestamping Errors.
10.2 Sub–second Characteristics.
10.3 Sub–second Packet–size Distributions.
10.4 Sub–Second Inter–Packet Arrival Times.
10.5 Estimating the Consequences.
10.6 Simulating Game Traffic.
11 Future Directions.
11.2 Quality of Service.
11.3 New Architectures.
11.4 Cheaters Beware.
11.5 Augmented Reality.
11.6 Massively Multiplayer.
11.7 Pickup and Putdown.
11.8 Server Browsers.
12 Setting Up Online FPS Game Servers.
12.1 Considerations for an Online Game Server.
12.2 Wolfenstein Enemy Territory.
12.3 Half–Life 2.
12.4 Configuring FreeBSD s Linux–compatibility Mode.
13.1 Networking Fundamentals.
13.2 Game Technologies and Development.
13.3 A Note Regarding Online Sources.
Mark Claypool Contributing author Mark Claypool is an Associate Professor in Computer Science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts, USA. He is also the Director of the Interactive Media and Game Development major at WPI, a 4–year degree in the principles of interactive applications and computer–based game development. Dr. Claypool earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Computer Science from the University of Minnesota in 1993 and 1997, respectively. His primary research interests include multimedia networking, congestion control, and network games. He and his wife have 2 kids, too many cats and dogs, and a bunch of computers and game consoles. He is into First Person Shooter games and Real–Time Strategy games on PCs, Beat– em Up games on consoles, and Sports games on hand–helds.
Philip Branch Contributing author Philip Branch is Senior Lecturer in Telecommunications Engineering within the Faculty of Information and Communication Technologies at Swinburne University of Technology. Before joining Swinburne he was a Development Manager with Ericsson AsiaPacific Laboratories and before that, a Research Fellow at Monash University where he conducted research into multimedia over access networks. He was awarded his PhD from Monash University in 2000. He enjoys bushwalking with his young family and playing very old computer games.