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  1. #1
    drunken master
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    Question How does a multiplayer game work?

    I'm a n00b when it comes to networking, we've only touched on it at college. So my question to you is "How does a multiplayer game work?"

    When you connect to the Internet you are given an IP? Then you load up say BF1942 and start multiplayer. Then you connect to the server using your IP and then load the game? So how does it update what's going on in the environment you are playing in? Is it something to do with packets of data?


    Surely you guys at MPUK know what's going on


    cheers.

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  2. #2

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    What makes you think mpuk know how gaming over a network works?

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  3. #3
    Playability >> Graphics
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    Are intreseted in just what happens (in the sense of packets going back & forth), or a more techincal explaination (eg. how the game decides where you are, what your doing, etc. etc.).?

    It shall be interesting to hear the replies to this one .

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  4. #4
    Event Crew! WhiteKnight's Avatar
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    Ok, when you are on the internet you have two addresses that matter, Your address, and the server address.

    These are like two telephones numbers.

    When you load up a game like BF1942, and connect to the server, you make a connection like a phone conversation.

    Your machine says "hi i`m here", the server replies "yes, heres the map we are playing, you`ll be spawned at this location"

    Then, during the game, if nothing is happening, there is what is called a "keep alive" signal which is basically your machine saying "hi, i`m still here" and the server saying "yeh, so am i".

    If someone else moves or shoots or somthing, when you say "hi i`m still here" the server says "yup, and Whiteknight has just moved 20 pixels and shot his gun".

    If you move, your machines send the position and speed of your movement and then the server passes this on to the other people in the game.

    All of this is obviously broken down into simple 1s and 0s but thats basically what happens.

    The server juggles all the variables like position of bullets, and people, and vehicles and calculates wheather or not you died and reports this back to you via the conversation you are having.


    Thats a simplistic explanation anyway.


    edit: formatting changed.

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    Last edited by WhiteKnight; 30th April 2003 at 15:19.
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    The views expressed above are those of the poster and not those of Multiplay UK.

  5. #5
    drunken master
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    the whole lot tbh.

    I just find it all fascinating and want to know what's going on 'behind the scenes', as it were. I think it was after a session of BF1942 (with DC3 mod ) I thought "hmmm, how did they do that?" and it went on from there.

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  6. #6
    Long but Sturdy Mingtea's Avatar
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    But that is dependant on the netcode, however if we go into that it'll get even more complex.

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  7. #7
    Event Crew! Cabe's Avatar
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    packets are not game specific.

    to understand the mechanics of it youi need to look at the fundamentals of networking, and that all starts at the OSI 7 Layer model

    http://compnetworking.about.com/libr...el+Osi+7+Layer

    basically BF1942 ( and all games) are applications, once it generates all the relevent info required for the server to know where you are, where your headed etc are all bundled up and shoved down the OSI layers.

    The server (physical machine) then brings that information back up thought the OSI model, untill it reaches the server (game server, which is on the application layer)

    http://compnetworking.about.com/cs/basicnetworking/

    TBH networking is such a HUGE subject your better off getting your self a book.

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  8. #8
    drunken master
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    aha, I see.

    So if I got 'packet-loss' this would be a communication disruption between client and server, resulting in LAG?

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  9. #9
    Talented Gunsmith's Avatar
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    if ure walking towards a wall in an FPS then u find ureself suddenly there then thats a result of packet loss.

    im not to sure if LAG and PING mean the same thing or if LAG is another term for packet loss

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  10. #10
    God of CS!
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    I belive that
    1) Ping is the time taken for a packet to go from your machine to the server (and back again)
    2) Lag is the result of a high ping, its always there, just us humans dont notice it anywhere under about 40ms or so
    3) Packet Loss is where some of your packets dont ever get to their destination, so they must be re-sent therefor causing lag

    If any of this is incorrect, then please correct me

    Phiebs

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