Multiplayer Games Development Requirements

Online Multiplayer games are played in real time where everyone can play with everybody else on their own corresponding machines. This requires machines to be connected with each other on a network. That’s why, multiplayer games development requires network programming and database programming in addition to simulation, graphics and everything else that you need for making a single-player game.

Introduction

Multiplayer games, as its name suggests, are games which can be played by more than one player at a time. A Multiplayer game can mean Local Multiplayer Game or Online Multiplayer game. Local Multiplayer game is played on the same computer or device. Online Multiplayer game involves a number of players with separate computer systems or devices playing on the same game platform. In this blog, we will discuss the basic requirements for multiplayer games development.

Requirements for building a Multiplayer Game

Network Architecture

An online multiplayer game can be built on either client-server model or peer-to-peer model. All multiplayer games attempt to simulate the game consistently across the network so that all the players experience the same virtual world with identical actions and reactions by the players. Both the network models operate differently to achieve multiplayer game experience which we will discuss below.

Peer-to-Peer

In Peer-to-Peer approach, there is no central server to control the actions of the players. Every player is independent and controls its own game state. For consistent game experience for all the players, the peers (players) send information about their game state and receive the game state of their opponents to create a virtual simulation. This requires robust communication and synchronization amongst peers. To resolve latency issues arising due to communication lag between the peers, techniques like interpolation (rendering states with constant delay), extrapolation (predicting future state based on current state and movement), feedback and timeout can be employed.

Client-Server

Client-Server model overcomes security issues of Peer-to-Peer model by a central authoritative server. The players as clients do not communicate with each other directly but with the server. Changes in the game state as sent by a client is then propagated to other clients in the network. The game runs on the server and clients get the close approximation of it. Latency issues between clients and the server can be managed by interpolation and extrapolation. Client-Server model is the most preferred approach for multiplayer games development.

Network Protocols: TCP, UDP, Web Socket

In an online Multiplayer game, the players as nodes of the network need a protocol over which they can send, receive and decode messages. Transmission Control Protocol or TCP is a connection-based protocol which ensures that all the data packets are received in the right order. Though reliable for delivering data, TCP doesn’t suit real time multiplayer games as it compromises on speed. In contrast, User Datagram Protocol or UDP doesn’t require all data packets to be received which reduces latency. Since Real-time multiplayer games require low latency, UDP works better for multiplayer games.

Implementing a Multiplayer game on the web needs full-duplex communication where server and client, both can communicate with each other simultaneously. Since HTTP only allows communication in one direction, a network socket (TCP Socket or USD Socket) is vital for two-way communication. Web socket is a protocol built on TCP which allows real-time data transfer between server and client. One can implement Web socket multiplayer game by using node.js JavaScript run time environment for server and socket.io JavaScript library for both client and server.

Gaming Technology

HTML5 and Unity are two most popular technologies for multiplayer games development. HTML5 supports Websocket whereas Unity has built-in Multiplayer Networking and the associated High-Level API (HLAPI) which makes multiplayer games development far easier. That said, building multiplayer games is far complex than building a single player game.

Twist future is a Mobile App and Multiplayer Game Development company. We have developed many multiplayer mobile games as well as multiplayer web browser games for different genres e.g. Multiplayer 8 Ball Pool, Multiplayer Teen Patti, Multiplayer Poker game, Multiplayer Rummy, Multiplayer Car racing game, Multiplayer Cricket and many others. Contact us if you are looking for your own multiplayer game.

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