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PC Games (Games)

How Indie Devs Made an 1,800-Player Action Game Mod In Their Spare Time 87

An anonymous reader writes "Just Cause 2 Multiplayer has been getting a lot of press lately, but this making-of feature points out how the mod raises serious questions about the games industry: if 1,800-player massively multiplayer action games are possible on one server, why did it take a group of modders to prove it? From the article: 'There’s more chaos to come. That 1,800 player limit isn’t maxing out the server or the software by any means. Foote says that the team, who first met online seven years ago playing the similar Multi Theft Auto GTA mod, are "yet to reach any real barrier or limitation preventing us from reaching an even higher player count than the previous public tests." When it’s ready, the team will release the software for everyone to download and run their own servers, wherever they are in the world.'"
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How Indie Devs Made an 1,800-Player Action Game Mod In Their Spare Time

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  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom ( 2244874 ) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @09:44PM (#41349443)
    My math is old, but with P2P where you update everyone around you of your position with 640k upload, you can do about 50,000 players if your attacks are melee only. The key is not updating people far away as frequently, since they can't get in range and get a hit on you, you only have to calculate a full run between you for the time between sending out data. The biggest trick with P2P as everyone knows is dealing with hackers though... Even games like WOW, I would think you might be able to fly with a hack because their central server probably isn't calculating your collision detection.
  • MMO Joust (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jomama717 ( 779243 ) <> on Saturday September 15, 2012 @09:46PM (#41349453) Journal
    This revives in me an idea a buddy of mine and I had about creating a massively multiplayer online version of joust, after playing it for several hours on xbox live one night in the early 2000's, the game is so simple it should be easy to pile on thousands of players, and would be a fucking blast...unlimited board, unlimited players, would be great. Of course, like any cool idea I wouldn't be surprised if this has already been done by someone.
  • Re:MMO Joust (Score:5, Interesting)

    by GoodNewsJimDotCom ( 2244874 ) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @09:53PM (#41349491)
    MMO Pong: Everyone gets a side of an nsided polygon where N is the number of players. There is n-1 balls in play. MMO ET: Everyone gets thrown into a pit, and you need to jump on top of other people's heads to jump out of the pit. I would think this would have to be a minigame inside an actually fun game, otherwise how would you get people to play it :P
  • by JonySuede ( 1908576 ) on Saturday September 15, 2012 @10:17PM (#41349613) Journal

    dealing with hackers though

    Here is a probably patentable or patented method of dealing with that:
    Each node shall crypt then sign its data. One key shall be unique keys per connection, it shall be use for encryption. The other key should be unique per application instances, it shall be use to sign the data. A node shall validate the authenticity of that data with a peer after every an empirically determined threshold of data on a singular connection. If there is a mismatch broadcast it to your peers, except the one use to detect the mismatch, inform central.
    On reception of the broadcast the peers shall have the following behavior:
    If the node having sent unauthentic data is know to the recipient node. It shall validate the authenticity of the data then it shall inform central. It shall also broadcast it to its peers. If the potentially malicious node is unknown, the recipient shall drop the message.
    The central should perform a local rollback of the cheater when it reaches an empirically determined threshold with regard to an empirically determined metric.

  • by Baloroth ( 2370816 ) on Sunday September 16, 2012 @12:05AM (#41350021)

    If I'm understanding you correctly, I can see two possible problems (at first glance). The first is the overhead introduced by crypto: even at it's fastest, it will always add some latency to the data transmission (simply because the data has to be processed on both ends before it can be received or sent), and it requires additional processor time to manage the encryption. I'm not sure how much, but it could be a fair bit if you are transmitting several dozen times a second (which multiplayer games customarily do). This isn't a problem in BitTorrent where latency and computational overhead are not terribly important. It is a potentially very large problem in a multiplayer action game where the CPU may already be taxed and low latency is absolutely vital.

    Secondly, a large number of malicious nodes could probably poison the system, or at least a part of it. This also could also be a problem: cheaters and trolls sometimes run in packs.

  • Uh ... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Kaz Kylheku ( 1484 ) on Sunday September 16, 2012 @12:57AM (#41350157) Homepage

    Early 1990s MUD games had telnet connections in the three digits. As in, handling raw character input from the players, not nicely aggregated packets from a client GUI. That was on hardware like Sun boxes that pale in processing power and memory size compared to ... oh, your Jesus mobe, and such.

  • by EdIII ( 1114411 ) on Sunday September 16, 2012 @01:52AM (#41350303)

    I was just thinking why don't we just say fuck it and make a wonderfully complicated game where the point was hacking and cheating.

    A virtual world where the leader boards are filled with those who have the greatest skill and resources at hacking the code, abusing other players, spreading misinformation, hijacking networks, and generally being as shitty to everyone in the virtual world as possible.

    Then I realized we don't have to create this game. That's how the real world works and is why we can't have nice things.

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin