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MP Architecture: Client/Server or Peer-2-Peer?

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MP Architecture: Client/Server or Peer-2-Peer?

Post by Hairein on Tue Jul 28, 2009 4:47 pm

Hi all,
i'm not sure if this is more design, or multiplayer or both:

Generally, the question for me is if we go for a central server to arbitrate all player actions and communications as well as data storage (database, scores, level etc.) or if we assume direct connections between the players in a peer-2-peer network?

I prefer a client/server architecture due to the chances to protect the users from each other as well as prevent cheating etc. during games.

Problem with a central server: Cost to upkeep a server.
Problem with peer-2-peer: Cheating, tracking player stats etc.

Also, we need to consider how to update the code & data for each client, so that all players have the same version (runtimes, data, configuration files etc.) before attempting to game each other (=patching, offline or online?).

What are your thoughts or preferences on this?


Last edited by Hairein on Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:32 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Re: MP Architecture: Client/Server or Peer-2-Peer?

Post by Admin on Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:12 pm

Client server If I remeber rightly is a better way to go. Isn't it faster as well? If we do it through a server user will have more protection.
Also I'd prefer it if we could prevent cheating so yeah Client-Server would be better i belive.

I'm not sure if anyone else knows much about networking, so i'll have to ask around specificly for more Networking programmers to help out.

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Re: MP Architecture: Client/Server or Peer-2-Peer?

Post by GoldBishop on Thu Sep 24, 2009 5:41 am

I would suggest Client/Server for game interaction but segregate the Chat method through P2P. So even though it would be encapsulated in the interface, you can segregate the process.

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Re: MP Architecture: Client/Server or Peer-2-Peer?

Post by Hairein on Thu Sep 24, 2009 4:17 pm

We can't do the chat peer-to-peer if we want to filter communications between users. We need to protect users from each other otherwise we would probably get lots of abuse and griefing on the line.
I do agree that the game and chat could be seperate processes and/or servers.
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Re: MP Architecture: Client/Server or Peer-2-Peer?

Post by Daemn on Sun Oct 04, 2009 2:34 pm

I would suggest game client/server, and a central server. The game servers register with the central server (if they want), and the central server keeps track of server IP's, server user's, server latency, server title, server password (if any), etc. Users can then either check a website for the central server's information, or you could build it into the client (optimal).

So anybody (including the creator's, you guys, of course) simply loads up a server and any user will see it with their client.

You could create your own central server app (ie. Battle.net), but I would recommend using a free service for now instead (use an interface incase you decide to switch later). Steam (which includes cloud, achievements, etc), or Gamespy (includes achievements), etc. Just include the DLL with your game, and use their interface (wrap it too incase you decide to switch). Titan Quest uses Gamespy.

Hairein wrote:We can't do the chat peer-to-peer if we want to filter communications between users. We need to protect users from each other otherwise we would probably get lots of abuse and griefing on the line.
I do agree that the game and chat could be seperate processes and/or servers.

Agreed. I wouldn't recommend P2P, however, you CAN do chat peer-to-peer and still filter communication between users. Have users send a P2P chat request to the server, and the server can filter the request. If it's okay, it'll send the info (if any), if it's not okay, it'll send a failure. If the server approves, it can proceed to send the chat text to the other user, etc. Without the server's approval (filter) users can't abuse or grief other users via P2P. It's still not ideal, so I wouldn't really worry about it unless there's a performance need (doubt it with this type of game).

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