ACM - Computers in Entertainment

A RIO-like technique for interactivity loss-avoidance in fast-paced multiplayer online games

By Claudio E. Palazzi, Stefano Ferretti, Stefano Cacciaguerra, Marco Roccetti
Theoretical and Practical Computer Applications in Entertainment, [Vol. 3, No. 2]

DOI: 10.1145/1063723.1063730

The astonishing increase in the spread of the Internet has given rise to a globally connected community proficient at deploying online games for a large number of participants geographically located very far from each other. However, online games are characterized by more stringent requirements than traditional distributed applications deployed over the Internet can fulfill. Indeed, one of the key factors in determining the success of an online game is its ability to rapidly deliver events to the various game servers that maintain the state of the game over the network. We have already demonstrated [Palazzi et al. 2004] that in this context adapting RED (random early detection) techniques, borrowed from queuing management, can improve the global responsiveness of a game. However, this solution may not be sufficient for a specific class of online games. We deem that fast-paced multiplayer online games (such as shoot 'em ups, for example) in which participants have to behave frenetically, must guarantee a very high degree of interactivity, even at the cost of partially sacrificing the consistency of the game state. In this case having only a partially consistent view of the game state will not affect a player's amusement as much as delaying action-processing activity will. Hence we explore the possibility of applying a RIO-based (RED with in and out) algorithm to manage game delivery to the various game servers, in order to improve the degree of interactivity for fast-paced online games. Preliminary experimental results confirm the viability of our approach.

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