Date of Award
Thesis open access
The proliferation of multiplayer games has led to an increase in the total network capacity for processing power in games; this capacity, however, is seldom fully utilized or balanced. One prominent problem of distributed processing in a gaming environment is increased latency time-- which causes player disinterest in the game, potentially causing poor sales as well as the termination of future commercial development of this technology. Existing distributed techniques such as OpenMP, MPI or VMPI are not well suited to gaming applications and may introduce additional overhead. This thesis describes a simple, yet effective technique (based on existing ideas in both multiplayer network games and parallel processing), that can be implemented into existing networked games to allow for distributed computation-- which, in turn, will balance the work load across all connected machines while simultaneously decreasing visible latency to players. Most multiplayer games use a client-server architecture, where the server acts as a referee between clients to manage the game state. A game world with many A.I. agents (simple non-playing characters) overloads the server and causes higher latency levels. Load may be balanced by allowing trusted clients to compute these actions. Development and maintenance costs can be kept low while not diminishing production quality, leading to a successful game. In addition to gaming applications, this technique can be incorporated in any existing client-server network application, including: communication, transportation, and process control.
Zinchak, Robert, "Distributed Computation in an Interactive Entertainment Environment" (2006). Computer Science Honors Theses. 14.