Peer-to-Peer-based Infrastructure Support for Massively Multiplayer Online Games
Simon Rieche, Klaus Wehrle (joint work with Tübingen University)
Massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs) played via the Internet have become very popular in recent years, because they allow thousands of players to share a single game world. Because of consistency, such a world is usually run on a high-performance and high-availability server cluster. However, such infrastructure is inflexible and error-prone and downtimes of several hours are not uncommon. Also, MMOGs are an interesting challenge and chance for the future development of the Peer-to-Peer (P2P) paradigm. A wide variety of aspects are only theoretically solved or completely unsolved. E.g. security and trust problems appear as well as the need to prevent cheating. Consistent data storage is a problem, and decisions and transactions have to be performed in a decentralized way.
Our approach uses structured P2P technology for the infrastructure of MMOGs to improve their reliability and scalability. It can adapt to the current state of the game, handle uneven distributions of players in the map and has the ability to add supplementary nodes at runtime. The game world is split into disjunctive zones in different dimensions and distributed on nodes of a P2P network.