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DirectPlay8 client/server -- Groups

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What is the function of a group? Are they necessary for a simple game? I''m able to send some messages with no problem but I''m wondering if I should be using them. If they work how I would expect them to (arbitrary grouping of players), I don''t need them for my game. However, if their function is different from this, I may need to use them. So what''s the deal with these?

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The intention with the group is to speed up packets that all players of the group should receive, such as a "send packet to group" instead of a "broadcast" or "loop through all players and if they should get the packet send it to them". DirectPlay is meant to use multicasting when you are using groups, but as it says in the documentation:

"Note: Multicasting is not supported for this release"

I''m not an expert on multicasting, but as far as I have understood, multicasting means that you only send a single packet from the server but that it has several destination addresses. Obviously this should be a lot faster... when DirectPlay supports it, of course (DX9, perhaps?).

I had planned to use DP Groups in my online RPG. My strategy was that each player owned its own group and added or removed players depending on how close they were in the world. But, for reasons I''ve forgotten now, I decided to use a normal std::list of players instead and send packets with a normal "send to player" instead of "send to group" (I think it was because it was rather common that the active player shouldn''t receive the same packet as his "neighbors").

I hope this helps a little, at least

My Stuff : [ Whispers in Akarra (online rpg) || L33T WAR (multiplayer game) || The Asteroid Menace (another game) ]

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Yes, thanks. That''s pretty much what I was thinking. So I''m not going to worry about groups at all for now then heh.

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