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Network Middleware needed. Any suggestions?

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I''m looking for a network packaging middleware to transport datastreams over IP between my client and server apps. I''m working off of win32 platforms ATM and would prefer to stay there as opposed to unix variants. My current datastream is under 30 kBps (approx 28.8 modem speeds) and the client communicates with several different "server" applications at various IP addresses. I need something simple. I need something I can customize heavily and that functions through a c++ DLL wrapper I can call from inside my client/server software applications. I am not looking for a rock solid $10 million dollar solution here, just something that someone has had mild success with that an amateur C++ coder can get functioning. I''ve tried ICE, GatorHole, .. and others =) My current game engine has a built in network transport but it needs to be highly modifiedfor what I want to do. Let''s put it this way. I need to modify it to the point I could write it from scratch faster. Therefore I''m looking for something a little more powerful to begin with before I start to tear it down. My current pre alpha goal is for approx 30ish people simultaneously connected. Optimizing for alpha will require 100 simultaneous connections. Not worried about that now =) 30ish is my current target. Thanks Mark PS: Please email me if you can offer some insight or pass on some experiences with various networking middleware applications I really would like to hear your input. thanks slyxsith@hotmail.com or markm@aakrana.com Aakrana: The Forgotten Lands Currently seeking help from: C++ coder ZeroC / ICE programmer

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Guest Anonymous Poster
You can use ReplicaNet. At the low level it has a concept of "just connections" with the XPURL layer. You can also use the DLL interface. It is also free to freeware developers. Have a look here: http://www.replicanet.com/docxpurl.html

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quote:
Original post by Slyxsith
My current datastream is under 30 kBps (approx 28.8 modem speeds) and the client communicates with several different "server" applications at various IP addresses.



I''m sorry I can''t hlp with your question, but I thought you should be aware that 30 kBps is much, much faster than a 28.8 kbps modem can go (about 10 times faster - little b is bits, big B is bytes, and with modem protocols there''s typically 2bits of overhead).

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Thanks Magmai. It was late and my brain was dead =) I was referring to little B I was suspicious I posted the worng kBps so I used the modem as a frame of ref

In case it isn''t painfully obvious I''m truely not a coding guru I''m just trying to assimulate products that get the job done to see us into alpha =)

Cheers mate and thanks

Aakrana: The Forgotten Lands
Currently seeking help from:
C++ coder
ZeroC / ICE programmer

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I have read a lot about Net-Z from Quazal

http://www.quazal.com

and

http://www.quazal.com/devzone/

I think this tool seems really great. They use duplicated objects and you don''t have to code any message passing at all, all such stuff is handled by the middleware. You instead only work with objects in an object oriented way of programming, which I really think is the correct way to work. When a duplicated object (DO) is created on one station, it is automatically created on all other stations. You can also use RPM (remote call methods) and a simpler version of RPM:s, namely "actions" that does not take a return value. I will probably use Net-Z in my freeware game, since it is free for freeware developers :-)
Stuff like dead reckoning, loopback, lookahead and local corrections (I don''t know if these are well-known terms but they are used by Quazal, anyway) are handeled by Net-Z so you hardly have to write any code at all to get such fancy stuff!

Another middleware, this time message oriented and thus more low level, and also free for freeware developers, is available at

http://www.rakkarsoft.com/

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quazal uses an awful lot of buzzwords, but their implementation was pretty shoddy, last time we evaluated them. They add far too much overhead to your game traffic, and their code isn''t all that good, especially for something that you want to provide a solid, fast foundation for your engine.

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I have to just add a further thumbs-up for RakNet from Rakkarsoft (http://www.rakkarsoft.com/).

I''ve found it an absolute joy to deploy in my current SMORPG (*slightly* multiplayer ORPG, target user level of a dozen or so concurrent players).



www.coldcity.com
code, pics, life

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Interesting post anonymous poster. I''m from Quazal and I would appreciate further details on your post. You say Quazal implementation was shoddy the last time you evaluated it... Net-Z has been around since March 2000, so if you looked at version 1.0, you might be surprised by our latest version.

As far as overhead is concerned, it''s all related to the architecture you need for your game. We have public forums available on our web site, so I invite you to post your bad experiences over there. So far, all overhead problems we have seen where due to bad design decisions that where easily fixable. Some folks at Ubisoft were counting the bits on the wire when they evaluated our stuff. In the end, they purchased Net-Z, which leaves me to believe overhead must not be so bad after all.

As far as our code being solid, we have a build running each day with about 12 hours worth of testing to find coherence problems in RedHat, Win32, PS2 and Xbox distributions. We have a few high profile publishers using our code as well and they do quite extensive testing, I assure you. If you have encountered any specific problem, please feel free to share them with us.

Sylvain Beaudry
Quazal

>Quazal uses an awful lot of buzzwords, but their implementation
>was pretty shoddy, last time we evaluated them. They add far too
>much overhead to your game traffic, and their code isn''t all that good,
>especially for something that you want to provide a solid, fast
>foundation for your engine.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
check http://www.butterfly.net
for online networking middleware

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I''d check out HawkNL.
http://www.hawksoft.com/hawknl/

It''s a somewhat-low-level API set, but it''s nicely done. I used it in the past and found it easy to use, and flexible enough too.

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