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Webbster

From Single to Multiplayer

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Can a game that has been developed as a single player expierence, with an engine that does not contain any network code, but has been all but finished (sound / music, rendering, movement, etc.), be given multiplayer abilities near to the end of development. For example: A run around and hack n'' slash title has been produced and the game works fine as a single player expierence. Could a capable network programmer take the current engine and develop a multiplayer expierence on top of that to cater for maybe 6 players per gaming session. Or would such a network programmer need to be involved in the games development from day one?? Also: <> Is DirectPlay sufficient for a 6 player maximum gaming session? <> Should such a session be Peer-to-peer or Client/Server? I was thinking Peer-to-peer, with a Client/Server setup for the lobby but I really dont know enough to be sure. Thanks for all the help, Ad

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thats a tough question to answer... it depends how well structured the programming of the game is... personally i hate having to pick up other people''s source code and modify it, i rather work from scratch.

For the first game i wrote, first i made it single player and once i had that done i decided to make it multiplayer... I didn''t really have to change any of the existing code, i just added to it. And i would assume that the same would hold true for any well-structured game.

As for the peer-to-peer vs client/server... i think if you want anymore than 2 players, you''re best to go with the client/server option.

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Anything CAN be done.

You probably want client/server.

Yes, it is possible to write networked games with DirectPlay. Not necessarily pleasant, but possible.

You''re probably best off trusting each client on what actions he/she do, at this point, because your code is probably structured that way. This makes it easy to cheat, but if your game is popular enough that people write cheats for it, that''s a good problem to have for a small developer :-)

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I''d say if you had multiplayer in mind when coding single player (well structured), you can do it.

For a game exclusively written for single player, I''d say you will have a bad time while rewriting much stuff.

Also depends on what kind of game you speak about... say a FPS probably will be much easier to convert than turn say a game like Morrowind to support multiplayer.

It depends on the number of objects that have to be shared between the multiple computers and their complexity, but all in all I say it is no fun to turn a game from single to multiplayer (better restart a new game to be multiplayer from scratch).

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Thanks for all the help.

I was mainly concerned with how feasible it was to implement a multiplayer system if it hadn't been started at the same time as initial development had.

I don't think my idea would make it to much harder, there are no single player specific features to worry about. I would just be looking to get players seeing and interacting in a basic way with other players in a small 6 player gaming session at first, and then move on to bigger and better things.

I'm looking into developing a game (no idea what I want to do yet, as I have no solid time to start anything ) that will test my programming abilities but will not require a huge amount of gameplay specific programming, such as Realtime Strategies or RPGs. I'm considering the development of a hack n' slash (3rd person) with a similiar feel to this project which I stumbled upon a few months ago:

http://digisonline.com/EECE478/

The reason I have posted here, is that I would really like to make a project such as this multiplayer, but have no idea as to how I should approach such a project, would it be a good idea to team up with another programmer more involved in networking for games??

Also, how could I avoid cheaters, I am guessing as an amature / hobbyist developer I wouldn't have much control over that?

Any extra advice would be greatly appreciated as always,
Adam

[edited by - Webbster on April 15, 2004 2:18:49 PM]

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There has an online game that uses real money for its currency. No cheating possible that I know of. It can be done -- assuming you''re willing to make all decisions on the server (and have a server, in the first place :-)

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