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looking for advice (newbie network programmer)

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high, im working on a shooter/RPG. anyway, i REALLY want to make this game multiplayer (i only want something like 4 people to connect to deathmatch each other)... anyway, i am looking for some advice. i have no knowledge of network programming (yet).. i have a decent amount of the base code done for the game itself. heres my question : should i start learning up on how to do networking now, and add networking to the game while its still young? OR, is it possible for me to complete my game, and then learn about networking and add the networking part? keep in mind i dont plan on adding the networking as my first networking project. ill probably add networking to my older games (pong and pacman), and then add the networking to the game once i have a decent feel for it. also, what should i look out for now so i dont screw myself down the road ? any advice on things to look out for and things to do now so its not harder later... the game is already frame-rate independant because i heard that it makes networking easier. thanks for any help!!!

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It''s better to design your engine in such a way to be easy to add networking stuff to it. Otherwise you might have to rewrite major portions of the code, because it''s just incompatible with a client/server model.

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I would really recommend checking out the Zap game example that''s part of the Torque Network Library (see http://www.opentnl.org). Zap is a full client/server team action arcade game, utilizing TNL''s object priority updating, client-side prediction, interpolation and extrapolation models, and networked physics.

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