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bandwidth usage for 32 player games?

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I'm finishing up my server for a multi-player space shooter which supports 32 players. Had a network test with 21 players the other day at the average traffic up from the server to all clients combined was ~165KB per second on average. Can anyone who has done a 32 player game, or admined a server for one, comment on accepatable bandwith use for such an application? Not really sure how to critique my bandwidth numbers. Are there any links where you can find find networking stats like average bandwidth per player for popular 32+ player games like Counter-Strike, COD4, etc...

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Thats a decently high bandwidth you've got - usually Comcast high speed modems will max out around 256KB/s, so it'll be iffy if the average home user can host a 32 player game.

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My Comcast is billed as 1Mbps up and 6 Mbps down. My DSL is billed as 384 kbps up and 1.5 Mbps down. 1 Mbps up will not go above 120 kB/s, and usually less than that. 384 kbps up will not go above 42 kB/s, but it usually sustains that just fine. If you're really sending 165 kB/s (B == byte, b == bit) then I couldn't host a 32-player game.

Breaking out the player bandwidth calculator, the problem really is the number of players and to a lesser extent the send rate. The bandwidth usage for the upstream of the server is:

R*P*(P*Z+O)

R = update rate in Hz (say 20)
P = num players (say 32)
Z = size of update data per player (say 16 bytes)
O = overhead (say 28 bytes/packet for UDP + 8 bytes/packet for framing)

Plug that in, and you get:
20*32*(32*16+36)
That's 350 kB/s, so you're already doing better than that (if you're measuring all the bits in the formula already). The main problem here is the N-squared in number of players. If you go down to 24 players, you cut the needed bandwidth in half.

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Hey thanks for the input, those formulas are great. Yeah the N^2 bandwidth going out from the server is tough. Luckily I haven't done any aggressive message compression yet, so I'm pretty sure I can shrink bandwidth a bit more.

The max players on the server is configurable, since I figured the average consumer broadband wouldn't be able to host 32. My server will be hosted on a University connection with a mega-pipe though. =)

Using Lidgren C# with and XNA client. I'm really impressed with Lidgren so far.

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