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VregAndreasyan

Opinion on Networking Model

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Hi guys, I need opinions on some networking that I have in mind.

Imagine an online role playing game, played in first person. A game, where there are rooms (or servers), hosted by players. Those rooms can take from 2 to 64 players. In that game, there is a smart human-like alien race trying to eliminate all humans and conquer the earth. The earth, as a reaction has formed a United Army with soldiers from many different nations.

The players take the role of one of those soldiers. All aliens in the game are computer-controlled. Meaning that this will be an online game where people have to team up to fight against aliens (controlled by computers).

There will basically be no PVP at all. When entering one of those rooms (or servers), you will not be brought straight in the action. You will be taken to a city that is safe (alien-free). There you can start a talk with other people, buy/sell goods, train your skills,... But you are one step away from entering the battlefield and fighting for your planet.

Why do I let people host servers, simple, because I don't have the resources to host massive servers myself. So I let the players host small servers. That is also the cause of a brain cracking problem. Since this is a role playing game, player stats are saved in a database. And servers hosted on 3rd party computers access my database containing info about all players in order to be able to read and save stats.

By letting players host servers, I enable a lot of security risks.

Here are my 2 solutions, but I don't know how secure they actually are:

I'm thinking of letting the master server (hosted by me) send data about how to access the database to those servers once they get started and are verified by the master server as being the latest (and being a legit) version (through an MD5 check sum).
This way, they would not be able to decompile the server and fetch info about the database.

Then there is memory editing stuff in the server by the hosters which would eventually result in manipulated stats being saved to the database. I will solve that problem by using an anti-cheat method I developed for a flash game.

Also, only verified servers get added to the list of servers in the master server. This would eliminate all modified and outdated servers.

So, any opinions/advice? Thanks for your time.

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