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NathanielBennett

How does Xbox Live work?

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Hey, - not too sure whether to post here or the multi-player/networking section - that of which seems to be mostly down to implementation, so I posted here instead.

My Name's Nathan.

I am just searching to find out, what Xbox Live really is?
I have been to various of sources and they just state what Xbox Live is, but not, what it is. (if you get me?)

I mean - do Xbox Live game run on Xbox Live servers? - when playing call of duty , I have had trouble with time out issues - yet this doesn't effect whether I'm logged into Xbox Live or not?

What I'm trying to find out is... are matches hosted on Xbox Live servers?
Or are matches just Peer 2 Peer? - various games have "Hosts" - which suggest peer to peer?(not forgetting I'm no networking graduate(really, I have no clue about networking(just read a book once))).
I wouldn't imagine game studios paying 100's of millions of pounds out of servers - however, I could be wrong.

so, yeah... Thanks for your time.

Nathan. Edited by naf456

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There are many steps involved and many machines involved.

There is the general XBox Live servers which involves many different systems and servers for each, including account information, friend information and current status, etc. These are large networks of coordinated systems.

Then there are game-specific game servers; some parts of the service are managed by Microsoft, other parts might be managed by the third-party company like EA. Matchmaking can be done as part of Live or it can be done by the third-party game. Any in-game services are provided by the third party company.



Simple matchmaking other trivial tasks CAN be handled by Microsoft. If a game only uses those built-in functions then they won't need their own servers.

Many games do require the studio to pay for servers. That is one reason why many AAA games eventually shut down their servers effectively killing online play; it costs them money.

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Brilliant! thanks.
I really never knew their was that much effort involved.
I've researched a little bit more, and apparently most games are P2P ie , player acts as host and processes the game - clients get the feedback from the hosts system.
apparently Xbox Live just host the IM client , reputation system, gamerscore , Marketplace purchases and friends list - which is pretty cool.

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[quote name='naf456' timestamp='1343121864' post='4962546']
Brilliant! thanks.
I really never knew their was that much effort involved.
I've researched a little bit more, and apparently most games are P2P ie , player acts as host and processes the game - clients get the feedback from the hosts system.
apparently Xbox Live just host the IM client , reputation system, gamerscore , Marketplace purchases and friends list - which is pretty cool.
[/quote]

It's really game dependent like frob says.

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XBL doesn't really care about game traffic, only account management, online stores, and also offers matchmaking services. You want a list of sessions matching these criterias? There you go.

The game topology (server / client, peer / peer) and communications are entirely up to the developper. Some also use their own custom matchmaking service, athough the XBL is pretty mature.

PSN works pretty much the same, and so does steamworks. It's a generally accepted framework for online games. That makes a lot easier to design a cross-platform game. There are of course differences and idiosyncracies. Edited by papalazaru

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