• Announcements

    • khawk

      Download the Game Design and Indie Game Marketing Freebook   07/19/17

      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
thezbuffer

Any idea on an expected Nat punchthrough failure rate?

5 posts in this topic

Hello again..

We're seeing higher-than-we-would-like number of people who simply cannot host or connect to games. We're using lidgren which supports some form of NAT punchthrough and all of our user hosted servers are likely behind NAT. For most cases it appears to be client specific i.e. they cannot connect to any games anywhere.

We added some tracking and out of about 40k connection attempts we fail NAT punchthrough about 15% of the time. If we then attempt to connect anyway we get though in an additional 6% of the time giving us an overall failure rate of 9% of our user attempts. Not good enough to stop complaints :-) We've checked out code many times (and found/fixed a few bugs) and also wiresharked to show that the packets simply do not make it through the routers.

So before we spend even more time digging deep I thought I would ask if 15% seems reasonable or if something is wrong?

Many of our users declare they can play other games without problems - we suspect they are playing on servers hosted on machines with no NAT (or very very permissive ones). We tried hosting on AWS and Azure VMs and are seeing about the same 15% - the cloud services are all behind NATs too. Our next step here is to try a server with a static IP/No NAT to see if everyone can connect even if they have a 'bad' router at their end.

And finally any other ideas? We don't have the resources to invest in advanced NAT techniques that we've been reading about [url="http://xboxforums.create.msdn.com/forums/p/7092/37670.aspx#37670"]http://xboxforums.cr...7670.aspx#37670[/url] - we've heard that the gamespy library may be better [url="http://docs.poweredbygamespy.com"]http://docs.poweredbygamespy.com[/url] but theres no docs on its Nat traversal abilities.

Thanks Edited by thezbuffer
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You could tell users that if it fails hosting, they need to configure port forwarding if they are hosting. Users generally understand that port forwarding might be necessary for hosting, so at least they'll complain less (plus it will probably up the % of users that "it works" for.)

I don't understand what you mean when you say "NAT fails, but we go ahead and connect anyway, and that gets us another 6%."
How can "NAT fail" if you can connect?
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
We already have instructions for people hosting. So either they are not doing that, or their router is open enough to let some people through so they don't feel they have to change. We actually have a tooltop that appears if they host for more than 2 minutes without anyone joining...

I'm not sure I can explain exactly but we have a matching server that sends the nat introduction to both sides (server and client) and then both server and client sent out a NAT punch through to each other. Sometimes the client -> server fails from the client point of view but the server -> client punch through has worked so if we follow up the failure with a connection (as if it worked) then we actually make a connection. We did find some vague explanation of why this might work - and it does.

I may be using the wrong terms here so hopefully you can work it all out.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It sounds like you're not being through enough in the punch-through set-up, then.
A proper punch-through procedure means that each side starts sending out a packet with a TTL of 2.
Then, each side sends out a packet with a TTL of 3.
... repeat, until both sides see each other, or you reach some high number of TTL, like 100.
In the best of worlds, you include the matchmaker as a coordinator for each of these steps, and the coordination is done using "reliable" messaging on top of the same UDP port as you're using for the punch-through.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for that hint. I'll look into lidgren and see what it does and if we can make it do that.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[quote name='thezbuffer' timestamp='1350317099' post='4990418']
Thanks for that hint. I'll look into lidgren and see what it does and if we can make it do that.
[/quote]

You can look into RakNet as well, it's got some info on punch through and various generic types. But in general, both sides have to initiate a connection attempt, to allow the other side to punch through the firewall.
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0