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Johnell

Network programming

6 posts in this topic

I am looking to learn more about network programming in c++ and learn more about the different protocols. I'd also like to start on an interesting project which cover these topics, and more.

I'd love it if you guys could point me towards some books/tutorials/articles regarding this. I'd also appreciate it if you could throw me some ideas on what project to start with. Edited by Johnell
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Search on google for winsock or winsock2 tutorials on msdn or client/server tutorial on msdn. That is probably the best place to start.
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For projects, this is the order I learned networking which worked out well:

a) TCP : client/server : the server listens for text input from the clients and echos it back to all of them
b) make the same program but with UDP
c) 2-player simple turn based game using TCP (I did Stratego then Chess demos)
d) UDP client/server: simple game with real time position updates ( I did a tile-based very basic MMORPG prototype)

At that point you have a solid foundation and can get into more advanced networking. For example, my current project will most likely benefit from some client side prediction which I haven't done before.


In terms of networking tutorials, while I did originally learn it in C/C++, that was many years ago and I can't remember which books I learned from.

Here is a really good UDP tutorial for Lua (different language I know, but the concepts are the same):

[url="https://love2d.org/wiki/Tutorial:Networking_with_UDP"]https://love2d.org/w...orking_with_UDP[/url]
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[quote name='proanim' timestamp='1351449290' post='4994792']
Search on google for winsock or winsock2 tutorials on msdn or client/server tutorial on msdn. That is probably the best place to start.
[/quote]

Is there anything similar to mac?
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Beej's networking tutorial is a general-purpose sockets tutorial. It's linked from the FAQ.

http://beej.us/guide/bgnet/

Also, if you're a C++ programmer, you may prefer the boost::asio library, which I think is better in a few ways:
1) It's asynchronous (and I just like that :-)
2) It's higher performance than plain select() sockets
3) It's fully portable -- select() and sockets require some #defines or #ifdefs on Windows

The boost::asio library has some good examples no the proper boost site, BUT it doesn't have a "networking" tutorial -- it assumes you know what an IP address is, how it's different from a port number, etc.

http://www.boost.org/doc/libs/1_38_0/doc/html/boost_asio/examples.html
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Apart from Beej's introduction to winsock, not aware of deep network programming tutorials oriented towards games. I suppose you could start off with simpler, more generic programs, like writing a IRC, a MUD, a simple multiplayer card game or board game.

[url="http://www.brynosaurus.com/pub/net/p2pnat/"]this[/url] is an introduction to NAT, which will give you some insights on how internet addressing works. Looks scary, but that's part of the process. You can ignore that for a start, and work on a LAN setup to make things easier for starters.

A few concepts thrown in :
- Transport layer (winsock, UDP, TCP, reliable delivery, in order delivery, retransmission, establishing and closing connections, detecting connection failures and drops, calculating latency, bandwidth throttling, NAT punch through).
- Network topology (server / client, peer to peer, star topology, load balancing).
- Serialisation (marshalling data, compressing data, validating data, bitstreams and bitpacking, message routing and handling).
- Replication (global game clock synchronisation, managing your network entities, scheduling entity updates, remote procedure calls).
- Gaming (simulating internet conditions, debugging, lag compensation, hit detection, client side prediction).
- Matchmaking (LAN matchmaking, online matchmaking server, host advertising, game enumeration, session attributes, player presence, leaderboards, datamining and stats, invites...).

Would be nice to have all these under one roof, possibly with a bunch of applications. Don't think anyone's been crazy enough to attempt this. Well, apart from [url="http://gafferongames.com/networking-for-game-programmers/"]Glenn Fiedler[/url] maybe.

EDIT : On second thought, Glenn's article would be a decent place to start if you are thinking 'games'.
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[quote name='hplus0603' timestamp='1351453920' post='4994822']
Beej's networking tutorial is a general-purpose sockets tutorial. It's linked from the FAQ.

[url="http://beej.us/guide/bgnet/"]http://beej.us/guide/bgnet/[/url]
[/quote]

+1 for Beej [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.png[/img] Edited by Khatharr
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