Title: Design issues for Peer-to-Peer Massively Multiplayer Online Games

Authors: Lu Fan, Phil Trinder, Hamish Taylor

Addresses: School of Computing, Edinburgh Napier University, Edinburgh EH10 5DT, UK. ' School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK. ' School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK

Abstract: Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) are increasing in both popularity and scale, and while classical Client/Server (C/S) architectures convey some benefits, they suffer from significant technical and commercial drawbacks. This realisation has sparked intensive research interest in adapting MMOGs to Peer-to-Peer (P2P) architectures. This paper articulates a comprehensive set of six design issues to be addressed by P2P MMOGs, namely Interest Management (IM), game event dissemination, Non-Player Character (NPC) host allocation, game state persistency, cheating mitigation and incentive mechanisms. Design alternatives for each issue are systematically compared, and their interrelationships discussed. We further evaluate how well representative P2P MMOG architectures fulfil the design criteria.

Keywords: P2P; peer-to-peer; MMOGs; massively multiplayer online games; interest management; event dissemination; task distribution; distributed storage; anti-cheating; collaboration incentives; design alternatives; non-player characters; NPC host allocation; game state persistency; cheating mitigation; incentive mechanisms.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAMC.2010.032138

International Journal of Advanced Media and Communication, 2010 Vol.4 No.2, pp.108 - 125

Available online: 11 Mar 2010 *

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