Tag Archive: Networking

Network Game Development

SuperNetworkGame

As part of the MProf course at Abertay, I selected to take a module that focused on Network Game Development. Through this module, I aimed to translate the skills I learnt at Teesside into a C++ environment as well as adding a dead reckoning implementation required by the brief.

To fulfil this, I created a multi-player top down shooter called “Super Network Shooting Game”. This game combines local and network multi-player, letting up to 8 players take part in simple top down combat. Each terminal support four controllers (thanks to SDL 2.0’s robust controller integration and Microsoft’s wireless controller receiver).

The network model is server-client, with both machines having players. The server is responsible for starting and ending the game. Required information for both machines (such as start and end messages) are sent via a TCP connection formed when the applications start. Standard game events are transferred via UDP. Linear interpolation is used to mitigate packet loss or delay.

In addition to networking, I used C++11’s multi-threading features to move the TCP and UDP listeners to separate threads to improve performance. This was my first major experience of using multi-threading in C++ environment and took a while to learn, however the application performs well and exits cleanly.

To assist in development, I used several third party libraries to assist:

  • SDL 2.0 was used for the basic framework, particularly the rendering and input elements
  • SDL_Net was used for the network framework, providing a feature packed layer to implement TCP and UDP connections.
  • SDL_Image was used to allow the game to render PNG and JPG images used for sprite sheets
  • SDL_TTF was added to allow the outputting of text – this feature was added after handing the module in.

For this project, I received an A20, the highest mark that Abertay awards for its module grades. After development I look forward to improving this demo, adding additionally game-play features while using it as a test bed for improving my C++ skills in a multi-threaded, multi-machine environment.

Source Code

All source code for this project can be found on my bit-bucket at https://bitbucket.org/michael_charge/super-network-shooting-game

Please note that I have branched off at the version I handed into Abertay which is titled “Handin_Branch” – it is missing the text rendering and some structural improvements.

Network Programming Projects

ncp_screenshot1

As part of my BSc Computing course at Teesside University, I did two modules that covered networking programming in a chat room with avatars enviroment while utilising Java. These built upon each other and so have been merged into a single project page.

Part 1

In we were briefed to produce a Java TCP/UDP chat server. Before the project started we were provided an interface.

The chat client combined both text chat along with a 2D avatar. Chat messages were location dependant, unless commands such as /shout or /whisper were used. In addition, the server had a hierarchy to it, keeping track of owners and moderators with their own special powers such as setting new mods or silencing users.

Overall I enjoyed programming in Java – it provides a great platform to develop network enabled and multithreaded applications with a very friendly language.

Media

Part 2

In my final year, I took part in a second module using Java to create networked applications. The improvement over the last project was the requirement to be entirely non-blocking and to use another language to as an optional component. By using a framework created for the project by my tutors, I created an alternative to blocking TCP module included as well as adding UDP and limited SSL functionality. For the alternative languages, I used a Java based implementation of Python called Jython to allow me to call Python implementations of TCP and UDP and fulfil that requirement. This is due to Python’s quick and easy syntax.

Overall this project was very useful in teaching how to deal with large projects and granted some limited experience in Python

Download

Both projects’ source code is available on Bitbucket at https://bitbucket.org/michael_charge/networking-projects