What about an on-line multi-player version

General discussion for players of Oolite.

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LittleBear
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What about an on-line multi-player version

Post by LittleBear »

The single player version with the online community is amazing.

But has anybody played EVE ON LINE?

What if we could have the current version, but with an on line mode (such as with doom, halo etc) where other ships encountered were other Oolite players?


My programming skills are pretty much non-existance, but would it be possible to have an oolite version where NCPs played along-side other PC players, the data for position, shield strength etc being passed over the net.

Many thanks to the "Master and Commander" for this game. It has given so many people so much enjoyment as it is.

Wow!

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ahem...

Post by jonnycuba »

Team Zorg are Go!

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Post by Mirad Grameron »

Ah! Another young Jameson.

MPOolite (Multi-Player Oolite) has been discussed a lot on the forums. However, it really isn't priority. You see, there are a bunch of problems to overcome first:

1. The sheer effort involved in programming the thing. It takes a lot to program something like Oolite, and I see Giles as somewhat of a divine hero for managing it. Creating MPOolite would take twice as much effort.

2. Servers cost money, which isn't supposed to be involved in the running of Oolite. Volunteer servers run by users like us are a possibilty, but there are problems with that. Even if you have non-stop Internet access, like DSL, there's the bandwidth issue and "down-time" problems on top of that.

3. Giles is working full scale already. Give the poor man a break!

In short, it's possible, and maybe even likely in the future, but it will take more man-power and some funds.
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Post by winston »

Spooky is working on this (once real life things stop intefering). He has experience in this sort of thing. However, it's a fairly challenging thing to get right, so don't expect it to show up tomorrow. I have a server I can donate some CPU time and bandwidth on for the job.

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Mirad Grameron
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Post by Mirad Grameron »

I have DSL, but my server might go down unexpectedly sometimes. I have another computer that might be available. It also has DSL and is less likely to shut down, but it's slower than the one I'm using now.
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Post by Star Gazer »

Has anyone a good idea of the sort of spec machine needed to provide the kind of server capacity needed to host a possible future MMP version of Oolite?

It's just that I still have my redundant older Mac - a 1.467GHz G4 with 768MB RAM, and 200GB of free disk space, and I have a 4port/wireless 128Mb router.

I'm moving home in 3weeks, and had been mulling over using it as a server in a LAN via the router when I set up my new office, but would be any good as a game server? I have 2Mb ADSL
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Mirad Grameron
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Post by Mirad Grameron »

Why not split the serving task between a bunch of volunteer servers? That way, if one goes down, then the online fun doesn't shut off completely. The servers would have to be able to communicate with each other very quickly, so presumably they'd all have to be in the same building, with a good LAN set up.

So now all we need is someone with a bunch of souped up computers, and who doesn't know what to do with them. :P
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JensAyton
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Post by JensAyton »

And who has good bandwidth with a TOS which doesn’t say something vague about “personal use only.”

A really good architecture would have servers at multiple locations which optimise the data they send between themselves (i.e., don’t bother telling the server in Canada about people in Xaorte as no-one on that server is there).

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Post by winston »

Domestic (or even business) ADSL simply doesn't cut it. For a server for Oolite you need real actual bandwidth and good latency. You need at least the grade of server that you'd use to host _public_ Enemy Territory or Unreal Tournament games. This means a server in a co-lo. Minimum price for a suitable server is generally around £60/month in the UK, or $100/month in the United States. (On the bright side, I already have two dedicated servers, one in the US and one in the UK. Since the one in the UK is mainly used as a backup, its CPU is hardly overtaxed and it could be used quite happily as a game server).

Domestic ADSL simply has far too little upstream to host anything but private games.

The one good thing about Oolite is that it's not nearly so "twitchy" as first person shooter games so it should be possible to get away with up to even as much as 200ms latency end to end between players without anyone noticing much -- if the netcode is done right!

As for CPU - it really depends how many star systems are hosted per server. Even with 20 players in a single star system, if the server is looking after all of these it's not really going to be any more load than the single player game. However, if a server is looking after 20 systems and 300 players it's going to run the load averages up a bit!

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Post by Mirad Grameron »

What if here were one server for every starsystem? Even DSL could handle that, since it's close to being the size of a private game. Of course that's a bunch of computers, but that could rectified through volunteer serving.

If MPOolite runs too laggy, than we should focus on making the communication between client and server more compact.
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Post by winston »

Mirad Grameron wrote: If MPOolite runs too laggy, than we should focus on making the communication between client and server more compact.
Since MPOolite doesn't yet exist, we don't know that yet and any of this is just pure speculation :-)

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Post by Star Gazer »

Hhmm... yeah, I was afraid that the upstream values of ADSL would be a significant problem, but it seems that is only one of the issues.

Thanks winston, it's a shame that the old Mac hasn't found a really useful purpose at last.

I guess I will just reconfigure it as a backup storage system, although it is handy to be able to run OS9 native stuff, rather than in Classic mode.
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Post by JensAyton »

Mirad Grameron wrote:If MPOolite runs too laggy, than we should focus on making the communication between client and server more compact.
Latency is – and always will be – a much harder problem than bandwidth.

I may soon be switching ISPs. My options will be 2 Mbps in/2 MBps out or 100 MBps in/10 MBps out with a rather liberal TOS (5 IP addresses, servers without pay services). Only server machine I’ve got to spare is an iMac G3, though. I wonder how many star systems it could simulate without graphics…
Last edited by JensAyton on Fri Apr 14, 2006 12:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by winston »

Ahruman wrote: Latency is – and always will be – a much harder problem than latency.
I don't think you really meant that :-) Damn not hitting 'Preview'!

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Post by Odo987 »

winston wrote:Minimum price for a suitable server is generally around £60/month in the UK, or $100/month in the United States.
Now might be a good time to point at ServerPronto. $30/month in the US. My company has been using them for years and they're pretty good. Just as long as you don't mind zero support if something happens on the weekends.

However, cost is not the problem. With a free single-player Oolite as bait, I doubt 90% of the people on this board would have a problem paying $25/year for access to the multi-user system.

The real problem is building the multi-user software. I have some experience in this area (I'm writing my dissertation right now (when I'm not blowing up Thargoids) on a real-time multi-user integrated development environment), and fully appreciate just how challenging a good quality Moolite would be.
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