What every programmer needs to know about game networking

by Glenn Fiedler on January 24, 2010

For some bizarre reason I felt inspired to spend my one day off from work during crunch writing an article chronicling the development of modern game protocols. From RTS peer-to-peer lock step, to client/server, right up to FPS games and client-side prediction.

And I’m strangely enamored with the result, it flowed very well when writing it – and I believe it to be the best article I’ve written so far. It’s also the first article where I’ve felt compelled to include references to other people’s work instead of presenting just my own research.

What every programmer needs to know about game networking

You’re a programmer. Have you ever wondered how multiplayer games work?

From the outside it seems magical: two or more players sharing a consistent experience across the network like they actually exist together in the same virtual world. But as programmers we know the truth of what is actually going on underneath is quite different from what you see. It turns out that it’s all an illusion. A massive sleight-of-hand. What you perceive as a shared reality is only an approximation unique to your own point of view and place in time.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Martin January 28, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Hey, I love your articles. Especially your networking ones, they cover technical details in a wonderfully simple way that I’ve not seen anywhere else :D

Any chance of an RSS feed?


Glenn Fiedler January 29, 2010 at 1:05 am

Thank you very much!

Here is the RSS feed: feed://gafferongames.com/feed/rss/


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