[ENet-discuss] Best practises for synchronizing states

Nicholas J Ingrassellino nick at lifebloodnetworks.com
Wed Nov 24 09:23:57 PST 2010

I question if the lag is as bad as you are expecting it to be. Some 
connections and/or rural areas are worst than others but I am not sure 
it will be as bad as you think. For example, if you look back at the 
last few e-mails I sent to this list you will see my current project 
treats the client as a dumb terminal-- only key presses are send and 
object information is back unreliably 20 times a second. There is some 
dead reckoning (the object speed and direction are sent to the client 
and the client does that work while waiting for the next update) and I 
do not have an issue even on my mobile phone.

My point is you should run a number of tests to see what you get. Make 
sure to play with the rate the "server" (or in your case client to 
client) sends data vs bandwidth usage. Make sure you do not flood the 
line with too many tiny packets and that you process all packets in a 
while loop (vs an if) to make sure you processes everything as fast as 
possible. Another note on my project is that I do not wait on an timers 
to process network events (as opposed to my log and display code that 
only happens 60 times a second).

I think you may surprised yourself with what you can pull off in terms 
of latency.


Nicholas J Ingrassellino
LifebloodNetworks.com <http://www.lifebloodnetworks.com/> || 
nick at lifebloodnetworks.com <mailto:nick at lifebloodnetworks.com>

"The idea that I can be presented with a problem, set out to logically 
solve it with the tools at hand, and wind up with a program that could 
not be legally used because someone else followed the same logical steps 
some years ago and filed for a patent on it is horrifying."
- John Carmack on software patents

On 11/23/2010 10:00 PM, Philip Bennefall wrote:
> Hi all,
> This is a fairly lengthy email, so I apologize in advance.
> I am relatively new to ENet. I have integrated it in my game engine 
> and have successfully written a game which is working perfectly. It is 
> one of those finger twitching action games where speed is of the 
> utmost importance and delay is the most evil thing in the world. The 
> way I do it is to keep sending the entire state for a player to the 
> other party unreliably. The other client then works out the events 
> that "must" have occured by looking at the differences between the 
> last known state and the new one. This is far from a perfect solution 
> as it neither scales well nor provides for very readable code. Here's 
> a summary of how I'm handling things:
> The game is a shooter where you run a round on a 1d grid firing rocks 
> at your oponent's palace. When a rock hits a square on the other side 
> it'll quickly begin piercing its way through until that section of the 
> wall crumbles. During that time, the other player may use their hammer 
> to defend the section.
> I wrote an internal layout description for myself before I started 
> coding, which I then followed to ensure proper handling of all 
> possible situations.
> ---Start of Internal Description---
> The way in which this game communicates over the network is fairly 
> simple. The two players have a direct connection established between 
> one another, and they send out their player state roughly 30 times a 
> second. This player state contains the current x position, the current 
> throwing position which is -1 if nothing is being thrown, and then a 
> list of all the squares on that player's side. For each square, two 
> values are stored. The first is the current resistance which is 20 on 
> max, and 0 if the square is destroyed. The second one is crumbling 
> speed which is 0 if the square is not currently crumbling, and a value 
> in milliseconds otherwise. This value is used to measure if two or 
> more rocks have been thrown on the same square.
> When a new state is received from the remote player, we have to 
> analyse this information in order to determine what changes that have 
> occured and if we need to take any action.
> If a new x position is received, we simply move the player's local 
> variable to this square and play a footstep sound.
> If the new throwing position is different from our old one, we can 
> take a few actions depending on its value:
> 1. If the new one is greater than -1 and the old one is -1, the remote 
> player threw a rock at us. we play the throwing sound in the 
> appropriate location, but take no other action.
> 2. If the new one is -1 and the old one is greater than -1, we can 
> assume that the remote player hit us and start the crumbling sequence 
> for that square on our end. Naturally if our square is already 
> crumbled, the remote player will not get any hit notifications from us.
> 3. If they both are greater than -1, we can assume that the remote 
> player hit us and so we activate that sequence as above. We can also 
> assume that the remote player made a new throwing attempt in another 
> location and that we didn't see the -1 state that came prior to it 
> probably because of lag, and so we play another throwing sound in the 
> new location.
> After this, we go on to scan the game board and do the following for 
> each square:
> If the new resistance is greater than the old one, the remote player 
> hammered and so we play that sound.
> If the new resistance is lower than the old one, we can take four actions.
> 1. If the new resistance is 0 and the old resistance is greater than 
> 0, the square just broke so we play the appropriate sound and forget 
> about it.
> 2. If the old crumbling speed is the same as the new one, this was a 
> normal crumbling step and so we play the appropriate sound.
> 3. If the old crumbling speed is 0 and the new one is greater than 0, 
> this was a new hit so we react accordingly.
> 4. If the old one is greater than the new one and the new one is 
> greater than 0, this was a new hit on the same square.
> ---End of Internal Description---
> I realize that this is a lot of very game specific information, and 
> that's exactly my point. This all seems like a very dirty hack to me, 
> and I was wondering if any of you can suggest a better and more 
> scalable way of doing this while still keeping latency to an absolute 
> minimum?
> Thanks in advance for any help!
> Kind regards,
> Philip Bennefall
> P.S. I should perhaps mention that this is a game for the blind; 
> entirely based on sound, which is why sounds are mentioned all over 
> the place rather than graphics.
> _______________________________________________
> ENet-discuss mailing list
> ENet-discuss at cubik.org
> http://lists.cubik.org/mailman/listinfo/enet-discuss
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://lists.cubik.org/pipermail/enet-discuss/attachments/20101124/c65c9f0b/attachment-0001.html>

More information about the ENet-discuss mailing list