A Dynamic Networking Substrate for Distributed MMOGs

This paper proposes a distributed and dynamic networking architecture for massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs). The MMOG networks deal with the challenge of update message exchange among a large number of players that are subject to both mobility (constant change of virtual location) and churn (joining and leaving the physical network at will). Ideally, a player’s update messages should be multicasted to the player’s area of effect, which is a neighborhood around the player. But, this requires the system to have a centralized indexing service that keeps record of players residing in each region, making the system less scalable as the number of players increases.

The use of geometric routing helps alleviate this requirement by exploiting location addressing and thus eliminating the need for IP-search queries. However, geometric routing comes with a number of convergence and performance issues that require solutions for reducing hop-count and minimizing overall delay while providing guaranteed message delivery. In this paper, we propose a geometric routing overlay for message exchange among a large number of MMOG players that not only provides reduced delay and guaranteed delivery, but also supports player mobility and churn. In addition, we enhance our greedy routing method to more efficiently support long distance messages. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our proposed scheme using both theory and simulations.