Server-like Match Room Browser. Possible?

#1elheberPosted 6/29/2010 11:07:22 AM
Imagine going online and seeing what appears to be multiplayer servers so you can choose which one to join. They wouldn't actually be servers, but more like rooms without hosts.

It'd work like this (if at all possible):

There's a room browser where you can see multiplayer rooms sorted by latency. They have a short name and have icons to quickly describe their mode and game settings (like TDM, Hardcore, and Limited Radar). You'd be able to sort or filter them by mode, players, or settings. If you don't find one exactly like you want it, you just hit the "Make a Room" button and make one with your favorite settings and a map playlist.

Once you create the room and give it a name, others will see it in the room browser and be able to join if they like the mode, settings, and map playlist. If you quit, the room doesn't disappear, but someone else simply takes up the room hosting duties. As long as there's at least 1 person playing in that room, the room will not disappear. You might come back the next day and see the room you created still being played on.

In this way there will always be rooms dedicated to the most popular settings and match types without dividing the community. You'd also see many local rooms day after day because they're so popular that they don't disappear or they keep getting recreated.

It's as close to PC multiplayer game servers we could possibly get without actual match servers.
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#2DarkZV2BetaPosted 6/29/2010 11:27:03 AM
The problem with this isn't that it's not possible on the Wii, or not possible with a console-based online system, but just that Nintendo doesn't ****ing like it, so you have to pay them a ton of money to host a system like that.

I'd love it, and I know the system is capable of it, and I seriously doubt anyone would object to it either. At least, not any of the fans.
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#3elheber(Topic Creator)Posted 6/29/2010 11:28:28 AM
But there would be no game servers required. Only matchmaking servers, and those are already plentiful.
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#4DarkZV2BetaPosted 6/29/2010 1:18:58 PM
It's not the servers, it's the interface.
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#5SupahShnipaPosted 6/29/2010 2:59:04 PM
"But there would be no game servers required. Only matchmaking servers, and those are already plentiful."
Matchmaking servers only link people up, once they are connected the host does the rest. You would need Dedicated servers for this.
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#6elheber(Topic Creator)Posted 6/29/2010 3:18:11 PM
Matchmaking servers only link people up, once they are connected the host does the rest. You would need Dedicated servers for this.

No, you wouldn't. The players host the rooms, and the matchmaking servers would only index them. Someone makes and hosts a room, the matchmaking server indexes his IP so others see it in their room browsers, people join the room and receive the room name and settings, before the next match starts the person with the best ping hosts (just like every other serverless game), and it doesn't matter who leaves because the room stays active if people are still in it.

Imagine for a second that you're playing MW2 and the lobby you join has a specific name "Drippy's Estate Only". It doesn't matter who joins or quits, the lobby keeps that name and those multiplayer settings. No lobby merging; instead, if it gets empty then "Drippy's Estate Only" simply ceases to exist. You're just given the ability to see all the lobbies, and their names/settings/pings before joining one.

No servers, with the exception of the matchmaking server.
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#7SupahShnipaPosted 6/29/2010 3:38:39 PM
"Imagine for a second that you're playing MW2"
*Controller vs wall.


Also, I see what you mean. I misunderstood you for a sec. I'm not exactly great with the server stuff, I only really get how Dedicated servers work since I used to run a few for my old 2D ORPG. I don't really understand how Matchmaking servers work, but hey thats just me.
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#8elheber(Topic Creator)Posted 6/29/2010 4:06:53 PM
It sounds a bit complex, but it's really just a modified version of how current serverless games do it.

What normally happens now is that you connect to an indexing server that sends you a list of current rooms/lobbies that exist and their pings. Then your game goes one by one looking for the fastest ones that have open player slots and players similar in rank. If it does not find a good one, it'll automatically create a lobby just for you so that others can join it. If a lobby has few players, it'll look for another close lobby with few players and merge with it. Players in the lobby share hosting duties, with the best pinged player being the host during gameplay. If anyone quits, the lobby still continues to exist as the rest of the players continue the hosting duties. This is how they work right now.

What I'm suggesting is sort of simple. When you connect to the indexing server and it sends you a list of current rooms/lobbies, it should not auto-connect to the best match. Instead, you would browse through them (sorted and filtered) and join one you like. There might even be an auto-connect button that could just find a best match for you. If you don't find one, you can create one and (this is important...) give it a name and unique multiplayer settings, so that others can join it. Because they have unique settings, they wouldn't merge when near empty. But the players still share hosting duties, and that unique lobby will continue to exist until there is nobody on it.

So it's actually very similar in function. The biggest difference is a browser to see active rooms, and the ability to manually create these rooms with your desired settings... so if people like your settings, game mode, and game rules, they'll join. It's like Steam without game servers.
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#9SmallerRidleyPosted 6/29/2010 5:01:20 PM
You'll also end up with a whole lot of empty rooms and people complaining about never finding people to play their game-mode.
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#10elheber(Topic Creator)Posted 6/29/2010 5:17:30 PM
You'll also end up with a whole lot of empty rooms and people complaining about never finding people to play their game-mode.

The rooms that end up empty, by pure logic, end up empty because the game mode or rule settings are unpopular. There's nothing wrong with that.

Think about it like this: With typical matchmaking systems, either those unpopular game modes don't even exist (which sucks for people who'd want to try them out), or they do exist and are just taking up space (which sucks because there are probably other game modes that would have been more popular).
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