Little Racers networking decisions

Here are my decisions about the upcoming online mode of Little Racers.

The multiplayer section will allow players to select whether they want to play on System Link or Xbox Live. After that, the player select screen is shown (this screen will only allow profiles able to play in the selected mode: Signed In for System Link game, and Live profiles for Xbox Live game.

After this screen, there are some menu options available:

  • Host public game: Equivalent to championship mode. Each player gets points for his position at race finish, plus one extra point if he manages to get the best lap time. This mode allows the host to set some parameters, such as lap number and car class. Everyone will be able to join the game, even at mid-championship (with the handicap that it implies).
  • Host private game: Just like public game, but only friends of the host are allowed to join.
  • Quick join: This option does a search for available games and, if one or more is found, it joins to the one that offers the best network conditions. If no game is found, a game with some fixed parameters (10 races, 12 max players, random car class, no handicap) is created.
  • Find: This mode shows all created games with some info on the creation parameters, and allows the player to join one of them. I’m not implementing a search function since I don’t think there will be so many simultaneous games to make it necessary. If the online mode renders very successful and the need of a search function arises, we’ll add it.

And that’s the behaviour I’ve chosen to add for the LR online mode. I’d like to know your thoughts and suggestions about it. It’s probably too simple, other games such as Gears Of War 2 have more options and more complex quickjoin behaviour, etc. , but I think that for a game that won’t probably get more than 10 public games at the same time (that could mean around 120 players), it should be enough and there’s no need to make this section more complex.

  • darthuvius says:

    hello! Im trying to make a 2D racing game too but am having trouble understanding how to make AI pathfinding. Do you think you could post a tutorial about it in your tutorial section? or even just some code to look at. sometimes just looking st code helps me especially when its for the same type of game. thanks.

  • darthuvius says:

    oh yeah, i like simple live matchmaking. having too many modes is just confusing i think.

  • WaaghMan says:

    That’s a good idea, i’ll try to post my approach to the AI pathfinding issue. About the code thing, right now it’s too integrated into the physics and game engine to make any sense without providing the entire sources, so I’ll probably post only a simplified pseudocode of the algorithm.

    Anyway, it’s a simple node list, and each AI tries to reach the next node by adjusting steering, acceleration and braking. It was done in an afternoon so don’t expect much of it.

  • darthuvius says:

    im sure it will help, im still trying to figure out how to get a car to drive across the screen lol.