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Multi-user gaming in Flash – Lunar Lander tests

Lunar Lander multi-user tests

Anyone playing my Lunar Lander game won’t know it, but we’re spying on them! The game gets around 20,000 hits a month, which is very roughly one a minute or so, so I thought it’d be the perfect vehicle to test out some real-time gaming techniques.

I’ve replaced the original game with one that transmits your position to ElectroServer, although you won’t notice any difference at all. The only way to see the all the current players is via the swf below :


(Visit original post to see Flash content)

The button in the top left makes it full screen. If all you can see is an empty landscape, it means that no one is playing. Usually someone will turn up within a couple of minutes, but if you can’t wait, then why not open the game in a new window and watch yourself playing?
[The ElectroServer is no longer installed so sadly this won’t work any more! But you can try the html version – game and viewer]

At the moment it’s very very primitive. It’s just literally receiving the data and updating the visuals as it gets them, that’s why the movement is quite jerky, even despite the fact that there’s a little realtime easing on there. Of course, I’m going to have to get a lot more into this, comparing the timings with the server so I can adjust for any inconsistencies in data, and of course predicting where the players should be now, rather than where they were a few hundred mils ago.

But I still find it utterly compelling, and naturally I’ll be explaining all of this in my upcoming Flash game programming training courses.

Last night, I left it running (it draws the trails of anyone playing as they go) and this is the image I woke up to :

Lunar Lander Multi user

I can’t help but think that Jer Thorp would be proud of me ๐Ÿ™‚

[UPDATE] due to popular request there is a high res version of this now on my Flickr page.

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