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Feature: 'GDCTV: The Networking and Social Infrastructure of Halo 2'

Gamasutra is proud to present GDCTV, a continuing special feature showcasing streaming high-quality video content of some of the notable sessions of this year's Game Deve...
Gamasutra is proud to present GDCTV, a continuing special feature showcasing streaming high-quality video content of some of the notable sessions of this year's Game Developers Conference. For this session, we have Halo 2 Development Lead Chris Butcher delving into the specifics of online play in "Recreating the LAN Party Online: The Networking and Social Infrastructure of Halo 2": The original conference description for this lecture described it as follows: "Players of Halo around the world love to get together and play LAN games with their friends. In contrast, most Internet gaming is a solitary activity for hardcore gamers, where isolated players navigate through server listings to find a game with “a good ping”. For Halo 2, we wanted to bring a relaxed social atmosphere to Xbox Live, by seamlessly bringing groups of friends together and keeping them together through an extended gaming session. To do this we had to hide the complexity of the Internet, which involved a number of design and engineering problems. Our multiplayer game is client-server based without any central hosting, so our servers are subject to the whims of the player who might at any moment decide to leave the game or power cycle their Xbox. Home users have greatly varying Internet connectivity, bandwidth limitations and NAT devices, which can be difficult to measure and respond to. In this lecture we will present the layers of code components that we developed to provide the abstraction of always-on connectivity, and the game protocols built on top of this that provide distributed physics, world simulation and host migration." You can now access the current GDCTV streaming lecture for “The Networking and Social Infrastructure of Halo 2” (a brief, free registration process is required if you have not previously registered.)

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