Design Issues for Peer-to-Peer Massively Multiplayer Online Games

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Executive Summary

Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) are increasing in both popularity and scale, and while classical Client/Server architectures convey some benefits, they suffer from significant technical and commercial drawbacks. This realisation has sparked intensive research interest in adapting MMOGs to Peer-To-Peer (P2P) architectures. This paper articulates a comprehensive set of six design issues to be addressed by P2P MMOGs, namely interest management, game event dissemination, NPC host allocation, game state persistency, cheating mitigation, and incentive mechanisms. Design alternatives for each issue are systematically compared, and their interrelationships discussed.

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