Multiplayer Hub: Developer Basics Part One

09.06.21

Welcome to the Multiplayer Hub, where Improbable experts share their knowledge on multiplayer development, deployment and LiveOps.

Welcome to Development Basics! This series will help you get started creating your first multiplayer game. We’ll introduce common, essential concepts that every developer needs to know — and help you understand how they can affect your game. This first part introduces the series and outlines how to download and run the companion project from Github.

Before you start

You’ll need experience developing single-player games and familiarity with client-server architecture. Experience with a game engine, such as Unreal Engine or Unity, is also useful. The series applies to all multiplayer game development, whichever networking and hosting solutions you use.

Note that Development Basics is focused on describing multiplayer concepts and not broader game design. Should you require advice in that area, head to GameDesigning.org and Gamedev.net.

Download the companion project

To help you visually see the concepts outlined in this series within the context of an actual game, download the Improbable companion project on GitHub. All you need to do is clone the repository’s master branch. The README.md file contains instructions on how to run the project.

This is an Unreal Engine 4 Example Game Project, modified to demonstrate the concepts we’ll discuss. When you edit the project’s source code or change the project’s settings and run it, you can see the impact implementing these concepts has on a game.

The project has ‘stations’ that each demonstrate a different concept. For example, use the Latency station to change network latency settings such as packet lag, packet loss variance and packet loss to see how latency affects a game.

What's next?

Upcoming entries in Development Basics will dig into individual multiplayer game concepts you can visualise in the companion project. Part two will cover network protocol and round-trip-time.

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