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Multiplayer Mobile AR Gaming With No Dedicated Server

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the pocket-server dept.

Cellphones 14

MIT's Technology Review discusses a new augmented-reality game for Android phones called Photoshoot, which allows multiplayer without the need for an additional server. Quoting: "Multiplayer games on mobile devices like phones usually require remote servers for communication between devices and game hosting, says Roelof Kemp, a computer scientist at Vrije Universiteit, in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, who codeveloped the game. But the game allows phones to communicate without the cost and added complexity of maintaining this additional infrastructure, he says. 'We hope it's going to open the door for new and interesting distributed computing applications,' says Kemp. The game uses a computing middleware system, called Ibis, originally developed for high-performance, distributed computing tasks, such as image processing or astrophysics research, but which Kemp and colleagues have adapted to run on Android phones. 'It allows each phone to run a lightweight communication server,' says Kemp. The devices can communicate directly with the game, which is hosted on both handsets, using a 3G connection or Wi-Fi."

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14 comments

The 90s called (2, Funny)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#31208990)

They want their tech back. Thats how all the old games worked- one client acts as the host. If you don't particularly worry about cheating, its a simple way to do it.

Re:The 90s called (1)

pantherace (165052) | more than 4 years ago | (#31209032)

No kidding. Total Annihilation did this, where one person would host the lobby, and I think that machine became the host for everyone in the lobby.

If you want a more modern example: Supreme Commander. Fully p2p (and all clients run the sim, which theoretically eliminates cheats, though I think there are some things people do with the network to mess it up. Which would be more than )

The article strikes me as in the same vein as taking something fairly well known and adding 'on the internet!' or in this case 'on networked phones!' and claiming it's a brand new idea.

Re:The 90s called (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31209080)

Can you name at least one game for mobile devices, that works the same way? ...if you ask me, it is a new idea.

Re:The 90s called (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31210116)

Doesn't matter where you use it. This is a known networking model. You can apply it to applications in any network and it will still be more/less the same model.

This isn't scalable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31209076)

Do mobile handsets really have publicly routed IP addresses?

I'd have thought the first thing a wireless teleco would do is throw up a firewall to block all incoming connections to mobile devices on their network. The unwanted packets you get hitting a firewall on a DSL or cable broadband connection is bad enough - but since wireless bandwidth is limited - it's really in their best interest to eliminate all spurious traffic.

ie: I wouldn't expect P2P cellphone applications to work because the wireless phone/data networks should all be firewalled and NAT'ed.

Re:This isn't scalable. (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 4 years ago | (#31209544)

depends. AT&T least uses some sort of NAT system. every couple of hours your phone gets a new IP to work from. I know this as I let my phone check my gmail account and when i get a message log in to gmail using my work computer. however gmail shows the last login ip address as one from AT&T it isn't constant and changes regularly.

Also there was that incident with AT&T and facebook, where AT&T was sending the wrong pages to the wrong phones.

Doesn't work on iPhone? (1)

wisebabo (638845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31209148)

Being a SUPER apple fanboi, I have to admit this is the kind of app that I'm afraid won't run on an iPhone. Am I right? Do you need multitasking (to run a server in the background) or can you do the same thing with multi-threading.

Otherwise this is a definite plus for the android camp.

Re:Doesn't work on iPhone? (2, Informative)

tepples (727027) | more than 4 years ago | (#31209260)

Threads are just tasks that share the majority of memory. Give the server its own dedicated thread that does not access the client thread's memory, instead communicating with message-passing.

And The Pirates, rejoice! (1)

Merakis (959028) | more than 4 years ago | (#31209204)

Ahoy! Distributed servers meet pillaged software, YARR! Now we just need some scurvy seadogs to hack us an interface for online play!

Battery Life? (1)

SixGame (1565287) | more than 4 years ago | (#31210964)

My phone has a hard enough time staying charged running its wireless connection and camera simultaneously. Placing additional power demands on mobile devices doesn't make sense at the moment as an end-user, but as power becomes less of a concern (whether due to improved battery technology or more efficient processor design) these devices become more like PCs and less like phones. I'm just waiting for Folding@Anywhere to run when I have my phone plugged in.
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