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Network Analysis of Counter-strike and Starcraft. Mark Claypool, David LaPoint, Josh Winslow Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester, MA, USA http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/. Why Study Games?. Rapidly growing in popularity [9] 18 million on-line gamers, 1.6 billion dollar industry

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network analysis of counter strike and starcraft

Network Analysis of Counter-strike and Starcraft

Mark Claypool, David LaPoint, Josh Winslow

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA, USA

http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/

why study games
Why Study Games?
  • Rapidly growing in popularity [9]
    • 18 million on-line gamers, 1.6 billion dollar industry
    • Growing fraction of network traffic
    • Game consoles (Xbox, PS2, GameCube) online
  • Previous studies measured Web or Multimedia traffic
    • Games are different  low latency, small packets, bursty traffic
  • Possible benefits
    • Design networks to better accommodate network game traffic “turbulence”
    • Provide data for more realistic network simulations

 Network analysis of Counter-strike and Starcraft

why study counter strike 1 of 2
Why Study Counter-strike? (1 of 2)
  • Gaming traffic dominated by first-person shooter (FPS) genre [9]

(Feng et al, IMW 2002)

why study starcraft
Why Study Starcraft?
  • Real-Time Strategy (RTS) popular genre alternative to FPS
  • Starcraft
    • Best-selling game in 1998
    • Dozens of awards
    • Entrenched user base, especially in Korea
    • About 15% of Battle.net games are Starcraft
outline
Outline
  • Introduction (done)
  • Experimental Setup next
  • Analysis
    • Game Architectures
    • Bandwidth Use
    • Packet Sizes and Arrival
  • Conclusions
experimental setup
Experimental Setup

Game Client

Internet

  • Game client (and server)
    • PIII 800 MHz
    • nVidea geForce 2 3d w/64 Mbytes memory
    • 512 Mbytes RAM
    • 10 Mbps NIC
  • Sniffer PC ran Commview
  • Runs: Starcraft 2-8 players, Counter-strike 3-10 players

Sniffer

Hub

Campus

Game Server

game architectures
Game Architectures
  • Counter-strike (CS)
    • Client-server
    • Clients send data only to server
    • Server maintains game state
    • Server sends all user actions to every other user
  • Starcraft (SC)
    • Peer-to-peer
    • Clients periodically send user actions to every other user
sc bandwidth sent and game size
SC Bandwidth Sent and Game Size

Averages: 650 bytes/s

Stddev: 30%

+1500/12% per pair

Even bandwidth per user

cs bandwidth sent by client
CS Bandwidth Sent by Client

Average: 2690 bytes/s

Stddev: 110%

Bandwidth differs per client

(Map change)

cs bandwidth sent by server
CS Bandwidth Sent by Server

Average: 6470 bytes/s

Stddev: 135%

(Map change)

bandwidth analysis summary
Bandwidth Analysis Summary
  • Starcraft more consistent than Counter-strike
    • Starcraft clients sends similar
    • Counter-strike clients sends vary
  • Largest games still possible over a modem
    • Starcraft can have up to 8
    • Counter-strike can have up to 32
    • Counter-strike server may have network bottleneck
packet analysis summary
Packet Analysis Summary
  • Counter-strike and Starcraft have significantly smaller packets than typical (400 bytes [9])
  • Counter-strike sends bursts of small packets, while Starcraft steadier
  • Number of players does not affect packet sizes for Starcraft or Counter-strike clients
  • Server packet sizes and rates very considerably depending upon the action and number of players
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Network games different than typical Internet applications
    • Very interactive
    • Small, bursts of UDP packets
  • Starcraft (RTS)
    • Steadier data rate scales linearly with users
    • Small packet sizes
  • Counter-strike (FPS)
    • Burstier data rate depending upon action
    • Packet sizes for server depend upon action
future work
Future Work
  • Incorporate into simulator for network impact studies (NS-2)
    • Simulate “rounds” in Counter-strike
  • Other RTS and FPS games
    • Warcraft III (RTS)
    • America’s Army (FPS)
  • Other genres and games
    • The Sims Online
  • Data traces available at:

http://perform.wpi.edu/downloads/

network analysis of counter strike and starcraft22

Network Analysis of Counter-strike and Starcraft

Mark Claypool, David LaPoint, Josh Winslow

Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Worcester, MA, USA

http://www.cs.wpi.edu/~claypool/

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