9.2 Multiplayer Games Services Functionality
This section describes general MGS functionality protocols concepts, and provides background for the Multiplayer Games model of Microsoft Windows®.
A multiplayer application has these characteristics:
Two or more individual users, each with a game client on their computer.
Network links that enable the users' computers to communicate with each other, perhaps through a centralized server, but typically through peer-to-peer sessions. One peer computer becomes the host for the multiplayer game and the other peers become clients.
DirectPlay 8 provides a layer that primarily isolates a gaming application from the underlying network. Most gaming applications can use the DirectPlay protocols instead of TCP/IP. The DirectPlay 4 and DirectPlay 8 protocol documents describe the messages and responses sent back and forth over the network.
DirectPlay 8 provides features that simplify the process of implementing aspects of a multiplayer application, including:
Creates and manages peer-to-peer and client/server sessions.
Manages users and groups within a session.
Manages messaging between the members of a session over different network links and varying network conditions.
Enables applications to interact with lobbies.
Enables users to communicate with each other by voice.
Section 9.4 of this document provides an example that illustrates the core protocols.