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9.2 Multiplayer Games Services Functionality

This section describes general MGS functionality protocols concepts, and provides background for the Multiplayer Games model of 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.

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