Infinity Ward's Mark Rubin provided a little bit of insight at the difficulty developers face when creating online multiplayer games. While discussing the decision to utilize the Xbox LIVE Cloud for the Xbox One version of Call of Duty: Ghosts in a Thursday interview from Gamescom, he provided some interesting insights into the difficulties faced providing an excellent online multiplayer game experience.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Rubin said that working with multiplayer netcode is the most difficult things to do in software engineering, even more difficult than rocket science.
"The internet isn't ours. We don't own it. We don't get to control it. We don't design it. We're learning amazingly crazy things about how the internet works," he explained.
Some of those crazy things include how connections are handled differently from house to house depending on the internet service provider (ISP).
"It was a guy and his cousin who lived in the same neighborhood," Rubin said in an example. "They were literally houses away, but one guy had one ISP and the other guy had a different ISP.
"They would matchmake with a friend of theirs who was on the other side of the town, and they would have an inconsistent, crappy connection. They were like, we're right next to each other. How is it me and my cousin have such a bad connection?
"We did trace routes and found the other player they would play with was on the same ISP as the main guy we were talking to. That ISP would generally have a short hop. But this other guy, who's in the same local vicinity, so the IP addresses would put them together as, oh, you guys are good together, his hops were actually going way outside the city and then coming back.
"What we found was, it's really not your physical location that's determining how good your connects are. Even if we're next door to each other, we might be miles apart as far as internet connections are concerned."
Infinity Ward also found instances where some ISPs would be physically located the UK but report their location as France or the Isle of Man.
In response, the studio developed new technology that will measure the actual distances that data travels over the internet and not the physical distances between users when setting up multiplayer matches in Call of Duty: Ghosts.
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