[Standards-JIG] proto-JEP: User Gaming

Andreas Monitzer jig at monitzer.com
Fri Sep 1 16:56:54 UTC 2006


On Sep 01, 2006, at 11:06, Heiner Wolf wrote:

> For such an opportunity we need a really useful spec and a really  
> good and widely deployed client. Most of us are not experts in  
> designing IM clients specifically for the need of gamers. We would  
> need hard core gamers of different games to tell us what kind of  
> information a real gamer would like to see. I (as a level 60 WoW  
> player) can only make informed guesses.

My stance is, as soon as you have to think about different kinds of  
games, you're not designing generic enough. Every game is completely  
different, you simply can't design it to work perfectly for every FPS  
(or RPG, or MMORPG, or RTS, ...). For example, on Halflife  
Counterstrike, professional gamers use VoIP to talk to each other,  
since coordination in the team is very important. On Quake 3, Doom 3,  
Unreal Tournament, etc, the chat system is only used to insult each  
other (textually). These are simply different kinds of needs, which  
the game designer should think about, not the network protocol  
designer (unless that's the same person).
XMPP's strength is the flexibility to extend it in a way the protocol  
designers would never have thought. This strength should be  
emphasized by providing the framework (discovery about games the user  
is playing or wants to play, providing the notifications about it),  
but not by sticking to any common patterns on how a game usually  
works. For example, many games don't use the map concept (see  
Tetris). Others use it in a completely different way (see Oblivion,  
where the whole world is one map -- usually you would describe the  
place you're in by naming some town in that area). If the client  
really wants to display information about a game, it has to "know" it  
anyways.
I'd suggest separating the generic information just between "looking  
for someone for playing", "currently playing" and a place to put the  
required game-specific information to (using its own namespace). If  
someone really wants to use XMPP as the game communication protocol  
(definitely viable for round-based games), it should just use message- 
packets containing some custom extension (in its own namespace).

andy




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