Flash gets GPU-accelerated 3D! MAX Racer with P2P multiplayer

The revolution is here and the world is never be the same!

Last couple months were just exciting like never before. We’ve been working with guys from Alternativa Platform and Mythos Labs on 3D racing demo with realtime multiplayer over P2P. The game is set to Los Angeles, where popular developers’ conference Adobe MAX takes place right now.

The game uses the new set of GPU-accelerated 3D APIs – currently codenamed Molehill (see Adobe Labs page). You will be able to get your hands on this API in the first half of 2011.

Multiplayer demo – controlling with three computers

MAX Racer Teaser by Alternativa

Check this video to see how it looks like, when playing with friends all over the world:

Implementing the P2P multiplayer

My role in this game was to implement realtime multiplayer over P2P API, which I have to say works just fluently. We have tried playing the game through internet over 2000 km (from Prague in Czech Republic to Perm in Russia) and I had the feeling like we were sitting next room and playing over LAN.

P2P = Getting the best latency possible
Direct connections in P2P is the best possible method to keep your latency as lowest as possible. With direct connections, you can be sure, that the data packets will be delivered, so the transmission is fully reliable. (Note: this is not the case of Posting, Directed Routing and Multicast, where it’s best effort delivery)

When we talk about the programming logic, you basically setup one outgoing stream and 2,3 or 5 (depends on the number of players) incoming streams.
P2P Direct connections

Then you get something, what we call Full Mesh. This P2P architecture makes sure, that all data between the players is delivered in the smallest time possible.
P2P Full Mesh

We also ran into couple challenges in multiplayer, it’s not enough to transfer only direction changes (like forward, back, left, right), you also have to transfer a real position to sync on position. This will still make it a little bit choppy, because of massive use of physics and rendering speed. So the solution was to implementing interpolations, which is similar to smoothing. If you are at the Adobe MAX, make sure you drop on my session on Tuesday – Building P2P Multiplayer Games. I will also write more article in the future on how to solve this.

Hooking up Game Controllers
Yes, yes, yes, yes! We are working on adding the support of game controllers in Flash Player in the future. I hooked-up MAX Racer with a steering wheel USB controller and I have to say, it was pretty easy to do. I am pretty sure, you will love it and I can’t wait to see more Facebook realtime games with controllers online.

More info MAX Racer

If you want to check more info about the MAX Racer, watch this video by Thibault Imbert (PM for Flash Player).

Game Screenshots

Look at that details. Yeah, and we are rendering this in 60fps running 1920×1080.

Art was done by Mythos Labs. Kudos for the great job guys!

Credits
I just wanted to give a credit to Todd Wahoske and team from Mythos Labs for these great graphics and to Alternativa Platform guys – Vladimir Babuskin, Mikhail Fominykh, Anton Volkov and Alex Karpovich.
Finally I have to say that it was a great pleasure to work with guys on this game!

Flash on!

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