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:: GDC 2003 

Session Title: Lessons from the Bleeding Edge of Multiplayer Gaming
Speakers: Greg Corson & Dave McCoy
Track: Programming
Format: Tutorial

Description: Abstract This tutorial shares lessons learned in working with Virtual World Entertainment (VWE), a networked, multiplayer, location-based game system developed between 1990 and 1997. VWE used the highest-end equipment available at that time and offered a preview of the difficult problems now faced by todays PC and console developers as their platforms approach and exceed VWEs capabilities. These problems include designing compelling multiplayer games, achieving stable high-frame-rate rendering, developing broadband networking, building tool chains, producing art, debugging and tuning these complex systems, and creating a social environment for players. VWEs senior developers recap lessons learned creating two games for the system: the giant robot combat game Battletech and the Mach-1, low-altitude demolition derby races of Red Planet. They also discuss the challenges of developing on complex cockpit computer systems with three CPUs, more than 80 controls, seven video screens, and networking that allowed them to be played cross-country. VWE still does a steady business today on games designed almost ten years ago.

Part 1: Intro (1.2 MB - PDF file)
Part 2: Game Design (1.4 MB - PDF file)
Part 3: Art (714 KB - PDF file)
Part 4: Programming (745 KB - PDF file)
Part 1: Lastwords (70 KB - PDF file)

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