Designs for Continent Scale Persistent Online Worlds.
At MUD-Dev Conference, San Jose, California,
The WorldForge Project aims to build a framework for developing large scale persistent online worlds and building a wide variety of games. One of the key aims is to avoid shipping large quantities of world data with the user client software, or requiring extensive downloads of world data before the user can join a game. The intention is instead for world data to be provided to the user client as it is required in manageable quantities. To this end, members of the WorldForge community have developed technology to efficiently represent large complex worlds using minimal data. Techniques using algorithmic compression, quasi-random numbers and fractals are used to allow servers and clients to maintain huge common sets of data while only transferring key data required to generate these sets between them. These techniques mean that extensive changes can be made to the persistent world without extensive client updates, and with careful management changes can occur without interrupting the game in progress. This presentation will explain some of the techniques used, discuss some of the issues overcome in their implementation, and demonstrate their use in working software.
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