Believe me when I say you do not want “Graal-like Server architecture” unless you want a countless army of 12 year olds to hack your game and do things like wallhacking with ease. Graal took many shortcuts to achieve what was ultimately pretty laggy anyways, even for it’s time. (Although I respect Stefan as a developer for being able to complete such a large project by himself). But Graal took MANY shortcuts, and it simply doesn’t scale. What you see in Graal is nothing like the valve source document, it stores x and y values on the client instead of validating with the server. All credible modern multiplayer games don’t this, including Valve multiplayer games and World of Warcraft. Any that do are ridden with hackers (usually asian action-mmos that want to cheat to achieve their smooth action combat, and attempt to get around it by essentially rootkitting your computer with a malware-like anticheat program, which usually doesn’t end up working anyways). Never trust the client, that is a hackers heaven. Always check everything with the server with every snapshot, including every single player input and wall collisions. Will it create larger delay? Yes, but that’s where all the clientside lag compensation techniques and prediction come in.
I’ve already added counterstrike and tribe-style client-side prediction, entity interpolation and server reconciliation to my engine a while ago, with a fixed tickrate of 60hz. That valve documentation was the first thing I read, among other things. It’s not perfect, some things need to be tweaked, and I need to create a better entity interpolation algorithm with tweening and extrapolation. It’s not quite as smooth as something like this, but it’s getting there:
And it’s using Google’s Go, which is an extremely fast new language (not quite as fast as highly optimized C++, Rust or any other systems language obviously), but the great concurrency features make it more optimized than 99.9% anyone is actually going to write with C++ or Rust anyways. It also just saves time.
But I’m proud of what’s there already. Sometimes I have up to a 1000ms delay/ping from my server but that’s mostly because I’m running on a shit VPS most likely, eventually I’m going to upgrade to a high-end VPS or dedicated server for testing, because I don’t want the game to happen a full millisecond in the past to have lag compensation (contrary to popular belief, there are some twitch shooters that go this far), and interpolate in between. I’ll also probably let users customize tickrate in their server settings most likely in the future. My server is fairly optimized, multithreaded, has 1 core receiving socket data, and has 1 core has one core sending socket data, and splits into more cores whenever calculations or heavy processing need to be done, and an extremely fast serialization rate (benchmarked as some of the fastest out of any method right now, pretty cutting edge), so I’m pretty proud of that. Even then I’m still planning on other server optimizations like dynamic throttling for scale, but at the moment it’s more than good enough. I don’t have time at the moment, but I’ll probably eventually write a more detailed post about how it works on my blog if anyone is interested.
Also if anyone is interested in the papers I’ve read where I got all these ideas, check out papers on quake III, obviously the source engine lag compensation wiki, tribes networking whitepaper, and the book “Multiplayer Game Programming” by Josh Glaze which references most of these papers and other things like Doom, and goes over the history of how different multiplayer game development techniques can to be.