A Taxonomy for Player Actions with Latency in Network Games

A Taxonomy for Player Actions with Latency in Network Games


Mark Claypool, Tianhe Wang, and McIntyre Watts

In Proceedings of the 25th ACM International Workshop on Network and Operating Systems Support for Digital Audio and Video (NOSSDAV)
Portland, Oregon, USA
March 19, 2015


The degradation of player performance in network games with latency is well documented. However, quantifying the effects of latency on player individual actions is an unmet challenge. Under constrained bitrate conditions, player actions delayed on the client add additional latency, so network game developers need tools to help prioritize the sending of player actions. This paper presents a taxonomy for player actions with latency in network games, where player actions are defined by their precision, deadline & impact. The effects of latency along each dimension of the taxonomy are analyzed through extensive experiments with a custom 2d game. Efficacy of the taxonomy in game development is illustrated by experiments that show improved player performance when prioritizing player actions based on their expected impact derived from the taxonomy dimensions.


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