Advanced WinSock Multiplayer Game Programming: Multicasting by Denis Lukianov
Combating lag is a major problem in multiplayer network game development. As multiplayer game developers, we always strive to make things faster, leaner and meaner to reduce lag and free up bandwidth. This is why we often forsake the reliability of TCP for the speed that UDP provides. Multicasting is yet another step in the fight against latency, carrying many promises, including the transmission of very high quality streaming digital TV over networks and in the future, the Internet. What is the magic behind multicasting and how can it be used in our games? In short, it can not only reduce server workload but is also a solution to the age old problem of players finding each other on networks without the game developer having to put up dedicated master servers, but more on that later.