> -----Original Message-----
> From: Info-vax [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of
> IanD via Info-vax
> Sent: March 26, 2017 3:55 PM
> To: email@example.com
> Cc: IanD <***@gmail.com>
> Subject: Re: [Info-vax] Graphics Update - Opportunity for ISV/ third
> party / developers?
> On Monday, March 27, 2017 at 5:33:19 AM UTC+11, Stephen Hoffman
> > On 2017-03-26 17:42:56 +0000, Kerry Main said:
> > > Graphics in gaming is usually done on the client (whatever the
> > > client OS). Not my worry.
> > >
> > > The back end systems are simply the collectors of various inputs
> > > from the clients and distribute these updates to the clients
> > > participating in that specific game.
> > >
> > > Gamers could not care less what the back end systems are running
> > > long as the end result is fast response on their client as well as
> > > back end stability and availability (most back end systems in todays
> > > gamer world is anything but stable and available).
> > That networking and lag doesn't (directly) effect local rendering, and
> > games without MMO/multiplayer/online capabilities entirely avoid
> > problems with lag, though most games do have some form of online
> > Gaming is one of the better spots to learn about very fast and
> > variously clever networking, as well as about using servers as a
> > fundamental part of application copy protection and anti-reversing
> > anti-cheats; about security, oddly enough.
> > Online gaming really hammers on the network links, too... I've links
> > to some discussions on network latency and remote operations —
> lag, use
> > of UDP or TCP tuning — in online and multiplayer gaming. Here's a
> > general intro to some of what can be involved:
> > https://web.wpi.edu/Pubs/E-project/Available/E-project-031214-
> > nrestricted/imcneil-mbeyler-mqpreport.pdf
> > Here's some background on the topic in a client operating system,
> > including a discussion of the really-handy Network Link Conditioner
> > tool:
> > ingIsHard.html
> > Here's Unreal 3 (old engine, but handy link) networking....
> > Unreal, Unity and such, or the platform-specific clients such as
> > what's in macOS with GameplayKit or other platforms.
> > As for OpenVMS.... Some folks I've dealt with were using an
> > server they had access to — and some Perl code — to DoS remote
> > and it would not be surprising to learn the targets were gamers.
> > BTW, for those not familiar with what's involved in developing and
> > deploying a major online game, here are some not-entirely-current
> > very brief write-ups on the scale of the investment...
> > https://www.gamespot.com/articles/this-is-how-much-the-witcher-
> > to-make/1100-6430409/
> > http://www.leviathyn.com/2013/04/12/the-costs-of-aaa-games-
> > /
> > Semi-related to the gaming, here's a dangling link from a
> > programming-related discussion that occurred elsewhere recently...
> > Clean C++ (gaming) code...
> > --
> > Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
> What's referred to as netcode in Unreal engine terms makes or breaks
> an online game
> I play UT4 (previously UT3/ UT2004)
> While folks think gaming is for 'kids', it might surprise them that the
> average age for gamers keeps ratcheting up, it is currently 31
> worldwide and 38 in the US (as of 2014) and the gender split is 50/50
> If your talking money, then gaming revenue in 2014 hit 84 billion,
> surpassing movies by a long way (the cross over happened a number
> of years ago). However, movies through DVD / merchandise etc earns
> more in total, or at least it used to
These CBS / CNN links sum it up nicely .. in a nutshell, there is a parallel universe out there with most non-gaming folks our age not even knowing it is there.
Also note that the predominant dev language used for highly scalable games is C++ (not an issue for OpenVMS)
And for those who believe hockey is cool, check out recent happenings in last few days with NHL and eSports:
> The gaming industry has twitch which it is trying to work into a full
> blown spectator / channel streaming service. It was very popular a few
> years ago but I have not followed it recently. However popular games
> have spectators easily eclipsing any physical arena by many orders of
> Netcode is highly sophisticated and highly optimised. It is no simply
> compressing or factoring command sequences (acms remote used
> simplistic compression did it not?). Online games like UT4 and Quake
> are highly integrated optimised distributed systems. Aspects like
> games sound, synchronisation techniques, hit scans / detection all play
> a part.
> Epic games, the owner of what would be considered the worlds most
> popular gaming engine invests a lot of time into games like it's up and
> coming UT4 game. It is in games that they hone their development of
> their gaming engines and show it off to future purchasers of the
> I posted elsewhere, a long time ago it seems about Epic and how it has
> totally open sourced it's gaming engine! This is a company who had the
> lions share of the gaming engine market yet they saw the need to
> open source their product, a product they charged 1000's for. Epic saw
> the need to get communities on-board to help them develop their
> engine at a rate beyond their competition - they turned to open
> source to do it. They license their engine for free but charge a revenue
> of profit beyond a certain threshold
> Preventing game cheating has direct parallels to the security industry in
> that how does one secure a client code base while integrating with a
> server and sharing with others
Simply google "esports cheating" to see what a huge issue it is - on the client and the back end servers.
> Anyone who thinks online gaming is a simple affair obviously are
> oblivious to it's complexities and why graduates from game design
> higher education institutions are sought after - it's not just about the
Part of the challenge facing some game designers is that they are still in the traditional (ok, I call it legacy) shared nothing, heavily distributed network architecture designs.
In addition, game developers need to address data consistency, availability, node mgmt., replication, HA, DR etc. in their application code, which makes the app developers role much more complex.
The world is rapidly moving towards a combo of regional based zones (dual sites in AP, NA, EMEA), with heavily centralized, high throughput, ultra low latency server designs in each of these zones.
With OpenVMS clusters, a great deal of the App developers tasks are simplified because a number of these developer activities (data consistency, node mgmt., replication, HA, etc.) are handled at the OS level. The developer can focus on code optimization, quality i.e. spend more time on their App which is where their core focus should be.
> A complex online games like UT4 takes years to develop and hone
> before release. The lower the latency requirements the more
> optimised the game needs to be at all levels. UT4 is one of the most
> latency affected games. In competitive arenas, a 10ms latency
> between equally matched plyers is very noticeable and can make the
> difference between winning and loosing. There are ping compensators
> around but these skew game dynamics and only introduce delays in
> other areas. Aspects like screen tearing and other aspects all come into
> A highly optimised game played at the tournament level is akin to an
> extreme audiophile who will go out of their way to optimise every last
> aspect end to end of the music pathway to obtain the purest sound.
> Online gaming is no different. Mechanical keyboards with specially
> picked cherry switches to high rate monitors, to panel monitor
> selection to specific mice choice to input monitor lag (which can be
> very difficult to tease out of monitor manufacturers). CPU's
> overclocked, ram overclocked, placing components in certain slots on
> the motherboards, to motherboard and even chipset overclocking are
> all standard practice at the competition level for gaming. This is just on
> the individual level too, then there is clan gaming which involves
> training sessions. It's a whole different world out there in gaming!
The concept to be addressed is "solution latency" which as you highlighted above, distance is only one component.
> This is one area where Linux does not dominate. Mac is the least
> sought after area for gaming. Even mobile has recently lost to PC
> gaming as has consoles. VR is coming. PC's / windows dominate the
> high end of gaming. It has taken many years to get gaming to the level
> it currently is on PC's (multi gpu support etc).
MAC server's are non-existent in enterprise DC's.
> Graphics wise, VMS is so far out of touch that it would be dead money
> to invest in it for VMS. Would / could it benefit from the technology
> and methods of highly optimised gaming? of course but the revenue
> streams needed to support such research would be too great
Graphics is not required for server side of eSports - its done on the client platform (in most online games anyway).
Back end server requirements are scalability, availability, security and high throughput, low latency interconnects for east-west traffic (server-to-server).
> What a shame. How many areas has VMS retreated from to the point
> where it cannot renter those market segments again I wonder?
> Education? Scientific? Finance? and how many more new one's is it not
> flexible enough to enter? Mobile? Embedded? Gaming?
A biggie holding it back is lack of X86-64 server support and up-front licensing costs.
Both of which will hopefully be addressed soon.
Kerry dot main at starkgaming dot com