Virtual reality game development with real-time multiplayer support for Android

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Dr. Ekler Péter
Department of Automation and Applied Informatics

The quick spread of the virtual reality technology began with the appearance of the Oculus Rift in 2013. With the help of this technology the user can find themselves in a digitally created reality. Nowadays all the sensors needed to realize the technology of virtual reality can be found in the big majority of smartphones. As a result, later a lot of glasses started appearing (e.g. Google Cardboard) with which anyone can experience virtual reality with the use of a compatible smartphone.

With the appearance of the smartphones, games that can be played on these devices spread explosively. Most of the games are single player games, that limit the flexibility of human thinking during playing. However, multiplayer games allow the player to interact with other people both cooperatively and competitively.

Multiplayer games have two main categories. Turn-based multiplayer games and real-time multiplayer games. In case of real-time multiplayer games, the latency parameter in the communication between players is critically important. If the latency is too big, the game experience can greatly deteriorate for the players. The game can even become unplayable if the latency is huge.

In this thesis I am designing a real-time multiplayer game for Android, which is based on the virtual reality technology. I am examining this recent technology from research and performance point of view. The application is a fast-paced and competitive game, which is set in a three-dimensional arena. Every player is riding a special vehicle with which they can move and change directions on the playing field. The players can create obstacles with the help of their vehicle and if a player drives into one of these obstacles they will be eliminated from the game. The aim of the game is to manoeuvre and eliminate the other players. The complexity of the showcased game provides us with the opportunity to thoroughly explore these technologies and to work out optimization methods.

There are multiple possibilities in order for the Android devices to communicate with each other. I am taking a closer look at the usability of the multicast technology. If this technology is unsuitable for the purpose of this application I will also look at other possibilities (e.g. peer-2-peer, a simple server application).


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