Document Type

Other

Publication Date

4-2004

Abstract

With the growth in interactive network games comes an increased importance in a better understanding of the effects of latency on user performance. While previous work has studied the tolerance game players have for high latencies and has studied the effects of latency on user performance in real-time strategy games, to the best of our knowledge, there has been no systematic study of the effects of loss and latency on user performance. In this paper we study user performance for Unreal Tournament 2003 (UT2003), a popular FPS game, under varying amounts of latency and packet loss. First, we deduced typical real world values of packet loss and latency experienced on the Internet today by monitoring operational UT2003 game servers. We used these realistic values of loss and latency in a controlled netwoked environment that emulated various conditions of loss and latency, allowing us to test UT2003 at the network, application and user levels. We designed player cations down into the fundamental FPS interaction components of movement and shooting, and conduced numerous user studies under controlled network conditions. We find that the levels of packet loss and latency typical for most UT2003 Internet server, while unpleasant, will not drastically impact player performance. Since most FPS games typically consist of the similar generic player actions to those tested, we believe that these results may have broader implications.

DOI

WPI-CS-TR-04-11

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