Multimedia Tools and Applications

, Volume 45, Issue 1–3, pp 109–131 | Cite as

ALVIC-NG: state management and immersive communication for massively multiplayer online games and communities

  • Peter QuaxEmail author
  • Bart Cornelissen
  • Jeroen Dierckx
  • Gert Vansichem
  • Wim Lamotte


ALVIC-NG is an architecture for networked games based on the classic client/server paradigm. While peer-to-peer and hybrid systems have been extensively researched, the client/server approach provides many advantages that are beneficial or even required from a content, application and service provider’s point-of-view. ALVIC-NG consists of an extendable framework which allows for dynamic allocation of server capacity, combined with facilities for player activity management and moderation. This is achieved by introducing an intermediate layer of proxy servers in the architecture to intelligently channel the messages flow. Additionally, ALVIC-NG provides a means for immersive communication by enabling real-time voice chat between participants through an off-the-shelf conferencing system that is closely coupled to the state management facilities and spatial subdivision scheme. Besides a theoretical discussion, we also provide insight into the design of the simulation setup through which we are able to provide actual figures that demonstrate the viability of the proposed solution.


Networked virtual environments Scalability Communication Conferencing 



Part of this research is funded by the European Fund for Regional Development (EFRD). The authors would like to thank the partners involved in the IBBT Teleon project.


  1. 1.
    Aggarwal S, Christofoli J, Mukherjee S, Rangarajan S (2006) Authority assignment in distributed multi-player proxy-based games. In: NetGames ’06: proceedings of 5th ACM SIGCOMM workshop on network and system support for games. ACM, New York, p 5CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Androme NV (2008) Intellivic.
  3. 3.
    Assiotis M, Tzanov V (2006) A distributed architecture for mmorpg. In: NetGames ’06: proceedings of 5th ACM SIGCOMM workshop on network and system support for games. ACM, New York, p 4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    BigWorld Technology (2009) BigWorld.
  5. 5.
    Blizzard (2009) World of warcraft.
  6. 6.
    Cacti (2009) The complete rrdtool-based graphing solution.
  7. 7.
    Capps MV, McGregor D, Brutzman DP, Zyda M (2000) NPSNET-v: a new beginning for dynamically extensible virtual environments. IEEE Comput Graph Appl 20(5):12–15CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    CCP games (2009) EVE online.
  9. 9.
    Greenhalgh C, Benford S (1997) A multicast network architecture for large scale collaborative virtual environments. In: European conference on multimedia applications, services and techniques, pp 113–128Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ishibashi Y, Tasaka S, Iwama T (2000) Adaptive qos control for video and voice traffic in networkedvirtual environments. In: Proceedings of the ninth international conference on computer communications and networks, pp 638–642Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Joslin C, Giacomo TD, Magnenat-Thalmann N (1994) Collaborative virtual environments: from birth to standardization. IEEE Commun Mag 42(4):28–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Linden Labs (2009) SecondLife.
  13. 13.
    Lu F, Parkin S, Morgan G (2006) Load balancing for massively multiplayer online games. In: NetGames ’06: proceedings of 5th ACM SIGCOMM workshop on network and system support for games. ACM, New York, p 1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Matijasevic M (1997) A review of networked multi-user virtual environments. Tech. rep. TR97-8-1, The Center for Advanced Computer Studies. Virtual Reality an Multimedia Laboratory. The University of Southwestern Louisiana, LafayetteGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Oetiker T (2008) Multi-router traffic grapher.
  16. 16.
    Ogi T, Yamada T, Tamagawa K, Kano M, Hirose M (2001) Immersive telecommunication using stereo video avatar. In: VR ’01: proceedings of the virtual reality 2001 conference (VR’01). IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, p 45CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Quax P (2007) An architecture for large-scale virtual interactive communities. PhD thesis, Transnationale Universiteit LimburgGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Quax P, Dierckx J, Cornelissen B, Lamotte W (2008) ALVIC versus the internet: redesigning a networked virtual environment architecture. Int J Comput Games Tech 2008(594313)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Quax P, Jehaes T, Jorissen P, Lamotte W (2003) A multi-user framework supporting video-based avatars. In: Proceedings of the 2nd workshop on network and system support for games. ACM, New York, pp 137–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Quax P, Monsieurs P, Jehaes T, Lamotte W (2004) Using autonomous avatars to simulate a large-scale multi-user networked virtual environment. In: Proceedings of the 2004 international conference on virtual-reality continuum and its applications in industry (VRCAI2004). ACM, New York, pp 88–94Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Quax P, Flerackers C, Jehaes T, Monsieurs P, Lamotte W (2004) Scalable transmission of avatar video streams in virtual environments. In: Proceedings of IEEE international conference on multimedia and expoGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Quax P, Monsieurs P, Lamotte W, De Vleeschauwer D, Degrande N (2004) Objective and subjective evaluation of the influence of small amounts of delay and jitter on a recent first person shooter game. In: NetGames ’04: proceedings of 3rd ACM SIGCOMM workshop on network and system support for games. ACM, New York, pp 152–156CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Safaei F (2005) Dice: internet delivery of immersive voice communication for crowded virtual spaces. In: VR ’05: proceedings of the 2005 IEEE conference 2005 on virtual reality. IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, pp 35–41Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Skype ltd (2009) Skype.
  25. 25.
    SUN (2009) Project darkstar.
  26. 26.
    There (2009)

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Quax
    • 1
    Email author
  • Bart Cornelissen
    • 1
  • Jeroen Dierckx
    • 1
  • Gert Vansichem
    • 2
  • Wim Lamotte
    • 1
  1. 1.Hasselt University / tUL / IBBTDiepenbeekBelgium
  2. 2.Androme NVDiepenbeekBelgium

Personalised recommendations