Harada-san on netcode

I’ve been making this point repeatedly over the years, and I’m glad to see someone of Harada’s stature highlight it. There’s so much talk about hiding latency, but half the reason online play sucks in so many titles is that they have such tight timing in the first place. What do you guys think?

GGPO proves otherwise. Anything less is the developer making excuses.

Wouldn’t be a problem if the rest of the world had good internet.

GGPO works best when the game is designed with using it in mind.

My point still stands…all iterations of GGPO are far superior to all input delay based games on the market.

The problem with Harada-san’s statement, is that he seems to discount what good netcode can do and even describes what is basically variable delay netcode.

No doubt, Harada’s entire opinion on netcode does not coincide with my own. I am merely agreeing with this single point, which is that the game itself should be designed with online play in mind. Predictive rollback is a great thing, but I have noticed that almost all discussion of the online play experience focuses on netcode exclusively. I think near-perfect online play is like an under-sea tunnel where you have to work from both ends and meet somewhere in the middle.

Developer are simply being lazy in this regards. A game doesn’t have to be design with netplay in mind to have it. Most of these developers are just not competent with programming a decent netcode and use certain strategies like generouse input buffer, or strict network filtering. But these are no substitute for good netcooding.

While is roll back is considered superior, other netcodes can work.
We have number of titles that don’t use roll back and provide great experince
Soulc alibur 5
Tekken Revolution/Tag2/ Dark Ressurection
Personal 4 (vanilla)
Shin Kohime
SF2 HD remix
MK Arcade Collection
Sega AM2 games
Smash Bros 4
Virtual fighter final Showdon.

HD Remix uses roll back netcode.

I can speak from experience that SC5, T5DR, all mk games, and both versions of vf5 are not good online. I can definitely feel the delay in all of those games and would not call it a great experience. Games like MvC:O, VS, HDR, 3s and to a lesser extent SFxT, play GREAT online.

But I 100% agree with you that a game does not need to be designed with netplay in mind. GGPO proves this with the majority of games playing fine with minimal issues.

Yeah if the game is designed for online play AND it has GGPO, then it will be as good as it can be. But right now, if you pit any game on fightcade against something like BB, Fightcade wins because of the rollback. He designed Tekken, right? Does Tekken even use rollback? If not, then I wouldn’t be surprised if he is just trying to downplay how good it is because of that fact. He has half of the equation right, but I’m getting tired or seeing new games come out that don’t even play as well online as an emulator.

If those games were designed with netcode in mind, meaning less tight links and being able to translate what you learn online more or less 1:1 to what you can do offline, then yeah that would be great.
I just don’t see why you design a game with 1-frame links like SF4 or even some tight links in MK9, that you can do 80 percent of the time offline, but drop that shit every fucking time online and then have to develop strategies around you dropping that particular combo.

Heck, even uppercutting people out of the air becomes a problem in SF4 for example since you got to do the shit on the last possible frames if you don’t want to trade and get your two hits.

Would be really nice if devs would keep in mind that the majority of their players are gonna be playing online.

I heard somewhere that Tekken Tag 2 and Tekken 6 add input delay to the game so you don’t notice so much how sucky the game is online.
That’s the worst possible solution to the problem I can personally think of.

The most important part though, is actually the netcode in my opinion.
You can’t design a game around a trashcan netcode like MK9/Injustice/UMvC3 etc.
If you put in a netcode like that the game is going to suck no matter what.

Also I got Tekken Tag 2 here and it’s awful online.
Dunno what kind of shit people smoke to defend its netcode.

Yeah those games are pretty bad online. T6 is also pretty bad. Tag 2 actually has decent online play.

My experince with these game weren’t bad but then I know set my network properly.

Tag 2 may have been an exercise in Harada’s thinking. It’s been known that the game itself has some modicum of input delay. There’s speculation that this delay is there to make online feel playable.

Yeah, the online for Tag 2 is indeed very passable (LEAGUES better than T5DR or T6), but the input delay can kinda kill the feel of your combos when you go back to playing offline modes.

Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown may/may not have been the same, but that game kicked a ton of ass online.

The ONLY SNK fighter I played that had any good netcode worth anything was Neo Geo Battle Coliseum… and the netcode on that was awesome. Why they didn’t use that magic formula for all other SNK fighters, I have no damn idea. Even better… it gave you the latency in NUMBERS instead of bars, so you KNEW what you was in for (if you had even a passing knowledge of networkings).

Pretty much this sums up my thoughts on netcode.

fucking old ass 90s fast paced games like kof, Vsav, 3s designed for offline play(!) can be played very well on ggpo/emulator.
(and YES I know the timings are not the same as genuine arcade because things like emulator speed, emulator input lag, LCD monitor lag, input device lag etc all account - but none of that is irrelevant to the netcode itself)

GGPO/rollback is currently the best choice for close as possible to offline-like responsiveness.
GGPO pretty much is the voodoo magic of a netcode that hides latency which Harada denies.
Tekken Tag 2, while much better than many titles, still does have that sluggish input lag feeling, compared to offline play.

^ just LOL @ eventhubs praising tekken as the gold standard for online play.

LOL, i dont know what people are on, but i play ttt2 almost everyday online, and have moved to two different states, changing providers, and i have nothing but a perfectly fine experience online. All my combos i do offline work fine online, there is zero adjustment needed to be made, and as a mishima player (a good one at that), i’d gladly complain all the time about online if it was the case. I’ve pulled off bluespark combos with heihachi online just fine, so i dont know what people are on about.

You guys must be playing on some shitty internet, or on some shitty wifi, if youre having a problem with ttt2 online. I’ve played from houston to canada no problems, and all over the us. I even played someone from fucking europe once, and it was easily tolerable, although my other experiences with european connections were bad.

TTT2 online is perfect. I’ve heard sc5 is perfectly fine online, although i havent tested it yet. I know a guy who still plays it now and then when i see him online, and he is a good player that wouldnt waste his time on some shit with horrible online.

Also, ive been playing tekken since its creation, but competitively since 2006, and tekken 5 dr was shitty as fuck online no matter what. Tekken 6 was equally as horrible, and there was only one person i have ever played in that, that somehow it magically worked, but for everyone else, it was terrible. The same guy i was talking about above for sc5, i played him in tekken 6 and it was trash. I play him in ttt2, and its butter smooth.

Anyways, just correcting some tekken talk in here. TTT2 is fine offline too. The changes made in the gameplay to accommodate their netcode dont make a difference. If you could block snake edge in any tekken on reaction, you can still block it now, and all the other shit you couldnt block on reaction, you still cant.

FGD still dumb as usual i see. lol

Also, here is what inkblot had to say on it

Bad connection is a bad connection. Its either slow motion fighter, or in ggpo’s case, teleport fighter.

Or you can adjust your delay based on the ping between you and your opponent.

The formula isn’t even that hard:

set delay=(ping/2)/16.67

Which also highlights something about rollback code - it halves the delay between you and your opponent because the game isn’t waiting for a confirmation signal back from the other peer.

The great thing about this is that if you don’t want “teleporting” and prefer “underwater fighter”, you can have it your way by setting the delay.

This doesn’t negate Harada’s point, though. We live in an age when designing a fighting game without accounting for online play is just unwise.