Wednesday, 22 October 2008 05:02

P2P based massive multiplayer engine to slash hosting costs

NICTA have announced the release of a new network engine dubbed Badumna.  Using peer to peer (P2P) based technology, Badumna hopes to slash hosting costs for massive multiplayer online (MMO) development of 3D virtual worlds.

NICTA, Australia's Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Research Centre of Excellence, is today announcing the release of a beta version of its massively multi-player online (MMO) peer to peer (P2P) network engine, Badumna.

According to NICTA's P2P Project Leader Dr Santosh Kulkarni, Badumna can support millions of users with minimal infrastructure. "It provides a significant competitive advantage over traditional network engines," he maintains. Badumna has already been successfully integrated with the platform of 3-D virtual worlds platform provider VastPark.

"The VastPark platform allows developers to create their own fully immersive 3-D virtual world," explains VastPark CEO Bruce Joy, "NICTA's Badumna network suite gives developers the ability to have thousands of users in their virtual world without needing to pre-invest in expensive infrastructure. This is something we always wanted."

According to the Director of NICTA's Victorian Research Laboratory,
Professor Rob Evans, the Badumna network engine is an example of how NICTA can collaborate with Australian industry to address opportunities in the digital economy. "From today, online games companies around the world will be able to trial this promising technology and take advantage of its many benefits," he says.

Badumna utilises a managed peer to peer network that acts as an intelligent server and provides the functionality required for applications such as large multiplayer games and on-line virtual worlds. The network engine also provides an interface that delivers information in real-time to end users, ensuring that the load on central servers is minimal so overall costs for hosting the application are reduced.

NICTA signed a commercial license agreement with VastPark in February this year that gives VastPark access to technology developed in the P2P project. The agreement also provides the P2P team with a commercial platform to conduct a large-scale trial and a commercialisation path with VastPark as an industry collaborator. Find out more about Badumna and NICTA's P2P Project from the NICTA web site here.

Badumna is still some way from seeing any commercial pick-up, and one would imagine that game developers in particular will be factoring in possible infrastructure savings Badumna could deliver, against the countering arguments’ of an already saturated MMO market in deciding whether such a project would be commercially viable.

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Mike Bantick

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Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.

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