Multi-player Flash Games
I've mostly disliked Flash in web pages since I first started seeing it, and the recent slew of overlay Flash animations also annoys me, but a friend of mine recently introduced me to the games built into Messenger 6 and I got somewhat curious :)
Generally Flash browser plug-ins needs to respect a sandbox rule similar to java applets. Not only does it protect users from hackers.. it actually probably protects hackers from servers in some respect.. I think you are only allowed to open a connection back to the server. And they are XML messages sent using HTTP post/gets. The server is the point of contact for all Flash-based game clients and need to apply the rules in a constant way so that everyone get the proper "state of now" in the xml updates. You can design HTTP servers that can serve lots of concurrent XML-web service-like requests with session tracking and what not and use main memory databases to update rules (and RDBMS to update final scoring and ranking or message passing).. one of the examples you might want to consider is the Haboob tarball for the SEDA project created by Matt Welsh (author of Running Linux I think)
I dunno if this is suppose to be helpful, but I have found some key documents detailing how the security model works. Observing the rules in these models should allow you to see what sort of networking arrangement is possible for your games. To the best of my knowledge XMLHTTP and the more raw form queries is the only way Flash knows how to grab anything from the server side.
Actually, Flash supports client socket connects as well as the standard HTTP requests. In either case, the Flash client must connect to a server from the same domain as the client was downloaded from. Therefore, I don't believe there is a way the clients could talk directly to one another. Flash does provide a relatively simple means to connect clients together though via a server.
off topic, but does anyone have a link to that flash putt putt golf game? that thing was great.
18th Hole is a bummer.
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