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public void SetPlayerReady () { foreach (LocalNetworkGamer gamer in session.LocalGamers) gamer.IsReady = true; }
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Although you can use this method in a real game, in this sample you only have two players, so you don t need to wait for other players to join. As soon as the second machine joins a session, the host can start the game. To do this, you can include an extra line on the gamerJoined event to start the game as soon as the host detects that another player joined the game, as presented in the following code snippet:
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void session_GamerJoined(object sender, GamerJoinedEventArgs e) { if (e.Gamer.IsHost) { message = "The Host started the session!"; } else { message = "Gamer " + e.Gamer.Tag + " joined the session!"; // Other played joined, start the game! session.StartGame(); } }
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If you run your program now on your two test machines, pressing F2 on the host machine and pressing F3 or F4 to find the session on the second machine, the host machine will automatically start the game and present the Game Started message (which you coded in the GameStarted event of the session object in the earlier section Creating a Session ). At this point, you have two machines connected in the same game. Following the general guidelines presented in this section, you can easily extend the sample by writing the code to end the game by calling the session.EndGame() method. All you need to know now is how to send data from one machine to another, and you ll have all the basic knowledge needed to include network support in your games.
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Sending and receiving messages is simply a matter of calling the SendData and ReceiveData methods of the LocalNetworkGamer class, which represents a local player.
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Both methods can handle arrays of bytes or a packet writer, which is a binary data streamer. It receives basic data types and transforms them into an array of bytes, in an efficient way. Because dealing with packet writers is easier, let s work with them. Start by creating a new class-level variable in your NetworkHelper class, named packetWriter:
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PacketWriter packetWriter = new PacketWriter();
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You can now use this packet writer to stream your messages to one or all the other remote players by looping through your session s LocalGamers collection and calling the SendData method, as follows:
public void SendMessage(string key) { foreach (LocalNetworkGamer localPlayer in session.LocalGamers) { packetWriter.Write(key); localPlayer.SendData(packetWriter, SendDataOptions.None); message = "Sending message: " + key; } }
The SendData method can define the reliability and the order reinforcement for the message in its SendDataOptions parameter, which can be set to None (packet sent with no guarantees), InOrder (packet sent in order, but a packet loss might happen), Reliable (packet always reaches its destination, but might arrive out of order), and ReliableInOrder (no packet loss, and all packets are delivered in the same order they were sent). Remember what we said in the beginning of this chapter: decide which option is best for your game. Besides this, the SendData method has overloads that receive an extra NetworkGamer parameter, which allows your game to send messages to a specific player. If this parameter is not reported, the message is delivered to all signed-in players. In the SendMessage method, you are packing only one string, but you could pack a number of variables, depending on your game logic. For example, if you want to send the left thumbstick and both triggers state to all other players, you can write your packet according to the next code fragment:
GamePadState GamePad1 = GamePad.GetState(PlayerIndex.One); packetWriter.Write(GamePad1.Triggers.Left); packetWriter.Write(GamePad1.Triggers.Right); packetWriter.Write(GamePad1.ThumbSticks.Left);
The method to receive messages is just as simple: you ll loop through the local gamers collection and check if there is any available message. If so, you need to call the ReceiveData method of the LocalNetworkGamer object until you consume all available data.
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