Supporting interactive, multiplayer games on mobile phones
over cellular networks is a difficult problem. It is particularly relevant now
with the explosion of mostly single-player or turn-based games on mobile
phones. The challenges stem from the highly variable performance of cellular
networks and the need for scalability (not burdening the cellular infrastructure,
nor any server resources that a game developer deploys). We
have built a service for matchmaking in mobile games – assigning players
to games such that game settings are satisfied as well as latency requirements
for an enjoyable game. This requires solving two problems. First,
the service needs to know the cellular network latency between game players.
Second, the service needs to quickly group players into viable game
sessions. In this paper, we present the design of our service, results from
our experiments on predicting cellular latency, and results from efficiently
grouping players into games.