How An Evo Tournament Organizer Helped Improve Online Lag

By Ishaan . April 24, 2011 . 4:30pm

You’ve probably never heard of Tony Cannon. If you do, it’s probably as one of the organizers of the Evolution fighting tournament. However, Tony Cannon has helped companies like Capcom and Namco Bandai deal with online latency issues in some of their recent games.


Gamasutra have an interview with Cannon where he reveals how he first developed his GGPO software — mean to reduce lag in online fighting games specifically — using an arcade emulator called Final Burn Alpha, with support included for some of his favourite older fighting games.


The difference between GGPO and other technology being used at the time, according to Gamasutra’s writeup is: “Instead of inserting any internet latency between the button press and the start of the move, his technique puts the lag on the beginning of the opponent’s move, with filler animation to hide the effect somewhat.”


When Cannon showed his work to Capcom and Backbone Entertainment, they didn’t opt to use it for Super Street Fighter II HD Remix. Today, however, the GGPO software is used in games like Final Fight: Double Impact, Skullgirls and several other unannounced titles.

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  • seishuun

    Totally read the title to mean that he somehow increased lag issues haha

    • PrinceHeir

      lol same :P

  • Code

    Interesting? Skullgirls will have online play, confirmed owo?

    • I can’t imagine anyone could get away with releasing a fighting game these days, even if it’s a digital download-only, without online play.

    • Yup online play

    • mikanko

      Yes, GGPO netcode is one of the games main selling points imo. Hoping it has a good online interface to go with it.

  • I’m actually glad someone within the fighting game community went out of his way to develop this. :)

  • mikanko

    Really curious what the unannounced titles are. Hoping fighting games with input delay based netcode become something of the past in another year or two.

    • fermented

      I’m also hoping that the internet infrastructure in the US improves in another year or two. *sigh*

  • Kris

    Is it bad that I really don’t like GGPO? I must be doing something wrong, but Supercade has always worked better for me…
    My favorite netcode is actually whatever fairy dust Arc uses for BlazBlue.

    • mikanko

      What games do you play on GGPO? 3S is apparently pretty poor with it because of issues GGPO has with the emulator, but nothing to do with the actual netcode.

      I’ve never had any problems with it, but have only really messed around with SNK games and Vampire Savior, and not in a long while at that. Mostly VS, and my experiences were mostly great aside from being incredibly out of practice.

      I think whether or not games have GGPO isn’t nearly as important as whether or not it’s input delay or rollback netcode. BB, MvC2, and SSF2HDR have rollback netcode and are all handled much much better than SF4, Tekken etc.

      Unfortunately it seems games on 3d engines can’t really handle implementation of rollback netcode unless the engines were built with it in mind. So while in theory there’s no reason they can’t start doing it, until Capcom/Namco start making 3d polygon based fighting games that can rollback data on the fly, online games will be using a delay based netcode to handle lag that’s far far worse than what’s easier implemented into 2d games.

      • Kris

        Strangely enough, most of what I play on GGPO is the same stuff I play on Supercade. MotW, Vampire Savior (love your avatar, by the way), and KoF 98, generally. Eh, life is good as long as I’ve got something that works for me, right?

  • RupanIII

    I found Final Fight: Double Impact pretty good to me in terms of lag. People dropped out and such, but there wasn’t a lot of laggy gameplay/visuals

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