Dedicated client

Software concept

The game uses a dedicated client for gameplay which forces client-server setup even for local offline singleplayer. The server is likely automatically started by the client in the background with no separate action from the player.


Alternate name: Client-server model

The first video game about Dedicated client was released on June 22, 1996.

Paradox Interactive, Trendy Entertainment and Midway Games has published most of these games

Although for players this may seem odd thing, for actual developers this can make the game much easier to program as the server handles solely game logic while client handles rendering and other fancy things that don't really matter for the actual game logic. This adds a natural decoupling of graphics and audio processing from logic so even if the system can't deliver the eyecandy fast enough, the game logic does not get bogged down as much because of it (graphics/sound pipeline does not block the game logic pipeline), though this does add small communication overhead between the client and server which may cause lag like effects on slow computers.

More modern take on this is that the clients also maintain some form of understanding of the game logic (mainly things indirectly related to graphics and sound) to allow fairly good network prediction code, hiding away some latency issues (making lag less visible).