What the hell is GGPO?
So some guy asks me, “what is GGPO, and why do you talk about it so much?” Well, imaginary guy who didn’t really ask that, prepare yourself.
Here is the GGPO description from the official website (which is mostly down at the moment due to DDOS attacks on the server by scrubs):
GGPO is a networking library that game developers can use to add networked gameplay support to arcade style games. GGPO’s latency hiding techniques give each player a gameplay experience that is nearly indistinguishable from playing with their friends locally, even against players around the world.
Basically, it’s a program that lets you play fighting games online, little-to-no lag. This is a good thing. But “GGPO” is also used as shorthand for the networking code that the program uses to achieve such relatively good results- so when you hear that Skullgirls or a new networked Japanese DBZ arcade game are using “GGPO,” it should be taken to mean that the same coding is being used.
GGPO as a program, however, is useful because it allows fans of a game to congregate and play each other in real time; if you live in an area where competition is scarce and/or you like to play older games like ST, or Garou: MOTW, or Vampire Savior etc, GGPO helps players find each other, no matter how far apart they might be.
The program and games are free, btw.
For more background info, there’s a recent interview with the creator over at Gamasutra (How a Fighting Game Fan Solved Internet Latency Issues), and SRK’s podcast Wakeup[,] Shoryuken featured him in a recent episode.