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Level the Playing Field With Highly-Accurate Clocks for Multiplayer Games (Presented by Clockwork)

Dan Zheng  (VP of Partnerships, Clockwork Systems)

Balaji Prabhakar  (co-founder and CEO, Clockwork Systems)

Vig Sachidananda  (PhD Student, Stanford University)

Location: Room 2024, West Hall

Date: Wednesday, March 23

Time: 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass, Summits Pass, Expo Plus Pass, Audio Pass, Independent Games Summit Pass, All Access Online Only Pass - Get your pass now!

Topic: Programming

Format: Sponsored Session

Viewing Experience: In-Person/Virtual

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: Prefer not to say


How do you ensure accuracy in online games with dynamic and varying network latencies? How do you minimize desync events by causally ordering events from different nodes? How do you build horizontally-scalable backend services for multi-player games? How do you ensure scalability, synchronicity and persistence in the metaverse? The answer to all these questions starts in one place: highly accurate software-based time synchronization. Built upon technology developed at Stanford University, we will discuss the details of the Clockwork's clock synchronization system and demonstrate its operation. The system provides orders of magnitude better synchronization than standard NTP, requires no hardware support and scales to a large number of servers and across long distances. It is currently used by financial services firms for fairness in electronic trading, for accurately logging market data and for fine-grained network monitoring.


Accurate and scalable clock synchronization can help game developers with laborious and thorny problems like rollback. It can enable new ways of managing the multi-player experience. For engineers, it can simplify game development while reducing the cost of labor.

Intended Audience

Game developers
Technical leadership
Business leadership