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I think really your question seems to be one of protocol rather than language. You've ruled out HTTP, but that doesn't necassarilly rule out PHP, as you can implement websockets in that as well as other languages. The same is also true of sockest, so if you know PHP my advice would be to stay with that language server side unless there's a compelling reason ...


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Basically to connect one client to another at least one of them needs to know the IP address of the other one, the only way to do this is having both client connect to a server (which they know the ip address) and then the server can interchange the ip address between the two clients so they can connect directly. If you don't want to develop your own ...


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Yes, you'll need a server if you want to connect players together over the internet (Facebook friends or otherwise). Without a "meeting place" (your server) your players wouldn't have the information they need to connect with each other. In all likelihood, they won't be directly connecting with each other at all, it'll be far simpler to route the traffic ...



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