Multiplayer Connections in F4 v. 1.07
by Glenn "Sleepdoc" Kletzky, MD
This article, written by the head of the i-Beta team, will help you make effective connections in the latest release of Falcon 4.0. "Sleepdoc" welcomes your input and response. You can mail him at the link above.
Before you can connect in multiplayer Falcon 4.0, you must learn the definition of a few simple terms:
(Also called the C-Host). The connection host is the person who allows other players on the Internet to connect to his machine.
In order to be a connection-host, you tell others that you are hosting a game. Then you give your friends your IP. When you go into the comms window you simply select the appropriate comms speed for your modem (33.6 is a great choice no matter what modem you have) and then you select "internet". You will notice that when you select "Internet", a placeholder for an IP address comes up in the comms window.
DO NOT enter anything. Simply press connect. This makes you the C-host. We like to say that C-Host "connects to himself. In LAN play, you don't use IP addresses, so this concept doesn't exist. All players simply select LAN and presses connect.
(Also called the C-Guest). The connection guests are the guys and gals who connect to the connection host. They do so by selecting 33.6 in the comms window (or whatever, I recommend 33.6 for now till you learn more sophisticated techniques) and then pick "internet". Now enter your C-host's IP address and press "connect" and you will be connected to the C-Host in the chat lobby. You can see the chat lobby by simply pressing the "comms" selection again.
(Also called the M-host). The M-host is the guy who will actually start a mission (either DF, TE or Campaign) for which all others will join. We highly recommend in Internet play that the C-host also be the M-host. We also recommend that the C-host / M-host be the person who has the fastest Internet connection.
If all players have 56 k modems (for example) then you should probably just pick the person with the fastest computer. But if, for example, one person has isdn or cable modem, then they should be chosen to be the C-host and the M-host. By the way. The reason it is best for a player to be both the C-host and the m-host, is because if any one ever leaves the game for any reason, they can re-find the game by simply re-connecting to the original IP. Also, the game simply does not work in multiplayer if the M-host leaves. Guests can leave, but if the M-host leaves, the M-guests will lose their game.
The M-host controls many things for all the players like the ATC and the bubble management (what the hell is that you ask ? …. Don't worry…just play and have fun.). so the M-host is the center of everything. Without him, you have no remaining game. So it makes sense for simple convention to always let the C-Host also be the M-host, and to always make sure that the M-host / C-host person is the person with the fastest connection to the Internet (or the fastest computer if all players have simple and equivalent phone modems )
The Mission-Guest is the person or persons who join the Mission host's game. On the Internet, You can expect 4 player TE mission and 2-4 player campaign games to be stable in version 1.07us. DF-will also support up to 4 players, although we are familiar with certain regeneration bugs in DF-Match play, and those will be addressed in 1.08.
So? How do I get a nice 4 player TE mission up and running for my friends over the Internet?
1. Choose one player to be the C-host and the M-host. If it is a TE mission you intend to play, make sure he has a copy of the TE mission. You can send him the TE mission via email if he needs to get it from another player, or transfer the file to you via file transfer programs like icq. Make sure he places that file in his falcon4/campagn/saved subdirectory. Remember to choose the person with the fastest connection to the internet to be the M-host/ C-host.
A word of caution. It is stressful enough to the game to play with voice comms software running. Please close all other programs like icq and kali before you start.
2. Have the C-host get set up by selecting 33.6 and connecting to himself (don't enter any ip .... remember?) and make sure that all the other players have the C-host/M-host's IP address.
3. Once all players have connected to the C-host at 33.6, they can all chat in the "chat lobby" to get organized. We also highly recommend using Roger Wilco for voice comms in F4. It works fairly well, and it is free. grab yourself a copy, and get yourself a cheap mic/headphone combo. It makes online play so much better and works fairly well with F4.
4. Once in the chat lobby, the C-host must now become the M-host. He does so by simply picking a custom mission from the "saved" tab of his TE section, or starts a campaign from the campaign section, or picks a dogfight style of play from the "dogfight" section.
5. Once the M-host has started his game (lets use TE to complete this example), then all the other players in the Chat lobby will see 2 things. First, they will see a message that say that their M-host has left the chat lobby. Some will mistakenly believe that the M-host has lost his connection. He has not. He has left the chat lobby and entered the "game lobby" of the TE mission he has started.
So, second, if players look at the TE online tab, they will see a game listed. I highly recommend you make the habit of clicking on the "plus sign" next to the game to see the names of the players in the game before you join. This way you will know how many players are in the game. More than 4 players in TE and more than 2-4 players in Campaign is simply not recommended for Internet play. We aren't saying it won't work. It can. But the strain can limit the overall performance of the game for the players.
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Last Updated July 26th, 1999