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Thread: LAN (Local Area Network) Multiplayer: What's the best way to do it?

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    LAN (Local Area Network) Multiplayer: What's the best way to do it?

    Does anyone know what the best way to do local area network multiplayer in CF2.5 is? I know that I could either use the Network object or use Lacewing (by having it host a server), but I don't know which of those would be better, and I don't know whether or not there are better options. Does anyone know? Also, does the network object support more than 2 players at once? Are there better options? Would this need to be a new object to be feasible?

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    I'd personally think Lacewing would be most suitable for the job. The network object is designed primarily for between 2 computers, and very (out)dated. It might be okay for a very simple game between 2 computers only, but otherwise, a server-client approach with Lacewing would probably be more flexible. There's a lot of support for Lacewing (since it's commonly used for internet games in Fusion) so everything to do with that will work on a LAN too.

    I guess it depends on the game you're thinking of building. Perhaps a server that runs in the background with LAN players connecting as clients?

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    Most games now days utilize a server for online play. However years ago games like Age of Empires got along just fine with out a server. It did this by using DirectPlay (a component of DirectX ). However MS decided to drop DirectPlay support quite a few years ago. It's been replaced with a component of XNA. So it doesn't help us. However DirectPlay just utilized UPnP. Which is something that could be implemented into something like Lacewing or another object altogether. It would be nice to see UPnP utilized. It is a perfectly good solution for creating small adhoc player to player games without the need to host a server or make any NAT changes to your router.

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    Phi's Avatar
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    The only question here is getting network computers to see each other. You could show the local IP on the server and get the clients to manually type it in (as an option although ideally not the only method).
    Lacewing can communicate over networks just fine - generally firewalls don't fuss unless it's internet access.
    You can use the Local IP objects to get the local IP, and connecting to that in Lacewing should work fine.

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    danworth, I already know about online multiplayer games using servers (and the fact that most games use them these days), I just don't know how I'd get about to making a LAN game. Would a CF2.5 object with support for UPnP make that easier, or is it entirely irrelevant to LAN play, and only to players playing across the internet? Still sounds like it could be useful, I'm just curious about LAN play in particular at the moment.

    Phi, what about connecting to Localhost? Doesn't that count as connecting to the local IP address?

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