Game Connection Guide: Playing Build Games Online for Free! v1-23-2003  Release 9  RTCM Corvin


Introduction | IP InfoiC Commit | ICQ-iC | KAHN | The ZONE | HEAT | HEAT-LANWireplay
 Connection "Fixes" | Online Problems


Introduction

This is a step by step guide in helping you setup, start and use free online services. BUILD Games are not restricted(in most cases) where they can play. For an example; Shadow Warrior, NAM, WWII GI can all play at the same place that Duke3D can be played. The Microsoft Zone is one of the places. This should apply to all other BUILD Games aswell. This document does not cover the use of any source code ports.


Current TCP/IP configuration
Your current IP is ?
Ping - Windows 9x utility. Compare IP# - A Quick loading page. from slimflex


iC Commit

Getting the Program for FREE!

(ALL Versions of Duke3d-user server frontend / Direct peer to peer play)

-iC Help?: Read the enclosed docs.

-Interface: Minimal Light frontend

-Connection(Based On the iC/Commit IPX Tunnel Driver): 2 Players Optimal(Possibly 4)

  • 1. iC is available for download at many sites, (Internet Commit Driver)

  • 2. iC Setup .ini Bug Problem FAQ can be found in the faq download section or in the patch section of RTCM.

Using iC-Setup

  • 1. Once you installed and run iC, Enter your name in the Player Name box. Then click on the Configure button.

  • 2. Enter the Build Game's exe path and click ok. Note: If you use iC with RRRA, You must rename ra.exe to rr.exe. Redneck Rides will still work.


Using iC-Hosting

  • 1.  Click HOST, Select your Game from the pull down menu.

  • 2.  If playing a user level, enter it in the External Map to load field.

  • 3. In the TCIDUP Square, select 4

  • 4. Once your up and logged on with iC, contact the other players by ICQ/or other and send them your IP#
    (You can get your IP number from Your Info in ICQ or from the RUN function in windows, Click START/ RUN/ winipcfg )

  • 5. Once everyone connects close down your ICQ program.

  • 6. Review the settings for iC with all players, they should all match.

  • 7. Once everyone's ready press  START.

  • 8. Remember! Wait around 20-30 seconds before touching the controls, this will allow game sync to complete.


Using iC-Joining

  • 1. Enter the IP Address of the host's computer(He needs to tell you it). Click ok.

  • 2. Chat Screen should pop-up and show you are connected. ** Welcome to iC **

  • 3. Once everyone connects close down ICQ/other

  • 4. Review the settings for iC with all players, they should all match.

  • 5. Once everyone's ready press START.

  • 6. Remember! Wait around 20-30 seconds before touching the controls, this will allow game sync to complete.

Notes about internetCommit-iC: iC should have good results with a max of 2 players. The program is NOT optimized, its a beta. (nolonger being updated) iC error: Theres a tendency for iC to clear your setup unexpectedly, or it won't save at all.
( TCIDUP = /f# Send Fewer Packets during Multi-Player Mode. This should never be needed during a modem, serial, or network game, and is intended only for Game Servers who use a slightly different arrangement which requires less traffic. This would also be useful for programs such as Kali, JServe, iC, etc.... # can either be 1, 2,or 4.)


ICQ and iCCommit

Setup

(ALL Versions of Duke3d-ICQ launch IP / user server frontend / Direct peer to peer play)

-iC Help?: Read the enclosed docs.

-Interface: Minimal to Medium frontend

-Connection(Based On the iCIPX Tunnel Driver): 2 Players Optimal(Possibly 4)

  • 1. Open ICQ...., Click on the ICQ Button.

  • 2. Click on Preferences.

  • 3. Click on the Internet Telephony/Games/Chat Tab

  • 4. Click on the New External button.

  • 5. Enter the Build Game/iC that you'll be playing, in the External Application Name field. Note: If you use iC with RRRA, You must rename ra.exe to rr.exe. Redneck Rides will still work.

  • 8. iC is a Client-Server Application, so click the Client Server Application button.

  • 6. Enter iC's exe, in the External Application Executable field.

  • 7. (If Needed) Enter command line flags, in the Command Line field.

  • 8. Click Okay.

ICQ and iC Commit-Launching iC from ICQ-Hosting

  • 1. With ICQ opened, Right click on the person you want to play.

  • 2. Select Internet Telephony/Games.

  • 3. Under Installed you'll see the NAME of your Build Engine/iC game, Click it.

  • 4. A Request is sent to the other player, if he excepts you both will launch into iC.exe

  • 5. At this point Click HOST, Select your Game from the pull down menu.

  • 6. If playing a user level, enter it in the External Map to load field.

  • 7. In the TCIDUP Square, select 4

  • 8. Once your up and logged on with iC, contact the other players by ICQ/or other and send them your IP#
    (You can get your IP number from Your Info in ICQ or from the RUN function in windows, Click START/ RUN/ winipcfg )

  • 9. Once everyone connects close down your ICQ/other programs.

  • 10. Review the settings for iC with all players, they should all match.

  • 11. Once everyone's ready press START.

  • 12. Remember! Wait around 20-30 seconds before touching the controls, this will allow game sync to complete.


ICQ and iC Commit-Joining

  • 1. Enter the IP Address of the host's computer(He needs to tell you it). Click ok.

  • 2. Chat Screen should pop-up and show you are connected. ** Welcome to iC **

  • 3. Once everyone connects close down ICQ/other

  • 4. Review the settings for iC with all players, they should all match.

  • 5. Once everyone's ready press START.

  • 6. Remember! Wait around 20-30 seconds before touching the controls, this will allow game sync to complete.


ON The Zone

Setup

(ALL Versions of Duke3d-Zone launch IP / user server frontend / Direct peer to peer play)

-ZoneLAN Help: Playing on ZoneLAN-IPX , Setup Notes

-Interface: HTML/ Medium frontend

-Connection(Based On the ZoneIPX Tunnel Driver): ? Players

  • 1. You will need a FREE account at www.zone.com

  • 2. Next, you will want to goto the ZoneLAN - IPX -a "virtual" ipx-network

  • 3. Enter one of the rooms by clicking its name.(Build Games use The Dukes Room)


ON The Zone- Joining A Game

  • 1. If you wish to join a game that hasn't started yet, move your pointer over to the game's matchmaking square, then click the Join button to enter.(The host will provide a Game name, Like "Duke Arena V2.5")
    Private games require a password to enter.

  • 2. Once in the Game Room, The host must inform you of the socket number he is setting up.

  • 3. When the host launches a game, a ZoneLan DOS box will appear.

  • 4. Go to your DUKE3D directory, and type SETUP/F4. (NOT the Key F4)

  • 5. Go to a network game, enter the number of players, the level and set the socket number.

  • 6. Follow the screen prompts(select New Game)

  • 7. Wait for the host to finish selecting a level and game type.

  • 8. When the level starts, stand still and wait for at least 30 seconds before doing anything
    (This ensures everyone connects and all the computers have had time to synchronize.)


ON The Zone- Hosting A Game

  • 1. Move your pointer over an unoccupied matchmaking square and click the Host icon.

  • 2. In the dialog box that appears, be sure to replace "My Game" in the Game name box with the name of the game you're hosting, , Like "Duke Arena V2.5"

  • 3. Choose the maximum number of players. Inform players of the socket number you will be using.

  • 4. If you like, you can click the Private game check box and assign the game a password. Make sure you give the password to everyone you want to play.

  • 5. Click OK . You'll be presented with a DOS command-line prompt from which you can run Dukes setup features.

  • 6. Go to your DUKE3D directory, and type SETUP/F4. (NOT the Key F4)

  • 7. Go to a network game, enter the number of players, and set the socket number, you can make one up like 1234, 5555, 156T, etc. You can use letters instead of numbers if you prefer.

  • 8. Follow the screen prompts.

  • 9. Select a level and game type while the other players wait.

  • 10. When the level starts, stand still and wait for at least 30 seconds before doing anything
    (This ensures everyone connects and all the computers have had time to synchronize.)

Notes About the ZoneLan: You can setup a MS-DOS shortcut so when the ZoneLan DOS Box opens it will automatically Launch the Setup file. Simply locate the 'Microsoft Internet Gaming Zone' folder in Windows Explorer. Now locate the file 'zonelan.exe' and right click on it. Choose 'properties' and then click the 'Program Tab', In the box for 'Working:' type in your path to your build engine game. EX:(Use Quotes) "C:/Games/Duke/" Now goto the 'Batch File:' Box and enter setup/f4 You will no longer need to type anything when the game is launched :o)


ON HEAT

Getting to the Lobby

(ALL Versions of Duke3d-Heat launch IP / user server frontend / Direct peer to peer play)

-HEAT Help: HEAT , DukeHeat FAQ , Playing a Rip-X Game

-Interface: HTML and Frontend, Huge Pre game loading

-Connection(Based On the HeatsRIP-X IPX Tunnel Driver): ? Players

  • 1. You will need a FREE account at www.heat.net

  • 2. Next, you will want to goto the PLAYNOW selection

  • 3. Select Duke Nukem 3D, Your Heat Software will launch.


ON HEAT- Joining A Game

  • 1. When HEAT Software™ engages, enter an existing AREA. Private games require a password to enter.

  • 2. Once in the Game Room, The host must inform you of the socket number he is setting up.

  • 3. Each player MUST know how many others are playing before the game begins.

  • 4. Click READY TO PLAY

  • 5. When the host launches a game, Duke Setup will appear.

  • 6. Go to a network game, enter the number of players, and set the socket number.

  • 7. Follow the screen prompts

  • 8. Wait for the host to finish selecting a level and game type.

  • 9. When the level starts, stand still and wait for at least 30-60 seconds before doing anything.
    (This will help with the packet distribution making it even for all players. This sounds a bit unusual, but it helps a great deal)


ON HEAT- Hosting A Game

  • 1. When HEAT Software™ engages, Click Create Room.

  • 2. In the dialog box that appears, be sure to fill in the Room name box with the name of the game you're hosting, , Like "Duke Arena V2.5"

  • 3. Choose the maximum number of players.

  • 4. If you like, you can enter a password for a  Private game. Make sure you give the password to everyone you want to play.

  • 5. Click OK , Your Room will be created. Heat has a room Lock function to block any new players from entering.

  • 6. Inform players of the socket number you will be using.

  • 7. Launch the Game.

  • 8. Go to a network game, enter the number of players, and set the socket number, you can make one up like 1234, 5555, 156T, etc. You can use letters instead of numbers if you prefer.

  • 9. Follow the screen prompts.

  • 10. Select a level and game type while the other players wait.

  • 11. When the level starts, stand still and wait for at least 30-60 seconds before doing anything
    (This will help with the packet distribution making it even for all players. This sounds a bit unusual, but it helps a great deal)

ON HEAT-LAN -IPX Getting to the Lobby

(ALL Versions of Duke3d-Heat launch IP / user server frontend / Direct peer to peer play)

-HEAT Help: HEAT , DukeHeat FAQ , Playing a Rip-X Game

-Interface: HTML and Frontend,  Huge Pre game loading

-Connection(Based On the Heat(LAN-)IPX Tunnel Driver): ? Players

  • 1. You will need a FREE account at www.heat.net -a "virtual" ipx-network

  • 2. Next, you will want to goto the PLAYNOW selection

  • 3. Select Play Other Game, This will launch you into "Other IPX Games" lobby.

  • 4. Create and name the room. Name the room the same name as the name of the game so that other people will know what game is being played in the room so that they can join you.


ON Wireplay

Getting to the NoticeBoard

(Version 1.3d of Duke3d ONLY-Heat launch IP / user server frontend / Direct peer to peer play)

-Wireplay Help: Duke Nukem 3D help , Instant help available

-Interface: Light frontend(DOS and Windows '95 (inter-work together)

-Connection(Based On WireplayIPX Tunnel Driver (and Server-UK-PowerPlay): 4 Players(Recommended)
Note: Above 4 players level changing and game leaving can cause "out of sync" problems.
The Master player can restart the game to rectify the problem

  • 1. You will need to download a FREE frontend.

  • 2. Once completed, you must logoff the internet, close all programs and install the software...VERY easy

  • 3. Log back on the internet and run the wireplay frontend.

  • 4. Enter your handle and click register for a FREE account.

  • 5. Theres Two Arenas: OPEN PLAY and POWER PLAY.. if your NOT native to the UK, select OPEN PLAY.

  • 6. Once the NoticeBoard is in view, move your pointer over the Wireplay logo in the bottom right. Other Icons will appear.

  • 7. Click on Setup, Game Setup and then ADD Game.

  • 8. Add Duke to the list setting it to the games directory.
    (Open Play users must also Add a "secound Duke" to the list. Select a build game that you don't use from the list, perhaps Shadow Warrior.  Set the games directory to your Duke dir instead. This will allow you to play Duke Nukem 3D in the OPEN PLAY arena. Unfortunately you'll have to figue out whos playing Shadow Warrior and who's playing Duke. This unusual setup is to be corrected upon Wireplays next upgrade)

  • 9. Go back to the NoticeBoard and Click on the Refresh Icon to display the games you have setup.

  • 10. Click Create and Select Shadow Warrior(or the build game you setup for Duke), Click OK

  • 11. You will now be in the Locker Room(You are the Host/ Proposer)

  • 12. Lurkers/Players will join in the room and "ask" to play by pressing the CHALLENGE button.  The Host can accept or reject you for the next game to be played.

  • 13. All accepted players will have Chanllenger next to there names. If user maps are going to be implemented, discuss this in the chat area before starting.

  • 14. The proposer at this point clicks Start, and the game will load.


Connection "Fixes"

Basic Tweaking

Latency is determined by several factors:

A. Your 'cyber distance' (the path of servers or 'hops' your data takes to get to its destination on the Internet) to game servers

B. Volume of traffic on the Internet

C. Planned or unforeseen regional or national network outages on the Internet

D. Local Phone Lines and Company quality

E. Local In House Phone wiring or interference

F. Your modem speed and quality

G. Speed and Performance of Your BUILD game

Another important factor that affects the quality of your connection is 'lost packets'-- data that gets lost during transmission over the Internet.

Troubleshoot lag:

1. Make sure you use the settings or options for the server frontend that your using. Some allow you to pause the frontend once the game is launched.  Others allow you to close the frontend. Use the options if available.

2. If possible close all open windows including any open browsers. Turn off any 'Messaging' programs (AOL's IM, ICQ, etc.)
(if your using anykind of external voice or chat program for the game, don't use it)

3. Make sure Your BUILD engine game runs smooth off-line with a decent FPS value(20-30 or more!) There should be no jerking. Reduce Resolution if necessary, Reduce Screen Size, Turn Music OFF, and any other options related to your Build game.

4. Modem strings, Make sure there setup correctly. Normally you would want to change them for Gaming use. Turn off error-correction, flow control, and data compression ...They tend to provide a jerky game. HOWEVER error-correction may be required for your BUILD game. This all depends on the Virtual-LAN that your using.
You may also have to reduce your modems buffer to a lower setting.
If you connect at a rate that is less than optimal for your modem (connecting at 31 kbps, instead of 33.6 kbps, 44 kbps instead of 53 kbps), you can try reconnecting at a better rate, or change your modem speed to the next lower setting (33.6 kbps to 28.8 kbps, 53 kbps to 33.6 kbps, etc).

5. And Most of all, keep in mind : the Build game connection will adjust to the slowest machine.
So if your system is running slow, too slow, it may cause a 'Fatal Sync' error.   But it will definitely Slow the Overall Performance of Everyones Game.   Fastest machine/connection should be the "host" in most cases.

6. For lost packets and lag locating, run several Trace Routes to get a good sampling of your connectivity to a server or I.P#.
You should also look for excessive spikes in the ping times. An optimal connection should be below 400 ms by the end of the route. If you see portions of the path that spike up compared to the other hops, this maybe your Internet Service Provider.
In many cases your provider may not be at fault, but their Network Operations Department can usually address it with whichever ISP provides that connection.

A. Run your TCP/IP Ping Command with either the URL or I.P.# following. EX: ping www.domain.com

B. You'll get a line such as
Pinging www.domain.com [111.11.1.11] with 32 bytes of data

C. Then you should get something the simliar to
Reply from 111.11.1.11: bytes=32 time=291ms TTL=243
Reply from 111.11.1.11: bytes=32 time=279ms TTL=243
Reply from 111.11.1.11: bytes=32 time=288ms TTL=243

If you Receive
Request timed out. The server is down or busy, or perhaps you entered the wrong number or URL

D. Then you should get something simliar to this
Ping statistics for 111.11.1.11:
Packets: Sent = 3, Received = 3, Lost = 0 (0% loss),
Approximate round trip times in milli-seconds:
Minimum = 279ms, Maximum = 291ms, Average = 285ms


Online Known Problems for Build Games
  • Duke Nukem 3D(Build games) where not designed for internet play. There is no built-in TCP/IP in the game. Internet play requires the use of an external client. During the course of a game, the engine/driver will experience Lag/Latency beyound what it was intended for, its very sensitive to latency when playing over the Internet. Duke3D was designed for Networks/LAN systems using IPX protocal-tweaked for optimial performance, Online the protocal is passed thru a TCP/IP Tunnel. The TCP/IP protocol "surrounds" the IPX protocol providing increased Overhead that wouldn't be present if the game produced a true TCP/IP peer to peer contection, Such as Quake(TM). However faster connections and equipment will help greatly.
    Duke and other Build games must use the IPX-TCP/IP tunnel method on "virtual" or "emulated" IPX/ Network servers using there Lobby Room frontends and special drivers for peer to peer(direct, user servers) Connection stability is determined by the quality of the IPX-TCP/IP Tunnel drivers provided by each service. This is the best method for a network only designed game, ala build games. However if a service ran its own dedicated server(users connect to the Company Host Server and remain connected during the game) This would provide an even more stable game. Unfortunately no service is available of this kind.

  • The game may crash when theres multiable snds, fire, and other demanding aspects. You will notice this if the screen becomes jerky or motion is slowed. If this happens all players should stop moving to retain the connection. Give a 30 sec recovery time before continuing to play. You need a good ping for a good game. A REAL ISP will helpout alot. (AOL is NOT a real ISP, iC doesn't work with AOL directly)

  • Duke Nukem 3D does not support "Drop In" play, which means players CANNOT enter a game once it has begun.
    You cannot join games in progress. All players have to be there when the game starts.

  • The TEN online service is no-longer available.
    "wide-area networked (WAN) multiplayer games, The multiplayer code within Duke Nukem 3D has been highly customized to run best on TEN, where you'll experience fast and stable performance, plus other special benefits."
    This may have been the only Server that actualy Hosted and Ran the Game on there system, rather than peer to peer/ user servers.

  • There are no Dukematch cheat codes.(not a problem)

  • Game Versions, All players MUST have the same version of the BUILD game, same CONS,same Map, same Art, same Sounds they are using.

  • Modem and Network play are in shareware. Limit of players in Modem / Network(LAN) is 4 for shareware.
    Full version supports 8. There is Co-Op play.

  • Some Services, such as Kali may not allow patch game.exe's to be used. There has been some reports about the PCI echo fix not excepting the game to start.(IF YOU FIND THIS UNTRUE, PLEASE LET ME KNOW) Other patch's havn't seem to 'caused any problems.

  • BUILD Games using the Commit Multiplayer Driver and related routines would normaly require that your modem is set to using error control. Since the games do not have sophisticated internal error control(it was not designed for World Wide Web use,just LAN and Modem to Modem).