HOSTING HINTS AND HELP !!!

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  HOSTING HINTS AND HELP !!!
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madmax
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HOSTING HINTS AND HELP !!!
« Thread started on: May 18th, 2010, 06:48am »

NOtes for Hosting Demolition Derby and F8 Online

The game will crash even if everything is done right. But you can limit the amount of downtime with some preventative measures.

A) Make sure all players have background programs turned off, open windows closed, MSN messenger, yahoo etc, facebook anything including music downloading software turned off. A CLEAN SYSTEM WITH JUST THE GAME Running is the safest. There will

be fewer crashes and players will not drift off the screen when someone tries to MSN them or a program searches there computer for music etc.

B) End all texting before starting a race. We love to chatter. But the host needs to clear the screen and make sure no incoming texts interfere with the start. I do a countdown 30, 20, 15, 10 to see if any messages are still coming in. Players know the game is about to start and they stop texting.

C) If a player connects and it FREEZES your computer, don't panic and don't try to go to a race. The players signal will show up as 10,000ms. That player has a partial connection and it will drop automatically. THe player needs to exit the game and reload it. Sometimes they have to turn off background programs or reboot. If the player has logged back in and you see TWO of
them. One is FAKE, and you as host need to clear the screen. To do this, Let the players know what you are doing. Back out of the host Screen and return. The players will then return and the game will work.

D) If a player is in your game, has played a round, enters the next grid and decides to leave. YOu are generally safe.

However, sometimes if a new player joins the game will then crash. To be safe, if a player leaves, clear the screen by Backing out and returning.

E) Test ALL NEW PLAYERs with ONE on ONE and NO AI cars. You will get a feel for each and every players computer connection.

Then.. Add AI Cars, Then Add CUSTOM CARS. Soon you will know who has what cars if they play often enough. If the host chooses a Game car, chance of success increase when you have MANY players and you aren't certain of their cars. On occasion with 1 on 1 or sometimes more, the computer successfully substitutes a car. I had 4 players and a successful substitution. (A pleasant surprise)

F) EVERYONE PLAYING WITH CUSTOM CARS MUST HAVE THE SAME CARS IN THEIR SELECTION WINDOWS and THEY MUST WORK. If a player has 63 Ford and it crashes in singles mode, the moment someone grabs a 63 Ford in Multiplayer that player will crash.

G) BLACK SCREEN!!! IF you hit RACE and get the BLACK SCREEN, hit ESCAPE. IT may continue to load. IT may tell you the status of players, if they lost a connection. It is likely they are visiting their desktop because of something overlooked above.

H) Countdown!!! IF the countdown hits 90 or 88 I can guarrantee the connection isn't going to recover. Hit ESCAPE and see who made it through. You can play the game or exit and restart. If the countdown won't stop and you hit escape and it restarts the count... YOUR TOAST!!! A restart/computer reboot is in the works. This is worse then a computer crash to the desktop because it often requires a total reboot.

I) Host Computer Crashes to desktop: Someone has played a Car you don't have, they may have modified a downloaded or stock car, changed its name, or you just don't have all the cars you thought you did. Ironically, if the host crashes the Joiner/player computers get caught in the COUNTDOWN and may not be able to escape. They may require a reboot. So while you
may reload the game in a under a minute it will take them more time to reconnect.

J) The players are the ones most in the dark. The more information you can give them the greater ability to host successful games. Players want to run customs right away. They don't know the pitfalls and don't care. Until they see the computer crashing hard. Then they may not want to play. So..be clear. Let them know why you are doing it the way you are.

H) Make Players have Certain Custom Cars to play on a given night. Such as you have 4 Custom Cars that everyone must have. 3 to 4 players is normal for a game night, however, with the increase in interest, I have been seeing 5 and 6 people connect.
When you know and trust your players, thing go smoothly. You will notice that the game will A) Crash, B)Freeze, more often whenever new players are involved.

I) Make time to train new players to your system. Once they know your routine things go smoothly.

J) Update the status of the game on popular forums, or at least one forum that players can reference. Remember, if a player has only one computer, they can't be two places at one time. Give players enough time to REFIND the game. 5 minutes is normally enough. If you wish to run a derby, let those players know.

K) Let players know when the derbies are over. Its no fun hitting connect and the host is shut down and you don't know it.

K1a) Respectful players let you know when its their last derby. That helps if there is a computer crash and you reboot and they don't come back.

L) If there is a problem when a derby is running players can signal by ... A) Leaving the game. If more then one leaves, you probably have a problem. If you are out of the derby and the finalists are duking it out and they have a problem, the drivers tend to park or bump your car. Some hit the pause button. Don't jump to conclusions if they are hitting the PAUSE button. The pause key is near the Cheat to restart keys and is often hit by mistake.


M) Change tracks as few of times as possible when you have ALOT of players. The game is known to crash to desktop in singles mode when you change tracks. While this is infrequent, just multiply the variable by each player. I tend to run two different tracks each night.

O) Load up a track in Singles mode just before hosting. This puts the track in memory and loads the first derby quicker.

(just a handy trick I learned)

P) Remember, Players Can't connect when a Derby is in session.

Q) Backup: I run a backup computer should the main one go down. That is because my main computer takes 5 minutes to reboot.

Q1) I am working on my router to be able to HOST 2 games through the same IP address. Thus if one game is in session players wanting to join won't be in the dark unable to connect like present.

I will add to this work in progress....Hope this helps for now.
« Last Edit: May 18th, 2010, 06:54am by madmax » Logged

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