Network Game Guide

Introduction

So, you've finally figured out how to play Hedgewars. Good for you! Now, it's time to move on to the next step: PWNing real people.

Before we do that, let's take a look at the Hedgewars networking interface. From the main menu, there are two large buttons. Click the one on the right (the earth picture) to access the network game interface. From here, you can click either LAN game or Official Server, depending on whether you want to play on your own network or with people around the world.

Network Requirements

To play multiplayer games, you should have a fairly stable (e.g. doesn't die every 5 minutes) connection to either your local network (for LAN games) or the Internet (for official server games). It doesn't have to be fast, or particularly low-latency, but it's annoying when someone loses connection in the middle of the game.

LAN games

LAN, or Local Area Network games are for when you want to play with people on the same network as yourself (for example, if all your friends are connected to your wi-fi). The advantage of LAN games is that there is virtually no latency (or "lag"), so you can focus more on the game. The bad news? You can't play with someone halfway around the world, unless you've already set up a VPN. If you're interested, take a look at Hamachi, a VPN system that works decently for long-distance LAN gaming but should not be used with complete strangers due to security concerns).

After clicking the LAN game button on the network game screen, you are brought to a game browser screen. There are two things you can do from here: join a game server or start one.

Joining a LAN server

If you want to join a LAN game server, all you have to do is select a server in the server list and click "Connect". If you do not see your friend's hosted game, try clicking “Update” to get a new list of servers.

If you still can't see the desired game, ask your friend for his IP address (this can be obtained by going into their terminal / command line application and entering “ipconfig” for Windows, or “ifconfig” for Mac OS or GNU/Linux. Also be sure to ask them for their port number, which they should've entered during server configuration. After obtaining this information, click “Specify” at the bottom of the list, enter the IP address in “Host”, port number in “Port”, and click “OK” to join the server.

Creating a LAN server

If you want to create a LAN game server, click “Start server” at the bottom of the LAN game screen. From here, you need to enter two things: your desired server name and your server port. In most cases, you should leave the port number as is to make it easier for clients to join. After this, simply wait for your clients to join.

Official Server

If you want to play against people around the world, or you simply want a “click-and-play” interface, you should join the Official Server on the Internet by clicking the “Official server” button on the network game screen. If you are connected to the Internet, this should be an automatic process.

Network Games

Regardless of whether you are using a LAN or Official server, you should have ended up on the server interface screen. This screen contains a list of games at the top and a chatbox at the bottom. Feel free to chat with other players while you look for a game.

Joining a Game

Joining a game is simple enough: scroll through the game list, select the desired server, and click the “Join” button at the right. Easy as 1, 2, 3.

Creating a Game

To create a game on your server, create a room by typing in a room name and clicking “Create” at the right. Even simpler.

Game Configuration

You should now be in the game configuration screen (note the second lovely chatbox). To select your team (or teams), click the desired teams in the box on the lower right. To remove teams, click on them in the top-right box. You can set the color of a team by clicking the colored box next to the team name, and also increase the number of hogs available by clicking on one of the hogs next to the team color.

In addition to team selection, the game creator has a few additional options, detailed below:

  • Map: Select the game map (generated map for randomly-generated map)
  • Filter: Type of maps to be put in the map list
  • Themes: Look & feel of game environment
  • Style: One of the styles, which are mostly used for different game modes
  • Scheme: The game scheme, overall settings of game (modifiable by clicking the pencil)
  • Weapons: The weapons scheme, variety of boom-crash at your disposal (also modifiable by clicking pencil)
  • Room control: From this menu, you can stop people from joining the game or adding their teams to the “Playing Teams” box

Finally, when settings and players are ready, clients should click the grayed-out lightbulb (lower-left) to indicate they are ready, and the host should click “Start” (lower-left) to begin the multiplayer fun!

Frequently asked questions / troubleshooting


Q. I don't want to be <insert nickname here<! How do I change my nickname?
A. From the title screen, press the settings button (lower right). You can change your network nickname in the "Net nick" box and press the save icon (lower right) to finalize it. Note that the settings screen is also useful for other tasks, such as creating hedgehog teams and setting resolution.

Q. I want to join my friend's server, but it's asking for a password! What is it?
A. Your friend must've set a password in the settings screen. Ask him/her to locate it (under the "Net nick" box) and tell you.

Q. I'm trying to join a Local (LAN) server and it's not working!!!
A. If you're using a VPN, check the game host's VPN IP address, not the LAN or Internet IP. If you're using a LAN, make sure the game host did not tell you his Internet IP, as that won't work unless port forwarding is set up.

Q. I want to make a server on the Internet!
A. It's pretty easy to do with port forwarding set up. First, set up a normal LAN server on a computer and remember your port number. If the computer is directly connected to your modem, you're set! Otherwise, go to your router settings and under LAN settings (sometimes this is under NAT), forward your server port number to your LAN IP (command line: ipconfig/ifconfig) and server port.

Q. I want to join a player-created server on the Internet!
A. Go through the same steps to join a LAN server, but instead of choosing from the game list, click "Specify" and enter the server host's Internet IP address and port number.

Q. I can't join the Official Server.
A. First, check if your "Net nick" is registered on hedgewars.org. If it is, you'll need your website password to connect. Also, the official server seems to have trouble with clients running Comodo firewall.

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