Hosting Network Games

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More Hosting Topics

Other Game Set Up Topics

This is more complicated to explain than it is to do.

You will need to set up the game in a shared directory accessible to all players. This sharepoint is the place that will contain all the game files, and where the players will go to open their games. The sharepoint can exist on a local area network, or via a remote connection or any means that allows you to access directories on the remote server as if they were local.

Before you begin setup, have your players design their races and give you the race files for loading into the game. Alternately, you can customize a for any player who wishes it.

To set up a network game:

  1. Click on New Game on the opening screen or on File (New) from the Stars! main menu. The New Game dialog appears.
  2. Click on Advanced Options, then specify options such as the universe size, difficulty level, relative starting positions, accelerated play for BBS games, number and type of players (real or AI), and the victory conditions. Be sure to load any custom race files provided by the players. Create <tooltip text="player positions for latecomers">Adding Expansion Players
    If you think there'll be other players joining later in the game, add an Expansion Player for each missing person. Stars! will assign a "housekeeper" AI to run things for those players until they actually join the action. This AI will keep planets and fleets active, making sure the production queues are busy, etc. It does not develop any strategy.

    When the player joins, right click on the diamond next to their name in the host dialog and change the type to Human Controlled. Then, give the latecomer a break by asking the other players to leave them alone for N years.</tooltip> if you think it's necessary.
    The order of players listed in Step 2 of the Advanced New Game dialog becomes part of the turn filename for each player. The turn file for Player 1 will be gamename.m1, for Player 2 it will be gamename.m2, and so on.
  3. Tell each player their number. They'll need it when they start to play.
  4. You'll be prompted for a game name. Enter any name up to eight characters long (don't worry about typing an extension). Stars! creates a set of files containing data for that game and each player in the game. Save the game in the shared directory.
  5. Select Auto Generate in the Host dialog. The dialog will minimize, waiting for all players to submit their turns. Stars! automatically submits any turn into the shared directory. Once that's done, Stars! automatically generates a new turn, then returns to wait mode.
  6. If you want to force a new turn to be generated, double-click on the Stars! host icon, then select Generate Now from the Host dialog. To cause Stars! to auto-generate turns again, select Auto Generate again. The dialog will minimize and wait for players as before. Stars! will continue to follow any existing orders for players who didn't submit their turns on time. All messages and data for the missed turns, such as planets discovered or battles fought, will be present when they load the new turn.
  7. Help the players understand what they need to do using the instructions in What Each Player Needs to Do. If you're playing as well as hosting, you'll probably find it easier to start a second instance of Stars!, playing from one and using the other to handle host duties.

⇒ To quit the game, click on Close in the Host dialog.

⇒ To restart the host, start Stars!, click on Open Game, and choose the <tooltip text="gamename.hst">Host file -- gamename.hst
gamename.hst -- This is the file containing the information the host program needs for a specific game. This file should be available only to the person playing the host. If the file is password-protected, you will be asked for a password.</tooltip> file.

Learn about:

What Each Player Needs to Do

Setting and Viewing Winning Conditions

Playing with a Custom Race

Saving Your Game

Exiting Stars!

Replaying a Previous Turn

Files Used in Stars!