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Coco multiplayer games get your vote in !


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Thanks to a successfull kickstater campaign on my space adventure.. development has started on my new media cart for coco.. so what kind of multiplayer games should we start with ?

Games will run on a standard 16k or greater coco using its original video output.. But graphics processing will be handled on cart allowing the coco to play catch up . High Color games like Space Pirate Kimiko will play on coco3 machines with 128k no extra multipak needed. Get your vote in now !  


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So, WOW!!   I have been thinking about Classic Computer Networking for a few years now.. 


My First Thought, for a Multiplayer, Multi-Platform game is Dungeons of Dagorath.......    Let's make it Multi-Player, and Port it to the C64 and Apple ][ and Atari..  

I got some WizNet812MJ Modules a few years ago, maybe a little before the Apple ]['s Uthernet II, ( WizNet5100 based ) became available, which I bought Three of them, and then a couple years ago got the C64NIC+, ( CS8900A based ), and then found that Go4Retro, ( AKA Jim Brain ), made a Prototype NIC, ( the CoCoNIC ), based on the C64NIC+, for the CoCo, I was very interested, but not a lot of interest was there to continue, then Rick Ulland wanted to make a NIC for the CoCo, so I showed him what I had researched, so he made the CoCoIO, ( a WizNet5100 and 16550 RS-232 device ) , and now your making a ESP-32 Device...


Beyond that...  I have a WHOLE LIST....   A list I have been making for, 6-8 years...  I have been planning to go as far as to Make a Game Server, that is Cross-Platform, and Cross-Language..   Think Delphi or CompuServe for the Classic Computing Community...  Multi-Player, Multi-Platform, Multi-Language games....  A Network Loader, like a Customer Terminal Program, like for the PLATO System, would be configured for your Platform and it's capabilities..  When you connect your Login will inform the Server what Classic System your on, and what its Capabilities are, then you can Download the Client for a Game, Single Player, or Better yet, Multi-Player..


Just remember that the Faster the Game is, the harder to keep it Synchronized across All the Clients...




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On 12/25/2021 at 5:58 PM, MrDave said:

Wow .. alot there ! :) i might start with something simple like a tank battle lol .. but there's gonna be as bunch if us working on this so the sky may be the limit :)


There is a Start!!!   Have you seen Brett Gordon's GTW???


This will run on a CoCo 1, 2, or 3.  Uses DriveWire for the Transport and the Back End is an IRC Server...  It "still" has a few bugs, but is playable...



There is some BLOG Content here on Brett's Page:



Edited by MarkO
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  • 1 month later...

MarkO:  I've been thinking... what if folks could play games on these vintage systems, against each other?

I don't mean CoCo to coCo - I mean like Commodore, CoCo, Atari, IBM PC. 

It seems hardware folks have made WiFi adapters for nearly all of these machines.  However, to pull this off, the vintage machine may need 64K.   I'm not 100% certain, but I think coordinating and talking with a serial or WiFi device is going to take the most of 32K - leaving very little else for whatever actual client game one is playing.  Maybe I'm wrong (hope so), maybe sufficient TCP/IP support can fit in 4-8K (maybe depends on how much the WiFi hardware is doing).

A little story:  There was a brief time - either with Windows Vista or Windows 7 Pro - it came with a simple set of games, like Backgammon.  And you could connect randomly to other (live) people who also had that game running on their install of Windows.  Microsoft didn't include any chat capability in the game (actually I think it had a few pre-selected 1-liners).  So you just randomly connect and play - and I recall that being a lot of fun, I'd come home and play a few rounds with Backgammon.  I respected Microsoft in those days for including that, it was a nice and unexpected touch.  But of course it was removed not long after.

Perhaps one reason it was removed is because to do something like this, someone needs to put up the cost of an intermediate server that manages the connections.  For our scope, we might need to manage 100's of connections, but Microsoft might have handle 100,000's.  So there's that cost.  And plus any server is prone to attack, so there's the responsibility and risk of that.

But that's how I could see something like this working - an intermediate server identifies that some vintage system wants to play GAME A.   And it pairs it up to another system that also wants to play the same GAME A.  And for the most part, these would be simple 2-player games.

This is almost like BBS doors games, but not quite.  It's also something like defining our own "web browser" for vintage systems.  Not quite like HTML or even ANSI.  But some way to communicate "game-state" ("player 1 has moved piece 2 to location 3"), and the vintage client renders the scene with the state update (as appropriate to the hardware of that system).   This might not support action games (like tank battles), but maybe card or dice-type games (Yahtzee is one of my favorites).

It's sort of like a fancy version of IRC... But imagine being able to boot up a vintage system, load a little client, connect and play a simple game with someone else -- independent of what kind of vintage system they have.

Another little story: my family isn't much interested in vintage computers :)  They indulge me now and then, then get back to their iPhone 13's and tablets.  But around holidays, there is one game that brings the family into my study to hang out with the vintage computer.... Wheel of Fortune.  Specifically the 1988 version for the IBM PC.  It's simple (to implement), everyone knows the rules, and everyone gets a good laugh trying to guess the puzzle.  People grab a mug and bring in a chair.   Also, a little trivia: Phil Katz, of PKZIP fame, turns out one of his first programs was a version of Wheel written in BASIC.  


So imagine that - firing up a WHEEL client on an IBM PC 5150, you select two players to be a remote player, who ends up being another WHEEL client on a C64 and a CoCo3 who were waiting in the lobby.  And you're both viewing the game-state in a fashion appropriate to your local hardware.   Maybe the intermediate server manages the game-state (which would normalize RNG across clients).  Maybe some protocol has to be defined for each game.   Also, maybe the intermediate server could do things like "on monday, we only allow Yahtzee clients", etc (a schedule to encourage coordinating users using the same client at around the same time).

Obviously this requires all new client software to be written for each vintage system, with a core "SDK" to access the serial or WiFi device.  Also a lot of work in this intermediate server, if it's going to be repsonsible for enforcing games rules and holding game-states -- ideally one client could drop off (for whatever reason, things happen), and another client could join in to resume the same game-state.


IDK if this is a viable idea, or if any of it makes sense.  It's sort of like a "Vintage Web" or "Vintage App Store" that accommodates the limited bandwidth and resolution of vintage systems.  For example, in theory, one could make a WHEEL client in the fashion of a text adventure game.   But it should be robust enough to support a variety of games.   The unavoidable aspect is that it'll all be plaintext -- it'll be challenge just sharing A,B,C,D. across all these systems, as at 1 MHz there isn't performance for really doing any encryption 

I think the simpliest example would be like a "guess my number" type game, and talking through it might reveal a workflow... such as: the IBM PC client connects to the intermediate server, designates to run a CHOOSER (of numbers).  They make the choice and that is sent to the intermediate server (that knows how to handle this type of game).  The other client can be on a C64, where it tried to connect to "guess my number" game in progress, and does so... Something along these lines.


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  • 1 year later...
On 2/9/2022 at 2:35 AM, voidstar78 said:


Sorry I missed this almost two years ago..



It looks like you haven't been back here since then..   I'll add some additional comments so that others can benefit..



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