Setting up a dgamelaunch game server

Recording Games

The server automatically records the games under /var/dgl/dgldir/userdata/$user/ttyrec/rogue3. The recordings can be watched using a ttyrec player, such as ttyplay. It is common for public dgamelaunch servers to offer the files for download via a web server.

Any user who connects while other people are playing may watch the ongoing games. If the game is patched for proper dgamelaunch integration, it is possible for the audience to send messages to the player. Games that support this include NetHack and Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup. Trying to deliver a message when a game has no spooldir variable set will crash dgamelaunch, but thankfully it will not affect the instances of the people who are running games.

Conclusions

Setting a server to play old terminal games is not easy, but it is certainly doable.

There are lots of games that can be run within a dgamelaunch service. Debian has the bsdgames package in its repository, with many terminal games from the pre-Linux era, including phantasia, battlestar, and trek. With a little tweaking, incorporating these games into the game server is possible.

You can see dgamelaunch in action using Roguelike Gallery's SSH service [6] (use rodney for the username and yendor for the password). Instructions for playing Rogue are in the source tarball. If you prefer to play a modern game with a retro feel, the Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup team keeps a list of servers for playing their games [7].

Infos

  1. History of Rogue: https://rlgallery.org/about/rogue3.html
  2. dgamelaunch's GitHub repository: https://github.com/paxed/dgamelaunch
  3. Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup: https://crawl.develz.org/
  4. NAO: https://alt.org/nethack/
  5. Roguelike Gallery: https://rlgallery.org
  6. Roguelike Gallery's dgamelaunch SSH service: https://rlgallery.org:8080
  7. Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup online: http://crawl.chaosforge.org/Playing_online

The Author

Rubén Llorente is a mechanical engineer, whose job is to ensure that the security measures of the IT infrastructure of a small clinic are both law compliant and safe. In addition, he is an OpenBSD enthusiast and a weapons collector.

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