PC POWERPLAY 27, August 1998, Australia: Do-It-Yourself LAN Parties by Munley Leong
LAN (Local Area Network) parties can be fantastic experiences, but they can also be difficult to set up and run. Fear not though, Munly Leong will walk you through it. What is a LAN Party? A LAN (Local Area Network) party is basically a local network get together. A bunch of people bring over their computer somewhere, hook them all up, play network games and engage in other network-ish activities. Why a LAN party? No matter how much fun playing against the computer A I is, nothing beats the adrenaline rush from playing a live, thinking (usually) human being.
Everyone knows the difference playing against mates makes, especially those who’ve tried Bomberman, Mario Kart or any wrestling games on the consoles. For PC gamers, Doom, the Quake series and Command and Conquer do the multiplayer job extremely well along with a host of others. These days, games are being developed with multiplayer in mind and a single player game added in afterwards, with such examples as X-Wing vs Tie Fighter one of the greatest multiplayer shoot’em ups ever made.
LAN gaming has really exploded recently, thanks to Quake. In the ye olde days of B.Q. (Before Quake) it was always fun to grab a few mates for a bit of a bash in Doom, or have a go on the office network, but these were diversions at best compared to the multiplayer explosion that has been Quake. This was the game that really showed us what the net could do, and how fun multiplayer gaming could be. That wasn’t enough, people started banding together and forming clans. These clans were willing to go all over the country to play other clans. Soon people were having huge parties just to play Quake, lugging all manner of computer equipment and ‘Quake accessories’ to meet and play people they’d never met except online.
Playing on the net is perfectly fine but one suffers a major amount of ‘lag’ which is the waiting period between the time when you move the mouse or press a key to the time something actually happens, and depending on the server you’re going through, this could be either annoying, or so bad that you’re fragged ten times before your screen even updates. Lan parties have minimum to no lag whatsoever, and nothing’s better than getting a few buds together and having a good go at Quake, TA, Q2, Starcraft, Unreal, Age Of Empires, and so on. Not to mention the person-to-person contact, the ease of lobbing a few demoralising insults down at the guy who tele- fragged you twice in a row, and laughing at that poor, inept fel- low that keeps blowing himself up every time he tries to rocket jump (usually me).
Whet your appetite yet? Here are some more real-life examples of some upcoming LAN events.
Gibcon 98: This one’s got a huge waiting list but is probably going to rock the hardest, http://gibcondigidatci.com.cit 4
Point Quake: Smaller but available, still bound to be a good upcoming bash, http://www.netspace.net.au/~rigga/pointquakeD
Quake Fest 4: Last but definitely not least, this is going to rock HARD! The biggest and soon to be the best LAN event ever coming your way with over a hundred people expected. December 98 – January 99, full details TBA. http://www.Qzemail.com.cni/~quakefest/
Insomnia 98: This was our LAN party, a full report is available on the site. HUGE thanks to Braenet who graciously sponsoring the site, and to all who attended, http://insamma.braenet.com.au, or http://www.braenet.com.au/~dream/
The Quake fest page: Details on the previous Quake Fests and how they went, I wish I hadn’t missed those! http:/ /vdpawer.gamesmania.com/quakefest/)
Multiplayer Unlimited: These guys do this sort of thing professionally, they set up AND promote LAN events all the time, and in Australia too! This is definitely worth checking out. http://www.mpu.com.au/
Net Game News: Australian gamers, online
Letters: Deathmatch, What’s the Fuss?
Sin to Launch with Gamer Night
Saitek PC Dash
Vintage Australian PC PowerPlay advertisements, August 1998