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Is Gearbox doing a good job handling the Duke Nukem IP?



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Dukonnector Multiplayer Launcher

Category: Duke3D
by Yatta, on Fri Nov 10 2006, 03:09AM

Perhaps a good alternative to other networking applications for Duke Nukem 3D is Dukonnector, a very simple, clean, and efficient tool that is compatible with EDuke32, JFDuke, Rancid Meat, and xDuke. Hell, it's author, aaBlueDragon, is even planning to develop a version of the program that works with the original DOS version of the game. So what's the catch, you ask? The multifunctional multiplayer launcher comes at an expense of the occupation of almost 500 KB on your hard drive. Oh no! On second thought, it shouldn't be so bad. I'm sure you can spare the loss of a couple low quality porno videos on your PC to make room.

Alright, let's cut to the point. You want to play Dukematch, and you just don't feel like using the same old launcher application as before to chew bubblegum online. Until a few minutes ago, I would have told you that you're shit out of luck, but I know better now. First things first: here's a highlight of the cool features I discovered in Dukonnector, in order of their appearance:

- Free (optional) registration system... maybe it'll serve a greater purpose in the future?
- You have the ability to select your own Master Server IP, though one is already provided for you
- Easy configuration for Duke3D port(s), GRP game file, and custom map/mod usage
- Highly flexible connection settings
- Detailed game room information, available with a mere click of the Get Server List button

If you're new to the scene, you should consider downloading a Windows port of Duke Nukem 3D. I recommend EDuke32, because it screams cool so loud you'll think Bruce Dickinson got uppercut in the balls by Freddy Krueger. Why am I not promoting other ports? Because I want to create a usability unification as to maximize compatibility between peers. Also, EDuke32 is more functional than Duke's Enormous Tool™, plus it works great with Dukonnector.

I figured mere words aren't enough, so I made some visuals to describe the intricacy of Dukonnector. Even in Alpha form (version 0.531 as of this writing), this launcher is very complete in giving you total control over its numerous features.

Thumbnail - Click to EnlargeMain Menu - This window is displayed after you log in. It contains the server list, which can be updated by using the corresponding button below. The launcher acquires the list from the master server, which in turn allows users to advertise their game rooms. Information on a server is displayed when you click the room name.

Thumbnail - Click to EnlargeConnection Settings - You better set this up correctly or you can't play online. The program should automatically detect most of the stuff, but you'd better double check to make sure you have the correct ports open if you use a router or firewall. The Stun Mode (NAT-Free) option should be checked if you're having connection troubles.

Thumbnail - Click to EnlargeRoom - Check out how the sophisticated Join menu is! You can check the host's latency with the Ping Host button, and use the Perform Check button to make sure you're using the same game file versions as everyone else.

Thumbnail - Click to EnlargeServer Setup - The hosting setup menu looks cool, yes, but I had a particular reason for posting it. See where it says Connection Mode? The Peer 2 Peer option allows for direct and faster transfer of information between you and your clients. If you're having trouble using this mode due to firewall or router issues, try the (much) slower method of Master / Slave.

There's a lot more to talk about, but I feel I've already spent a good amount of time describing the more significant aspects of Dukonnector. Before I say goodbye, I'd like to take the liberty of pimping the Duke3D High Resolution Pack, which, of course, is fully compatible with this multiplayer launcher. See you next time!

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