Author Topic: Guide: Netplay and You  (Read 7165 times)

Offline browndj3

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Guide: Netplay and You
« on: 02/May/2014 06:14:52 AM »
Apologies for this part of the guide taking longer than expected.  It's finals week, and I've been helping my fiancee study while I try to study as well.

Alright, so the three major parts of this guide are going to focus on the use of ZSNES 1.42 (the most recent version of ZSNES that supports netplay), the use of programs such as Hamachi and Tunngle, and how to do basic port forwarding (or if nothing else where to get more detailed information regarding port forwarding.)

Through my searches I've only been able to find one other SNES emulator that supports netplay, which would be SNES9x.  However, ZSNES is just a little bit more stable, even with its age.  Luckily, even though the ZSNES hasn't been updated since 2007, the site is still up and running, and hosts the previous versions, including the one needed in this guide.

There's nothing that will damage your system, but it'll make things easier.

Note:  This guide assumes that you're going to be playing with someone over the internet, and not someone else connected to your router at home.  I'll make an additional guide for that at a later date, although the steps are more or less the same, just a couple tweaks.

Also, if you already have ZSNES 1.42 and have it already setup to play games with your controller or what not, go ahead and skip down to step 8.

1.  Download ZSNES 1.42 from this link

2.  Extract the files to a place you'll easily find it.  I normally just put them in a ZSNES folder right off the main drive, so something like C:\ZSNES.

3.  Place whatever game roms you have that you want to play where you can easily find it.  I'll say that the ZSNES file system isn't the easiest, since it was meant for older DOS systems, so it's usually easier to just put them in a ROMS folder within the ZSNES folder, e.g. C:\ZSNES\ROMS

4.  Run zsnesw.exe, or whatever the equivelent is for the DOS or Linux versions.  (I'm working from the Windows version myself. 

5.  Set up your controller under Config -> Input #1, and get it the way you like it.  After that, just set up your various visual settings as well, under Config -> Video.

6. Confirm that you can find your games by going to Game -> Load.  You should be able to find your ROMS folder on the right hand side.  If not, you might have to do a little digging. 

7.  Run the game, confirm it works, and then close ZSNES and reopen it. 

8.  Go to Netplay.  Here's where I have to split things up for a moment.  One player will have to be the host of the game server and the other will be the guest.  (Note:  Being the host does not mean that you have to be player 1.  It just means that the game will rely more heavily on your internet.)


a.  Take note of the IP address it gives you.  Note, if you're behind a router, this will give you the incorrect IP address.  You'll need to go to google and just type in "what is my ip."  Or just go to any site that you know will tell you your IP address.  This is what you will be telling your friend to type in here in a moment.  Also take note of what port is being listed. 

b.  Make sure that "Use UDP instead of TCP" is unchecked.  You can try it checked if you want, but unless you're on a LAN connection or are using a program like Tunngle or Hamachi, it's more than likely it won't work. 

c.  Go ahead and press "Start as server."  It should say waiting for client.

Guest/Client/Other Player:

a.  After the host has done all of the steps above, you'll need to get the correct IP address from them and put it into the space provided.  Make sure that the port number listed is also the same.

b.  Make sure that "Use UDP instead of TCP" is unchecked.

c.  Go ahead and click "Connect to Server."

Note:  If this does not work, than it's likely that the host will have to forward that specific port on his router in order for it to work.  There are plenty of guides for that already on the internet, and with how many different routers, it's best to just google "how to port forward" followed by your brand of router, and that should set you straight.  If there are any questions on that, or if people still want me to do a guide on port forwarding, I'll give it my best shot.

9.  You should now be in a chat window.  The only thing left now is to select who is player one and player two (as noted by the check mark and x on the bottom of the window) and loading up the desired game. 

 a.  If the game doesn't load up when the host attempts to load the game, have the guest/client try to load it.  I'm not sure why that works sometimes, maybe it's just a fluke.

10.  Enjoy living the glory days of gaming!  Spending time with friends on the couch or the floor, fighting tooth and nail against the Foot Clan in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, or showing off some skills in Street Fighter II!

Now, you may notice that since you're using TCP, there might be some game jitter, and a little lag and hang-ups every now and then.  That can be reduced by using  programs such as Hamachi or Tunngle and using UDP.  Keep in mind I didn't say it would eliminate them entirely, and if have a high ping between the person you're playing with, you're going to have problems with latency no matter what you do, but this will help.  I'll go into another guide for the use of Tunngle here when I get time. 

I'll also be looking into netplay for Genesis games.  I do know, at least from when I was looking last time, that there is not a stable GameBoy netplay as of yet.  From when I was reading about it before, GameBoy games are harder to emulate for netplay because they're showing and processing two different things, and trying to keep both of those synched.  This is opposed to a regular console and emulator, which is just trying to synch up instances between itself.  I'm not explaining it right, but it mainly boils down to you would have to have two GameBoy emulators open in order for the netplay to work.  I'll keep looking into all of the different netplays that are around, and I'll try to keep everyone here posted!

NOTE:  Your fellow player must have the same rom as you.  Now whether that means that they can have the same game copied from their own cart and use that rom or whether or not you would have to send them a copy of your rom for the sole purpose of playing multiplayer, I'm not sure.  This is something I'll be doing extensive testing on when I receive my unit.  I'm not sure if the laws protecting the burning of "LAN party discs" (the practice of getting a group of friends together and burning them their own copies of the game that could only be used for that specific LAN party) also covers two people trying to run an SNES emulation through netplay. 

To make that clearer, I don't support or condone piracy of any kind.  If you can't get the games to work from your individual dumps, I can't guarentee that you'll be legally covered if you send a copy of your rom to your buddy, even if they just play it that one time with you.  DO SO AT YOUR OWN LEGAL RISK.  Each country has their own laws, so I'm just more just covering my butt with this disclaimer.