YANG - Yet Another Netplay Guider - NEWS

 
   
   
22/04/2012
  YANG v0.91 has been released, with the following updates:
   
 
  o While not technically an update to YANG itself, the banlist has currently been cleared. It seems like a good opportunity, considering the following update.
   
 
  o A global banlist is now enforced on the YANG Network and all advertised rooms. If one doesn't want a ban to be in affect, following the YANG Network Terms is a good advise. Alternatively, private unadvertised rooms can do the job.
   
 
  o Fix for file transfers in rooms with a mix of Internet and LAN players.
   
 
  o A couple of more security improvements.
   
   
23/04/2011
  YANG v0.90 has been released, with the following updates:

Finally here we are: A long awaited YANG release that Turrican has worked on for the whole year on his weekends when he has had time available to work on this new YANG release.

 
     
  Single-Player and Multiplayer dialogs  
     
 
  o Rewritten both the Single-Player and Multiplayer dialogs : now, there will be a tab for each of the main games supported by YANG (a tab will only appear if you have selected at least one source port for this main game), allowing to only display the relevant options for each of the main games, and also, now each of the settings/options will be saved separately between each of the main games.
 
     
 
  o Settings common between the Single-Player and Multiplayer dialogs are shared, except for the "Game type" setting for the "Blood" and "Duke Nukem 3D" games, since that in the Single-Player dialog, there is an additional "Single Player" gametype, and also except for the "Skill" setting for the "Duke Nukem 3D" and "Shadow Warrior" games, so that there's "No monsters" by default for multiplayer games.
 
     
     
  Support for custom DOS games  
     
 
  o Added support for any DOS game (by using DOSBox) : you can create custom DOS game profiles, in the new "Custom DOS games" tab, located in the menu "Settings -> Source ports" dialog.
 
     
 
  o The "Single-player mode game only" option is useful for the custom DOS game profile(s) you have created for your DOS games which don't have any multiplayer mode, so that these profile(s) won't appear in the Multiplayer dialog.
 
     
 
  o If your custom DOS game uses a different executable for multiplayer mode, like "Redneck Rampage" and "Rise Of The Triad" for example, you can deselect the "Use same executable for multiplayer mode" option, and then specify the multiplayer executable to use, in addition to the single-player executable.
 
     
 
  o If you need to use a CD-ROM for your custom DOS game, you can either specify a CD-ROM location (the drive letter on Windows or the mount point on Linux and Mac) or a CD-ROM image file.
 
     
 
  o If your custom DOS game supports in-game/lobby joining for its multiplayer mode, like "Death Rally" and "Command & Conquer" for example, you can select the "Supports in-game joining multiplayer mode" option, so that when hosting a gameroom for such custom DOS games, if the YANG's "In game" gameroom status is set to "yes" (when the host has launched the game alone or with other player(s)), then players joining these gamerooms will be asked for automatically launching the game (this was already implemented long ago in YANG for the "Descent" and "Descent 2" games, and also later for the "EDuke32" source port in "Server/Client" mode).
 
     
 
  o If your custom DOS game requires NetBIOS for its multiplayer mode, like the "Syndicate : American Revolt" expansion and "Magic Carpet" for example, then you can select this option and specify the "NETBIOS.EXE" file location.
 
     
 
  o You can also specify command line arguments/options to use in single-player mode, in multiplayer mode just for the host, and in multiplayer mode for every players in the gameroom.
 
     
 
  o In both the Single-Player and Multiplayer dialogs, if you have at least one custom DOS game profile, a "Custom DOS game" tab will appear, allowing you to select one of your custom DOS game profile(s) to use, and you can also review your profile's settings.
 
     
 
  o In the Multiplayer dialog, an additional feature allows playing in Null-Modem mode, useful for DOS games which don't support LAN (network) mode, like "The Need For Speed" and the DOS version of "The Need For Speed : Special Edition" for example.
 
     
 
  o The current DOSBox's implementation of the Null-Modem feature is using the TCP protocol rather than the UDP protocol, so don't forget to also forward a TCP port with the same number than the usual UDP game port number.
 
     
 
  o Remember that the Null-Modem concept has always been limited to 2 players, and that you must also make sure the COM1 port number is set in these DOS games.
 
     
 
  o Note that the current DOSBox's implementation of the Null-Modem feature seems to have a rather high latency (even when used on a real LAN), so it's recommended to only use it for DOS games which don't support LAN (network) mode.
 
     
 
  o You can also adjust the "rxdelay" option for your Null-Modem games, if you get serial overrun messages in the DOSBox status window : the current DOSBox's default value is 20.
 
     
 
  o You can also make use of the "Supports in-game joining multiplayer mode" option for your Null-Modem games, where the host would then launch the game alone, and then choose the "Answer" option in the game's Null-Modem menu, and then wait for a player to join the gameroom and choose the "Call" option in the game's Null-Modem menu.
 
     
 
  o When joining a gameroom set for a custom DOS game, you will be asked to select one of your configured custom DOS game profile(s) to use : be sure to select your DOS game matching and compatible with the one the host is using.
 
     
     
  Rewritten the whole TC/MOD concept  
     
 
  o Now, you can create TC/MOD profiles in the new menu "Settings -> TCs and MODs" dialog.
 
     
 
  o You can build a list of all the TC/MOD files to use with each of your TC/MOD profiles.
 
     
 
  o For the "Duke Nukem 3D" game's TC/MOD profiles, you can specify a main CON file to use, only needed if it has a different filename than "GAME.CON" ("/x" command line argument/option).
 
     
 
  o For the "Duke Nukem 3D" game's TC/MOD profiles, you can specify a main DEF file to use instead of the default "DUKE3D.DEF" filename, and for the "Shadow Warrior" game's TC/MOD profiles, you can specify a main DEF file to use instead of the default "SW.DEF" filename ("/h" command line argument/option).
 
     
 
  o If the main CON and/or DEF file is external, you can select it in your TC/MOD files list and click on the "Set CON file"/"Set DEF file" buttons, to quickly enter the filenames (these buttons are enabled with the checkboxes).
 
     
 
  o Remember that with the modern Jonof based source ports (JFDuke3D, EDuke32, Duke3dw, JFShadowWarrior and SWP), the main CON and DEF files can be inside a GRP/ZIP group file, in which case you'll have to manually enter the filenames.
 
     
 
  o You can specify an URL (can directly point to a filename) which will be useful when hosting multiplayer games, to indicate/provide the joining players, the web site/page where they can download the TC/MOD or directly an archive file containing the required/compatible TC/MOD files.
 
     
 
  o In both the Single-Player and Multiplayer dialogs, if you have at least one TC/MOD profile, the new TC/MOD selector will be enabled, allowing you to choose one of your TC/MOD profiles to use.
 
     
 
  o When joining a gameroom using a TC/MOD profile, you will be asked to select one of your configured TC/MOD profile(s) to use : be sure to select your TC/MOD matching and compatible with the one the host is using.
 
     
 
  o To help when selecting a configured TC/MOD profile to use when joining a gameroom using a TC/MOD profile, 2 vertical lists containing the TC/MOD files on the host side and on your side are displayed side-by-side, so that you can easily compare : the filenames displayed in red color on the host list are the files you are missing on your side, and the filenames displayed in blue color on your list are the 'extra files' you have, not present on the host side (these 'extra files' are displayed in blue, because they are less likely to cause problems than the missing files).
 
     
 
  o To also help with the CON and DEF files, you are also able to compare the chosen one between the host side and your side, and if the filename is different, then it's written in red color on both sides.
 
     
 
  o If the host has specified a download URL for his selected TC/MOD profile, you can simply click on the indicated host's TC/MOD name, being a hyper-link pointing to the URL he has set, in this case, and then your default web browser will automatically open to the specified web site or start downloading the file (if the URL is directly pointing to a file).
 
     
 
  o If you don't trust clicking on a host's TC/MOD name being a hyper-link pointing to the URL he has set, you can right-click on it instead, to pop up a context menu, and then rather use the "Copy URL" option and then paste it somewhere to get an idea of the link's content.
 
     
 
  o When starting/launching a game with a TC/MOD being selected, any GRP/ZIP group file found in your TC/MOD files list is automatically added to the command line with the "/g" argument/option.
 
     
 
  o Also when starting/launching a game with a TC/MOD being selected, with source ports which don't support 'search paths' ("/j" command line argument/option), every files from a profile's TC/MOD files list are temporarily copied (Windows) or symlinked (Linux and Mac) into the game source port executable's directory, just before actually running the game, and when exiting the game, these temporary copy/symlink are deleted : this is the same concept than for user maps.
 
     
 
  o And as for the source ports which support 'search paths' ("/j" command line argument/option), nothing is copied/symlinked of course, and all of the different directories containing the files from a profile's TC/MOD files list, are added only once to the source port's file path stack : of course, that means you would only need to add at least one file from each of the different directories containing one TC/MOD, in this case, but please, make sure to keep your profile's TC/MOD files list in sync with the directories' full content of the needed TC/MOD files, especially when hosting gamerooms, so that the joining players can clearly see if they are missing some files or not.
 
     
     
  Miscellaneous stuff  
     
 
  o Now, the new TC/MOD profiles feature is for the "Duke Nukem 3D" and "Shadow Warrior" games only, but it is planned to also add it for the "Blood" game in the future : however, you are now able to also play the "Cryptic Passage" add-on for the "Blood" game.
 
     
 
  o This new "Cryptic Passage" add-on support for the "Blood" game, works with the original edition of the "Cryptic Passage" add-on installed on the "Registered" and "Plasma Pak" editions of "Blood", but also with the "Cryptic Passage" add-on bundled with the "One Unit Whole Blood" edition too : the new "Use the Cryptic Passage add-on" option in both the Single-Player and Multiplayer dialogs will be enabled/available if the "CRYPTIC.EXE" executable file is found in your "Blood" directory.
 
     
 
  o When the new "Use the Cryptic Passage add-on" option is selected, the built-in "Original map" list is updated/replaced with the "Cryptic Passage" add-on's map names.
 
     
 
  o So far, upon launching a game requiring a MAP or MOD file, such a file would be prepared in the relevant game dir so it can be found. It wouldn't be the case if a file with the same name already existed, though. Starting with v0.90, such existing files are temporarily moved to a new directory.
 
     
 
  o The legacy "Master/Slave" connection type has been added back for the "EDuke32" source port : now, there's a new "Connection type" selector instead of the old checkbox, and it's enabled only for the "EDuke32" and "Duke3dw" source ports, since these are the only two "Duke Nukem 3D" source ports supporting more than one connection type, and also, their connection type setting is stored separately, especially since "EDuke32" has got the additional "Server/Client" connection type.
 
     
 
  o Updated support for the lastest "D1X-Rebirth" and "D2X-Rebirth" source ports, and also now they will use the YANG game port number (UDP), instead of their own default UDP port number 42424 : you can set the YANG game port number to 42424 if you prefer.
 
     
     
  Packet mode selector added for Blood  
     
  Well, if it's true that there's no network performance problem at 2 players, when playing with the Build Engine games on Internet, using DOSBox, it's however not the case anymore at 3 or more players, which usually results in much more latency.  
     
  The main reason is that these games are designed in a way where every players are sending and receiving packets directly from and to every other players, whereas DOSBox is designed to work in Server/Client mode, meaning that there's no direct link between the 'client players'.  
     
  As a result, when playing with the Build Engine games on Internet at 3 or more players, using DOSBox, since there's no direct link between the 'client players', this means that the packets sent and received between the 'client players' will have to take a longer path, going through the 'server player', which results in a higher network latency between these 'client players', leading to a higher network latency for every players then, since the other direct links between the 'server player' and the 'client players' which could be faster, will have to 'wait' to keep the game in sync.  
     
  However, with the "Blood" game, there's a special feature/option that no other Build Engine game has, being the ability to choose between a 'broadcast packet mode' or a 'master/slave packet mode'.  
     
  By default in "Blood", for <5 players, the 'broadcast packet mode' is automatically used, and for >4 players, the 'master/slave packet mode' is automatically used.  
     
  So, if this 'master/slave packet mode' in "Blood" results in the packets not being sent and received between every players, but only between the 'slave players' and the 'master player', then this would be exactly what's needed for playing "Blood" on Internet, using DOSBox, with the lowest latency possible when at 3 or more players.  
     
  Unfortunatelly, the problem is that there's no way to specify which player is the 'master player' (blue color player/first slot in the fragbar), which seems to have always been automatically determined in every Build Engine games, by the computer's speed, and maybe other factors too.  
     
  And with DOSBox, it's even worse for some reason, because the 'server player' (hosting player) is _never_ the 'master player' (blue color player/first slot in the fragbar), whatever the computer you use to host the game.  
     
  Now, despite this problem, I've still decided to implement in YANG, an option to allow forcing the 'broadcast packet mode' or the 'master/slave packet mode', so that you can experiment with it : what you'll notice when in 'master/slave packet mode', is that when the 'master player' (blue color player/first slot in the fragbar) exits the game, it results in the game automatically closing on every other players' side too.  
     
  So, what I'm asking, is some help to possibly find a way to make it so that when playing "Blood" with DOSBox, we can force the 'master player' (blue color player/first slot in the fragbar) to be the one hosting the game ('server player') : if you've got a solution, you can contact the YANG team or talk about it on a "Blood" related forum, like "The Postmortem" @ www.the-postmortem.com.  
     
     
 

 

 

  • 09/04/2010
    Bugfix release: YANG v0.83.


    • Following the new Server/Client EDuke32 support added in the previous YANG release, the command line syntax has been fixed for the UDP port : EDuke32 servers will now use the UDP port configured in YANG, and the clients will be able to connect properly to them.°

    • Finally fixed a long standing bug, where when inside a gameroom, the host and clients ping refreshing operations would stop working, after a client would leave the gameroom exactly while being pinged by the host.

    • Also fixed a mistake about the user map file's copy/symlink and delete operations for DOS Descent 2, D1X-Rebirth and D2X-Rebirth only, where mission files would not be copied or would even be deleted from the "missions" subdirectory : if you had some bad experiences about your mission files being deleted, and are scared of it, don't worry because it won't happen anymore ... sorry for any inconvenience.

    Now, there's something else which has never been documented at all, about the user maps storage concept in YANG, and as a result, it seems that many players don't understand it :

    The goal of this concept is to avoid having duplicated user map files, stored into each of your game source port directories for a same main game, but rather having only one unique copy in the YANG "user maps directory".
    This "user maps directory" you can configure for each of the main games in the "source ports" dialog, is the directory where are stored the user maps you download with YANG, and where YANG will look for the available user maps, in the single player dialog, the multiplayer gameroom creation dialog, or the user map upload dialog.
    Also, when a game is launched, the user map will be temporarily copied (Windows) or symlinked (Linux and Mac) from the YANG "user maps directory", into the game source port executable's directory (or the "missions" subdirectory for DOS Descent 2, D1X-Rebirth and D2X-Rebirth), just before actually running the game.
    Then, when exiting the game, this temporary copy/symlink will be deleted.

    Note that by default, the YANG "user maps directories" are located in your OS's user directory (see the "readme.txt" file for more details), and that the first time you use YANG, you are supposed to move all of your user map files, from all of your different game source port directories, into their respective YANG "user maps directory".
    If you don't do that, YANG will still ask you to download a map into the YANG "user maps directory", despite you may already have it in your game source port directory.
    However, in this case, you'll have the map into both the game source port directory and the YANG "user maps directory", and when the game is launched, YANG _won't_ copy/symlink or delete the map you already have in your game source port directory.

    In the future, for the players who are not interested in this YANG "user maps directory" concept, either because they only use one game source port, or because they don't mind keeping duplicated user maps into many different game source port directories for a same main game, it is planned to provide an option to enable/disable this feature.
    And in the meantime, you could still set the YANG "user maps directory", to point to the game source port executable's directory (or the "missions" subdirectory for DOS Descent 2, D1X-Rebirth and D2X-Rebirth), in case you only use one game source port for a same main game.

  • 24/10/2009
    Version 0.81 of YANG has been released. The following issues have been addressed:

    • Wrong icon has been used for the executable on Windows. Now it shouldn't be.

    • If the host changes settings and no MOD files are selected, there shouldn't be an unnecessary new line appearing.

    • A few changes for support of a certain official Descent 2 add-on. - Turrican

      Oh yeah...a few other things that should be mentioned. About Descent 1 and 2, the host can start a game alone, and players can join while the game is running. If a map is missing, it should be transferred to you (as a client) before you can join.
      Also, note that the details like map you see in Descent 1 and 2 rooms may have been changed by the host while being in game.


  • 19/10/2009
    Version 0.80 has been released, mostly thanks to the efforts of Turrican.


    • Improper UI used on Windows XP/Vista/7 (UI controls making it feel like Windows 2000) - lets hope it's fixed now.

    • To avoid issues with DOS games, I should mention that now, the amount of RAM for DOS games is always set to be 32MB.

    • YANG isn't just for Build games anymore. Thanks to a lot of work made by Turrican, it now supports Descent 1 and 2!
      You can run each of them using the corresponding DXX-Rebirth source port (D1X-Rebirth or D2X-Rebirth). You should also be able to run the originals using the DOSBox emulator.

    • As a result, a few changes have been done to the map file transfer mechanism.

    • Furthermore, in a few UI dialogs, what has been called "Episode Map" before is now called "Original Map". Makes more sense now.

    • When someone tries to join you a room with a too high ping, you should now see the corresponding country

      Now, just one more thing. I'm aware of the tree in the main window and the fact it's big and you may not want to see all of it. Well, I can say that future changes are planned, which may affect the way the tree is used. So a change you'd like may come later.


  • 29/09/2009
    An update to YANG is available, marking it as version 0.72.

    • Made a few changes regarding the validation of DOS games, so now the GOG.com release of Duke3D should be recognized.

    • If you're using Duke3dw, you should now be able to select a player color.

    • On the Mac, hopefully, Application Bundles (like DOSBox.app) should now be supported.

    • The directory for Blood MOD files should now be hidden, cause it isn't really used, at least for now.


  • 23/09/2009
    That was a long time, huh? Well, a month has passed, minus one day :P
    It's now the time to release YANG v0.70. Thanks to the efforts of Turrican for most of the following updates.
    The latest of the updates is maybe the most important one.

    • First, just one thing to note: If you host a room and check to record a game, it'll now be recorded on the clients' sides too.
      A claim for that is that the clients wouldn't be recorded while not being aware of that. - Turrican

    • Due to financial issues, there's now a single server list of rooms, and not two.

    • Demo playback has been fixed. For Duke Nukem 3D, it has been fixed for user maps.
      For Shadow Warrior, it has been fixed for episode maps. - Turrican

    • Made a fix for certain users who may like to have a room with Internet and LAN players, mixed.
      Apparently, with certain firewalls or routers, one can't connect to a server (join a room) with its own external IP. - Spanator

    • A few UI changes in the host and client rooms. This is also a preparation for the major addition mentioned at the end. - Turrican

    • If you play a DOS game, note that you may need to reconfigure something. There's a separation to the different versions.
      This is also related to the latest major addition. - Turrican

    • And finally, BLOOD SUPPORT! That's right, there's now support for Blood, thanks to the efforts of Turrican.
      This is, in fact, why he made certain UI changes, along with a few technical changes to DOS games support, regarding the different versions.

      So, if you have Blood and want to play some Blood match, get DOSBox and YANG and start a bloodbath!


  • 24/08/2009
    YANG v0.60 has been released.

    • A quite minor "update": Older versions were numbered 0.2 and 0.3. Now though, I number this 0.60 and not 0.6. Just to stay homogenous with other version numbers.

    • More UI fixes and updates, along with a major one mostly coded by Turrican: A tree for filtering the list of rooms by game or source port.

    • As a few have maybe noticed, Windows 9x support has been (temporarily) borked since version 0.53, when I switched to MSVC++ 2005 Express Edition, for compilation of YANG. Previously, limited support was there for quite a short period, with versions 0.47k, 0.48, 0.48a, and a second release of 0.47j. Now I'm back to using MinGW, and I can inform that two other users have got YANG to work on Windows 98 SE.

    • Some words regarding Mac OS X support. I have had initial OS X work together with someone known as Dopefish7590.
      Later, someone known as rhoenie has hosted quite a few Mac executables of YANG. Not all, nor even most. But he has still compiled and hosted.
      Now Turrican has come, also got to test YANG on OS X, and as it seems, can provide me OS X executables for now! So, you can get one.

    • For now, you can't use the dark theme on OS X. I'm not using OS X but there could be something related to aesthetics.

    • Server lists are now hosted on port number 3333, as a trial to avoid issues that a few users had, when the lists were hosted on port 8000 (yes, it's related to the port number, apparently).

    • In chat rooms, you can now enable time stamps.

    • If you use the SWP source port, a game type (like Wangbang) is now set for multi-player games.

    • For EDuke32, Duke3dw and SWP, MAP files are not copied from the configured maps dir anymore.
      Instead, the maps dir is specified as a search path for each of these source ports.
      This is also relevant to MOD files, although I may change the way MODs are handled. No promise as usual, but it may happen soo


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