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Organising LAN party (11th April in France)


In a project of opening a free-software gaming room I'm starting by organizing some LAN parties (still I'm just beginning). There's an arcade room in my town with a small top-performance PC zone aware of my projects and I'll try to create some events there.

I know Xonotic is not that much well-known and it's not tomorrow that I'll get 64 players willing to play Xonotic instead of the latest UT or other non-free games but a long evening of 6-8 people happily fragging in front of each other seems a good start.

Apart from communication (friends, local flyers, free-software newsgroups...) the big question is how to attract and welcome people not knowing the game, make them enjoy it and grow up a small community to explore the best part of the game on the long run by avoiding frustration of "not doing anything good".

Here is how I see it for the first time as I don't think there will be much regular players.
  • Ask the players before starting if they know the game and how is their skill
  • Make two groups for the first games: newbies and regular players
  • For the first hour or so the newbies group will play some special games with explanations (if there's not enough regular player they can join but don't kill anyone at sight, like they need to wait the other to fire 5 times to fire once)
  • After that the two groups are merged for free for all or mixed teams

Say the two first games will be deathmatch with NIX mutator to get familiar with the weapons and explain them (first/secondary shot, guided rockets, reverse spread for crylink, explosion for electro...), explain bunny hopping on the second game.

Then a few deathmatches with weapons always available to get to know some maps a little. After one or two games it will be time to reassign laser shortcut and try some laser jump (some may start reassigning all weapons).

After that they should be confortable enough to merge both groups. Deathmatches and team deathmatch should do the trick while there are a lot of newbies (for them to have someone to frag). Domination should also be interesting as they can do something by just being there, keyhunt might be fun.

Of course if they just want to jump in and discover by themselves why not, the goal is still to have a lot of fun with mixed player levels.

Some other tricks could be setting a start time to 10 seconds to have a small time to taunt/ask questions make some breaks to sit up, walk, have a drink, play on the arcade machines and talk.

I organised a lot of private lan parties (on Xbox) with friends by the past but it's the first time I try to make something more official in a totally different setting and much as an animator than a player, so every remark is welcome.

You have some great thoughts in there.
Which town are you planning to do that in?
Making a fast paced shooter like this tasty for newbies is always a tough task. I remember once trying to get my friends trying Nexuiz and they left after 2 minutes (to be fair, I threw them right into the action without thinking of teaching them anything but the default binds Big Grin)

Yeah where is the loaction? Tongue
Might think about Clan Arena, since you spawn with all weapons there and full health/armor!
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It will be in Lille

I just tried Clan arena (I was mislead by arena which is totally different). It might be fun indeed when team mates know a bit of each other but it's quite disturbing to have everything at start. Once dead you have to wait but rounds seems short. I played a lot of this kind of team-no-respawn on an other game and it is very pleasant once everyone is comfortable with the game and playing as a team.

Maybe for the end of the event or after one or two.

I'd check out my quakecon forum I just made.


It is getting in shape and is scheduled for friday 11th of april. The date is known, the other details need confirmation.

Not really a LAN as it can be imagined with hundred of people in a gymnasium or something like that, just 8 high end PCs for an evening in an arcade game room. I started sending pre-invitationals but everything should be set by the end of the week (with a wider anouncement).

For your curiosity it is described here (, in French). The site was made in a few minutes for the event.

I don't know about who will come and it may be a mix of casual console player to hardcore PC gamers (but not on Xonotic). I still bet on fun to make all of them play together without much frustration.

Good luck.
[Image: 21.png]
IRC (QuakeNet): #bot.xonotic | #xonotic.pickup | #xonotic | #xonotic.cup
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Movies: Mirification #1 | #2 | Mirificaption #1 | #3 | #4 | [BOT] Clan #3 | #5 | #6 | #7 | [BOT] Clan #4 | #8 | #9


It's official! Friday 11th April, 19h-23h in Lille (France). The game is installed on most PCs.

I still have to plan some games, select maps, prepare a few cases for if most players have played before coming, most are new or a big mix of both. I rediscovered Race while trying to masterize basic movements and be able to explain them (short video coming) and I think I'll add one or two.

And also fix some logistic issues like how to put my own PC to be used as a server (maybe)

Heh, I just read the news on linuxfr : Big Grin

Good luck, I hope some people will be interested in Xonotic (we lack some frenchies in this game :p ).
Unfortunately I live too far away from Lille and won't be able to join the LAN :<

Yup, I posted it on Monday.

It's not the impact I expected. It's not as popular as more generic applications but it seems to bring some visitors to Xonotic's website (maybe discovering the game). And something learnt from that: do not publish on a Monday, there was too much posts waiting and the announcement stayed on top maybe for a few minutes.

It's one week ahead!

The first 60 minutes of play are set. 8 players with bots for empty slots.

Round 0: Drain, Machinegun only, 5 minutes
Just to configure mouse sensivity, pick a player and colors and so.

Round 1: Azalea, Nix, 10 minutes
Enjoy the weapons!

Round 2: Leave'em behind, 5 minutes
Bunny hop' everyone and laser it up!

Round 3: Solarium, Nix, 10 minutes
Back to Nix and get used to bunny hopping in open space.

Round 4: Heavy Metal, Rocket launcher, Machinegun, Nex and Laser, 10 minutes
Shoot, switch, kill, repeat

Round 5: Heavy Metal, 10 minutes
Now put everything together in a regular game and simple map.

Round 6: Stormkeep, 10 minutes
Let's frag!

Next should be teamplay, with team deathmatch, domination and freeze tag but if we're less than 6 it loses all its interest. Should have a fallback.

Sorry for double posting. I thought it would have taken more time to set the second part. If there's not enough people teamplay will just be dropped.

Round 1: TMD Solarium, 10 minutes
Just to see how a team works

Round 2: TDM, Final Rage, 10 minutes
Same in tigther room

Round 3: Freeze Tag, Stormkeep, 10 minutes
Add a few objectives, better run sometime

Round 4: Domination, Final Rage, 10 minutes
Another running objective with some defense

Round 5: CTF, Dance, 10 minutes
See how a team work in CTF

Round 6: CTF, Catharsis, 10 minutes
Apply on a more complex map

Extra round: Minstagib, Kzlegypt, 5 minutes
Stop thinking

It's a bit more than 2 hours of play. There is an arcade pause in the middle. Having shown a wide range of gameplay I should be able to get feedback on which gametype is preferred, which maps, with or without bots and such. The remaining time will be more like freeplay with sets of maps like on a regular server.


It was just yesterday and as for every first time there was a good bundle of unexpected things.

We started around 40 minutes late becose of a shitty network handling in Windows causing even asymetric ping Dodgy Is was Friday, we were all free software enthousiasts so it went trolling. Well, some computers were fixed for the 3 players that came to play. One of the computers didn't load new maps from the data directory, and it was of course the server (bye bye Azalea and Heavy Metal) Undecided and to finish 100% of the players who booked didn't come Huh

The first part still went then well. Nobody ever played Xonotic before and the progress was quick. With some experience in other FPS they were decent opponents at the end of the evening. We played some online DM and they are ready for it (thanks DCC), but we completely dropped team play. They enjoyed it and I hope to see them again in LAN or on some online server. Mission accomplished Rolleyes

Some feedback on the schedule:
5 minutes to start with mouse calibration, player select and so is just enough for 3 players. Starting with Nix is convenient to explain all the weapons while jumping in.

Bunny hopping is understood quickly, laser jumping at least for high jumps but way much too complicated to handle at start for speeding up with rear shot.

Forget about weapon switching, assigning shortcuts may come much later on with more knowledge in weapons (even for the laser). They still enjoyed the game without it with auto-switch and they also liked the diversity and originality of the weapons.

And last about sound, all the computers have good headsets, which means you don't even hear your neighbour player at low volume. We ended up putting them off with maximum volume. This will be an issue to fix to have good sound quality without isolating from taunts and talks from other players.

I hope to get more players as time goes on.

Thanks for the report! Glad it went well.

Cool stuff! Smile
[Image: 21.png]
IRC (QuakeNet): #bot.xonotic | #xonotic.pickup | #xonotic | #xonotic.cup
Steam | | YouTube
Movies: Mirification #1 | #2 | Mirificaption #1 | #3 | #4 | [BOT] Clan #3 | #5 | #6 | #7 | [BOT] Clan #4 | #8 | #9


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