Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Instructions for a Need for Speed LAN

These are my instructions for getting The Need for Speed working on a LAN. I'm using Windows 7, but since DosBox is cross-platform, the instructions should be similar for other OSes.

Setting up the game

First of all, download the game. Also download and install DosBox.

The game comes as a .zip file. Unzip the files, and place them in a directory such as C:\dosbox\nfs (and not C:\dosbox\nfs\Need for Speed, The). Old programs can be finnicky about spaces in filepaths, so make sure the path you choose has no spaces. I'm not sure if this particular game does have a problem with it, but it's not worth the trouble.

Now, open DosBox Options (this can be accessed from the Start Menu). This will open the dosbox.conf file in your default text editor.

Find the section called [serial]. You should see a line like this:

On the host machine, change that line to this:
And on the client machine, change it to this:
serial1=nullmodem server:[ip address] where [ip address] is the IP of the host computer. [To find  your IP address in Windows, Run cmd and type ipconfig /all ]
So, for example, for my home network, my client machine has this:
serial1=nullmodem server:
Alternatively, after starting DosBox on the client machine, you can enter the command serial1 nullmodem server:[ip address], if you don't want it to attempt a connection every time.

Now, on each computer's dosbox.conf, go to the end of the file, to the label [autoexec]. Here you can enter commands that will be run automatically every time you open DosBox. Add these lines:
mount c c:\dosbox
That assumes you used c:\dosbox as your games directory. If you used something else, put it there instead.

Save the .conf file and close it.

Now run DosBox on the host machine. In the background window, you should see a message like this:
Serial1: Nullmodem server waiting for connection on port 23...

Running the game

At the DosBox prompt, type cd nfs. This changes to the nfs folder, where the game is located. To run the game, type NFSSB.BAT. If this gives you trouble, you can run TNFS.EXE instead, which will start the game without sound.

In the game, click on the Options menu. Then go to "Modem Setup." Yup, that's right--modem. For you kids out there, a modem was how computers were connected back in the olden days. You could connect to the Internet using your telephone line. Oh, and a telephone is the thing we had before cell phones.

Bad jokes aside, go to the "Connection" parameter and change it to "Direct Link." Now on the client computer, click on "Dial," and you should see a message that says "Attempting to Connect." Then on the host machine, click "Answer," and you should see a success message on both machines. Go back to the main menu, and start your race! Note: Both players have to click "Drive." You'll get a message about "Synchronizing," which waits for both players to do the same thing.

So that wasn't too bad, was it? Though it is a lot more work than is required for most other LAN games. If you have trouble with it, leave a comment, and I will try to help you out the best I can (although I'm by no means an expert on this).

Happy racing!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the tip. This is my favorite game as a kid.