Tidalis:Network Play

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Introduction To Network Play

Important! You can play multiplayer in Tidalis without ever having to get into network play at all. One player simply uses the mouse, and the other uses the keyboard, and you can play absolutely every part of Tidalis in this way with just a single computer. The Network Play section is for when you have two computers that you want to use to play together.

Also Important! Before you read this section, it would probably be a good idea to read the Multiplayer Basics page, which covers all the actual multiplayer functionality (for playing on one or two computers, it's the same). This section is purely concerned with connecting multiple computers together.

With those caveats out of the way, let's move on. The basic idea here is that you have two players each with their own computer and their own copy of Tidalis, and they want to play together. These two players might be in the same room, or on different continents. It doesn't matter which. Only two computers at a time can be networked together with Tidalis, but there can be two players on each of those two computers, so you can have anywhere from two to four players actually playing together.

Tidalis

Finding Other Players

Playing With Another Player On Your Local Network

Suppose you have a specific other person you want to play with, and they are sitting in the same house/office/dorm/coffeehouse/etc as you? Here's how you would go about connecting the two of you:

  • 1. To play with another player on your local network, you will both need to start Tidalis on your computers, and then go into the Network Play section of the main menu.
  • 2. One player will be the host. They simply click the "Host Private Game - Wait For Other Player To Join" button, and then wait.
  • 3. Once the host has started the game, the other player can then connect as the client. There are two ways to do this on your local network:
    • A. The easiest way is simply to hit the "Find Game On Local Network" button. Pretty much immediately, a tone should play and the client should see the host's game in the list of found games. Click on the game, and you should connect and be ready to play!
    • B. If the above does not work for some reason, the client will probably need to type in the local IP address of the host directly. Simply hit the "Connect To Network Address" button, type in the address, and hit Connect. If you don't know the local IP address of the host, or you still aren't able to connect, please see the Network Troubleshooting section, below, for more information.

Playing Directly With Another Player Across The Internet

Suppose you have a specific other person you want to play with, but you are not in the same geographic location, or are otherwise not on the same network? Here's how you would go about connecting the two of you:

  • 1. To play with another player across the Internet, you will both need to start Tidalis on your computers, and then go into the Network Play section of the main menu.
  • 2. One player will be the host. They simply click the "Host Private Game - Wait For Other Player To Join" button, and then wait.
  • 3. Once the host has started the game, the other player can then connect as the client. There is only one way to do this across the Internet:
    • The client will need to type in the public IP address of the host directly. Simply hit the "Connect To Network Address" button, type in the address, and hit Connect. If you don't know the local IP address of the host, or you still aren't able to connect, please see the Network Troubleshooting section, below, for more information.

Finding Internet Games

Suppose you don't have anyone in particular in mind to play with, and you just want to find someone else with similar interests to yours to play with for a while? Here's how you would go about that:

  • 1. Start Tidalis on your computer, and then go into the Network Play section of the main menu.
  • 2. Click "Find Internet Games."
  • 3. Make sure your player name and handicap is what you want, and then fill out the questionnaire about your interests, skill level, etc. The answers you fill in here will not exclude any other players, but these answers will be used for sorting the list of other players to give you the most relevant matches.
  • 4. When you are ready, either:
    • A. Hit "Post and Search." This will publicly post your search data on the master server list at Arcen. You'll then see other players that match some or all of what you are looking for, and you can choose one to connect to. However, they will also see you, and someone might connect to you first.
    • B. Hit "Search Only." This will not post anything to the master server list, and no other players will be able to connect to you, but you'll see the games that other players are advertising and can connect to them. Granted, if everyone does "Search Only," no one will see anything.
  • 5. When you see a game that you like, you can try to connect, and if no one else has already connected to that same player, then you'll be able to connect and can play. Otherwise, the connection may fail and you will have to choose a different game.
    • The connection may also fail if the other player is not properly configured to host games.
    • If you're advertising your own game and no one ever seems to connect to you, then that might also be the problem for you -- that you're not properly configured for hosting. Please see the Network Troubleshooting section, below, for more info on both these cases.

About Connecting To Internet Games

It is important that you bear in mind that this is a public venue. People may post inappropriate player names or may say inappropriate things over chat, as with any public venue on the Internet. Please act responsibly, and don't give out personal information to strangers. And we really do ask that you not post offensive or inappropriate content or messages. Help us keep this game family-friendly -- keep it PG, please.

Tidalis

After You've Connected

Starting A Level

Once you're connected, you'll be sitting on the main menu with the other player. You can't see what each other are doing, but you can each move around the menus and configure the type of level you want to play. You can also type to each other via text chat (see below).

Once one of you tries to start a level via any means (Quick or custom play, adventure levels, standalone brainteasers, whatever), it will send a prompt to the other player asking them if they want to play that level. You will see the same details that they see during this time. If they accept, then you'll start playing. If they reject the request, you'll be notified of that. You can also cancel your request if you change your mind.

Either player can suggest levels to start at any time. Which player is the host, and which is the client, has no meaning once the players are connected together.

Text Chat

During network play, if you ever want to send chat messages to the other player, simply hit Enter, and it will pop up a chat box where you can send them a message. If you are actively playing the game, the game won't pause -- be careful of that! If you really need to chat, you should probably first pause the game by pressing escape.

Voice Chat

Tidalis does not directly support voice chat -- with so many incredible options out there on the PC and Mac, it really didn't seem needed. Skype, Teamspeak, Ventrillo, or the myriad other voice applications out there should work very nicely. It all depends on what you prefer, and you probably already have a favorite if you do much gaming on the Internet.

Pausing The Game

Once you start a level, if you hit the Escape key the game will pause as usual, but for both players in this case. Either player can then unpause the game. You can pause so that you can talk, so that you can suggest a different level, or just because... well, because you need to pause for a minute (incoming phone call, whatever).

Handicaps

Handicaps are explained in detail on the Multiplayer Basics page, but the basic idea is that a player with a positive handicap will have an advantage over other players. If you're playing co-op, that's very little worry, but if you're playing VS mode that's something you may not like.

When you first connect to a player with a positive handicap (or when they connect to you), you'll be alerted to the fact that they have a positive handicap, and will be given the option to continue or to disconnect from them. If you have a positive handicap, they'll be given that same message and can either continue or disconnect from you.

Once you're connected, if you later need to change your handicap, you can. However, if you increase it from what it previously was, the other player will once again be given that "continue or disconnect" prompt, and they may opt to stop playing with you. You can decrease your handicap any time you wish, and you can increase your handicap to zero or less at any time (if it was already more negative) without it prompting the other player.

Disconnecting From The Other Player

If at any time you want to stop being connected to the other player, you can simply click the little "Connected to Player X" button that is at the bottom left of the main menu. You'll be given a prompt to make sure you really want to disconnect, and then you can shut the connection down. It's as simple as that!

Tidalis

Network Troubleshooting

How Do I Find My Local IP Address?

You only need your local IP address if you are playing across a local network with someone -- not if you're playing across the Internet. If you're playing across the Internet, then skip this section and look at the section about your public IP address.

Your local IP address will always be in the format X.X.X.X, and the first X will always be either 10, 192, or 172. If your IP address doesn't start with one of those numbers, you've probably got the wrong number. How to find this number varies by your operating system.

On Windows 2000, XP, Vista, or 7

  • 1. Open up a command prompt.
    • On Windows 2000 or XP, hit Run on the Start menu, then type "cmd" without the quotes.
    • On Windows Vista or 7, just type "cmd" without the quotes into the "Search programs and files" bar in the Start menu.
  • 2. In the command prompt window, type "ipconfig" without the quotes.
  • 3. This will spit out a bunch of data. How much depends on how many network cards you have (often two, one wired, one wireless, but it may be more or fewer).
  • 4. Look for where it says "IP address" or "IPv4 Address" or similar (this varies slightly by OS). Again, you're looking for a number in the format X.X.X.X, starting with either 10, 192, or 172. There will be multiple such numbers, some labeled "DNS" or "Gateway" or similar, but ignore those.

On Mac OSX 10.4 Or Older

  • 1. Drop down the Apple menu, then hit Location, and then Network Preferences.
  • 2. In this new window, click "Network Status."
  • 3. Your IP address is shown.

On Mac OSX 10.5 Or Newer

  • 1. Drop down the Apple menu, then hit System Preferences, View, and then Network.
  • 2. In this new window, you'll see a list of all your adapters. Select "Airport" if you're connected over wireless, or "Ethernet" if you're connected via a network cable, etc.
  • 3. Your IP address is shown.

How Do I Find My Public IP Address?

The simplest way to find this is to simply go to [WhatIsMyIPAddress.com], and it will tell you.

Why Can't I Connect To Another Computer (Or Another Computer Connect To Me)?

There are a few reasons you might not be able to connect to someone, or why someone might not be able to connect to you.

Software Firewalls

Windows Firewall, Norton Security Suite, ZoneAlarm... these are but a few of the possible software firewalls you or the other player may be running. You'll want to consult the documentation for any software firewalls that you may have installed, and add an exception for Tidalis. With most of the newer software firewalls, as soon as you try to make a connection out, or try to host a game, it will pop up a prompt asking you if you want to allow that connection. Simply say yes, and you're all set, in most cases.

Tip: Sometimes you may be running multiple firewalls without even knowing it, so make sure your antivirus software suite didn't come with a software firewall that you didn't expect.

Using The Wrong IP Address

This happens more than you might expect for local and VPN games in particular. If you're trying to connect over the Internet, you can rely on what [WhatIsMyIPAddress.com] tells you, and that's pretty simple. If you're playing over a VPN or via a local network, then that is NOT going to be the correct IP Address, however. Make sure you aren't using an IP address from an incorrect network adapter or using the gateway or DNS server addresses. If you aren't sure, try a different address.

Host Is Behind A Router/Firewall Without Port Forwarding Set Up

If you're playing over the Internet, this is the number one cause of confusion and failed connections in not just Tidalis, but pretty much every Internet-connected computer and video game. If you are acting as the client, and just connecting to other players, you don't have to worry about this issue for yourself. But if you want to host, you need to make sure that your port forwarding is set up properly.

How to configure port forwarding unfortunately varies to an extreme degree by router/firewall vendor, and there are dozens if not hundreds of possible setups. In all cases, you will need to know your local network address (see above), and then you should visit [PortForward.com] and read up there for more information on how to configure your specific hardware. If you have the instruction manual for your router, then the instructions will also be contained in there -- generally it is a super simple process once you get connected into your router's management interface. The port you are wanting to forward to your local IP is 32321.

Client and Host Using A Different UDP Port

The default network UDP port used by the game is 32321. You probably won't want to change this unless you are an advanced user and are having a conflict. If you change this, then every other player who connects to you will also have to change their port to match. You can see what your current port is, and change it if need be, using the Network Settings window under the Network Play menu.

It Was Working, But Now It Doesn't!

Usually this means that your IP address changed. Most local IP addresses are assigned via a process called DHCP, so your local IP address might change from one day to another. So if you have set up port forwarding, you might need to correct it for your changed local IP address, for instance. Most public IP addresses are changed by the internet service provider every so often (usually every few weeks or months), as well, so you may need to visit [WhatIsMyIPAddress.com] if people were trying to direct-connect to you.

It's also possible that new software that has been installed on your computer is causing a conflict. Usually this is via a change in an antivirus software suite, or the installation or a new software firewall, or similar. You'll want to find the new firewall and configure an exception for Tidalis, as noted above. It could also be that some other program is using the same port as Tidalis, but that is considerably more rare.

Is Your Question Not Answered Here?

If your question is not answered here, the next step would be to visit the Tidalis Technical Support forum, here: [1]. Another player might have had a similar problem, and you could read about their solution on the forum. Or, if no one else has had the same challenge, you can register and ask your own question.

Tidalis