when you've not been sleeping well...

Classic retro LAN party image. Note the CRT monitors...

In addition to my previous post onĀ http://zupertails.be/blog/?p=279 (which you should read if you’ve never seen or heard of a LAN party), here’s a little follow-up on the currently-played games and often-used software, in order to prepare you for the better LAN party experience.

Over the years, the LAN party scene has evolved quite a bit.
The stereotype idea that people have of a bunch of nerds gathering together, talking geek stuff, eating and sleeping behind their computer screen and constantly playing first-person-shooters is already long gone.
The appearance of a high percentage of female gamers into this LAN scene has cranked up the credibility factor and given these events more of a social background. Of course, not only the appearance of the opposite sex was the only change of direction. Social media, free games and a bigger variety and subvariety of games have also played a role in this evolution.
To give you a wild example : expect score beating competitions in games such as Peggle and Word Feud to be played. Scrabble and other board games (classic Warhammer, anyone?) also take part nowadays.

In any way, this little guide will prepare you computer-wise for a fun LAN.

Trackmania Nations screenshot

Trackmania nations, a worldwide played free racing game

Games

The list below is not and never will be complete. You play whatever game you want at a LAN party. Just try to tune in with your friends and co-gamers to see what they’ll be playing mostly, so you can have optimal fun.
I’ll split up the list in free/paying games so you can decide for yourself.
Also : if you don’t have a Steam account, go and create one. There’s tons of free games on Steam nowadays !

FREE :

  • The Trackmania series (racing – multiplayer)
  • War Thunder (flying – multiplayer)
  • JFK Reloaded (banned here and there in the States for obvious reasons – also a score attack game)
  • Team Fortress 2 (first free Steam game – super popular first person shooter)
  • Stepmania (musical madness – plays best with a dance mat)
  • OpenTTD (less played, but still an awesome single/multiplayer game – free version of the original transport Tycoon Deluxe game)
  • Tetrinet (not-so-licensed-by-Nintendo multiplayer version of the classic ‘Tetris’ brick-dropping game)

PAYING :

  • EVE Online (MMORPG – space themed)
  • World of Warcraft (MMORPG – fantasy themed)
  • Super Hexagon (psychedelic singlplayer score attack game)
  • Surgeon Simulator (just plain fun – single player)
  • FTL (space ship simulator with a high-score system – single player)
  • Minecraft (incredibly fun sandbox game that actually has an ending – single/multiplayer)
  • Left4Dead 2 (scary zombie first-person-shooter. Absolutely worth every penny – use headphones and play in the dark)
  • Sins of a Solar Empire (old but sturdy real-time-strategy game – single/multiplayer)
  • Borderlands 2 (mature themed first-person-shooter-RPG – 4player co-op)
  • And don’t even get me started on the classics such as the Battlefield, Counter Strike, Unreal Tournament and Command and Conquer series.

Left4Dead 2, zombie survival at its best. Available through Steam or as a boxed game.

Other software

  • DC++ (software that makes downloading easy – I can’t stress enough that it’s illegal to share paying software, and other copyrighted stuff. DC++ is basically used to easily share your shareable data through means of a searchable index by connecting to a local server. If you plan to use this software, please hash all your shares beforehand as this takes a long time to complete. For more info on hashing, check the DC++ software manual)
  • A good antivirus solution for your computer (some downloads can contain viruses)

Other than that : come to a LAN party with the right attitude ! You’re here to have fun and so is everyone else. There’s nothing worse than a whiner ruining the atmosphere for all the other players.
Oh, and don’t bring a Mac… There’s a special place in hell for people who bring a Mac to a LAN party…

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