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  1. Member
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    Feb 2004
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    Ill explain as the heading is not that clear but heres the deal.

    The game: Civilization 4. Some basic 3d graphics added to a game that used to be about the gameplay has seen it not run on a huge range of laptops that dont have the right videocard, including mine and my mates, so we cant play on a LAN.

    The dream: I have a decent desktop, dual core (pentium D, not core2duo) 3ghz, 2gb ram, 256mb direct x 9 videocard with 2 video outputs. We want to know if its possible to run the game in 2 instances on my desktop setting a processor core to each instance, using a second monitor send each instance to different monitor and somehow play against each other but with 1 PC doing all the work.

    The specs: This is what made me think 1 PC could do it.
    1.2 GHz Intel Pentium 4 1.8 recomended.....well 3ghz divided by 2 gives each instance about 1.5ghz - exceeds min requirement.

    512 MB RAM: 2gb, easily got the ram covered.

    128 MB Video Card w/ DirectX 8 support (pixel & vertex shaders): got 256 MB so each could have 128mb.

    The problem: I realise things most likely dont work simply by dividing my specs in 2 and sharing the power. But we really want to play the newer version of the game and it was so simple when we could play on laptops as they are easy to transport and its such a long game that it is played in multiple sessions.

    Is there a solution? If not the way above my second prayer was that I could simply share the video card via a network so the laptop and the desktop share the videocard but everything else is seperate.

    Its only a turn based game so its not like top notch graphic power is needed.

    Someone tell me, can it be done
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  2. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Can you run two instances of the program now on a single monitor in separate windows? If so, then you can move one window to a separate monitor. I do this often for editing.
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  3. You might be able to use Microsoft Virtual Machine (or some other emulator) to run two virtual computers each running an instance of the game. Not all games will run in a VM and performance will suffer. Mouse, keyboard, and other controllers might be a problem for two simultaneous players.
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  4. Member
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    Ill have to try it edDV, its doesnt actually run in a window normally (it takes the whole screen and isnt in a re-sizeable window).

    Dont know why some programs dont run in a window and others do.
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  5. contrarian rallynavvie's Avatar
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    Everything mentioned may work to allow you to run two instances of the client on a single computer however I think your biggest hurdle is going to be in how the two instances are going to see each other for LAN play. I think it would be silly to have two NICs with a crossover between them just for the LAN ability to work on the game

    However my other concern is in the graphics. Even though the requirements of the game only require half the amount of VRAM as your card has it still needs another GPU for the second instance of the client. GPUs still don't multi-task very well and I can only imagine the chaos that could ensue when the OS is handing off very similar tasks to the GPU from each instance that perhaps it'll get them mixed up and freeze the game.

    Even if the VM works you still need a lot of overhead and resources for the VM process themselves so what would be left for the two game clients?
    FB-DIMM are the real cause of global warming
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  6. Networking isn't a problem with Microsoft Virtual PC. All the VM's can see each other and any real computers on your network (subject to normal networking restrictions).

    Graphics is an issue. The virtual machines run an emulated S3 Trio 32/64. That's a pretty ancient graphics chipset so if your games work you won't get real fancy graphics. I doubt you'll see nice reflections, anisotrophic filtering, etc.

    You'll need a Windows licence for each VM. Or a workaround...
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  7. Member edDV's Avatar
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    I missed the need for LAN play on first read.

    I'd load two separate machines with a KVM switch to main monitor/mouse but run second channel clone-mode to two more monitors for continuous monitoring.
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  8. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    Hey Rudyard- here you are again!

    I think you'll need to turn off the 'movies' and 'advisors' etc... and they are right about splitting the graphics card duties- seems to me when you get all the railroads, trade routes, etc going and say one player wanted to change their board zoom res, it'd really challenge a graphics card.

    CIV is one of my favorite games, been playing it since it was Colonization, but CIV IV really did my computer in during attempted installs. I have the dreaded 'Game of the YEar' Firaxis Edition. Their techs told me to copy all the files from the 4 CDs to a folder and then install from there- which didn't work at all well for me.

    All I'm saying is that, beyond your hardware setup issues, CivIV seems to have some very buggy install issues- (I had the video card issue on my laptop too- never did get IV installed anywhere.)
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  9. Member
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    Thankyou all for your suggestions...so I guess it may be possible to get something happening but in the end its probably gonna be less complicated to cart around a second desktop when we want to play.

    Things often work better in my head than what I can produce in reality!!!

    G'day ahhaa, yes im hanging around the computer forum today, its 3pm here though what time is it in Michigan??

    Yes Civ is one of my favs aswell, although to nitpick your post Civ1 came out before Colonization!

    I too could never get it working on my laptop (just the dreaded black screen) but when I got a desktop it installed and never had a problem.....would just be so much easier to play on the laptops!
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  10. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    Its late- 1:30 in the AM; we've been having a bit of heat wave, tho nothing like what you guys are experiencing... whew!

    I had Colonization back when I was being an Amiga loyalist 8) ; I've never followed all the ins&outs of the Civ distributors... settled for the Activision Call to Power as I'm on a rural phone line so no hope or real gameplay.

    My daydream is that ALL future Presidential candidates would have to go thru a playoff of Civ before getting on the ballot... waddayathink?
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  11. Member
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    haha works for me. I had civilisation Call to power and then call to power 2 which had to drop the civilisation name because they never had the rights to the series and basically activision just copied the concept and made their own game and marketed it as if it were part of the series.

    I didnt mind it but it got hammered in the reviews compared to sid miers civilisation series.

    Stick with your thought, I think your onto something in regards to a new way to do elections!
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  12. Member ahhaa's Avatar
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    hey Rudyard, had an idea...

    ...the VIA Epia ITX boards are tiny, cheap, and needs nothing but a stick of RAM to make 'em go. I think you could cram two of these and their mini power supplies, etc into a standard minitower with a minimum of hardware hassle.

    stranger mods have happened!
    http://www.via.com.tw/en/products/embedded/
    http://www.epiacenter.com/
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  13. Two instances of a game likely wouldnt play as it would need exclusive access to the game cd to validate its existence. In any way you WOULD be breaking the terms of your licence by trying to play two copies on one machine.. they worry about this being scaled up and virtualization being used for a game farm (1000's of copies on a single uber machine) possibly....??
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