Posted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:16 pm Post subject: Useful stuff you can do with GameCreate
There are a few features of GameCreate that I want to highlight which helps managing a large number of servers easier for GSPs and those running more than one server of the same type.
Shared/Global configuration files between all servers
One of the uses for this is to have a global banlist, shared across all of your servers.
Say you have 20 odd Counter-Strike Servers, you surely do not want to be updating a ban list on 20 servers when a trouble maker arrives manually.
You can update the ban file via GameCreate and it will be passed down to every single Counter-Strike server running under your domain (if you have so chosen).
This means you have one file to maintain, not twenty.
You can even have GameCreate retrieve the contents remotely from another website (or you can upload the contents via an automated means).
This means you can create even web based ban systems that feed GameCreate your list of banned IDs to be filtered through your servers.
Maintaining and standardizing configuration settings
Define a 'template' of common settings you employ across a selected range of servers (for example, an 'RCON Password' setting, which is placed on all servers to allow you to easily change the administration password on all servers at once), ladder settings, 'Low ping only' server settings, etc. Basically, you can create and maintain a shared group of settings, and apply these templates to individual servers.
Later on, changing the configuration of the template globally updates all servers using that templates settings as well.
Define game properties that suit you
GameCreate comes shipped with some standard stock configuration choices for servers of each game (such as the starting map, the administration password, and how long the mission runs for).
Thats just to get you up and running.
You can later on add as many options to help configure your servers as necessary, as to not be restricted to what we have previously defined.
For example, you may want to be able to easily define the round time for each booking via the server's configuration tab.
Instead of editing each servers configuration file and manually changing the value in each file for every server, you can create a new game property.
In the Counter-Strike configuration file we would have:
And then we define a variable with a variable name of 'roundtime', give it a description and friendly name (such as 'Round Time') and choose its rendering time (such as a checkbox, dropdown box, textbox or textarea).
In this case, a dropdown box of pre-defined options or textbox would be most appropriate.
Now entering a value for this variable in a server's configuration tab will place your desired setting in the configuration file - without having to manually edit the file each time you want a new value.
By far one of the best of many features, temporary servers allows you to give your community the opportunity to create their own servers that run on your hardware, without having to be awake at 2am to give them a server they suddenly want to be playing a match on - Let GameCreate take care of it for you.
You simply select which hosts (if any) are to handle temporary bookings for a given game, and then your all set. It takes only a few mouse clicks to enable temporary bookings for games - too easy.
Users may then visit the bookings page, select a game, starting time and duration, settings (such as admin password, starting map, etc, - what is available to you on the configuration tab of permanent servers) - without having to edit a configuration file.
GameCreate takes care of the host allocation, port, starting the server on the designated time (whenever that may be!) and closing the server down when it expires.
When you run several servers of any given game, its usually across more than one physical host.
When a game update is released (or your wanting to roll out a map pack), you want to make sure each host is in sync with one another software wise.
Remote Desktoping (or SSH'ing) into each host, shutting down your servers, updating the game (via a file copy or update tool that the game comes with) and starting the servers back up again is usually a painful timely process.
GameCreate takes the worry out of this, though.
Say you have 20 Battlefield 2 servers running over 15 physical hosts or so - thats a lot of servers to update when a patch is released, and you kind of want to be up and running as soon as possible!
GameCreate can update each host the game is installed on quickly, shutting down the servers that use the software before the update is applied, and starting them back up once the software update is over - all with a click of a button.
Usually you have people in your community that help out with the running of the servers with in-game administration such as BF2CC for BF2 or HLSW/RCON for Counter-Strike.
They cant really make any permanent server changes however, those that need direct access to configuration files.
Now you can assign permission to any number of users to be able to see your configuration settings, optionally give them the ability to modify the settings and restart servers - all without having to have remote desktop/ssh access to the specific servers - its all managed via GameCreate.
For example, you can give a specific user the ability to read the configuration settings of all BF2 servers, and the ability to only edit a specific server (such as a tournament server or private team server).
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