How-to Play LAN Multiplayer Games With One PC!
Lately I've been experimenting with multiseat configurations for Windows. If you have a dual monitor setup, after installing multiseat software you can just hook up another set of USB keyboard/mouse inputs and have another terminal ready to go to browse the internet, play games, etc. I did this, and with my budget gaming PC (Phenom II X2 3.2 GHz, GTX 460, 4GB ram) I've played LAN matches of Age of Empires 2, Portal 2 co-op, Borderlands, and CS 1.6/Source, all with smooth frame rates.
I thought this was pretty cool, and it doesn't seem to have been mentioned on Reddit, so I've compiled a list of multiseat software to share:
Support for Win XP, Win 7, 3D acceleration
SoftXpand (Requires service pack 1)
Support for Win XP only, 3D acceleration
Friendly Seats (Win 7 software in development)
Also, there's BeTwin which supports XP/7, but it does not seem to support 3D acceleration.
I'm running SoftXpand for the time being, as I'm running Win 7, and I had several graphical issues with ASTER when running games: the screens would flicker when using anti-aliasing, and sometimes one of the screens would turn black. This may be a 64-bit specific issue with video card drivers, though.
As for any other issues, some games explicitly don't allow multiple instances to be run, but running instances in sandboxes with Sandboxie will get around that. You can also use Process Explorer to get multiple instances running, read part 3 of this tutorial (Thanks, zuperxtreme). I even ran Steam with Sandboxie and I was able to LAN some Steam games. Not all games work with this setup though, a few will have issues with networking because multiple instances use the same ports (simple fix?).
Maybe others won't find this as useful as I do, but it is pretty nice to have Reddit and a full-screen game open at the same time (we're all nerds here, right?)
*edit: If you buy a cheap USB sound cards, you can have multiple sets of speakers, one for each workstation. I've personally tested this with ASTER and SoftXpand, but all listed software claims this ability.
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