If you missed my last post, Bytemark have built a dedicated Team Fortress 2 multiplayer gaming rack on wheels featuring a server, 16 diskless PCs and zero copies of Windows. It’s almost as convenient as a Playstation, only it needs about 5 square metres to deploy and weighs 200 kilos. Did I say it has wheels? And it’s ready for action, so we’ll be hard at work testing it in the office the next couple of days. Here’s the rig booted up with as many monitors as I could be bothered to unbox and plug in:
i.e. the systems go from a cold start to a Team Fortress 2′s 2fort game. Unfortunately it’s a a little on the slow side to boot due to Steam needing a little ‘thinking time’ before it lets you start the game proper. But it boots unattended, and you can just sit down and play. I will probably be tweaking things right up to the last minute to get better performance, faster booting and so on, but thanks to some slog from everyone in the office it works.
And here are another couple of shots from its genesis – the wheely rack just after delivery, and Alice’s handiwork:
The rig’s debut (and possibly last curtain call – we have nowhere to put the bloody thing afterwards) will be at LUGRadio Live in Wolverhampton this weekend, 18th-19th July, which Bytemark are sponsoring. Meet Alex, Nick and Matthew, talk about hosting, then set them on fire and shoot them in the head!
We will be running a rolling game throughout the day where anyone can just sit down and play. We’ll also be running 2 x 1 hour prize tournaments scheduled on both days where you can compete for fabulous (probably quite beer-centred) prizes for the winning teams. So if you’re coming to LUGRadio and fancy fragging for prizes, you could really help me out by emailing matthew [at] bytemark.co.uk. Let me know your name and email address in advance, as well as which days you’ll be there. Even better, if you have up to 7 friends and want to compete as a team, let me know their details too and I’ll try to get it scheduled in advance. Of course I’ll be taking registrations on the day but if I get a lot of advance interest, there might not be so many places left for the tournament.
If you already have Team Fortress 2 and laptop, you can also bring it along, plug in and join the fray (sorry no space for full size desktop PCs – one oversized rig is enough!). We’ll have 16 PCs but 24 game slots, so it would be awesome to have a full house.
More pictures tomorrow once we’ve done some, ahem, testing in the office.