GameRanger: new PC online gaming service

In what’s shaping up to be the bad day to make a PC announcement (thanks MS and Blizzard!), I’ve unveiled my new online gaming service for the PC, GameRanger.

GameRanger’s prime motivation is to make it easier to play your friends online. You almost get the feeling that other services are trying to make that more difficult. You have to shake your head and wonder at some of the decisions made sometimes.

I know there’s a lot of anti-GameSpy sentiment on Qt3 for the mediocre job they do with multiplayer, especially with connection problems (routers, firewalls, etc) for RTS games. It’s no surprise that people find the online experience painful on PCs.

Playing online just shouldn’t be this hard.

This is my attempt to help lift the d0me from PC gaming. I really believe GameRanger will make a difference.

It already has full lobby support for over 500 games and demos, so you should see a lot of your favourites, past and present.

Please check it out:

I’m Scott Kevill, and Tom approves this message. :)

I was a little confused as to what its purpose was at first. It initially looked like some kind of game subscription service a la Gametap and it wasn’t until I poked around a bit more that I realized it was a service for the games you already own instead.

Yeah, no one has launched a new player matching service for years. It’s not what most people are expecting.

In sumation: GameRanger is free, supports tons of games new and old, and has no ugly skins or marketing crap attached to clog it up.

Plus: it actually works! Not like some other services that get installed when you install a new PC game…

Nice. I’ve been waiting for something like this since All-Seeing Eye went to shit.

Any intention of supporting the Battlefield or UT series games?

Knowing Scott, he’s adding all of those games right now. He tends to add games so fast that when I ask “does this game work,” there’s a long pause, then a “Now it does.”

Now, I know this might be a bit problematic as Blizzard has made this issue a problem in the past, even though this is a Sierra product and Blizzard has never given a spit of a care or support for it (and it doesn’t even use so their reason for cd key code isn’t valid case here)…

Could you please add in support for Diablo: Hellfire?
I’ll probably the only one even interested in playing it, but it cost me nothing to ask. :)

Holy crap!
Imperialsm! I’ve wanted to play that game M-Player for a looong time.

How does this differ from Xfire?

Hey - feature suggestion.

One feature that I know would actually make me use this service more than anything else is an “I’d like to play” feature, where I could check the games that I am looking to play, and automatically find those who are online and want to play similar games, without actually having to host, and hope that someone has the installing ready to join.

This is especially true for games that don’t have active populations (and thus, games that I might actually use a third party service to play), like, say, Mater of Orion, Imperialsm, RRTycoon, or Majesty)

Also, any chance for integrating the friends list with jabber or some such?

Thanks for the feedback, guys! I may be a little slow to reply, as I’m still sending out announcements.

Yes, I intend to have it support as many games as possible. A lot of the initial focus has been on strategy games, as they are the ones that tend to have more networking problems, and are more important for knowing the people you’re playing with.

Blizzard is very protective of their games, so I don’t know what the chances of this are.

Xfire does a lot of great things, but not a lot of them actually help you play online and set up games. Last I checked, Xfire only had lobby support for around 25 games. Even the number that supported one-click join was fairly small. In contrast, GameRanger has full lobby support for over 500 games.

The GameRanger press release explains a little more about what makes GameRanger different.

I totally agree. There’s a lot more that can be done to help smaller game communities.

Also, any chance for integrating the friends list with jabber or some such?

No plans for that at this stage. It does have a feature that lets you invite people from MSN Messenger if that’s any consolation. :)

OK, so, who’s up for some Dungeon Keeper 2 this weekend?

Wow, nice Worms support on this thing. That is a huge list of games to play too. I’m going to check this out 4 realz.

You know, if you could get some Hellgate: London support going, the game might not die once the servers shut down. I don’t think that’s going to happen though.

It’s a matchmaking/server list service for games that don’t have their own, not a game server replacement, so it would need Hellgate to have the generic host-your-own LAN/Internet game ability already. (And we all know how well that went over already.)

Oh snap an excuse to reinstall Outlaws and AoE 2.

AoE2 sure is popular on GameRanger. Seems like the most commonly played game after Ghost Recon.

Two nights ago, someone was trying to play Carmageddon3 TDR2000, and I installed it. I’d forgotten how badly SCI fucked that game up. Number 2 was sooooooo much better.

No Star General. Probably for the best because that games soundtrack was awful.

I think that the only thing keeping him from adding certain games is that he doesn’t own a copy.

I tried to use this last night with a freind and I was continually disconnected from the lobby with a message stating that “Multiple logins are not allowed” I only have one account and one username “Taranis” Is this a bug or do I need to do something in the settings to get it working?


So I want to keep this running in the background, but it doesn’t seem to have a tray icon. Am I missing something?

I approve of the speed of the client though, very nippy.