Planning a LAN Party
Many people, including myself, like to host a LAN Party from time to time. These days it is even easier than before, but you still need to be prepared. Here are some simple steps to organising your event.
Step One: Invite some Friends
You need to give people plenty of notice so that they may attend your LAN Party. Without proper notification, well in advance, people will like have something else on that day. Send out invites (email is best) with clear details like place, date, time, what you need to bring, etc. You’re the host, so you should probably supply the food and snacks (pizza is handiest) but you might tell folks to bring their own beers. Be sure to tell everyone they need headphones as well as their usual hardware.
Step Two: Prepare the Setup
You will need to organise a space where the LAN Party will occur. You will also need to acquire the following hardware:
- Surge Protectors (not regular extension leads)
- Raspberry Pi
- Network Cables (for those without wifi)
Make sure on the day that the surge protectors are plugged in to outlets on different circuits (put one either side of the room, for instance).
Step Three: Decide on the Game
It’s important that everyone agrees on what game to play. We have a wide choice of images, but I find regular Quake Deathmatch makes for a great LAN Party. You could prepare more than one SD Card and switch games mid-stream, in which case buy your cards and burn the images NOW.
Step Four: Prepare the Network
The day before the party, get your network ready and make sure everything is working. Think about all scenarios, and the people who are coming. I’ve thrown together a diagram of what the basic setup should be. Note that not all your clients need to be wired – in fact the only wired device required is the Raspberry Pi itself, everyone else can be wireless if that suits better.
Step 5: Have Fun!
If you’ve done your preparation properly, you should have very little to do on the day except enjoy yourself. Then day AFTER you’ll probably have a hell of a mess to clean up, but don’t worry about that just yet!