Update, july 2020: These instructions are only relevant for the old standalone server. The 2020 update includes a much more user-friendly multiplayer setup in the simulator itself. See the PDF manual for further instructions.
Silent Wings includes a multiplayer server which can be used to host sessions where you can fly online with your friends. The following article gives a short introduction to setting up a server.
The MP server software may be a bit more advanced and not as user-friendly as the rest of the Silent Wings software.
That being said, if you are the type who likes to fidget a bit with text files, you should grab your text editor and get going!
To start the MP server interface, go to the Silent Wings\bin directory and run the swserver_gui application.
You will get a list with a few test servers which can be started and stopped. There is one server for each .stn-file found in the Silent Wings\servers directory.
These example servers are set up to run on your local computer, and will not be visible to others. By double-clicking on a running server, you can see the server log.
You can connect to these servers by entering the address and port number manually in the Multiplayer Connect dialog box in Silent Wings.
The server name is “localhost” and the port numbers are:
- FreeFlight: 1611
- ThermalTask: 1614
- RidgeTask: 1617
To make a server that’s actually usable for Multiplayer you need to set up the server situation file (.stn) to point to your own IP address (your address on the Internet).
To do this, open the .stn file found in Silent Wings\data\servers and find the “mp_server_address” entry.
Fill out this field with your own ip address. The simplest way to find your IP address is to use one of the many web pages exist for this purpose, for example www.ipadressworld.com
If you want other people to be able to connect, you need to let them know the adress and port number. You can either give them the details directly, or you can check the “Public Listing” option in the server launcher. When this is enabled the server wil appear in everyone’s MP server list in Silent Wings, and on the Silent Wings web pages.
Making new servers
To make a new server, you need to set up an .stn file and put it in the “servers” directory.
The file format is very similar to the .stn files generated by the Silent Wings main application. The simplest is therefore to just set up a flight the way you like it in Silent Wings, and save the flight to the “servers” directory. Then you open the file in a text editor and make the necessary changes.
Most of the entries are pretty self-explanatory, but there are a few things to notice:
max_thermals = 2500
thermal_distance = 1500
The regular Silent Wings .stn files use max_thermals to determine how much thermal activity you will have. In the server, we use the thermal_distance parameter instead.
The thermal_distance parameter indicates the average distance (in meters between thermals), so the smaller this value is, the more thermals you will get.
The max_thermals value determines the maximum number of thermals within 30km radius, and will not be used by the server at all.
flight_desc = 170km thermal flight to Val DIsere
The flight_desc entry sets the information shown on the Silent Wings web pages for this server. The text must be written in one line, but may contain HTML tags for line break and paragraphs.
terrainId = Europe terrainId = c:\scenery\Europe
The terrain ID can be given either as a full path or as a simple name. If you use a simple name, the scenery must be found in the Silent Wings\data\scenery folder.
cumulus_prob = 0.38 max_num_thermals = 0 max_num_sink = 0 visibility = 50000 turbulence_strength = 1
These weather paramaters are not used by the server. They can be included in the .stn file, but they will not have any effect.