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Backyard Football and Backyard Baseball 2001 is now playable online again after two decades!

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Backyard Football and Backyard Baseball 2001 is now playable online again after two decades! Empty Backyard Football and Backyard Baseball 2001 is now playable online again after two decades!

Post by LittleToonCat Fri Apr 23, 2021 7:36 pm




What you are seeing is a modified ScummVM build with my own (with some borrowed) code which connects to my server (running in Node.js) which handles the login, sending challenges to other players, and routes the information between the two clients (No peer-to-peer connection has been established), and games are indeed playable to the finish.  It is far from complete though.  I have to figure out how the news, polls, locating other users and some other things works, also there are some bugs that I still need to investigate, but I'm sharing this now because it does the most important stuff, match up and play games between players.

Worth mentioning that this is the retail version of the game. None of the game data files have been modified. The netcode is surprisingly good in this version for a game that's released in 2000.

The reason I went to the Prince Rupert neighborhood in Baseball is because that area has a special rule of automatically picking out rosters at random.  Picking the kids would defiantly take forever.

I plan to release this build (alongside with source code because GPLv2 license) and open up the server to everyone once I get the other features working and stable enough.  If you have any questions, feel free to ask.


Last edited by LittleToonCat on Tue Apr 27, 2021 5:10 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Added Backyard Football gameplay footage)
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Post by Windows TV Sun May 09, 2021 4:58 pm

I will most certainly look at your code, maybe can help with my adventures on getting Moonbase online!
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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Tue May 11, 2021 7:45 am

How did I miss this? This is very interesting to hear. I take it there's no chance it can be made to work with the original SPUTM interpreters? I prefer using those, especially for the Backyard Sports games. ScummVM's support for most HE games is good, but it still has some issues that nobody seems interested in fixing.

WindowsTV, if you're serious about wanting to get Moonbase Commander's online mode working again (and you have the necessary skills to do it), you might want to get in touch with the ScummVM team. A few years ago, they'd received the game's source code from Rebellion for the purpose of implementing it, but after making lots of progress for a while, work on it just completely halted without explanation. There was also an attempt to get its online features working during a Google Summer of Code, but it ended in failure. I don't know why the ScummVM team stopped working on the game out of the blue, but it may be worth asking them about it. Of course, if the reason is because Rebellion changed their minds and withdrew their permission to use the original source code for reference, it's hopeless.

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Post by LittleToonCat Thu May 13, 2021 7:14 am

SomeRandomHEFan wrote:How did I miss this? This is very interesting to hear. I take it there's no chance it can be made to work with the original SPUTM interpreters? I prefer using those, especially for the Backyard Sports games. ScummVM's support for most HE games is good, but it still has some issues that nobody seems interested in fixing.
No, I don't plan on adding support to the SPUTM interperters anytime soon.  The main reason is that most of the tech they used back is old/deprecated like DirectPlay for peer-to-peer communication in-game and attempting to use them in today's routers 'n stuff may cause some issues, notably getting around NAT.  Also while their lobby protocol (Boneyards) is good, but I don't really have the knowledge to reverse engineer it at the time of writing (although it has been attempted before for Total Annihilation).

I think the best approach to this is to recreate the online infrastructure with my own protocol and all that jazz, which means you'd have to play online through ScummVM at the moment.  I think it might be possible to implement that protocol into SPUTM by intercepting DLL calls, although it might or might not be possible, we'll see.
SomeRandomHEFan wrote:WindowsTV, if you're serious about wanting to get Moonbase Commander's online mode working again (and you have the necessary skills to do it), you might want to get in touch with the ScummVM team. A few years ago, they'd received the game's source code from Rebellion for the purpose of implementing it, but after making lots of progress for a while, work on it just completely halted without explanation. There was also an attempt to get its online features working during a Google Summer of Code, but it ended in failure. I don't know why the ScummVM team stopped working on the game out of the blue, but it may be worth asking them about it. Of course, if the reason is because Rebellion changed their minds and withdrew their permission to use the original source code for reference, it's hopeless.
I know this is a bit off topic from the original post, but I think they do want to keep working on implementing online play to Moonbase (was heavily following the idea too), but my guess is that their focus got shifted towards working on other engines.  I don't really blame them, the more games they can add to ScummVM, the merrier, but I'm not part of the team though, You'd have to hop into their Discord and try to ask them directly.  But maybe after I have gotten the Backyard Sports stuff working, I'll see if I'm able to step in and see what needs to be done.  Again, we'll see.


Last edited by LittleToonCat on Thu May 13, 2021 7:26 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Adding thoughts about Moonbase)
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Post by Punchcar63 Thu Jul 08, 2021 2:41 am

How will I get to play these games online?

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Post by SomeRandomHEFan Wed Jul 14, 2021 6:35 am

Punchcar63 wrote:How will I get to play these games online?
By reading the original post more carefully, realizing that this thing is still in development, and waiting for its release.

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