Using Firedaemon With a Game Server
There’s a software solution that can take all those messy game server client windows and hide them away while running those same servers as services instead of applications. There are a number of applications that do this — including the open source Launcher Service. Today, we are going to look at one software package in particular: Firedaemon, because it is popular in the gaming world.
If you’re in the position of running a dedicated server specifically for the purpose of hosting multiple game servers, then you’ll be familiar with the problem of multiple console windows opening on the server desktop. Even if you’re the only person who logs into the server they are still a hassle, obscuring the desktop and making it difficult to navigate.
Firedaemon Pro tidies all of those windows up into an easy to use single pane, and at the same time offers you the ability to schedule restarts, correct errors and set many parameters, including viewing the server console should you wish.
The suite even has a free plugin called Firedaemon Fusion which creates a secure web interface for each and every service running through the host program, meaning that a system admin or game server owner can log in to fix any problems.
The package is licensed software, and is both supported and developed on an ongoing basis. It even offers a free trial for users interested in checking whether it’s a good fit for their business or social enterprise.
Significant reductions are available for non-profit gaming groups or social enterprises who are prepared to display the Firedaemon banner somewhere on their website.
Installation is as simple as clicking on the package, selecting “Run as Administrator” and waiting while it installs. A prompt will appear asking you whether you wish to try the free trial or have a key, select the appropriate option and it’s game on.
Once FireDaemon is running on your server you can begin to add your game servers to the Firedaemon application as services.
Setting Up Your Game Servers With FireDaemon
After you have used SteamCMD, a standalone installer, or another game specific installer to install your game server, navigate to the FireDaemon Pro Service Manager Window and click on “New” in the top left corner of the screen.
- In the “New Service Definition” window add a short name. Multiple instances of the same game server should be named with the game and the specific server port number for that installation.For example: “Enemy Territory: Quake Wars” on port 27015 would become “ETQW27015” with sequential servers being “ETQW27016” & etc.
The FireDaemon Service Manager Window will display this name to identify the server so it’s a good idea to select something which uniquely identifies one installation from another.
- Next look for “Application to run as a Service,” and select “Executable” before navigating to the directory where your game server is installed.For example let’s look at installing a server for the classic and popular game “Enemy Territory: Quake Wars”:
Now look for “Working Directory” and chose the directory in which the executable is located:
- The next section may require that you refer to the game documentation. Most game servers are similar in their start up options, but some parameters may be different — most notably the map name.Our example server will look like this.
In general, you will want to set FireDaemon to hide the server console from the desktop, which also hides any error messages. At first, you may want to disable this if you are having technical problems with the server that require seeing the server’s reporting.
The commands in the above line tell the game server to do various things. It specifies a certain port for communication (27015), states a specific path for mods (DevPath), a save path (SavePath) for the current game process, a user path (UserPath), and finally the configuration file (27015.cfg).
Cfg files tell the game server exactly you want the system set: difficulty level, map rotation, administration rights, and player whitelists and blacklists. Your server documentation should tell you how to build one of these files.
Startup Mode allows you to specify whether you have to manually start the server or whether FireDaemon does that for you according to the parameters you set. While this may seem obvious that you want it started automatically, it can be advantageous to manually start a server that demands a lot of memory resources, or is prone to memory leaks, such as a modified Minecraft server.
- A final step to check is firewall access. You need to make sure that the game executable has been given access on the port specified in your FireDaemon configuration.After you’ve done that just click “OK.”
Your newly configured game server should appear online — ready for you or your clients to enjoy.
Because FireDaemon is a standard tool used with game servers, many manuals include information about it. For example, see the Star Wars Battlefront II Server Manager Users Guide (pdf), which goes into more depth on the base install. You can also see the FireDaemon Game Server support portal.