Self-Hosted Gaming With Friends

One of the best parts of gaming is gaming with friends, but often this requires everyone involved to have the same expensive piece of hardware. Almost everyone has a computer with a browser already, though, so if you’d like to play online with friends who don’t have the same gaming machine as you, they can play along now simply by opening a web browser thanks to this project called Qwantify.

There are a few requirements to get this to work, though. At least one person needs to have a computer with a GPU to run the docker container that hosts the game, but once that’s done anyone with a browser can connect to it and play. The entire project is open source as well, and since it’s currently a very young project there is only support for AMD and Intel GPUs but it does have a fairly intuitive user interface as well as some other features like allowing for various gaming peripherals and supporting streaming gameplay to Twitch and YouTube.

Being able to host your own gaming server is pretty common in some games like Minecraft, but we are excited to see something that is self-hosted take this idea to the next level. We haven’t seen something this ambitious since we were all talking about cloud gaming, but at least this time the games can be hosted on our own hardware.

27 thoughts on “Self-Hosted Gaming With Friends

  1. “since it’s currently a very young project there is only support for AMD and Intel GPUs”

    Hello, in github they say it as not been tested with intel and amd gpus, only nvidia

  2. Everyone needs the same expensive hardware? For PC gaming? Bryan, have you only played on consoles? One of the hallmarks of PC gaming is the fact that you can have such wildly disparate hardware.
    If this were a project that allowed sharing a console over the network, that would be another thing and certainly interesting. As is, this reads more like an ad for a competitor to the likes of Parsec and Rainway.

    1. And further, the GitHub page says ONLY NVidia GPUs are supported, not Intel/AMD, so this doesn’t presently solve anything libvfio doesn’t. Extremely poorly researched article.

      1. The github page also flat out says “Official Support for AMD and Intel Gpus” without making it clear that is only *planned* not current. If you’re going to throw shade, at least choose the right target.

    2. Not everybody has a maxed out battle station. At the moment my GPU is fried :-(.
      You certainly don’t need the same hardware, but at some point (not just CS or Minecraft) you need expensive hardware.
      Some people can definatly get use out of that.

      1. But OP didn’t say anything about that; they didn’t say no one would get any use out of this project or anything to that effect. The point was that with PC-gaming, even when you are playing some multiplayer-game together with others, people can still have wildly different setups and they don’t all need the same or even particularly similar hardware, but the blurb above claims that often everyone would need the same expensive hardware — an obviously incorrect claim.

        Remote-streaming of software, including games, does have plenty of uses and the demand is increasing rapidly. I’ve used Parsec myself for years now and I am extremely happy with it, so I definitely ain’t a naysayer.

    3. Many games, especially newer ones, simply don’t run worth a damn without a good dGPU. Battlefields, Cyberpunk 2077, Darktide, etc all struggle with low end dGPUs and simply aren’t playable on all but the latest iGPUs. Your idea of “wildly disparate hardware” likely comes from nostalgia for Source games.

      Parsec and Rainway offer similar features, but they’re both closed source. Having an open source option is great for everyone.

          1. Actually on its native res screen you can usually get it to run at 60 and above fps just fine even on the latest games if you want it to – just turn stuff down from ULTRA detail level you can’t see on that screen size anyway and make sure you turned the battery saving features off or down enough to get there… And I’ve used it on a 4K monitor running at 4K and it generally manages more than 30fps with the game settings turned up enough to look fine on that screen size.

            In my playing with Cyberpunk from it it could definitely handle running 1080P well enough and still look pretty good, can’t recall if I ever tried 4K – though the really modern titles it gets complex to create a fair comparison with the potential to use fancy dynamic resolution rendering methods to keep the frame rate up (etc). But I can say it definitely worked well enough to call playable with very little effort even on the bigger screen. And with Cyberpunk you really did want the bigger screen, so its almost all I ever used – some of the details in game that matter end up being too small to get rendered at all or properly on the low res native screen (at least when I last played it on the decks native screen, maybe they have added some more UI scaling options to better support lower resolutions since). I did mostly play that game on my desktop though, as of course it performed better and if you are going to be sat at your desk why use the weaker system?

            Though I got the deck to be my portable ‘computer’ not desktop replacement – my best laptop is if memory serves approaching its 15th birthday its actually good enough performance wise I think most folks could use it as their only computer! The only thing I’ve tried to run via the deck that it really couldn’t give a good playable experience to is the Total War Warhammer 3 – which I expected it to struggle with, as its soo poorly optimised it runs rather sluggish even on full fat desktops with many extra cpu cores, more RAM and the hefty GPU in comparison.

            I’m sure there are other games out there it will not handle well enough to be playable, perhaps a few games have finally started running multithreaded enough its lack of CPU cores will matter, or that have not got any models and textures at lower details – which means it won’t work great on the ‘average’ gaming computer according to steam hardware survey either, etc.

            But on the whole its an absolute powerhouse, of high efficiency computing – in price for performance quite possibly the best computing platform you can buy right now, even including second hand! At least if you have any care for your running costs – finding the dirt cheap but very overclockable really quite old stuff might get you better performance at the same price, but the power bill is going to hurt…

        1. That’s because it says no csgo twitchy snapshot supreme specs, you get 1200px@60hz and you like it

          People grossly overestimate their mk1 eyeball. I’m in the top few percent for eyes anywhere, and 165hz and 2k/32″ at 3ft away is fine for me. A steamdeck is the size of a postage stamp.

  3. I understand nothing about the point of this article. If this piece of software enables us to share the same GPU, you don’t need one GPU with enough power for one player, you need a GPU with enough power for all the players at the same time, so n times the power for n players and a very expensive GPU (power/$ increases with power, but only up to a certain point that is not high). (Un)fortunately, it also seems that all the” modern” multiplayer popular video games don’t need high specs (LoL, CS, Fortnite…).

  4. You all need to calm down. They didn’t mean everybody would need literally the same hardware, they meant similarly performant hardware, which is generally on the expensive side. What this WOULD do for example is let me play a game with my son when he’s home over the holidays with nothing but his Dell ultra portable — it’s geared around battery life, not gaming. Its performance for college use (web apps, streaming, YouTube, etc.) is very good, but it does not have a dedicated video card and struggles with most 3D games. I however have a decently powerful gaming PC and am already set up to run Docker images on it. I probably won’t be able to run multiple instances of Cyberpunk 2077 or anything like that, but there are plenty of things with lower horsepower demands that would be plenty of fun to play even if it meant turning the specs down a little.

    And yes it’s similar to existing commercial services, the key difference being that it’s open source and something you can run on your own hardware. Seems like this should be right up the average Hacakday reader’s alley so I’m not sure why all of the skeptical comments. Yes they misread the GPU support but otherwise why the skepticism? The story about running a calculator inside Doom didn’t trigger any similar comments, but this does?

  5. I guess it’s another thing I’ll/nobody who games will actually use. It’s wonderful and all, but in reality, trying to handle everyone’s network issues and trying to get the average consumer to setup some software on their PC to do some headless nonsense with this many layers is asking a lot. Even Hamachi was a struggle back in the day for private servers, but now you’re asking people to setup a whole piece of software that just runs a docker instance. Why not just run hamachi with noVNC or something? Maybe not even hamachi at all, but any ort of remote viewing to remote hardware will be all sorts of scuff. Not to mention how much EXTRA your PC would have to be to host clients and you. Maybe as well just throw together a $500 PC and call it a day. Valheim runs on a AMD FX 8350 and 750ti just fine.

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