Passing the controller around while shooting the shit with the homies has been a consistent joy throughout my entire life, and some of my greatest memories are with some of you here doing just that (shizzmas, mag hotel, nyc) - I miss everyone. I wanted a way to play single player/hotseat games with friends remotely but netplay has always been unsatisfying for this, since only the host had low enough latency for games that require tight timing. This project intentionally omits things like social features, logins, achievements and instead aims to provide a free way to reconnect and celebrate games with those you care about, even if they are not tech savvy, with the lowest hassle possible. I started this project with my buddy (Evan Harper) around the time covid started here, and basically we’ve been pouring our hearts into it every day possible since March.
Telemelt is designed to recreate the experience of playing single-player games in a room full of friends: watching someone run through a level or entire game, passing off the controller when it gets too difficult, taking turns, and laughing and chatting the entire time. The system allows the current player to assume host responsibility and experience zero network latency for games with demanding response times, with the viewers never more than 1 second behind! Chrome only at the moment and loading ROMs is currently only supported by Dropbox, which generates a URL for the content you select and sends it to all players.
The technology behind this project is pretty awesome and we've developed some cool systems along the way, we’ll be writing up some of how it works throughout the week before release. Telemelt really describes the combination of server logic/frontend with a modified retroarch + hand picked libretro core backend built using emscripten.
- NES, SNES, Genesis/SMS/GG, GB/GBC, GBA cores built in
- Nothing to install, no IPs or port forwarding just share the link / room code
- Most major gamepads supported via USB/BT (PS3, PS4, X360, Switch Pro etc..)
- Real time viewer reactions, built out of a clap feature specifically made for the shizz
- Guaranteed <1sec of latency for viewer (will fast forward if there are network issues)
- Only one user needs to load from Dropbox, and everyone will receive the content
- Low bandwidth for international friends / those with bad wifi (only sync/controller/event data sent - no AV)
- Full uncompressed audio/video rendered locally on the client
- Save/load states work great
- No logins, no social features, no ads, free!
- Splash screen is an actual NES ROM
- Haven’t tested beyond 10 players, but no theoretical limit for this at the moment (targeting 16)
- Chrome only for now, but Firefox not far off
Open up a discord/meet/zoom whatever and try:
- Minigame collections (player transfer system is fast enough to keep up with wario ware for each game!)
I’d like to release this to the public next week (6/26), but before then I’d love to blast through some hidden gems and celebrate our arcane knowledge/memories of these games.
There’s one shared user/pass for the shizz and I’ll post it on the shizzcord #community-gaming channel if that’s alright (maybe pin a message?) - one small ask is to keep it private to that discord. Please don’t post the link on social media yet it’ll be ready in a few days and then we can all party on it! I'll post the details in there around 11:00EST, and down to play a few games if people are around! Will probably be playing every evening until release date to iron out the last work!
The server may restart throughout the week but I’ll post updates here for when those will happen / changelogs. I have a bit of money saved from a job to cover server costs for this for a while, they have been designed to be low but we’ll see how many people end up using it!.
Infinite thanks to brodan, ken oh, mig, robby v and discord crew for gfx/sfx/testing so far!! <3
Loading a from dropbox to sync with all players
Real time audience reaction (with sfx!)