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So I have been playing Civ 5 hotseat with my wife. But it is a little fustrating getting up getting out of the room or changing chairs.

My wife has a laptop, but the graphics card is not that great. I was thinking if I had her remote into my computer under a different session and she was to launch Civ 5 can we play a LAN game that way. This assumes my current rig can handle two instances at a time. But my question is before I go down this road, is it even a technically possible solution?

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I don't think she could launch Civ V through Steam a second time on a separate session. Also, you would both have the same usernames, which I can't imagine would work very well... (IE - this is a good time to try it and come back to answer yourself!) –  dlras2 Jul 8 '13 at 16:13
    
Sure and I will but I was thinking of your answer what if I got her a steam account and another copy of the game but she used my computer. $30 much cheaper then $800-1000. But I don't even want to spend the $30 if it is not even possible. –  Mike Jul 8 '13 at 16:14
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Possible? Yes. I've done it with Civ 2 and very old remote desktop software. Less frustrating? Probably not. The performance is likely to be terrible. –  SevenSidedDie Jul 8 '13 at 16:40
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Remote is not made for games and does not really work. Lag is not the issue, rather colors and reading text. Since it is LAN, I suppose it is better than using it over the net, but I would just try to run the game on her laptop. As long as you don't play huge maps, there is a chance it runs. Civ is more CPU than GPU heavy. Just copy your Steam folder to her Laptop and try to run the game in DX9 mode with lowest settings. Still prettier visuals and better playable than remote. –  NoneOfYourBusiness Jul 8 '13 at 16:41
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@Nolonar You could make that an answer if you added a bit about how well it performed across the network connection, and your personal judgement of whether it would be better or worse than the frustration of playing hotseat. –  SevenSidedDie Jul 8 '13 at 18:11
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It is entirely possible to play Civ V using the Remote Desktop Connection that comes pre-installed with Windows starting with XP.
To do this, you need to first configure the server (in this case, your computer) to allow remote connections to it. After that, you'll want to use the Remote Desktop Connection app on the Notebook to connect to the server.

In order to play at the same time, you'll need to create a second account for your wife on your computer (if you haven't done so already). The reason for that, is that Windows does not allow access to one account using multiple terminals (including local access) at the same time; i.e. if you try to connect remotely to your own account while you're still logged on locally, you will be locked out locally and vice versa.

The performance when playing Civ V remotely is not much of an issue, since the game is entirely turn based. Depending on the connection speed and quality, you will notice compression artifacts, especially around text, which will disappear over time so long as the image doesn't change too much; because of this, playing Action games remotely is not recommended unless you have a very fast and reliable local network (802.11g is a bit slow for Full HD, but acceptable for Civ V).
It is possible to experience lags (most noticeable by listening to the in-game sounds) during the remote session, but this shouldn't be too unbearable.

Unfortunately, since I do not own multiple copies of Civ V, I couldn't verify if it is possible to run two separate instances of the game on the same machine.
Depending on how Microsoft implemented the Remote Desktop Connection, attempting to run multiple instances of a game remotely may result in one of those three outcomes (there may be more or less than three):

  • Both instances may run at a reduced performance similar to playing at double the resolution (ideal case)
  • One instance may run at almost full speed (GPU accelerated) while the other will be extremely slow (rendered by CPU)
  • One instance will run at full speed; the second instance will be unable to claim DirectX ressources for itself and will therefore be unable to launch (worst-case scenario; maybe playing in borderless windowed mode can fix this?)

It is unlikely that using two or more GPUs will change the outcome.


Keep in mind, that just because Civ V can be launched over Remote Desktop Connection, it does not imply that other games will too. For instance, two games I've tested, Just Cause 2 and Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 will refuse to launch over a remote connection. Funny fact: it is possible to play Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 remotely, as long as it runs on a Virtual Machine and you are not directly connected to it via Remote Desktop Connection.

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Thank you for the supporting links. I probably won't get to this until Wednesday to try it myself. –  Mike Jul 9 '13 at 15:06
    
@Mike According to Kevin's answer, you can't log in with 2 users at the same time, unless you're running a server version of Windows. I can't confirm or refute that claim, so you may want to try creating a second account, then log in to it remotely while you're still logged on the first account locally. Better be safe than sorry ;) –  Nolonar Jul 9 '13 at 15:14
    
I did read that, but I have also read that using the /console switch may be a way around that. –  Mike Jul 9 '13 at 15:15
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You may be able to connect via Remote Desktop (see Nolonar's answer), but unless you have a Server edition of Windows, it might not be possible to have more than one login session running at the same time. That would prevent you and your wife from playing the game simultaneously.

What I would recommend is trying a remote control application like VNC, and fire up a hotseat game as usual. Your wife could connect from her laptop using VNC, and you would then both be able to control your desktop.

I believe both of you would be able to see the screen, so if you're playing competitively, you'd have to have an agreement not to "screen look" during the other's turn :)

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