Avorion – Creating & Managing a Server With Game Server Manager

Avorion – Creating & Managing a Server With Game Server Manager 3 - wpgameplay.com
Avorion – Creating & Managing a Server With Game Server Manager 3 - wpgameplay.com

Guide for Avorion – Creating & Managing a Server With Game Server Manager

It takes you through the process of setting up an Avorion server with Game Server Manager – which automates things & provides a host of useful tools & features to make setting up & running your server easier.

 

Summary

This guide differs from others you may have read because of one important factor: the Game Server Manager program. This program automates things for you as a server owner and provides a host of useful tools and features to make setting up and running your server so much easier.

Game Server Manager features – an overview
Automatic update checking and applying via SteamCMD (with configurable delay and server warning message)
Players online graph
Built-in Telnet and RCON client, which can be used manually or set to automatically send messages and commands (such as shutdown and shutdown notices) to the server
Auto-restart if the server goes down
Message/command broadcast system
Discord message broadcasting for server state and player changes.
Player list showing everyone online, including ping, score, team, and time.
INI File Parser, which displays a list of all ini file settings (across multiple files) in a list that you can sort, filter, edit, import, and export as you wish.
CPU and RAM usage display, with graph
Network bandwidth monitor, with graph
– Ability to output status, players online, and server name to a file – formatted however you want
– Single-click access to configuration.
Detailed server information
– Internal and external IP address display
– Server up-time display
– Optional timed daily server restart.
Timed incremental backups. Perform a daily backup of game data to a zip file.
Automatically update game – Ability to run a maintenance/update program between restarts. e.g., SteamCMD to perform daily updates automatically. The server will start back up again when this program is finished/ends, so you minimize downtime.
– Option to delay timed restarts. i.e., The server will be turned off, and the program will wait X seconds before attempting to restart it.
– Telnet to the server
1 click backup and maintenance
Remote commands to start, stop the backup, update, and send commands to your server.
Game Profiles – Multiple instances of the program can be run with multiple configurations.
– Designed to be “universal” and work with a multitude of games.

Initial Setup

 

Download The Game Server Manager

Head to www.jimbobslimbob.com – http://www.jimbobslimbob.com/filescat.asp?cat1=Programs&cat2=Utilitieswebsite to download my www.jimbobslimbob.com – http://www.jimbobslimbob.com/filescat.asp?cat1=Programs&cat2=Utilities program.

Extract the zip file to a location of your choosing and run the program.

Download SteamCMD

If you have not got it already, head to avorion.gamepedia.com – https://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/SteamCMD.

Important:
For the GSM to be able to query your server and retrieve information on it correctly, you will have to ensure the following settings are set to “true” in your configuration file:
isPublic=true
isListed=true
isAuthenticated=true
useSteam=true

You should then be good to go.

General Use

To start the server, click on “Start Server” on the “Main” tab. To stop the server, use the button next to start.

The main screen is split into tabs, showing different information on your server. You can see the number of players online, up-time, server status, performance and bandwidth details, graphs, and access to various tools and functions.

The Game Server Manager was designed to be highly configurable, and there are many things you can do with it. Some of those features are discussed in the sections below.

Backing up game data [Optional]

The program has a built-in incremental backup system for game files. To use this, you must set up the locations first.

Avorion - Creating & Managing a Server With Game Server Manager

Go to “Settings/Tools” and click “Program Settings.” Navigate to the “Backup” tab. Click the button to the right of “Folder to backup” (“…”) to browse for the Avorion game data folder.

The default folder for game data is normally found in “C:\Users\***\AppData\Roaming\Avorion\galaxies\avorion_galaxy” (where *** is your Windows username).

Note: The subfolder “avorion_galaxy” could be different if you have changed its name in the configuration file – make sure you are backing up the correct one!

Next, set the location that you want the backups to be saved to in the box below.

Optional: if you want the program to automatically backup game data daily, you can set the relevant option on this screen. Tick “Backup data, at” and enter a time (24-hour clock).

You can then manually perform a backup by clicking “Backup Game Data” under the “Settings/Tools” tab.

Updating and timed restarts [Optional]

The program has a built-in feature to restart a server at a specific time of day. This can be found in the “Timed Restart” tab under the program settings.

Avorion - Creating & Managing a Server With Game Server Manager

Set up the time you want this to be performed and tick the “Timed restart, at” tickbox if you want to do this.

Even if you do not wish to set a timed restart, you can still use this screen. By selecting a program and entering any optional command line parameters in the “Run a program before starting server” section, you can enable updating the server – either manually or automatically.

For example, if you use SteamCMD to update your game, select the SteamCMD executable here and enter any command-line details in the relevant box (see Initial Setup section).

Once this is set, you now have the option to perform this action on timed restarts. It will do it all for you!

You can then also use “Run Maintenance Program” under the “Settings/Tools” tab to run this program manually at any time.

Additional tip: if you have also set a backup location, you can use the “Perform Maintenance Now” under the “Settings/Tools” tab to perform the following sequence:
1. Back up game data
2. Stop Server
3. Run the “maintenance” program
4. Start the server back up again.

Remote Commands [Optional]

 

Pseudo Remote Commands Via FTP/VPN (or other similar means)

This will allow you to start, stop the backup, and run maintenance (update) your server remotely (regardless of any built-in features a game has).

To do this, you will need to have access to the folder that the program is running in via VPN, FTP, or some other means. I will not cover how to do that here since that is really another topic altogether. I will assume that for this guide, you already have access to the folder.

How to do it

The program periodically looks to see if any of the files listed below are sitting in the folder with it. If it sees any of them, it will perform the corresponding actions (and remove the file). To perform any of the actions listed below, all you have to do is create/copy a file into the Game Server Manager folder with the corresponding name (contents of the file make no difference). The program will see the file and act. Simple as that!

Start the server
File: start.txt

Stop the server
File: stop.txt

Perform a backup
File: backup.txt

Full maintenance cycle (backup, stop server, run maintenance program, start-server)
File: update.txt

Restart the server
File: restart.txt
NOTE: Ensure you have set a sufficient delay in the “Server Shutdown” tab, or else the server may attempt to restart before it has properly shut down.

Restart the server with command-line parameter set #1
File: parm1.txt
The command-line parameter for this is set in the “Telnet Commands” tab. You can also access this feature via the “Quick Tasks” dropdown button on the “Main” tab.
NOTE: Ensure you have set a sufficient delay in the “Server Shutdown” tab, or else the server may attempt to restart before it has properly shut down.

Restart the server with command-line parameter set #2
File: parm2.txt
The command-line parameter for this is set in the “Telnet Commands” tab. You can also access this feature via the “Quick Tasks” dropdown button on the “Main” tab.
NOTE: Ensure you have set a sufficient delay in the “Server Shutdown” tab, or else the server may attempt to restart before it has properly shut down.

Send command(s) to the server
File: telnetsend.txt
The program will read all text in this file and send it to the server console (provided you set this up under “Initial Setup > Setting Up GSM”)

Basic Port Forwarding Guide [Reference]

 

Basic (Generic) Guide

NOTE: You only need to perform port forwarding if your server is accessed over the internet. If you are hosting a LAN game, then it is not required.

1. Find your hosting machine’s LAN (internal) – displayed on the “Main” tab of GSM.

2. Log into your router’s admin page in a web browser. This is variable – but most router’s by standard, have the details written on the device itself somewhere (a sticker). It will be something like 192.168.0.1 or 192.168.0.255… or whatever. You will undoubtedly require a password, which is no doubt also on the sticker. If there is nothing on the router itself, then you may have to get in contact with your ISP (if it’s an ISP’s router) or Google for the default login details of your specific router model.

3. Once you are into the router’s admin pages, search for something called “port forwarding” amongst the menus. Difficult to say exactly where it would be since all routers are different. Again, Google may be your friend here.

4. Set up a “rule” under the port forwarding screen to direct UDP and TCP traffic from the required ports to the LAN address you found in #1.

5. Save the rules, and you should be good to go go.

Final note: If your hosting machine is set up to retrieve a LAN address on your network dynamically, subsequent boots may alter your LAN address and cause port forwards to point to the wrong machine. If this happens, you can either alter the port forwards again or, even better, change your LAN address to static (and set an address manually). Another Google[www.google.co.uk] can help you with this.

Port Forwarding Example Scenarios (Further Reading)

Friend (F) wants to connect to your server (S). To do this (since they are at another location other than your internal LAN), they have to “talk” to your server machine. Your router (R) is the first point of contact for anyone outside your LAN. So the router needs to know where the request from (F) is meant to go. That’s where port forwarding comes in. It’s a rule set on your router that tells it to route/forward all communication (on the specified ports) from (F) to (S). Without it, the router does not know where to send it, and the data is “lost” – hence – no connection.

With port forwarding:
(F) Requests to join your server —-> (R) Tells it to forward data to (S) [Connection established]

Without port forwarding:
(F) Requests to join your server —-> (R) Has no idea where to send the data [Connection fails]

With port forwarding pointing to the wrong place:
(F) Requests to join your server —-> (R) Sends data to the wrong computer (not your server) [Connection fails]

Connecting via LAN (no port forwarding required):
Y = You (over LAN)
(Y) Requests to join your server with a LOCAL (LAN) IP address —-> (R) Knows where it should go straight away (you provided info) [Connection established]

Legend
(Y) = You
(F) = Friend
(S) = Your server
(R) = Your router

Troubleshooting

My friends cannot join the game.
If you can connect locally but your friends cannot, it is almost always a firewall, Anti-Virus, or port forwarding issue. Ensure all is configured as it should be.

Things to check:
1. Have you let the server executable through any firewalls you have (Windows, router, etc.)? Remember that the Windows firewall has 3 different “profiles” (Domain, Private and Public), so ensure you have the correct ones ticked – or tick them all. Also, ensure it is allowed through in both directions (incoming and outgoing).

2. Have you port forwarded all the required ports to the correct local (internal/LAN) IP address of the server?

3. Is your server’s local (internal/LAN) IP static? If not, it is liable to change on reboots and mess up your port forwarding rules. You should ideally set it to static to prevent any further changes. Either way, check to ensure your local IP has not altered and subsequently nullified your port forward rules.

4. Do you have any other software (Anti-virus or VLAN software like Hamachi) that could be interfering with network communication for the server?

5. Are you hosting on the same machine you are trying to join the game from? If so, you may have a router incapable of en.wikipedia.org – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hairpinning. In such a case, connect to it via local IP rather than external IP. There could also be a port conflict, so changing the game’s ports is another worthwhile thing to try.

6. Is IPv6 disabled? Leaving it enabled can sometimes cause hosting problems.

Game Server Manager says my server is “Offline” when it is not.
Ensure you have entered the correct IP address and port under Server Details (1) for the IP: Port of the server to query. This should be “127.0.0.1:27020” by default, but if you have altered ports or are hosting on another IP address, then you will need to change this.

Final Words

I hope this guide and the Game Server Manager was useful to you.

It may interest you to know that the program has been tried and tested not only with Avorion – it also works with Empyrion, 7 Days to Die, GRAV, Medieval Engineers, and Space Engineers too. In fact, any game that uses the standard querying language should work with it.

I have also used it to a lesser capacity in hosting servers for Project Zomboid, Neverwinter Nights, Evochron Mercenary, Planet Explorers, Void Expanse, and many more that I am sure I have forgotten.

Hopefully, now you have read the guide, you will understand how it works if you want to try it out on other games.

The Game Server Manager program is being updated regularly by myself. It has all been done in my spare time to aid server hosters.

I hope you enjoy your Avorion server!

By jimbobslimbob

I hope you enjoy what we shared today about Avorion – Creating & Managing a Server With Game Server Manager. If there is anything you want us to add, please let us know via comment below! See you soon! And thanks!


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*