In the Forums...
Posted: January 16, 1999
Written by: Dan "Tweak Monkey" Kennedy
WTF is Kali, you ask? Here's a quick description:
Kali is the world's largest Internet gaming network enabling Internet play of the most popular multiplayer games for over 250,000 players, on more than 600 servers in 65 countries.
Kali supports nearly every game imaginable, including the newest, most popular games such as Half-Life, Unreal, Quake II, and Need For Speed III. Kali has a huge network set up, so when you log in you can go straight to your destination and join a huge multiplayer game.
Kali costs only $20 to register, and there are no dues or bills after that. You pay a one-time fee of $20 and you're hooked up forever. Sound too good to be true? :)
The following segment is a brief interview we had with Jay Cotton, President/Founder of Kali
Tweak3D: What makes Kali different from other Internet gaming services?
Jay: It's different because Kali started out primarily as an IPX game service instead of a TCP/IP game service. We do not require support from the game developers and as a result we're able to support more games than anyone else. We also provide a far more powerful chat interface and better proxy support than any other service.
Tweak3D: It's true... the IPX support kicks major ass. Here's an example: I have an old Red Alert CD laying around that I got from a friend a long time back. I don't have packaging or instructions, so I can't register the game. For this reason I could never play online, even though I had a legit game. Here comes Kali to the rescue! I start up Kali, find a server, and join. I choose LAN game (therefore no request for a registration) and I'm in the game. Whoohoo! This also kicks ass because some games that have really crappy TCP/IP support can now be run using Kali's IPX support, just as Jay mentioned.
Also, he mentioned the powerful chat interface. Kali went to huge lengths to make this program user-friendly, and it shows.
Click to enlarge
Kali's chat program is like IRC, except it is even simpler. Notice all the help links, file updates, etc. in the main window. On the top right is the list of users and the chat rooms on this server. The toolbar contains tons of commands for tweaking Kali or just setting things up. The top left menu shows active chat servers for specific games, and the lower left menu shows the active games for quick access to join. On the bottom is a quick launch bar so you can get into the games fast and easily. The overall usage is much like IRC, with much more to do, an easier interface for beginners, and no netsplits.
Tweak3D: Will Kali ever have additional charges of any type, or will the $20 charge really pay for your account forever?
Jay: There will never be any additional charges for Kali. Just that one-time $20 and you're set for life.
Tweak3D: With a promise from the President/Founder, those words are solid concrete. Kali is an incredible deal for $20, and since you'll never be charged again, the deal is even sweeter. Some services have annual, monthly, or even hourly fees.
Tweak3D: Okay, so I hear Kali supports a lot of games.. how many are we talking here? How many games does Kali currently support?
Jay: Over 170.
Tweak3D: Some skeptics might say "Only 170? But there's 1000s of games out there!" True.. but Kali supports 170 of the most popular games. Why support some game called Squirrel Sex 3D if you're the only person that plays it? They know what they're doing.. and every time a new game comes out and people like to play it, they add support for it. Check out their partial-games list here.
Tweak3D: Since Kali emulates a network over TCP/IP, can users play games without registrations? For example, (although it worked fine for me) some people had a hard time getting Half-life to work over WON. Would Kali skip WON authorization by using Half-life's LAN support?
Jay: We tried that, but unfortunately LAN games are currently limited to LANs. The game actually checks to make sure the IP numbers of the players are in the same Class C domain...that is, they are only different in the last part of the IP#. 22.214.171.124 could play again 126.96.36.199, but not against 188.8.131.52.
Tweak3D: Are there any games that can ONLY be played online over Kali or other similar services? (for example.. Carmageddon.. maybe?)
Jay: Just about all of the games we support can be played somewhere else, but some of them are only playable on one other service. I think the only exception is Hellfire which no other service supports.
Tweak3D: Some games are released without TCP/IP support, but almost all games that can be played by more than one person support IPX. Therefore, if a game you like doesn't support TCP/IP direct play, Kali just might get you into a multiplayer game.
Tweak3D: Does Kali lead to much more lag than typical TCP/IP gaming?
Jay: Kali itself adds no lag at all to any games and in fact sometimes reduces lag considerably. It all depends on how the game was written and sometimes the IPX code doesn't work as well as the TCP/IP code. Of course you can always use TCP/IP instead of IPX when playing on Kali (unless you're using a proxy to connect).
At first, I thought Kali was another boring old game network with no potential. Boy was I wrong! I was so addicted to Red Alert and Command And Conquer that I nearly dropped out of school! (okay, not really, but ... it could happen) Just like IRC, Kali never sleeps. There's always tons of people awake at all hours just waiting to start an 8 player Quake II match or looking for a little duel in GLQuake.
I can't really complain about Kali. Everything worked great. There was no crashing.. there were no errors. The chat program is so excellent that I actually use it more than IRC.
Overall, I was very impressed with Kali, and can fully recommend that anyone looking for a good time saves their lunch money for a few days and registers. The best features were probably the friendly UI, the cheap price, the great support, and action. I look forward to seeing you there.
As mentioned earlier, Kali has a one-time registration fee of $20. You can register Kali by visiting their website, http://www.kali.net. There is also a very time-limited shareware version which you can download by clicking here.