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On August 16th 2007, Sierra terminated all online services for Maximum Pool. This includes the dedicated servers (rooms) as well as the master server. Maximum Pool was the last Dreamcast Online game that had an undetermined future. We were confident a server would eventually be released, since the existence of a emulated Maximum Pool room server was known. Since Maximum Pool's official online services were terminated, the software needed to keep Maximum Pool online forever has finally been released to the public.
Longtime PC Maximum Pool Player "Tino" over at PAuth.com community has finally released the room software needed to play Maximum Pool online. This is Sierra's official Room Server application. So it is important to note this is NOT software that was reverse engineered / emulated. It is software that was acquired in years past by the PC community, and is just now being made public.
If you will recall a few summers ago, Maximum Pool's network functions were fixed, via a simple Hex edit to the game save. The game uses the save to store IP addresses for Rooms or Master Lists. If you want to play Maximum Pool online on the Dreamcast again, all you have to do is host the room server on your PC, have the necessary ports open on your router, and use a HEX editor application on your PC to add your IP address to the game save. It is as simple as that.
So, while the game is now officially offline, this really is a time for celebration. All of the online games we have right now are currently online forever. Speaking of Online Forever (A term first coined by this community years back as we began to strive for salvaging our favorite online games), PAuth.com has also adopted the terminology in their quest to rebuild the PC Maximum Pool community. I feel really good about this because this term is empowering, and encourages others to salvage the network functionality for their favorite online games.
I would also like to announce that OC will indeed be hosting a dedicated Maximum Pool room for Dreamcast users. I should have more news on this soon. As an aside to all of this, remember that OC is a hardware centric website, and we strive to only discuss playing online with Dreamcast game consoles. However if you are looking to add IP's for PC Maximum Pool Rooms to your Game Save, please hit up PAuth.com for more details.
OC Maximum Pool Forum
Sierra's Original Room Server
Many thanks to Tino at PAuth.com for releasing the Room Server for Maximum Pool so players can enjoy this game for many years to come.
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