That's right, we're celebrating Seumas' masterpiece by making it completely free and open source!
If you haven't tried it yet, now's the time to get all 20 tanks and 58 maps for free. Get online and wreak havoc!
Currently it's only available on Windows, but it's almost compatible with Mac and Linux. If you think you can help, go ahead and download the code from GitHub. Patches welcome!
If you aren't familiar with the term, a Master Server is a special server which listens for "heartbeats" sent from Dedicated Game Servers (which are game servers that run constantly, without anyone actually playing locally), and compiles a list of the currently running servers and their game settings. The Master Server then forwards that list to any Game Clients who ask for it, so that they can easily pick the best looking server to play on. Master Servers for Tread Marks also act as simple Chat servers (a little like IRC), so that while in the game's menu interface you can chat with other people running the game on-line, to arrange games, swap battle stories, etc.
There is currently one Master Server running. If it isn't there already, type this address into the Master Server Address box at the top of the "Multi-Player Game" menu, or if you're running a Dedicated Server, make sure this address is in the MasterServerUrl0 slot of your dedicated.cfg.
(Located in Toronto)
Note: If you're going to run a Public Dedicated Server (that is, one that is configured to send heartbeats to the global Master Server(s)), please only do so if you have a decent amount of fast outgoing bandwidth. A 28.8 or even 56k modem will not do for a public server, but an ISDN line, DSL line, Cable Modem, or fractional or full Frame Relay (partial T1, full T1, T3, OC3, etc.) should be fine. Each client that connects will require at least the equivalent of a 28.8 modem's worth of outgoing bandwidth.
If you have some bandwidth connected to a Windows 95/98 or Windows NT (preferable) machine and would like to run a Dedicated Tread Marks Server, please do so! With the Master Server architecture, it doesn't matter if your server will only be up for a few hours at a time, as people will still be able to find it and play on it. Thus, running a Public Dedicated Server doesn't become a major commitment. Note: Please remember to turn OFF the Screen Saver (or set it to the Blank Screen Saver) on a machine running a Dedicated Server! Having the Screen Saver kick in while a Dedicated Server is running can really reduce performance.