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Opening a Gaming Center - Much Needed Advise Plz!!!

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  • Opening a Gaming Center - Much Needed Advise Plz!!!

    Hey Guys,

    So glad l found this forum, l am looking into opening a gaming shop, and would really appreciate your advice and feedback as my knowledge in this area is field is relatively small, but am learning slowly, so please excuse me if u rekon some of my questions are kinda duhhhhh..... and sorry for so many questions.

    I have visited a couple of gaming centres in the area and they all seem to be doing relatively well, even though they have slow PCs and old graphics cards as they have no decent alternative. Im looking to provide that alternative with a good set up, well themed and good decor, cosy clean with kick ass refreshments.

    They seem to all have a user platform where you have to provide your login details (once you have prepaid and set up an account with the administrator/cashier) with games listed for the user to choose from.

    I searched on google 'Internet Cafe software' and found quite a few of these softwares, some to buy and some for free. For ex: http://www.smartlaunch.net
    Anything better than the above?

    Most of these require Ms Windows OS - which version of windows would you suggest?
    Also, would l have to purchase windows for each and every PC or is there a cheaper method?

    I am thinking approximately 40 PCs to begin with.

    Few obvious areas which l am looking into and would like your advise

    PCs - what specification? processor? etc...
    Servers - required? how many? specification? setup?
    PCs and Server set up - Apart from LAN any best method?
    Would it be better to buy PCs / have someone build them?

    The Games - do l just purchase one of each game and load em onto the server and have the client terminals access from the server? As it wouldnt be feasible or practical to buy each of the games for each of the client terminals. Or is there another way?

    Best and cheapest place to purchase the games?

    Anything else that l have missed out which you feel would be important please share. Would be very helpful to get your advice, opinions and pointers.

    Thanks alot

    Omz

  • #2
    Re: Opening a Gaming Center - Much Needed Advise Plz!!!

    SmartLaunch is basically what everyone uses. Often times it's coupled with Steam Cafe.

    Obviously you should be using the latest and greatest: Windows 7. As to which particular version, anything from Home Premium and onwards is enough. You'd need to go for the volume licensing on the System's Builder edition (aka OEM), not retail.

    Steam Cafe offers some discount depending on how many PCs you have. Look here, https://cafe.steampowered.com/ , to find out more. I wouldn't even bother with physical copies as often times it's a hassle and pain installing them to a network of machines, where Steam lets you download once and copy the files to every single other machine and install.

    As for PC specs, how much can you spend on each rig?

    If you're looking to offer the latest games on high resolution displays (1680 x 1050 and above), then you'll need to spend at least $800 (AMD) to $1000 (Intel) (including OS) on each rig.


    I'll say this:

    I've known a few first-timers who got into the gaming center business and came away broke. Just because a center looks like it's doing well doesn't mean it is. There's a lot of costs involved from employee paychecks to electricity bill (which is quite high given how much power a 40 PC gaming lab takes + A/C + Lighting, etc).

    It's best to know people who are in the business or who have been. They can give you a lot of advice and support (often times free).

    One of the biggest costs (other than paying your helping hands) is keeping all that hardware up-to-date. Meaning, every 2-3 years you're either going to be replacing all of the major components (CPU, Motherboard, RAM, GFX) or you're going to be building brand new rigs.
    |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
    TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
    Former 9th & 13th

    Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
    Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





    SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

    TG Primer and Rules

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Opening a Gaming Center - Much Needed Advise Plz!!!

      Hi Acreo

      Any idea where l can find out more about volume licensing for Windows?

      Also, l know piracy is illegal and my intentions are to go legitimate, but are the other hinderances in using pirate windows and games?

      Ive had a look at Steam Cafe - dont really understand the product all that well. What l can make of it is that upon how many PCs you have they will quote you, once agreed and paid it will allow you access to 100's of games which you can the download onto each PC as they will give you a Licence key for the number of PCs you said you have. Am l correct? Aswell as their support and updates etc...
      Any other benefits?

      Might sound duhhh... but, would it not work for me to purchase individual games - download them onto the server - and have all the PCs run the games from the server?

      As for the PCs, once l have a better idea on what the basics of this business are and l have found a location, l will prob employ someone with a lot more tech knowledge than myself to advise regarding the PCs or possibly even look into building them, and the networking, installation etc...

      Appreciate your guidance and advise

      Thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Opening a Gaming Center - Much Needed Advise Plz!!!

        Originally posted by Omz View Post
        Any idea where l can find out more about volume licensing for Windows?
        Microsoft's Volume Licensing page is probably the best place to start. But be warned, MVLS generally sucks and is VERY confusing.

        http://www.microsoft.com/licensing/default.aspx

        As far as getting all the applications/games out to the client machines, if you're looking for an easy way to manage that you should look into Microsoft's App-V platform. You would have one (or two, using Microsoft clustering) App-V servers where you would install the games and then the Windows clients would stream down the applications from the App-V server. When you update a game on the server, the clients will automatically stream down the updated version the next time the client is launched.
        Diplomacy is the art of saying "good doggie" while looking for a bigger stick.

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        • #5
          Re: Opening a Gaming Center - Much Needed Advise Plz!!!

          I have had a look at MVLS and your right its very confusing, a quotation for 40pcs windows 7 came out $0.00

          Googled Microsoft App-V, seems like a software. Is that right? Or is it a server?

          Does that mean that l would only have to buy one licenced copy of each game for this App-V platform, and not have to buy a licenced copy for each PC?

          Also, would that have to be an App-V platform? Does a normal server not have the same feature, whereby you have the licenced games on the server which the client terminals access to run the game?

          Please excuse my lack of knowledge in this regard

          Thanks

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Opening a Gaming Center - Much Needed Advise Plz!!!

            No disrespect intended...but....are you sure you want to go down this path. Maybe it would be best to work in a gaming center for a year or two, learn the business, and then decide.

            Starting a business, any business, is a big investment with lots of risks (and rewards too of course). Don't get me wrong I wish you luck and all, but the kinds of questions you've asked tell me you don't know too much about how to make it work. From my perspective that's a dodgy way to start.

            Good luck.
            sigpic
            |TG-1st|Grunt
            ARMA Admin (retired)
            Pathfinder-Spartan 5

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            • #7
              Re: Opening a Gaming Center - Much Needed Advise Plz!!!

              Also, l know piracy is illegal and my intentions are to go legitimate, but are the other hinderances in using pirate windows and games?
              It will almost always fail a authenticity check. Once it does, you're back to 30 days (this might not be true depending on how the security was defeated) or you won't be able to install whatever patch or software you want from MS. It's a general pain and hassle to find workarounds and often times they just don't exist. Go legit.

              As to effect on games: you need certain packages (like .NET Framework) to operate some of the software for the business as well as some games. If you can't get it or install it, then you're pretty much screwed.

              I did a rough estimate in my head last night and I'm waiting to hear back from a friend who has several successful LAN centers, but generally startup costs is going to be $40,000+ just for equipment, gear, and software. I'm figuring the estimate I get back from my friend is going to lie in the $100,000+ range for the first year's costs. Unless you have that kind of capital, I too suggest thinking long and hard before you go down this path.
              |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
              TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
              Former 9th & 13th

              Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
              Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





              SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

              TG Primer and Rules

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Opening a Gaming Center - Much Needed Advise Plz!!!

                everyone is just looking out for you, nothing more, so that's why you need too look at all info and comments as in your best interest.... no-one know what your financial situation is, and it isn't any of our business, but we just want to make sure you to go broke on this venture. Starting up a gaming center is a very cool idea. There is 1 that i know of maybe 2, but that's it. Never stepped into the place as it is pretty expensive for an hour of gaming time. But looks cool, perfect gaming environment for the most part other then it is loud lol. If you do take this venture, I hope it works out great for you.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Opening a Gaming Center - Much Needed Advise Plz!!!

                  I very much appreciate everyone's opinions, suggestions, advise and concerns. Really im taking it all into account and am thankfull for finding this forum with very informative and considerate members.

                  Basically l have seen this business to be very interesting and am very keen to learn what would be required to make it happen. Hence doing some basic research into what l need/would be ideal (Pcs, Server, How its all networked together, software, games, where best to source what l require, and ofcorse costings. This is all in order for me to get a better understanding of the principle,
                  see whether its feasible for me and take it from there.

                  If l do decide to go ahead with it all l would defo be hiring a person with a lot better knowledge in this regard than myself to set it all up and manage the center. However, my desire is to have at least the basic knowledge of it all so that l can properly assess the costings, feasibility and how it all generally works.

                  Thanks to everyone who is patient enough to try and show me the ropes, and give me the basics of it all!!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Opening a Gaming Center - Much Needed Advise Plz!!!

                    Where is this business going to be located?

                    [unit][squadl][command2]

                    KnyghtMare ~You could always tell the person holding the gun to your head you would like to play on a different server...

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                    • #11
                      Re: Opening a Gaming Center - Much Needed Advise Plz!!!

                      Im thinking of setting up in Dubai - UAE!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Opening a Gaming Center - Much Needed Advise Plz!!!

                        One of the things you'll need to keep in mind is that the UAE does place some very specific censorship restrictions on Internet viewing. Even if you're not directly responsible for a violation, you may still be held liable for someone using your systems.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Opening a Gaming Center - Much Needed Advise Plz!!!

                          Originally posted by Omz View Post
                          Im thinking of setting up in Dubai - UAE!
                          Aftermarket coolers and air conditioning is a MUST then if the center is going to be hosted in Dubai. If you don't want to put with all that fan noise, water coolers for the CPU and graphics card would be ideal, but they often cost 3x to 5x as much as traditional air coolers.
                          |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
                          TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
                          Former 9th & 13th

                          Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
                          Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





                          SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

                          TG Primer and Rules

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Opening a Gaming Center - Much Needed Advise Plz!!!

                            hi just saw your thread regarding opening a Gaming center i am facing a simiar situation kindly advise om what you have manged to gather regarding this. in My case i am looking at starting off in my neighbor hood and expand from there


                            thanks

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