Frequently Asked Questions
Piepacker is a multiplayer gaming platform to play retro games with friends online. You can play games from our built-in catalogue for free or bring your own games to the platform. Piepacker is equipped with a video chat with AR 3D masks to see and talk to the people you are playing with. No installation is required to enjoy Piepacker, it all works directly from a web browser.
Piepacker will be totally free to access but will feature a premium membership available for players who want to enjoy the full range of our capabilities such as BYOG (Bring Your Own Game), rewind powers, HD graphics, new game modes and new ways to play your favorite games. We’ll communicate more on all future beta features in our Discord channel.
Piepacker is proud to be an alternative to online piracy and share value creation with creators: Piepacker secures legit licensing deals with each game publisher. We have the rights to distribute every game on the platform. Furthermore, if you already own retro games at home (whether digital or physical), BYOG (Bring Your Own Game) and our PieReader will allow you to bring them to the platform to play with your friends online.
All the pre-built games are playable online in multiplayer with connected friends. To bring your own games (BYOG), you have two options.
- Physical BYOG: we have built the cartridge reader PieReader (an official Piepacker’s accessory) which is our main Kickstarter reward.
- Digital BYOG: if you have legally acquired digital games (ROMs), Piepacker allows you to play them in multiplayer with friends through your own private game room.
The ROM is never sent nor shared with your friends. Piepacker is only sharing the video feed and the game input on the same screen. Our platform is compliant with all regulations in the countries where it is available.
The PieReader is a modulable device (there’s a different adapter for each console system) that allows you to bring your own cartridges to the Piepacker environment only, adding online multiplayer, video chat and all our current and future features such as 3D Masks, saves in the cloud, achievements, leaderboards etc…
Since game ROMs cannot be duplicated or distributed to other people, the PieReader does not allow you to dump and save your game like most cartridge dumpers. It’s a read only process that only works on our platform. The ROM is executed on a private instance owned by the user and only the video stream is shared with other players, not the game data itself.
When the user loads the game via the PieReader, it is read by a private virtual instance in the cloud that ONLY belongs to the user (cartridge owner). It’s not part of our central system and we do not have access to the ROM. It’s exactly like a virtual desktop running owned by the user that has our proprietary emulators, very similar to Shadow or Nvidia GeForce Now.
It’s like inviting friends to play a game at home, except the TV signal is duplicated and sent to different rooms with TVs in the house. The ROM is never sent to other players, what is sent is ONLY the video signal generated by the owner’s private remote instance. It’s like a private streaming on Twitch except users can send inputs over the internet to the host instance in order to control the game.
Piepacker is a gaming streaming platform so it does require an internet connection. But good news is: thanks to in-house developed technology even low-debit connections users should be able to enjoy a great multiplayer experience in most places covered by our service. Additionally, our local mode guarantees an optimum experience even with the lowest connection. Last but not least, we are working on an offline mode that will be similar to Netflix's.
Our current catalogue comes with games for NES, SNES, SEGA Genesis, PS1, GBA and Arcade. We are constantly adding new games to the platform and we currently have more than 60 retro games including top tier indie games. We are counting on your backer’s support so we can produce the PieReader, the ultimate accessory for your physical games, as well as create new original multiplayer concepts using our unique social interactions.
For now, Piepacker is available on computer through Chrome & Edge browsers. Our end goal is to be available on any device (computer, mobile, TV) and any browser in the future.Compatibility with other browsers is currently planned for the second half of 2021.
For each game session you create on Piepacker, you will be able to play your game in multiplayer mode with up to 4 players. We are working on increasing the number of users per game room for games supporting more than 4 players.
The platform will be available worldwide for backers as soon as the early access opens! Certain games or features might not be available for certain countries as per limited rights or local regulations.
Playing solo your experience should be consistent as the game runs in parts locally. However while playing with other people quality of service is dependent on the physical proximity of each player to our servers. The good news is that because of our unique system, other people’s weak connections won’t impact your own experience. Most of our servers are currently in Europe and North America. These geos will experience a more consistent quality of network. However we are already expanding our number of servers in new regions. And last but not least we are soon deploying a peer-to-peer technology to remove any dependency from servers. This technology will be particularly good in locations still working on their internet infrastructure.
We’ve been overwhelmed by the feedback from our closed beta users in 2020. In fact, their biggest ask has been to be able to bring their own games to play with their friends. While we are always hunting for new classic titles to license and brainstorming new original multiplayer concepts, we firmly believe that retrogaming fans’ collections deserve a new life, online, on Piepacker. The idea of a cartridge reader connected to Piepacker -the PieReader- started as a fun concept born in the middle of the pandemic. And was the physical counterpart of the digital bring your own ROM solution we were working on. When our prototype finally worked, we realized how magical this accessory could be. A kickstarter campaign to introduce our platform with its accessory felt like the next natural step!
ALL rewards we’ve gathered for this Kickstarter are totally exclusive and will never happen again: the early access to our platform, the Lifetime Premium membership and the PieReader as for this first ever production batch (their design will be unique). Finally, on the pricing perspective all deals are including strong packaged discounts which are also exclusive to our Kickstarter backers.
There are fundamental differences between Piepacker and Retroach. While both projects are multi-console platforms, RetroArch is an open source downloadable application which users need to install and configure themselves whereas Piepacker is a proprietary web application that is ready to use. Piepacker focuses on the online multiplayer and makes it as simple and instantaneous as possible. There’s no network configuration required. All it takes is to copy paste a link to invite your friends to play directly from their web browser. Lastly, we integrated a video chat to talk and see the friends you are playing with.
A question we have not answered? Please come ask us on our discord channel!