[Underground Exclusive] An Interview With the Tunngle Team!
8-18-09: Initial release
Foreword: After two weeks of anticipation, I am very happy to bring what is considered the first interview ever on the Internet with the Tunngle team. Actually, what I did was send in my list of questions to Zax, who then filtered it on with the rest of the group to get the answers. Now we finally have something worth showing to everyone. I hope by reading this interview, it has given you some insight into what Tunngle is, and the main drivers behind it. I am so glad to have found Tunngle, and I wish I had found it earlier! ~ Versatile
Before I get started and show off the tutorial questions with the answers, I am sure there are some questions that some of you are wondering about so let me go through those first.
What was the reason for doing an interview with Tunngle developers?
When you find a program that works well beyond your expectations, don’t you have the sudden urge to learn more about it? The inspiration for creating such a fantastic product? I grew up using Hamachi. I then moved onto Garena, which was OK but very unique to its own special circumstances.
By using Tunngle, I had found myself in a brand new ball game. You really don’t understand how pure genius Tunngle really is until you see it working in action.
Please explain this “pure genius” some more.
First of all to the nay-sayers, this is not some kind of sick promotion for the program. I genuinely believe it is a great program and I will tell you why. Hamachi is great, but to make it work for games it can be a hassle. Sometimes you host a game, and it just doesn’t show! Plus, let’s not forget the VPN alias. Even with that on, it still may not work.
Here is a real world example. I have been playing Worms Armaggedon with Hail2king for a bit now. When we go into the game lobby using hamachi, we cannot see each other to chat. I have to host, and then he has to manually connect to my hamachi IP address.
Now when we use Tunngle, we can see each other in the lobby, and even chat! I host and he sees the game and no need to mess with specific IP addresses. If that isn’t sexy, then let me elaborate some more. Many games these days have LAN (well, at least the older ones). We have tried among the group at least 15 games, and so far we are 15/15 success rate with hosting and playing games.
If we take those same games and try to do it on Hamachi, I guarantee you it won’t be 15/15 success rate. It will be lower about maybe 10/15. :-0
The fact of the matter is you can expect many games to just work in Tunngle, and I am no programmer but I can bet it was a lot of work to make this fantastic program. It really has added more fun into my life interestingly, and I can’t thank the Tunngle team enough for it.
All right, time for the interview!
1) What is Tunngle exactly? Can it be used for other purposes besides gaming?
Tunngle is a revolutionary peer to peer VPN solution that delivers the best online entertainment experience.. Tunngle is not “yet another VPN solution”. Tunngle is made by gamers for gamers and has online entertainment running through its veins. Of course, this does not mean that you can’t use Tunngle as a normal VPN solution. Its security, privacy and performance features are excellent for other purposes aswell. You might be surprised to find out that there is even more: We think Tunngle is not just an awesome & performing VPN with excellent features but also has a human face: Tunngle is me, you and everybody who wants to take part in the Tunngle Community. We think that keeping a strong connection with the community and shaping Tunngle with respect to its wishes is the best way to improve Tunngle. We want to thank all the community for the incredible support we are getting throughout the beta phase.
2) How did the name Tunngle become to be?
Tunngle comes from the union of the two names tunnel and global.
A tunnel is a technical term used in networking and describes a direct connection from one PC to another over the internet, thus making both PCs appear to be in one network.
3) How many people comprise of the Tunngle team? Is everyone from the same country, or all over the world?
- FirstCoder is 27 and the main programmer and developer of Tunngle making him the project manager.
- Skydiver is a 40 year old guy with experience in management and IT from the Login Lanstation network cafés. He brought the Tunngle team together.
- ZAX is in the middle of his thirties and our all seeing eye with respect to the Tunngle community. His strong points are graphic design, web administration and Tunngle support at first hand.
- Kaladis is our system administrator and networking guy. He’s a computer science student in his late 20th and he is responsible for our high-availability backend.
- Fiax is our cool 61 years young chief executive officer with many years of experience in the game and gambling area.
- Amigo is a Tunngle shareholder.
There are a lot of people around us in our company, supporting Tunngle to become more successful.
We are also happy about all the guys that are supporting Tunngle voluntarily. You can find them in the forum. Two of them, Brioche (English section) and BC-HDS (German section) deserve a particular mention. They do great support and work closely with us. In fact we can say, that these guys are also a part of the Tunngle Team. You can find many more great supporters around Tunngle. As example on YouTube or other gamer forums, private pages or blogs.
4) Conceptually, how does Tunngle work? The client logs in and it communicates to a master server, and this server does all the back end of the internal transaction?
Tunngle works like a big network switch that helps your PC establish a direct and secure connection with other PCs online. It gives your PC the ability to reach its companions and communicate securely with them as if they were in the same network as you. All communication happens directly between you and your companions and none of that data passes through our servers which makes best performance and privacy possible.
5) How long has Tunngle been around in development? When was it first released out of beta for public use?
Tunngle has been in development for about three years. In the first phase it was used to connect our Login Lanstation network cafés to allow joint LAN gaming across Germany. The first public release was in september 2008. This was the first crucial point – when Tunngle showed its face to the world for the first time. We started with version 126.96.36.199 because we already had an internal stable version. We are so glad that the world gave us such a warm welcome. Now Tunngle is ever evolving 🙂 . Your contributions have been precious and always will be. Thank you.
(Read more under point 8 of the interview)
6) How close are we to the new International release? What new features will the International release bring?
A date for the Tunngle Client D-Day (download day) is going to be fixed very soon. The new international release will include three languages (English, German and Italian) along with many important tweak and fixes. The new version of the servers will also provide increased performance, capacity and reliability.
7) How many languages will Tunngle be available in? Or does that depend on people translating it?
The international release will come in three languages at first. We are in the process of setting up a facility that will give the community the opportunity to help with the translation of the interface. We hope that soon, Tunngle will be available in many languages all over the world.
8 ) Why was Tunngle made? What was the inspiration behind it?
Three years ago, we were looking for a simple solution that allowed the connection of all our existing Login-Lanstation Network Cafès. We wanted to give our customers the ability to play together all the time and independently of their current location. Since we didn’t find any existing solution up to the task, we started to develop our own piece of software. Even though, in its early stages, this software came to life without a name and without any graphic user interface, it was not very difficult to see its huge potential (don’t forget that the team is made up by gamers like you). It wasn’t long before we created the first version that, thanks to a very simple GUI, allowed people to comfortably play with the players of our cafès network using their home PC. At this time, we founded Tunngle.net GmbH and gave the baby his sweet name. Tunngle was born.
9) Is there going to be a premium Tunngle service or paid plan? If so, what features will be in there, or too early to tell?
Yes there is going to be a Premium plan for those who want to experience the full power of Tunngle. You can read the features in the appropriate section of the Tunngle website. Of course you will be also able to continue your free Tunngle experience using a still very powerful Tunngle basic account.
10) What do you think of Hamachi? Did Hamachi inspire Tunngle to be made?
Tunngle was made by gamers for gamers and this is the reason why it has online gaming right in its DNA. We think that a comparison with other solutions that were probably conceived with other ideas in mind is not fair.
11) Are you familiar with other services like Garena, Gameranger, Wippien? What do you think of those programs when compared to Tunngle?
Discussing about other solutions, like this, in a few lines, wouldn’t be very meaningful and it would require access to information about the architecture of such projects, that we are not even sure we can obtain. Furthermore, considering the different architecture of such solutions, this kind of information would be of very little interest to us.
12) Of the people that use Tunngle right now, what is the user demographic like? For example, is 99% of it Europe/Asia users, and 1% from USA/CA?
We can’t say for sure what the current distribution of the Tunnglers on the globe is, because we do not log the data that would be required to make such a statistic. What we can do is trying to guess the distribution from our website statistics. Actually we are getting the greatest part of the visits (95,14%) from the European countries (Germany, Austria, Italy, United Kingdom, Poland, Sweden, Hungary, Switzerland and the Netherlands) but there is an increasing number of Tunnglers that come from the USA (now reaching 4,86%). Keep in mind that up to this point, Tunngle is still only available in German. So, these statistics are likely going to change soon.
13) It seems like more and more gamers these days are playing co-operative type games. Do you think this is the main reason Tunngle is starting to get popular among gamers?
We think that there are many reasons for which Tunngle is becoming more popular every day. We could talk about rock solid performance, functionality out of the box, gaming focused design, incredible community support and still not make justice to all the relevant factors that play a role in its success. What we can state for sure, is that we are very pleased that our hard work is getting such an enthusiastic reception. This gives us even more reasons to work hard for our aim to deliver you the best possible entertainment experience.
14) What does the Tunngle team like to play in Tunngle?
- Firstcoder plays CoD5 Coop, Demigod, Killing Floor and Supreme Commander.
- Skydiver likes CoD4 and CoD5 Coop and is also a racing simulation fan.
- CoD4, GTA4 and Demigod is played by Zax. He´s also a RPG fan.
- Fiax has been caught playing CS 1.6 quite some time
- Amigo plays Warcraft 3 Frozen Throne.
- Kaladis is always in for a match of Demigod. He likes strategy, RPG and shooters most.
- BC-HDS plays Killing Floor, Company of Heroes, Warcraft 3, C&C Generals and COD5 coop.
- Brioche plays COD5 (coop and versus) , COH (with and without the Blitzkrieg mod) and GTR2. More rarely COD4, Vegas 2 and L4D.
15) Right now, what are the top 3 games Tunngle players like to play?
The top three games are Warcraft 3, CoD4 and CoD5
16) Is there anything else you want to tell us that is not asked in this interview?
That’s all for now, but we want to thank ‘The Underground’ for this interview, to show the community a little bit more behind the scenes of Tunngle.
Have a question for the Tunngle team? Leave a comment here, and I will gather all the questions for the next time we have an update interview!