Here we describe how to get LIONESS up and running in just a few minutes. We show how to (1) install a web server on your local computer; (2) create a database; and (3) upload the files of a simple interactive experiment to your server. Note that the steps described here are specific to Windows. Also, the below description presents specific choices in terms of software and set-up that you may change at your taste.
1. Install and activate a web server
Download and install the XAMPP web server on your computer. This program enables your local computer to function as a server. Stick to the default options to install on C:\\. Once you have completed the installation, find the XAMPP Contol Panel under your Start menu and open it. Switch on the server by starting the Apache and MySQL [see pic below].
2. Create a database
Now that the server is running, we need to create a database to store data in. Download the most recent adminer file, save it in C:\\xampp\\htdocs, and rename it to adminer.php. This program enables you to edit the contents of your server. Open a new tab in your web browser and type in the address bar: localhost/adminer.php. Once the login page appears, type root as the user name, leave the other fields empty and click Log in. This should take you to a page showing the contents of your server. Create a new database by clicking Create new database on the top of the page [see pic below]. Name it test_database and save.
3. Upload experiment’s program files
The only thing the server still needs now is the experimental program itself. Get the program of a simple interactive experiment here. Create a folder exp in C:\\xampp\\htdocs and unzip the downloaded file there. Go back to adminer.php in your browser, and click on your newly created test_database. Now, click on Import [see pic below] and select the file game_setup.sql in your exp folder C:\\xampp\\htdocs\\exp. After selecting this file, click the Execute button to define the structure of the database. This structure ensures that the data produced by the participants in the experiment will be saved in the appropriate place. If all went well, you should now see the four tables just produced in your database: decisions, expparameters, groupallocation and subjects.
LIONESS in action!
The server has now been prepared for running an interactive experiment! In your browser, type localhost/exp/control.php. This is the main control panel through which the experimenter can oversee and manage an experimental session. Open a new tab in your browser and go to localhost/exp/begin.php to stand in the shoes of a participant in this simple experiment. After you entered the experiment as a participant, keep an eye on the control page to see if you can indeed track your own doings. You may soon find out that a second participant is needed to start the experiment itself. To enter as a second participant, open a different web browser (not simply a new tab within the same browser) and type localhost/exp/begin.php in its address bar.
When you are done playing around a bit, you will have got a taste of what LIONESS is and what a simple interactive experiment might look like. For a further exploration of the functioning of LIONESS, go to the tutorial page, which will show you around its basic functionalities.