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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Installing RealmSpeak

One of the most common issues I have come to my e-mail box, is regarding installation of RealmSpeak. The way it is now, you have to download the application (2MB), and if the images have changed, the resource pack (11MB). This keeps the amount you have to download to a minimum, though it can be a little tricky to install. You have to unzip the resource pack and the application into the same folder, and this has caused many installs to choke. Usually, people don't extract the entire zip file, and end up losing important files that prevent the game from launching.

I've thought about numerous other solutions. One solution involves using Java Web Start to install the app. The definite advantage here, is that it installs in a way I specify, and even downloads Java JREs if you are missing what you need. The problem with this approach, is it is difficult as heck for me to setup (a Java Web Start newbie), and requires some type of Jar file signing, that I don't completely understand. Oh, its worth mentioning that this is the approach the Titan for Java (Colossus) project chose, and its rather nice.

Another solution is to use an independent installer builder package, like wItem for Java. The advantage here is that you get all the features of an installer that you expect: it creates a shortcut in your Start menu, uninstallation, all file handling, creation of exe style launch scripts with an icon. Very cool, but this pretty much leaves my Mac/Linux/Sun users high and dry. Also, using this type of installer means the file is going to be 15 MB every time there is an update. With today's bandwidth sizes, I suppose that isn't a big deal, but I just don't know.

I'm going to post a poll on the sidebar shortly. If you have an opinion on the matter, please mark something on the poll, and/or make a comment on this post. I probably won't do anything major until the new year, but if I don't hear from you, I can't possibly know what you want to see! :-)


TH said...

Personally I do not care so much about downloading 15 MB more or less.
I do care about the thing not running on anything but windows.

I believe people playing MR/RS are likely to use Linux/Solaris or even Mac OS X :-) - at least on some systems.

Please no Windows only solution which everyone else as to hack to get it working.

DewKid said...

No worries: even if I simplify the install process for windows user, I will at the very least leave it the way it is for everyone else to enjoy. I suspect from the number of votes so far, that people are fine with it being left alone. That's certainly the easiest route.

I may still explore a Java Web Start solution, which should work regardless of your OS.

DewKid said...

Oh, and thanks to all those who have voiced their opinion so far. It's greatly appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I voted for "don't really care", but i do think that doing the Jave Web-start might be handy for those few, but important!, new players. People that have heard/read/seen the game and want to try it out. Having the JWS setup, its super easy for them to just click and go. One fewer barrier to entry has to be a good thing, no?

MWrynn said...

Hi Robin, I voted for "fine as is" but my next choice would be Java Web Start. We use it at work, and once it's set up properly it just works without fuss.

Anonymous said...

Hi Robin, first of all,as I wrote in an e-mail sent you directly, you've done a SUPER GOOD JOB !! Fantastic, really !!
I vote for "fine 4 now" But I think it doesn't matter the way you use to load the game, but smoother is better, cause will help getting more players.
P.S. I have some problem on my Mac (osx 10.5.4). If the application is "fresh" unzipped, it starts, but after quitting if I try to start again, It does not! and there is no way out than throw everything in the trash, reload and unzip again. Java problems?
Thanks again

Anonymous said...

I have tried numerous times to download the program but have not had any success. I have tried many times to download it to the same folder as instructed. However, I can never find the run.bat file. I might be helpful if there was a video posted on youtube or showing how to do it.