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Here's the first release on cambium-->

Muddy Waters, the multi-player online game, not the blues musician, now has a new client program, mwClient. This is a double-beta release (very rough) prompted by various problems affecting my ability to further develop it safely.

To download the file, simply click here. But you WILL need to take the following additional steps when running the program:

  • create a directory somewhere convenient called 'mwclient'.
  • Put the mwClient.jar file in the directory that *encloses* the mwclient directory (above it). So you are in C:\blah\blah\somedir\mwclient. And mwClient.jar is in 'somedir' as well. And mwclient is a directory visible from somedir. Ok.
  • You MUST have the Java JRE installed (Java Runtime Environment). You don't need the whole JDK (Java Development Kit) --> just the user-end part that allows you to *run* java programs.
  • Further, your computer needs to understand where the JRE *is* so that when you invoke the program from 'somedir', it understands where to find the actual 'java' binary. For Windows users, you do this, as memory serves, by right-clicking 'my computer' and selecting an option that allows you to set system variables.
  • You find the system (environment) variable PATH, which will have some stuff like PATH=C:\blahblah;C:\bleh\bleh etc. You want to KEEP that, and ADD to it.
  • Typically the jre is somewhere like C:\Program Files\j2jre or some such. But you'll want to take it one step further, C:\Program Files\j2jre\bin. Note the *bin* directory--that's where the actually binaries are.
  • So you ADD to the existing PATH definition by first putting a ';' which is the entry separator, then put the path to the jre as discussed above. You don't need to close with a ';'. If all this is in quotes, maintain the quotes.
  • Now that 'java' will be recognized from any directory on your system, you can safely invoke mwClient with java -jar mwclient.jar. That should start the program. A few files will eventually show up in the directory we created, mwclient. These are data files that store player info and other stuff and you should keep them.
  • Linux users are assumed to know what they are doing here. Mac users are on their own for now ;)

Wasn't that easy! Now, you play the game buy clicking 'connect'. Assuming you have a good connection to the Internet, you then (after creating a player with a password) are logged into the game. You will have to wait about 18 seconds while this *advanced* software polls the game for information about your player. This will be reflected in the gui in various ways. Then you enter commands just like with telnet from the command line.

Bad news first. You will notice that 1)the client is on the slow side and 2)sometimes there's output from the game that you didn't request like 'vital's output and 'who' and 'date'. That's because the client sends these commands regularly to keep the gui updated. It *attempts* to block this output from the gui unless you yourself send these commands. But in practice this system can result in blind periods of a second or two and in apparently unprompted output. I'll be working on improving this. 3)If you lose your connection, the client is a touch spotty on logging in for second and third times. You may have to enter your name and password manually, but then, you may not. If things get too screwed up, close the client and reopen it.

Bad news aside, there are all the features. You should explore the menu bar. For now, don't click the connect time area once you're connected. It tries to connect you again. From the right, the Player menu allows you to create new players (name/password) for each player you have in the game. Once a player has been created in this way, it will be displayed as a menu item in the Player menu. Selecting the player menu item displays some basic options for mainting,reviewing that player. Players listed in the Player menu do not include the current player. That player is listed in the center of the menu bar.

Next to the left is the Tools menu. Four basic tools: 1)Triggers - define a trigger, then turn it on by selecting it (a '+' displays) and then when that text string is sent from the game your corresponding commands run. Currently they will blind output until they are completed. This will be fixed in the next release, assuming there is one. Turn off the trigger by selecting it from the menu again. And you can edit/create/delete triggers in the edit trigger menu. 2,3,4) the rest are basically the same. You figure it out.

The tools, known collectively as 'actions', can all be invoked from the command line. The syntax for this is $[actp][0-??] . a==action,c==auto Command, t==trigger,and p==path. The number is the number of the action in the current menu. You'll have to look at the menu to see what it is. And the numbers change if the menu changes. Not the best, but the next release will allow you to see the current menu in the game screen without having to use the mouse to check it. So to invoke the 3rd defined path, you would type $p3 and off you go. Speaking of which, you go, currently, at .3 seconds per move. The next release will allow the user to specify the time interval for each action. (within reason).

VITALS. Your vitals, as polled from the game every 10 seconds, display below the command line. They are displayed as colored bars over a 10-space field. Non-life-threatening vitals are always in grey, while things like health and encumbrance are displayed with a four-color code, where red indicates the most threatening extreme, and blue the unthreatening extreme. Ie, when you are collapsing under your load, the bar will encompass the entire 10-space field and be in red. But when you are feeling very well, the bar will also encompass the entire 10-space field, but it will be in blue. On occasion this mechanism breaks down, but hardly ever.

If any players you know are online (players in your 'remember' list), they will get a button in the bottom panel. Clicking this button puts 'tell [player] ' in the command line and puts the cursor back there, so you can then just type your message.

Your wimpy, as of startup, is displayed on the bottom panel left. It is also four-color coded, for levels that I determined warranted the respective colors. If you change your wimpy in the game, this field will be updated.

I'm sure there will be problems, but give it a try. If there's enough interest, I'll put up a blog at this site for comments, problems, suggestions.