It can be very hard when you are in a team of one. Whatever problems come up there is nobody else to go to for help. You are it!
I've been coding this game on and off for nearly 4 years now. It started out in JBuilder 3.5 and Java 1.3 and has been designed in JDeveloper, Sun Studio, Eclipse and now finally Netbeans. It has had to be changed to work in each new Java versions. The worst part of Java is always the deployment step. Its ok making jars and exe s for small applications but when you start having to use threads and many interrelated classes it becomes a little harder.
When I found how easy Netbeans made it to deploy applications with Webstart I was really delighted. At last!, I thought, things will be a little easier for us Java developers. It allows games to be updated automatically, when the user is online. Shortcuts, complete with icons, can be added to the users desk top and start menu and you can even add your own splash screen.
The drawbacks are that every jar file used in the application, must be digitally signed with the same certificate and the really scary dialog, announcing how dangerous it is to use this application and that the digital certificate cannot be verified! Any application you download from the Internet has the capabilty to be malicious, but only Java has this awful warning.
Having managed to get the game up to a beta type state ready for testing, I decided to go to a game developers web site to enlist some help. This site is not based in Scotland as far as I know!
The site has an IRC Chat channel where developers can hang out and discuss stuff. I think in hindsight it is mostly youngsters discussing there homework.
Two of the chatters offered to test the game but seemed to be having a hard time downloading it, it usually downloads in under 5 minutes but this was like for over 15 minutes. While the game was downloading the pair discussed an applet one of them was developing, it had textured images and used XOR bitshifting. (?) It was really for putting skins on 3d wire frames but there was no reason why it wouldnt work in 2d.
I opened my game from the website to see what the problem was, I was absolutely horrified to discover these huge bouncing ugly squares all over my game screens. It might be quite amusing when you see some of the posts I have made trying to resolve this problem.
"Bouncing squares ruining my game!"
I asked for help in the Java forums but I think it just put peoples backs up, coz I mentioned Java and Malware in the same sentence. I was curtly informed that it was a problem with IRC not Java.
I even tried to pay an expert on the Sun Developer site to help but I got 2 refusals as the experts just help with homework etc.
I tried the major geeks website as they are my best hope of help but so far no reply.
I guess its down to me again but this one has really got me stumped. It will set me back quite a few months I expect. The worst part of this is, how easy it is to find solundria as part of a search for malware and yet how hard it would be to find in a search for Java RPG game!
The game runs ok from the website from two other machines, so whatever happened seems to just have affected my development PC. I have ran every malware and virus checker known to man, removed all old java versions, reinstalled Java and Netbeans (Countless times) but those ugly squares still jump gleefully all over my game.
If I start Task Manager they disappear! This is what makes me think its some kind of malware as I cant identify the processes being used in Task Manager. If Task manager is running they wont even appear! I am going to attempt to upload a video here of the squares.
Someone somewhere may have an idea of what is happening here. Please get in touch if you have any clue, as this is driving me bonkers!
I may have to reformat and start again, and that is a really frightening thought!

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Tags: IRC, games, malware

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Comment by Rosie Wood on December 3, 2008 at 15:15
I finally managed to fix the problem by updating the firewall and the graphic card driver. I'm not sure if it was some kind of malware or just a coincidence. The driver has an option to turn on dep for all programs, This stops the driver file from being ammended I think.
Comment by David Gilmour on November 22, 2008 at 17:12
Hope you get some help with this. I recognise that all-alone feeling from other stuff I work with. Just sorry I can't help with this one. :-(

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