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Java Game- Game can't find it's graphics jar file

My name is Nick Soutter, I own a small game development company
(www.aepoxgames.net) making our first game (www.andromedaonline.net) in
java.

I am writing because we are having a very serious problem, and I was hoping
someone might have thoughts.

Our game has 2 main programs- one is an updater, the other is the game
client. The updater (AndromedaOnlin e.jar) checks for updates to the
graphics, sound, client, and of course itself. After applying any updates,
the updater runs the client (AndromedaClien t.jar) for people to play with.

When players install this program on their systems with pre-existing
versions of JAVA, it runs fine. When they try to install it after installing
a fresh, new Java JRE, however, it fails.

I am running Java 1.4.1_05 on my system. This runs fine. After some Alpha
testers reported client problems, we brought up a test computer, installed a
fresh Windows XP, installed Java 1.4.1_05 on the system, then installed the
game. The updater ran fine, but the client failed to run. It threw null
pointer exceptions when it tried to load the graphics from the graphics jar
file (AndromedaGFX.j ar)

Strange as this may sound, this problem SEEMS to only to occur on newly
installed JRE's.

The problem appears to be that the client is not reading graphics from the
associated graphics jar. The updater is small, so we were able to include
its graphics with the updater, instead of in a separate jar, which is
probably why the updater works fine.

If we take the bad Andromeda game folder, copy it to another computer with
Java on it, the game works fine. But copy the folder back to the freshly
installed computer, and it won't work.

We suspected a classpath issue, but there's a classpath info in the client
jar which should prevent this. Further, we've updated all the classpath
information on the new installation, aswel as path, and JAVA_HOME
environmental variables. None of it worked (it is interesting to note that
classpath isn't set on the working machine, it gets that from the client
manifest).

We've had this problem reported on three windows machines and have been
unable to fix it. On at least 5 machines it appears to runs fine. We haven't
a clue what is causing this problem. It does not appear to be the game or
the code, as copying the game folder from a "bad" machine to a "good" one
allows the client within the folder to work.

It's very strange, and ALL of us here are stumped. We go to beta soon, and
obviously this is a serious problem. Again, as strange as it sounds, the
only common thread is new installs of java where none existed. Install java
on your machine (any 1.4.1 or higher), and the client can't load it's own
graphics files (copy of client manifest below).

If you'd like to see the basic files, they can be found at
http://www.aepox.net/andromeda/Downl...omedaBasic.zip. This includes
the updater and client, as well as the libraries. If you run the updater
(AndromedaOnlin e.jar) it will attempt to download the graphics package
(AndromedaGFX.j ar). If you want to download the entire package (graphics and
everything) it's at
http://www.aepox.net/andromeda/Downl...medaOnline.zip

Thank you for your time. Any thoughts as to the cause of this troublesome
problem would be MUCH appreciated.

Nick Soutter

Aepox Games

Manifest-Version: Version 1.0

Specification-Title: Andromeda GameClient Classes

Class-Path: lib/jmf.jar;Androme daGFX.jar;Andro medaSFX.jar;

Main-Class: com.andromeda.g ameclient.PreGa meClient

Implementation-Title: com.andromeda.g ameclient

Specification-Vendor: Aepox Games

Specification-Version: 1.0

Implementation-Version: 40119

Name: com/andromeda/gameclient

Implementation-Vendor: Aepox Games
Jul 17 '05
21 4475
Well PerfectDay, I think perhaps hiwa meant the problem was not worth
posting, not the "Thanks" (though I appreciate your defense).

I do disagree with hiwa, however.

I thought the issue would be a classpath issue or something else someone
might have seen before. I didn't post the relative code because, well, I
didn't know what the relevant code might be. The errors were in multiple
class files. I had no way of knowing it was the loader. If I did, I'd have
posted the loader code, but I'd also have known what the problem was, so I
wouldn't have had to post.

When someone requested a segment (the runtime.exe code), I happily posted
it.

And I would not have found the problem had I not seen the post (which I
can't seem to find now) which recommended checking the loader code. That
post lead directly to us finding the problem, and was a huge help (all the
suggestions were great, and one was right!)

So I will respectfully have to disagree with hiwa.

Nick Soutter
Jul 17 '05 #21
Well PerfectDay, I think perhaps hiwa meant the problem was not worth
posting, not the "Thanks" (though I appreciate your defense).

I do disagree with hiwa, however.

I thought the issue would be a classpath issue or something else someone
might have seen before. I didn't post the relative code because, well, I
didn't know what the relevant code might be. The errors were in multiple
class files. I had no way of knowing it was the loader. If I did, I'd have
posted the loader code, but I'd also have known what the problem was, so I
wouldn't have had to post.

When someone requested a segment (the runtime.exe code), I happily posted
it.

And I would not have found the problem had I not seen the post (which I
can't seem to find now) which recommended checking the loader code. That
post lead directly to us finding the problem, and was a huge help (all the
suggestions were great, and one was right!)

So I will respectfully have to disagree with hiwa.

Nick Soutter
Jul 17 '05 #22

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