Applets RIP

So Java Applets are dead now, at least for the purposes of a little site like this one. (If you can still run Applets, then for heaven’s sake install the latest Java update before bad things come down the internet and eat your computer!)

What that means for me is that I have to find a new way to deploy my games.  Probably what I’ll do is package them up as Runnable JARs, which can then be downloaded and run on any machine that has Java installed.  Not as user-friendly as Applets, but easy for me to do at least.  Mini Quests on the other hand may get some special treatment.  Through the magic of libGDX, I’m going to try converting it into an HTML5 app, so there’s a chance it may be playable in the browser still.

At any rate, that’s the plan.

Bye-bye Applets.


New game alert!  (Or new work-in-progress alert at least.)

Friends vs Aliens is a ‘tower defence’ game intended for multiple players.  It was born from the realization that the only way I could enjoy playing Plants vs Zombies more is if I were playing it with friends.  Plus the realization that aliens are easier to draw than zombies.

The game is just a prototype/experiment-thingy at the moment, so don’t expect too much from it.  Any feedback on its current state would be appreciated.

Friends vs Aliens

Taking Control

I’ve updated the Android version of Mini Quests so that it’s easier to control on tablets.  On-screen buttons mean that you no longer have to have really, really long thumbs to play.  The original controls are still better for smaller screens though, so the new buttons only appear if the device’s screen is bigger than about six or seven inches (and it reports its screen size correctly).

But that’s not all!

The game should now recognize the physical buttons on devices – Xperia Play for instance – that are lucky enough to have them (although such devices aren’t all that common and I haven’t been able to test on one directly, so I’m not making any promises).

And there’s more!

If you’ve connected a gamepad/controller (Bluetooth or USB) then the game should hopefully now respond to that.  Android gamepads are unfortunately an ugly mess of incompatibility, so I don’t know that all of them will work, but the game only needs an analogue stick and a fire button, so with a bit of luck most controllers should be okay.

If you have any issues with the new controls, then drop me an email or comment below.

Dungeon #3 Beta

Mini Quests is about to get a new dungeon!  It’s currently in the final stages of testing.  If you want to give it a try then click below – although if you haven’t played the game before you’re probably better off starting here.

[link removed]

If you’ve got any comments, write them below or drop me an email.  The ‘beta’ applet reports back some basic gameplay stats to me, so everyone who plays it is doing their bit to balance the difficulty level.

I’ll incorporate the new dungeon into the full game (including the Android version) in the next few weeks, fingers crossed.

Stuck in a Dungeon

Are you stuck in a dungeon in Mini Quests?  Don’t just rot there to become a skeleton for other adventurers to laugh at.  Help is at hand!  The new walkthrough for the game will guide you past the traps and reveal all the monsters’ weak points.

And if one walkthrough for the game isn’t enough, I’ve just found out (thanks Dave!) that Jay is Games have one on their review page as well.

Invasion of the Applets

The good news is this site is now populated with my games (each one a work of art!).

The bad news is the games are Java Applets.

Now, as much as I like Java, it’s a sad truth that Applets can sometimes be a little… cranky.  Bluntly, they just won’t work on some machines.  I’m using the Java Applet Embed plugin for WordPress, and I’m hoping that that will ease the pain a little.  But there’s still a chance you could be looking at a blank space where a game is supposed to be.

If the games aren’t appearing, the first thing to do is keep your eyes open for a message from the browser asking if it’s okay to run Applets. Failing that, you could try visiting the Java download page to make sure you’ve got Java installed already.  If that doesn’t help then all I can do is apologize.

If you know any tricks for making Applets work reliably then I’m all ears!

[Edit] And it turns out that the plugin that launches the Java Applets only works if JavaScript is enabled.  So that’s both Java and JavaScript.  But honestly, the games are worth it!