I've been toying around with the idea of creating an application that can be installed via WebStart or installer that could be a launching point for other games.  This would be a similar concept to Steam by Valve but would allow you to browse multiplayer games, create them, chat, browse, and install games within it.  It could manage automatic updates to games for you, the installation of games, introspection into multiplayer servers, friend link-ups, etc all from a single application.

In my mind it would be a good way to give better exposure to independent games in Java while better assisting game developers with deploying their games (since it can manage the installation and updating of games for you).

My question is, how many people would be interested in a system like this?  Of course you'd have to host your own files and multiplayer servers, but this would be a centralized launching place to connect.  Who would be interested in using this?

Not only interested, but willing to help.  I work with and build file distribution systems for a living.  Some of what you are describing here would benefit some future designs I am looking to implement with "self-healing" applications and end-points.

Keep me informed.

Well, I would be very interested in assistance.  I am intending to use my JGN (JavaGameNetworking) API to handle all the networking aspects of the game, and I’ve got some experience developing similar applications in corporate environments myself, but I would very much like to see your ideas.

I just created a new board for it on my server:,17.0.html

Feel free to post anything there.

I have an idea, run this as a thread that has the 'LaunchPad' side to it, but also can handle the networking for someones game,  have LaunchPad handle in game VOIP, file sharing, chatting and game networking code.  Just have LaunchPad run a class object for each game that the game developer puts his game specific networking code into.  Optional of course.  That way two players in totally different games can talk to each other, tying this into the MSN/AOL/ICQ networks would also be great!

I think that this would really turn people onto LaunchPad knowing that they save time programming the networking code of their game, and better distribution. I definitely want something like that. 

Not so sure that you should be spreading yourself over onto another project though DarkFrog, and at this rate, we'll have to rename jME to jDFE.

The developers from Bang! Howdy opensourced their system, I believe.

I'll have to get a look at Bang Howdy…do you meant their install system?

Liam, much of that is what I had in mind, but the benefit of such a system is that I can write it once and then use it in all games I develop so it actually saves me time in the long-run.  However, I am probably going to wait on this until Galaxies Beyond is released.  I was originally thinking of using it for GB but it doesn't really make a lot of sense for a MMORPG.

Yes I meant their install/update/launch/etc. system. Not the complete system you have in mind, but it does overlap on certain aspects I think.

I've actually already looked at it.  I thought it was kind of cool, but it does require Java to already be installed.  What I have in mind would install Java for you if it wasn't already installed (granted this would only work for the native executable and not the webstart).