Darlantus / Crossfire

Graphical adventure game.


What is a 'client'?

Some games are "stand alone" which means you download or install the game, and the complete game is on your computer, or phone, etc. Generally these games are single-player and you don't NEED to be connected to the internet or other people.

For multiplayer games like THIS one, the game software itself is running on a larger computer server somewhere on the internet. Players like you can download and install a smaller piece of software that allows you to input mouse and keyboard commands for what you want to do in the game, and your client software sends those commands to the server. The game server acts like a traffic cop keeping everyone's input "legal", handles interaction between players and game objects, and continues the game running for other people even when YOU log out or stop playing.

Another interesting part of the client-server relationship is that different game designers can create their own clients that speak the proper language to the game server. This allows players the choice of what interface they prefer! You can kind of think of this like buying your choice of radio. The radio station is like the server... sending out a signal for anyone to connect who wants to. To be able to connect to a radio station, you need a physical radio box, but not everyone likes the same style. So companies build different colors of radios with different features, different sizes, etc. They all can tune in to the same radio station and get the same "content", but perhaps you prefer your radio to have "bass-boost" feature, or 10-band equalizer, or flashing lights, etc.

For this game, we mainly have 2 choices in game clients: the JXclient or the GTK client.

JXclient :

  • Written in Java code which means it can run pretty much the same on Windows, Mac, and Linux
  • Also requires you already have (or download in addition) the Java Runtime Environment - so possibly having to install another piece of software as well.
  • It has some neat features like being able to use popup windows that you can resize and move around individually so you can see things like your character Inventory in 1 small window, and your character Stats in another small window, another window for game messages, etc.
  • Some people have reported that the semi-transparent aspect of those windows is annoying and makes it a litter hard to read.
  • WINDOWS trys to warn you (players) that installing Java programs like this could harm your computer, and that scares some people, although this is true for ANY software a person installs

GTK client :

  • This software is put together for a specific type of computer, so each person has to get the correct copy -- Windows players need the Windows version..... Linux players need the Linux version...... there is no build for a Mac, so Mac players will need to use the JXclient.
  • The GTK client does not have individual pop-out windows, but it does have a segmented display with your Inventory, character stats, Messages, etc in different segments that each player can resize by click-dragging the horizontal or verticle separator bars between sections.
  • There is also a selection of about 6 different "layouts" that position the info sections in different places on the game screen. If you don't like one layout, maybe another will be nicer. Right NOW, I prefer the layout called "lobotomy", but I am creating a new layout called "darlantus" that I will be recommending to new players soon.

I think right now I would more recommend the GTK-client AND the "lobotomy" layout for new players... because this only requires one piece of software to download and install. As well as the lobotmy layout providing a small extra window right on your main view-space that lets you more easily see when CHAT messages are being sent (so they don't scroll too fast off your screen and you might miss something important).