Client Launcher

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What is a Client Launcher?

A client launcher has a few key roles, currently these tasks are done as directed by the manifest file(s) you load into your launcher of choice. In the broader gaming industry, a client launcher will communicate directly to a central server for directions of what to do.

Tasks the client launcher is often directed to do

  • Initial Game install
  • Patches Game install with current updates or bugfixes
  • Check Game files for correct versions or corruption
  • Launches Game with correct Game files for selected server

Overview of existing Client Launchers and Concerns

The current client launcher options available for City of Heroes have many limitations and security holes.

Launchers currently have one or all of the following issues

  • Unrestricted access to OS file structure (write & delete)
  • Utilizes a very inefficient and insecure manifest file for directions
    • Manifest file is also overly bloated and time-consuming to build
  • Does not show download speeds
  • Does not show per file progress
  • Does not give any indication of file sizes or overall install size
  • Trying to support multiple private servers with a single manifest causes problems
    • File version conflict can occur
    • Excessive files downloaded that may not be needed by player

Current Launcher Options

Tequila - Windows

  • Released: Dec 23, 2013
  • Development Status: Abandoned
  • Used Primarily by Homecoming Servers Network and Titan Network (For Paragon Chat)
  • Used by Many Private Servers

Island Rum - Mac

  • Released: (Unknown 2013?)
  • Development Status: Active (?)

Cream Soda - Windows

  • Released: Apr 29, 2019
  • Development Status: Abandoned?
  • Forked from Tequila and reworked
  • Used by Many Private Servers

Sunrise - Windows?

  • Released: Never Released
  • Development Status: Abandoned?
  • Project started by SCOTS Team but was later abandoned before release
  • Currently in incomplete status

Sweet Tea - Cross-Platform?

  • Released: Oct 6, 2019
  • Development Status: Active
  • Active development by CoXG
  • Created to imitate Cream Soda? While also attempting to address security flaws found in all current Launchers
  • Intended to be Cross-Platform (Cross OS - Win/Mac/Linux)

Project Objectives

It is clear that there is plenty of room for improvement and modernization of the community approach to the current Client Launcher concepts.

There is a lot of misconception of what the true issues are with the current available Client Launchers.
However, the root of the issues comes from the core manifest file and primitive uninformative user interface.

Our objectives are as follows

  • Easy to use and understand User Interface
    • Lightweight Game Launcher
    • Minimize security concerns for Users
  • Eliminate the current manifest file completely and replace it with 2way validation system
    • Optimize the use of mirror servers
    • Increase download speeds for users
    • Minimize the excessive files downloaded by the users which might not be needed.
  • Easy to use management interface for server operators
    • Build and maintain their “manifest” for their servers.

Project Notes and Links

Launcher Planning List

Launcher Prototype Process Outline

Mind Map - To get an idea of features, concept, and flow.