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Workshop: Venturing into Another World

The last stop on your whirlwind tour of Java is Wurm Online, a multiplayer Internet game that has been developed entirely with the language. Grab your broadsword, wipe the Doritos crumbs off your tunic, and direct your browser to http://www.wurmonline.com.

Wurm belongs to a class of computer games called massively multiplayer online role-playing games, or MMORPGs (don’t ask me how that’s supposed to be pronounced). You can create a character and begin playing him for free, but the developers charge a subscription fee after you become massively addicted.

As this hour’s workshop, visit the Wurm website and click the link to launch the program. When you run Wurm for the first time, a Java Web Start dialog appears like the one shown in Figure 3.6.

Figure 3.6

Figure 3.6 Loading a Java program with Java Web Start, a new way to set up software over the Internet.

Java Web Start makes it possible to install software over the Web by simply clicking a link on a page. The programs loaded in this manner don’t have the security restrictions of the applets you’ve visited during this hour, so you must give your OK before they are installed.

When a program has been installed with Java Web Start, you can run it like any other software on your computer.

Wurm Online will be a familiar kind of game to players of EverQuest and other MMORPGs. You create a character who wanders through a 3-D world with the arrow keys on the keyboard, looking for people to talk to and things to kill. A screenshot of the game is shown in Figure 3.7.

Figure 3.7

Figure 3.7 Using Java Web Start, games such as Wurm Online and other software can be installed by clicking a link on a web page.

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