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I've almost finished a PC game (I'm releasing it in a day or two). I'd like a way to easily release patches over the net in case I find a bug in the game right after release, or in case I want to add features later on.

I am using InstallJammer as my install system. Are there good update/patch programs (preferably free) which can check for and send updates to players over the Internet?

For instance, if a player opens my game, the game first starts the update program that checks for updates. If updates are available, it will let the user know where to get it. I can modify the source code to the game engine I own, but I'd prefer not to re-invent the wheel.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What platform are you on? Microsoft provides an easy to use clickOnce solution that handles install and updates for your game. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 21, 2011 at 15:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ Don't worry too much about it, after all you are a one man show, so things don't need to be perfect. It's fine if you have a place in the net where you can put new binaries, so your users can go there and download the bug fixed version. Don't put too much investment in that feature now, better wait how it goes with the game. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 21, 2011 at 19:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @3nixios I am using a windows based game engine, but clickOnce won't help me because it is for managed programs only. My game engine is made with native C++ code. \$\endgroup\$
    – QAH
    Commented Jul 21, 2011 at 22:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well Google installs the Chrome installer using ClickOnce so it's not like it can't be used - though in this case the reason (easy one-click installation) doesn't really make much sense ^^ \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 21, 2011 at 22:50

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Thanks for all of the help guys, but after some looking around, I found a really good updater. It's called Puchisoft Dispatcher. They have a freeware version, and it is really good for non-commercial projects.

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May be overkill, but RakNet includes an autopatcher system:

The autopatcher is a class that manages the copying of missing or changed files between two or more systems. It handles transferring files, compressing transferred files, security, and file operations. It does not handle basic connectivity or provide a user interface.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the tip, but while RakNet autopatcher is really great, it is certainly overkill for my game. My game is a simple 2D racing game. \$\endgroup\$
    – QAH
    Commented Jul 21, 2011 at 22:06
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If you game is very data orientated, it could be easy to make your own loader to verify and download data from a server, then launch the game. It shouldn't take too long in a managed language.

I made one a while back where the client downloaded a map of what the game folder shoulld look like, files, md5's, etc. And then looked through local files to see which ones it needed to download from the server.

Not very secure or optimized, but you get the point.

I also recall in my youth using Patch Maker by Clickteam. I'm not sure what it's capabilities are nowadays but it's free and can update binary files, you just distribute it as a setup file.

Maybe some of the bigger install tools allow you to create manual patches, Inno Setup is free and quite complete, maybe you may have more luck there.

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