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Jack_Skater  [developer] Nov 15, 2014 @ 4:49am
[FEEDBACK] The "Halfway [native]" beta branch
Starting now you'll find a publicly available "Halfway [native]" beta branch in the game's BETA properties. In this posting we want to explain what this beta is intended for.

What is this "native branch" about?

Halfway is written in Java, and needs a Java Runtime Environment (JRE) to work. We can't take for granted that a JRE is installed on the user system, so we bundle such a JRE, specifically OpenJDK 7u45, with the game installation.

Now, this native version is built with Excelsior JET[www.excelsiorjet.com], a commercial software product by Excelsior LLC. Excelsior JET translates Java byte code into an executable which runs as native code on Windows, MacOS and Linux platforms.

What's the benefits?

With Halfway, so far there have been a few Java related issues for some users. Some people have security concerns about Java. This version does not use Java.

In theory, native code might run faster, though Halfway isn't as computational intensive as other games. We didn't do a more detailed performance analysis yet, but the native version runs at least as smooth as the Java version on our own systems.

Why this beta version?

Compiling Halfway with Excelsior JET has been enjoyably straightforward and trouble-free, but so far we've only been able to test this build on a small number of systems. We want to gather more feedback about stability, speed and compatibility on a wider range of system configurations.

Note: it's not decided yet if the native build will replace the Java version at some point in the future. Given the slightly different technical requirements (read below), it's also possible that we continue to support both.

If you are interested, please try this version. Any feedback is appreciated. How well does it work? Is the performance comparable, worse or better than before? Do you experience any bugs, crashes or other issues?

System requirements & known issues

This version should meet the same minimum system requirements as the Java version, with these exceptions:

  • Windows: We experience some problems with fullscreen modes on high-dpi systems running Windows 8.1 when using desktop scaling of 125% or larger. As a known workaround you can:
    • Right-click on Halfway in the Steam library, select "Properties", then navigate to "Local Files" / "Browse Local Files"
    • In Windows Explorer, right-click on Halfway.exe, select "Properties".
    • In the "Compatibility" tab, check "Disable Display Scaling On High DPI Settings".
  • OS X: Excelsior JET officially only supports Mac OS 10.8 and later. The build is reported to not work on 10.6.8 at all.
  • Linux: On one test system running Linux Mint 16 32-bit, the game does not connect to Steam correctly. If this happens, cloud saves and achievements are not available.

How to participate?

For now this build is only available on Steam. To enable it, you can opt in the "native" beta version in the BETAS tab inside the Halfway game properties.

To get back to the regular version you just need to opt out of this beta again.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 comments
bauerfichtner Nov 27, 2014 @ 5:35am 
I'm running the native beta branch and so far it's running fine. In my opinion, it's running smoother than the non-native version. This is on Debian Jessie 64bit.

I have, however, discovered one issue. When playing the non-native version, I used to see information on remaining health and shield when targeting an enemy. In the native version, this information is not displayed. This is somewhat annoying, as it's hard to keep track of damage already dealt to individual enemies when there are more than three or four enemies at a time.

EDIT: I have to correct my initial report. Sometimes the information on remaining health and shield for a targeted enemy is shown. After some time the information is no longer displayed. I have no idea on what this depends.
Last edited by bauerfichtner; Nov 27, 2014 @ 10:14am
Jack_Skater  [developer] Nov 28, 2014 @ 12:53am 
Thank you for your report. Yes, this disappearing health info has been reported before. It's a real Heisenbug[en.wikipedia.org]!
Once-Ler Dec 23, 2014 @ 8:01pm 
Everything seems to be running smoothly, though all I've played with the beta version enabled is the Street mod. All the displays were working correctly and I'm assuming when you finish the mission it's supposed to return you to the title page.
Goldberg [Linux] Mar 26, 2017 @ 7:26am 
Has this version been removed now? I remember installing it before but its not showing in the drop down box anymore :(
seminus  [developer] Mar 26, 2017 @ 11:38pm 
Yes, we had to remove it bc it made some issues with this version and it was on a way older source part.
The new standard version uses a way better integration and you never have to use Java with that one too. So just switch to the main branch and it should work as the native one. (or even better)
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