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Bang! Howdy Pardner

Herein lies the source code to the game Bang! Howdy. This is a game that was created by Three Rings Design in 2004 and which is still limping along at

A while ago, I started a crazy project to port the game to the libGDX game library so that I could run it on an iPad and in a web browser, but I never really had much time, so that project is very very far from completion.

The current source code mostly builds, so if you're a super savvy Java programmer, you could probably get the client and server running locally if you feel like doing some spelunknig into code and configuration files. If you're just a tourist, you're not going to get very far, so just enjoy looking at the code and media and please don't pester me with n00b requests about not being able to get this or that to compile. If you can't get things to compile, there's no way you're going to be able to do anything meaningful with the code. You ain't gonna get from your house to the top of Mount Everest if you don't even know how to read a map.

With that nay saying nelly warning out of the way, here are some basic build instructions.

Building and running

The game is (now) built with Gradle, so you'll need that installed, and then you can run:

gradle deploy

which will build everything, process all the resources and prepare things to be run locally.

Assuming that worked, you'll have a build/client and build/server/ directory with a bunch of jar files in them (among a zillion other directories).

Next you need to copy all the etc/*.dist files into etc/test/ without the .dist suffix. For example, etc/ gets copied to etc/test/ In theory you can edit those files to tweak the settings for your test deployment, but the defaults are fine for now so just copy and rename.

You can now run the client, even though it will have no one to talk to:


That should show you something like this:

Client screenshot

Now you have the more complex task of setting up the server. When I said above that you don't need to edit the files in etc/test/*, I lied. You have to edit etc/test/ and configure a username and password for a MySQL database which must be running somewhere (I recommend on your local machine), which the Bang! server can use to store data.

There will be a section that looks like this:

# The default database mapping; all other definitions will inherit from
# this and need only be specified in cases where they differ from the
# defaults

db.default.driver = com.mysql.jdbc.Driver
db.default.url = jdbc:mysql://DBHOST:3306/bang
db.default.username = USERNAME
db.default.password = PASSWORD

# These overrides are needed for the OOO user database
db.userdb.url = jdbc:mysql://USERDBHOST:3306/ooouser
db.sitedb.url = jdbc:mysql://USERDBHOST:3306/ooouser

You need to change DBHOST, USERNAME, PASSWORD to the appropriate values for your MySQL server (and you can set USERDBHOST to the same value as DBHOST and keep that on the same server). Then you need to create a bang and ooouser database on your MySQL server (or change those names to database names that you prefer and which you have created).

Then you can run the server like so:


The first time you run it, it will create a bunch of database tables and eventually it should say something along the lines of:

2016/12/17 18:32:40:993 INFO com.threerings.bang: Running in cluster mode as node 'frontier_town'.
2016/12/17 18:32:41:028 INFO com.threerings.bang: Bang server v0 initialized.
2016/12/17 18:32:41:029 INFO com.threerings.presents: DOMGR running.
2016/12/17 18:32:41:045 INFO com.threerings.narya: Server listening on

If so, you are tantalizingly close to logging into your own local Bang! Howdy instance. The only final problem is that there are no users in the user database, so there's no one to log in as.

Not to worry, there's a gradle target that will create a test user in your pristine empty database. Just run:

gradle server:createTestUser

And now you can log into your local server with username test and password yeehaw.

That's about it. You can now hack on your own private Bang! Howdy instance and implement all those features you always wanted. Good luck!


The Bang! Howdy source code is released under a BSD license. The Bang! Howdy media, 3D models, texture images, UI images, sound files, everything other than the code, is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 license.


Bang! Howdy game client, server and webapps.







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