By Mark Burger

What is LiveHack

LiveHack is a simple Java server program that runs on HTTP allowing users to connect and play a simple, text-based shoot-em-up game. The game is a hybrid multiplayer-oriented game that can be played single-player as well. The graphical styles are rogue-like in nature, and the controls are similiar to that of an old two-joystick arcade game.

LiveHack is first and foremost a server. The game itself is played within a web-browser. Since it's written in Java with Java's own socket system, it's secure as far as Java itself is secure.

Playing on a LiveHack Server

Clicking 'Help' after connecting is a good guide for players. It was written simultaneously with the game and contains some valuable information.

The basic controls are available as buttons on the game screen, but these get pretty tedious pretty quickly. The keyboard can be used as an alternative. Movement is with W, S, A, and D, similar to most modern first-person shooters. Firing is accomplished with 8, 4, 2, and 6. The design idea is to turn on Num-Lock and use the numeric keypad. The help file explains in more detail what to do for browsers that don't support JavaScript, which browsers have internal "Access Keys" and such.


LiveHack is gratiously hosted by SourceForge! It can be downloaded here.

Getting Started With LiveHack

Here's how it works: a person (the "server") launches LiveHack and tells his or her friends the IP address of his or her computer. All the friends (the "clients") type in this IP address into their web browser followed by the port number that the server specified. Then, these friends log in and play through their web browsers.

Say our server's IP address is and his port is the default– 3065. His friends go to the web address where they're greeted by the server's welcome screen.

Advanced Administration

The documentation for the server program is actually lodged into the source-code. Pry open "", and it lists the command-line switches for non-interactive serving. Here they are for easy use:

About: Some History

This program was done in 2010 when I was a junior in college. It was thrown together as a personal project which I intended to play with some friends. My Java programming class around the same time required an "individual project" and some snazzy documentation, so I hastily finished LiveHack and submitted it for a grade. Only later, after the hefty insistence of some friendly folks, I decided to upload it to SourceForge for the world to share.

Get LiveHack at Fast, secure and Free Open Source software downloads