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1  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Re: Has anything happened the last 6 months? on: 2002-12-06 12:25:19
The Angel and CMA are both before my time so I wouldn't know for sure, but he has certainly not written the story for our current title. And the ones he where in on he did in conjunction with the other designers here. The story of our current title is being written by two guys at the office. Michael might have reviewed it though.

I don't know about CMA (Cover My Ass) so he might have been in on that one, but as you might know that project was stopped this spring.
2  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Re: Has anything happened the last 6 months? on: 2002-12-06 03:04:42
<i>Just thought I'd post since I'm currently attending a course in game writing (or perhaps it should be called interactive fiction) by Michael Valeur from Deadline. Small world  </i>

lol. Where are you from? Are you from the netherlands as your name suggests? What institution is that? And what are Michael doing there?

He isn't actually an emplyee at Deadline Games anymore (if he ever was?!?), but he was a important part of their first game title "BlackOut" back in 96/97. Most notably he wrote the novel that accompanied the game.

I haven't actually met him, but say hi from Deadline from me.
3  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Re: http:/Has anything happened the last 6 months? on: 2002-12-05 19:41:54
I know for a fact that there are ports of OpenGL to the PS2, and I even remember reading about several "in-house" ports of OpenGL too.

Although I haven't tried them myself I am told by others in the PS2 community that they are too slow so they are not competitive in practice. The PS2 architecture does not fit too well with the OpenGL structure of things unlike on the PC where hardware often are made to match OpenGL. So if you use them you are not competitive.

However, if you just want to make a OpenGL-like interface with some heavy adjustments or a loads of specialized "extensions" then it might be pulled of quite well. I think it might actually be something like that we might end up doing for our own engine.

(BTW, I had first written a detailed explanation about why the OpenGL and the PS2 architecture conflicts but then I just remembered the NDA my company signed so I decided against posting it - sorry)
4  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Re: Has anything happened the last 6 months? on: 2002-12-05 16:55:47
I agree Brad on all those points. Massive multiplayer games is still acceptable for PCs only - but it is hard to get players them to pay and play them. It seems that the market is somewhat saturated already. The casual games go for the very mainstream things that get most publicity (or the The Sims, of course Smiley )
5  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Re: Has anything happened the last 6 months? on: 2002-12-05 14:18:03
Yeah 50.000 copies would be great for a one man project but then you would be succesful and I think you could pull it of in Java too. In fact, it would probably be much eaiser in Java because you would save a lot of time and money. But given the time you have already used and doubt I would say you would be become really rich.  Roll Eyes

But remember for the top games the sales a increasing year by year. Our friend company, Io Interactive (their offices are just 300m from where I work) are above 1.5 millions sold copies of Hitman 2 in just a bit over month. (And that made them rich!) The top games today need to sell around (I am told by my mangement) about 600.000 copies to cut even. And they is expecting it to rise to 1.000.000 within the next two years. Most of this money goes to marketing since they have to promote the games to make them standard out from all the other ones.
6  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Re: http:/Has anything happened the last 6 months? on: 2002-12-05 13:37:46
The commercially most succesfull game of last year was The Sims and add ons for it. 3D games were a minority in the top 20.
When one wants to be successful one can't use the newest of modern gfx bords anyway, market would be too small. So I really don't see a problem with java here. But maybe jacobmarner is out for gfx-demos instead of games? There java will never be able to compete, that's true.

I think I have to clear up something here that I only learnt after begin working professonally at a game company that talks a lot with publishers. The most basic point is that all the major publishers today are very focused on consoles. For instance, Cas, I think you once mentioned that you showed your terrain demo to a publisher and when you mentioned it was Java they were not interested because of console portability problems.

And we all know that Java is not (currently) a viable solution on consoles. So it is not just Gfx demos I am talking about.

The top 20 you mention is the top 20 for the PC. The top 20 for the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube are filled with high powered graphics stuff - and since consoles are where the profits are you can't really get around them commercially.

If you write a game for the PC-only the matter is another entirely - but to get through with a PC-only project today either requires that you are proven team with lots of hits on streets or that you have the money to finance it yourself. There are lots of minor PC publishing houses that are willing to publish it on PC with a minimum of marketing if the game is already complete and of decent quality - but that won't make you rich. Only major projects like "Mafia" and "The Sims" from very established developer houses can get away with anouncing PC only versions only. And now both games are planned for consoles. If they had used Java they would have had a problem now. An Just a month ago our house got a kids game published by a local publisher in Germany (after we localized it of course). We could have used java for that too.

So realistically, at the moment Java is best suited games intended for shareware, or games made by hobbyists, or child games, or educational games, or even games intended to have a sales up to, say, 50.000 units. For instance, at the place I work we have just completed a games for teenagers that need to go to "confirmation of their faith" at church (a tradition we have here in Denmark). That game should have used Java if I was the one to make the decision.

Also, I would like to utter my concern about high level toolkits. Kits like DirectX or OpenGL has proven successful because they map very closely to the hardware. On the PS2 no real equavalents exist. You either write directly hardware (hard) or use a high level toolkit like Intrinsic or RenderWare - both which are intended to be crossplatform. But because they are high level they also hide hardware details and prevent us from implementing cool platform specific gfx features. So I guess we in the end will drop the high level stuff and write the loe level stuff in assembler anyway. And we have to, because that is needed to compete with the other games out there. My point is that the holy grail for a cross platform library is utopia for commercial class games. So the way to mix Java with your own level stuff on this platforms. All we need is the proper tools and ports of the virtual machine and hotspot compilers.

That was long. I hope this cleared up my opinion in these matters.

7  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Re: Has anything happened the last 6 months? on: 2002-12-04 15:03:23
Hmm, it doesn't sound like much has happened. I am somewhat disappointed in this since I had expected more.

Cas, nice initiative. You talked about doing that for a while and you finally decided to go for it. Thats great. I just hope your work gain significant impact in the community (on the same scale as say gl4java). Good luck with the project.

I fear that that other flame guy in the other thread in this forum (i think I saw it in the game news forum) might be right that Java is fighting a loosing battle (in gaming that is). This is really a shame since it has so much great going for it, but without proper library and developer support and direct compiler support we are not getting anywhere. Compare this with the effort put into DirectX by Microsoft (or even libraries for consoles - such as RenderWare) and there is really a class difference.
8  Game Development / Performance Tuning / Has anything happened the last 6 months? on: 2002-12-03 15:21:41
Hi guys,

For those who don't remember me, I am the guy who wrote the report "Evaluating Java for Game Development" back in March and I have then gone on to work as PlayStation 2 programmer at a local game development house.

Anyway, I haven't been in touch with the Java game dev community since then and I was just looking around to see if anything new had happened the last 6 months concerning Java and games.

It seems that we still haven't seen anything of the JSR-134 which we was supposed to after GDC 2002, and the site still hasn't really kicked of as anything but a forum. Or have I missed something? Has any new games been released that use java?

I was just updating the site related to my report and I wanted to get any new developments on it.

Jacob Marner
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