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  Do you think 2D platform games are dead?  (Read 11808 times)
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Offline bert

Junior Devvie




Miles of road and miles of code


« Posted 2006-06-15 20:02:33 »

I'm starting up a computer game programming company this summer and my first game will be a lot like Super Mario, by this I mean the setup of it. I will be selling this for $10 but I'd like to know if it's worth my time.

w00t, i'm winning
Offline g666

Junior Devvie





« Reply #1 - Posted 2006-06-15 20:25:21 »


Probably not, unless it offered something extra, like gish for example.

desperately seeking sanity
Offline benjamin

Senior Newbie





« Reply #2 - Posted 2006-06-15 20:34:02 »

I am a big fan of Super Mario so if it is any good... I would buy it.
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline OverKill

Junior Devvie




Java games rock!


« Reply #3 - Posted 2006-06-16 06:44:40 »

Hard to answer the question.
If it were a mario clone, yes, dead.
If it was something new then no
Offline Markus_Persson

JGO Wizard


Medals: 19
Projects: 19


Mojang Specifications


« Reply #4 - Posted 2006-06-16 09:02:49 »

Dead? No. =D
http://ds.ign.com/objects/682/682879.html

And later on this year:
http://ds.ign.com/objects/826/826997.html

Mmmm.. good times. Cheesy

Play Minecraft!
Offline Amos Wenger

Senior Devvie




Everything's possible, but not everything's fun...


« Reply #5 - Posted 2006-06-16 11:18:00 »

I can't tell you if they're dead but I can tell I love 2D platform games.. I would be an eventual buyer if it's really interesting.

"Once you start working on something, don't be afraid of failure and don't abandon it. People who work sincerely are the happiest"
Offline bert

Junior Devvie




Miles of road and miles of code


« Reply #6 - Posted 2006-06-16 16:24:32 »

Probably not, unless it offered something extra, like gish for example.

What the heck is gish? (Forgive me if I should have already known)

w00t, i'm winning
Offline kevglass

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 319
Projects: 25
Exp: 22 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #7 - Posted 2006-06-16 16:28:28 »

GISH - http://www.chroniclogic.com/gish.htm

A good game, is a good game no matter the format. You should also remember that there are always new gamers coming along who maybe have never played a mario game.

To say 2D platformmers are generically dead is like saying gaming is dead. Make it fun - and it'll be played. Make it really fun - they'll buy it. Making it really fun is obviously the hard bit Smiley

Kev

Offline TheAnalogKid

JGO Coder


Projects: 2



« Reply #8 - Posted 2006-06-16 19:02:56 »

Quote
Dead? No. =D
http://ds.ign.com/objects/682/682879.html

And later on this year:
http://ds.ign.com/objects/826/826997.html

Mmmm.. good times. Cheesy

These are not just classic platformers since they are played on the DS. The DS offers new gameplay with the 2 screens and touch screen capability. I don't think these 2 games would still have the same success on GBA as a comparison. DS clearly brings something new to any king of game.

And, not that I want to plug my last dead game, but I tried to produce something relatively new in terms of gameplay in Lost Drops. I think that's the sort of thing that can still interest gamers in old school game styles.

Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #9 - Posted 2006-06-17 02:12:50 »

2d platformer is a genre, which cannot be replaced with something else. A 3d platformer for example has completely different gameplay.

With racing games for example its different. 3d is the optimal graphical representation there, but its different with platformers. They can be way faster and more twitchy in 2d. 3d doesnt automatically make everything better.

The question is like... are 2d puzzle games dead? Of course they arent. A 3rd dimension doesnt help at all there.

I would even say that now is the best time for 2d games. The hardware is powerful enough for running completely amok with the overdraw. You can also do pixelshader voodoo and use funky things such as ragdoll physics. The current situation for 2d is pretty much the same kind of situation you'll have for 3d in about 10 years from now. So much processing power and fillrate... its all yours!

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline CommanderKeith
« Reply #10 - Posted 2006-06-17 09:00:08 »

I would even say that now is the best time for 2d games. The hardware is powerful enough for running completely amok with the overdraw. You can also do pixelshader voodoo and use funky things such as ragdoll physics. The current situation for 2d is pretty much the same kind of situation you'll have for 3d in about 10 years from now. So much processing power and fillrate... its all yours!

2D isn't really that fast at all.  While I'm still a programmer with trainer wheels  Tongue, my Java2D games usually only have an FPS of between 30 & 60.  And while coding the game, performance is a major consideration since Java2D hardware acceleration is so delicate.  Pixelshader voodoo is out of the question.

You're probably talking about 2D programming in an OGL binding like JOGL or JWJGL which I've never tried.  The problem with OGL is that nobody has the right drivers/hardware for it and upgrading drivers is way too hard.  When I upgraded my graphics card driver to play some of JGO's cool games I learned what a pain it is to even find what to download.  It made me wonder whether the only people who are knowledgeable enough & can be bothered are those who post at this forum.

Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #11 - Posted 2006-06-17 09:51:27 »

The mighty lwjgl... yea... sure. And its damn fast... even if you do things the stupid way on onld hardware Smiley

>The problem with OGL is that nobody has the right drivers/hardware for it and upgrading drivers is way too hard.

No, hardware isnt the problem. The only problem are people who are using the default drivers, which are shipped with windows. You really only need to install some real drivers instead. There are quite alot of people out there who played quake-engine based games. So, it isnt really much of a problem (unless you're doing something overly casual).

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline benjamin

Senior Newbie





« Reply #12 - Posted 2006-06-17 11:36:55 »

Quote
No, hardware isnt the problem. The only problem are people who are using the default drivers, which are shipped with windows. You really only need to install some real drivers instead. There are quite alot of people out there who played quake-engine based games. So, it isnt really much of a problem (unless you're doing something overly casual).

Platform games are often casual games and people playing these games probably newer ever heard of the concept of drivers. For them a computer and a hard drive the same thing. If you are aiming for the ‘big’ consumer market and require higher speed than what java2D can offer you are in serous trouble. I believe the correct question in this case should be: “Do you think that java-based 2D platform games for the big consumer market are possible?”

For this question I believe the answer (unfortunately) is no!
Offline CommanderKeith
« Reply #13 - Posted 2006-06-17 12:06:52 »

60 FPS is still good (but less than 40 isn't  Sad)... indeed any higher and its overkill, remember the screen only refreshes about 60 or 75 times a second.  I was really only saying that over-draw is still bad and you have to know what you're doing when using Java2D since its hardware acceleration is fragile (eg can't rotate images, can't manipulate pixels, must enable options on windows like ddforcevram). 

You're right about the driver thing, its too complicated for the ordinary bloke to know about.

Offline pepe

Junior Devvie




Nothing unreal exists


« Reply #14 - Posted 2006-06-23 10:05:07 »

I was really only saying that over-draw is still bad and you have to know what you're doing when using Java2D since its hardware acceleration is fragile (eg can't rotate images, can't manipulate pixels, must enable options on windows like ddforcevram).
I strongly disagree. you CAN rotate and scale your sprites, even with alpha and still have descent to pretty neat framerates.

Home page: http://frederic.barachant.com
------------------------------------------------------
GoSub: java2D gamechmark http://frederic.barachant.com/GoSub/GoSub.jnlp
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 57
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #15 - Posted 2006-06-23 10:23:43 »

You're probably talking about 2D programming in an OGL binding like JOGL or JWJGL which I've never tried.  The problem with OGL is that nobody has the right drivers/hardware for it and upgrading drivers is way too hard.
All the new computers I've seen recently (even ones with cheap intergrated intel graphics chips) have had suitable OpenGL drivers pre-installed and working fine without any tinkering. Most people will never need to upgrade their drivers after this, but even so it's not nearly as bad as you make out.

Cas probably has some hard numbers on this, but I think the percentage of people with no (or broken) GL support is going to be pretty damn small now.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #16 - Posted 2006-06-23 10:33:33 »

[...]
Platform games are often casual games[....]

On the pc? No, not really... they are pretty hardcore there, because playing with the keyboard is a pain and if you have a joypad, you're hardcore. Its also something for the younger audience, which is more tech savvy then the average grandpa. (With a mouse-only puzzle game it would be a different matter obviously.)

Well, anyways... if the machine was bought pre build, you have proper drivers. If you've assembled it yourself, you have enough knowledge to install drivers. If you've installed the OS yourself, you have also enough knowledge to install drivers.

Whats left are things like bad pre build machines (pretty rare nowadays), old machines with a pure 2d graphics card... or someone else build the machine and he died a tragic death in a car accident.

>Cas probably has some hard numbers on this

His (older) stats indicated a failure rate of about 35% on windows, 50% on linux (*gasp*) and 1% on mac... iirc.

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline CommanderKeith
« Reply #17 - Posted 2006-06-24 07:28:06 »

I was really only saying that over-draw is still bad and you have to know what you're doing when using Java2D since its hardware acceleration is fragile (eg can't rotate images, can't manipulate pixels, must enable options on windows like ddforcevram).
I strongly disagree. you CAN rotate and scale your sprites, even with alpha and still have descent to pretty neat framerates.

I'm wrong, sorry.  I never actually used rotate, I was just regurgitating what I read somewhere... but on trying it you're right.  And yes scaling is fine, I never said otherwise. 

Alpha bitmasking & blending is terrible though.  Even on state-of-the-art computers the I get <20FPS, on old computers the FPS is <5.  But then when using full screen mode with 16bit pixel depth alpha blending flies - must be because there's no need to convert 16bit to 32bit pixel depth - but how is someone new to java2D meant to know this?  I only found out about it recently from reading Chet & Chris C's blogs.  Its stuff like this which makes J2D hard & seemingly delicate.

I am just saying that 2D rendering with Java2D isn't super high performance.  When I run my super-basic 2D game on a state of the art computer  I should expect an FPS greater than 40 but so often that is not the case.  Nevertheless I love J2D and think that low-ish performance is the price I have to pay to get my game running on any machine without (driver) problems.

Offline benjamin

Senior Newbie





« Reply #18 - Posted 2006-06-24 08:24:05 »


Yeah you are right. Platform games often require more than a mouse to operate and should therefore not be defined as casual games. My input was probable do to the fact that I am currently considering whether it would be feasible to make casual game like Bejeweled and Big Kahuna Reef using java and an OGL binding… However, this is of course another issue and probable another target group.
Offline benjamin

Senior Newbie





« Reply #19 - Posted 2006-06-24 11:11:56 »

Quote
His (older) stats indicated a failure rate of about 35% on windows, 50% on linux (*gasp*) and 1% on mac... iirc.

Failure rate of 35 percent for windows is bad. Is it someway possible to get some more positive data? …more updated figures I mean. If not how old is the statistically data and how were they collected?
Offline pepe

Junior Devvie




Nothing unreal exists


« Reply #20 - Posted 2006-06-24 13:05:13 »

I'm wrong, sorry.  I never actually used rotate, I was just regurgitating what I read somewhere... but on trying it you're right.  And yes scaling is fine, I never said otherwise. 

Alpha bitmasking & blending is terrible though.  Even on state-of-the-art computers the I get <20FPS, on old computers the FPS is <5.  But then when using full screen mode with 16bit pixel depth alpha blending flies - must be because there's no need to convert 16bit to 32bit pixel depth - but how is someone new to java2D meant to know this?  I only found out about it recently from reading Chet & Chris C's blogs.  Its stuff like this which makes J2D hard & seemingly delicate.

I am just saying that 2D rendering with Java2D isn't super high performance.  When I run my super-basic 2D game on a state of the art computer  I should expect an FPS greater than 40 but so often that is not the case.  Nevertheless I love J2D and think that low-ish performance is the price I have to pay to get my game running on any machine without (driver) problems.
Okay for scaling. Nevertheless, blending and rotating isn't an issue, as far as i found. It depends on what you call a state-of-the-art computer, but i get generally 50 to 60fps drawing over 100 32 bits sprites, all scaled, some rotated, sometimes with global alpha applied, sometimes vector clipped, on a 1.8ghz P4 laptop. That is without any J2D flag applied.
To the opposite of your experience, going fullscreen actually slows down to 10fps. I didn't investigate the reasons for that. Maybe i should.


I plan on making a second gamechmark that would be a complete platform game, à la mario with constantly scaled/rotated sprites. We'll see what it gives.

Home page: http://frederic.barachant.com
------------------------------------------------------
GoSub: java2D gamechmark http://frederic.barachant.com/GoSub/GoSub.jnlp
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #21 - Posted 2006-06-24 13:09:38 »

The stats are from alien flux (so they are a few years old) and they were automatically collected.

Well, 35% isnt that bad. Keep in mind that shareware games usually sell as many mac as windows copies (often even more). So, yea you lose 35% over at the windows side, but you get mac for free, which is a *big* plus.

If it would run everywhere you could like make 18% (pulled out of the arse guesstimate) more sells. The thing you have to ask yourself... is it really worth it? Additionally, if the drawing is slower, the minimum system requirements are higher, which will cost you some unknown amout of sells. You also simply cant do many things (would be too slow), which will make the look less nice... which will also cost you some sells.

So you have to decide for yourself, which is the lesser of both evils. Depending on installed drivers or higher system requirements + less effects + more time spend on art creation + more time spend at performance tweaks? (Making bitmasked stuff look acceptable is quite alot of extra work)

Well, I decided to go with the former. Finishing a game is already hard enough.

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline Markus_Persson

JGO Wizard


Medals: 19
Projects: 19


Mojang Specifications


« Reply #22 - Posted 2006-06-28 12:31:20 »

* Markus_Persson got Loco Roco today. Cheesy

Play Minecraft!
Offline fletchergames

Senior Devvie





« Reply #23 - Posted 2006-06-29 03:30:04 »

2D Platform games will never be completely dead.  They might not be popular for a while, but they'll always make a comeback.  Retro games (e.g. Pacman) were quite the craze a few years back.  Maybe 2D Platformers will be next.
Offline sloth

Senior Newbie




"And you will shed tears of scarlet."


« Reply #24 - Posted 2006-07-06 02:38:55 »

The classics never die. I'd say most of us grew up on Atari, Nintendo, Sega, Coleco Vision etc, and I for one still enjoy playing old 2D platformers as well as new ones. The newer ones, being mostly freeware/shareware created by hobbyist developers and the sort, are usually either free or demo/full version. Im sure everyone already knows about Gametrove - http://www.gametrove.net   and there's a perfect example of some great platform games (as well as puzzle, rpg, strategy) made by independent developers that are able to pull in some revenue for their software. If something is fun/addictive enough people will have no problem paying a few dollars for a full version. The price range is $1-30+ so your $10 price is a reasonable price so long as the game is enjoyable. Cool
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