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  Understanding Sun  (Read 8705 times)
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Zynaps
Guest
« Reply #30 - Posted 2003-08-05 18:33:33 »

Quote

Publishers are concerned with making money (and rightly so) and they are not as concerned with the nuances of technology like we are

Today's games usually are made by managers with Excel sheets next to team, not my game enthusiasts anymore. This is why today's games are mainly so dull and boring and always the same - they've just to sell well.
This is my impression. However there's been several interviews in a well known British paper magazine for game developers (a year ago maybe?), which backed up this impression. (Team 17 has been there, Richard Joseph, and many more well known people).

However I think I'm off-topic again. :)
Zynaps
Guest
« Reply #31 - Posted 2003-08-05 18:34:21 »

Quote

Wasn't there one that already did that, called Java3D?   ;)

WinX is the other way round: Do DirectX via OpenGL - on Linux for example.
Offline Mojomonkey

Senior Member




ooh ooh eee eeee


« Reply #32 - Posted 2003-08-05 18:38:41 »

Quote
This is why today's games are mainly so dull and boring and always the same


Oh, come on now... it's ALWAYS been like this. But guess what, you don't remember the dull/boring ones from the days of Atari... why? Because they were dull and boring. You only remember the great games and fool yourself into thinking that was how they all were. I guarantee in another 15 years people are going to be saying the same thing...

"remember how great games were in early 2000??? They suck now."

Don't send a man to do a monkey's work.
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline gregorypierce

Senior Member




I come upon thee like the blue screen of death....


« Reply #33 - Posted 2003-08-05 18:48:40 »

Quote

Today's games usually are made by managers with Excel sheets next to team, not my game enthusiasts anymore. This is why today's games are mainly so dull and boring and always the same - they've just to sell well.


That's not true in my experience. Games are still made by game enthusiasts just like they were before and they tend to have a lot more working for them in the way of money, marketing, and resources. Today's games are dull because most people just aren't that creative and end up making dull games. The truly good games that get made STILL have bean counters making sure that the game comes out on time and on budget - its just that there was a better game being made for the money. Nobody wants to put out shit if they can avoid it. Its not like every game developer out there is teeming with creativity that's being stiffled by the business process. The sad truth is that most developers are just not good game designers. Its an entirely different set of skills. Few game developers make good game designers - and even fewer of those are good artists.

http://www.gregorypierce.com

She builds, she builds oh man
When she links, she links I go crazy
Cause she looks like good code but she's really a hack
I think I'll run upstairs and grab a snack!
Zynaps
Guest
« Reply #34 - Posted 2003-08-05 19:19:17 »

Quote

Oh, come on now... it's ALWAYS been like this.

I don't think so; I've read your statement on that topic before but still I don't agree. :-)  I am an oldies but goldies fan, hehe. Of course this is subjective; as always with games and tastes.

Unfortunately I don't know if that mentioned British paper magazine is on the net (don't think so). So I could back up my theory with some nice articles.
The main point has been the changement in "who directs the gameplay of today's games" and that the publishers try not to risk anything anymore.

Quote
But guess what, you don't remember the dull/boring ones from the days of Atari...

Oh, I remember many of them because I usually played them too. In former times the number of games has been lower so this has been possible.

Quote
"remember how great games were in early 2000??? They suck now."

Only if you think that the technical aspect of a game makes the gamplay, but I don't.

I hope this helps us understanding SUN... ;-)
Offline Mojomonkey

Senior Member




ooh ooh eee eeee


« Reply #35 - Posted 2003-08-05 19:29:45 »

I remember in the late 70s/early 80s. Jump Man on the Vic 20. It was revolutionary. The Doom of it's day. Suddenly, there were about 100 Jump Man clones a year. I still maintain that the mentality of the industry has changed very little over the years, just gotten larger. Graphics have always been important, and technology has always driven the game industry. I'd say the quality to crap ratio is what... 20|80, 10|90? Probably was very similar during the "golden age" (early 80s). Just that instead of 10,000 games released, they had 100.

And THAT is how we come to understand Sun... wait... you are right, this is totally off topic now. Heh.

Edit:

Quote
Only if you think that the technical aspect of a game makes the gamplay, which is usual today, but I don't think so.


I remember E.T. for the Atari 2600 being slammed for poor graphics (among other things). Why do you think they had screenshots on the back of boxes since the beginning. Graphics have always held great importance.

Don't send a man to do a monkey's work.
Zynaps
Guest
« Reply #36 - Posted 2003-08-05 19:36:06 »

Quote

That's not true in my experience. Games are still made by game enthusiasts just like they were before

I don't think so. In the mentioned British paper mag (with focus being on that topic we discuss) the boss of Team 17 did say that his company (and a few more) are the last ones from the old style. Nearly all the other game companies which have been very sucessfully on 8/16 bit computers and consoles didn't survive.
He didn't say this is bad or good, but that the game industry changed totally.

Quote
The sad truth is that most developers are just not good game designers. Its an entirely different set of skills. Few game developers make good game designers - and even fewer of those are good artists.

That's true.
However from my experience "top designers" (on the E3 two years ago they interviewed many of them) are not always top game designers.

Anway, what we and SUN needs are some very nice Java games. I think that mainly independant game "studios" will go for it at first.
Offline ChrisM

JGO Coder


Medals: 1
Projects: 1


END OF LINE.


« Reply #37 - Posted 2003-08-05 20:37:14 »

So.....to bring this back around to SUN.....

Understand that those of us in the Game Technologies Group are GAMERS FIRST.  Jeff's background is from the game development industry, I am a rabid gamer (27 game systems, 3 PC's, 1 arcade machine, run large LAN parties), Doug has done some ports of games to Java for the pleasure of doing it, etc.

Understand that us gamers here now have the executive backing of Sun Microsystems and the charter to make this work!  There is only so much  information you can get by reading press releases and news articles folks. Please trust that we are going to continue to try to do what is best for the community overall.

Lastly, for the few of you that were here since the beginning....you will remember that JavaGaming.org was a little site being run by 2 people on a mission.  The only way that we have gotten the organization to where it is today is through pure passion for doing what we believe is best for THIS community.  And what is best for this community, we believe, is best for Sun as well.

I believe that we have delivered on most everything we have promised to this community, agreeing that it's taken longer that intended in some cases Wink, but we will continue to fight and push to make Java a viable and important technology for the video games industry.

-SG

Zynaps
Guest
« Reply #38 - Posted 2003-08-05 20:48:06 »

Quote
we will continue to fight and push to make Java a viable and important technology for the video games industry.

Sounds pretty good. A bright future for Java game developers could be on our way. :-)
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #39 - Posted 2003-08-06 00:17:59 »

Quote

Today's games usually are made by managers with Excel sheets next to team, not my game enthusiasts anymore. This is why today's games are mainly so dull and boring and always the same - they've just to sell well.
This is my impression.


You are entitled to an opinion. In this case you are probably wrong Smiley, although your conclusion is quite sensible given what people outside the industry can see.

IME, the actual reason behind dullness has a lot more to do with the fact that the probablility of a game studio + game surviving until it hits the shelves is inversely proportional to how exciting/fun/groundbreaking it is.

Hence, you see lots of dull games just because there are 3000+ games developed each year, but a disproportionately large number of those that are dull make it to release, and the percentage of exciting ones that survive is so low it seems they don't exist. They certainly do - and probably outnumber the dull ones - but so very few survive.

If you dig deeply enough, you'll find oodles of different developers pointing out that "getting a game finished is hard. No, REALLY hard.".

Quote

That's not true in my experience. Games are still made by game enthusiasts just like they were before and they tend to have a lot more working for them in the way of money, marketing, and resources. Today's games are dull because most people just aren't that creative and end up making dull games. The truly good games that get made STILL have bean counters


My own experience backs up your latter statements (about good games STILL having bean counters - especially IME at any studio with a high consistency of hit-titles/AAA).

However, I don't agree about dullness. I meet quite a few people who aren't that creative in the job - but they tend to be the ones about to leave the industry, struggling to get in, or working at a one-shot-wonder studio that will implode before it makes it to release. Admittedly, I tend to meet a lot of people at shows like GDC, where its unsurprising that you find really creative types, so this is just IME.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #40 - Posted 2003-08-06 00:32:44 »

Quote

I remember E.T. for the Atari 2600 being slammed for poor graphics (among other things). Why do you think they had screenshots on the back of boxes since the beginning. Graphics have always held great importance.


...comes in at number 3 in the Gamespy Dumbest Moments in Games Industry:

http://www.gamespy.com/articles/june03/dumbestmoments/index4.shtml
http://www.gamespy.com/articles/june03/dumbestmoments/

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline ChrisM

JGO Coder


Medals: 1
Projects: 1


END OF LINE.


« Reply #41 - Posted 2003-08-06 15:25:48 »

FOr those interested, Sun Microsystems is now an IGDA partner.  Check the website here:

http://www.igda.org/partners/

-SG

Offline gregorypierce

Senior Member




I come upon thee like the blue screen of death....


« Reply #42 - Posted 2003-08-06 19:10:00 »

Dude you get Java onto the PSP and PS3 and I will run naked through the streets of Atlanta - guaranteed Smiley

http://www.gregorypierce.com

She builds, she builds oh man
When she links, she links I go crazy
Cause she looks like good code but she's really a hack
I think I'll run upstairs and grab a snack!
Offline Mark Thornton

Senior Member





« Reply #43 - Posted 2003-08-06 20:09:46 »

Quote
Dude you get Java onto the PSP and PS3 and I will run naked through the streets of Atlanta - guaranteed Smiley


Yikes, with an incentive like that it will never happen! :-)
Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder




Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #44 - Posted 2003-08-06 20:59:21 »

/me shudders

Offline gregorypierce

Senior Member




I come upon thee like the blue screen of death....


« Reply #45 - Posted 2003-08-06 21:33:55 »

Okay, how about this - I will pay a model to run naked through the streets of Atlanta - guaranteed  Grin

http://www.gregorypierce.com

She builds, she builds oh man
When she links, she links I go crazy
Cause she looks like good code but she's really a hack
I think I'll run upstairs and grab a snack!
Offline William

Junior Member




No Exit


« Reply #46 - Posted 2003-08-06 22:08:08 »

Quote
Today's games usually are made by managers with Excel sheets next to team, not my game enthusiasts anymore.

Much of the criticism against the game industry is based on the notion that the narrow market for games (Windows Solitaire excluded) is a result of games being made mainly by typical white male game enthusiast in their late 20s/early 30s.

...and yes, I fit nicely into that group myself.
Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder




Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #47 - Posted 2003-08-06 22:34:54 »

Quote
Okay, how about this - I will pay a model to run naked through the streets of Atlanta - guaranteed  Grin

A female model let's hope.  I don't want to see a Gregory Pierce butt double Smiley

And you have to webcast it  American Pie style Smiley  Atlanta is a long way away.


Offline benny

Junior Member




Java rocks! But then again anime rocks too!


« Reply #48 - Posted 2003-08-06 23:09:01 »

Quote
Dude you get Java onto the PSP and PS3 and I will run naked through the streets of Atlanta - guaranteed
Oh god please don't. Please! (blarg)

Didn't they anounce like 3 years ago that they were going to put Java into the PS2

Windows XP Professional
Pentium II 450 MHz with 256 MB of SD-RAM
64 MB GeForce4 MX-440 SE

Arnold Schwarzenegger runs for governor: Lets cut violence in half with a laser guided machine gun across the barren, charred wastelands--for the children.
Offline Jeff

JGO Coder




Got any cats?


« Reply #49 - Posted 2003-08-08 09:10:34 »

So my 2 cents on the industry.

As Chris mentions my background is the games industry (most recently Crystal Dynamics and TEN).  My college training is comp sci and film production.

The game industry has, not so surprisingly,  matured into an industry rather similar to the film industry.  

In the beginning, basically every game developer was an "indie".  Budgets were relatively low  (maybe a few tens of thousands to make a game) and thus risk was low and it was a lot easier to make risky projects.

What we have now is an industry awash in high production value "studio productions."  These costs tens of millions of dollars to make and thus have much greater risk associated with them.  For that reason you see two effects:
(1) "money men" need to be satisfied in order to get funding who may not be game enthusiasts.
(2) Everyone involved, realizing what is at stake, is more risk adverse.

Both these effects tend to stifle wild creativity.

Where we still see such creativity is mostly in relatively small independent efforts that do one thing and do it different and new.  (Take a look at Doom again sometime, its basically a one-trick pony but a very GOOD one-trick pony.  All it really had to do was deliver the full walk/run around 3D experience.  Now compare that to a modern RPG that has to do that PLUS all the RPG stuff...)

I fully expect the really new design ideas to come from the same place new film ideas do-- low budget productions.  Every so often one of those will "hit" a new concept so squarely that it will make a ton of money (like Doom did.)  The creators will get treated like rock-stars, offered big budgets, and disappear into the mill of studio productions where they will be expected to do the same thing over and over again... until the NEXT great garage guys come along.

Anyway thats my 2 cents on it.

YMMV

JK

Got a question about Java and game programming?  Just new to the Java Game Development Community?  Try my FAQ.  Its likely you'll learn something!

http://wiki.java.net/bin/view/Games/JeffFAQ
Offline Preston

Senior Member


Medals: 4



« Reply #50 - Posted 2003-08-08 11:37:54 »

Quote
So my 2 cents on the industry.

Hi there.
I think you hit the nail on its head.
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #51 - Posted 2003-08-08 15:24:24 »

Quote

The game industry has, not so surprisingly,  matured into an industry rather similar to the film industry.


Like many people, I'm starting to get pretty hacked off with that comparison. There are strong superficial similarities, but it's like saying that apples and oranges are both fruit - it's still trying to compare apples & oranges Wink.

It would be OK if everyone were really smart and remembered that an analogy is never perfect, nor necessarily even accurate. Unfortunately, lots of gross generalizations keep being made (not that I'm saying J is doing this here) based on the assumption that the industries are much more similar than they really are.

Quote

These costs tens of millions of dollars to make and thus have much greater risk associated with them.  For that reason you see two effects:
(1) "money men" need to be satisfied in order to get funding who may not be game enthusiasts.
(2) Everyone involved, realizing what is at stake, is more risk adverse.

Both these effects tend to stifle wild creativity.

Where we still see such creativity is mostly in relatively small independent efforts that do one thing and do it different and new.


Beg to differ. There's some pretty amazing stuff coming out of large and/or in-house groups these days. They tend to be better funded, better supported (they are understood and looked-after by their publisher, because of their size and/or track-record), have the best people (indies can rarely attract top talent for anything but a few key positions).

Sure, there are plenty like I've just described that are too cozy, and have no "hunger" left to be really creative or exciting. But AFAICS most people in this industry are always "hungry" because of their own obsessions with building games.

Quote

(Take a look at Doom again sometime, its basically a one-trick pony but a very GOOD one-trick pony.  All it really had to do was deliver the full walk/run around 3D experience.  Now compare that to a modern RPG that has to do that PLUS all the RPG stuff...)


You must be kidding! If Doom were just a one-trick pony, Id wouldn't be still trumpeting the sales figures for Doom, whilst keeping quiet about the sales figures for every id-game since!

Don't you remember that:

- networked Doom was the first time Deathmatch REALLY got going on a massive scale (Wolf3D deathmatch, and the unix-deathmatch games like tanks etc only ever had tiny numbers of people able to play them - even Doom DM was damn hard to get setup in the first couple of versions)...even as far as being the first game to start widespread crashes of corporate networks (too much traffic!), according to news articles at the time
- W3D was banned in Germany because of the **** element, Doom was banned in Germany because it was just too damn violent (IIRC - apologies if these are wrong, it's hard to find articles about this stuff to confirm nowadays!). Doom really was a hard-core game content-wise
- ...Doom was very much a non-Politically Correct "blow everything to smithereens" game. There were very few of those around at the time (W3D was a big-girl's-blouse by comparison)
- It was the scariest game around until the release of things like Resident Evil. Monsters patrolled the levels giving random growls and roars from behind walls and doors, in a most disturbing manner. Talk about "immersion".

I very very much doubt Doom would have had much success if the content had been more normal, for instance family-friendly (think pokemon, think disney) graphics, plot, and gameplay.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline Preston

Senior Member


Medals: 4



« Reply #52 - Posted 2003-08-08 16:51:23 »

Quote

Beg to differ. There's some pretty amazing stuff coming out of large and/or in-house groups these days. They tend to be better funded, better supported

Maybe we could - in another thread please which is linked from here - list the (few) most impressive (and/or successfully) computer games of the last 10-15 years (or so) and try to figure out who actually "invented" them. :-)
Ok, list them may be difficult because many people won't agree what's "most impressive"...
Offline gregorypierce

Senior Member




I come upon thee like the blue screen of death....


« Reply #53 - Posted 2003-08-08 17:32:17 »

Homeworld comes to mind for me - tiny studio put that one together and it was exceedingly cool. Risk stiffles creativity - that much is a given, but a lot of it has more to do with gme designers themselves. There are plenty of indies with little/no risk who put out cookie cutter games or games that suck. Being on a budget will irritate that situation, but if you start with crap - all the money in the world won't help you end up with something that isn't crap. It all goes back to the design.

http://www.gregorypierce.com

She builds, she builds oh man
When she links, she links I go crazy
Cause she looks like good code but she's really a hack
I think I'll run upstairs and grab a snack!
Offline Preston

Senior Member


Medals: 4



« Reply #54 - Posted 2003-08-08 18:03:41 »

Quote

Sounds reasonable to me.
I've startet a new thread for that kind of discussion. Please see http://www.java-gaming.org/cgi-bin/JGNetForums/YaBB.cgi?board=GameDesign;action=display;num=1060365678
Offline Athomas Goldberg

Junior Member




Grrrrrr...


« Reply #55 - Posted 2003-08-08 21:18:17 »

Quote
I fully expect the really new design ideas to come from the same place new film ideas do-- low budget productions.  Every so often one of those will "hit" a new concept so squarely that it will make a ton of money (like Doom did.)  The creators will get treated like rock-stars, offered big budgets, and disappear into the mill of studio productions where they will be expected to do the same thing over and over again... until the NEXT great garage guys come along.


It really is just like the movies  Grin

Athomas Goldberg
Project Lead / Wildcard
Game Technologies Group
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Offline Jeff

JGO Coder




Got any cats?


« Reply #56 - Posted 2003-08-09 06:27:40 »

I think in talking about DOOM you need to seperate what was far-reachign technically from what was far-reaching production-wise.

Eithre way though I'll stick with my statement that its a one trick pony, about one trick in each place.,  The tech trick was the free mvoement around an environment that wasn't a grid.  The production trick was to make eerything very dark and make extensive use of sound-- which is all basiuc horror stuff-- for mood.

At thee nd of the day though tehr really ISN't a whoel lot of game play there.  Sneak around, fire at things, be fiored at, die or sneaka round some more.

Compare that to, say, Earthwrom Jim where every few levels had to be seperately coded because it was effectively a different game.

As I said its a very GOOD one-trick pony, so good that it defiend a new category, but I still contend its a one trick pony.


Got a question about Java and game programming?  Just new to the Java Game Development Community?  Try my FAQ.  Its likely you'll learn something!

http://wiki.java.net/bin/view/Games/JeffFAQ
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 282
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #57 - Posted 2003-08-09 10:48:02 »

I take issue with the lack of gameplay in Doom!

Too much gameplay makes for an exasperating, overcomplex experience which provides no clear reward feedback to the player. ("Black & White" anyone?)

To little gameplay and you don't get much good feedback ("Space Invaders").

Doom's real coup d'etat was having perfect gameplay as well as fantastic 3d worlds, tons of content in the form of huge levels, and the best sound effects in a game ever. The gameplay's not quite as simple as it looks: you've got fast action reflex shooting; you've got powerups; you've got maze-solving and pathfinding; you've got some simple puzzle-solving; you've got bosses to kill; you've got deathmatch. It's really got a lot more depth than it first appears! In fact nearly every other 3D FPS game hasn't actually managed to change the formula significantly. Thief and Deus Ex/SS2 manage to deviate somewhat in a pleasing way.

Cas Smiley

Offline gregorypierce

Senior Member




I come upon thee like the blue screen of death....


« Reply #58 - Posted 2003-08-09 16:28:22 »

And lets not forget - it had kickass coop (though you took damage from your partners shots) online gameplay.

http://www.gregorypierce.com

She builds, she builds oh man
When she links, she links I go crazy
Cause she looks like good code but she's really a hack
I think I'll run upstairs and grab a snack!
Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder




Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #59 - Posted 2003-08-10 00:11:38 »

Doom was an awful single player game.  I would take Black & White over it any day.  The only good thing about doom was the deathmatch team play.. and that was only good for the time.  Now it would never be able to compete.  It was fairly revolutionary with respect to team play though.  Even if the rockets could only face 8 directions so they looked like they were missing and then suddenly turned towards you Smiley

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