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  Still no presence in mainstream desktop game development  (Read 19053 times)
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Offline erikd

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« Reply #30 - Posted 2007-06-28 17:21:49 »

Quote
If the business industries managed to switch to Java so easily, why is it so hard for the games industry?

I'd say it was easy for business industries because they were given J2EE. There was and still is nothing equivalent for the games industry with good backing from for example Sun, so java doesn't seem an obvious choice. C# is already a bit ahead of java in that respect.
I'd say project dark star is a step in the right direction for the server side of multiplayer gaming.

Offline brackeen

Junior Member





« Reply #31 - Posted 2007-06-28 17:35:24 »

If mainstream desktop Java games happen, it will more likely come from the bottom-up rather than top-down. In other words, successful folks using Visual Studio / DirectX / etc are not likely to switch to Java. The biggest changes for them are the new versions of DirectX or some new physics library or 3D scene graph.

However, folks making Java ME games and/or casual games will continue to grow. Some of the Java developers will eventually become mainstream.

But, I won't say Java itself necessarily makes game development more productive. A lot of it has to do with the game framework, IDE, tools, build scripts, libraries and the basic philosophy of the developer (design a game to be flexible to changes vs. design a game to a strict spec, etc). Although being able to create both Mac and Windows versions is a huge plus.
Offline kaffiene
« Reply #32 - Posted 2007-06-28 21:25:58 »

Higher windows compatibility and well... there is the xbox 360.

I don't believe that DX is any more "windows compatible" than the techs I mentioned: OpenGL, JINPUT and OpenAL.

And XBox360?  Don't you think that the biggest problem is getting a JVM on the XBox rather than the APIs it uses?  That's a real red herring.
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Offline kaffiene
« Reply #33 - Posted 2007-06-28 21:28:58 »

Does other people not using Java stop you doing that? Smiley

Kev

I think that more people using Java would result in better tools for java game development, better industry support.
Offline princec

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« Reply #34 - Posted 2007-06-28 21:31:09 »

Getting a JVM on XBox is actually a lot easier than it looks (GCJ, Jet, and the Open Source VM to name but three possibilities). Trouble is no one is going to spend any effort on it if there's no actual advantage. If you still have to write all your rendering code from scratch because the XBox doesn't support OpenGL then there's no good reason to use Java. Therefore, we need a DX binding.

And yes, DX is more Windows compatible than OpenGL. By a factor of about 50%.

Cas Smiley

Offline kaffiene
« Reply #35 - Posted 2007-06-28 21:38:07 »

I'm not saying that it would be technically hard to get a JVM running on the XBox 360, I'm saying that it would be politically hard.

As for DX being 50% more Windows compatible than OpenGL (and I presume you mean D3D, not DX here), I don't understand your point.  I've coded in DirectX, D3D, OpenGL, and I don't see any reason to claim that OGL is less compatible with Windows. 

How are you quantifying the term "compatible"?  I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing.
Offline darkprophet

Senior Member




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« Reply #36 - Posted 2007-06-28 21:53:37 »

OpenGL supports DX10 features in XP, hence being more backwards compatible than DX. If anything, OGL is more "windows compatible" than DX is...strange isnt?  Smiley

DP

Friends don't let friends make MMORPGs.

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Offline kaffiene
« Reply #37 - Posted 2007-06-28 22:01:54 »

Quite :o)

I'd think an OGL to D3D wrapper for development on XBox would make more sense - then your code can still target Win32, Mac and Linux as well as XBox. 

BUT... that still doesn't get past the fact that M$ will not let Java apps run on their platform.  They control access, and that's one area they won't let through.
Offline princec

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« Reply #38 - Posted 2007-06-28 22:25:56 »

About 35% of Windows computers don't have OpenGL installed on them, as opposed to 100% with D3D. This figure appears to have remained constant for the last 4 years.

Cas Smiley

Offline ChrisM

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END OF LINE.


« Reply #39 - Posted 2007-06-28 23:02:44 »

About 35% of Windows computers don't have OpenGL installed on them, as opposed to 100% with D3D. This figure appears to have remained constant for the last 4 years.

Cas Smiley

Which version of D3D? Smiley

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Offline kaffiene
« Reply #40 - Posted 2007-06-28 23:51:18 »

I'd be happy to work on a DX binding for Java, if you could show there was any way to get it onto the XBox so you'd have a path for Java games developers.  Without showing that that is possible (and no, I don't mean via mod chips!) then I fail to see the point.
Offline keldon85

Senior Member


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« Reply #41 - Posted 2007-06-29 07:02:18 »

About 35% of Windows computers don't have OpenGL installed on them, as opposed to 100% with D3D. This figure appears to have remained constant for the last 4 years.

Cas Smiley

That might be because (a) all games have DirectX bundled with them, (b) it is installed with Windows and (c) all graphics cards come bundled with the latest driver! If all games were bundled with OpenGL and installed with Windows then you'd have 100% with OpenGL too  Angry

Offline erikd

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« Reply #42 - Posted 2007-06-29 07:26:05 »

I think it's only a matter of time before the first video card manufacturers will drop OpenGL support in their drivers for Windows.

Offline bienator

Senior Member




OutOfCoffeeException


« Reply #43 - Posted 2007-06-29 08:37:34 »

About 35% of Windows computers don't have OpenGL installed on them, as opposed to 100% with D3D. This figure appears to have remained constant for the last 4 years.

Cas Smiley
people really interested in 3D gaming have OpenGL installed because they also update drivers regularly...

Offline erikd

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« Reply #44 - Posted 2007-06-29 09:59:35 »

people really interested in 3D gaming have OpenGL installed because they also update drivers regularly...

Sure, they're not part of the compatibility problem. But the 35% of people without working OpenGL drivers might still be interested in our games, which is a lot of potential left on the table.
I'm also getting many reports of people that aren't able to run my games because they don't have working OpenGL drivers.

I think the best solution is:
1) A D3D binding
2) A wrapper that translates OpenGL calls to this D3D binding to make it easier for multi platform development.

Offline erikd

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« Reply #45 - Posted 2007-06-29 10:06:14 »

I'd be happy to work on a DX binding for Java, if you could show there was any way to get it onto the XBox so you'd have a path for Java games developers.  Without showing that that is possible (and no, I don't mean via mod chips!) then I fail to see the point.

The point is:
a) better compatibility on windows
b) more interest from games developers with solid D3D knowledge, which leads to
c) more java games on windows and recognition of java as a serious gaming platform

Offline keldon85

Senior Member


Medals: 1



« Reply #46 - Posted 2007-06-29 10:17:11 »

But the whole D3D bindings breaks the whole compatibility of Java, however the idea of a translation wrapper is good. In fact I am planning for a similar project as a masters involving efficient wrapper translation for a very interesting piece of research!

Offline erikd

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« Reply #47 - Posted 2007-06-29 10:52:06 »

Quote
But the whole D3D bindings breaks the whole compatibility of Java

Well, that depends on how you look at it  Smiley

If by compatibility you mean 'the number of OS-es your game runs on' then you're right, but if by compatibility you mean 'the number of machines your game runs on' then D3D means more compatibility.

Remember the D3D pipeline in Java2D is there for compatibility reasons too.

Offline blahblahblahh

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« Reply #48 - Posted 2007-06-29 12:41:50 »

Stories I hear are that in the UK money is in being a game designer, not a developer.

Only for the 3 named "famous" people, who are mostly rich in their own right from share options in previous companies anyway.

The number of programmers that earn 55k-65k in games dev is a large multiple of the number of designers that do.

Quote
Paid Codemasters a visit a few years back  - full of rooms of guys creating content (models and artwork), only a handful of people coding. I still walked around in awe...!

I can assure you that is *not* how Codies works in general. You must have walked in on a project at a very particular point in it's dev cycle. The ratio of coders to asset generators on a project averages out at somwhere between 1:1 and 2:1. Obviously, it fluctuates over the project, and certain game types (like racing) where there's all the level editing to be done will have brief periods of lots of extra asset people.

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

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« Reply #49 - Posted 2007-06-29 12:43:56 »

The question that keeps coming up in my mind, is why do we care? I can grasp that ChrisM should care, it's after all part of his remit - but I assume those who use Java for game development know why they're doing it - productivity.
...
So, why do you care? The market size increase potential through getting Java on consoles? Validation of the ideal? Something entirely different?

Because publishers won't allow you to do it if you're the only one who is.

Because console companies won't bother to provide any of their libraries in java if it's only for you (unless you pay them a vast amount of money to do so, and even then probably not).

Because publishers and middleware companies won't bother to provide you with java libraries for any code, and will force you to use JNI to connect to their "official" libraries instead.

Basically ... the whole industry will be against you, and you'll be incompatible with *everything* out there, and the industyr is a lot more compatible in practice than it may sound from reading games magazines Smiley.

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

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« Reply #50 - Posted 2007-06-29 12:59:02 »

I suppose this is worth saying Smiley ...

If anyone reading this has a strong pitch for an online or multiplayer game, and they want to do it in java, please get in touch with me. amartin at ncsoft dot com.

I promise you won't get treated negatively because your pitching java. Although you won't get treated negatively if you're pitching C++ either Smiley.

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

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« Reply #51 - Posted 2007-06-29 12:59:25 »

I suspect that these people are using something even higher level, like python or Blitz. Or they stumble into various internet fora and get told Java is slow and that they should use C++.

I reviewed a new UK games development course the other day that's due to start imminently. They had no C++ on it, they did everything in java (and flash for "web games" and "artists"). I had (sadly) to point out that unless they taught hardcore C++ they would produce people who would struggle to get programming jobs in the games industry for their first few years.

In my experience, not many students try their hands on game development in the first place. I've been in two universities (one in the US, one in Belgium), and none of the people I knew had any ambition to write a game of their own.

I've worked with lots of students at different unis, and I have to say I've consistently seen lots of interest in game development. Typically about one in 5 of computer scientists would like to do it, and about 1 in ten make any attempt to do so at some point, and maybe one in a hundred do something really good whilst still at uni. YMMV

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

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« Reply #52 - Posted 2007-06-29 13:10:20 »

if you're worried about lack of Java adoption limiting your opportunity, you're missing the real problem. no matter what language you use, whether it be Java, C#, C++, etc., you can NEVER place all of your eggs in one basket.

the only way to advance in the industry is adapt to it. sure C# is popular now, but what's going to be popular next? do you think c++ will last forever? unlikely, but either way, the library you use with c++ will almost always be different

Nice idea, that's how mainstream IT works.

Sadly, that's NOT how the games industry works, it's NEVER been how the games industry works, and that's why we're in the situation we're in now w.r.t. java. Getting the games industry to adopt new languages is a long and painful process.

Quote
java has it's place in the marketplace, notably servers and mobiles. if games isn't going to be a dominating area of java, the best thing you can do is adapt to the current language that is dominating - and be prepared to learn the next language soon.

No, the "best" thing varies depending upon who you are and what you want in life. For most senior and lead programmers working in games, I would hazard that the "best" thing to do is find a way to escape from the major unsolved problems of their profession, several of which are endemic to C++, and are only really going to be fixed by finding new languages and platforms to develop with.

Quote
oh, and a little off the topic, but sony adaptation of java doesn't mean shit, unless you specialize in DVD menus. they won't be giving java access to their monster 8-core platform any time soon, if ever. not to mention PS3 sales aren't exactly above par.

http://www.vgchartz.com/ - PS3 is already around 40% of the installed base of 360. Most people consider it to be doing well.

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

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« Reply #53 - Posted 2007-06-29 14:17:50 »

So the thing to do is make it as painless as possible for C++ Windows devs to get coding in Java and see what they think of it. Later on they can start thinking cross-platform. This means D3D bindings. I reckon D3D 8 is probably the way to go for starters as it covers the vast majority of standard Windows installations.

I just can't see any other way to popularise desktop games development in the Java platform, because there are very few other tangible obstacles. I really think it comes down to this simple missing API binding. (The other big issues like JRE size etc. seem to finally be receiving the attention they deserve)

Cas Smiley

Offline darkprophet

Senior Member




Go Go Gadget Arms


« Reply #54 - Posted 2007-06-29 14:57:09 »

Im wondering where the 35% of people dont have OGL comes from? Considering MS bundles software OGL (at 1.1) with XP and Vista has an OpenGL to DirectX bridge that supports OpenGL up to 1.4 in hardware....

DP Smiley

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Offline oNyx

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« Reply #55 - Posted 2007-06-29 14:58:25 »

Software rendering equals failure. It's too slow for anything, really.

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Offline princec

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« Reply #56 - Posted 2007-06-29 15:51:01 »

The Vista situation might be better but the jury's still out on whether the OGL support is any good. Doesn't really matter as the vast majority of the world's installed base will be XP for another 4-5 years.

Immaterial anyway, as the discussion is about why developers are shirking it, and I think that's the chief reason these days. Or one of them.

Cas Smiley

Offline keldon85

Senior Member


Medals: 1



« Reply #57 - Posted 2007-06-29 17:18:12 »

I don't think developers are straying from OpenGL or Java because of compatibility. You can bundle Java or OpenGL with your package in the same way that games have to bundle .NET (if used) and the latest DirectX.

Offline brackeen

Junior Member





« Reply #58 - Posted 2007-06-29 17:21:51 »

Quote
Software rendering equals failure. It's too slow for anything, really.

The PopCap framework uses software rendering as a fall back, even for its newest games. Casual games with software rendering is a plus because the game can reach a wider audience.
Offline keldon85

Senior Member


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« Reply #59 - Posted 2007-06-29 17:33:47 »

Software rendering is so underrated. I wish it was still software, then I could woe the industry with my improved semi-transparency routine which has no use due to hardware. Or furthered it to be able to reduce the strain of true-motion-blur. Having said that maybe it could (although it does appear to be implemented in the current generation of consoles)!!!

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