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  2008 Java 4K Competition  (Read 7482 times)
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Offline appel

JGO Wizard


Medals: 49
Projects: 5


I always win!


« Posted 2007-11-08 17:31:46 »

Hi fellow game programmers!

I'd like to (tentatively*) announce that there will be a 4k competition starting from December 1st 2007 and ending February 29th 2008.

Since there was some speculation about not there being a 4K competition for 2008, we decided to announce early that there will definetly be one.

Myself and jojoh will be managing the 2008 4k competition.

The competition will be as usual (almost!), with the same rules. It will be hosted at a new website which is currently being worked on, and will be ready before December 1st (cross your fingers!).

No prizes have been decided on, most likely there will not be any, just the reward of participating Smiley We believe that people aren't participating for prizes anyway, the fact nobody claimed the prizes in this years competition gave us a hint. But we will consider it, but no promises!



CONTEST RULES
Note: These are tentative rules, they will be formally defined on the competitions web page when it opens.

Basic rules are as follows (same as from last year's competition):

1. The final game package (byte code + resources) must be below or equal to 4096 bytes
2. Must be a playable game (cannot be a pointless animation)
3. Must be pure Java (no JNI)
4. Must be self-contained- no external resources (e.g. loading an image from a website)
5. No Pack200
6. No external libraries may be used - you must use the libraries that come with the "public" version of the JRE
7. No soundbanks may be used because they are not a default part of the "public" JRE. You will have to create your sounds at runtime rather than use MIDIs.
8. The presentation (jar, class, or other) does not matter, as long as the code can be executed without a command line
9. The target JRE is 1.5 (Java 5) or lower
10. Must not be identical to a game submitted into previous 4k competitions.


Some extra notes about Java Webstart:
- Webstarted games' code size will be determined with the JAR that Webstart uses to launch the game
- Splash screens and icons for Webstart will not be counted against you since they are not part of the JAR
- If your JAR is below 4K until you sign it, you cannot use it unless you provide an unsigned JAR as another option for launching the game that is auto-executable and under 4K.



JUDGING AND CATEGORIES

There will be two types of judging, a judging panel consisting of a few judges (yet to be picked and defined) and a community vote, where everyone can participate in voting the best community game.

The judging panel will consist of both programmers and non-skilled-humans, and they will choose the winning games in 3 categories:
- Best Game Award: The overall winner of the competition
- Technical Achievement Award: Games that show a impressive implementation of some sort of technology.
- Best Presentation Award: Recognition for impressive graphical and/or audio in-game effects. (This can include a wide variety of things, but remember rule #2, this must be a game and not some senseless animation or audio playback.)

So, in short, there are 4 categories:
1. Best Game of the Competition (judging panel)
2. Best Community Game (community)
3. Technical Achievement Award (judging panel)
4. Best Presentation Award (judging panel)

But there is only one category that matters the most Smiley (hint: it's 1.)



That is most of it.

The competition hasn't started yet, but anyone is of course free to freshen up on his 4K skills and of course it doesn't hurt to spread the word, competition never hurts Wink


* Rules and setup of what has been described here can change, we will try to have everything squared off before the competition starts though.

Check out the 4K competition @ www.java4k.com
Check out GAMADU (my own site) @ http://gamadu.com/
Offline Morre

JGO Knight


Medals: 2
Projects: 10


I'm Dragonene on IRC.


« Reply #1 - Posted 2007-11-09 00:40:46 »

Good stuff - I'm looking forward to it. A quick question? Will there be ratings, or just the top game in each category? If you only mention one game from each category, that could lead to only 1 or 2 games getting any awards at all - that'd be dull, no? Smiley

Offline appel

JGO Wizard


Medals: 49
Projects: 5


I always win!


« Reply #2 - Posted 2007-11-09 00:43:53 »

All games will receive a score and a short review from each judge.

Check out the 4K competition @ www.java4k.com
Check out GAMADU (my own site) @ http://gamadu.com/
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Abuse

JGO Coder


Medals: 10


falling into the abyss of reality


« Reply #3 - Posted 2007-11-09 00:44:07 »

Quote
and non-skilled-humans

haha,

If you arn't a programmer, you are skill-less - I like that  Grin

Make Elite IV:Dangerous happen! Pledge your backing at KICKSTARTER here! https://dl.dropbox.com/u/54785909/EliteIVsmaller.png
Offline appel

JGO Wizard


Medals: 49
Projects: 5


I always win!


« Reply #4 - Posted 2007-11-09 02:58:11 »

What are everyones thought about target JRE of 1.5 and not 1.6?

We based this decision on the fact 1.6 isn't available for MacOSX (AFAIK), and we wouldn't want to exclude Mac users from running these games.

Check out the 4K competition @ www.java4k.com
Check out GAMADU (my own site) @ http://gamadu.com/
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


pixels! :x


« Reply #5 - Posted 2007-11-09 05:50:44 »

1.6 didn't add anything useful for 4k stuff, did it?

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline CaptainJester

JGO Knight


Medals: 12
Projects: 2


Make it work; make it better.


« Reply #6 - Posted 2007-11-09 14:28:20 »

What are everyones thought about target JRE of 1.5 and not 1.6?

We based this decision on the fact 1.6 isn't available for MacOSX (AFAIK), and we wouldn't want to exclude Mac users from running these games.

I am sure even 1.4 is fine.  It is with me anyway.  Although 1.5 does give you the nano timer.

Offline appel

JGO Wizard


Medals: 49
Projects: 5


I always win!


« Reply #7 - Posted 2007-11-09 15:08:02 »

1.5 it is. I don't think it's a good idea to downgrade since last competition.

Check out the 4K competition @ www.java4k.com
Check out GAMADU (my own site) @ http://gamadu.com/
Offline Abuse

JGO Coder


Medals: 10


falling into the abyss of reality


« Reply #8 - Posted 2007-11-09 21:15:04 »

For code size the Java 1.6 class file format sux anyway Smiley

Make Elite IV:Dangerous happen! Pledge your backing at KICKSTARTER here! https://dl.dropbox.com/u/54785909/EliteIVsmaller.png
Offline appel

JGO Wizard


Medals: 49
Projects: 5


I always win!


« Reply #9 - Posted 2007-11-10 21:55:03 »

I've been asked if it's ok to re-submit a game from previous competition, so it would get a better, more thorough, review and judging.

This is not a good idea, think about it. If people start to see "old" games in the "new" competition, then they'll re-submit their old game(s) too! Do we really want to see 50 "old" games in a new competition? I think it just adds a extra burden on the judges and makes the competition that much less interesting for the people that have liked to play the 4k games over the years.

We just have to accept the results from last competition, it wasn't fair to most, but at least we always have a new competition! So let's simply do our best again and make better games this year around Wink


edit:
As a consequence, I've added rule #10.

Check out the 4K competition @ www.java4k.com
Check out GAMADU (my own site) @ http://gamadu.com/
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Morre

JGO Knight


Medals: 2
Projects: 10


I'm Dragonene on IRC.


« Reply #10 - Posted 2007-11-11 11:09:31 »

If it's critique you want, and not a scoreboard, I'd be pretty happy with last year's results. The voting system and the inofficial scores both had too little data to be accurate, but when it comes to personal comments the year was good - pretty active forum, lots of constructive critique going on. I agree, no resubmitting should be allowed Smiley

EDIT: Wording.

Offline prof

Junior Newbie





« Reply #11 - Posted 2007-11-13 10:01:36 »

niiice
Offline Markus_Persson

JGO Wizard


Medals: 12
Projects: 19


Mojang Specifications


« Reply #12 - Posted 2007-11-14 13:27:45 »

Some extra notes about Java Webstart:
- Webstarted games' code size will be determined with the JAR that Webstart uses to launch the game
- Splash screens and icons for Webstart will not be counted against you since they are not part of the JAR
- If your JAR is below 4K until you sign it, you cannot use it unless you provide an unsigned JAR as another option for launching the game that is auto-executable and under 4K.

Can you pass arguments from the jnlp to the jar file? How large can the arguments be? Wink

* Markus_Persson imagines writing a 4k classloader and base64encoding a 50mb zip file Cheesy

Play Minecraft!
Offline appel

JGO Wizard


Medals: 49
Projects: 5


I always win!


« Reply #13 - Posted 2007-11-14 20:39:10 »

Can you pass arguments from the jnlp to the jar file? How large can the arguments be? Wink

* Markus_Persson imagines writing a 4k classloader and base64encoding a 50mb zip file Cheesy

I imagine myself disqualifying the game then Wink

The jnlp can only be used to _start_ the game, not pass on data in a form of a external resource. Be reasonable Smiley don't make my hair turn gray before I hit 30!

Check out the 4K competition @ www.java4k.com
Check out GAMADU (my own site) @ http://gamadu.com/
Offline Markus_Persson

JGO Wizard


Medals: 12
Projects: 19


Mojang Specifications


« Reply #14 - Posted 2007-11-15 11:30:01 »

Sorry, I just wanted to point that out so you could add it to the rules or clarify that it counts as an external resource so nobody would try to (ab)use it. =)

Play Minecraft!
Offline Abuse

JGO Coder


Medals: 10


falling into the abyss of reality


« Reply #15 - Posted 2007-11-15 18:28:11 »

Be reasonable Smiley don't make my hair turn gray before I hit 30!

Sigh, @27 and i've got a few showing up Undecided

Make Elite IV:Dangerous happen! Pledge your backing at KICKSTARTER here! https://dl.dropbox.com/u/54785909/EliteIVsmaller.png
Offline appel

JGO Wizard


Medals: 49
Projects: 5


I always win!


« Reply #16 - Posted 2007-11-15 18:57:56 »

Sigh, @27 and i've got a few showing up Undecided

I'm 27, stop scaring me :|

Check out the 4K competition @ www.java4k.com
Check out GAMADU (my own site) @ http://gamadu.com/
Offline appel

JGO Wizard


Medals: 49
Projects: 5


I always win!


« Reply #17 - Posted 2007-11-15 19:05:48 »

Sorry, I just wanted to point that out so you could add it to the rules or clarify that it counts as an external resource so nobody would try to (ab)use it. =)

Yes, I agree. The rules will be clarified before the contest officially starts (Dec 1st), until then everyone are free to make comments and discuss.

We were thinking about adding a requirement:

Game must be startable via webstart and/or applet.

This will help attract people that aren't especially interested in development or Java, but rather just normal end users who want to play without much hassle. Webstart and Applet are the simplest tools we have for that. So no submitting only a JAR file, which requires a download, and not everyone recognize the JAR (both end-users and browsers/OS').

I don't think this would be a problem, it's fairly easy to deploy as webstartable, and it also shrinks the game (you don't need the META-INF stuff). Also, something like 80% delivered in webstart last season.

Check out the 4K competition @ www.java4k.com
Check out GAMADU (my own site) @ http://gamadu.com/
Offline moogie

JGO Knight


Medals: 11
Projects: 5
Exp: 10 years


Java games rock!


« Reply #18 - Posted 2007-11-15 22:43:01 »


Game must be startable via webstart and/or applet.

How about games which when webstarted need to be signed thus in previous years would be ok to submit as the unsigned stand alone jar is less than 4k but the web start version is over?
Offline appel

JGO Wizard


Medals: 49
Projects: 5


I always win!


« Reply #19 - Posted 2007-11-16 11:52:29 »

How about games which when webstarted need to be signed thus in previous years would be ok to submit as the unsigned stand alone jar is less than 4k but the web start version is over?

Yes, I agree. If the signed webstart is larger than 4k, an unsigned jar will have to be provided to prove it's smaller or equal to 4k. That is fair.

Check out the 4K competition @ www.java4k.com
Check out GAMADU (my own site) @ http://gamadu.com/
Offline Abuse

JGO Coder


Medals: 10


falling into the abyss of reality


« Reply #20 - Posted 2007-11-16 12:30:02 »

Yes, I agree. If the signed webstart is larger than 4k, an unsigned jar will have to be provided to prove it's smaller or equal to 4k. That is fair.

An unsigned standalone jar?

The fundamental issue here is that:

1) standalone costs you a manifest.mf in the jar, but gets you full execution privileges - hence you can go full-screen.
2) webstart releases you of the need for a manifest.mf, but you are sandboxed - requiring signing to release you from the sandbox.

Obviously signing the jar is a great-deal more expensive than including a manifest.mf (so much so that it is impractical for a 4kb java app.).

Therefore to encourage webstart in past competitions, an oversized webstart submission was allowed to accompany the stand-alone executable jar.
Note the important distinction - it was the stand-alone executable jar that was demonstrating the game could meet the competitions rule requirements - the webstart submission was simply for convenience.

Will this competition be the same? e.g. if over sized, the webstart submission should be considered a convenience tool not an actual valid submission.

Make Elite IV:Dangerous happen! Pledge your backing at KICKSTARTER here! https://dl.dropbox.com/u/54785909/EliteIVsmaller.png
Offline moogie

JGO Knight


Medals: 11
Projects: 5
Exp: 10 years


Java games rock!


« Reply #21 - Posted 2007-11-16 12:45:48 »

Quote from: Abuse

Therefore to encourage webstart in past competitions, an oversized webstart submission was allowed to accompany the stand-alone executable jar.
Note the important distinction - it was the stand-alone executable jar that was demonstrating the game could meet the competitions rule requirements - the webstart submission was simply for convenience.

This was what i was thinking...
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


pixels! :x


« Reply #22 - Posted 2007-11-16 19:16:04 »

Game must work with:
java -cp .<path separator>bla.jar <main class>
Eg:
java -cp .;g.jar G (win32)

As easy as that. Wink

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline Abuse

JGO Coder


Medals: 10


falling into the abyss of reality


« Reply #23 - Posted 2007-11-16 20:39:36 »

In that case my jar is going to be named "TwoHundredAndFiftyFiveUTF16EncodedDataStream".

System.getProperty("java.class.path") is a prety frickin cheap way of accessing 255*4 bytes of data (if the full unicode character set realy is supported...)

Make Elite IV:Dangerous happen! Pledge your backing at KICKSTARTER here! https://dl.dropbox.com/u/54785909/EliteIVsmaller.png
Offline rdcarvallo

Senior Member


Projects: 5
Exp: 15 years


2D Java games forever!


« Reply #24 - Posted 2007-11-18 15:06:12 »

Can you pass arguments from the jnlp to the jar file? How large can the arguments be? Wink
I remember that it was not allowed in past years. I'll have to look for the post.

Game must work with:
java -cp .<path separator>bla.jar <main class>
Eg:
java -cp .;g.jar G (win32)

As easy as that. Wink

The game should work with:
java -jar g.jar

The main-class must be in the manifest.
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


pixels! :x


« Reply #25 - Posted 2007-11-19 08:56:33 »

In that case my jar is going to be named "TwoHundredAndFiftyFiveUTF16EncodedDataStream".

System.getProperty("java.class.path") is a prety frickin cheap way of accessing 255*4 bytes of data (if the full unicode character set realy is supported...)

Well, then it must run with the following command line on Windows:
java -cp .;a.jar A

And the following one on Mac/Linux:
java -cp .:a.jar A

Satisfied? Tongue

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline appel

JGO Wizard


Medals: 49
Projects: 5


I always win!


« Reply #26 - Posted 2007-11-20 07:41:03 »

Been building a new PC, so I've been occupied  Cool Got a new QuadCore machine... I'm dancing on water now  Grin

Ok, back to the competition.

One of the original rules (#8) states that the game must be executed without a command line. So, normally double-clicking on the JAR should work (in Windows AFAIK). java -jar <name>.jar should always work.

And rule #4 states "self-contained" and "no external resource", to me that automatically excludes everything that can be passed on as arguments/parameters to the application to use as data.

Me and jojoh will think of a better wording of the rules to exclude the type of cheating Abuse talks about. I'd just hate to spend lot of time discussing rules while I could be making the system for the competition Smiley So we'll maybe make the rules more general, allowing us more elbow-space to reject games that we believe are not in the spirit of the competition.

How about:
- Any game that uses data that is not counted as part of the (up to) 4096 bytes package will be rejected.



Check out the 4K competition @ www.java4k.com
Check out GAMADU (my own site) @ http://gamadu.com/
Offline Morre

JGO Knight


Medals: 2
Projects: 10


I'm Dragonene on IRC.


« Reply #27 - Posted 2007-11-20 14:37:20 »

I suppose. I'd just go what with what used the previous years; the game must either be self-executable or startable via webstart under 4k. If that means they need to sign it for webstart, fine, let them provide a standard JAR with manifest to prove it's less than 4k unsigned.

Offline meshounah

Senior Newbie





« Reply #28 - Posted 2007-11-20 22:18:48 »

does "self contained" mean everything has to be in a jar? as in i could not have images out on their own(but still include them in the size limit?)
Offline Bonbon-Chan

JGO Coder


Medals: 12



« Reply #29 - Posted 2007-11-29 09:35:38 »

does "self contained" mean everything has to be in a jar? as in i could not have images out on their own(but still include them in the size limit?)

Everything in the jar  Smiley

A little question : only one game or several games can be submited ? (If so I will have to choose one  Huh)
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