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  Game Development Slowdown?  (Read 8240 times)
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Offline noblemaster

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« Posted 2008-02-05 05:38:36 »

Is it just me or does anyone else get the feel that Java game development has slowed? Maybe it's not limited to Java? I just get the vibe, that there are not that many new cool independent games being produced? The game showcase has the occasional new game appear, but overall nothing much happening. Looking at the java4k competition; there are currently 15 entries (1 month left). Last year, there were 58 entries. OK, still less a month to go.

Is there a new underground game development forum I don't know about?  Grin


Offline moogie

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« Reply #1 - Posted 2008-02-05 06:00:56 »

not sure about others, however i am unable to spare the time to make an entry into the 4k comp this year... i do have a prototype, but unfortunately my work load at my job and renovating my house leaves very little time for game dev Sad
Offline Mr. Gol

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Medals: 1



« Reply #2 - Posted 2008-02-05 11:27:14 »

Actually the activity on this forum has been decreasing a lot over the past year. I'm not sure if this is due to a decline in Java gaming development though, as the forums of Java 3D and jMonkeyEngine are quite active. It seems that the interest in some generic Java gaming community has disappeared.

It's a shame that Java 3D has been frozen, as it had been around for a very long time and there was a ton of documentation and tutorials for it, making it a very useful entry to Java and 3D.
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Online princec

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« Reply #3 - Posted 2008-02-05 11:29:50 »

All sorts of speculation could arise about what's going on... for one thing Java did rather lose the battle for browser gaming to Flash which probably accounts for rather a lot of interest dropping off; and it also rather lost the battle to get onto a console so it sort of lost out against C# and XNA there too. All of which can add up to less interest.

Cas Smiley

Offline Orangy Tang

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« Reply #4 - Posted 2008-02-05 11:49:31 »

I've noticed a general slowing down on all game programming forums over the last year. 2008 was a ridiculously good year for games, I wouldn't be surprised if that was having an effect.

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Offline Riven
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« Reply #5 - Posted 2008-02-05 20:28:55 »

I've noticed a general slowing down on all game programming forums over the last year. 2008 was a ridiculously good year for games, I wouldn't be surprised if that was having an effect.

I bet you meant 2006?


People tend to pay for little console games, large console games, mobile phone games, generally not for sub-AAA indie-games.

C# can be deployed on XBox Marketplace, so there you go.

Further, we, the java-gaming-community, have written little games ourselves, which may be stimulating and motivating for newbies.

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Offline noblemaster

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« Reply #6 - Posted 2008-02-05 20:51:46 »

I don't think people mind paying for small PC games, there are just not many out there - at least not new ones. It's not only Java. I see it as a general problem. There are not that many programmers out there that have the time and skill to create a game. It takes lots of time.

Also, in regards to Java, there isn't much support from Sun. They pretty much dropped Java3D for the desktop. It's not that bad though with other frameworks (e.g. JMonkeyEngine) around. One thing that bothers me is their showcase on www.java.com. When did that get updated last time? They add one or two new desktop games a year. It's hard for developers to market their games. www.java.com is a great platform. It would benefit both the developers and Sun. I tried to get my game on there twice, but seems no one cares. On the other hand there is Apple which has all games for their computers listed online. Why can Apple do it but not Sun?  Huh

Offline appel

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« Reply #7 - Posted 2008-02-05 21:22:00 »

As you said, one indicator of a slowdown is that only 15 games have been submitted into the Java 4K competition. Usually there are 50+ games submitted over a period of 3 months, but it's 2 months + 5 days already now.

I can't see that a different format of the competition is to blame, as the new site is very accessible (IMO).

Perhaps Java game development is more mature now, and those who used to be interested in Java2D programming have migrated to libraries such as Slick and jME. For others, such as me, I'm either just too lazy, have too many projects ongoing or school or work occupies my time.

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

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« Reply #8 - Posted 2008-02-05 22:22:41 »

Well, I'm too busy because I'm actually writing Java games Tongue

Cas Smiley

Offline fletchergames

Senior Member





« Reply #9 - Posted 2008-02-06 05:11:13 »

princec is right.  There's alot of other game programming languages and tools out there.  There's even people selling games made with Game Maker.  Remember, Sun didn't make Java specifically for game programming.  It's something that just sort of happened.

The United States is falling into an economic recession.  That may have some effect, though it's unclear to me exactly how relevant that is.  It's not that much of a recession, and I doubt that the credit, real estate, and stock slump we're having affects indie game programmers much.

I've actually made more money selling games in the past year than in all my life up to now.  Of course, that's only because this is the first time I had a game worth buying for sale.  So it means nothing.

I'm about 4 months behind on where I thought I'd be on the game I'm making now.  First, we decided to make it into a pack of 3 games instead of just 1 game.  Second, I goofed off for 2-3 weeks in November.  Third, I spent all of December updating our website.

I haven't been posted here as much because I just haven't had the time.  I update my website on Monday.  I work 4 days a week on my game.  I work 5-6 days a week at my real job.  Yes, that's 9-10 days per week.  3 out of the 5 days I'm at work, I'm working on something else too.

Basically, the only time I have off is Saturday morning.  I don't have alot time left.  I read the forums, but don't post much.  And, boy, do I need some sleep.
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Offline dishmoth
« Reply #10 - Posted 2008-02-06 10:08:31 »

To put a glass-half-full spin on this, when I first started lurking on these forums people were frequently surprised by what could be done using Java.  Nowadays it's pretty much taken for granted that any game you want to make, Java's up to the task (give or take the odd argument over the interpretation of Java vs C++ performance statistics -- and come to think of it it's been quite a while since I've seen one of those).

So maybe there's not such a need for Java-specific game development forums anymore, in much the same way that you don't see C++-specific forums.

So, in some sense:  Mission Accomplished!

(But don't turn these forums off just yet because I'm quite fond of them! Wink )

Offline noblemaster

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« Reply #11 - Posted 2008-02-06 10:14:30 »

so, which other game development forums/sites are you guys lurking around?

Online princec

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« Reply #12 - Posted 2008-02-06 11:53:15 »

Only Indiegamer for me but I use that one less and less as it's sort of becoming overrun with n00bs and the level of useful (to me) posts has dropped off. TIGsource has some lively forums too but I don't visit often. And as for Gamedev.net don't make me laugh Smiley

Cas Smiley

Offline Orangy Tang

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« Reply #13 - Posted 2008-02-06 12:11:30 »

Only Indiegamer for me but I use that one less and less as it's sort of becoming overrun with n00bs and the level of useful (to me) posts has dropped off. TIGsource has some lively forums too but I don't visit often. And as for Gamedev.net don't make me laugh Smiley

Cas Smiley

Ah, it's not just me then. I stopped reading indiegamer a while back when 90% of the technical topics were n00bs asking "how do i rite teh codez???". All the non-technical posts seem to be people writing mediocre clones to sell to soccer moms.

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

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Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #14 - Posted 2008-02-06 13:40:28 »

Maybe the whole industry is in the doldrums.

Cas Smiley

Offline brackeen

Junior Member





« Reply #15 - Posted 2008-02-07 17:47:26 »

I noticed java-gaming.org isn't indexed by Google, and the JGO register captcha often has broken images in it. Those two combined are probably keeping a lot of new users away from here!

It might be that the JGO attrition rate > JGO new user rate.
Online princec

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Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #16 - Posted 2008-02-07 18:33:47 »

Has to be said though that the quality of the posts on this board is probably the best of any public forum I've used on any subject.

Cas Smiley

Offline oNyx

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« Reply #17 - Posted 2008-02-07 18:44:51 »

I noticed java-gaming.org isn't indexed by Google, and the JGO register captcha often has broken images in it. Those two combined are probably keeping a lot of new users away from here!

It might be that the JGO attrition rate > JGO new user rate.

http://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Ajava-gaming.org

Wow... that certainly looks bad. A zillion of error messages and nothing else. How did that happen?

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Offline Jackal von ÖRF

Junior Member





« Reply #18 - Posted 2008-02-07 23:35:10 »

Google's cache says "An Error Has Occurred! Sorry Guest, you are banned from using this forum!"

Offline Mr. Gol

Senior Member


Medals: 1



« Reply #19 - Posted 2008-02-13 19:52:43 »

I noticed java-gaming.org isn't indexed by Google, and the JGO register captcha often has broken images in it. Those two combined are probably keeping a lot of new users away from here!

It might be that the JGO attrition rate > JGO new user rate.

The discovery that the person who wrote the book you were using as a student when starting out with game development, is actually a member of the same forum as you is quite interesting. Can I have your autograph Tongue
Offline erikd

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Maximumisness


« Reply #20 - Posted 2008-02-20 14:17:03 »

To put a glass-half-full spin on this, when I first started lurking on these forums people were frequently surprised by what could be done using Java.  Nowadays it's pretty much taken for granted that any game you want to make, Java's up to the task (give or take the odd argument over the interpretation of Java vs C++ performance statistics -- and come to think of it it's been quite a while since I've seen one of those).

So maybe there's not such a need for Java-specific game development forums anymore, in much the same way that you don't see C++-specific forums.

So, in some sense:  Mission Accomplished!

(But don't turn these forums off just yet because I'm quite fond of them! Wink )


Exactly my thoughts!

Offline OverKill

Junior Member




Java games rock!


« Reply #21 - Posted 2008-02-21 07:54:57 »

I mostly lurk nowadays. I left my gamedev job over 1.5 years ago and with the birth of my son, I hardly get around to much any more.
And when I do, I usually work with tech that is work related and try to build a small game out of it.
f.i. a browser game with JBoss & JSP/Servlets, networking code and like.

I am no great friend of (typical) casual games. While I love a game of FrozenBubbles now and again, I would rather play more involved games.
Sadly there seems to be to many clones of clones of trivial games out there. If I see another asian-mmo, I am gonna go nuts.
The most recent game has been DungeonRunners, but since it does not run on Ubuntu, I hardly play it any more.

As was mentioned, Java lost to Flash on the casual web-based market.

Speaking of DR (3d online clone of Diablo), I believe that is what the Java game devs could focus on: mid level games.
DR does not seem overly complicated and not really cutting edge high tech.
Something I am sure a team of JGF people could do as well.

Examples are games like Soulfu that were developed by a small group of people and turned out a great game.

I think there are more then enough ideas floating around that are in need of a dev team to evolve.

Not to mention java could also reach those *nix users that are thirsting for games. Expcially MMOs!

BTW: What ever happend to Darkstar?
For a DR game it would fit very nicely.
Offline trembovetski

Senior Member




If only I knew what I'm talking about!


« Reply #22 - Posted 2008-02-21 18:38:11 »

> BTW: What ever happend to Darkstar?

Alive and well, apparently: www.projectdarkstar.com .
You can even get Sun support contract for it:
  http://www.sun.com/service/projectdarkstar/index.jsp

Dmitri
Offline ChrisM

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Luke...END OF LINE


« Reply #23 - Posted 2008-02-22 07:18:02 »


As was mentioned, Java lost to Flash on the casual web-based market.


You think so?  Hmmmm.... Given that there are 3 things occurring right now, I would not hold that position for long.  The 3 are:

1. Java moving to a unified platform.  1 Java, mobile to PC
2. JavaFX.  Go check it out....
3. Blu-Ray.  Any interactivity, graphics, etc that you see beyond the actual video you are watching is Java.  With HD-DVD now dead, the only way to do interactive entertainment is in Java on Blu-Ray.  Will you see versions of these games moving to the web?  If so, do you think developers will re-write them in Flash because, well, because?  Not according to the people I talked to at GDC this week.

So, yes, tools for Flash (in Director, specifically) are fantastic.  This has not gone unnoticed by the Java organization at Sun.

Offline OverKill

Junior Member




Java games rock!


« Reply #24 - Posted 2008-02-22 09:16:44 »

@trembovetski:
Thanks for the update.
I think it might be a good idea to get some people together and start a project or two.

@ChrisM:
Currently.. what the future holds I have no idea.
Still, Flash is ok for casual games and I would not invest much into challenging them on that turf.
But the blu-ray stuff you were talking about in 3. sounds nice from a techie point of view.

1. unified platform. comming from a j2me background, I think it will still take a while for mobiles to shift over. Not a question of tech but the mobile vendors are slllooowww.
2. thx I will
3. I have no clue about blu-ray and like, but it does sound good. I have had contact with a comp out of Hamburg Germany that, from what they have told me, are doing similar but directly from the tv-system (don't ask me the details).

@JonathanC:
Consumer JRE?

@Topic:
I have no doubt that Sun is working on great stuff, yet I would rather see them focusing on a market they can actually hold instead of trying to waste money in fighting a war they will probably not win.

For gaming I would see that in the mid-range spanning indie devs up to smaller professional teams.
I doubt any company will dare build the next best MMO using java clientside. Not with the people designing, programming and paying it usually still thinking 'Java, issn't that horribly slow?'.

One reason why I think a good venture would be for Sun and/or us to take the steps in that direction, building some good small-medium sized games that will prove Java is up to par.
I know at least one large group of Online RPG gamers (that Jeff knows as well Wink ) with a proven modding track record who would really love to dump time into a game.
They just do not have programmers to build the game.

btw: Issn't NCSoft working on a game using Java? (I still regret not being able to apply. Sad )
Offline Abuse

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« Reply #25 - Posted 2008-02-22 10:32:37 »

...the only way to do interactive entertainment is in Java on Blu-Ray.  Will you see versions of these games moving to the web?

Why would people be interested in playing web quality interactive content(games) on their Blue-Ray player?
Has such a use-case been proven to exist, or is this targetting a yet-to-exist market?

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Offline trembovetski

Senior Member




If only I knew what I'm talking about!


« Reply #26 - Posted 2008-02-22 17:01:27 »

> Consumer JRE?

https://jdk6.dev.java.net/6uNea.html

Dmitri
Offline bienator

Senior Member




OutOfCoffeeException


« Reply #27 - Posted 2008-02-24 15:07:38 »

Why would people be interested in playing web quality interactive content(games) on their Blue-Ray player?
Has such a use-case been proven to exist, or is this targetting a yet-to-exist market?


PS3 has a blu-ray player.... I don't know how the SDK looks like or what kind of JVM run on BDJ or how fast it is but this may be interesting in future.
(-> java on PS3!)

Offline Riven
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« Reply #28 - Posted 2008-02-24 15:20:32 »

Like a JVM in a bluray player has access to the CELL or RSX chips

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Offline bienator

Senior Member




OutOfCoffeeException


« Reply #29 - Posted 2008-02-24 15:39:31 »

Like a JVM in a bluray player has access to the CELL or RSX chips
exactly, I don't know how restrictive the sandbox is (yeah multithreading on CELL would be a dream...). I recently even heard in a interview (can't find it now) of networking support through BDJ. Perhaps someone with more experience in this area could comment here.

edit:
feel free to join the discussion:
http://forums.java.net/jive/thread.jspa?threadID=37126

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