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  Year on Year  (Read 5823 times)
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Offline kevglass

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 195
Projects: 24
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Posted 2009-01-06 13:05:14 »

I've been lucky enough to be involved in the 4k contest for a few years now and I thought it was worth noting just how amazing the year on year improvement in both quality and range of games has been. I think this is partly testement to the improvement in the JDK that supports the games but also to the free and open spirit of the contest where everyone supports each other and shares ideas/tools/concepts that have worked for them.

So, well done to those competing. Great stuff so far and more to come I hope!

To anyone reading this but not competeing, really, give it a go. 4k game development is one of the most educating, rewarding and fun activities I've taken part in. It's also a fantastic way to prorotype ideas, get lots of feedback and get that feeling of completing a game (or games if you have time).

Kev 'must be on a high today' Glass Smiley

Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #1 - Posted 2009-01-06 17:45:55 »

Yeah, this is my first 4k game and I have to say that it's been a lot of fun. I've also learned a lot about optimization along the way, and now I'm thinking the game would be very cool to take further into a 3D perspective.

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline luisoft

JGO Coder


Projects: 6


Java games rock!


« Reply #2 - Posted 2009-01-06 21:31:54 »

I totally agree with you. I'd also suggest if game developers releases their source code so beginers can hack it and learn a little bit more about 4k programming
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline steveyO
« Reply #3 - Posted 2009-01-07 14:59:52 »

Completely agree too, quality of 4K games this year is pretty amazing. 
On the downside however, average java games programmers (like myself) cant get close to the standard and quality of games that have been developed this year,  have tried and failed, so will have to give a miss (again!).

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bullsquared.alggame Annoying Little Gits (Android)
www.bullsquared.com   Play java (applet) games! www.chessclockpro.com Free Online Chess Clock
Offline kevglass

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 195
Projects: 24
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #4 - Posted 2009-01-07 15:16:40 »

Quote
have tried and failed, so will have to give a miss (again!).

No!!!!!!!! Thats not the way to play. Look, we can all mostly accept that Left4kDead is going to most likely take the top prize this year. It's just amazing and has the backing of the internet at large. However, the contest hasn't ever been about the winning - it's just really really good fun!

Not to mention having a few finished games, even if they are 4k, makes a hell of difference when you start thinking about the scale of projects to take on in general hobby stakes.

Kev

Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #5 - Posted 2009-01-07 15:29:13 »

I've had great fun with NiGHTS4k, wish I'd started doing 4k earlier now. Smiley When the code is small enough so that you can hold the whole thing in your head you can pull some crazy tricks that you wouldn't ever think about in a "proper" game.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline steveyO
« Reply #6 - Posted 2009-01-07 15:44:40 »

Sorry, didnt want to sound defeatist (or a bad loser!),  I have tried the 4K thing 2-3 times and both times didnt manage to produce anything remotely entertaining to play (last year I coded an ASCII shootem-up which got binned as it was totally crap!). 
Anyway,  am off work for a few more weeks so no excuse really,  I may give it another go. 

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bullsquared.alggame Annoying Little Gits (Android)
www.bullsquared.com   Play java (applet) games! www.chessclockpro.com Free Online Chess Clock
Offline appel

JGO Wizard


Medals: 51
Projects: 4


I always win!


« Reply #7 - Posted 2009-01-07 16:17:36 »

It's not about winning, it's about participating!


Making some amateurish game, and nobody cares.
Making an tiny amateurish game that's 4 KB in size, and everyone are interested!

Just look at how many plays these games are getting, thousands and thousands of plays! You're lucky to get a few dozen people to play your game if it wasn't 4K. You think Left4Kdead would get as much attention had it been 100 KB and exactly the same gameplay?


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

Junior Devvie


Projects: 2



« Reply #8 - Posted 2009-01-07 19:12:13 »

I've had fun. It's very satisfying to actually complete something. In fact, I'm tempted to do another one.

Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #9 - Posted 2009-01-07 20:22:43 »

I'm actually thinking that I'll port my game to the iPhone. What game could be more easily ported than one that's only 800 lines long? It'll definitely be a good way to finally get my foot in the door of iPhone development.

See my work:
OTC Software
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline zeroone
« Reply #10 - Posted 2009-01-07 20:38:52 »

Quote
last year I coded an ASCII shootem-up which got binned as it was totally crap!

I recently wrote some ASCII games too:

http://meatfighter.com/demonattack/
http://meatfighter.com/pitfall/

It's fun to develop a video game under the constraint of no graphics.  Maybe that should be a different contest.
Offline moogie

JGO Knight


Medals: 13
Projects: 6
Exp: 10 years


Java games rock!


« Reply #11 - Posted 2009-01-07 20:46:42 »

I agree with kevglass, writing 4k games is always a lot of fun and it has definitely expanded my knowledge of how java works under the hood as well!

I have never won a the competition, mainly as i do not have an artistic bone in my body Tongue but i do no participate to win, i have heaps of fun with the challenge it self. I might be a saddist, but I enjoy chasing after an extra 3 byte saving, making tools to help me achieve the smallest size.
Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #12 - Posted 2009-01-08 01:32:06 »

It's fun to develop a video game under the constraint of no graphics.  Maybe that should be a different contest.
Start it! I'll join.

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline zeroone
« Reply #13 - Posted 2009-01-08 14:17:06 »

Quote
Start it! I'll join.

Any idea if it is possible to manipulate the Windows console from Java?  Those games were written in C#.
Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #14 - Posted 2009-01-08 16:57:23 »

Any idea if it is possible to manipulate the Windows console from Java?  Those games were written in C#.
Well yeah, you just need an input stream and System.out.println.

See my work:
OTC Software
Online Abuse

JGO Knight


Medals: 14


falling into the abyss of reality


« Reply #15 - Posted 2009-01-08 17:48:54 »

Well yeah, you just need an input stream and System.out.println.

For precisely that reason, (Java exposes the console only as a PrintStream), it is impossible to clear the console, change color, or move the cursor position.

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

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #16 - Posted 2009-01-08 17:57:06 »

A while back gamedev.net ran a similar text-only competition. They just defined a set of restrictions for the text-mode display (resolution, character size, colour range etc.) which emulated a DOS text mode. Then everyone was free to implement it however they wanted, either using actual text mode, DirectDraw, OpenGL, whatever. Given the difficulties with cross-platform console text it's a reasonable approach IMHO.

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

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #17 - Posted 2009-01-08 22:26:46 »

For precisely that reason, (Java exposes the console only as a PrintStream), it is impossible to clear the console, change color, or move the cursor position.
Oh, duh. I was narrow-mindedly thinking of a text RPG or something, not a scrolling action game or whatever.

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline nva225

Junior Devvie





« Reply #18 - Posted 2009-01-09 03:12:24 »

I guess the best alternative would to be just open up a JFrame with text field, set it to monospace, black background, and then go crazy with whatever string editing based graphics engine that suits you. Sure it's not quite a console, but it's close.
Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #19 - Posted 2009-01-09 07:26:25 »

I guess the best alternative would to be just open up a JFrame with text field, set it to monospace, black background, and then go crazy with whatever string editing based graphics engine that suits you. Sure it's not quite a console, but it's close.
Yup, sounds about right to me. You could make it undecorated too to make it look like a floating CUI.

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline zeroone
« Reply #20 - Posted 2009-01-09 14:17:39 »

Quote
I guess the best alternative would to be just open up a JFrame with text field, set it to monospace, black background, and then go crazy with whatever string editing based graphics engine that suits you. Sure it's not quite a console, but it's close.

It kind of defeats the point though.  I only used the colored rectangle extended ASCII characters for my games.  You might as well just declare something like the game is played in 80 x 60 resolution with 16 colors, but you can scale that image up to 640 x 480 (each pixel is effectively an 8x8 block).
Offline steveyO
« Reply #21 - Posted 2009-01-09 17:01:57 »

Ok am in!   Have spent all day coding my soon to be first 4K game.. Not an ascii shootem-up this time :-)

Hope I wasnt misunderstood before.  I dont give a monkeys about winning,  I was just trying to emphasize the high quality of the games produced this year. 

Only gripe (having just read the comp rules) is that it must be webstartable.  Were applets not allowed in previous years?  (Have seen the link to create the jnlp file,  will try this when game is complete!).   Out of inerterest how long does it take you guys to start a WebStart 4k Game?  On average they take a minute to load on my laptop.  Is this normal or something wrong with my configuration?

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bullsquared.alggame Annoying Little Gits (Android)
www.bullsquared.com   Play java (applet) games! www.chessclockpro.com Free Online Chess Clock
Offline kevglass

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 195
Projects: 24
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #22 - Posted 2009-01-09 17:14:49 »

You can webstart applets these days Smiley

Kev

Offline Eli Delventhal

JGO Kernel


Medals: 42
Projects: 11
Exp: 10 years


Game Engineer


« Reply #23 - Posted 2009-01-09 17:43:34 »

Webstarting my games usually takes me about 5 minutes to create the JNLP and sign the JAR and everything, which certainly isn't too bad. As for running a 4k webstart, it takes only a few seconds for me.

See my work:
OTC Software
Offline pjt33
« Reply #24 - Posted 2009-01-10 23:50:33 »

Making some amateurish game, and nobody cares.
Making an tiny amateurish game that's 4 KB in size, and everyone are interested!
I have version 0.2 of my possible entry in 2kB. However, I expect I will score better if I use the remaining 2kB for polish than trying to get bonus marks for file size.
Offline Ranger
« Reply #25 - Posted 2009-01-11 00:30:25 »

Only gripe (having just read the comp rules) is that it must be webstartable.  Were applets not allowed in previous years?  (Have seen the link to create the jnlp file,  will try this when game is complete!).   Out of inerterest how long does it take you guys to start a WebStart 4k Game?  On average they take a minute to load on my laptop.  Is this normal or something wrong with my configuration?

Appel said he was going to change the rules to allow Applets: http://www.java-gaming.org/topics/world-rally-driver-4k/19493/msg/154983/view.html#msg154983

On a computer with security, once you click through the warning message about download files, warning message about running downloaded files, finding the pop up window because you got bored and clicked on something else, yea, a JNLP file will take about a minute to load.  Wink  On a computer with no security, they should pop up within a few seconds.  They do however, install themselves as a program (on Windows based PCs anyway).  So you have to clean them up every-so-often.  Easiest way is via the Java control panel -> View Temporary Internet Files.

In my view, applets are much more user friendly (however, not as coder friendly).   ...Rant over.  Grin
Offline pjt33
« Reply #26 - Posted 2009-01-11 08:00:16 »

In my view, applets are much more user friendly (however, not as coder friendly).   ...Rant over.  Grin
I have a curious situation where my applet runs fine via webstart and does nothing obvious when embedded in HTML. I think it may be because I don't override paint, but haven't got round to investigating yet. I think using an applet rather than an application probably saves a byte or two - instead of main() you override start(), but you don't have to call your own constructor or show().
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