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  Applets in retrospect...  (Read 4537 times)
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Offline appel

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« Posted 2010-03-19 15:39:04 »

How did everyone like the Applets only?

Personally I wonder why we didn't do this before. Some things we need to iron out, but overall a big success.

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Offline Eli Delventhal

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« Reply #1 - Posted 2010-03-19 15:46:39 »

How did everyone like the Applets only?

Personally I wonder why we didn't do this before. Some things we need to iron out, but overall a big success.
I never got my game up (again) but that was actually because I was having trouble making the JAR work right with compression and so gave up relatively quickly. Being a judge gives much less incentive to finish, after all. Having an applet seemed to work just fine, and it's very easy to throw in a main method for testing, then remove it for distribution.

My one issue is that sometimes applets leave sound playing after being closed. My game actually is one of them, and there was only 1 this that did so. I find this really problematic and we might want to add in some kind of standard deduction if this happens.

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Offline SimonH
« Reply #2 - Posted 2010-03-19 16:06:33 »

Much better than webstart!
I did pick up on some players not being able to play pack files though. It'd be a good idea to deploy the jar file alongside the pack file for maximum accessibility. Could this be done with automated pack decompression in the submission system?

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Offline appel

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« Reply #3 - Posted 2010-03-19 16:20:50 »

Much better than webstart!
I did pick up on some players not being able to play pack files though. It'd be a good idea to deploy the jar file alongside the pack file for maximum accessibility. Could this be done with automated pack decompression in the submission system?

I agree. Will enable it before next year.

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Offline SquashMonster

Senior Member


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« Reply #4 - Posted 2010-03-19 16:37:54 »

Using applets was a great improvement.  We should stick with that.

I didn't like that opening a game's page automatically loads the applet.  You can't read the description, instructions, or comments without the game starting.  Since most of the games (mine included) immediately jump up to 100% CPU usage, this is painful.  This could be fixed if the applet was initially hidden, so you needed to click to show it - some video websites do this with their embedded player, where there's an image until you click, then the flash is inserted.

It would also help if the initial template didn't have the CPU use problem, which can be fixed by starting with the one I posted.  But I'd still like to see the applets initially hidden.
Offline pjt33
« Reply #5 - Posted 2010-03-19 16:50:14 »

Much better than webstart!
Hear, hear.
Offline appel

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« Reply #6 - Posted 2010-03-19 17:12:29 »

Using applets was a great improvement.  We should stick with that.

I didn't like that opening a game's page automatically loads the applet.  You can't read the description, instructions, or comments without the game starting.  Since most of the games (mine included) immediately jump up to 100% CPU usage, this is painful.  This could be fixed if the applet was initially hidden, so you needed to click to show it - some video websites do this with their embedded player, where there's an image until you click, then the flash is inserted.

It would also help if the initial template didn't have the CPU use problem, which can be fixed by starting with the one I posted.  But I'd still like to see the applets initially hidden.

Yes, good suggestion. Will try to add something like a "Play now" or "Start game" button over where the applet is.

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Offline Alan_W

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« Reply #7 - Posted 2010-03-19 20:17:12 »

1. I enjoyed the new (for me) challenge of writing a 4k Applet.  Many thanks to Marcus and several other folks for offering advice and code snippits, in the early stages of the competition.

2. I admit to going up to 100% cpu on my entries as I use variable frame rate and go flat out.  Only 50% usage on this dual core though.

3.  Yes please serve the jar, then I can play on my old Mac which only has Java 1.5

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Offline princec

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« Reply #8 - Posted 2010-03-19 23:24:25 »

Didn't work at all at work - Class not found exceptions loading F.class or somesuch. This sort of thing never seems to happen with Flash... even behind the irritating work proxy/firewall.

Cas Smiley

Offline appel

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« Reply #9 - Posted 2010-03-19 23:46:31 »

Didn't work at all at work - Class not found exceptions loading F.class or somesuch. This sort of thing never seems to happen with Flash... even behind the irritating work proxy/firewall.

Cas Smiley

I asked a non-programmer co-worker of mine what he thought of applets being used this time, as he is familiar with playing 4k games using webstart. He said it was "fantastic, great improvement. Those webstart dialogs were daunting!". From the user side it really is a great improvement.

It's not really a big problem deploying an applet, it's just that pack200 and deploying on an alien server that is the problem for most.

Check out the 4K competition @ www.java4k.com
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Offline DzzD
« Reply #10 - Posted 2010-03-20 01:40:34 »

agree 200% it was really nice and pleasant to test/play 4k games this years : inded for their quality but also because they was applets , I think (not sure)  that's the first year I ve tested all 4k entries ( twice ! ) (I remember getting bored of webstart after trying a cupple of games other years, and always thought when launching a game that I will have to remove/unisntall it later)

very very nice !


also I was wondering if you grabbed/know some stats on successful launchs/fail ?

Offline kappa
« League of Dukes »

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« Reply #11 - Posted 2010-03-20 01:48:37 »

+1 for applets, thought it was much nicer experience for playing/trying the entries. Experience should just get better from here on as the old java plugin1 starts to disappear.
Offline pjt33
« Reply #12 - Posted 2010-03-20 10:18:40 »

Didn't work at all at work - Class not found exceptions loading F.class or somesuch. This sort of thing never seems to happen with Flash... even behind the irritating work proxy/firewall.
At least it tells you there's a problem. I've had a problem with at least one Flash game which played through the intro sequence and then didn't seem to respond to button clicks on the menu. Turned out that it needed version 10 to get any further and I only had version 9, but the plugin didn't take care of telling me that.
Offline Ranger
« Reply #13 - Posted 2010-03-20 11:07:27 »

Didn't work at all at work - Class not found exceptions loading F.class or somesuch. This sort of thing never seems to happen with Flash... even behind the irritating work proxy/firewall.

Flash doesn't work at all in Firefox on my work computer.  Throws an error message for every flash entry.  However, it does work fine in IE and Chrome.  Applets work everywhere.  Smiley
Offline Riven
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« Reply #14 - Posted 2010-03-20 14:03:42 »

I'd go a step further, and request a JAR for all current entries. There are so many people unable to launch the applets, that it might hurt Java's reputation even more, or well, let's just try to make sure many more people can play it. It's little work for the devs, so send that bulkmail and get eternal fame and stuff.

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Offline delt0r

JGO Coder


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Computers can do that?


« Reply #15 - Posted 2010-03-20 15:36:42 »

This is java site. We all know about java and all that. Yet *we* (as in at least me anyways) could not run the applets sometimes.

What part of broken is so difficult to understand? The server *must* provide a jar as per the sun spec for pack200 if the client doesn't support it.

I find both WS and applets very hit and miss in general. Flash in the last 2 years has even got stable on linux! 

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Offline Abuse

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« Reply #16 - Posted 2010-03-20 22:02:14 »

...and always thought when launching a game that I will have to remove/unisntall it later)

This IMO is webstart's biggest (read massive!) flaw; it's a feature that should have never been there in the first place, and the lack of an 'opt out' (or more ideally an 'opt in') for applications that do not wish to pollute the 'installed applications' list is even more irritating.

As to the topic; applets=good. pack200 support ....not so much.

:edit:

Does anyone notice a running theme? webstart? pack200?
Nice idea, but poorly implemented.

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Offline moogie

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« Reply #17 - Posted 2010-03-21 00:09:00 »


Does anyone notice a running theme? webstart? pack200?
Nice idea, but poorly implemented.

I can concede to webstart being a little problematic... however i do not like the fact that I can no longer have a native full screen game (applet limitation)

I do not agree with pack200 being a problem in its self... I think the problem is in the delivery from java4k.com I suggested that the author submits a pack200 version to meet the 4k limit and then the server should always return a normal JAR no matter what the client asks. In this way there is no issue on the client side. This was not taken up however Sad
Offline DzzD
« Reply #18 - Posted 2010-03-21 00:32:56 »

Quote
however i do not like the fact that I can no longer have a native full screen game (applet limitation)
you cannot get exclusive fullscreen without signing your applet (but you can if you sign it, this is a normal browser security), also you can get "full desktop/screen" size like this Applet without signing, wich could be already "hurting" for some web visitors if you put it fullscreen without prompting the visitor.

Quote
I do not agree with pack200 being a problem in its self... I think the problem is in the delivery from java4k.com I suggested that the author submits a pack200 version to meet the 4k limit and then the server should always return a normal JAR no matter what the client asks. In this way there is no issue on the client side. This was not taken up however
IMHO, until there will be 100% success with pack200, this is a nice idea...


Offline Alan_W

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« Reply #19 - Posted 2010-03-21 12:12:10 »

you cannot get exclusive fullscreen without signing your applet (but you can if you sign it, this is a normal browser security), also you can get "full desktop/screen" size like this Applet without signing, wich could be already "hurting" for some web visitors if you put it fullscreen without prompting the visitor.
 IMHO, until there will be 100% success with pack200, this is a nice idea...

I played around with going fullscreen myself, but had to create another window, make it undecorated and then add my game class to it as a KeyListener.  Took a fair number of bytes and probably would be disallowed anyway.

Another idea I didn't use is to write several game entries that work in the same game world as a LAN game.  Each game has a different character with different attributes.  I got as far as making a multiplayer LAN version of Assassins4k which was only slightly larger than 4k.  Ideally each game generates it's own graphics model data it's own player character and transmits it to the other games.  Thus each game can display all the other games characters, but doesn't need to have the code to generate them.  But again, this probably breaks the rules about data injection from outside the game.  Maybe I could get a special dispensation for this though, as it looks kinda fun.

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Offline princec

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« Reply #20 - Posted 2010-03-21 12:54:53 »

I absolutely don't want fullscreen applets. The reason I like applets is that they run in the nice safe visual confines of my browser and they're easily hideable from the boss. Flash gets away with it by completely managing the fullscreen experience; that is, Esc always quits to windowed mode, and no Flash programmer can get around that. While we're at it I absolutely don't want signed 4k games either.

Cas Smiley

Offline Markus_Persson

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« Reply #21 - Posted 2010-03-21 16:51:56 »

Aye. Unsigned, windowed applets, properly deployed = potentially huge.

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Offline jojoh

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« Reply #22 - Posted 2010-03-26 18:22:47 »

Aye. Unsigned, windowed applets, properly deployed = potentially huge.
Where did you hear that  Grin

And yes, I thought that applets only was really great! Then I didn't have any problems with pack200. Not sure what way to solve that best, no perfect solution available as it is now it seems.

Still my experience was great.

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