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  Browser/Applet games  (Read 7075 times)
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Offline archdrone

Senior Newbie





« Posted 2011-02-17 18:44:57 »

So most browser games are flash, right? Or am I missing something?

Can you think of successful browser based applet games? 
Offline kappa
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« Reply #1 - Posted 2011-02-17 18:49:43 »

Minecraft! most successful indie game ever Smiley

Also RuneScape.
Offline pjt33
« Reply #2 - Posted 2011-02-17 18:54:51 »

Minecraft! most successful indie game ever Smiley

Also RuneScape.
Are you saying that RuneScape is less successful than Minecraft or not indie? Because I think either would be very badly wrong.
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Offline kappa
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« Reply #3 - Posted 2011-02-17 19:16:17 »

Are you saying that RuneScape is less successful than Minecraft or not indie? Because I think either would be very badly wrong.

In addition to minecraft?  (whichever one makes me not wrong Smiley)
Offline archdrone

Senior Newbie





« Reply #4 - Posted 2011-02-17 19:39:06 »

For the purpose of this thread, Minecraft doesn't count. Mostly because it has a separate full client as well.

I'm thinking of the newgrounds.com like model where the game content is delivered only through the browser.
Offline kappa
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« Reply #5 - Posted 2011-02-17 19:48:03 »

Pogo.com has been pretty successful and is full of mostly java applets. Quote from Wikipedia says:
Quote
Since 2006, Pogo.com has consistently been a top-10 Internet site for U.S. visitors when measured by time spent online.

Also up until recently alot of the top Yahoo Games have been java applets.
Offline kappa
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« Reply #6 - Posted 2011-02-17 19:58:46 »

Also Milpa has been relatively successful. A while back the author mentioned that its made him a few thousand dollars from ads alone.
Offline SimonH
« Reply #7 - Posted 2011-02-17 20:07:13 »

There have been a few - most of the jagex funorb stuff is java iirc, but yeah, it's mostly flash.
I think the main reason is user perception: flash is glossy and it works so people trust it. Java seems nerdish or even amateurish in the browser (yahoo toolbar with your java update anyone? *grinds teeth*).
Unless your game has the weight (like runescape & minecraft) to pull people over that hurdle then java's always going to come second.
I use java because what I want to do can't be done in flash. If flash was better I'd use that.

People make games and games make people
Offline archdrone

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« Reply #8 - Posted 2011-02-17 20:33:55 »

Out of curiosity, what do you consider java better for over Flash? At least in a purely game perspective?

Offline kappa
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« Reply #9 - Posted 2011-02-17 20:50:07 »

Out of curiosity, what do you consider java better for over Flash? At least in a purely game perspective?

Flash clearly has many advantages over Java but here's some that Java has over Flash:

1) Java is much faster, in terms of raw horse power as Java's JIT (Hotspot) compiler is much better.
2) You can get access outside the sandbox, i.e. access/save to the local file system, use networking capabilities not possible in Flash, access native code, etc.
3) Access hardware acceleration directly using stuff like OpenGL, OpenAL, etc.
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Offline archdrone

Senior Newbie





« Reply #10 - Posted 2011-02-17 21:03:53 »

Flash clearly has many advantages over Java but here's some that Java has over Flash:

1) Java is much faster, in terms of raw horse power as Java's JIT (Hotspot) compiler is much better.
2) You can get access outside the sandbox, i.e. access/save to the local file system, use networking capabilities not possible in Flash, access native code, etc.
3) Access hardware acceleration directly using stuff like OpenGL, OpenAL, etc.


Well some of this is borders on cheating when you are talking about applet code. You can only get outside the sandbox by requesting special permissions. And hardware acceleration can only be done with native binaries. Technically, flash could someday write an interface to hardware acceleration as well.

Or am I wrong?

Offline kappa
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« Reply #11 - Posted 2011-02-17 21:08:54 »

yes it could and it will with the upcoming Flash Molehill stuff but currently its impossible with Flash's restrictions.
Offline archdrone

Senior Newbie





« Reply #12 - Posted 2011-02-17 21:15:03 »

But I do agree with your points.

Cost I think is one of the biggest benefits of Java over flash. Eclipse is free, Adobe Flash CS5 is what $700 bucks. I know there is some open source actionscript compiler but the barrier to entry is higher.
Offline pjt33
« Reply #13 - Posted 2011-02-17 22:36:56 »

most of the jagex funorb stuff is java iirc
All of it, apart (I presume) from the ports to iOS.
Offline BatKid

Senior Newbie





« Reply #14 - Posted 2011-02-17 23:50:22 »

What I find is that java applets don't integrate with browsers very well, especially on non-windows platform.  For example, on the mac, re-loading of an lwjgl applet don't always work, as the java implementation is not very complete.  Also, if you want javascript->java communication, it doesn't work on safari (the last time I checked).


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Offline SimonH
« Reply #15 - Posted 2011-02-18 02:01:24 »

Out of curiosity, what do you consider java better for over Flash? At least in a purely game perspective?
Power - I can push 50K+ polys in realtime in a browser *I love it*
Potential - I can tie the server and client code really tightly. Java is A1 for network stuff.
People - huge community of smart folk who have some morals.
Price - 'nuff said.
Java is seriously cool. I take it back about using flash  Grin

People make games and games make people
Offline philfrei
« Reply #16 - Posted 2011-02-18 07:25:36 »

I don't know if this counts towards your original question, but when I go to view chess games from recent tournaments at the NYTimes site (usually a link from their Crosswords/Puzzles page), the chess playing app is written in Java, not Flash. But it is not a "game" per se, as one wouldn't use it to play chess online. Still, I thought that was pretty cool, it being in Java.

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Offline Karmington

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« Reply #17 - Posted 2011-02-18 14:33:36 »

The KGS ( http://www.gokgs.com/ ) go client is a java applet, and works fine and dandy.

Sure it's not a AAA shooter, but I've never heard anybody complain about it. Solid as a rock.

Offline TheAnalogKid

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« Reply #18 - Posted 2011-02-19 17:27:09 »

Pretty ambitions game: http://www.petsvsmonsters.com/

And probably others from funcom.

Offline kappa
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« Reply #19 - Posted 2011-02-19 17:52:34 »

Pretty ambitions game: http://www.petsvsmonsters.com/

Pretty nice but not sure that really counts as a browser game, since its an external application launched by an applet.
Offline Mike

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« Reply #20 - Posted 2011-02-19 18:40:09 »

Pretty ambitions game: http://www.petsvsmonsters.com/

And probably others from funcom.

Oh, cool, they use LWJGL Smiley

Mike

My current game, Minecraft meets Farmville and goes online Smiley
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Offline kappa
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« Reply #21 - Posted 2011-02-19 19:06:18 »

Oh, cool, they use LWJGL Smiley

Yup and jME2 with GetDown.
Offline BatKid

Senior Newbie





« Reply #22 - Posted 2011-02-19 19:57:11 »

Interesting deployment technology.  Seems much more slick that java webstart. 

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Offline kappa
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« Reply #23 - Posted 2011-02-19 20:37:04 »

yup, java web start generally sucks for distribution to the masses.
Offline ruben01

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« Reply #24 - Posted 2011-02-20 01:29:38 »

Does anyone have any real recent experience with webstart?
all the time people are talking about how they suck, but so far we have had no problems with webstart deployment.

any concrete examples with the recent versions?

perhaps princec could share some of his experience with puppygames, since they provide webstart distribution for his games (sadly they also seem to hate that distribution channel from their comments in the update posts)

Offline kappa
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« Reply #25 - Posted 2011-02-20 11:48:16 »

There are hardly any relatively successful games distributed only by Java Web Start. I can think of about half a dozen that use GetDown.

There are a few reasons to avoid jws:

1) Mentioning Java is pretty taboo in the gaming world as it instantly attracts trolls that will claim that its slow, bloated and would run better if it was written in c/c++. So the less users know about what programming languages it uses the better.

2) The last thing you need while distributing your game is a massive Java advert which distracts from your game. JWS has a massive THIS IS JAVA dialog while loading your game.

3) JWS has been pretty unreliable in the past, it uses .jnlp files that are text/xml based. On many computers these just open up in the browser (as text/xml) or just download instead of launching as expected. e.g. jnlp files still just download on Chrome instead of launching. Further there are some serious downloading and caching problems somewhere in jws, although it runs fine most of the time there are times where it just fails to run the first time and you have to run it a second or third time just to get it working. Not to mention other issues like filling up the add/remove applications list with all the jws apps you have run.

4) Its a rather unfamiliar tech to most users i.e. starting an external download dialog outside the browser.

5) Also have a read of the Rationale on the GetDown page as to why they thought jws wasn't good enough and needed to be replaced, here.

Having said that its a pretty good tech to distribute stuff amongst fellow java dev's.
Offline Matzon

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« Reply #26 - Posted 2011-02-20 15:37:03 »


Thats pretty f* sweet. As we all knew - get some proper artists. Java isn't the thing holding anyone back.

Offline gouessej
« Reply #27 - Posted 2011-02-22 14:58:05 »

There are a few reasons to avoid jws:

1) Mentioning Java is pretty taboo in the gaming world as it instantly attracts trolls that will claim that its slow, bloated and would run better if it was written in c/c++. So the less users know about what programming languages it uses the better.
If you never mention Java, this will never change, these prejudices will never disappear...


2) The last thing you need while distributing your game is a massive Java advert which distracts from your game. JWS has a massive THIS IS JAVA dialog while loading your game.
People have to know that Java rocks  Grin

3) JWS has been pretty unreliable in the past, it uses .jnlp files that are text/xml based. On many computers these just open up in the browser (as text/xml) or just download instead of launching as expected. e.g. jnlp files still just download on Chrome instead of launching. Further there are some serious downloading and caching problems somewhere in jws, although it runs fine most of the time there are times where it just fails to run the first time and you have to run it a second or third time just to get it working. Not to mention other issues like filling up the add/remove applications list with all the jws apps you have run.
I committed a fix for Chrome but an employee of Google committed and validated his worse fix, sorry Sad I think that Java WebStart has some more annoying limitations than what you said, the desktop mechanism rarely works, it is not supported on Linux distros not using Gnome as a window manager. However, I haven't reproduced the bug "there are times where it just fails to run the first time and you have to run it a second or third time just to get it working".

4) Its a rather unfamiliar tech to most users i.e. starting an external download dialog outside the browser.
but it is quite simple.

5) Also have a read of the Rationale on the GetDown page as to why they thought jws wasn't good enough and needed to be replaced, here.

Having said that its a pretty good tech to distribute stuff amongst fellow java dev's.
GetDown is more complicated to use. Each deployment solution has its advantages and its drawbacks. Java WebStart is extremely simple but it cannot be used for games requiring GBs of data (other bugs/limitations can be avoided, some workarounds exist). IzPack is the most complete installer for Java applications but it has no real auto update feature and it quickly becomes very complicated to use when some native libraries are required.

Instead of advising a particular technology, I rather advise you to choose the one that fits the best your needs. IzPack is a good solution for polished softwares that need no or a very few updates and/or that are very big (several GBs). Java WebStart (+ some workarounds to install/deinstall your software correctly and add shortcuts) is a good solution for softwares in alpha, beta or RC phase that need frequent updates. GetDown is a good replacement of Java WebStart and has some additional features. Some critics about Java WebStart on the GetDown pages are not true anymore even though I would like Java WebStart to become more reliable...

Offline BatKid

Senior Newbie





« Reply #28 - Posted 2011-02-22 18:15:36 »

Instead of advising a particular technology, I rather advise you to choose the one that fits the best your needs. IzPack is a good solution for polished softwares that need no or a very few updates and/or that are very big (several GBs). Java WebStart (+ some workarounds to install/deinstall your software correctly and add shortcuts) is a good solution for softwares in alpha, beta or RC phase that need frequent updates. GetDown is a good replacement of Java WebStart and has some additional features. Some critics about Java WebStart on the GetDown pages are not true anymore even though I would like Java WebStart to become more reliable...

Isn't that the truth.  Each deployment tech has its own advantages and disadvantages.  Webstart in particular is extremely easy to setup -- it requires no special libraries, simply upload (and sign if you are using native libs) and create a jnlp file and you are ready to go.  The idea has so much potential yet the current implementation seems incomplete.  Hopefully, webstart will get some more love in the future.

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Offline kappa
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« Reply #29 - Posted 2011-02-22 19:34:15 »

If you never mention Java, this will never change, these prejudices will never disappear...
People have to know that Java rocks  Grin
Do you see technologies like Flash showing massive Adobe ad's or a system tray icons on every use? end users don't care what its made with or the tech powering it. They just want the content and they prefer it uninterrupted. Those interested in how a cool game or app was made can easily find that out and don't need an ad to remind them. Besides no amount of bolted on advertising is going to repair java's image, its good results and success stories (like Minecraft) that are going to do that.

GetDown is more complicated to use.
Maybe a little for the developer, but not for the end user.
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