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  Why it'll take time for good Java games to appear  (Read 16150 times)
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Offline Pyros

Senior Newbie




Let's make Java games rock !


« Posted 2002-12-22 19:38:54 »

I believe that it'll take more time than some believe until we see a mass of good quality Java games on the market.

Why?

Most of the good competent game programmers are already totally into C/C++ and because they have the knowledge and power to create games with it, I don't see many of them switching to Java.

There will be some train jumpers, but they are the exception, not the rule.

I believe most of the Java games will come from programmers who are not that competent game programmers. They are people who are getting into game programming from square one and choose Java as their language. It'll take them longer to get the hang of creating quality games than an experienced C/C++ game programmer would.

So, it is not just that it'll take 12-24 months to create a quality title. It'll take a couple of years for the Java game programmers to become good enough to start a 12-24 month project resulting a quality game.

This is not Java's fault. The same applies to any language. If you are not a competent game programmer (in any language), you cannot produce a quality title in your first 12-24 month project with any language. A C/C++ programmer who produces a great game, must have years of programming experience doing less spectacular titles before he/she hits the jackpot. Same applies to Java. The C/C++ community can wait for the new people to learn the art as there are lots of competent programmers already on the market. But the Java community doesn't have a previous generation at all on the market, we are just building the first generation. That takes time.
Offline zparticle

Senior Member




Thick As A Brick


« Reply #1 - Posted 2002-12-23 03:14:55 »

If you don't want to be here then go away, frankly I'm tired of hearing this. Fine if you feel you can do it better in C or C++ then do it and stop coming here. This is a Java site not a C programmers "why you should give up on Java site".

Troll, troll, troll. Well you got a bite from me take it and run.

Offline Matzon

JGO Knight


Medals: 19
Projects: 1


I'm gonna wring your pants!


« Reply #2 - Posted 2002-12-23 04:53:06 »

Hmm - I am going to bite this one too.
This entire post is BS.

I have met *many* competent programmers developing for Java - and if you just think about it slightly, there is only ONE reason for why Java is a less than stellar platform for games:
Sun Microsystems Inc.

- there pure and simple.

The Java language in itself is perfectly applicaple, unfortunately the API and the JVM leaves a lot to be desired wrt top of the line Games.

You can't do Quake and stuff like that with basic Java, even with j3d installed. It simply isn't targeted to do that.
lwjgl changes this a lot, but it is hard to say untill we do see a Quake version for Java using lwjgl (now that would be nice!!)

In short - the current problem with doing good quality games, is a question about the tools. And this is changing rapidly. In the meantime, use the Java platform for what it CAN do better than C/C++:
Applets
Java Web Start
MIDP
"Simple" games

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
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Offline Pyros

Senior Newbie




Let's make Java games rock !


« Reply #3 - Posted 2002-12-23 05:05:12 »

Quote
If you don't want to be here then go away, frankly I'm tired of hearing this. Fine if you feel you can do it better in C or C++ then do it and stop coming here. This is a Java site not a C programmers "why you should give up on Java site".

Troll, troll, troll. Well you got a bite from me take it and run.


It isn't a troll, but if you see it as such, be my guest. It happens to be a fact that it takes years to make optimal games on any platform whatsoever, pure and simple. I have played with computers nearly 20 years now. I begun toying with Vic-20 and it took about 4-5 years for it's games to mature to the best that can be done on that platform. I continued with C-64 and ZX48 and those took 4-6 years each to get games that took full advantage of the system. Same happened with Atari ST and Amiga, first games were nowhere near the stuff people created when they got the hang of it - five years down the road. PS2 was already on the horizon, when PS1 games were showing the best you can do on that platform and so on. Same happened with Windows games in general. Compare the games written for DirectX2 to games written for DirectX6 - it takes years for a technology and it's users' skills to mature to their fullest. Java is just beginning it's road in the game business. Yes there are lots of good Java programmers but very few of these have published quality games for Java. The good ones are yet to come - in a couple of years no less.

Actually, I am sorry if you feel that we are already seeing the best that can be done with Java for that hasn't seemed like much to me. I believe Java is capable of a whole lot more than is being done with it right now. But if you feel that me believing that is a reason for me to stay away from this forum, then maybe I will. But, if I do post messages here in the future, feel free to ignore them so I won't mess up any more of your days stating my opinions. Have a nice day.

Offline Herkules

Senior Member




Friendly fire isn't friendly!


« Reply #4 - Posted 2002-12-23 09:41:47 »

Pyros is just telling the obvious. It's true.
And Matzon says there won't be a JQuake. Also true, also obvious. And I also think there isn't any need to do Quake in Java. Obviously works perfectly with C++. There won't be any benefit from doing it in Java.

Nobody doubts there are good Java programmers in place - but I agree there are not so many good Java GAME programmers - yet. I cannot see any reason why a good C++-game programmer shouldn't be a good Java game programmer as well.  

What's missing is a stereotype for typical Java games. I believe these will be online-, low-resource-, play-everywhere, PC/mobile-hybrid games. Highly dynamic with varying content, much like daily soaps.
Not the current Box/CD games.
That would be the place where it would be technically difficult to live with C++, and so easy to be in Java!
LGWLJWL doesn't change anything there. There also never will be a LWJGWLGQuake.

Just my 2c,

- J

HARDCODE    --     DRTS/FlyingGuns/JPilot/JXInput  --    skype me: joerg.plewe
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 361
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #5 - Posted 2002-12-23 09:46:22 »

Actually I have to agree 100% with Pyros, and I don't think he's trolling - it looks like a reasonable take on what you might see when you stand back and look at the scene.

I think in the next year or two we're probably going to see proper stuff coming out written in Java, and possibly even a so called "AAA" title with millions of pounds wasted on FMV and "30 different weapons" etc. etc. etc.

Hopefully LWJGL will be there making it happen too Smiley

Cas Smiley

Offline Herkules

Senior Member




Friendly fire isn't friendly!


« Reply #6 - Posted 2002-12-23 10:04:01 »

What is FMV?

Anybody knows wether Roboforge ever sold something noticable?

HARDCODE    --     DRTS/FlyingGuns/JPilot/JXInput  --    skype me: joerg.plewe
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 361
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #7 - Posted 2002-12-23 10:43:16 »

Full motion video.

I think RoboForge did reasonably well with respect to its development costs from what I remember. However, I didn't buy it because the demo didn't work on my entirely normal system Sad

Cas Smiley

Offline Herkules

Senior Member




Friendly fire isn't friendly!


« Reply #8 - Posted 2002-12-23 12:48:28 »

It worked for me, but IMHO the game completely sucked (ok, not my kind of game anyway). Nice GUI, but endless transition times and ugly 3D graphics. Hm, do I drive off-topic meanwhile?? Better stop....

HARDCODE    --     DRTS/FlyingGuns/JPilot/JXInput  --    skype me: joerg.plewe
Offline Kevdog

Junior Member





« Reply #9 - Posted 2002-12-27 19:58:49 »

I think the genre that Java can really shine in will be the slower-paced games.  Strategy games like Age of Empires, Hearts of Iron, and that sort.  RPGs like Evercamp and Neverwinter Nights (Magicosm comes to mind).  Basically anything where "twitch" reflexes aren't a big part of gameplay will do well in Java.

There are only 10 types of people, those who understand binary and those who don't!
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Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 361
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #10 - Posted 2002-12-28 07:13:20 »

Sounds like you've got reasons for thinking it can't shine in all areas... but they'll probably start a flame war Cheesy

Cas Smiley

Offline Matzon

JGO Knight


Medals: 19
Projects: 1


I'm gonna wring your pants!


« Reply #11 - Posted 2002-12-28 08:16:50 »

Quote
There also never will be a LWJGWLGQuake

heh - I much more prefer JQuake Smiley
I see no technical reasons for not doing it... only limited available time as an issue.

Quote
What's missing is a stereotype for typical Java games. I believe these will be online-, low-resource-, play-everywhere, PC/mobile-hybrid games. Highly dynamic with varying content, much like daily soaps.  


Yes, and the reson for this is that the language itself lends towards this, and also because of the rather large API(though cumbersome at times).
BUT if someone were to create an "easy" 2D wrapper on top of lwjgl, I don't see a reason why lwjgl cannot be used for creating the above mentioned type of games...Something like Cas has done with Shaven Puppy Game Library, though this is much more "game toolkit" oriented than 2D. btw. When I talk 2D games, I am talking custom UI, not AWT components or SWING.

I do agree, however, that creating 3D games is a lot more work than your joe average 2D game.

Offline Pyros

Senior Newbie




Let's make Java games rock !


« Reply #12 - Posted 2002-12-28 08:18:11 »

Quote
I think the genre that Java can really shine in will be the slower-paced games.  Strategy games like Age of Empires, Hearts of Iron, and that sort.  RPGs like Evercamp and Neverwinter Nights (Magicosm comes to mind).  Basically anything where "twitch" reflexes aren't a big part of gameplay will do well in Java.


At the moment yes. By the time I'll have the skills to produce a game like Quake, the standard player machina will be about 8000 Ghz Intel Umptium Pro with 2Gb of RAM. Then you can do your JQuake if you want. But it won't sell, because it will be lightyears from what people are already doing with C/C++ when theyre writing a sequel to the top seller Ultimate Reality Quake Online.  Grin
Offline Pyros

Senior Newbie




Let's make Java games rock !


« Reply #13 - Posted 2002-12-28 08:22:24 »

Quote
I do agree, however, that creating 3D games is a lot more work than your joe average 2D game.


Personally, I will stick to writing 2D games for some time now. The biggest problem I find is how to design a 2D game that is absolutely interesting and absorbing. It is easy to make "yet-another-scroller-2D" but how to make a 2D game that people might want to return to - even pay some money to play it... Now that's the tough part.
Offline Herkules

Senior Member




Friendly fire isn't friendly!


« Reply #14 - Posted 2002-12-28 08:27:01 »

Quote

heh - I much more prefer JQuake Smiley
I see no technical reasons for not doing it... only limited available time as an issue.


That's the point! Sure, it can be done. But why?Huh?
Is there any reason to leave proven technology? Exclude well-known and established programmer resources? Throw away the code base? Whats WRONG with C++ for Quake?

I you want to change things, you need good reasons! Never change a winning team w/o reason!

We could do SQLQuake as well - again, why should we?

My point is that we should not attack main-stream, C++-games on their field. We going to loose. Create our won field, where they cannot exist and make this area successful!

HARDCODE    --     DRTS/FlyingGuns/JPilot/JXInput  --    skype me: joerg.plewe
Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Member


Medals: 1


Who, me?


« Reply #15 - Posted 2002-12-28 10:37:53 »

Hmm, well, maybe.

There are some very good arguments for staying away from proven C++ ground, but I still believe a JQuake is a good idea. Tongue

No matter if it's not an area where Java really excels or if there are better places to use Java, if someone produced a smooth, platform independant FPS technology demo, it would be good advertising for the platform.  And that encourages people to give it a go!

Please do write software that Java really lends itself to, but don't forget to pimp the language elsewhere as well.  If someone really did write SQLQuake, I guarantee it'd get posted to lots of sites and talked about for years!  Anyone here heard of text-mode Quake? Grin

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 361
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #16 - Posted 2002-12-28 13:59:01 »

I plan to attack them on their home front, by writing games that only take 2 months to develop instead of 6. That means I'm likely to make more money at it Smiley

Cas Smiley

Offline Herkules

Senior Member




Friendly fire isn't friendly!


« Reply #17 - Posted 2002-12-28 15:50:40 »

Ok, meanwhile we do a Java-game. Then they have to fight at 2 frontiers. We enclose them and won't let escape them out of the trap. And then..... world domination!


HARDCODE    --     DRTS/FlyingGuns/JPilot/JXInput  --    skype me: joerg.plewe
Offline Herkules

Senior Member




Friendly fire isn't friendly!


« Reply #18 - Posted 2002-12-28 16:00:28 »

Anyway - first there should be at least ONE game out.

Nothing has been proofed so far - just dreams and vague assumptions. Currently there is just one forum with only 800 members where there's some believe....
Nothing actually produced, nothing published, nothing sold.

Thats why it'll take time for good Java games to appear....

Wink

HARDCODE    --     DRTS/FlyingGuns/JPilot/JXInput  --    skype me: joerg.plewe
Offline Pyros

Senior Newbie




Let's make Java games rock !


« Reply #19 - Posted 2002-12-28 16:24:34 »

Hmmm.... you think we only have this? Maybe we should think of this as a source of power. What could we do with this is what counts. Maybe we should start one open source project with the people of this board, as a common practice project for us all?
Offline leknor

Junior Member




ROCK!!!


« Reply #20 - Posted 2002-12-28 16:30:05 »

Quote
Maybe we should start one open source project with the people of this board, as a common practice project for us all?

Check: http://www.josrts.org/
A lot of ppl there also frequent JGO. It's still pretty early in the project but there is still plenty of chances to make suggestions on how you think the project should evolve.
Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Member


Medals: 1


Who, me?


« Reply #21 - Posted 2002-12-28 16:43:52 »

I like to think that we're very much in the "little games and tool-building" stage of development.  People are creating little games entirely in Java, Java is being used as a supplimentary technology in various places, and various APIs are being developed to make the job of games creation easier.

As Java3D improves and matures I expect to see a lot more done with it.  LWJGL is advancing steadily towards version 1.0.  Java2D is improving in leaps and bounds.  As these technologies get better, more people will start to use them.

I am, as always, optimistic about the future. Roll Eyes

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline Pyros

Senior Newbie




Let's make Java games rock !


« Reply #22 - Posted 2002-12-28 17:06:55 »

Quote

Check: http://www.josrts.org/
A lot of ppl there also frequent JGO. It's still pretty early in the project but there is still plenty of chances to make suggestions on how you think the project should evolve.


Oh thanks! I wasn't aware of that project at all. I'll have to look into it!

But, that project seems quite serious, too much bureaucrazy and too much complicated high-tech. I was thinking more about something for the less experienced - kind of a practise project where people would get to know the basics of team work and simple game making tech.
Offline Herkules

Senior Member




Friendly fire isn't friendly!


« Reply #23 - Posted 2002-12-28 17:59:25 »

Quote

Check: http://www.josrts.org/
A lot of ppl there also frequent JGO. It's still pretty early in the project but there is still plenty of chances to make suggestions on how you think the project should evolve.


You all know what typically happens to opensource game projects?

To create a AAA game today, you need 10 people working 10h/day for 2 years. Java or not.

Does anybody here believe that a josrts or similar things will receive any recognition in todays RTS market? Hands up who believes that!

As cfmdobbie is the optimist, I'm his counterpart.

HARDCODE    --     DRTS/FlyingGuns/JPilot/JXInput  --    skype me: joerg.plewe
Offline markuskidd

Junior Member


Medals: 1



« Reply #24 - Posted 2002-12-28 20:11:43 »

If josrts.org is serious, I'd hate to see something that's wacky zany fun! Tongue I think the impression of bureaucrazy comes from our committment to giving everyone a voice in the major decisions. Many projects I've looked at have one or two people who have come up with most of the design document, and consequently I think that there is less of a connection between the other developers who join on because the project really 'belongs' to the one or two main coders. Then those coders generally end up doing the bulk of the work as the rest of the team comes and goes over time. Hopefully, because everyone has had a part in our primary decisions, more developers will form a committment to the project.

Once we have a design document and split the work into modules, I think that the rate of progress will be a lot faster.

I think our project is probably not the most likely contender out there, and as Herkules mentioned, it takes a ton of work to produce a working title. On the other hand, 60% of what everyone talks about in this forum is how hesistant commercial games companies are to embrace the new technology. Considering my limited background in Java it may seem presumptious of me to say this, but I think it will take an open-source project like this to get something going.
Even if we can produce an engine that is somewhere along the lines of Warcraft II but was polished and installed/ran easily on Mac, Linux, and Windows, that might be enough of a statement so that Java advocates could link something other than Sun's rhetoric when defending Java's potential for game development.

On the other hand, the least anyone who joins in the project can do is learn more about Java game development -- even if we crash and burn. Pyros -- many of the people who have signed up for the forums at josrts.org are probably in your or my position... perhaps some experience with coding in Java, but no real background in game development or game development with this language. We have some talented, experienced people, which is execellent because some guidance is going to make producing a full game possible, but everyone seems pretty willing to share and learn. The attitude of the group as a whole comes across as really positive to me.
Offline Pyros

Senior Newbie




Let's make Java games rock !


« Reply #25 - Posted 2002-12-28 20:23:51 »

Quote
I think the impression of bureaucrazy comes from our committment to giving everyone a voice in the major decisions.


I never meant it as a negative. I'm a firm believer that JOSRTS will become something of value, if not a full blown game. But it is such a large project that it may be too much for total newbies, either really over their heads, or just too frightening (ya know, "I'm afraid I'll make a fool of myself" and so on). I was just stating that it would be nice to have a lot smaller and less frightening project open for those who have almost no experience about open-source team work and/or game development. Sort of "lets make a galaxian-clone as a team-work exercise - newbies welcome" kind of thing.

After that, those people could join JOSRTS with something valuable to contribute, and less fear.

Offline larry

Junior Member




.. son of jor-el, kneel before zod ...


« Reply #26 - Posted 2003-01-03 09:33:17 »

As usual a fiery and interesting topic.

By definition Java is different from C/C++, therefore by definition there are different (most applicable) uses for either language.

For now, a JQuake in Java might not be one of them. Given that future hardware performance will improve, the JVM and java libraries become more sophisticated and perform better and also the 2 important features of java being suitable for distributed systems and quick development, I think Java will steadily become the language of choice to develop games in.

I see a future where c/c++ will stilly be used for but less and less so, as java is used to develop and manage the core gaming application.
Offline SpongeBob

Junior Member




Who lives in a pinnapple under the sea


« Reply #27 - Posted 2003-01-05 15:16:54 »

If you want something like JQuake, how about taking an existing open source project and convert it to Java:

http://wouter.fov120.com/cube/index.php4

From my understanding Cube uses OpenGL so converting it using LWJPL (or whatever you call it) or GL4Java should make it pretty quick work.
Offline Kevdog

Junior Member





« Reply #28 - Posted 2003-01-06 19:34:46 »

Quote
Sounds like you've got reasons for thinking it can't shine in all areas... but they'll probably start a flame war Cheesy


Mainly just because "few" people at this time really know how to tweak java to get the best out of it for games.  You can much more easily get "acceptable" performance in the slower paced games, than you can in a really twitchy FPS or simulator for example.

As the skillsets progress, so will the complexity Cheesy

I'd really love to do a "Homeworld" type game, as I feel it would be pretty darn simple as far as the 3D programming goes (in J3D), and you could spend most of your time on the game design and gameplay....  Time as always is the enemy Smiley

There are only 10 types of people, those who understand binary and those who don't!
Offline Conzar

Junior Member




There is nothing common about common sense


« Reply #29 - Posted 2003-02-08 12:54:31 »

Pyros:
Quote
It happens to be a fact that it takes years to make optimal games on any platform whatsoever,
   
Well, does a game need to take full advantage of the system to be good (fun)?  I don't think thats the case.  Look at the nintendo 8 bit.  The level of graphics between super mario and super mario 3 is great.   However they are both very good games.  I agree that it takes time to figure out how to program all the cool looking tricks and graphics, but this is not the major part of the game.  Your game can have all the graphic effects that you want but still be a load of crap.  Look at Counter-Strike - there are thousands of servers running that thing and by todays standards - the engine is out-of-date (I know they continually work on it but they are still bottle necked from really improving how things look).

Jumping to another topic ...

leknor:
Quote
To create a AAA game today, you need 10 people working 10h/day for 2 years. Java or not.


Many people said that about operating systems.  There is no way any group of people could write an operating system firstly when the people are not in the same place and secondly not working on it full time.  But today we have Linux.
So anything is possible... even this AAA game title  if those who are involved want it enough Cool

Ubuntu
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