Java-Gaming.org Hi !
Featured games (90)
games approved by the League of Dukes
Games in Showcase (736)
Games in Android Showcase (223)
games submitted by our members
Games in WIP (813)
games currently in development
News: Read the Java Gaming Resources, or peek at the official Java tutorials
 
    Home     Help   Search   Login   Register   
Pages: [1]
  ignore  |  Print  
  The truth about commercial Java gaming  (Read 4305 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Offline gregorypierce

Senior Devvie




I come upon thee like the blue screen of death....


« Posted 2004-01-15 19:52:07 »

I've been working with a few groups here getting their products exposure to a variety of development shops and publishers who I think would be interested in their wares. Over the months I've been receiving lots of feedback from these developers and publishers that I've started to compile into my blog. Below is a link to the unfortunate and inescapable truth that we as Java game developers need to acknowledge and deal with. While the 'core dump' from my brain to my blog is not yet complete. I thought I'd share what's been coming out of various circles, contacts, etc. Some of it you may know already, and some of it may completely surprise you.

http://www.jroller.com/page/gregorypierce

http://www.gregorypierce.com

She builds, she builds oh man
When she links, she links I go crazy
Cause she looks like good code but she's really a hack
I think I'll run upstairs and grab a snack!
Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder


Exp: 12 years


Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #1 - Posted 2004-01-15 23:02:14 »

I can understand why publishers would avoid Java titles if they are shifting to primarily consoles.   But man I really hate that trend...
I assume the good thing about consoles is that the support costs must be so much better since the environment and much simpler than a PC.  PC hardware is of such poor quality - chip-sets that don't actually work etc, many OS versions with various bugs, drivers with bugs, different graphics cards with different capabilities... they are harder to use and more intimidating.  It's no wonder.  I can understand why the older machines like Amiga had such great games... the hardware and OS was much less variable.

Yet PCs are so much more capable...  maybe in some sense Macs would have an advantage because there is less variation on that platform... but there are almost no games for Macs, I assume partly because of the smaller market, and partly because Apple doesn't really push gaming.

But I'm sick of seeing all the good, fun games being primarily on consoles.  I don't want to buy a console when I have a PC.  I long for the day when I can buy a good Java game off the shelf (or more likely the 'net) and use it on my Mac, PC, or (god forbid) console.

It seems then that to succeed at Java gaming you must basically completely finish a title on your own for PC, Linux, Mac and target publisher's interested in those platforms.  Perhaps the internet helps since you can distribute online like PuppyGames and hope for the best... but the last I heard from Cas is that their plans basically didn't work out all that well.  Though perhaps a limited marketing budget was a factor?

Offline shawnkendall

Senior Devvie





« Reply #2 - Posted 2004-01-16 00:09:06 »

I own several PCs, and have regular access to Mac and Linux machines.  I own a PS2, GameCube, and finally (gasp) got an XBox this holiday.
Currently I play some game almost everyday on one fo those consoles but I rarely ever play on a PC.
Why?  
1) On each machine I may use at that time, the hardware is different and therefore often the game experience will be  similiarly different.
2) I have to INSTALL the damn game.  This is my top issue for sure.  I go from machine to machine often, and dealing with installed games is just too much of a pain.  I also go from console to console often too, never an issue.
2a) Patches
2b) Drivers
2c) Crashes - Heck I do the stuff for a living and install/patch/driver/crash is still annoying and often difficult and tedious to troublshoot
3)  game "experience" fidelity - My sofa, TV and stereo are still the superior gameplay environment, ESPECIALLY if it involves more than one player present...

Enough for now I suddenly lost interest in gabbing anymore!

Shawn Kendall
Cosmic Interactive, LLC
http://www.facebook.com/BermudaDash
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Athomas Goldberg

Junior Devvie




Grrrrrr...


« Reply #3 - Posted 2004-01-16 03:38:26 »

Then there's the DISCover ApeXtreme...

They certainly appear to address all of Shawn's headaches with PC games, and there's no reason to believe it wouldn't run Java games, but will PC games without the PC catch on? Is it the best of both worlds, or not enough of either?

Athomas Goldberg
Project Lead / Wildcard
Game Technologies Group
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Offline princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 945
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #4 - Posted 2004-01-16 06:30:48 »

The difference beween PCs and consoles is a gulf. I've rarely ever enjoyed a console game apart from a very few completely mindless ones. I kind of like driving games. For about half an hour.

As for support costs - well, even I can manage to make my crappy game run on 65% of Windows PCs and I don't even have the liberty of supplying drivers (I'm quite close to automatically downloading the latest drivers for the ones that break, too). It runs on over 95% of Macs.

The more Big Game Companies that move over to console development the better, as it leaves the space wide open in the PC market for the kinds of games that PCs do best. Games that involve keyboards and mice, games that require brains, games that may or may not need 3D graphics, etc.

As for installation - with Webstart it's a one-click operation and you can buy it without even moving your lazy ass off of the butt-groove in the chair you're in. Unless your wallet is in your back pocket.

All the right bits are in place to make the PC an attractive and vibrant market for smaller developers. When you're only looking at the bottom line though it's small wonder the console market looks better to shareholders. Does it matter to us? Well, it depends if you work for a game development company in the pocket of a publisher.

Hurrah for Indies, I say once again!

Cas Smiley

Offline Markus_Persson

JGO Wizard


Medals: 19
Projects: 19


Mojang Specifications


« Reply #5 - Posted 2004-01-16 09:52:05 »

I, for one, welcome our new console overlords.

Big games coming out now are impressive and big and huge, and usually very well produced.
But it's mainstream garbage.

The game industry has turned into the record industry.

Sure, I'll listen to the latest pop sensation, or play the latest movie based 5 hour wonder when I'm bored or having some beers with my friends.
But if I want to get really entertained, I'd much rather listen to obscure webradios (check out http://www.soma.fm/) or either play some old game (doom, x-com, civ), indie game (ADOM, counter-strike back when it used to be good, BZ flag) or the odd "commercial" game with actual good gameplay (GTA3, Morrowind, KOTOR).

Having the consoles "steal" all the big mainstream games is just a good thing, imo. I'd much rather play those games on a console anyway, except for FPS games.
Hopefully that will lead to indie games and digital distribution taking up more space on the pcs.


As for what this means for java game developers..
I guess either make sun get java on consoles, stick to indue/underground games, or learn C++.

Play Minecraft!
Offline shawnkendall

Senior Devvie





« Reply #6 - Posted 2004-01-16 12:18:49 »

Pitching that console games are mainstream crap and PC games are unique niches and therefore you're perfectly happy about the situation as a PC gamer is fairly short-sighted...(sounds like sour grapes to me)

So Java is a niche game dev product in a niche market and all is well?

Not in my world view.


Shawn Kendall
Cosmic Interactive, LLC
http://www.facebook.com/BermudaDash
Offline Markus_Persson

JGO Wizard


Medals: 19
Projects: 19


Mojang Specifications


« Reply #7 - Posted 2004-01-16 15:39:11 »

That's not what I was trying to say at all. =/

I was just saying that from a gamer's perspective, the shift to put the Big games on consoles make perfect sense.
And I also like that shift since it might bring out even more intresting niche games on the pc.

I didn't really touch the question of it being developed java or not until the very last two sentences. ("We're screwed if we want to go Big")


[edit:]
d'oh.
Carry on. *plays colin mcrae rally 4 on ps2*

Play Minecraft!
Offline shawnkendall

Senior Devvie





« Reply #8 - Posted 2004-01-16 19:22:38 »

My last message was more targeted towards PrinceC's last comments. :-)

Shawn Kendall
Cosmic Interactive, LLC
http://www.facebook.com/BermudaDash
Offline princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 945
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #9 - Posted 2004-01-17 07:23:47 »

No sour grapes here at all - I'm just looking at it from a positive perspective. The market is shifting focus, inevitably, into an area where it can squeeze more money out per money put in; if you're worried about the console market and money you should realise by now that writing games for consoles is never going to be fun or make you any money, either. But it is leaving the PC market in a new state which is ripe for exploiting. Because console games are severely limited by their platform - fill rate isn't everything, you know! - it's leaving a big vacuum in the PC world, where the right games aren't being made for the people that use PCs. Hence the rise of the indie developer in this space.

It can only be a good thing.

Now, Java on consoles would be great for Sun and Big Publisher - but not for indies where all the interesting stuff is going on. There's no point in coding to Java for console development if the real cost to the developer is dealing with a bloodsucking publisher.

Cas Smiley

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Devvie


Medals: 1


Who, me?


« Reply #10 - Posted 2004-01-18 09:22:55 »

Quote
Now, Java on consoles would be great for Sun and Big Publisher - but not for indies where all the interesting stuff is going on. There's no point in coding to Java for console development if the real cost to the developer is dealing with a bloodsucking publisher.


This sounds like a real departure from your previous opinion.  What changed to make you think differently?  Or have I misunderstood?

I must admit I'm not interested in consoles at all - I don't even own one, unless you count my GBA!  The PC has so much going for it - the hardware (while incredibly varied) follows well-known standards, the market is so much bigger due to the existence of a casual-gamer crowd, and the target market is Internet-enabled so you can use it for advertising, payment, distribution, support, communities etc.  There's just so much structure already in place for PC developers.

Anything similar in the console space that doesn't require a PC in there somewhere?

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 945
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #11 - Posted 2004-01-18 10:09:40 »

The console market, as it stands today and where it's headed, is not an attractive prospect for an aspiring games developer.

There is still room for an open Java based console - or even a "home computer". The space left by the Amiga and ST has never been filled. It doesn't need to be so cheap as to need games franchises and subsidy to prop up the hardware. I've seen PCs with Windows XP on them for £300, so I'm pretty sure a PC with Linux and a JVM can't be too hard to ship for that price. I'd love to develop for an open platform like that, especially if the focus was on digital delivery. Somebody's bound to come up with such as system sooner or later.

All the better that the software runs unmodified on normal PCs and Macs too of course.

Cas Smiley

Offline Mark Thornton

Senior Devvie





« Reply #12 - Posted 2004-01-18 10:44:15 »

Quote
I've seen PCs with Windows XP on them for £300, so I'm pretty sure a PC with Linux and a JVM can't be too hard to ship for that price.

What you won't see at that price is much (any) support for OpenGL 1.4. Some of latest small form factor PCs are much more home friendly than the traditional PC boxes, but again the graphics support will often be unexciting. Nevertheless the games my children (5 and 7) use work just fine on such a platform (an ASUS Pundit).
Offline moonpxi

Senior Newbie




Java games rock indeed!!!


« Reply #13 - Posted 2004-01-18 10:59:27 »

Well, I fell I might want to throw my two cents in, even with the risk that anything I say might be considered usefull, or not. Smiley

Starting with a quick background check: I am a regular 24 years old who, when very young, got an Atari from mom and dad. Now I know that, when I first played Pacman that night, I was doomed for life!!

I owned most of the subsequent consoles after that, and got most of the classic PC games (prince of persia, x-com, civ, and an endless list of joy).

When it was time for me to choose what I wanted to do for life (e.g. college), I knew what was my answer: games. So, I started my path in Computer Science, than in a Master program. All the while, I met friends with the same desire, the desire to create trilling games like we played before, games like Super Mario, King's Quest etc. We formed a "team", and begun trying to fullfill our dreams (while playing games, of course).

I, specially, had the dream of working for a big game company (god forbids). However, my geographical location basically rulled that out (Brazil). So, my nearest dream was to make game as enjoyable as possible and make a living out of it, which is hardly possible.

However, during my last months in my master course, I noticed I have changed drastically my gaming behavior. I hardly played the mainstream games, and was totally focused on more obscure, indie, games. A brief list is presented:

- Laser Squad Nemesis (http://www.lasersquadnemesis.com): a play-by-mail X-COM.
- Hattrick (http://www.hattrick.org): soccer simulator.
- Yohoho Puzzle Pirates (http://www.puzzlepirates.com): a pirate, and puzzle, MMORPG, in JAVA!!!

After a bit of reflection, it struck me as to why I liked these games so much. It was, simply, the fact they were FUN!! As fun as the games were when I was a kid. Than I noticed the mainstream games around me and thought, damn, where did the fun go??

A conclusion to my "short" biography: I still know what I want to do: games. Not just games, actually, but FUN games, games that I, and everybody, wants to play. There is a "niche" in the market for any Indie developer to see. And this niche is quite big indeed. These web games I play are but a small example of what can be explored and followed.

I know that, realistically, I will never be able to leave my full job for developing games. However, rest assured, if I have the opportunity, I will. Not that I still want to go to a BIG company, but I would go to a indie company where people know how to develop the games I want to play.

Moon Pxi

Moon Pxi, a NerdCorper
Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 57
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #14 - Posted 2004-01-18 11:07:06 »

The best chance Java has of getting on a console is probably the Phantom, being little more than a pc-in-a-box (even more so than the XBox). Indeed the idea of getting all content via a network connection and not physical media might even suit it well.

Whether the Phantom actually makes it to the shelves is another matter though...

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

Junior Devvie




Making things happen fast with Java!


« Reply #15 - Posted 2004-01-18 13:42:06 »

Firstly I'd like to salute the original post - you hit the mark in your blog!

Secondly, the thing that seems to have been missed in the subsequent discussion is the degree of control that the console-owner has over the market.

To some extent the argument of the console in the living room and the PC in the office or den is waning - PCs are often put in the living room so the kids can be kept an eye on. Me myself personally I use a PC as my main entertainment machine because it can drive my cheapy XGA projector at full res. As a result I prefer to play the PC version rather than the console version just because it looks better. And these days I prefer to watch DVDs more than live TV for much the same reason...

However the console is more than just a consumer friendly piece of hardware. It is also the property of Sony, Nintendo or Microsoft. And they don't want you playing just anything. We're about to take a new console studio through this process with one of the three (can't say yet which) and step one is just to get to be a licenced developer. Only then do they get the toolkit! Then we have to go through the arduous process of getting them to approve development of our title. Free market? Think again! They'll be waying up what else will be coming out in our genre and whether we'd be competing with any of their favourite studios and titles or interfering in the marketing campaign for console X+1. Even the time of year when you're allowed to release is controlled by the console-owner in collaboration with the publisher. If your title is released in June (regardless of when completed) expect half the sales as if released in November...

As things stand the market for console tools and middleware is very restricted. Sure, Java would be great (it would certainly improve my life on this project) but I can imagine that this would not be easy for Sun or a 3rd party supplier to push onto the console-owners. In other words a lot of expense to achieve commercially and politically even if technically straight forward and with no clear expectation of return.

However don't let me dissuade anyone tempted to try!
In the longer term there is some real value here though. As we've argued on our website, the games industry is slowly shifting to a more collaborative outsourced production model along the lines of film and TV. It is already getting to be common to hire "Renderware programmers" and "MAX artists" for their specialisms with the tools and not for their overall skill and competence. (Compare with Avid in TV...) A Java-based tool chain that could prove itself on cost and reliability (important to consoles - large part of production budget is QA and playtesting - usually taken on by publisher) could have some real value.


Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder


Exp: 12 years


Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #16 - Posted 2004-01-18 21:13:21 »

Quote
The PC has so much going for it - the hardware (while incredibly varied) follows well-known standards,


It's amazing to see how the PCs don't actually follow the standards they claim to.
I've seen several motherboards with significant problems. Such as:
-USB doesn't work in win2k+
-Some PCI slots can't handle DMA properly
-Impossible to boot from a SCSI drive if you have an IDE drive

Software wise, what is the 'standard' OS?  Even if you say Windows.. you still are left to choose from:
Win 95
Win 98
Win ME
Win NT
Win 2k
Win XP

Which have significant differences- particularly for gaming technologies such as DirectX.  E.g. Win NT does not have a remotely recent version of DirectDraw.
The win OS's that don't use the NT kernel are able to interface more directly with older code.  I remember I had a game called PowerChess that would not run on NT or above because the chess engine ran as a DOS process and the Windows code could not communicate with it on NT or above, but it could on Win ME or lower.

PC's are inherently unstable.  The hardware is constructed to practically non-existent standards.  If it turns on and it doesn't catch fire it's considered a success and is on the shelf at Best Buy the next day.  That's part of what makes them so cheap - that everyone and there dog are throwing them together.
Consoles (and Macs) are less risky because even if they don't work.. they all don't work the same way so it can be dealt with much easier.

Consider the bugs in Java2D... Fullscreeen works on this PC A, but not PC B.. why?  
One uses a nVidia card, one uses a Matrox POS, or one has up-to-date drivers, the other is running the same buggy code that was thrown together so it could be shipped in time for Christmas.
Issues that aren't present to nearly the same degree on a console.

Now I don't own a single console, and likely never will. I see no value in having one since I can deal with PC issues and a good PC is much more capable than a console.  But the market is full of not so good PCs.   Cas has mentioned his no so great success rate with users running AlienFlux on PCs.. he also points out the vastly better success rate for the Mac platform.  I think consoles are attractive to publishers for the same sort of reasons.  Consoles work.

Pages: [1]
  ignore  |  Print  
 
 
You cannot reply to this message, because it is very, very old.

 
cybrmynd (124 views)
2017-08-02 12:28:51

cybrmynd (147 views)
2017-08-02 12:19:43

cybrmynd (142 views)
2017-08-02 12:18:09

Sralse (158 views)
2017-07-25 17:13:48

Archive (629 views)
2017-04-27 17:45:51

buddyBro (737 views)
2017-04-05 03:38:00

CopyableCougar4 (1266 views)
2017-03-24 15:39:42

theagentd (1246 views)
2017-03-24 15:32:08

Rule (1221 views)
2017-03-19 12:43:22

Rule (1274 views)
2017-03-19 12:42:17
List of Learning Resources
by elect
2017-03-13 14:05:44

List of Learning Resources
by elect
2017-03-13 14:04:45

SF/X Libraries
by philfrei
2017-03-02 08:45:19

SF/X Libraries
by philfrei
2017-03-02 08:44:05

SF/X Libraries
by SkyAphid
2017-03-02 06:38:56

SF/X Libraries
by SkyAphid
2017-03-02 06:38:32

SF/X Libraries
by SkyAphid
2017-03-02 06:38:05

SF/X Libraries
by SkyAphid
2017-03-02 06:37:51
java-gaming.org is not responsible for the content posted by its members, including references to external websites, and other references that may or may not have a relation with our primarily gaming and game production oriented community. inquiries and complaints can be sent via email to the info‑account of the company managing the website of java‑gaming.org
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines | Managed by Enhanced Four Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!