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  Sun Sponsored Game Dev Contest  (Read 3870 times)
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Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder




Where's the Kaboom?


« Posted 2004-01-16 13:51:43 »

There was talk of such a thing last year around GDC time but it never happened.  Perhaps now that the Game Tech Group is formed something can happen in this area to ignite some spark in the Java Gaming community?

E.g. If publishers aren't quite ready to take the risks associated with new Java game developers, perhaps some prize money will be enough of a carrot to dangle in front of some would be game developers to produce some showcase works.

If Sun invests some cash in to paving the way, proving that Java enables top quality game development using less resources than traditional C/C++ game developers.. well it just might pay off.  Maybe a deal to market and sell the winning entry on a popular  web site (something that will get more traffic from the target users than java.com)?  Of course it will only work if the community comes up with some really slick games and not the "toy" applet games that you see on most web sites.
Things like Wurm, Tribal Trouble, Magicosm, AlienFlux...  stuff with some polish.  I would like to see something like that get some marketing promotion that actually reaches the gamers out there instead of just us Java nerds Smiley.

Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 343
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #1 - Posted 2004-01-16 16:28:56 »

Me too Smiley

Cas Smiley

Offline ChrisM

JGO Coder


Medals: 1
Projects: 1


END OF LINE.


« Reply #2 - Posted 2004-01-21 22:20:59 »

Working on it....legal issues and prizes.  Stay tuned...

-ChrisM

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

Senior Member




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


« Reply #3 - Posted 2004-01-22 00:47:47 »

Give up those old Sparc stations... I know you've got them sitting in closets because noone uses them anymore Smiley

Heck even giving away copies of Sun's Java Desktop would be a great prize. This was actually one of Microsoft's tactics back in the day to seed the world with its technology.

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 cfmdobbie

Senior Member


Medals: 1


Who, me?


« Reply #4 - Posted 2004-01-22 12:32:58 »

Quote
Heck even giving away copies of Sun's Java Desktop would be a great prize.


+1 Grin

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #5 - Posted 2004-01-22 12:56:02 »

Nah, I'm holding out for a Sun Fire 3800:

http://www.sun.com/servers/midrange/sunfire3800/index.xml

Seriously, though, a game-dev contest is a great idea. Just so long as all the previous comments from the old thread are borne in mind...

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline nonnus29

Senior Member




Giving Java a second chance after ludumdare fiasco


« Reply #6 - Posted 2004-01-22 17:38:51 »

Quote
if the community comes up with some really slick games'


I don't know about the old thread but there is always one major problem with game programming contest  -> Content.  There are plenty of programmers around here but no modelers or artist.  And hence you get games like the toy applets that are so prevalent.  Contest are fun though.
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #7 - Posted 2004-01-22 18:14:46 »

Quote


I don't know about the old thread but there is always one major problem with game programming contest  -> Content.  There are plenty of programmers around here but no modelers or artist.  And hence you get games like the toy applets that are so prevalent.  Contest are fun though.


So, you reckon it would benefit from a pool of "free content"?

That would make for a pretty cool contest - everyone gets to share a set of PD or for-this-contest-only images, sounds, textures, models. I know of at least one games company that would probably donate a CD of assets in return for the free publicity (for their asset-licensing wing).

Perhaps it would be relatively easy to get a simple license that said "you can use these assets ONLY for games that qualify for the competition; you are not allowed to promote the game outside of the competition, nor sell it - unless you sort out licensing with each of the content-owners whose content you used". I.e. you'd be allowed to point people to the competition and say "here's one I did", but you wouldn't be able to completely omit to mention the compo and just use the free art to make a "free" game...

As for the games... it could certainly make judging easier Smiley.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline Markus_Persson

JGO Wizard


Medals: 14
Projects: 19


Mojang Specifications


« Reply #8 - Posted 2004-01-22 18:22:13 »

Ah, good idea on the shared resources. =)

Play Minecraft!
Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 343
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #9 - Posted 2004-01-22 20:04:48 »

I dunno about you guys but I'm terribly disinclined to lift a finger programming unless there's greenbacks at the end of it these days...

Cas Smiley

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

JGO Wizard


Medals: 14
Projects: 19


Mojang Specifications


« Reply #10 - Posted 2004-01-22 20:38:41 »

I'm hoping I never reach that stage. =)

Play Minecraft!
Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder




Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #11 - Posted 2004-01-22 22:37:54 »

Quote
I dunno about you guys but I'm terribly disinclined to lift a finger programming unless there's greenbacks at the end of it these days...

If you still have the right to sell the game when the contest was over then it's not such a big deal...  Use the contest and whatever prizes and publicity it provides to your advantage.

I figure the Game Tech Group could use the contest as a promotional tool that would benefit both their efforts and the game developers that participated.

A body of royalty free media for use in Java games might be cool for the purposes of the contest... but you don't want to create the situation where gamers think all Java games look the same.


Offline gregorypierce

Senior Member




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


« Reply #12 - Posted 2004-01-23 14:00:01 »

Quote
I dunno about you guys but I'm terribly disinclined to lift a finger programming unless there's greenbacks at the end of it these days...


If I ever reach that point, hopefully I've finished my MBA/JD. But even then i really hope I NEVER reach that point. I've never been in it for the money.

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 Mojomonkey

Senior Member




ooh ooh eee eeee


« Reply #13 - Posted 2004-01-23 14:22:11 »

If I ever reach that point, I think I'm going to become a carpenter.

Don't send a man to do a monkey's work.
Offline nonnus29

Senior Member




Giving Java a second chance after ludumdare fiasco


« Reply #14 - Posted 2004-01-23 23:01:37 »

Why carpentry?  Its seasonal, you work with a bunch of pot heads/crystal meth freaks and its outside work.  You want inside work.  Trust me.

I think Princec has accomplished enough in gamedev that his attitude is justified.

OT:  Ari Feldman has a gpl version of his spritelib that has some good pixel art in it.  I know everyone was thinking more of 3d models and what not though.  
Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 343
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #15 - Posted 2004-01-24 09:31:34 »

I'd like to suggest that any contest is themed, and themed in such a way that the barrier to entry is very low. Like we advise all the newbies in here, 2D is the way to go (using whatever 2D technology tickles your fancy).

Setting up other arbitrary constraints like whether there can be a background, how many sprites you're allowed, the total size of graphics and sound resources etc. also help lower the barrier to entry and often produce some excellent gameplay.

Unfortunately the lower the barrier is, the less likely the results are going to impress anyone outside this forum.

How about if the competition were to produce a proof-of-concept demo for a game publishing deal sponsored by Sun? Then you'd be talking...

Cas Smiley

Offline kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 120
Projects: 23
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #16 - Posted 2004-01-24 10:50:02 »

How about categories?

1) Hobbiest
2) Professional

a) 2D
b) 3D  
c) Multiplayer

With a prize for the overall best. It might encourage more folks to enter but still allow the results to be impressive.

Kev

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #17 - Posted 2004-01-24 12:51:12 »

Quote
How about categories?

1) Hobbiest
2) Professional

a) 2D
b) 3D  
c) Multiplayer


Nice sentiment, but...the first four of those are hard/unfair to judge. E.g. does a pro C++ game developer who's only new to java fit into 1 or 2? If the answer is 1, then how many people who enter actually make their living writing java games Sad ? Any?

E.g. Is Alienflux 2D or 3D? The effects couldn't be achieved without 3D, but the gameplay is in 2 dimensions. There are plenty of even-more-3D (e.g. 3rd person perspective) games where the gameplay only takes place in 2D, so this is not so easy to call...

Perhaps it's best to judge on several independent criteria, and only have one competition, but have prizes for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.

OTOH, the main driver behind multiple-categories in compos (having run some large-dollar ones before) is political - who wants to sponsor "5th prize"? Yes, well. So, you have 5 categories, and every sponsor gets to sponsor a "1st prize". If they pay extra / give a better prize, they also get the priviledge of having the category named after them Wink. That's how it usually works... Sad

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 120
Projects: 23
Exp: 18 years


Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #18 - Posted 2004-01-24 22:00:41 »

They were only suggestions. Probably should have added a great big E.G.

Kev

Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #19 - Posted 2004-01-25 00:10:21 »

Quote
Yes, well. So, you have 5 categories, and every sponsor gets to sponsor a "1st prize". If they pay extra / give a better prize, they also get the priviledge of having the category named after them .


So how about a 'PuppyGames Award' then for one category (openGL based retro game for example). The prize: PuppyGames promoting and hosting the game and the winner takes the sales for a given 1st period. Maybe throw in a copy of AF and the upcoming Invasion of the Jellies.
That's more or less how it works already, minus the competition part.  Wink
And then Sun promoting the game and PuppyGames with it. It could be a nice stimulation to get another game at PuppyGames which would be nice, plus the extra promotion would benefit all parties.
Just a thought.

Erik

Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


pixels! :x


« Reply #20 - Posted 2004-01-25 01:17:08 »

Hmm... a compo...

The 4k competition was pretty much fun, despite the fact, that I hadn't finished my entry (animation + sound fx(!) | 3733 of 4096 bytes used).

Maybe it sounds odd, but it was way too time consuming. The same game in 16k would be done in 1 day... and it would run more than 2 times faster. However, I learned a lot and it was kinda fun after all Smiley

Therefore I suggest that it shouldn't be too restrictive.

64k (65536 bytes), at least one sound, Java2D... would sound like fun imo Smiley

Or let's say <=512kb and the size of "default" libs (lwjgl, jogl, jinput, xith, joribs etc) doesn't count?

Several categories just doesnt work I guess... the community is a bit too small for that.

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 343
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #21 - Posted 2004-01-25 09:12:40 »

Hehe Smiley
The reason I alluded to the fact I don't want to lift a finger without cash now is because after a year of toiling over Puppy Games I've completely run out of money and I've had to get a very poorly paying permie job writing performance managements software for local government. It is as exciting as it sounds! But that means I'll not be doing any games programming for a few months while I try and stay on top of the situation. All my spare time is taken up doing TV graphics code to actually bring in money (the permie job is so poorly paid I lose about £2k a month working there if I didn't do something on the side!)

Cas Smiley

Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #22 - Posted 2004-01-25 09:49:26 »

Ok, I understand completely.
The idea was basically that you wouldn't have to lift a finger, but just get the Puppy Games brand in the mix and hopefully get some more attention.

Quote
Several categories just doesnt work I guess... the community is a bit too small for that.


I'm afraid you're right.

Maybe we also shouldn't wait for Sun for a competition, but just do it ourselves? I mean, it seems that the Sun peeps have other things on their minds since last year it wouldn't come off the ground as well.
We could set up some rules and start a simple competition, and then maybe Sun could just do some promotion for the winner. A 'JGO Award'?
A grand competition with large prizes and such would be nice, but the community might be a bit too small to interest large sponsors as well.

And aren't there any interesting non-java competitions? I mean, it could be much more important that java games break out of the java stigma and prove java's strong points to the C++ people by winning a competition with a game that would be much more difficult to complete in a small amount of time if done in C++.

Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #23 - Posted 2004-01-25 12:35:55 »

Quote

And aren't there any interesting non-java competitions? I mean, it could be much more important that java games break out of the java stigma and prove java's strong points to the C++ people by winning a competition with a game that would be much more difficult to complete in a small amount of time if done in C++.


IMHO the most interesting game competitions are the ones run by places like Lundam Dare - 48-hour and 72-hour competitions. They have the advantage of being short enough to get something good out of them, and a fixed date that keeps everyone interested.

[ TriangularPixels.com - Play Growth Spurt, Rescue Squad and Snowman Village ] [ Rebirth - game resource library ]
Offline nonnus29

Senior Member




Giving Java a second chance after ludumdare fiasco


« Reply #24 - Posted 2004-01-25 19:01:37 »

Quote
And aren't there any interesting non-java competitions? I mean, it could be much more important that java games break out of the java stigma and prove java's strong points to the C++ people by winning a competition with a game that would be much more difficult to complete in a small amount of time if done in C++.



Here's one for Mac OSX (starts feb 1st goes for 21 days):

http://www.idevgames.com/forum/showthread.php?p=59258

The argument of using java to 'show up' c++ devers seems a bit misguided to me.  When I entered my little sidescrolling applet in ludum dare last year about half the people that tried it were using the ms vm and it of course ran like crap.  If I had used a cross platfrom lib like allegro or sdl and c++ (or a java like subset of c++) I wouldn't have had that problem.  

So my point is; Sure the effeiency gain is there, but are java technologies (jogl and lwjgl) stable enough to work on Mac OSX or will users have to do alot of 'fiddling' to get the final product to work (which they of course won't do)?  Especially since I know you guys like to use alot of opengl extensions in your 3d apps which hardly ever work with low end, on board gfx chipsets.  And there is still the ever present issue of 'does the user have the most recent jre'.
Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #25 - Posted 2004-01-25 20:14:16 »

JWS minimizes fiddling at the user's end to the point that they can just click once to download, install and play. As easy as it can get, really.  Smiley
But true... provided that they have a recent JRE installed. Just make sure your game is worth the one time download of a JRE if they haven't got one.
I think lwjgl for Mac is pretty stable these days but I don't own a mac so I can't tell for sure...
But what's the relevance of the openGL extensions not working on low end machines -argument to java or the stability of jogl or lwjgl  Huh

Erik

Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 343
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #26 - Posted 2004-01-25 20:40:30 »

AF works on the Mac. It uses several neat extensions too. Nearly all OSX users can run it without a glitch.

Cas Smiley

Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #27 - Posted 2004-01-26 14:05:30 »

Was there some fiddling required in the AF code to get it to work on the Mac?

Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 343
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #28 - Posted 2004-01-26 14:26:49 »

No, not in the game code, but we can't get it working under Webstart just yet.

Cas Smiley

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