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  Java games can only be indie games  (Read 6780 times)
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Offline Middy

Junior Duke




Java games rock!


« Posted 2004-06-18 17:46:32 »

Yep its a provocative title, but it got your attention.

Well I came to think. Java provides many advantages in the language itself. But the language in wich you write a game, is it realy important when it comes to games?


The VM cannot run on an X-box/Playstation. So thats 90% of the market down the drain.

Many FPS games sell them on speed and super fast optimizations. The VM prevents a Java developer from doing something like that.


What I am thinking is that the community should define in what style of games Java is best suited for and exploit that.


Here is my two cents:

Java is best suited for online PC games that go through changes all its life. This is games where extensions are added or rules are tweaked constantly. Here Java gives the developers the advantage of OO and security, so he can quickly release new patches/extensions.



When do I get my makeMyGameAsILike() extension?
Offline kevglass

JGO Kernel


Medals: 191
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Coder, Trainee Pixel Artist, Game Reviewer


« Reply #1 - Posted 2004-06-18 18:05:05 »

Quote

The VM cannot run on an X-box/Playstation. So thats 90% of the market down the drain.


Agreed. However, this is the current state, not the future state.

Quote

Many FPS games sell them on speed and super fast optimizations. The VM prevents a Java developer from doing something like that.  


In todays world the FPS game seems to be king. However, nearly every single piece of "game selling" special effect is done in hardware. At this point it makes very little difference how you get at it. The VM doesn't prevent it at all.

In addition, PC games don't generally sell on graphics quality anymore. Otherwise anyone picking up the UT engine could just release any old game and expect a best seller. It doesn't work that way. Games get reviewed and get reputations. They sell mostly based on that.

Quote

What I am thinking is that the community should define in what style of games Java is best suited for and exploit that.


Now this is a good idea! However, this community is largey made of Indie developers and hobbiests. They don't have the room to attempt this. Hobbiests do what interests them. Indie developers do what they think they can sell while still being able to develop using a small amount of resources.

Quote

Java is best suited for online PC games that go through changes all its life. This is games where extensions are added or rules are tweaked constantly. Here Java gives the developers the advantage of OO and security, so he can quickly release new patches/extensions.


Very very true. However, all games are moving in the direction. Developers (in all domains, not just games) are moving away from writing bespoke systems. Most games are based on plugging game engine elements together and adding bespoke content (story, graphics, etc..). Writing any code that you're hoping to reuse in the future is best done in a modern language that provides the very features that Java is well known for.

I think the key point to realise here is that you (like many others here) are in at the start. The world of games development is getting more and more complicated. As this happens games developers currently will either change the way they write games or die out (much like in other domains in the past). This is directly comparable to the changes that took place as we moved from ASM->C.

I think my final procrastinating note has to be that these things take time. It might be 5+ years before we see a real move over, but it will happen. Just be glad you're here at the at the begining.

Kev

Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder


Exp: 12 years


Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #2 - Posted 2004-06-18 19:13:22 »

What about the professional Java games that have already been done?  What about games that are designed for a computer not a console?  (They still exist you know.)

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

Senior Duke





« Reply #3 - Posted 2004-06-18 20:12:21 »

Quote
What about the professional Java games that have already been done?  What about games that are designed for a computer not a console?  (They still exist you know.)

Ahhh the fabled "computer" game.  I saw one once back in '93.  Remember incredible claims require incredible evidence.

Cheesy Grin Wink

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

JGO Coder


Medals: 10
Projects: 1
Exp: 18 years


TyphonRT rocks!


« Reply #4 - Posted 2004-06-18 20:47:38 »

Quote

Many FPS games sell them on speed and super fast optimizations. The VM prevents a Java developer from doing something like that.


Average FPS for Auriga3D with most levels is 200 to 400; low is 150 (and this is on an Athlon 1900 w/ Radeon 9700Pro; which the comp is arguably on the borderline of an older machine). Smiley  I've still got more optimizing to do.. though granted I still have to implement a full Q3 shader system, but I built the engine in a component oriented manner where rendering paths may be easily exchanged; along with several other areas of the framework (like the game itself!).. I'll be doing a render path that utilizes OGLSL heavily for instance.

As Kevin mentioned.. A large majority of the features are hardware related.

Hope to have the code in CVS and publically available in August...

Little bummed I missed the game competition.. Good design won me over instead of rushed "crap"..

Please support my Kickstarter for next-gen video apps for Android:
http://kck.st/1sk0lN4

Founder & Principal Architect; TyphonRT, Inc.
http://www.typhonrt.org/
http://www.egrsoftware.com/
https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MichaelLeahy/
Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder


Exp: 12 years


Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #5 - Posted 2004-06-19 02:41:11 »

Quote

Ahhh the fabled "computer" game.  I saw one once back in '93.  Remember incredible claims require incredible evidence.

Cheesy Grin Wink


Well they're the only kind of video game I ever buy.  I don't own a console and would never buy one. Smiley  I realize the market is significantly smaller.. but there are many PC/Mac-only titles available (and worth playing) that will never come near a console.

Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 409
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Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #6 - Posted 2004-06-19 06:12:33 »

The market is currently smaller. It's predicted to grow, massively, over the next 5 years.

Cas Smiley

Offline Chman

Junior Duke




Nothing more that... Java games are cool !


« Reply #7 - Posted 2004-06-19 06:56:28 »

About your title... That's absolutly wrong ! There already are some java games in the market ! Examples ?

Chrome, which is an absolutly wonderful FPS.
Vampire, the Masquerade (only the core part is written in Java, but it's an old game).

And there will be others...

Chman
Offline Middy

Junior Duke




Java games rock!


« Reply #8 - Posted 2004-06-19 07:47:54 »

I remember reading about Vampire, as an example of Java developed games. The advantage of Java was lost due to the trouble of combining native and Java.


Anyhow. The consoles wont go away as easy as that. There are still many playstation 1 around and PS 2 will stay on for many years to come. Professional game companies have whole departments specialising in PS2 assembler, just to get performance out of the box.
Besides who here thinks that MS would allow a VM on X-box

So I still think my point about that part of the market being off limit to Java is valid. (unless we somehow get a VM running on an PS/x-box.


True indie developers do what they feel like. But they also all want todo it is a living and as of now. PC have the advantage of being connected, (as opposed to most game boxes).

The biggest problem for most indie developers seems to be networking. Just look at the TCP/UDP thread in the networking forum. One big flame.

Perhaps experiences could be better shared. Code snippets and the like....

When do I get my makeMyGameAsILike() extension?
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #9 - Posted 2004-06-19 07:59:50 »

Now you appear to be simply trolling...

Quote

Anyhow. The consoles wont go away as easy as that. There are still many playstation 1 around and PS 2 will stay on for many years to come.


Yes, they just hit 100 million mark. Approximately 30% each to Europe, USA, Japan (more in Europe than in USA, apparently...).

Quote

Professional game companies have whole departments specialising in PS2 assembler, just to get performance out of the box.


That sounds like a distortion of a statistic. Do you have any kind of figures for this? My experiences would suggest you are talking about a very small minority. Console performance is ALWAYS a massive problem due to the way that consoles are designed and developed. It's not that companies really need the performance, its that the console manufacturers don't provide developer libraries, and the studios have to write their own.

Quote

Besides who here thinks that MS would allow a VM on X-box


IIRC one of the effects of the Sun/MS seattlement was to pave the way for such things..

Quote

True indie developers do what they feel like. But they also all want todo it is a living and as of now. PC have the advantage of being connected, (as opposed to most game boxes).


Then you haven't seen the stats for PS2 and Xbox net adapers - it's running at a comparable level of penetration to broadband on home PC's!

Quote

Just look at the TCP/UDP thread in the networking forum. One big flame.


I don't believe you've read the thread if you say that. I don't see any signs of a flame in there.

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Middy

Junior Duke




Java games rock!


« Reply #10 - Posted 2004-06-19 08:36:06 »

Perhaps I am trolling. But my point is still valid. We have to look at what advantages there are and exploit them. I am trying to summon them up.

I dont have any figures about the assembler deps. I only know that the company behind the Hitman games have one. But since you yourself state that there are provided no default libaries, we can safely assume that this is a major issue?

So a VM machine might come to PS, why?. Who would be interested in spending the ressources making one. There would need to be a customer base to support the cost of making one. How long would it take to develop a VM that runs good enough. (How long did it take sun?)

I About the TCP/IP versus UDP. Forget it I have only read the first say 50 post so I cannot argue to much about that. I only got the impression that there were alot of opinions and "I've heard that..", not "In my last game we used java serialisation + simple TCP/IP it worked great"

When do I get my makeMyGameAsILike() extension?
Offline CaptainJester

JGO Knight


Medals: 12
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Exp: 14 years


Make it work; make it better.


« Reply #11 - Posted 2004-06-20 12:37:35 »

Quote
Anyhow. The consoles wont go away as easy as that. There are still many playstation 1 around and PS 2 will stay on for many years to come. Professional game companies have whole departments specialising in PS2 assembler, just to get performance out of the box.
Besides who here thinks that MS would allow a VM on X-box


How about some one create a console that uses Java as it's native language.  So the VM is on a chip and with that, will run just as fast as any other console.

Offline cfmdobbie

Senior Duke


Medals: 1


Who, me?


« Reply #12 - Posted 2004-06-20 18:46:44 »

Quote
How about some one create a console that uses Java as it's native language.  So the VM is on a chip and with that, will run just as fast as any other console.


It seems like the obvious thing to do, doesn't it?  It's been suggested many times, but no one from Sun has commented on the idea, as far as I'm aware.

Sun must still have some UltraSPARC engineers in-house - surely they could bang heads on a hardware implementation of the Java VM?

Hellomynameis Charlie Dobbie.
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 409
Projects: 3
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Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #13 - Posted 2004-06-21 10:31:27 »

I've just had the most insane feeling of deja vu...

Cas Smiley

Offline jared888

Senior Newbie




Eat your own shorts. Leave mine alone.


« Reply #14 - Posted 2004-06-21 15:00:19 »

I think that the 90% statistic is incorrect. Somebody "tweaked" the poll/sales figures on that one.


Beware the rabbit of the mind, for it gnaweth on the carrot of the soul.
Offline TheBohemian

Junior Duke




Java will rule them all!


« Reply #15 - Posted 2004-06-28 13:48:36 »

Quote

So a VM machine might come to PS, why?. Who would be interested in spending the ressources making one.

AFAIK the PS (not 2) runs a special variant of a MIPS cpu. now look what the classpath  people say about this:
"But, only 12 FAILs for libjava 3.3.3 on mipsel-unknown-linux-gnu! All this hacking is paying off."
(from: http://classpath.wildebeest.org/planet/)

now you know who is interested but do not expect it to be useful (for games) until some years, but the possibility is there. btw: CP is going to bring 1.0 this year .. I am praying already that this can be achieved Smiley

Quote

How about some one create a console that uses Java as it's native language.  So the VM is on a chip and with that, will run just as fast as any other console

The 'solution' one can present here may be a bit different from what you wanted (no VM on a chip) but the result will be the same: jnode.sf.net

Lend some 1000 hands to both projects and the world will be a better place. Tongue

cya

TheBohemian

---------------------------------------
my favorite OS: http://jnode.sf.net
Java 1.5 -> 1.4 converter: http://retroweaver.sf.net
Offline dranonymous

Junior Duke




Hoping to become a Java Titan someday!


« Reply #16 - Posted 2004-06-28 16:32:17 »

Here's something pretty close to a pure VM on a chip -

http://www.parallax.com/javelin/javelin_stamp.asp

I remember coming across another that was similiar, but can't recall the name of it.  Sad

You might find this interesting as well -

http://www.sun.com/microelectronics/picoJava/

It seems as though much of java's performance is based on the OS the VM is running on.  It seems as though I can let a java app sit on my linux box longer than I can my windows.  IE - If using eclipse, I minimize the app, run other apps for awhile, the maximize eclipse to use it again. Windows takes alot longer to get things 'running' again.   Not sure why, though I've got theories.

As a theory, far flung or not, I would think that a JVM running on the Amiga OS 3.5 or higher, would be very responsive, relative to a windows box.  The Amiga had far less 'junk' going on and didn't use swap space on a drive, unless you had a special setup.  Granted the architecture is pretty much dead and the hardware was never fast enough to do this, but hey, I loved my Amiga and love java, so why not both!?

Regards,
Aaron R>
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #17 - Posted 2004-06-28 16:44:59 »

Quote
[...]IE - If using eclipse, I minimize the app, run other apps for awhile, the maximize eclipse to use it again. Windows takes alot longer to get things 'running' again.[...]


Swapping. And yes, it's window's fault (or to say it nicely - it's window's usual behaviour).

Cas already complained about this over at the Performance Tuning board.

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline TheBohemian

Junior Duke




Java will rule them all!


« Reply #18 - Posted 2004-06-30 15:28:06 »

I am not sure whether this Javelin thingie is comparable to a JVM:

"The Javelin Stamp™ module is a 24-pin DIP module programmed in a subset of the Sun Microsystems Java language. "

This means that you can use a language quite similar to java to program it. Nothing is said that this thing interprets bytecode or provides J2SE APIs.

--

picoJava and his brother microJava are old stuff and I am not sure where it is really used. That does not mean I find them useless. Some years ago when JVMs where a bit slower I hoped that once in a time regular computer mainboards may feature a Java-capable processor ...

--
You mentioned AmigaOS: I am a great Amiga fan too. For historical reasons I bought an old A1200 some time ago (ebay) and did some Assembler programming on it (68000s are so cute!). Anyways there are some people working on a Free (as in Freedom) JVM for it: jamiga.org - it depends on classpath too.

cya

TheBohemian

---------------------------------------
my favorite OS: http://jnode.sf.net
Java 1.5 -> 1.4 converter: http://retroweaver.sf.net
Offline ChrisM

JGO Coder


Medals: 3
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Luke...END OF LINE


« Reply #19 - Posted 2004-06-30 20:54:48 »

Quote
I remember reading about Vampire, as an example of Java developed games. The advantage of Java was lost due to the trouble of combining native and Java.


Really?  I wonder why more and more games are using Java for scripting then?  Someone tell those guys...QUICK! Wink

Quote
Anyhow. The consoles wont go away as easy as that. There are still many playstation 1 around and PS 2 will stay on for many years to come. Professional game companies have whole departments specialising in PS2 assembler, just to get performance out of the box.


Really? Which companies are you referring to.  I guess Sony should just stop developing their performance analysis suite if so many people are working on the problems already. Smiley

Quote
Besides who here thinks that MS would allow a VM on X-box


Who would have thought you would see this?



Don't underestimate where Java will show up next.  We are going to suprise you Smiley

-ChrisM

Offline TheBohemian

Junior Duke




Java will rule them all!


« Reply #20 - Posted 2004-06-30 22:47:23 »

As much as I share you enthusiasm for Java in games I am not sure whether a balmer-mcnealy handshake means instant gaming success. (this is what you post sound like)

Anyway JavaOne is currently blowing a lot of hot air around ... I wonder how much of it this turns in reality. (eg. Phantom console with Java support, JDIC/JDNC success, Looking Glass release (in 2 years), ...)

Quote
Don't underestimate where Java will show up next.  We are going to suprise you.

Ok I am waiting ... but being well grounded.

cya

TheBohemian

---------------------------------------
my favorite OS: http://jnode.sf.net
Java 1.5 -> 1.4 converter: http://retroweaver.sf.net
Offline shawnkendall

Senior Duke





« Reply #21 - Posted 2004-06-30 22:56:17 »

Show me the money Grin

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

JGO Kernel


Medals: 409
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #22 - Posted 2004-07-01 06:55:01 »

...now, what chances of OpenGL appearing on the Xbox? One of my old friends works at Nvidia as one of their main demo coders. It turns out that the Xbox Nvidia chipset was almost entirely developed under OpenGL. They moved to DirectX "at the last minute". Interesting eh?

Cas Smiley

Offline Middy

Junior Duke




Java games rock!


« Reply #23 - Posted 2004-07-01 09:27:41 »

Quote

Anyhow. The consoles wont go away as easy as that. There are still many playstation 1 around and PS 2 will stay on for many years to come. Professional game companies have whole departments specialising in PS2 assembler, just to get performance out of the box.


OK I have been bashed around for that statement long enough. So remove the last part (from Professional...), I take it back  Wink

Now the top point is indeed valid, and noone have commented it. How many million PS1 and PS2 + Xboxs have been sold?.

The Phantom console is great. But can it break through?

The whole point about this thread is to know your limitations.  We cannot run on PS1 and PS2, Xbox DOES have directX and Phantom havent been sold yet.
Where are we going? What should we aim at?

I


When do I get my makeMyGameAsILike() extension?
Offline princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 409
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #24 - Posted 2004-07-01 09:49:46 »

Stick to where the mass market penetration is: the desktop. No more, no less. There is no other market for J2SE, nor will there ever be: J2SE is designed from the ground up for the desktop. It can't hope to work properly on anything else.

Cas Smiley

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #25 - Posted 2004-07-01 10:28:43 »

Quote

Don't underestimate where Java will show up next.  We are going to suprise you Smiley


In all seriousness, why don't you do something new and NOT surprise us? (or, at least, not all of us). Serious players like MS and Sony don't surprise their developers, nor do the other the big players - it's bad for business, bad for relationships, and artificially increases time-to-market.

If you have some agreement going down right now, take a leaf out of everyone else's book and invite developers to sign NDA's to get early involvement. IIRC it was a major part of how Sony managed to make PS1 so incredibly successful - instead of doing a Nintendo and having two or three developers with games ready early, they had dozens of them (helped, of course, by doing things like buying out existing studios and turning them into PS1 specialists...). You could get an N64 with...3 great games, 4 OK games, and 2 crap ones. Or a PS1 with ... 30 great games, 50 OK ones, and who cares how many crap ones.

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

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #26 - Posted 2004-07-01 10:32:09 »

Quote

Now the top point is indeed valid, and noone have commented it. How many million PS1 and PS2 + Xboxs have been sold?.


Actually, on the previous page, I replied with:

Yes, they just hit 100 million mark. Approximately 30% each to Europe, USA, Japan (more in Europe than in USA, apparently...).

XB and GC have approximately 15-20 million each (off the top of my head) and PS2 approximately 35-40 million (approximately the total sales for XB and GC). Figures approximate because I haven't checked for the last 5-6 months. But 3 minutes on google will give you accurate figures if you could be bothered.

I'm not sure *how* your point is valid. Yes, there are lots of consoles out there. There's lots of conclusions you could draw from that, but the only one I've understood so far (forgive me if I'm missing something) is that this currently represents a percentage of the market that java games cannot be sold to. OK. Fine. And? There is no clear leap from that concept to the one enshrined in the topic title that I can see....or have we moved on to a new topic Smiley ?

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline gangrel-br

Junior Duke




Java and Scala! Thats the game =)


« Reply #27 - Posted 2004-07-01 11:59:12 »

Is there any estimate on prices for this Phatom thing? It is interesting to have Java on a console, but it would mean nothing if it won't sell. And PS, XB and GC have good prices. No matter how good it is, Phatom won't sell without an aggressive pricing...

Now thinking about the Chris's surprises. Maybe Sun is negotiating the presence of the JRE in the PS3, XB2 and GC2? It would be great! Or I am totally crazy! Wink

Paulo "JCranky" Siqueira
Offline darkprophet

Senior Duke




Go Go Gadget Arms


« Reply #28 - Posted 2004-07-01 12:08:02 »

the phantom thing will be $199, however, if you subscribe to the service for 2 years (24 months ), paying $25.99 a month, you would get the console for free. ($623.76 in total - $199 = $424.76, thats alot of money for me personally)

PS. Honestly speaking, why waste so much money, when you could plug your pc (using your graphics card) to the tv, get a controller, and play all you want?  Roll Eyes

is it true that you wont be able to play games already downloaded without the subscription?

DP


Friends don't let friends make MMORPGs.

Blog | Volatile-Engine
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #29 - Posted 2004-07-01 12:13:43 »

Quote
the phantom thing will be $199, however, if you subscribe to the service for 2 years (24 months ), paying $25.99 a month, you would get the console for free. ($623.76 in total - $199 = $424.76, thats alot of money for me personally)


Doom! Gloom! That business model has already sent several companies bankrupt...and IIRC at least one (2?) was a console (anyone remember the names? Huh). Funny how the old (failed) ideas keep coming back. Hey, maybe next JavaOne, Scott will introduce a NetworkComputer, and explain to us all how the TCO is so much cheaper with NC's that thousands of people will dump their PC's Grin Tongue.

However...in all fairness...the Amstrad Em@iler has far far less reason to live and - shock! horror! - actually managed to make a healthy, multi-million-pound, profit recently. It's true; you can sell snow to Eskimos!

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