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  JRE Download Size  (Read 15146 times)
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Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder


Exp: 12 years


Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #60 - Posted 2003-11-23 13:26:58 »

Quote
Game fans are a very small fraction of the total market. The bread and butter sales are what you need, an account of there being 100x more casual gamers than hardcore gamers.


I would guess that downloads in general are a very small percentage of the game market.  Most people want to get something physical - a box and CD, by gosh maybe even a printed manual.

Quote
And no, most windows systems remain unpatched.

35% of my game players can't play my game because they haven't bothered to update their drivers, EVER, since they bought their machines, too.


This is absolutely true of course.  Most people only know a 'driver' as the guy in the vehicle that takes them where they want to go and doesn't get to party as much.

Much of this is Microsoft's fault for creating virus-ware like outlook and IE and scaring people into not trusting anything that can be downloaded - including the very Microsoft patches that try to plug the MS security hole of the minute.

Combine that with the fact that updated drivers are not typically download from the standard Windows Update function unless you really know what you are doing and ask for them... and of course then you get the WHQL driver that is several versions behind the 'current' drivers because MS had to extort some bogus fees from the driver developers to 'bless' the still broken and mostly untested drivers with their seal of approval.

My father would completely ignore all of the little pop-ups telling him there were updates available.. as far as he knew they didn't even exist.. they were just something that occasionally got in the way that he didn't have anything to do with.

The entire update procedure should, by default, be much more in your face.  It should be very hard not to be up-to-date.

Offline princec

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Medals: 434
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« Reply #61 - Posted 2003-11-23 13:41:10 »

Well, until I get a large budget I can't see meself deploying games in retail channels. And even then I don't really want to become a part of the rest of that rather fecked up industry. You're dead right that downloadable games are currently a very, very small part of the game market but that's because of all the known barriers to entry of the downloadable games market:

- lack of marketing budget
- complexity of installation: you can't easily distribute all the components of a game in downloadable format, often relying on lowest-common-denominators and shotgun spread to get a large enough target to aim for
- download size: even normal broadband users can't be bothered with 100mb demos. It still takes ages to download 100mb with a 512kb cable modem.
- lack of general consumer awareness that games can be directly delivered to the computer, risk-free

blah blah blah. I seem to be going round in circles.

Cas Smiley

Offline Orangy Tang

JGO Kernel


Medals: 56
Projects: 11


Monkey for a head


« Reply #62 - Posted 2003-11-23 14:00:52 »

It would be nice if webstart could go from a completely clean system to downloading and instaling the bits of the JVM needed, then the associated game, all with just the click of a link.

Flash and Shockwave seem to manage this quite well, the fact that all the user needs to do is click on a couple of accept/next boxes means people are more inclined to do it rather than go hunting though a webpage for things to download and manually install.

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Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder


Exp: 12 years


Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #63 - Posted 2003-11-23 14:05:57 »

Quote
- download size: even normal broadband users can't be bothered with 100mb demos. It still takes ages to download 100mb with a 512kb cable modem.
- lack of general consumer awareness that games can be directly delivered to the computer, risk-free


I don't know of any broadband users in these parts that run less than 1.5kbps  That's for typical ADSL, cable tops out faster, and there is also a 3kbps ADSL if you want to pay 50% more for it.   Since broadband is always on and doesn't use up a resource like a phone line large downloads aren't an issue at all.   100MB is going to take a few mintes sure.. but I can still surf at reasonable speeds while it is happening so who cares.  Downloads for me are typically 175kB per second.. a 20 minute download is not that bad considering the net connectionremains usable for email & surfing.

The real issue is the consumer awareness.   consumers are scared of anything that comes from the internet because of all the virus scares and the fact that all this computer stuff is a complete mystery to them.  Consumers are unable to determine for themselves what is risk-free and the media tells them (somewhat accurately) that everything could be a virus.

You have to be sure to have a statement beside your downloads: "Certified 100% virus-free" and make sure there is traditional contact information like postal address and phone number available,  that helps to try to make them more comfortable.

Consumers also don't like to be bounced around to do a secure transaction.  It's like saying "you can't trust my site.. but trust me that this site will do the what I say".. if they are reading that on a site that can't be trusted to do the transaction itself what does that say?  Well as long as the 'secure' site has a recognised name it is actually a good thing, I think.  But if you send them somewhere that they have never heard of to do the 'secure' bits.. well that can be scary.

Offline princec

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« Reply #64 - Posted 2003-11-23 14:07:05 »

Webstart makes the utterly obvious thickheaded mistake of being written in Java.

I mean, [size=20]DUH.[/size].

Cas Smiley

Offline Preston

Senior Devvie


Medals: 4



« Reply #65 - Posted 2003-11-23 14:37:15 »

Quote
Sadly that's a terribly naive view of the whole games market. Any developer relying on game fans to make a living simply isn't going to remain afloat for long.

Those many multiplayer players of top seller games like Jedi Knights II and III have no problem to download several patches (4 ones for JK2) which have been published and are even obligatory in order to be able to join a server.

Also the single player patches for these games have been nearly obligatory, or you experience problems in finishing some levels.

Well, it's sad that a majority of today's full price PC games (deployed on CD) are usually just playable (finishable) when you have installed an official patch. Most of the time you've to download this patch. And it's several MBs in size.

Quote
And no, most windows systems remain unpatched.

However the tendency is different. Since Windows is being flooded with viri, Microsoft even thinks about forcing their customers to do online updates in the near future. However I don't like that idea...

Quote
35% of my game players can't play my game because they haven't bothered to update their drivers, EVER, since they bought their machines, too.

Well, those who don't update their Windows OpenGL driver from v1.0 to v1.3 won't be able to play a Xith3d or Jogl (?) game anyway.
Customers who use a high end 3d card should be used to download a 20-25 MB driver for their 3d card frequently. Otherwiese they're going to experience problems with new games, demos, benchmarks (Nvidia <-> Futuremark), etc. Addendum: it depens on the term "what is a high end 3d card".
Offline Preston

Senior Devvie


Medals: 4



« Reply #66 - Posted 2003-11-23 14:47:12 »

Quote

- download size: even normal broadband users can't be bothered with 100mb demos. It still takes ages to download 100mb with a 512kb cable modem.

You must be joking. Where I live you can't even rent a broadband ISP connection with less than 768 kbit/s. :-)
All regular broadband internet users I know download 100 MB demos, archives, images, trailers, blablabla with the easyness of a click. I've to add that in most cases broadband ISPs combine their offers with a flat rate, so the users are online anway all day.)

If I read it correctly The European Union wants to broaden the EU's broadband internet connections even further with various promote operations, etc. Same applies to Japan, Korea, etc.
Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder


Exp: 12 years


Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #67 - Posted 2003-11-23 15:04:21 »

Quote
Any customer who uses a high end 3d card really is used to download a 25 MB driver for his 3d card nearly monthly. Otherwise he won't be able to play many games.

I question if this is true.  Many customers will USE a high end 3D card and not have a clue that they even have one.  For some, if the game doesn't work out of the box they will try to take it back to the store. (Many stores do accept refunds on software.)

We can't consider ourselves as typical gamers, as developers we are far more clued-in in terms of what we must do to make the computer work properly.


Cas,
 Doesn't  Sun provide an active-X control that will download a JRE with Web Start.. so the experience for windows users is still "click here"?  It's just going to take a lot longer to grab the JRE.. but it is still automated.

Offline princec

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« Reply #68 - Posted 2003-11-23 15:37:14 »

I really don't care what anyone is actually planning will happen several years down the line. I am only concerned with now and the immediate future and the situation is that:

a) Most people don't have broadband, end of story, and here in the UK, the games capital of Europe by a massive margin, most of us don't have it and won't be getting it any time soon because it's too expensive or simply not available

b) Most people are impatient and lazy and stupid, and can't wait to download big things, or figure out how to install more than one thing to make something work

c) 35% of my target users -- which is anyone who wants to download and play games, not hormoned-up teenage boys with 21" monitors and 2.1" dicks -- don't have up-to-date drivers, and I've got hard facts to back it up for a change

d) A mere 10% of my users have Webstart installed. And most of them are Linux users, bizarrely, and they're not reknowned for spending money on software.

Honestly, I really am going round in circles Sad Sod the future, I'm having to leave now.

Cas Smiley

Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder


Exp: 12 years


Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #69 - Posted 2003-11-23 15:57:39 »

http://www.websiteoptimization.com/bw/0308/

"broadband share in the US should exceed 50% by June of 2004"

I suspect that Canada is slightly ahead of the US there, since it appears broadband is cheaper up here.

So there is a substantial broadband market in North America already and it will soon be the majority.  It's unfortunate that Europe and other continents are lagging (pun intended).

I guess that's what gives those of us that are on the other side of the Atlantic a bit of a different view.   The longer it takes to reduce the JRE download size the less of a benefit it will bring.  I can see why nobody in North America is rushing to do this.   I would be interested in seeing what the numbers are really like in the UK.. I see New Zealand is quite a bit behind, Australia is making some headway...

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Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder


Exp: 12 years


Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #70 - Posted 2003-11-23 16:00:32 »

Quote
d) A mere 10% of my users have Webstart installed.

How are you getting this information?  Since many windows users will choose to download the .exe version.

Offline Preston

Senior Devvie


Medals: 4



« Reply #71 - Posted 2003-11-23 16:07:03 »

Quote

I question if this is true.  Many customers will USE a high end 3D card and not have a clue that they even have one.  For some, if the game doesn't work out of the box they will try to take it back to the store. (Many stores do accept refunds on software.)

Well, Jedi Knights III (Academy) had graphic errors on a new Ati Radeon 9600 Pro card until I installed the very latest Ati driver. Something similar happend to a Geforce (don't know the exact model) - newer driver fixed it.
If there are graphic errors like these in a game (pretty common on Windows I'm afraid) I check the manual, then the readme and both say: please check the listet Web sites of the graphic card manufactures for the newst driver. :-)

Of course it depends on the term what is a "high end 3d card" ?
If it mean "today's top graphics cards" (which aren't being bundled in mass PCs) those users will be gamers usually who download drivers all month and tune their PCs for maximum performance.
If it means "very good 3d cards" then you're probably right: many users could have them without knowing too much about them (let alone "drivers").

PS: I've edited my sentence about "any customer" a bit.
Offline Jeff

JGO Coder




Got any cats?


« Reply #72 - Posted 2003-11-23 18:32:46 »

Quote
I've got it down to about 2 and a bit MB, with 7-Zip and a pair of virtual scissors.

Here's the gist of the situation from an indie's perspective:

We'd be all to happy to distribute a JRE in our games if it were small enough but as it is our market is based on small downloads and we'd rather the content was actually bigger than the runtime environment!


A compelling emotional argument but only semi-logical.  A few points:

(1)  This is true IF the amount of the runtime you actually use is fairly small.  (And in the case of LWGL it is since you've basically built your own minimal run-time.)  It breaks down when your using the runtime because then its replacing code that would have been on the game-side.  As a practical non-Java illustration, QuakeMods are much smaller then the Quake engine, but there's nothing wrong with that

(2)  If you already HAVE a proper JRE then the runtime download drops to 0.  Can't beat that Smiley  And thats the value of a single shared definition of a run-time,

Quote

The solution we're after is really simple and should benefit everyone in both the short and long term. We want to be able to optionally distribute games with cut-down embedded VMs to get the Java idea out on the "streets" and get our products out there


The issue, as already poinetd out, being that it solves a single point problem-- your download-- but leaves everyone else in the same position AND leaves the user downloading JRE after JRE to their harddrive.

I'd suggest that the REAL solution would be a JRE that is downloadable in segments.  This is something thats been looked at and talked about at Sun a few times but its a  lot more work then it sounds like due to the tightly coupled nature of the native code that supports the APIs.

Quote

NOW to the audiences we need to target. Being generally tiny clusters of nobodys we have absolutely no way of compelling people to download a JRE because our content is not viewable without the JRE anyway - Catch 22.


Nobody can view those 150mb dowloads  on download.com without a JRE either.

I'm not saying there isn't some validity in your POV, cas, just that its not nearly as cut and dried as you perceive it.

Quote

But if we're allowed to ship our own embedded VMs relatively easily, Sun can take care of their part of the bargain and get Webstart on computers everywhere. I'm well aware that this is in progress but it's nowhere near complete.


Don't 100% follow this I'm afraid/

Quote

FWIW I'm in talks with Lindows and Mandrake about bundling AF with their OSs. I've been unable to convince Mandrake that they need to have JWS pre-installed by default because I am a lowly worm.\


Don't they pre-install our Linux VM?  Our VM comes with JWS bundled.
Part of the value of that standard platform you dislike Smiley

Quote

If you were to call them up and offer them a little cash injection as an incentive


To be honest, if I had cash to spend, I'd rather spend it on some of you guys to pay you to write a great showpiece Java game.  But I don't.

Quote

Apple are quite promising but their VM and OS are proving particularly quirky and troublesome to work with.


I hope they are settling down Smiley

But have you considered some of the OTHER folks shipping JVMs now?  That 50% of the new PC market?  If what you want is just  to get your demo game distributed, I'd think we might be able to at least approach them with it.  (Though I'd love to have a few more of your quality to make a "package.")  We should ask Chris if there is a path there to get you "in front" of these people.

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Offline Jeff

JGO Coder




Got any cats?


« Reply #73 - Posted 2003-11-23 18:36:07 »

Quote
Sadly that's a terribly naive view of the whole games market. Any developer relying on game fans to make a living simply isn't going to remain afloat for long. Game fans are a very small fraction of the total market. The bread and butter sales are what you need, an account of there being 100x more casual gamers than hardcore gamers.


Apple and oranges.  The figure you need is how much of the *revenues* is generated by who.  Most of those casual games == free gamers.  They play things like the free web games on Yahoo or Pogo (now EA online.)  I know Pogo so far has not found a way to convert them to paying customers.

Just something to consider.

Got a question about Java and game programming?  Just new to the Java Game Development Community?  Try my FAQ.  Its likely you'll learn something!

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Offline princec

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Medals: 434
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« Reply #74 - Posted 2003-11-23 19:28:33 »

I've been slightly misunderstood here yet again:

I think JWS is great and ultimately it's how I want games to be distributed. It's just perfect (apart from that daft catch-22 blunder that requires a JVM to be installed before you can run it). And it turns out the tight coupling in the VM you talk about... isn't very tight at all, as I was able to hack it out a chunk at a time with very little effort at all. Don't listen to the VM boys, they're really just lazy bastards who can't be bothered with you giving them more work to do. "Oh no we couldn't possibly do that mumble mumble tightly coupled mumble blah risk to the integrity of the vm blah mumble etc." I know what recalcitrant engineers sound like, I am one and I will soon be controlling a small flock of them too.

Now: the only problem I have with the whole deal is that now there are simply hardly any JWS installations relative to the entire target user base, and therefore JWS is a useless method of distribution for us, and so really is the JVM. I've only got my own highly accurate stats to tell me this already. Our games are simply not compelling enough for people to download a huge "thing" that has no real meaning for the vast majority of customers. Just like 35% of them can't even get their heads round updating video drivers.

All we want is an interim solution or agreement to bypass a few restrictions until you guys have done your bit and got the VM on a huge installed base. When, literally, 50% of all desktops that are still in operation have a JVM pre-installed we'll be sorted - but not before.

Enough said.

Cas Smiley

Offline Smoke

Senior Newbie




games rock!


« Reply #75 - Posted 2003-11-28 05:56:04 »

"with webstart you can download and start every app with only one click"

general consensus that the target audiece isnt too tech-savy, so how promising would that sound for them?

webstart already does most of the game patching which many people cant do themself (and then return games)

now if you could only force the jws do upgrade the jre if you app needs it... (or even do hat in jars)  Shocked
you could probably get some good mouth to mouth propaga how easy it is to buy and start/run you games.

just a theory but the rather big succes of java games on cellphones has probably a similar reason: how difficult is it to get and run a java game on a cell phone!? not much harder that dialing a number really.
Offline MGodehardt

Junior Devvie




why does the chicken cross the road?


« Reply #76 - Posted 2003-11-28 07:58:52 »

I asssume the user sitting in front of the pc is deaf like a apple or a banana, he does not know anything about java or jws.

IT MUST BE EASY LIKE DIALING A NUMBER ON A CELLPHONE RIGHT !

What i am missing is a base java distribution, where you can add some modules ( like Swing and so on ).

It would be a minimum ( awt ), you would be able to upgrade this minimum installation.

At the moment 15MB IS NOT ACCEPTABLE ! GIVEN THE WORST CASE, a USER entering MY WEBSITE WILL NOT HAVE JAVA INSTALLED AND WHEN HE SEES 15MB approx. download time 5 hrs blah blah, he will leave ! I lost a customer d'oh.
Offline Preston

Senior Devvie


Medals: 4



« Reply #77 - Posted 2003-11-28 09:30:14 »

Quote
What i am missing is a base java distribution, where you can add some modules ( like Swing and so on ).

Jeff mentioned that it would be no good if there was fragmented JREs on people's PCs. He also mentioned that SUN examines if it's possible that the JRE could be loaded in segements.

Quote
At the moment 15MB IS NOT ACCEPTABLE ! GIVEN THE WORST CASE, a USER entering MY WEBSITE WILL NOT HAVE JAVA INSTALLED AND WHEN HE SEES 15MB approx. download time 5 hrs blah blah, he will leave ! I lost a customer d'oh.

Again I think people overemphasize these 13-14 MB of the current (Windows) JRE, which you've to install once on older PCs and on about 50% of those new ones, which don't have a recent JRE pre-installed.
Well, any serious Internet Windows user has to download on a 1-3 day basis an Antivirus definition file; in the case of Norton it's about 4 MB. No one complains about this, naturally.
Also you've to install Service Packs on a regular basis which are some magnitude larger (120 MB ++), DirectX updates, IE/etc. bugfixes, etc.
How large is the newest Flash/Shockwave plugin you've to use to play up to date Flash games? 6 or 8 MB? Who cares?
Etc.

Nota bene: the US Army offers their 3d shooter game for free download: 650 MB. With a 768 kbps cable modem you do this in less than 2 hours: it's the matter of a click.

Welcome in the present. With just some minutes in the future.
Offline princec

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Medals: 434
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« Reply #78 - Posted 2003-11-28 09:46:55 »

This is not the reality of the consumer market.

Over and over again we have to iterate this: the JRE is not only too large for most people, it's also too much hassle for most people. Web content means things that are one click away, not many clicks.

We're doing our bit by developing applications that run under Webstart.

Sun needs to do their bit and pull off that "Flash-like" coup, and get the VMs out there pre-installed. The reason why Flash, IE, WMP, and so on are successful products is because they are ubiquitous, not because they are technically any better than the alternatives.

As for the fragmented VM argument - this makes no sense at all from an embedded point of view but then again what's in it for Sun? There's no way I could afford an embedded VM license, and the only reason I would have to pay for one anyway is because the JVM isn't ubiquitous.

A VM downloadable in small chunks is easily possible despite what the Sun engineers say. I've got the minimum down to 2MB or so without AWT. AWT is a fairly simple few extra megs of easily segregated code. Swing is a few extra megs of easily segregated code. JMF likewise. The layers are remarkably un-mingled when you actually look at the problem. I was able to cut the VM down into simple chunks and take a layer off at a time. If I can take layers away by hand with ease then a technical solution to adding layers automatically is also easy. The JRE needn't be packaged up in great detail either; there are several distinct layers of functionality that can be added in big chunks. No need to drill down to package or class level.

The first step along this road is to make native JWS clients that take care of this. Given 3 months' money I could do this full time and have a product released in March that did this.

Cas Smiley

Offline aldacron

Senior Devvie


Medals: 9
Exp: 16 years


Java games rock!


« Reply #79 - Posted 2003-11-28 17:09:04 »

Quote

Again I think people overemphasize these 13-14 MB of the current (Windows) JRE, which you've to install once on older PCs and on about 50% of those new ones, which don't have a recent JRE pre-installed.
Well, any serious Internet Windows user has to download on a 1-3 day basis an Antivirus definition file; in the case of Norton it's about 4 MB. No one complains about this, naturally.
Also you've to install Service Packs on a regular basis which are some magnitude larger (120 MB ++), DirectX updates, IE/etc. bugfixes, etc.
How large is the newest Flash/Shockwave plugin you've to use to play up to date Flash games? 6 or 8 MB? Who cares?
Etc.

Nota bene: the US Army offers their 3d shooter game for free download: 650 MB. With a 768 kbps cable modem you do this in less than 2 hours: it's the matter of a click.

Welcome in the present. With just some minutes in the future.


Preston, you are confusing the average user with people who 1) are above average and 2) are hardcore gamers.

The sad reality is that the people you describe above are not the majority of computer users. Most people do not download service packs or any sort of update at all. In the office, the guys from the tech department come around and do it for them.

As to America's Army, that is a high profile game that has licensed the Unreal Engine, is targetted toward teenagers and young adults (where you find a large percentage of hardcore gamers) and could easily compete with AAA boxed titles on the store shelves. That is not the indie games market.

An indie has to decide the minimum acceptable target and then expect to support a couple of grades below that. Indies have to assume that the majority of customers will have out-of-date everything (gfx card drivers, service packs, the works). And most importantly, indies have to keep download sizes as small as is reasonable. Failure to do any of that means lost sales. Period.

You can't make the mistake of assuming that because the people you are associated with know what they are about, that everyone does. JRE size and distribution was the number one factor that made me very reluctant to use Java in the first place. Eventually I decided to go with it anyway and hope that things are somewhat different by the time I finish my first project.
Offline Preston

Senior Devvie


Medals: 4



« Reply #80 - Posted 2003-11-29 08:39:04 »

Quote
Preston, you are confusing the average user with people who 1) are above average and 2) are hardcore gamers.

The sad reality is that the people you describe above are not the majority of computer users.

I don't think the majority of computer users are in any way the majority of game customers, no matter of the game's budget target.

It all depends on what type of games we talk about. Is it low end PC compatible games, or modern 3d games? Judging by the traffic in the 3d forums here I'd say most of the Javagaming people are interested in modern 3d games.

People who buy full price games are potential customers of good low budget games, too. Jeff thinks that casual gamers tend to favorite free games. I think the same.

Top seller games like Jedi Knight II and III don't just address hardcore gamers. Clearly they adress the mass market. People won't play Jedi-Knight with an "out-of-date everything" PC and they won't be able to enjoy the game if they don't download several patches (6 to 9 MB).
Take a look at the current PC games chart, please. 80% of those titles you won't be able to play with an outdated PC: they are best selling games, require a new DirectX version in order to play (up to 35 MB download) and several ones need new OpenGL drivers, some even require a Geforce2 updwards, and most of them have cool multi-player mode, so goot Internet needed.

Quote
An indie has to decide the minimum acceptable target and then expect to support a couple of grades below that. Indies have to assume that the majority of customers will have out-of-date everything (gfx card drivers, service packs, the works). And most importantly, indies have to keep download sizes as small as is reasonable. Failure to do any of that means lost sales. Period.

Depends on the game type, as said. Modern 3d low budget games won't run in an acceptable way on low level PCs anway. The target audience will be able to download 10+ MB without a problem.
You could say that independent developers which try to do such kind of games won't earn money anyway. Well, let's wait and see.

Btw in order to play any one game of the well known Realone.Arcade (download size vary from ~1 MB to ~400 MB) you need to download their DRM client sized 5 MB first.
Offline princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 434
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« Reply #81 - Posted 2003-11-29 09:28:00 »

In approximately 2 years' time (finger in air) this will all be irrelevant anyway - the broadband market will have reached critical mass and the hardware will be GF2/1GHz or above - but it's the here and now that's the problem. It's my personal belief that Sun are not going to attract C++ programmers to convert to Java in any great numbers for a whole bunch of reasons along the lines of familiarity, inertia, myths, FUD, comfort and risk; and therefore they need to subvert the underground programming movement - the little developers, the indies - to build up a new generation of programmers. I have to say that otherwise they are doing a fantastic job, by giving away the JDK for free and getting it onto a bunch of new hardware next year; but right now, at a critical growth period in a key industry, this is still something of an obstacle and there's a case of head-buried-in-the-sand over it.

As I say, in 2 years it won't matter - but that means building in 2 years' time, not now, and there's plenty of distractions for disillusioned Java developers.

Cas Smiley

Offline Preston

Senior Devvie


Medals: 4



« Reply #82 - Posted 2003-11-29 11:54:34 »

Quote
In approximately 2 years' time (finger in air) this will all be irrelevant anyway - the broadband market will have reached critical mass and the hardware will be GF2/1GHz or above - but it's the here and now that's the problem.

According to my informations a 1-2 GHz / GF2++ PC with Internet is the de facto standard today for a usual full price PC game.

Well, an anecdote: half a year ago (~) my team and me finished a full price PC game, category Strategy & Simulation. The game's target audience is life sim fans, family, and such. Not hardcore gamers.
The game's box recommends an 1 GHz PC and a GF2 type graphics cards. Then it's playable well. The game can't be played on an "out-of-date everything" PC.

The local & english version of the game sells well so far; since it's no action game it's more of a long seller. By the end of the year it's probably going to reach "top seller" status. During the first two months it's been in the local charts (just top 15, so nothing special).

Since then two patches have been released, 10 MB and 8 MB (btw C++ sucks). Sadly they're neccessary in order to finish the game happily. The patch is just available online from the publisher's portal, as usual.
The game's official demo is 120 MB, and please remember: the game's audience is not hardcore players and those who decided to do this demo (Publisher) know the market better than I do.

Well, today there's a large game market with 1GHz/GF2 and higher PC users. Also usually they have no problem to download large sized demos, patches, graphic card drivers, etc.

I don't say independent developers could reach all of these game customers: they don't have got the marketing power and propaganda people. However the market is there from a technical point of view. Also a 14 MB sized JRE won't hinder a low budget Java game designed for a 1-2 GHz/GF2++ PC.
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #83 - Posted 2003-11-29 13:25:37 »

Quote

According to my informations a 1-2 GHz / GF2++ PC with Internet is the de facto standard today for a usual full price PC game.
[...]


Yes, for a full price game. However, indys (usually) aim lower... at about 4-5 years old hardware. Right now that's about 500mhz, 128mb (256 if you are lucky) and maybe a geforce (or something similar crappy like a gf2mx).

Fortunately even older hardware (6 years and older) doesn't matter, because hardware is build to die after that time. Only geeks keep such old stuff for building a router or a fileserver.

Right now I know more than 50 shareware games and there was only one game (duh forgot it's name) wich needed better hardware.

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline Preston

Senior Devvie


Medals: 4



« Reply #84 - Posted 2003-12-01 05:14:57 »

Quote

Yes, for a full price game. However, indys (usually) aim lower... at about 4-5 years old hardware. Right now that's about 500mhz, 128mb (256 if you are lucky) and maybe a geforce (or something similar crappy like a gf2mx). (..) Right now I know more than 50 shareware games and there was only one game (duh forgot it's name) wich needed better hardware.

Well, but that's a totally different chapter. Others clearly said here in the discussion that the "game customer market" would be 1 GHz / GF2 based in just about two years. That's wrong: it's today (nearly yesterday actually).

If we talk about your mentioned "Shareware" games and low spec games in general, then that's another chapter, too. Several times I repeated that it depends on the game type you intend to do and sell.
If you aim at the Shareware games market: why should you bother to use a modern Jogl binding or Xith engine, shadows and all that high computing stuff if you can't use it anyway for your target platform?

Some tend to say that all those computers users out there in the world with out-of-date-anything-PCs would be potential customers of low-budget games. Why should they be more of a potential customer than the average full price game buyer? To my experience I'd say the opposite is true. Those who are already ready to invest money in games, mostly have a good hardware (the 1 GHz++ / GF2++ market) and buy full price games anway. They're the customers whom low-budget high-tec games will have to aim at.

Well, the problem is how to make them aware of such games. There should be one ore more low-budget games portal sites which offers good reviews, links etc. to the majority of low-budget games. They should be linked to from any major portal so that anyone interested in buying a low-budget (high tec :-) game would find it straight away. Like the few magazines for full price PC games. Those "normal" PC games mag should review low-budget games more intensievly. However usually they sum up the "top ten" of low-budget games once a year and usually they severely criticize them. Also they tend to be quite strange anyway. :-(
Again, that's no technical problem (JRE), it's a marketing problem.

So, I would like to sum up: if I would say that the JRE was too big, I should add it's too big for low-budget low-spec games (the n-th Tetris clone). For low-budget high-spec games (modern 3d) it isn't.
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #85 - Posted 2003-12-01 17:54:44 »

Quote
This is not the reality of the consumer market.

Over and over again we have to iterate this: the JRE is not only too large for most people, it's also too much hassle for most people.


From reading lots of posts very rapidly to try and catch up... it looks like several people here have definitions of "most people" that differ only in that they are looking at different markets. And just saying "the end-consumer" is of course no definition at all (as any marketing person would confirm).

I can see a good, well-defined, relevant market for which Cas's statements are true. I can also see the same for anyone arguing that "most people" are accustomed to massive regular graphics driver downloads - what's not really been mentioned is that ignorant users usually (eventually) phone the vendor to complain, who passes the buck to the HW manufacturer (or tells them what to do directly if they're nice), who says "DOWNLOAD THE LATEST F****ING VERSION, MORON!", or words to that effect. (This of course is why the rest of us suffer moronic tech support with a checklist of 30 items that they HAVE to read out before they will even listen to us telling them what is broken!). What I've noticed is that especially the most ignorant of users will write down what they're told, and keep applying those steps every time they get a problem with their computer; in the case of updating drivers, this actually tends to work very often.

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

JGO Coder




Got any cats?


« Reply #86 - Posted 2003-12-01 20:17:56 »

Quote
now if you could only force the jws do upgrade the jre if you app needs it


Your wish is my command  ****Pooof ***

(It already does that for you.  As well as managing the JREs so the user doesn't need to worry about which one is sued for which app. Smiley )

Got a question about Java and game programming?  Just new to the Java Game Development Community?  Try my FAQ.  Its likely you'll learn something!

http://wiki.java.net/bin/view/Games/JeffFAQ
Offline MGodehardt

Junior Devvie




why does the chicken cross the road?


« Reply #87 - Posted 2003-12-02 08:11:42 »

What happens if the user uninstalls the jre ( or jre's ) which i found on his machine when he installed my game ?

He starts my application and the application fails to starts because the jre is missing.

It would be much much easier if the jre has a base set and new applications can install some other modules to the base jre?

So many question, so less time  Cool
Offline kevglass

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


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« Reply #88 - Posted 2003-12-02 08:41:32 »

I've not read _all_ of the above so I apologise if I covering old ground, however..  Isn't the market that Indie Gamers are trying to hit very similar to the market that Flash Games on websites are trying to hit. A click, a game and some fun.

The only difference seems to be that Java allows you to make games with a little more depth which will hopefully get the punter to part with their cash.

If this is the market (and I'm not saying it definitely is), then isn't Web Start you're monkey? You click on a link webstart pops up and gets you what ever you need to play. Alright it might take a while but so does getting the latest plugin for whatever..

One thing I would like to see is some very light weight webstart plugin for browsers just so the user doesn't have to _actively_ download much..

Oh, and in general I totally agree about the size of Java to download based on a dial up connection, but then I don't spose those folk with dial ups would find it very easier to download upteen other plugins.

Kev

Offline princec

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« Reply #89 - Posted 2003-12-02 10:31:46 »

I should now direct everyone's attention to the Webstart stats thread. We have prominently always offered both the Windows and Java Webstart download next to each other. The Webstart demo is noticably several MB smaller than the Win32 version. But notice how there are nine times as many Win32 launches as Webstart launches. It's just very easy to go on about how great Webstart is but the figures tell us the real facts. I'd have lost 90% of my sales if I delivered via Webstart at this point in time (conversion rate between Win32 and Webstart versions is similar).


Cas Smiley

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