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  JGF v3 - status  (Read 36132 times)
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Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Posted 2004-09-06 13:03:17 »

FYI, coding the next version of the Java Games Factory is going well; although there's nothing to see yet, I thought I'd let you all know what's going on (seeing as things have gone pretty quiet recently, and I've been very slow to do updates - everyone else has been replying to stuff, or testing stuff, quickly, but I've been the bottleneck Sad ).

Last night I got the main system running for the first time:
- GrexEngine (expedition edition: no clustering)
- Velocity (widely-used java templating engine)
- app-cache (prototype from Grex; final version will be finer grained than traditional web page-caching because it caches actual method-calls, along with metadata - e.g. who the user is, and whether that affected the execution - for higher hit ratios and cheaper misses, hence better performance)

Meanwhile, weston's been doing some good stuff with templates; it looks like we'll continue the trend of each successive version looking much nicer than the previous one (co-incidental with me having less direct input into each one Wink).

Still a long way to go, but I can now start using some pre-existing Grex GE modules (e.g. for user-management etc) so things should speed up a bit. If I can find the money to pay for it, I'll transfer to a dedicated server as soon as the basic login + first pages are working so you can have a look and watch it grow (but the current JGF page will continue to be the "live" version for some time to come - I haven't even begun to think about porting the data across)

(PS: I wasn't sure if this was the most appropriate topic; I spent some time umming and ahing about where to post, so hopefully I ended up picking the best one...if not, sorry!)

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

Junior Member




Nothing more that... Java games are cool !


« Reply #1 - Posted 2004-09-07 19:14:44 »

Good to see that JGF is an evolving website on Java games !
I can't wait to see the next version...

Blah^3, about my LWJGL tutorials, I'm going to make an HTML version, but don't expect it before some weeks (I got to much work those days...). Anyway, I'll notice you when it'll be ready to be posted on JGF !

Chman
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #2 - Posted 2004-09-12 22:26:33 »

Nothing special, but the CMS now has a fully-working http implementation, integrated with the VTL engine (c.f. the URL in the screenshot - it's being diverted to a grexengine service which has an embedded VTL engine, and parses out the view name from the URL)

NB: very low quality image because there isn't much spare bandwidth right now, and I don't want to risk going over the edge



Most of the JGF time this past week has been spent on re-designing the default staged server that comes with Expedition. It had been originally developed as a simpler version of the clustered GE servers, and came with various useful things like a ByteBuffer-based file cache. But...no-one had ever been using it for sending large (uncacheably large - e.g. tens of megabytes) files, and so it only supported pre-loading each file into memory before streaming it out (no stream-from-disk support). But of course JGF v3 needs the capability to stream large numbers of large files concurrently with constant bounded mem usage.

So, I've taken the existing layers for encoding data and doing buffer-management (which all expedition servers are built on top of) and unified them with a streaming system, so that the two are transparently integrated.  It's a bit more than we ever expected an expedition licensee to actually need, but it's very neat, and much nicer to analyse the flow now (e.g. when debugging). I can't see anyone complaining (although this will is delayed till the next expedition major release, since it requires some minor refactoring of existing code, and hence is not 100% runtime backwards-compatible).

PS the attached screenshot shows Velocity template-embedding; the next stage is to replace that with the grex-CMS template embedding (it's the difference between imperative programming and OOP - velocity template embedding is merely "run template X, insert the literal output here", which is very weak and hard to maintain in the long run as you embed more and more deeply).

PPS Most of the data in the screenshot is "faked" data - it's not being pulled directly from the XML files (yet), although the page itself is being dynamically generated from 10 different files.

PPPS Yes, the stylesheet is a little screwed up. Partly that's my large local font sizes, partly it's that this is just an early draft that Weston put together, so he's not tweaked it yet (and didn't expect me to post it publically Tongue).

EDIT: PPPPS Cas - it's not my fault, I didn't choose AF as the example this time! Tongue. This is what happens when you give your game an alphabetically top name, people just tend to pick it off the top of the list Grin

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
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Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 342
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #3 - Posted 2004-09-13 09:36:05 »

Quote
This is what happens when you give your game an alphabetically top name, people just tend to pick it off the top of the list

Oh, surely not... Roll Eyes

With regards to hosting files - I recommend you use filekicker to host downloads. Then you can get a much cheaper server to run the rest of the site.

Cas Smiley

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #4 - Posted 2004-09-13 10:27:16 »

Quote


With regards to hosting files - I recommend you use filekicker to host downloads. Then you can get a much cheaper server to run the rest of the site.

Cas Smiley


As noted elsewhere, right now it's not physically possible to get "much cheaper" whilst still having root access + java etc.

I also want to be running a proper jardiff service and some other neat stuff that realistically we can only do if the downloads are streamed locally.

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

JGO Coder


Projects: 2



« Reply #5 - Posted 2004-09-13 13:12:08 »

Looks very good and promising!  Cheesy

Offline weston

Junior Member





« Reply #6 - Posted 2004-09-13 19:48:53 »

Heres a slightly higher quality image  Smiley

http://cyntaks.com/projects/jgfscreen.png

for(int i = 1; i > 0; i++)
{
System.out.println(i+" cups of java downed");
}
Offline Breadstick

Senior Newbie




while(true) me.doAction(Act ions.PWN_ALL);


« Reply #7 - Posted 2004-09-20 03:19:58 »

Regarding the new layout:
Not bad.  I personally think that the gray bar behind the word "Java" in the logo seems a bit out of place.  Also, I don't like the contrast in the quote on the logo.  See how it looks with another color, or some ps layer effects.

So how far away do you think we are from the new jgf?
Offline weston

Junior Member





« Reply #8 - Posted 2004-09-20 09:11:32 »

fortunate to hear only criticism for the banner since it was only created to fill that blank spot ( closer to what will eventualy be there than a black rectangle ), but I actualy have to no idea what will be there in the long run.

for(int i = 1; i > 0; i++)
{
System.out.println(i+" cups of java downed");
}
Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder




Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #9 - Posted 2004-09-22 12:24:49 »

There needs to be a 'rating' for the games.  Based on user feedback.

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

JGO Kernel


Medals: 342
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #10 - Posted 2004-09-22 14:56:27 »

Waste of time. Don't rate. Reviews maybe, but not rate. Encourage people to think.

Cas Smiley

Offline Chman

Junior Member




Nothing more that... Java games are cool !


« Reply #11 - Posted 2004-09-22 17:49:07 »

Hum I don't think rating is a good idear, just let the users post comments on the game instead Smiley

Chman
Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 342
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #12 - Posted 2004-09-22 19:00:37 »

Editorially moderated comments, at that. Or you end up with crack codes, spam, v4igraz, etc. all over it.

Cas Smiley

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #13 - Posted 2004-09-22 20:17:12 »

Quote
Editorially moderated comments, at that. Or you end up with crack codes, spam, v4igraz, etc. all over it.

Cas Smiley


Indeed.

However, I think there's definitely a place for some kind of ratings; at the very least, an automated ranking system e.g. based on number of hits, number of people who clicked on the download link, etc (c.f. google which keeps track of precisely which search restults you chose to follow, which then feeds back into their SEO stuff).

One idea that came up was to hold weekly votes for certain categories, e.g. "cutest graphics", "funkiest soundtrack" etc, and to permanently keep the ranking for each game in each category. That way, a particularly good game would show up as "97th "best graphics", 23rd "best retro game"", i.e. you could get an idea for how good a game was in different dimensions...

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

Senior Member




Giving Java a second chance after ludumdare fiasco


« Reply #14 - Posted 2004-09-23 01:44:02 »

Yes looking good!

Now get ye all over to the jgf and

donate
Donate
DONATE
DONATE!!!

Grin
Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder




Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #15 - Posted 2004-09-23 03:26:41 »

Well let me explain why I wanted a rating:

Most of the games there now are crap.  I mean that in the most respectful way Smiley.  How many of them would you pay even $10 for?  There are a couple, but the majority are simply cute diversions while surfing the web, exactly the kind of stuff that has a negative effect on promoting Java for games.

To that end it is also important to highlight new additions some way so that people will try them and therefore be able to rate them.


Offline Malohkan

Senior Member




while (true) System.out.println("WOO!!!!");


« Reply #16 - Posted 2004-09-23 04:01:58 »

I agree.  Ratings COULD be broken into different catagories so that serious ratings can be given, like, 1-10 on gameplay, sound, video, replay value, etc.  That way people who don't have Java installed and can't figure out how to get it running won't just toss up a 0 rating to the game because they're pissed since it's more complicated than that.  I also like the reviews idea.

However, rating the games on hits/plays alone isn't a good idea because then the new games get neglected.  I think there should be a way to sort by neglected games, so that the games with the fewest number of times played gets shown up top.

Either that, or sort by NUMBER of ratings.  Games could have a + or - button, so you can give a + if you liked it, - if you don't.  That way you know how much attention has been given to a game and you also know what people thought of it.  So if you look through the games with the fewest ratings, you can play those so that the new, or hard to find, games get attention.

To extend that, you could have a link and a shrunken screenshot and description in a box for the "Neglected Game of the Week" so that people that first jump in to JGF will see a little display of a game that needs some attention.  Considering that's the first game that they'll see, they'll probably be willing to try it.

Admin and Game Developer at
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Play Rimscape!    |    Play Conquer!
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #17 - Posted 2004-09-23 12:29:35 »

Quote

That way people who don't have Java installed and can't figure out how to get it running won't just toss up a 0 rating to the game because they're pissed since it's more complicated than that.  I also like the reviews idea.


Ultimately I'd like to get a rating system that only allowed you to rate the game if you had actually played it. I.e. a small bit of code in the game that sends a "tick" to the JGF server to say "game launched OK", and probably another one when the player quits to say "game was played for  X minutes". Then the ratings can be filtered by "only people who player for at least 3 minutes" or "people who played this game for more than 30 minutes" so you could get a good idea of the accuracy of the reviews...

Quote

However, rating the games on hits/plays alone isn't a good idea because then the new games get neglected.


Whatever happens, neglect is a serious problem. It merely becomes more "obvious" a problem with hits/plays. Either way, we need to work around it, and it's an area I personally will be concentrating on getting right. I think a combination of:

- admins highlighting new games as they're submitted ("new games this month" section at the side of the news page, for instance)
- any user submitting a game for "special attention" e.g. by filling out a paragraph of why they think it deserves some extra attention, which admins then read and decide on
- "random selection" box that just picks one game at random each day, or similar

will go a long way. Keep the good ideas coming Wink

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

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #18 - Posted 2004-09-23 12:36:54 »

Quote
Well let me explain why I wanted a rating:

Most of the games there now are crap.  I mean that in the most respectful way Smiley.  How many of them would you pay even $10 for?  There are a couple, but the majority are simply cute diversions while surfing the web, exactly the kind of stuff that has a negative effect on promoting Java for games.


This is a very good point, and one that JGF to date has never been good at solving. I've spoken to a lot of people about this, and the best idea that has come out so far (although it would be great if someone could come up with a BETTER one Tongue) seems to be an evolution of the original JGF, where games were marked as "gold", "beta", or "alpha"...but with the new site, backed by an SQL DB, it's much easier to just sort by "gold only" etc.

Seems it would also be better to have more informative / funky names, like "under construction" instead of "beta" and "early preview" instead of "alpha". And also a section something like "practice area" for people who are writing games more for their own practice than for people to play ... e.g. Pong and Tetris clones. There's nothing wrong with a game starting off in one category and moving to another - that's what we have admins for Smiley - so e.g. if a crappy tetris clone evolved into a 3D multiplayer game then it wouldn't be a problem...

Basically, the problem is expectations: e.g. an area where developers can offer advice to first-time hobbyists writing their first or second game is absolutely fine, just so long as people viewing the site don't end up there thinking it's full of games representative of the best java has to offer...

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

JGO Coder




Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #19 - Posted 2004-09-29 14:08:24 »

Quote
Basically, the problem is expectations: e.g. an area where developers can offer advice to first-time hobbyists writing their first or second game is absolutely fine, just so long as people viewing the site don't end up there thinking it's full of games representative of the best java has to offer...


(emphasis mine)

That is exactly what I mean.  There needs to be a place to honor the showcase games...  the polished stuff from puppygames, and perhaps Tribal Trouble when they have something public to show.  And for less polished owrks in progress that show great potential, like Wurm, Magicosim, etc..  And then an arena for the beginners or people that just want to play around with small-scale stuff, like Tiny Rivers and the tetris clones.  To judge them all in the same category is unfair.  To present the latest tetris clone as state of the art in Java gaming is also not right.

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #20 - Posted 2004-09-29 16:28:59 »

Quote

 To judge them all in the same category is unfair.  To present the latest tetris clone as state of the art in Java gaming is also not right.


My thoughts exactly Smiley. But finding a way of presenting things in a way that achieves that yet is self-evident to random first-time visitors has proved less than easy in practice Sad.

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

Junior Member




Hoping to become a Java Titan someday!


« Reply #21 - Posted 2004-09-30 04:52:52 »

One thing which could be used to differentiate the games from the non is the project status.  If the author/s is currently doing only bug fixes or working on a completely new revision (adding something completely new to the game network play, 2d to 3d conversion, etc) then it could be called a 'game'.  If it doesn't meet this generic test, then its probably some type of work in progress.

A WIP could still be a game, but not the same type as real finished 'game'.

After you do this litmus test, then add the other factors such as how large is the production, how polished is it, how recent, etc.

If you have to worry about new changes coming out, which might break things which used to work, then it shouldn't be a full fledged 'game' yet.

My 2 cents.

Dr. A>
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #22 - Posted 2004-09-30 10:02:59 »

Quote
If the author/s is currently doing only bug fixes or working on a completely new revision ... then it could be called a 'game'.  If it doesn't meet this generic test, then its probably some type of work in progress.


Sounds a good idea, doesn't work. Most of the poor games are "complete" (but if/when the authors get renewed good feedback then they move to developing it again), and most of the really exciting stuff is never "complete" Smiley.

Tried that one  :-/

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

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #23 - Posted 2004-10-06 09:57:28 »

My chapters for Game Programming Gems 5 are now done and dusted (copy has gone to typesetters, no more content changes are allowed - I don't have to spend any more late nights cranking out improvements. Phew) so my attention is coming back to JGF v3.

We've had a very kind offer of temporary hosting (on someone else's server, just for a short time) to get around the problem that we're already saturating our present hosting, so I may get a demo of v3 up and running there in the very near future. This would remove the fear of the worst case scenario where we got booted from grexengine.com for using too much b/w and had to temporarily (or permanently) close JGF down.

On the donations front, we're currently at 55% of the target. If we could get to around 75% then it would be worth getting the server (55% is enough to pay the up-front cost and then a mere one month of hosting Sad, whereas 75% adds another two or three months).

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

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #24 - Posted 2004-10-06 11:10:25 »

In preparation for pending server moves I've registered javagamesfactory.org (and .com too just to make sure no-one else does - had that problem before once Sad).

Around 48 hours from now they should be active and redirecting to the current JGF URL. They are using different styles of redirect, so if one doesn't work try the other Grin

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

Junior Member


Projects: 2


Hmm. I just thought of something...


« Reply #25 - Posted 2004-10-07 02:01:59 »

Ah. I wondered when we were going to get an update on the drive. I've got quid burning a hole in me paypal account so I'll throw a few more pounds that way. (I've no idea what a quid is, I just wanted to say it).

The Misadventures of M.A.D.S.
http://www.themisadventuresofmads.com
Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 342
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #26 - Posted 2004-10-07 11:00:41 »

It's £1 Smiley

Cas Smiley

Offline bwbrooklyn

Junior Member


Projects: 2


Hmm. I just thought of something...


« Reply #27 - Posted 2004-10-08 19:34:51 »

Ah. Very good. Thanks. Well I supppose I should get back to work so I have something to put on JGF eventually.

The Misadventures of M.A.D.S.
http://www.themisadventuresofmads.com
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #28 - Posted 2004-10-11 13:04:29 »

Grr. Bastards @ Mozilla have decided not to bother implementing current cookies standard because "IE6 doesn't do it yet". So, I just spent 2 hours of lunch break trying to work out why the JGF v3 cookies were being ignored by Mozilla; the RFC was released FOUR YEARS AGO! (http://www.faqs.org/rfcs/rfc2965.html - October 2000)

Standards compliant? My ASS! (eventually I discovered this crappy excuse: https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=208985 including the quote "no plans from me to implement this". I suggest that if you use Mozilla, Firefox, or etc then you get a bugzilla account and complain)

EDIT: although actually they'll hate it if you do Tongue. Still, someone there needs a swift kick up the ass if you ask me...

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

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #29 - Posted 2004-10-11 13:33:02 »

Um...and it appears they don't implement 2109 properly either (I've caught Mozilla returning an illegal header to the server), which isn't a difficult RFC to get right. It's only been around for 7 years (!). Whinge, whinge, I hate crappy open-source software with lazy coders, whinge, whinge.

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