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  Game compeition poll - version 2!  (Read 6489 times)
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Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Posted 2004-10-14 18:08:48 »

Sorry, everyone. I discovered two bugs in the poll system Grin. SWP's comments come back to haunt me...

Anyway, I've learnt one thing for sure: Never modify a YABB poll once people have started voting - it goes to hell if you do.

So, if we need another set of options, I'll just make a third poll Wink.

PS: I've broken the polling system! Despite being the creator of this poll, I no longer have access to modify it in ANY way Grin.

PPS: I intended to allow multiple votes, but it seems the checkbox did the opposite of what it was supposed to !?! (I think it got confused because I modified two different polls in two different windows at the same time, and it's uncovered a race-condition bug in the YABB poll CGI code. LOL).

PPPS: ...or maybe I just have a magnet in my stomach :/

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

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #1 - Posted 2004-10-14 18:14:44 »

To summarise from previous poll:

- Most people reckon 4kb is way too small
- Many people think 16kb is too small
- Some people think 64kb is too small

- Several people think a limit somewhere between 0.5Mb and 2Mb is about right (various different suggestions in that range)

- Several people think a small limit, but discounting pre-agreed libraries (i.e. using "JOGL, LWJGL, ...etc" doesn't count towards your limit.

- Unless quite a lot of people step forwards and say "yes, I will enter, and yes I intend to include sounds" we can assume most games will have no sound at all (partly because most people have trouble finding any, partly because sound in java is still so buggy). Personally, I'm inclined to assume all have no sound, and not encourage sounds for this particular competition (Which is intended to be EASY for people to enter) making a slightly more level playing field.

[NOTE: I've got a cunning plan for a future competitiion w.r.t. to sounds, so those of you who are itching to add funky sound tracks etc I promise there will be another opportunity in the future]

malloc will be first against the wall when the revolution comes...
Offline Evil-Devil

Senior Duke


Medals: 2


Fir Tree Master


« Reply #2 - Posted 2004-10-14 18:15:02 »

As i wrote in the old thread, i prefer an app size of 1mb (jar file size Grin)
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Abuse

JGO Knight


Medals: 13


falling into the abyss of reality


« Reply #3 - Posted 2004-10-14 18:29:08 »

Anything above 64k becomes a competition for who has the best artist helping them.

You can write a graphics heavy app. that fills 64k in a day or 2, where-as filling 64k with just code will take you weeks - if not longer.

A heavily optimised 4K app. is in the region of 1000 lines of code, extrapolate that up, and for 64k you are looking at 16000 lines of code =O

If expected development time is going to be longer than a month, I think you are going to have problems getting many serious entrants.

It all depends on whether you want this to be a game development competition, or a programming competition.
I prefer the latter.
Hence my vote is for a small size, somewhere between 4k and 16k.

Make Elite IV:Dangerous happen! Pledge your backing at KICKSTARTER here! https://dl.dropbox.com/u/54785909/EliteIVsmaller.png
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #4 - Posted 2004-10-14 18:49:58 »

> 2mb is to much

"somewhere between 512 and 2048kb"

Well, the whole idea is to prevent people from doing too much filesize optimisations. 512kb is already quite enough for most stuff even if you include lwjgl. It's less than 200kb if you use the latest webstart compression tricks. I wrote something about that here and I wrote quite alot php stuff for that purpose yesterday and so far it works pretty well (I just need to do some more tests for being sure).

>because sound in java is still so buggy

Actually, sound was pretty ok. Right now (with 1.5) it's *completely* broken.

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder


Exp: 12 years


Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #5 - Posted 2004-10-14 20:52:43 »

I don't care how long it takes or what size the jar is, so long as the games MUST run on all three major platforms - Windows, Linux, and Mac  (latest releases) with no exceptions.

That means use helper libs with native bindings (ODE, JOGL, LWJGL, JOAL, etc...) so long as they are available for the 3 platforms that people actually use... though it is debatable that a statistically significant number of people use something other than Windows Smiley

I also don't think there should be a size limit.  It is too artificial.  The time limit has more meaning as it stresses the rapid development that Java provides...  if you are making a game in the real world (not a contest hack), you are far less concerned with size, well except for Cas Smiley...

I mean the limit in this case should be anything that is practical for web distribution, since that is how people will have to get the game.  Other than that size is a mostly artificial limit that unnecessarily restricts creativity.

Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #6 - Posted 2004-10-14 22:16:37 »

Well, filesize *is* a concern for downloadable games, but there is no need for overdoing it. Using small lossy formats is good, using compression is sensible... but that's about it. Once you start peeling bytes off by replacing all ifs with ?: it starts getting silly... or single class... everything done in static()... jasmin... et al. It's just painfull and completely voids the productivity gain.

I wouldn't say that it restricts creativity as such. Imo that's just not the case. However, if you look at the lundumdare stuff... it's usually pretty big, because there is just no time for caring about the filesize. Well, my whole point is that if there isn't a too restrictive size limit, you won't have to care about the size too much. That means that you can write it pretty fast and that you can optimize for speed (size and speed are usually oppositional).

Hm. I can understand Abuse's concern about shifting it too much into the artistic corner. That could be kinda fixed by only allowing "programmer art" or to put it in other words it needs to be a single person project. But I guess that wouldn't turn out that well.

64kb isn't that huge either. That's about the filesize of the current TinyRivers version. 12 classes (the game itself is a single class the rest is for support), 3 wavs (will be 5), 24 (tiny) images, 1 manifest.mf... :-/

A game like that could be stripped down to about 8kb if you throw everything out and create the gradients on startup, but that would be... uhm... pretty naked :>

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline dranonymous

Junior Duke




Hoping to become a Java Titan someday!


« Reply #7 - Posted 2004-10-15 03:46:53 »

My slightly rethought ideas are -

- Allow 2 person teams, but make it worthwhile to do it solo.
- Don't penalize for sound, just don't reward for it.
- Do like the cooks on Iron Chef and require everyone use the same graphic content or as much as they can.  IE - provide 5 textures and see how it gets incorporated into the game.
- Limit the size to around 500K +/- 250K. Size is considered the compiled program with resources, not the source code to produce it.
- Time is more important than final product size, IMHO.  Not less than a week to develop, but not more than 2.
- Remember the coding comments.
- I second swpalmer.  The games must be tri-platform, no exceptions.  (ok, how do you test if you don't have a linux box??  Well, someone has to provide 'beta' testing  if this is a hard and fast rule.)

Dr A>
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #8 - Posted 2004-10-15 04:37:12 »

Size of code... eh were did you guys get idea from? Replacing ifs with ?: is for peeling some bytes of the class file :>

>Remember the coding comments.

Huh Huh

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 409
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #9 - Posted 2004-10-15 09:08:48 »

Why bother with a file size limit anyway? If the competition's short enough it's going to be pretty difficult to make more than 2MB of classes and content as it is! Given a really tight deadline - say, 48hrs from the announcement of the game topic - you've got to throw together any and all libs you think will do the job and make a game out of it.

FYI, Super Elvis is 819KB excluding content and ecommerce... and the bit that isn't LWJGL and SPGL was 95% written inside 160 hours. The rest of the time I've spent on it has been dreaming up whacky levels.

The content is 4.83MB, and that's taken about 400 hours to produce so far.

The next game we're going to write we are determined to take no more than 320 hours total on, and we're also determined to make money out of it too! So bear that in mind when you're wondering how much effort it's acceptable to put in for a compo..

Cas Smiley

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

Junior Duke




Hoping to become a Java Titan someday!


« Reply #10 - Posted 2004-10-15 11:46:04 »

Quote
Size of code... eh were did you guys get idea from? Replacing ifs with ?: is for peeling some bytes of the class file :>

>Remember the coding comments.

Huh Huh



I meant, make sure that you stress commenting of the source code somehow.  It won't help anyone to show off this great game you did in 5 minutes, while blindfolded, with one hand behind your back, while SCUBA diving, if your source code is so twisted and confusing that having the source is worthless.    Shocked

My understanding is that one of the goals is to allow others to see how you did things as well.

Dr. A>
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #11 - Posted 2004-10-15 13:40:03 »

> I meant, make sure that you stress commenting of the source code somehow.

Well, so far releasing the code has been an optional thingy.

And within the last 3 days I've only written 3 comments:
//this content type can be used for all versions
//save the status here if you like
//you could do something else here, like logging and/or bouncing it back to your usual 404 page

I just stopped writing weird code... y'know if you writing clean "every day" code, there is no need to point out much stuff.

---

>Why bother with a file size limit anyway?

In order to prevent people from including a crappy 30min wav soundtrack and/or gigantic bitmaps drawn in mspaint Wink

Therefore I said "non restricting size limit". 512kb is alot of space and 2mb is a s-load. It's just... I've already seen demo version of really bad shoot em ups which were about 130mb (due to GIGANTIC bmp background images [single image per level] plus lot's of ultra long cd quality wavs).

Well, I kinda agree... but 48h is indeed tight. A bit too much stress if you ask me and there is also no way to put that into some spare time scattered across several days.

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #12 - Posted 2004-10-15 14:14:14 »

How about a soft limit?

i.e. "If your game is going to go over 1Mb you need to check with us first, and explain roughly why it's that size".

For instance, I remember a CFXWeb *graphics* comp once where 9 entries were under 750kb, and the tenth was over 7.5Mb (!). It turned out that the tenth was crap but had a nice MP3 background music. Dumb voters made it the winner, but I'm sure most of the other entrants must have felt ripped off ("why did I bother trying to make a good graphical demo when I could have just done any old **** and added a kick-ass soundtrack?").

PS Perhaps the soft limit ought to be closer to 5Mb, say.

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

Junior Duke




Hoping to become a Java Titan someday!


« Reply #13 - Posted 2004-10-15 14:32:14 »

The soft limit sounds mostly ok.

blah3 - Check the old poll for a request of the demo stuff you did.

Dr. A>
Offline DrBizzar0

Junior Duke




Raj raj!


« Reply #14 - Posted 2004-10-17 06:58:52 »

Why not put togheter a media library that the participants must use? That way it won't be a competition about who got most art capable friends Cheesy
Online princec

JGO Kernel


Medals: 409
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #15 - Posted 2004-10-17 08:05:19 »

If it'll save any hassle feel free to use the sound effects from Alien Flux and Super Elvis (they're in OGG format) - all sorts of bleeps and bloops and zaps and stuff in there. Even if all the games sound the same it's better than silence!

Cas Smiley

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #16 - Posted 2004-10-17 09:16:19 »

Quote
If it'll save any hassle feel free to use the sound effects from Alien Flux and Super Elvis (they're in OGG format) - all sorts of bleeps and bloops and zaps and stuff in there. Even if all the games sound the same it's better than silence!

Cas Smiley


Are they all under some form of free license already? (I know about the source, but I wasn't sure about the media).

That sounds like a fantastic offer, either way. Perhaps add a link to where people can download them? (not everyone knows where to get them. Yet Wink)

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

JGO Kernel


Medals: 409
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #17 - Posted 2004-10-17 09:58:18 »

They're all mine. And I say that entrants can use them in their entries!

Grab 'em by installing Super Elvis and Alien Flux Wink "Donations" to the Alien Flux In Peril Fund gratefully received  Roll EyesTongue

The sounds are decompressed from OGG to SPGL jgwave format in the user's home directory. jgwave format is almost raw - just a tiny header. See http://www.sf.net/projects/spgl, browse the cvs for com.shavenpuppy.jglib.Wave



Cas Smiley

Offline swpalmer

JGO Coder


Exp: 12 years


Where's the Kaboom?


« Reply #18 - Posted 2004-10-17 21:28:24 »

Quote

- Do like the cooks on Iron Chef and require everyone use the same graphic content or as much as they can.  IE - provide 5 textures and see how it gets incorporated into the game.


Quote
Why not put togheter a media library that the participants must use?


That is a great idea.  A collection of 2D sprites, textures, simple 3dmodels even, and source effects that everyone can use will let people concentrate on "the game" and the coding.
Any other graphics can be generated algorithmicly (simple shapes, gradients, fractal landscapes, etc.) as needed.

Many thanks Cas, for offering your sound effects.

Offline blahblahblahh

JGO Coder


Medals: 1


http://t-machine.org


« Reply #19 - Posted 2004-10-17 21:45:15 »

Yep, but doing that properly is going to take some time, and will be even better if I can bend the ears of some media-library owners - there's a couple who I think would go for the free publicity and grant a small subset of their libs for use in a competition ...but thats a bit too ambitious for a first competition. I want a chance to shake out any teething problems first Wink.

It's great to see Cas offering his sound effects for this, but for graphics I don't think it's much to ask that for now people supply their own - there's a huge wealth of sprites, and non-free stuff that if you ask nicely people will let you use for a one-off (which is how we got the Survivor model Smiley). There's also a lot of free textures on the net, and free modelling programs.

I'd love to see a contest where it was focussed right down to ONLY your game-design, coding skills, and gameplay - but it's going to be pretty good just to have a short competition to kick it off, don't you think?

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

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #20 - Posted 2004-10-22 10:44:07 »

There are other limits which could be used. Like 500 or 1000 lines of code with a max length of 80-120 chars per line. LWJGL/JOGL and the like would need some kind of usable framework in the first (500 line) case. (*)

Or like... only being allowed to use a single 512x512 texture for everything (no draw line, no shapes, nothing).

I mean... it's a just for fun contest and the barrier should be as low as possible for getting lots of entries.

(* That 500 line (max 80 chars) limit is used for a open source contest currently running (till 15. nov) - you can win two books there.)

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline erikd

JGO Ninja


Medals: 16
Projects: 4
Exp: 14 years


Maximumisness


« Reply #21 - Posted 2004-10-22 12:31:14 »

I like the idea of providing the content (textures, sounds) to use for the game.
What about a theme as well?
Like "retro 'shoot everything that moves' style game", or "Maze game" or "Platformer", "Racer" etc, using the provided content.
The theme needs to be broad enough to be able to be not too constrained and have room for creativity, but detailed enough to be able compare the entries (apples to apples and all...)
It would be nice to see what people come up with, when given a certain theme and content.

Just a thought...

Offline SpuTTer

Senior Duke


Medals: 1
Exp: 14 years


Lazy Middle Class Intellectual


« Reply #22 - Posted 2004-10-22 15:50:52 »

I like the theme idea as well. This would give a better way to compare....

If everyone has to make a mario clone, we can actually see which one we thought was the better mario clone, etc..

Sacramento Volleyball
"Whitty phrase goes here."
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #23 - Posted 2004-10-22 16:54:20 »

Uuuuh... mario clone. Worst example ever Grin

A jump'n'run is way too much work and the barrier is also too high. There are just too much things you've to care about and scrolling by itself *demands* lot's of content.

However, having a theme could be pretty neat. Eventually something like... "single-screen shot'em up".

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
Offline SpuTTer

Senior Duke


Medals: 1
Exp: 14 years


Lazy Middle Class Intellectual


« Reply #24 - Posted 2004-10-22 17:07:44 »

WORST?? Come on, I could have said MMORPG Smiley

Sacramento Volleyball
"Whitty phrase goes here."
Offline abies

Senior Duke





« Reply #25 - Posted 2004-10-22 17:16:44 »

For size-constrained entries, 'rogue clone' theme could be used. There is plenty of tiles available on the net, trick would be to come with some kind of interesting gameplay in let's say, 4 or 8kb of compressed classfiles (not counting tileset size).

With bigger class size, it would become too serious task. With non-compressed size, you would need to write uncompressing classloader in addition to writing game - and it is not really the point of the competition.

It might be nice to allow usage of jogl/lwjgl if somebody wants to do something funny with graphics.

Artur Biesiadowski
Offline Abuse

JGO Knight


Medals: 13


falling into the abyss of reality


« Reply #26 - Posted 2004-10-22 21:28:10 »

Quote

trick would be to come with some kind of interesting gameplay in let's say, 4 or 8kb of compressed classfiles (not counting tileset size).


You can't meaningfully differenciate code size from assets size. Binary data is binary data, regardless of whether it is a class file, or image data.
If there is a size limit, it must be a limit imposed on the *total* size of the app. not simply the compiled game code.

Make Elite IV:Dangerous happen! Pledge your backing at KICKSTARTER here! https://dl.dropbox.com/u/54785909/EliteIVsmaller.png
Offline William Denniss

JGO Coder


Projects: 2


Fire at will


« Reply #27 - Posted 2004-10-24 23:57:35 »

Quote

For instance, I remember a CFXWeb *graphics* comp once where 9 entries were under 750kb, and the tenth was over 7.5Mb (!). It turned out that the tenth was crap but had a nice MP3 background music. Dumb voters made it the winner, but I'm sure most of the other entrants must have felt ripped off ("why did I bother trying to make a good graphical demo when I could have just done any old **** and added a kick-ass soundtrack?").


While unfair on the other contestants, this does highlight the importance of a good soundtrack.

I think it is often easy to ignore, but the soundtrack is very important in games and movies.  While a good soundtrack can't often salvage something that is bad - it can turn something good into something truly memorable.

Two examples of this are Red Alert (both versions) and Total Annihilation.  The latter was innovative in that it changed the tempo of the track depending on the level of action in the game.  Both soundtracks are good enough to listen to stand-alone and really add to the mood of the game during play.

Will.

Offline abies

Senior Duke





« Reply #28 - Posted 2004-10-25 05:15:04 »

Quote

You can't meaningfully differenciate code size from assets size. Binary data is binary data, regardless of whether it is a class file, or image data.
If there is a size limit, it must be a limit imposed on the *total* size of the app. not simply the compiled game code.


Ok, to state it in different way - in case of rogue clone, I would suggest making few tilesets 'free' and count everything besides these tiles and possible libs.

I'm absolutely pro very small code size. In case of jars in 1MB range, this can be full-time job for few months to come up with something which really uses the limits. With limit small enough, size will become limit - and amount of work which can be put into the competition is limited, which is good IMHO. At the same time, in case of free graphics, there is no point in limiting use of them - they will make game look better at very small development cost.

Artur Biesiadowski
Offline oNyx

JGO Coder


Medals: 2


pixels! :x


« Reply #29 - Posted 2004-10-25 07:53:05 »

> I'm absolutely pro very small code size.

Like 4kb? It's really painfull... believe me. It cripples structure, good programming practise etc. Size optimisation to the death really slows you down (a lot).

"Or like... only being allowed to use a single 512x512 texture for everything (no draw line, no shapes, nothing)."

I think that could work pretty well... or even 256x256 (65536 pixels)... a texture in that size would fit perfectly (ddraw limit).

The rules should be easy but somewhat flexible and the barrier should be low. The problem with those 4k contests was that a lot of people didn't participate, because doing a game in 4k is actually more work than doing a game in let's say 16k. And there might be people who want to use some lib like lwjgl (eg because they want to use some nifty alpha stuff).

So... hmm... eventually...
-2 weeks
-download size of max 256kb for java2d games and max 512kb for opengl games (download size includes libs)
-a maximum of 65536 pixels texture data. Eg one 256x256 texture (embedding pixel data in your class files is not allowed)

A game using lwjgl could use the space like this:
-300kb lib
-up to 50kb supporting classes
-50-100kb for the texture
-20-50kb for the actual game
-remaining space filled up with samples

Something like that maybe? Smiley

弾幕 ☆ @mahonnaiseblog
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