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Online princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


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« Posted 2017-11-03 10:19:36 »

JGO has seen a pretty large decline over the last couple of years... there are days where nobody posts at all. Although what is posted tends to be relatively high-value.

I am wondering whether this is the result of continuing total failure of Java to break through as a mainstream games development platform (congratulations Oracle on perpetually failing to capitalise on a slice of another multi-billion dollar market - still no Playstation or XBox JVM after all these years), or whether everybody has just buggered off to Unity (very likely), or whether the forum registration process is broken or too onerous to attract new blood at a rate greater than the forum's natural attrition rate.

FWIW, myself and @theagentd are doing something pretty exciting and interesting... I suppose we'll post a bit more about it at some point.

Cas Smiley

Offline h.pernpeintner

JGO Knight


Medals: 64



« Reply #1 - Posted 2017-11-03 11:49:34 »

FWIW, myself and @theagentd are doing something pretty exciting and interesting... I suppose we'll post a bit more about it at some point.

Hey, teasing is not fair Cheesy Could you give us some bread crumbs what it is, that you are working on?

I think the problem is, that most people are consuming, not producing. Me included. And as you said nowadays Unity harvests all the low hanging fruits, why should anyone still chose Java for his game, other than small android games? And those are promoted directly in the app store, I think. I post rearely, because the features I implement take so long until I can show them, and most often I am not satisfied with them at all, so maybe I'm too shy Smiley
Online princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 976
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #2 - Posted 2017-11-03 12:07:18 »

We're making a 3D engine for Battledroid, because it looks like we won't be able to manage to make the game in 2D after all.

All sponsorship gratefully received Smiley I/we will attempt to explain how it works over the months.

Cas Smiley

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Offline 65K
« Reply #3 - Posted 2017-11-03 13:36:33 »

Means everybody is doing actual work and not procrastinating on internet forums.  Grin

Lethal Running - a RPG about a deadly game show held in a futuristic dysoptian society.
Offline kappa
« League of Dukes »

JGO Kernel


Medals: 119
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★★★★★


« Reply #4 - Posted 2017-11-03 13:57:32 »

We're making a 3D engine for Battledroid, because it looks like we won't be able to manage to make the game in 2D after all.

Sounds great so far, big fan of the small voxel look, recently there was game called 8 bit armies which looked particularly nice using that style, guessing its the type of look you are aiming for? Although a new 3d engine sounds like a lot of work.

From the screenshot it looks like you're still using LWJGL2 Smiley, if you are relatively early in the engine process, might be best to move it to LWJGL3 early rather than later, as you implement more LWJGL2 API's it'll be more of a pain to make the switch. Minecraft also recently made the switch to LWJGL3 to fix some long standing issues and improve performance.
Offline N_I_C_S
« Reply #5 - Posted 2017-11-03 15:16:56 »

Actually it striked me (but i'm part of it i'm not a guy who took part a lot, so i can't blame anyone...).
Certainly partially an effect of "free" game engines (same effect can be noticed on other gaming/programing sites), and perhaps a dulling of the "minecraft motivation" for java specifically...
Online princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 976
Projects: 3
Exp: 16 years


Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #6 - Posted 2017-11-03 17:45:43 »

The Minecraft effect is possibly best summarised thus: ooh look a game is made in Java! I will maek game too. <later>Huh this is difficult hard bullshit. Maybe I'll get a job in a bar.

@kappa We might switch to LWJGL3 but the engine is only a small bit of what's already done so far so it might be more trouble than it's worth.

Cas Smiley

Offline Icecore
« Reply #7 - Posted 2017-11-03 20:22:00 »

Java Web is forbidden by browsers
All Kids on Unity, GameMakers and Unreal
All Pro (Indie) – in own garages aka bunkers in isolation
Clean Java Android - almost no one cares
Minecraft Hype is almost gone…
..So – I don’t see clean future for javagaming in current state (((

Solution?
Maybe make forum for gamedev – not targeted to some game engine or programming language
But, is it be better than Unity specialize forum?
In any case it receive more active users than currently have javagaming

I've already suggested in the past- Dark solution
"make Game market for indie games" one more - one less - he will find his own audience
but its dark side Wink

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End Transmission....
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Offline Riven
Administrator

« JGO Overlord »


Medals: 1324
Projects: 4
Exp: 16 years


Hand over your head.


« Reply #8 - Posted 2017-11-03 20:27:05 »

Multiple reasons:
Java is no longer cool among the youngsters.
High schools / colleges / universities are moving to python.
Java itself is a piss-poor platform for game development, you need mature engines/frameworks, and those tend to have their own communities, bleeding this site dry.

After posts dwingle, it's a race to the bottom, it's a self-reinforcing effect: why post if there is nobody to read it, why read anything if nobody posts. You need a minimum of posts per day to sustain a community and we have long sunk below the threshold.

In other news: I'm way too busy with work, which makes the upgrades few and far between. As it's now, it's simply not worth the effort to invest heavily in modernising the forum either... so there's that Pointing

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Offline jonjava
« Reply #9 - Posted 2017-11-03 21:26:18 »

A few years ago I realized that everything I wanted to do with Java I could do with NodeJS and the Web ( browser ) much, much easier. Very rarely have I got projects that require something like Java ( like accessing direct memory through JNI ) -- and often then I could replace it with something else.

Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
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Offline orangepascal
« Reply #10 - Posted 2017-11-04 09:51:09 »

I'm still lurking here daily, but there's not many discussions I want to jump in on Smiley

Still wrapping up work on Ashworld (PC version is released now on steam and itch) as I will release the iOS version in December and Android in January..

and working on a new game, but nothing to share or discuss about on this forum Cheesy

also think for me some good Slack channels replaced my daily game-dev-nerding-time source over most forums.

the guy behind Orangepixel | twitter@orangepascal
http://www.orangepixel.net
Offline Riven
Administrator

« JGO Overlord »


Medals: 1324
Projects: 4
Exp: 16 years


Hand over your head.


« Reply #11 - Posted 2017-11-04 11:16:32 »

Oh, and forums are so 1990-2010 Emo

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Offline Icecore
« Reply #12 - Posted 2017-11-04 13:35:19 »

Java itself is a piss-poor platform for game development, you need mature engines/frameworks, and those tend to have their own communities
I don't think that libgdx or LWJGL Tutorials can attract at least minimum amount of new ppl to forum
– not today, too many alternatives

I have extra solution – make mods for popular realized games on Java (sadly we have only few)
Mods very well gathering players and developers together
(Sorry I remember only few company's (ppl): PuppyGames and OrangePixel)

Yes its hard to implement – and almost not profitable in many cases
And it must be easy to understand and to modify game(maps) for end user,
And its no so easy to implement especially for finished game without moding support

p.s I for mods, but sorry I don't have mental stability to helping with mods full day(half day) for free,
I can help advices, little code, but not every day

pp.s Forum is better then reddit for mods discussion because it's filtering kids, that too lazy to register on it Wink

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Offline KevinWorkman

« JGO Plugged Duke »


Medals: 270
Projects: 12
Exp: 12 years


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« Reply #13 - Posted 2017-11-04 16:20:25 »

For what it's worth I still lurk here pretty much every day. But like others have said, I think the decline is a result of client-side Java not really being a thing anymore. We've also seen a decline in Java-specific game jams. Minecraft definitely caused an interest spike, but that has died down as people have realized that their Java voxel engine isn't going to turn them into billionaires.


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Offline abcdef
« Reply #14 - Posted 2017-11-04 17:10:47 »

I suspect a lot of people read but don't post, I'm definitely one of those people.

You say java on the client is dying? I don't think this matters one bit for this site because how you distribute your game is of no concern to the end user, its just something to download and run. Java is still very popular out of gaming and will be for some some time to come.

You say java isn't sexy any more? You are probably right, there are a glut of language choices now, and languages like python are easy for people to pick up even if its not for good reasons, The amount of languages will thin out at some point but from a gaming perspective whether Java can hang on in there who knows. I think there will always be a small community that do use Java for gaming and I will hopefully be one of those (although starting a family severely eats in to any coding time Smiley)

There are plenty of mature engines, the main ones being jmonkeyengine and libgdx. They have their own communities though so people are not likely to come here for questions on those. There are also communities dedicated to creating games such as tigsource. If you wanted to promote your game I would have to recommend going there, they get a serious amount of posts there.

There are also plenty of other language engines going opensource which is attracting more use there and html5 came along so there is yet another alternative for a place to create your game.

For me there are two extremes of people here, people who are very good at what they do and have been successful and people who are beginning in their game development endeavours. There isn't much middle ground which is more interesting for me.

One big turn off for me here is the site though (sorry RIven!), its very dated , its broken in key places (like changing your email address) and I can't read it well on my mobile.

I'd like this site to succeed but it does need investment to make that happen (in peoples time) and it would be good if there were more people allowed to help on the admin of the site to make it a success (such as helping to modernise  it (help has been offered in the past))
Offline KevinWorkman

« JGO Plugged Duke »


Medals: 270
Projects: 12
Exp: 12 years


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« Reply #15 - Posted 2017-11-04 17:49:25 »

You say java on the client is dying? I don't think this matters one bit for this site because how you distribute your game is of no concern to the end user, its just something to download and run.

I respectfully disagree. Users are much more likely to play a game that runs in a browser.

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Offline Riven
Administrator

« JGO Overlord »


Medals: 1324
Projects: 4
Exp: 16 years


Hand over your head.


« Reply #16 - Posted 2017-11-04 19:31:36 »

One big turn off for me here is the site though (sorry RIven!), its very dated , its broken in key places (like changing your email address) and I can't read it well on my mobile.
That's like asking for brain-surgery for a perpetually drunk 90 year old. Smiley

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Offline nsigma
« Reply #17 - Posted 2017-11-04 19:34:05 »

You say java on the client is dying? I don't think this matters one bit for this site because how you distribute your game is of no concern to the end user, its just something to download and run.

I respectfully disagree. Users are much more likely to play a game that runs in a browser.

Well, there's no accounting for masochists!  Wink

Praxis LIVE - hybrid visual IDE for (live) creative coding
Offline CommanderKeith
« Reply #18 - Posted 2017-11-05 06:04:56 »

I still read every day, it's great to hear the cool things people are up to. I still think it's an incredible community.
The few posts that we see are very high quality.
I wish some of the old timers would post what they've been up to, like kevglass, orangytang, Nate, blahblahblah, Mario badlogicgames, endolf, Markus, jeffk, chrism, Eli D, Shannon, thijs, markus.borbely, appel, delt0r and others.
I agree that web has made Java less appealing. One of the strengths of Minecraft when it first came out was that it could be played in a browser through applets which is no longer possible. However, tools like GWT and webgl4j help that. I suppose new people considering what language to learn would naturally choose JavaScript.

https://github.com/sriharshachilakapati/WebGL4J

Offline philfrei
« Reply #19 - Posted 2017-11-05 07:46:07 »

In the last 18 months, over 100K people have at least looked at the "Getting started with JavaFX Game Programming". I think it would be great if some folks wrote follow-up tutorials to build on that. Maybe some of those visitors would stick around with more of a "track" to follow.

I can see where there is a lot of frustration here with many of the veterans, with JavaFX. Though for my purposes, simple GUI's and 2D games and even some simple 3D game ideas, I haven't run into any of these obstacles personally. Maybe that is more a statement on my limitations than anything else. 

What is needed to get, for example @abuse's suggestion of a WriteableImage.getGraphicsContext()? This is over my head, in terms of understanding what is involved.

What would be possible if we did a better job of supporting JavaFX for what it *can* do well, and the fun that can be had working with it? We have JavaFX listed as a child tab on Java2D, which doesn't seem at all right to me. The few posts that are on that thread are mostly complaints about what JavaFX isn't, not solutions to interesting problems or anything fun. I think that would be very discouraging to anyone interested in exploring learning more about coding in the JavaFX space. It would be more encouraging if there were some articles on next steps after the beginning stuff in that article.

I'm sorry to be taking so long with getting the little audio mixer tool up and available. Seems to me with JavaFX and a decent audio tool (AudioCue is not bad, for starters), there's a lot of neat stuff that could be made.

I think part of what makes Java cool is that you can code-explore mechanics and ideas and thus make something that is not a template-driven clone of a clone, but has its own unique aspects. Sometimes we get people here who are relatively new to programming and interested in game-engine level coding, and they usually run into a blizzard of discouragement. Exploring engine mechanics could lead to figuring out some new game mechanics to try out, and the skills learned would make it easier to follow through on those ideas.

Java continues to be taught in high schools and colleges. There is a large reservoir of kids that is going untapped, it seems to me.

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Offline Riven
Administrator

« JGO Overlord »


Medals: 1324
Projects: 4
Exp: 16 years


Hand over your head.


« Reply #20 - Posted 2017-11-05 10:47:41 »

Surprisingly, the peak of the community was as recent as 2014...
http://www.java-gaming.org/content/stats

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Offline SHC
« Reply #21 - Posted 2017-11-05 12:55:55 »

I see three main problems for this forum being so quite. The first thing, is that the forum software is old. So old that I remember once reading that Riven said it is not possible to even theme it as it is already running on a lot of mods. One solution is migrating the forum to a new software, like Discourse? If the need for Ruby was the problem, why not Flarum? I know it's really in the beta, but it looks stunningly good.

Second problem as above all mentioned, there are more people who read than people who contribute and post here. Number one reason again is the forum software, it is preventing newbies from registering or changing email address. Second thing, professors seem not to encourage gaming or game development, some here strongly believe that traditional reading and writing answers is the real way of learning. I even experienced situations with professors trying to steer me away from games in general for my own good, and I feel like WTH?

Regarding with frameworks etc., that is not the cause of steering away. Today's people want to show something, they want immediate results. That is favoured by large and already matured engines like Unity and people prefer them. They do have a point as they are already mature engines used by tonnes of successful games. As I see in my surroundings, in college, I always see people want to get something up and running, nobody really wanted to explore what it is under the hood.

The third main problem is the language getting old, and Oracle is having focus on features that not everyone would use or such. It's not a wrong thing, but even being a fan of Java language for its simplicity, I really don't see the need of having modules other than in case of enterprise developers. In my case, most of that is already being done by Gradle and other build systems. I really want to see C# like features, specially the events, delegates, properties, async functions, etc., I'm looking for the introduction of value classes to Java. Kotlin in that end seems promising.

Apart from all this, everyone will have their own personal reasons for not contributing much, as I had my excuse of career building. I'm now in the final year of college, having lots of assignments, exams, and at the same time I had to work on projects, internship, etc., I really used to have a lot of time 6 months ago that I now lack. Since I'm missing a lot of classes now, I had to self study and it also adds to it. Anyways, I'll look into getting more time for the community now.

By the way Riven, is it possible to migrate to a new forum software now? I really hate surfing it on mobile. If you need any help I can do regarding this, let me know. I'll be having more time after a month.

Offline Riven
Administrator

« JGO Overlord »


Medals: 1324
Projects: 4
Exp: 16 years


Hand over your head.


« Reply #22 - Posted 2017-11-05 17:48:50 »

Migrating a forum's content from one backend to the other is not a trivial amount of work, it takes experience with both old and new backends to properly migrate. As a side-note, you don't know half of SMF's crappy UBB implementation, and you really wouldn't want every other post in the new software to have garbled contents. Another point would be that you wouldn't want all the current links to webpages to yield 404. There are seriously a million little details concerning data-migration, especially if you're working with a heavily modified current backend.

I could provide a database-dump of JGO (lacking the PMs and other sensitive data), and you could give it a whirl. If anybody gets it to at least the level of stability and accessibility of the current site, we could talk about a migration. Keep in mind though, that you're basically doing a lot of work for a forum that is already tumble-weeding.

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Offline SteveSmith
« Reply #23 - Posted 2017-11-05 18:36:13 »

One thing that would definitely help is if we got an email to notify us if someone replied to a thread we're watching.  As it is, we have to log in and manually check if someone has posted a comment to, say, one of our "WIP" threads, which turns it into a "job" that needs doing regularly.  Otherwise the thread goes stale and disappears into history and someone who might have been interested in a comment never sees it.

Offline Catharsis

JGO Ninja


Medals: 73
Projects: 1
Exp: 21 years


TyphonRT rocks!


« Reply #24 - Posted 2017-11-05 18:56:04 »

@SteveSmith I keep up to date on JGO via RSS; I don't think many others do. It actually is enabled:

http://www.java-gaming.org/index.php?action=.xml;type=rss2;limit=50

Makes it possible to see all new posts and follow responses to threads of interest.

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Offline SteveSmith
« Reply #25 - Posted 2017-11-05 19:12:12 »

@SteveSmith I keep up to date on JGO via RSS; I don't think many others do. It actually is enabled:

http://www.java-gaming.org/index.php?action=.xml;type=rss2;limit=50

Makes it possible to see all new posts and follow responses to threads of interest.

Thanks, that's slightly better, but it still means having to remember to regularly check the RSS feed, and if I don't do that for any length of time, any interesting replies will get lost in the chaff.

Offline Opiop
« Reply #26 - Posted 2017-11-05 19:51:23 »

I believe a large part of the decline has to do with the "voxel craze" is definitely basically dead. People wanted to replicate Minecraft and obviously JGO was a perfect community to come get help with that. Clearly that's not the craze anymore, I'd say AR/VR is and people are using other technologies to make that happen.

Personally, I check JGO at least every couple of days. This forum really sparked my interest in game development and building software in general, which ultimately led to me starting a career in software development. When I first joined it seemed like there were a lot more young people that were just getting into development like I was (I think I was 15 when I registered here?), so it's unfortunate that all the people I learned and grew with have moved on and stop using the site so much. But I guess that's how life goes. I haven't even touched a line of game code in probably 2 years now, I'm more interested in web technologies and my hobbies outside of tech.

So to me the decline of JGO is more emotional than anything. I spent a large part of my teenage years nerding out and learning how to build games with people. Building game engines with people, IRC drama over m77, finally getting cubes rendered in my first attempt at a voxel engine, you all helping build my confidence so I could go ask my first boss for a full time position as a software dev, etc... It's kind of strange to be able to say those were the good old days! It would be awesome if it was like it used to be but I totally understand why using Java for game development has been going out of style. I'm not entirely sure what we would need to do to bring more newbies onto the site Sad But I do owe a lot of thanks to people on this forum. It's truly been life changing.
Offline philfrei
« Reply #27 - Posted 2017-11-05 21:10:03 »

@SHC (or whoever would like to get some project management experience on their resume) -- I would be willing to contribute time to the project of migration. But I would need direction. I would need to work as an assistant, and am willing to do boring grunt work, and am no stranger to just biting the bullet sometimes and plowing through a list of items that take hand-coding. (Being a musician, having undertaken countless hours of practicing, it teaches you a certain patience with drudgery.)

The last time I worked on a migration was in the 1980's, to convert 8080 to Z-80! I jumped in to help out our main programmer who was in the process of burning out while putting FORTH cores on multiple systems. I'm proud to say, the effort was successful, despite my having to learn both 8080 and Z-80 in the process.

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Offline jonjava
« Reply #28 - Posted 2017-11-05 21:55:27 »

We did try migration at one point. One or two years ago. There was an attempt™. But it fell flat partly because Riven wouldn't play ball IIRC and honestly it probably would've been a lost cause anyway given the state of the game currently. To not even mention the weight of sorting out such a complex enterprise to begin with.

I think java-gaming.org should pivot to some degree.

Offline Riven
Administrator

« JGO Overlord »


Medals: 1324
Projects: 4
Exp: 16 years


Hand over your head.


« Reply #29 - Posted 2017-11-05 22:38:59 »

But it fell flat partly because Riven wouldn't play ball IIRC
There was nothing properly suggested, just 2 or 3 forum-posts of devs that were willing and lacked relevant experience - in the mean time, I had (and still have) an extraordinary tiny amount of spare time, even my evenings and weekends are swallowed up. It's easy to suggest you're willing to take up the task, it's very hard to actually finish a project to the state it's ready for 'production'. Not just for the small group of inexperienced volunteers, but also for me.

I think java-gaming.org should pivot to some degree.
You guys really seem to insist that for the current ~20 active regular members, a large investment of time and effort with unknown outcome is the best thing to do... well, I'm willing to play ball, as I said earlier. I'll prepare a database dump 'soon' (this week) and we'll see who is willing to make a JGO clone worthy and capable of replacing the current forum. If it's any good, I'll seriously discard SMF and roll out whatever is ready to replace it.

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