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Java 4K Game Development Contest

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the what-else-do-you-have-to-do dept.

Java 43

mrseigen writes "Java Unlimited has been running a contest since Dec 1 to develop a game in Java using only four kilobytes of bytecode and resources. You have until March 1 to finish your entries, and it's worth looking at the entries for last years' contest."

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Uh.... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14388204)

Well if you are going to have a 4k email signature, you might as well have it be an attached Java game, not some lame graphic.

I sense productivity will reach all time highs ...

So who won last year's contest? (2, Informative)

Therin (22398) | more than 8 years ago | (#14388211)

I looked around the site linked, and while they have 50 games archived from last year, there is no mention I can find of who won.

Anyone know where that is?

Re:So who won last year's contest? (2, Informative)

Bibz (849958) | more than 8 years ago | (#14388504)

I don't know exactly who won, but you could go with the number of downloads to judge the "best" game.

This would mean that Dungeon 4K would have won. It has far more DLs than any other game (1600 compared to 900 to the second "best")

Re:So who won last year's contest? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14403867)

The download counts arent representative. Fuzetsu for example was started over 7000 times already (within 3 weeks). Yes, it actually made some megabytes of traffic.

-oNyx

Re:So who won last year's contest? (2, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14389500)

http://games.datadino.com/4K_2005/scores.html [datadino.com]

Be nice to the poor server, please.

Re:So who won last year's contest? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14389514)

P.S. FireFox 1.5 screws up the CSV load. You can read the source spreadsheet [datadino.com] if you have problems.

Re:So who won last year's contest? (0, Offtopic)

BinLadenMyHero (688544) | more than 8 years ago | (#14390905)

And if you don't own Microsoft Office, and don't want the bloat of OpenOffice.org just to see the xls data, use xlhtml [sourceforge.net] to the rescue!

Re:So who won last year's contest? (3, Insightful)

Woogley (607194) | more than 8 years ago | (#14389673)

thanks for pointing this out, I do indeed need to list the winners on the site. I'll have to port that 3rd party spreadsheet from 2005 to the site.

this year I will make sure the winners list is on the site itself (it would be nice to sort it by final placing after judging anyway) :)

Re:So who won last year's contest? (1)

martyb (196687) | more than 8 years ago | (#14393411)

Hi! I'm having fun playing some of these games... but it would be really nice if all 50 of the 2005 4KB games were available for download in a single .ZIP file. If I missed such a thing, please give the URL. Otherwise, could you please add this to the site and let us know what its URL is?
Thanks!
- Marty

SCREENSHOTS (2, Informative)

Eightyford (893696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14388225)

Everybody loves screenshots... [javaunlimited.net]

And... (1)

itistoday (602304) | more than 8 years ago | (#14389670)

everybody hates karma whores! ;-)

New Demo Scene? (1)

jasonwea (598696) | more than 8 years ago | (#14388483)

Having moved to the Mac a few years back, I haven't found many demos which run natively on my machine. I feel like I've been missing out. Demos like the product [theproduct.de] are great.

Is this a sign the demo scene may just kick off big time for J2SE? I wonder if anyone has thought about J2ME.

With such a rich API available, we're going to see some great (playable!) demos.

Re:New Demo Scene? (4, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14389564)

Having moved to the Mac a few years back, I haven't found many demos which run natively on my machine.

Try Robotron 4096. It was developed on a Mac, then tested on Windows. ;-)

Is this a sign the demo scene may just kick off big time for J2SE?

This contest is currently running into its fourth year. It garnered quite a bit of attention the first year, but the quality of the entries was pretty low. The second year two competitors really tore up the contest with full graphics, sound support, and full screen applications. The third year gained attention from many professional game developers. taking the contest into 3D, real-time raytracing, and other areas that it had never been before.

The fourth year is shaping up to be even bigger and badder than ever before. Visit JavaGaming.org [javagaming.org] for more info.

Re:New Demo Scene? (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14390913)

Try Robotron 4096.

God, I love that name.

Re:New Demo Scene? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14392056)

God, I love that name.

Yes, but what about the game? ;-)

Re:New Demo Scene? (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14393116)

I looked at a screenshot of the game. I read a description of the game.

I think I like the name more than I think I'll like the game.

Re:New Demo Scene? (1)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14393450)

I think I like the name more than I think I'll like the game.

How sad. You might find you're missing a great little game. Not to mention many of the other good ones like T4XI and Hunters4K.

Well, at least you might get some amusement out of the manual:

http://java.dnsalias.com/4k/robotron/readme.txt [dnsalias.com]

It contains an entire story about how Robotron ends up in 4096. :)

Re:New Demo Scene? (1)

MilenCent (219397) | more than 8 years ago | (#14394591)

Ah, but that's why I said "think." It's indeed possible the game's better than I think it'll be. I'll give it a shot sometime.

One mistake in the manual: the robots themselves were the Robotrons. You're just a human with mutant blasting powers.

Useful... (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14388876)

because on a machine that has to run a JVM, memory is tight.

Re:Useful... (3, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14389538)

It does have real use for Cell Phones and other J2ME devices. The types of tricks used in this contest are precisely the types of things you'd do for J2ME. The only difference is that J2ME further constrains you on total system memory, not just download size.

Re:Useful... (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14391254)

because on a machine that has to run a JVM, memory is tight.

On small machines the JVM is just an interpreter, like any other (but don't let facts stop Slashdot anti-Java bias).

There is an advantage of Java bytecodes is that they tend to be smaller than the equivalent machine code instructions for something like X86. This is one reason why Java is so popular for embedded systems.

About what you would expect (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14388893)

It amuses me that these 4k java games are probably among the worst games I've ever seen. Try the Bleating Sheep game and see if doesn't freeze up frequently for a few seconds (probably due to garbage collection), while looking sorrier than last week's breakfast. Many of these are games that would embarass a C64!

Just remember this next time someone claims Java games are the way of the future. I'd be surprised if some good games could be turned out in a 4MB contest.

Re:About what you would expect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14389069)


Just remember this next time someone claims Java games are the way of the future.

Just remember the above next time you think someone says something stupid on slashdot.

Off the top of my head, I can't recall many posts in the slashdot history that were more pathetic than the above is.
Even for a troll you're a really sad case. At least many of the trolls around here do the trolling with a style - and it's usually fun to read the bashing posts too.

You just have a seriously bad taste.

Cheers

Re:About what you would expect (2, Interesting)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 8 years ago | (#14389494)

He does have a point. I have a version of tetris for my TI-86 calculator. I have no idea how to tell how much RAM it uses, but the calculator only has something like 120K. One 4K version of tetris on that page uses almost 40 MB of RAM after a few minutes, and after playing for a while there's occasional, noticeable pauses for garbage collection (yes, I verified it was from garbage collection), which doesn't happen on the calculator.

Java's great for some tasks, it's almost like a cross-platform VB. But the language, or more likely the way the language is most commonly used, isn't optimal for some things. Games happen to be one of those things.

Re:About what you would expect (1)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 8 years ago | (#14389545)

"One 4K version of tetris on that page uses almost 40 MB of RAM after a few minutes, and after playing for a while there's occasional, noticeable pauses for garbage collection (yes, I verified it was from garbage collection), which doesn't happen on the calculator."
It is possible to write bad code in any language. This sounds like a good example.

Re:About what you would expect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14390662)

Then again, as much as I love Java (I've been involved in the 4k competition for the last two years), there's no way you'd fit anything in 120KB ram.

But that's what fun about this competition.. Java just isn't the best choice for writing small application. The contrast of trying to write a tiny game in a very high level programming language is what makes it fun!

- Markus Persson

Re:About what you would expect (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14392122)

Then again, as much as I love Java (I've been involved in the 4k competition for the last two years), there's no way you'd fit anything in 120KB ram.

Markus, you're very good at desktop gaming and 3D technology. But J2ME often runs in 64K or less. So you're not helping anybody with sweeping statements like this. Let's make sure we're comparing apples to apples (desktop games to desktop gamss) and not apples to cucumbers (desktop games to calculator/cell phone/PDA games). Shall we? :-)

-jbanes

Re:About what you would expect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14396682)

Right you are! I forgot about the KVM.

Re:About what you would expect (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14391353)

But the language, or more likely the way the language is most commonly used, isn't optimal for some things. Games happen to be one of those things.

You can't generalise. There is no reason why Java can't be used for games, and work well. Garbage collection should not be a problem for well-written applications (indeed, Java can be used for real-time work). There is the Quake clone, Jake, and there are commercial games, and even game platform emulators:

http://www.millstone.demon.co.uk/download/javaboy/ [demon.co.uk]

Re:About what you would expect (1)

petermgreen (876956) | more than 8 years ago | (#14398010)

when i tried jake on here it was unplayablly slow now i haven't tried the original C version on here but ut which is of similar vintage is fine.

people can come up with benchmarks both for and against java much as people can come up with TCO studies both for and against linux. but my experiance is that java stuff is either slow, memory hogging or both.

Re:About what you would expect (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14398882)

when i tried jake on here it was unplayablly slow now i haven't tried the original C version on here but ut which is of similar vintage is fine.

Others have commented that it is fine.

but my experiance is that java stuff is either slow, memory hogging or both.

The same can be said about badly written C or C++ programs. The point is that there is nothing now about the Java language itself, or the most common implementations of it, that means that applications are necessarily large or slow.

Re:About what you would expect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14391356)

I thought the same but was impressed by this:

http://www.bytonic.de/html/jake2.html [bytonic.de]

"Jake 2" : Quake 2 engine ported entirely to Java. Runs really well.

Re:About what you would expect (3, Informative)

AKAImBatman (238306) | more than 8 years ago | (#14392006)

One 4K version of tetris on that page uses almost 40 MB of RAM after a few minutes

Did you consider that the memory you're seeing may be JVM overhead combined with pre-allocation? In smaller devices (like Cell Phones), the JVM is built into the device. So there's no real overhead for Java. The pre-allocation is also smaller to compensate for the smaller device. Considering that many of these devices have barely 64K available (never mind 120K), I'd say that Java fits just fine.

and after playing for a while there's occasional, noticeable pauses for garbage collection (yes, I verified it was from garbage collection)

I find it interesting that you singled out such an example without looking at many of the more interesting examples like T4XI, Robotron 4096, and Hunters 4K. Also, you may find Tetris 4K to be a much better version than the first item on the list.

Java's great for some tasks, it's almost like a cross-platform VB. But the language, or more likely the way the language is most commonly used, isn't optimal for some things. Games happen to be one of those things.

You don't [wurmonline.com] know [puppygames.net] what [bytonic.de] you're [mycgiserver.com] talking [datadino.com] about [getjar.com] .

At one point I could have pointed to the poor performance and massive memory usage of VegaStrike [sourceforge.net] . Does that mean that C/C++ is a "bad" langauge? NO! It means that it was poorly coded and still needed lots of work done. The developers worked on improving their codebase, and low-and-behold, the game got better. Perhaps it wasn't the language after all?

Re:About what you would expect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14400656)

Java is actually pretty good for games.

a couple of issues tend to plauge it though. One is the original issues with early applets that gave java a reputation of being slow and clunky. Not really an issue any more with the newer VMs like 1.5, They even ported over Quake and there are a couple of full 3-d engines that run in it. Second is the loading of a sepperate VM for each java app/applet that is launched, unnoticeable on large projects but when dealing with small applets its a killer and really I don't know why Sun hasn't made it possible to multitask the VM.

What your describing is an example of either bad programming or very bad way that calculator implements it, you get the exact same thing in C/C++/C# as well if you write it badly. Sounds like the program is creating tons of objects and just dumping them constantly (a While loop maybe creating classes and never using them and leaving all the junk behind)

Java is definantly the way to go on things like phones with the Java ME and the VM built it for a very very small footprint.

quick downloads (1)

acomj (20611) | more than 8 years ago | (#14389406)

at 4k, even if the games aren't good, they'll load quick. I'm off to try!

No FAQ on .JNIP extension file (2, Interesting)

Dark Coder (66759) | more than 8 years ago | (#14389761)

For the uninitiated and clueless, there is no HOWTO or FAQ on how to run these Java program from Mozilla/Firefox or its mime action file.

Just how does one go about getting JNIP file to execute from a 'single-click' standpoint of view?

When one clicks on the website's 'Run Webstart', an open dialog box indicating that this JNIP file extension is identified as a 'Java Network Launched Application', but offers no executable for this...

What is the correct executable for this?

Re:No FAQ on .JNIP extension file (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14390016)

program files/Java/JRExxx/bin/javaws.exe

You might wanna try Java.com auto-updater to update Java if it helps. Note that all these games require at least Java 1.4. Personally I've never had problems launching .JNLP-files with IE or Firefox, but Opera just doesn't recognize launch them for some reason.

Re:No FAQ on .JNIP extension file (2, Insightful)

Jerdie (516662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14391672)

Install java web start from java's website.

4k? (2, Informative)

PeterAllen (883320) | more than 8 years ago | (#14390415)

Anyone know what happened to the 5k? used to live at http://the5k.org/ [the5k.org]

Re:4k? (1)

ajb673 (862254) | more than 8 years ago | (#14390758)

According to the last archived page on archive.org (http://web.archive.org/web/20050401093814/http:// www.the5k.org/ [archive.org] )

"As those of you following the saga at home will know, the 5k has been in flux for a long time on account of the people who organize it are too busy and stressed. But that will not be the case for long: the infinite resource known as SIGGRAPH will soon take it over, to the betterment of all."

So who knows...

Re:4k? (1)

Bill Wong (583178) | more than 8 years ago | (#14394713)

Stewart Butterfield, the founder of the5k, went on to develop gameneverending (now defunct) and flickr [flickr.com] , and he's now a wage slave to Yahoo!.

-- yeoz

p.s.: yo ;o

Re:4k? (1)

PeterAllen (883320) | more than 8 years ago | (#14395327)

aha - i'd forgotten about that

ta yeoz

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