End of 4K. Thanks all!

December 1st is on Monday and usually that’s the day the Java4K contest starts. But now for the first time in about 12 years there won’t be a Java4K contest starting. This was really decided last year, lack of participation and loss of interest in the Java platform along with loss of support for Java applets in browsers were the final nails in the coffin. I’m also moving my interests to other pastures.

But although this is a sad thing it’s also about time. I think we should celebrate the amazing games that a lot of people submitted into the contest. The contest was a success, many people had lots of fun both in making the games and also playing them, but now it’s time to move on.

Thanks all.

RIP Java4k: The original Java game jam. You will be missed.

In my opinion, Gef’s Socerer4K was the coolest game to ever come out of 4K. Yay Gef!

Just keep the site running for historical reasons, be a shame to lose all those games. :slight_smile:

Even though half of them are broken.

:’( So sad, but - c’est la vie!

Many, many thanks Appel, and everyone who participated over the years for all the wonderful times we had.
I think in some ways the 4K contest changed the world a little bit for the better. Not only did we make some amazing games but we showed how friendly help and support could lead to great things.

Would it be heresy to suggest an HTML5 contest instead? I love java dearly but we have to be pragmatic. A shame to not have an outlet for all that ingenuity and creativity!

I’m wondering what the greener pastures are? HTML5/WebGL/javascript as SimonH suggests?

Despite never participating i also thought it was a fantastic contest and enjoyed playing the games and seeing the horror and genius of the code.

All things come to an end :’(

For me it was the perfect blend intoxicating challenges of producing a fun game and compression :slight_smile:

I have enjoyed every year! Thanks for the great memories.

With some combination of old JRMs and decompile-tweak-recompile it should be possible to get most of the broken ones working.

Yah… Bummed I never had the free time to enter…

I understand there is a 4k / Android category with this competition:

At least there was in 2014 / didn’t attend, but I might in '15… Granted it’s likely all GLSL re: demo scene / eyecandy and not a Java game competition.


In my humble opinion, HTML5/Javascript is enough for the kind of games created during Java4K. You know my opinion on WebGL. It’s not the panacea. Plugin-less gaming is appealing and there are some alternatives to applets and Java Web Start otherwise I would have stopped using Java.

The biggest problem is that some of the older web start games were not hosted on the java 4k site, and their URLs no longer point to the game. It would be nice to create an archive of those lost games (if anyone has them), but that would require possibly tracking down the ownership rights.

I wouldn’t try to archive proprietary games. The best way to prevent those games from dying consists in releasing their source code.

I think I have most of the games that are broken archived somewhere, but they need to be manually restored, which is something I haven’t gotten around to.

I’d be interested in a html5 canvas game competition :slight_smile: but someone has to organize it other than me :slight_smile:
Would it be a 4k contest? Is that really feasible? You can minify Javascript, but I don’t think you can compress it like you can with class files.

One of the downsides of Java4K became that you needed this insane toolchain to compress your classfile. The better your tools the better the odds of an advanced game. Your hacking skills became gradually less impotant. With my compile-n-shrink, I tried to level the playingfield, but it was really disheartning that when I tried to bring it up again the next year, I couldn’t get the same compression ratios, as I overwrote the binaries with their latest versions.

If there were to be a new contest, I’d limit the sourcecode, as compressing that is somewhat within your own control, as opposed to the blackbox that Java4K tools became.

Very sad indeed. I very much enjoyed judging that year we had a record-breaking number of entries! Thank you appel for hosting Java4K for so many years!

I unfortunately never was able to enter due to having too little time and also for the exact reasons Riven mentioned: it was more about how well you could compress rather than hacking. I didn’t have enough time to be able to figure out how much I could actually fit into 4K.

:frowning: Very sad to hear. But it had a good run.

That is understandable if sad. I continue to love the format for prototyping if nothing else. Thank you for all those years of crazy Java fun.

A successor JS/HTML5 contest could be cool. In fact, there is such a thing, called Js1k, though it’s not specific to games and most entries aren’t games.

Bollocks :(. With that being said, can we get some way to download the games on there?

Agreed. One year, Notch posted a version of your Compile-N-Shrink that could be executed offline. I used it ever since, never fully understanding how it worked it’s compression magic. And, I always wondered how many people were disadvantaged by not having access to it.

J4K should be transformed into a contest where you just submit one source code file with some size restrictions on it. Perhaps something like 16K of source.