Fewer games due to...

Many good games submitted so far, but fewer than last year. 37 games last year compared to 17 games this year, for the same timeframe. But note, in 2008 we only had 21 games, so we’ve had few games before, so it’s not like the sky is falling ;D Besides, last year the 4k contest was abnormally popular.

But I’ve been wondering about this years decline, if it has something to do with the fact programmers have more bytes to squeeze out due to pack200, so they’re taking more time to work on each of their game (I know many good games are in development)? Or is it because they dislike applets? Or just many taking a break this year? Contest not properly advertised (got a lot of publicity last year)? Or probably a mixture of all?

So, let’s discuss :slight_smile: We cannot fix something if we don’t know what is broken. Hopefully we, or I, can do things better next year.

Well, I did get a slap on the wrist for doing so many last year! If I get a chance I’d like to do another…
Besides we’re only half-way through, if we get another 17 then that’s 34, the same(ish) as last year!

I broke my mobo. last week (remounting the heatsinks) and am struggling to find a replacement ::slight_smile:

Gawd that sounds like a high school ‘sorry I forgot my homework’ excuse ;D

So anyhow looks like i’ll be a busy bee in Feb.
It is going on for 3 months this time? right??


Ofcourse it could be the snow/recession/global warming that’s effecting participation levels…

Dog ate my floppies ::slight_smile: ;D

I usually get a couple in, but I have been so busy this year I haven’t had time. February might be a bit quieter so I am still going to try and get one in.

Only ever done 2. One last year and one this year. Am planning on another one this year (graphics done, just gameplay when get round to it, got sidetracked). Personally I prefer the applet only option, and dislike the pack200 (not as challenging as last year for sure, which has taken away the edge a little). However, thats just me, still fun like last year tho, so not sure reasons for decline.

I’m going to try to submit two years this year. =)

For me, a big reason for the decline in productivity is obviously Minecraft.

Maybe the combination of applets & pack200 make it harder, or perhaps the recession is making folks concentrate on holding down their day jobs. Personally (even though I’ve submitted two games), I’m missing the motivation of one of Markus’ masterpieces to spur me on. Simon’s GTA4k has gone a long way to fill the hole though. ;D

I’ve quite enjoyed writing Applets. Pack200 has been a bit of a mixed blessing. Ok, I’ve gained about 500bytes, but then so has everyone else. Testing pack200 requires a properly configured server, which is a pain.

Here are my guesses :

  • the pack200 extending possibilities as well as the applet only option, as already said, which will lead people to take more time to develop their games, and may have frightened a very few ones ;
  • the big advertisement that Left 4K Dead was last year, and which has no real equivalent this year ;
  • the Marcus P. discouraging effect, with his previous entries as well as the two coming ones in 2010, including a certainly incredible 3D game ;
  • the global financial crisis, as some programmers may have less free time because they have to work more in order to avoid unemployment…

By late february, I hope I will be able to add my own 2010 entry, and I guess many people will do the same. In the end, I would bet on at least 40 entries this year, which would be very honourable.

Well, when I wrote that the big advertisement that Left 4K Dead was last year, had no real equivalent this year, I meant that no 2010 game has been reported so far on other gaming websites, as Left 4K Dead was. I certainly didn’t want to criticize the quality of the games of this year, most of them being very good too !

I would ignore all factors outside of the viral marketing. Last year, left 4k dead was covered by reddit, digg, jayisgames, etc etc.

I’d have to verify my logs to be sure, but I’m fairly certain the “big” years we had when I was hosting the 4K were the same years we were covered by slashdot and digg.

@appel, I’d suggest you compare your data to see how many games were submitted last year by those who had never submitted in past years; this may be indication of new participation as a result of the online coverage.

I have a second game, but I was planning on not finishing/submitting it until the last minute. When’s the deadline again?

I know my skills at making games are no where near those such as markus et al :slight_smile: but that is not why i join the competition… However for new comers and beginners (which i think java 4k is ideal as they can get the accomplishment of actually finishing a game!) they may be scared off by the quality of the leading entries.

May be there should be a new comers league where first timers to the competition can get judged against other first timers?

I personally do not like applets or jws for that matter :stuck_out_tongue: I like the simplicity of deployment and use of executable jars :stuck_out_tongue: By mandating applets it makes full screen games out of the question as well as buffer strategy. I do not think that it is a major turn off from entering.

I am a big advocate for Pack200. The competition is about games yes, however you cannot ignore the size shrinking component of the process to create an entry. As the games quality increase each year, so does the ability to fit more into 4096 bytes. And some, like myself, take perverse pleasure from getting those extra few bytes :slight_smile:

I agree with the general sentiment that the quantity of games will reduce per person due to the extra bytes afforded by pack200 but in general the quality/scope of the games will increase.

Work will always get priority… so those in precarious situations will obviously favor their energies into maintaining employment…

You still have time, if we believe the Java4K website :
The Java4K 2010 submission period spans from December 1st 2009 and ends February 28th 2010.


I’ve been so busy my bottom is exploding. I really want to get one or two games in.

We are literally releasing our game tonight (in mere minutes!), so my free time will jump up! I can at least put Spoo4k up again with a bunch of levels. I had a great idea for another game and then I forgot it. :smiley:

Well I just did a little advertising myself. That may help a little. Well at least on the playing side :stuck_out_tongue:

Demonpants ! Your message reminds me of the interesting JGO Comp 2009 ( see here for details : http://www.java-gaming.org/index.php/board,62.0.html ) you organized last summer, and which definitely lacked some publicity… By the way, will there be a JGO Comp 2010 ?

I’ve submitted as many as I did last year and I’m working on a second. Not sure whether I’ll find time to finish it though, because I have my parents visiting me for a week, and my sister for another week, and some reading to do to prepare for starting a new job.

Haha. Did it remind you because I said I was going to release a game so was busy? Yes, I’ve been told we were going to release this since June, and I’ve been working off and on in crunch mode since then. But it is actually in the app store right now. Well, it’s waiting to be accepted, so it’ll be there in a few days. I get Monday off - maybe I will try to bust out a 4k game during the day. Probably not, though, given that I just want to sit around and do nothing at this point. :smiley:

As for JGO Comp, yeah I’d love to get another one going. I was thinking this year I’d buy a domain and give it some simple hosting and the like to try to give it some more exposure. I guess I could write a voting system too so that the player isn’t forced to have a JGO account. But that’s all a few months down the road, as I don’t want to tread on any other contests. :slight_smile: