I wasn’t going to sign on for another year because I thought the contest was kinda dying, but I just looked at July’s hit-count for java unlimited and it has 4,000+ unique visitors in the off-season! Wow! (on-season months vary between 10,000-15,000 unique visitors)
Also, as every year seems to go, we get more “mainstream” attention. For example, check out this great article at Java World that came out this past February: http://www.javaworld.com/javaworld/jw-02-2007/jw-02-games.html
So with that kind of visitor count, and reasonably good attention flying around, I’m definitely on board for another year. So it’s August, and time to plan for the contest that’s coming up in only 4 months.
Launch: December 1st, 2007
Deadline: March 1st, 2007 2008 [/edit][size=14pt]
Results: instant (see below for details)
Not much of a plan, but it’s in big letters, so it must be official, right?
so judging last year wasn’t the best, but it definitely wasn’t the worst, and I think it was a step towards a fairer system - the major flaw I think was not enough participation (which is partially my fault)
The voting system is going to remain public this year; there will be no judges unless there is a critically low public response. The problem that I’ve been having so far is keeping it all legit: i.e. not allowing for multiple votes (hence why last year’s system linked to jgo’s user base up to a certain join-date). While the jgo-linking did a fantastic job at keeping everything legit, it also created an insane amount of isolation (not many people trust sending their jgo password to a third-party site).
rant warning: the next few paragraphs blab about the javaunlimited site
On top of the above problems, the site is OLD. Like, really old. The site was coded in the early months of 2005, while this page was providing a very basic listing of the games. It was then launched in January 2006 for that 4K contest.
While the site is fully functional, the layout and code is very dated (it was coded before I made a living with php/mysql programming), so I’m sure it is absolutely polluted with security holes. In summary, the site not only needs an overhaul, it needs to evolve with the needs of the contest.
In the past, the site has purposefully strayed away from becoming “another javagamesfactory.org,” because JGF was just getting started, and I didn’t want to be an ass. But now that time is over, and the javaunlimited site needs to step into those boundaries, for these reasons:
 with 50+ game entries per year, popular vote is a must - but popular voting needs registration to help with keeping the vote as legit as possible
 nobody is going to register just for voting, and apparently not many will throw their JGO login across the web to a 3rd party site, either
 9 out of 10 suggestions I get via e-mail ask for peer review, commenting, and other social features
 javagamesfactory is more or less defunct, and though Adam will flame me for this: that site is still fuck ugly
NORMALLY, the problem with creating a social website as suggested would take more than 4 months - but luckily, the code already exists! Does anyone remember the Playground project? It was a small experiment me and Kevin Glass were toying around with, which was eventually abandoned. However, I had written much of the “social” coding, and of course, I rarely throw away any code! The Playground-website-to-be had a pretty decent Web 2.0-ish layout (IMO). Well, here, take a look for yourself. While that screenshot doesn’t really give you a good idea of how much code has been done, check out this API I made that was linking the Playground client to the website. So, by a little luck, a “new website” is already half done, all I really need to do is swap out the logo.
So, the idea is to revamp the javaunlimited site into a completely new java games site (not just contest-games)
end site rant
Alright, so the next paragraph involves the javaunlimited site as well, but also involves the contest a bit
Based on emails and forum post suggestions, here’s the proposed features list for the site. This is where you can add your suggestion so it can be added in before the code concretes
Site Features List
- public game submission
- game tagging (vs. boring strict categorization)
- peer review/commenting system
- Digg-like weighted voting system
- uploadable games (vs. public FTP) - this is mainly to avoid the horrendous “archiving” process
- webstart generator (to keep it all consistent)
- applet support (current site forces you to ZIP it all up)
Add yours here…