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Now this might be cheating as Java4K isn’t a single obscure PC game but rather a website full of games made by a bunch of different people. Still I think it’s something Ross and many other people would enjoy.

 

What is Java4K you ask? Well I think the website puts it best.

The Java4K competition is a game programmer competition. The goal of the competition is to create the best game possible in Java. So what's the catch? There is a 4KB limit! That means maximum of 4096 bytes! You can read the competition rules for more details on this.

 

But why 4KB, and not 8KB or 6KB? The answer to that question is simple. 4KB is the smallest unit of file possible on most operating systems, if you create a file that contains only one character (or one byte) it takes up 4KB on the disk. Along with that fact, mere 4KB seem to be just the right size, anything more and it would matter if you had a good artist doing your graphics or if you had 10x more time than the other developers. 4KB seems to be limitating enough, in other words it's a perfect fit for 1 person to work on, it wouldn't be practical for a large team, consisting of programmers and artists, to work on a 4KB game, it makes it more fair.

 

Due to these limitations programmers are given certain boundaries to work within, which results in higher productivity. While game programmer churn out only a few games, if any, over a period of years, some programmers manage to churn out many 4K games during the 3 months. The 4K contest is really a contest in making a prototype game with added challenges, which makes it fun!

 

If you're interested in creating a game and submitting it into the Java4K competition then we recommend you visit the Java 4K Wiki Page, which should help you understand the fundamentals, and the JavaGaming.org forums, where most of the 4K developers hang out at. You'll also need to create an account on this site to submit your game.

 

Also stolen from their about section is a short history of Java4K.

This all started back in 2002 when Lloyd Lee (aka mlk) hosted the first contest (2002-2003), which was hosted at JGO (JavaGaming.org) forums and also Sun Microsystem Java forums. A year later the contest was held again, but this time Matt Campbell (aka woogley) managing it. He put up the site javaunlimited.net, where the contest was hosted three times in a row; 2004-2005, 2005-2006 and 2006-2007. Once it became clear that Matt was not going to manage the 2007-2008 competition, then Java4K.com website was kick-started by Arni Arent (aka appel) and Joakim Johnsson (aka jojoh) in December 2007. Arni Arent has managed follow up contests.

 

These yearly competitions have often been a highlight for me and many others but unfortunately due to the loosing popularity of Java over the years, there will be no more competitions. Luckily for everyone who was apart of this website the owners plan to keep it up for posterity's (and I imagine nostalgia's) sake. Fair warning is due that not all games are original. In fact a good number of them are just remakes of known games in java. Still that's not always a bad thing as that's how I discovered VVVVVV from it's 4K incarnation.

 

Hopefully you all enjoy it as much as we did! :)

The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars. -- Carl Sagan

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Sadly, Java doesn't work with any applet for me. ;_;

 

Also some of the best 4K games like Left 4K Dead and VVVV, they're all made by Notch. Seriously, he's a damn good programmer.

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Sadly, Java doesn't work with any applet for me. ;_;

 

Also some of the best 4K games like Left 4K Dead and VVVV, they're all made by Notch. Seriously, he's a damn good programmer.

 

I try to avoid mentioning Notches involvement in Java4K. Not because I have anything against him or think that his work isn’t worth praise. Mostly just to try to avoid it because I feel it can take away attention from the other programmers. I am of the philosophy that someone’s work should stand out based on its quality not their name.

The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars. -- Carl Sagan

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Sadly, Java doesn't work with any applet for me. ;_;

 

Also some of the best 4K games like Left 4K Dead and VVVV, they're all made by Notch. Seriously, he's a damn good programmer.

 

I try to avoid mentioning Notches involvement in Java4K. Not because I have anything against him or think that his work isn’t worth praise. Mostly just to try to avoid it because I feel it can take away attention from the other programmers. I am of the philosophy that someone’s work should stand out based on its quality not their name.

 

Yes, but the name typically has fame if it has quality behind it, like Carmack or Newell. Notch is liked in the JAVA4K crowd, although there are other amazing games, and some utterly absurd programs made in 4K of space.

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