Rules, Judging & Formalities (2014)
Attention - FYI! Oracle has announced that applets will have to be signed starting early next year 2014. Because of this we have decide to create a launcher that will be capable of launching unsigned applets.
The rules for the 2014 contest are as follows:
- The final game package (byte code + resources) must be below or equal to 4096 bytes
- Must be a playable game (cannot be a pointless animation)
- Must be pure Java (no JNI)
- Must be self-contained- no external resources (e.g. loading an image from a website)
- No external libraries may be used - you must use the libraries that come with the "public" version of the JRE
- No soundbanks may be used because they are not a default part of the "public" JRE. You will have to create your sounds at runtime rather than use MIDIs.
- The game must be an Applet (No more Webstart). (refer to "Applet Requirements" section for more details)
- Target JRE is 1.7 (Java 7). (For backwards compatibility we still recommend 1.6, but 1.7 is permitted.)
- Must not be identical to a game submitted previously.
- Games that break copyright, e.g. clones, will be removed and disqualified if the copyright holder demands it.
- No more than 10 games per developer.
Up until 2010 Webstart was used to launch the games. It was then decided to replace Webstart with Applets. Here are some requirements regarding the Applets:
- The Applet window size may not exceed 800 pixels horizontally or 600 pixels vertically. This is a guideline however, games can exceed this limit if it's deemed acceptable by java4k.com, although exceeding this is at your own risk. Some games do require more horizontal or vertical space, and it is allowed to exceed it a tiny bit. But be careful of exceeding the vertical limit, as vertical space is more limited on computer screens.
- The Applet may not cause "leaks" in the browser, resulting in browser instability.
- HTML file and Applet tags are not counted as part of the final game package size. It's not allowed to inject any data, resources or logic into the games from the HTML files or Applet tags.
- The Applet must be hosted on java4k.com, for posterity purposes. (Although, exceptions are allowed for specific reasons, see "Networking & Multiplayer")
Some Applet code templates have been provided on a JGO discussion forum, use whatever suits your game.
If there is a need for the game to be signed and the signed game package exceeds 4096 bytes, then an unsigned game package, that is below or equal to 4096 bytes, must be provided.
Networking & Multiplayer
- If there is a dedicated separate server for your game, not part of your game JAR, it must be submitted and counted as part of your final game package. (Contact appel (a) java4k.com for details.)
- Applets with network connectivity require signing. Refer to the Signing section.
- We do not allow a dedicated game server to be run on our server for multiple reasons, mainly security, resources & performance.
Yes, it is allowed.
As with all contests and rules, it is impossible to forsee every possibility. Therefore, the administration reserves the right to reject games that do not follow the spirit of the 4K competition, e.g. try to cheat or bypass competition rules.
Dates & Submission Period
The Java4K 2014 submission period spans from December 1st 2012 and ends February 28th 2015. Results of the competition will be displayed on this site shortly there after, hopefully no later than 2-3 weeks after the competition closes, although this can vary depending on how many games are submitted.
Judging & Community Voting process
Note, the judging process for 2014 could change. Consider these tentative rules until new ones have been introduced.
The voting process will consist of a panel of judges, who will write a review and assign a score (0-100%) for each game, and also a community voting process.
Judging panel voting and community voting are separate and the results are not merged together.
Community voting (Note: these rules can change and should be considered tentative)
The voting arrangement are yet to be refined.
- All registered users on Java4K.com are able to participate in the community voting process.
- Community voting will start at the end of the contest, February 28th, and end 2 weeks later. This is to ensure that all games, no matter when they are submitted, receive equal attention in the voting process.
- Each participant in the community voting will receive certain amount of points to assign to the games of his choosing.
- The game that receives the most points is the winner of the community voting.
- Total number of points each voter is allowed to give will be defined at the end of the contest.
The judging panel will consist of a 3-5 judges (refer to "Judges" section).
- All judges are required to review every game that qualifies, filling out a review text and assigning a score (0-100%) to each game.
- Scores are normalized for each judge before they are averaged together.
- If a judge is unable to run a game for reviewing purposes, and the problem is the judges computer, then that judge must find another machine to run the game. However, if the problem lies in the game, the author will get a notification in email (the email in the registered account) and have 3 days to fix the problem. If the problem isn't fixed within that time frame, the game is disqualified.
- All judges will run the games in JRE 1.7.
- Due to the fact there is community voting, judges are free to submit a game into the contest.
- Note: These games will only be voted on in the community vote. They will not be considered by the judging panel, and therefore will receive no score from the judging panel. Community voting is separate and independent from the judging panel, and cannot affect or influence each other. This allows judges to submit games for community voting without worrying about any conflict of interest.
Currently there is no plan to give prizes.
2014 Judging Panel