Java Applets? Isn't that like old man technology? I thought it was passed over years ago. What exactly is that again?
Java applets started out as an amazing new browser enhancement that would for the first time allow for truly rich client applications. As long as the user had installed the runtime environment (JRE plugin) they could enjoy the full benefits of Java applications right in their browsers.
Some interesting features of applets that make them suitable for a game platform:
- Advanced Object Oriented development - Java is a heavyweight in the OO field.
- Full range of gaming APIs such as 2D,3D,Sound,AI, multi-threading, opensource APIs etc.
- Write once, run anywhere - java runs on nearly all PC platforms and browser combinations.
- Automatic upgrades - Client applets auto-update themselves when the server copy is updated.
- True online platform - Java is wicked fast, hyper-secure and optimized for the internet.
- Filthy Rich Social Networking apps are now in reach!
So, if all this is true, why don't we see some high end applet games out there? There was one problem with applets that made them unsuiteable for high-end gaming: they were restricted in memory size to under 100MB.
Anyone who has worked on a real PC title will say "100MB? My game eats that for breakfast!"
Truly, modern PC titles are resource pigs, using filthy rich media content like video, graphics, sound, 3D models, etc. A single character model can easly exceed 100MB.
So why am I reading this,you might ask? Java technology has recently been commandeered by Oracle Systems, who purchased Sun Microsystems (original Java providers).
They have been restructuring Java Applet technology to allow for unlimited resource access. Gone is the 100MB limit (still a default but now server-configurable in HTML applet tags).
"I'm still not convinced. Show me.", you might well say. Ok, I am going to put up.
Standard Orbit (alpha) from @Standard3D uses the new Oracle applet architecture to do what could not be done - pig out on system resources. This is a high-end PC title with lots of the filthy rich 3D content gamers adore.
It is even massively multiplayer (requires login, Captain)
It even has software-based Stereoscopic 3D (Stereo3D), which requires optional 3D glasses. These are plain old red-blue glasses can be purchased from Standard3D, or easily fabricated from colored plastic gel material (a big advantage over other stereoscopic glasses)
Standard Orbit from www.Standard3D.com is a space-combat sim set in the Yale Bright Star Catalog. You might call it an astronomy-sim; it is accurate to within 500 parsecs of Earth (including exo-planets).
Blah, blah - just go ahead and login. The stereoscopy is truly head snapping. This game is entirely 100% Java software and relies on your PCs floating point processer (FPU), not an expensive 3D graphics card (!!)
500 parsecs of double precision floating point stereoscopic realtime texture-mapped 3D cyberspace! Yeah.
3D is the Game.