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Show Off Those Mad, Cross-Platform Game Development Skillz

Harness the open source Java game APIs...and maybe win big.

Sun Microsystems announced a new contest yesterday at the Game Developers Conference, aimed at developing games using (what else) their baby: Java.

With around $50,000 in prizes to be awarded at Sun's JavaOne 2004 Conference and Exposition held June 28 through July 3, they are definitely serious! Prizes include a license and deployment license from IGN/GameSpy with an approximate retail value of $40,000, Athlon 64 PCs from AMD with an approximate retail value of $7,500, and two Zodiacs from Tapwave with an approximate retail value of $800.

The Java Technology Game Development contest  focuses on the open source Java game APIs which are designed to meet the requirements of Linux, OS X, and Windows. According to Chris Melissinos, chief gaming officer of Sun Microsystems, "Java technology is the juice for game developers to take their exploits to the next level - blazing graphics and phenomenal effects mean more challenging and exciting games. It means faster time to market, cross-platform portability, fewer bugs to contend with, and the promise to leap into networked games built for Java-technology enabled devices of all sizes."

This contest is open to US resident independent game developers (I feel your pain, everyone else, being in Canada), with the winners chosen "based on the quality of production, game play and 'fun factor'."

It will be interesting to see the range of games that comes out of this contest, since as yet Java is not considered a "high end" game programming language. That said, there are some pretty cool smaller games out there - just ask anyone who's spent a lot of time playing with the penguins at Yeti Sports  (though I don't think this is a Java game).

All winners and honorable mentions get three months' promotion on java.net. As always, be sure to read the rules to see what rights you're giving away, and good luck! Your entries are due on June 7, 2004.

More Stories By Dee-Ann LeBlanc

Dee-Ann LeBlanc has been involved with Linux since 1994. She is the author of 12 books, 130 articles, and has more of both coming. She is a trainer, a course developer - including the official Red Hat online courseware at DigitalThink - a founding member of the AnswerSquad, and a consultant.

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