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Mozilla Organizes Game Creating Contest, Prizes Worth $45,000

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  • by tepples (727027) <{tepples} {at} {gmail.com}> on Friday December 06, 2013 @03:15AM (#45616629) Homepage Journal

    I see a problem with testing entries. The article mentions an engine that relies on WebGL, but when I use Firefox 25.0.1 on Xubuntu 12.04 LTS on my laptop to try to view the first Google result for WebGL test [webgl.org], all I get is "Hmm. While your browser seems to support WebGL, it is disabled or unavailable. If possible, please ensure that you are running the latest drivers for your video card." The error message persists after the daily sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade. What can be done besides buying a new computer?

    • WebGL is still quite unstable even under Windows.
    • Have you tried to view it with Chrome browser to see if it is working? It may not be the driver but the browser itself.
      • So I just tried it in Chromium, and the cube is spinning. But then two problems come back. First, the contest requires that entries actually work in Firefox, and the best way I know of to ensure that I didn't use any WebKit- or Blink-specific features is to test in Firefox. Second, I can't see how player 2 would control his character. I plugged in a Logitech Dual Action, and the gamepad tester [html5rocks.com] worked in Chrome but not in Firefox. I restarted Firefox, and all I got was "No gamepads seem to be connected. Be s
        • Browser driver blacklists vary a bit across hardware.
          On my computer/driver, Firefox rendered webgl by default, while Chromium requires a forced override.
          (I say did, haven't checked recently, and ditched fglrx for the foss driver)

          Anyway, if you want to try webgl in Firefox anyway, blacklists of unstable drivers be damned, go to about:config
          search for webgl
          and set webgl.force-enabled to true

          You'll probably have to restart.

          You might also want to try another driver. Do you have jockey-gtk ? If you're on intel

    • by Whorhay (1319089)

      Instead of replacing the computer you could try it under a different operating system. I would think that it could be a problem with the drivers, which should be different under a different OS.

      • by tepples (727027)

        you could try it under a different operating system.

        I imagine FreeBSD would have the same problem. Or were you referring to an operating system that I'd have to pay for?

        • by Whorhay (1319089)

          I'm not very good at drivers and I don't honestly know a ton about the various Unix based operating systems that get used on the Desktop. What occured to me was different flavors of unix like Mint.

          You could try XP if you had an old key unused somewhere though.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The biggest problem with game creation is that while programmers are ready and willing to code in for contents/open/free software... artists are less inclined. If they had wanted to do this properly, they'd pay for a set of game assets to be used in the contest.

    • I actually agree with this AC post.

      I'am currently working on a pure C++ game engine (vb2008), and, creating a DX11 game (similar to XGRA/Fzero). 40 bikes, network, online deathmatch etc.
      I've built the games code from scratch over 1/2 years in my spare time, using ray scans and no physx. That was the easy part.

      For those of us who are either pure programmers, or, pure artists. Its a nightmare when you simply "have" to do the other. Its takes you more time, more effort, and i'am never happy with my own artist

      • "graphics = sales"

        Nonsense. The most profitable game pretty much ever has crummy graphics by comparison to the "standard"

        • Do you have a source? According to Business Insider [businessinsider.com], the mantle is held by World of Warcraft (> $10 billion), but that may be unfair since it is a subscription model at $15 a month, on top of the inital $50-$100 dollar purchase (look at original WoW at $50, then 4 expansions at $40 a piece, worst case). Take a step back to console/pc single purchase, and it's CoD: Black Ops at $1.5 Billion. Or maybe the crown goes to GTA 5 [complex.com], which topped $1 Billion in sales in 3 days.

          Or you could mean total sales. I see o

    • by captainpanic (1173915) on Friday December 06, 2013 @07:09AM (#45617339)

      It is nonsense that artists won't do something for free (they may not be familiar with the concept 'open source', but will instead just do stuff for free). I'd even go as far as to claim that the large majority of artists do things for free.

      I just think there is a massive communication problem: programmers and the large majority of artists are living in different worlds, and hardly know of each others' existence. You'd have to find out where artists hang out (depends on what type of artist you're looking for: musicians, cartoonists, painters), and see what they can do for you. Hint: don't go and suggest they program everything in 3d according to your specs, and deliver next Friday.

      • Just to be clear on a few things.

        It is nonsense that artists won't do something for free

        "However, its at a price of either £££, or, your time if they dont finish their work (which always happens)." (free)

        Hint: don't go and suggest they program everything in 3d according to your specs, and deliver next Friday.

        All the artists who joined my project have free reign on time frames (eg: in their own time). Without paying them, you really cant expect it any other way.

        Specs need to exist, mainly for engine functionality. Again, i give them free reign on what they create.

        The main issue with "free" artists is keeping them active/engaged on the project. Most

  • With the exception of the "amateur" category, the games don't have to be free software. So Mozilla is paying people to write proprietary games.

    Bad move.

    • In which way a bad move?
      • > In which way a bad move?

        No one can reuse this code.

        They're encouraging people to install and use non-free software, which doesn't help the campaigns for free drivers, video codecs, file formats, etc.

        Mozilla could have used the money to encourage people to write free software.

        Awful move.

        • by plover (150551)

          Not everyone is able to contribute freely to the common good. Some folks need a paycheck. This allows for either to coexist. And Mozilla Foundation benefits either way by having an increased demand, regardless of the proprietary/free leanings of most people.

          Good move, Mozilla.

          • > Some folks need a paycheck

            Yes. But there's no obligation on Mozilla to give everyone paychecks. If someone doesn't want to write free software for a competition, then don't enter the competition.

            Mozilla should impose conditions and fund something useful.

            (The values Mozilla should be following are already described in the Mozilla Manifesto. It just has to be put into practice more thoroughly.)

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          Mozilla could have used the money to encourage people to write free software.

          And that would accomplish very little of note, to be honest.

          Yes, they could've, and maybe they even should've, but if you're trying to get developers to your platform, it doesn't help your cause to force their hand. Especially if it's a new platform that they have to learn new stuff on, and the ROI is uncertain enough that really, there's no point to.

          After all, If you want to write a game, you can do so under plenty of engines, Uni

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      The wonderfully unhelpful myth that one can only use open source software to produce open-source things.

    • It would have been nicer if Mozilla had chosen one of the multiple open source html5 engines out there.

  • Right, Mozilla, who cares about distributed climate change research tools, browser/internet data security, or any of that other boring scientific stuff?

    What we really need to foster and encourage are more vapid web games.

    Cry "Sims!" and let slip the Angry Birds of war!

    • by riis138 (3020505)
      Meanwhile the board of directors at Mozilla is trying to figure out why they keep losing ground to Chrome. Maybe they think giving us web games will make us forget they still dont have multi process architecture?
    • by Sockatume (732728)

      They are involved in "all of that other boring scientific stuff". The fact that they do one thing does not preclude them from doing other things. I mean, you're posting on Slashdot right now, only a complete moron would accuse you of completely wasting your life by ignoring literally every other possible activity. It's a nonsequeter.

  • A significant portion of the prizes are "5 year access to Goo Create Pro ($2900 value)".

    Mixed feelings on the "Goo Engine," but I will check this out.

  • ... or would have it been much more beneficial for everyone if Mozilla spent the $45,000 on a developer who could trawl through Bugzilla and fix some of the highly rated Firefox defects?

  • To create your games, you will be using the Goo platform consisting of Goo Engine – a 3D JavaScript gaming engine entirely built on WebGL/HTML5 – and Goo Create – a visual editing tool running on top of the engine.

    Fuck that. I've already got a cross platform engine with runtimes for Android / WebGL / PC (lin, mac, win). My game script compiles to interpretable bytecode or into C, JS, Java, and am working on ASM.js -- though it's a shitty target for so many reasons: no function references (function pointers? no, use a big slow switch), only a single heap, no heap offsets for int views (extra offset addition for each "instance" variable in OOP implementations), can't share heaps between ASM.js programs (OH FUCK WHY? I could see per thread limits, but per context?!) no handing off of array buffers between threads (must stringify; no point to multi threading), no instantiating multiple ASM.js programs; pass program as a string to Function() constructor as workaround. WTF is this shit? It's obviously single mindedly designed to be used as a target for Emscripten and could be MUCH more performant if any other use case was considered during ASM.js design. /rant

    Anyhow. I'm getting equivalent or better performance in ASM.js than in C for some things like fixed-point physics system and SHA2 hash functions (yes, even with optimizations on). I really hate the shit-pile we've made of the web through poorly thought out designs like ASM.js or TLS/SSL+HTML (secure pages can't have mixed content for caching because resource tags don't include (salted) hashes <img ... hash="base64/sha-1; 15a0ed...99b">... morons), but hardware is getting fast enough it doesn't mater (still a nightmare for security though). I'd compete in the game challenge -- my code even runs on Mozilla's FirefoxOS -- However this "challenge" is really just a Mozilla backed push for vendor lock-in by Goo Engine, IMO. No fucking thanks. I will not be locked in to any platform EVER AGAIN, that goes especially for "engines" or "approved" compiler tool chains or shit like C# that only pretends to work outside of Microsoft, I'm still pissed that Apple wouldn't let anyone target iOS with meta programming tools. No fucking way will I support Mozilla doing the same shit.

    Competitions such as these that dictate the toolchain are a bad idea. Love that samey look in games that occurs because everyone's using a small selection of graphics and physics engines Unreal, ID's tech, Havok, Bullet, etc. because publishers won't talk to you unless you've licensed an approved engine? I do not. We finally got back a lot of control with pixel and vertex shaders that we had back in the software rasterization era (when everything looked different, except all the doom clones). It would be a shame to piss away the differentiation now. Fuck you Microzilla, that's what you're becoming, and I don't like it one bit.

    • by tepples (727027)

      no function references (function pointers? no, use a big slow switch)

      Incidentally, the MISRA C guidelines [wikipedia.org] for programming an automotive microcontroller ban function pointer variables as well because "a big slow switch" is somehow more reliable. Someone experienced in working in a MISRA C environment could probably explain this better.

  • Anyone else have trouble accessing the article [mozilla.org] on Firefox? I get presented a certificate error, but without the button to bypass it, and the HTTP site auto-redirects to the HTTPS site. Looks like the exact same as Bugzilla #799836 [mozilla.org].

    So I am basically locked out from viewing Mozilla's own blog when using their very own browser? I don't have Chrome on this machine. I can't believe I am about to install Chrome just to view Mozilla's own blog!

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