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Vaine0

Java vs. C# / XNA

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So I've noticed a trend that most online distributed games seem to be developed in Java. (I'm not talking about Steam distributed, but more like games such as RuneScape.) What I'm wondering is if anyone has any insight as to why this is, and whether C# / XNA could perhaps be a viable alternative to a Java distribution.

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Is RuneScape still around? I remember playing it 7-8 years ago. Ah, those were the days.

Anyway, from what I recall, RuneScape is a browser-based game. Because of this, it's not really feasible to use C#/XNA - they weren't designed for use in browsers. Java, on the other hand, works just fine.

But remember that only the front-end browser interface is written in Java. All the server machinery in the background that runs the game world might be written in something else.

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Flash is starting to gain more popularity for small browser multiplayer gaming. It's incredibly easy to network with it.

You could look into Silverlight. It has a very small marketshare right now I believe and probably isn't going to get very large unless Microsoft actively pushes development with it.

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There are quite a few games out there where if you hit up the site, you end up downloading a small executable. This was more of the situation I was envisioning. Would packaging all the dependencies make this solution less desirable from a marketing standpoint?

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Quote:
Original post by Vaine0
So I've noticed a trend that most online distributed games seem to be developed in Java. (I'm not talking about Steam distributed, but more like games such as RuneScape.)

Most online distributed games are developed in Flash. Java is widespread in mobile. As for online-distributed games, Java has some love among hobbyist and indie developers. There are some good games on the net (whether applet or webstart) in Java (Bang Howdy), but Flash is in a serious majority unfortunately. Part of this is due to applets, which were kind of broken until recently and are still a pain in the ass for both users (security popups) and developers.

Quote:
Original post by Vaine0
What I'm wondering is if anyone has any insight as to why this is, and whether C# / XNA could perhaps be a viable alternative to a Java distribution.

C# is certainly a powerful language, and you get easy access to DirectX and the XBox, but I'm not so sure about online distribution for C# games. It seems to be more of a desktop thing. You would be much better off with Flash if you want your game to reach a large number of people through online portals (some/many of which, incidentally, refuse Java applets).

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