Hello fellow Ludum Dare-ers! Warning: blatant self-advertising ahead!

As some of you may know, I run a website devoted to indie game programming in Java and Processing at StaticVoidGames.com. I’ve designed the site with programming contests like Ludum Dare in mind. You no longer have to worry about time-consuming deployment or web development, so you can spend more time focusing on the fun part- actually making your game!

Just follow the step-by-step uploader, and you have a decent-looking website showcasing your game as an applet, a webstart, and a downloadable jar. At the very least, it’s better than putting your game on dropbox or mediafire. Not only is it free, but developers can actually specify their own ad codes to make money off their games!

I’m working on adding new features (I just added a notification system) and tutorials all the time. I’m very open to suggestions and I love hearing your feedback! But even as-is, the site is useful to both pros who don’t feel like dealing with deployment and web development (especially during the crunch time of Ludum Dare) and complete novices who want to take a look at the tutorials and source of real games for help.

So, check it out! StaticVoidGames.com

Good luck during Ludum Dare!

10 Responses to “Using Java or Processing? Free hosting at StaticVoidGames.com!”

  1. johnfn says:

    Some harsh constructive criticism ahead. I love the idea. Something like this definitely needs to exist. But please please please work on your UI. I guarantee that 80% or more of people who come to your website are turned away by the UI.

    I could help you out, although I hardly consider myself a UI pro. Email me at johnfn at gmail.

  2. KevinWorkman says:

    I’m all for constructive criticism! It’s definitely a work-in-progress, but the basic functionality works great.

    Any suggestions on what should change? I’ve got a list a mile long, starting with the game thumbnails and organization. That just wasn’t an issue when there were only a few games, but now the site’s starting to outgrow itself, which is AWESOME.

    Either way thanks for taking the time to check it out!

    • johnfn says:

      I think you may need to rethink the entire thing. But maybe that’s too drastic. So let me list some of the biggest things. I’m sorry if this comes off offensive, I definitely don’t mean to be. There’s just a lot of things to be done!

      * Fonts with serifs (notches on the ends of certain letters – NOT like this font) should be considered. Maybe you should use them for headings.
      * Scrap the logo. Just make it a simple serifed font.
      * The background is pretty amateur. I would recommend a solid color or a subtle pattern http://subtlepatterns.com/
      * Don’t have lines of the borders of your boxes. OR, do, but make them less wide and not rounded.
      * “Play!” should be larger and probably serifed. The bullet points should be smaller.
      * Nested outlined boxes are visually confusing. Instead, change the fill color of the inner box to a different shade.
      * Have a hoverover change the fill color of your game thumbnail boxes. Just slightly!
      * Drop the boxes from your toolbar on the top.
      * Login/Register should be on the toolbar.
      * Your font for the bullet points is too large. Make it smaller.
      * Solid black background is very hard to do correctly. Try something like white.

      That’s all I’ve got for now, but feel free to reach back to me after you’ve worked on it for more tips. :)

  3. KevinWorkman says:

    All of that seems reasonable. And hey, that’s not a complete overhaul, just a bunch of little things that add up! Heh.

    The background is a random (shuffled once a day) image from NASA’s picture of the day. I might consider using something else, but Curiosity pride is getting the best of me.

    The rest I can pretty much agree with. I’m definitely not a web developer at heart! I set out to provide Java and Processing users with an easy way to upload indie games, and now it’s a matter of ironing out stuff like this.

    Anyway, thanks for the feedback!

  4. sfernald says:

    You know looks aren’t everything, as long as the functionality is there. Look at sites like reddit and Craigslist or even this site.

    I would focus on functionality and you can always dress things up little by little.

    • KevinWorkman says:

      Thanks! My focus so far has been on functionality, especially since I’m definitely not a web developer (tragically enough, I started this site so that I could do LESS web development when deploying my own games!). But I definitely do see John’s point- first impressions are everything, so a lot of users are going to be turned off by the lack of polish.

      I’m working on more content (recruiting more users, adding new tutorials, etc) for now, as well as some other features. Maybe in a couple months I’ll put up a poster at my school looking for kids who want to tweak the CSS for a hundred bucks or something.

  5. andrew845 says:

    This is great! I plan on using this for a webstart version of my game in processing for ludum dare 24.

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