After Shockwave, Java is the most popular tool for developing free online games. It is a popular programming language which was developed by James Gosling during the 1990s. It is somewhat related to C++ but is much more simple, and is an object oriented language. Java was developed because C++ was considered to be too complex and when using it there were many errors.
C++ also lacked the ability for distributed programming. Gosling and his colleagues wanted to produce a system that could be used on various platforms, from computer to handheld devices. By 1994 Java begin to be used on the internet. They felt that the internet would become interactive, and this would be the perfect environment to use their programming language. They were right. Java has become one of the most well known platforms in use today on the internet.
Many developers of free online games have quickly realized its potential. While Shockwave has replaced Java as the most popular engine used for online games, Java is still the tool of choice among many developers. Java became very popular when Netscape decided to support the program with their browsers. Most people use Java by the ‘applets’ which are supported by their online browsers.
Yahoo has often been credited with heavily using Java to produce online games. Yahoo games is the portion of their website in which players can play games by themselves or against other players. While most of these games are Java applets, others have to be downloaded onto the computer. Reviews are even featured where users can post their thoughts about the quality of the game. Yahoo is one of the most prominent promoters of free online games. Everything from fantasy sports to card games are available.
Despite this, there are some criticisms of the Java programming language. Shockwave has a 3D engine which is much more powerful, and many developers have chose it rather than Java. Others complain that it is not a very pure object oriented programming language. Those who dislike object oriented languages will not design free online games with Java. Programs written in Java may also run slower than programs written in other languages.
Despite these complaints, Java has become one of the most popular languages used for developing independent games. Advances in this language should allow it to produce games which are much higher in quality and graphical detail. Many popular games can be played at the Java website.