Archive for the ‘2d’ Category

Winter Shorts 3: PyWeek #16 in April, Rainbow Rooms, Valyria Tear on OS X

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

PyWeek #16 in April

PyWeek logo

PyWeek is a game jam that obviously goes on for one week and requires the use of Python. It takes place online and there are overall winners in team and solo categories, as well as awards. The dates of the 16th PyWeek challenge are 00:00 UTC April 14, 2013 to 00:00 UTC April 21, 2013. Registration opens on 15. March 2013.

There is a message board for the community and there are interesting methods to publish Python games as HTML/JavaScript using pyjs, as demonstrated by the PyWeek #15 entry Kaos.

License Requirements: At least Shared Source required. Free software licenses recommended.

PyWeek #15 Entry: Rainbow Rooms

Rainbow Rooms is a physical-nonsense-maze puzzle game based on libtcod.

Various fonts are being used, some of which might be problematic license-wise for including in for example Debian’s official repositories but it should be possible to replace them in less than two hours including research and documentation.

Code License: GPLv2
Content License: Unclear

Valyria Tear: “Final Release of Half-Episode I”

New Valyria Tear GUI screens

Valyria Tear Half-Episode I has been released, which I suppose we can take as 50% of Episode I’s acts being complete.

The release brings new graphical interfaces and development is ongoing.

An OS X version can now also be grabbed from the OSX thread.

Code License: GPLv2
Content License: Various (DFSG approved)

Winter Shorts 2: Physica, SkyRiot, OpenMW

Sunday, February 24th, 2013

Physica screenshots

Physica is a very simple casual platformer game where the goal is to drive a square through game levels from its starting position to his goal, avoiding hazards and without falling down.

SkyRiot screens

SkyRiot is available for free for Android on Google Play and was released under open source and free content licenses on SourceForge.net [forum post].

SkyRiot is a 2D flying shooting platform action game for Android devices. Fly a hoverboard and use an assortment of weaponry as you, an anarchist, single-handedly wage war against a totalitarian regime. Full 360-degree aiming along with total freedom of movement will keep you glued to your device for many hours as you blast your way across over 10 game maps.

OpenMW 0.21.0 has been released. Changelog:

  • Various dialogue, trading, and disposition fixes and improvements
  • Torch flickering improved to better match vanilla Morrowind
  • Fix for attribute fluctuation when infected with Ash Woe Blight
  • Adjusted activation range to better match vanilla Morrowind
  • Fixes for the Journal UI
  • Fixed crash caused by Golden Saint models
  • Fix for beast races being able to wear shoes
  • Fix for background music not playing
  • Fix for meshes without certain node names not being loaded
  • Fix for incorrect terrain shape on inital cell load
  • Fix for MWGui::InventoryWindow creating a duplicate player actor at the origin
  • Added video playback
  • Added support for escape sequences in message box and dialogue text
  • Added AI related script functions, note that AI is not functional yet
  • Implemented fallbacks for necessary ini values in the importer, unused in OpenMW as of yet
  • Implemented execution of scripts of objects in containers/inventories in active cells
  • Cell loading performance improvements
  • Removed broken GMST contamination fixing mechanism

Winter Shorts 1: Word War Vi Laser Edition, Space Nerds in Space

Sunday, February 24th, 2013
SNiS Engineering screen

Stephen Cameron, one of my personal heroes of game development (Be The Wumpus), made Word War Vi support color laser projectors using the openlase library [blog post].

Another project that our forum users were allowed to follow in this thread is Space Nerds in Space:

So this game (when it becomes a game) is very much inspired by Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator
See: artemis.eochu.com The idea is you have a game which is played much as the actors in the Star Trek TV series played their roles on the bridge of the Starship Enterprise. There are a number of “stations”: Navigation, Weapons, Science, Communications, etc. and each player assumes that role. Each station has it’s own laptop or other computer which communicates via network to a central server which simulates the game universe. So it’s kind of a cooperative multiplayer network game… No reason not to have multiple teams in multiple starships inhabiting the same server/universe either cooperating or doing battle.
Mine is different than Artemis Spaceship Bridge Simulator in that it is:
GPL’ed.
Linux/gtk
Probably uglier (lol).
Probably more scalable (yay vector graphics.)
Not even close to finished.

It will probably be a while until I’m in a room with enough Linux users to test play this game but when the time comes, I shall be prepared!

Various follow-ups

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

First off as a rather fast follow up on the last post:

Otherwise, as previously mentioned, Garage Games has now also released their 2D game framework under the MIT license:

Their 3D game engine also saw some nice updates lately, however sadly their crowd funding push to port Torque3D to Linux fell (not totally unsurprisingly) short of their 30,000$ mark (with about 10,000$ pledged).

Ur-Quan Masters HD released

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Happy new year everyone!

So today I found out about this really cool project to improve the graphics of the open-source (with freeware media) classic Ur-Quan Masters (aka Star Control 2):

Having played the SD version back in the day on my GP2X handheld (and it seems to be available for Android nowadays too 😉 ), I can assure you that the game holds up very well to today’s standards, with a really cool and funny story and awesome voice acting. Higher resolution graphics thus can only make it better 😉

So, NO excuses now… give it a try!

Some upcoming releases

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Looks like we will get some nice x-mas presents this year:

A bit delayed but probably right on time for the Mayan end of the world, we will see a long awaited new release of Cube2:Sauerbraten. Read about the release announcement here. Hmm, I wonder if it has already Occulus Rift support…

Also on the FPS front, AlienArena is having a major engine update, with a claimed massive 3-4 times speed increase in BSP rendering and more VBO improvements.

Mars meets CounterStrike?

Furthermore they announce a new game-mode to be added soon, which tries to slow down the game-play of AlienArena a bit and add a more tactical appeal. Sounds a bit like selling out to the CounterStrike/ModernWarefare crowd to me, but lets see how it will play 😉

Last but not least, GarageGames has announced that after the recent FOSS licensed release of their 3D engine Torque3D (see latest updates here, sadly no working Linux port yet), they will also open-source their 2D engine!

And in fact it will not only be a source-drop, but rather a significant update including a merger of their iOS code with the rest of the Torque2D one.

Also no Linux port yet, but just as for the 3D engine one will hopefully show up sooner or later.

P.S.: In case someone has missed it: SuperTuxKart had a very nice new release recently, bumping it up to version 0.8. See a video of it in action here.

Video updates (various)

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Today I let the videos speak:
First of all a nice FOSS bullet hell SHMUP, called Shmupacabra:

Taisei Project is maybe also relevant if you like getting killed ALOT (hehe, insider joke for q).

Previously mentioned Cube Trains (based on Frogatto) has reached version 1.0:

You can support the developer of this nice puzzle game by buying the Expansion-pack for 2 Canadian bucks or more! Another option to try and fund FOSS game development… maybe there will be some sales figures published at some point?

Next on the list: open-source engine reimplementation project Corsix-th:

You will need the original game for the non-free artworks though.

And last but not least: 0 A.D. got a brand new website: www.play0ad.com! Celebrating this they also made some nice video tutorials for total beginners:

Have a look at tutorial 2 and tutorial 3 also.

Signing off 🙂

Edit: Small interview with the 0 A.D. developers.

Ancient Beast: HTML5 Hexagonal RTS’ First Release

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012
Ancient Beast is a FOSS game project that has been in development by Freezing Moon for a couple of years, tantalizing everyone with top notch concept art and 3D models. 

After a rather large restructuring in game scope, where they changed from attempting to create a 3D RTS in the Blender Game Engine, to a 2D hexagonal TBS built on HTML5, they have delivered a promising gameplay prototype that offers a mix of Heroes of Might and Magic and Magic: The Gathering’s gameplay. 
Gameplay currently revolves around summoning creatures and using their abilities to defeat other summoners

Still in heavy development, the game still needs to implement the entirety of its sizable bestiary, as well as adding animated creatures by utilizing the models they have created.
So, if you have any skills in web development, jump aboard and help them complete this awesome game!

All Maps of Bos Wars 2.6.1+ (svn r10193)

Monday, December 3rd, 2012
I filled a recent craving for playing a sci-fi real time strategy game by re-discovering Bos Wars and playing every single player map.
image: Bos’ level of art, many screenshots indicate a much lower quality.
The game runs on low-spec computers and can be quite fast-paced. I quite enjoyed playing it in a tower-defense/tower rush style. The last release of Bos Wars has been over two years ago, but development is not frozen, the last commit was on 2012-08-09.
The three biggest issues I personally had are:
  1. Some maps are aesthetically displeasing.
  2. For a beginner, it’s hard to decide what map to play.
  3. Many units and buildings don’t have voices/sounds.
  4. The interface is confusing in regards to resource quantity.

Visual style of old maps

image: most likely the first map you play in Bos (because it’s selected by default)
To address issues 1 and 2, I hope that this blog post will help. The screenshots at the bottom show the game start screen at 1280×1024 for every of the “Start Game” single player maps. If you see a level that you’d like to play, right-click and “open” the link or image, to see the level name in the file name of the screenshot.
An in-game solution to issue 1. would be to create a map folder called “old” and move all levels in there, when the rendered ground texture clashes with the units, buildings and resources.
This suggestion might be seen as disrespectful insult to the original map makers, but having the current map selection structure is a barrier for new players, who need some guidance to get started without having to open random levels first. They are likely to assume that the first level they play is representative of the visual style of the entire game, which can be quite wrong, as you can see by the different-looking screenshots at the bottom.

Map selection screen

image: Bos Wars map selection screen

To solve issue 2 in-game, a preview of the mini-map, as it is seen with “non-revealed map” would help. This might be a non-trivial UI/in-game-rendering task if it has to work fully automatic.

Missing/repetitive sounds

In regards to issue 3, I started by contributing a patch with some voices and sounds. If you would like to help as a voice actor or by turning voice lines into soldier/pilot/driver voice/effect mixes, please feel free to comment in this blog post, if you would like to coordinate this with me and other potential contributors. Female voices are especially welcome (source).
Feedback on my patch is welcome too. Watch/listen to the video below, to see what kind of voices are missing and what kind of voices are being used multiple times in Bos Wars.

Resource UI

I’m not sure I have figured it out completely but here goes nothing.
image: how I interpret Bos’ resource info
Without having thought this through in detail, this is what seems to be missing:
  • Resource icons.
  • Absolute value of resources in stock, rather than divided by ten(?).
  • Color coding of income/spending.
  • Display of the sum of income and spending – in a prominent position, individual display of income and spending in a non-prominent position.
  • Indication of resource effect by buildings when selecting buildings and when hovering them in the build menu.

Starting screens of all Bos Wars maps

If you see a level that you’d like to play, right-click and “open” the link or image, to see the level name in the file name of the screenshot.
gallery: All Bos Wars maps

A tale of two Hexagons

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
This is a guest post by user Hythlodaeus, discussing open source clones, indie game community behavior and developer’s apologies.

Vee Software’s Open Hexagon is a very, very recent game, but even in its short existence, it has already managed to stir up quite an amount of controversy, the matter being that Open Hexagon is none other than a free software clone of the popular iOS/Android game Super Hexagon, created by the equally popular indie developer Terry Cavanagh.

Now, video game clones are not a negative or uncommon thing at all, and have pretty much existed since the beginnings of video game history. However, Open Hexagon developer, Vee, has recently found himself the victim of some serious flak, the reason behind this being that he decided to release his own game clone before the much anticipated PC/Steam version of Super Hexagon. This resulted in a legion of rabid Cavanagh fans rushing in to accuse Vee of being a thief, a liar, and quite a variety of other unpleasant names and insults.

To make a few things clear, Open Hexagon is not only 100% free software, programmed from scratch using C++ and SFML (unlike Super Hexagon which is primarily based in Adobe Flash, with the PC port being completely redone in C++ as well), as it is also available for absolutely zero cost. It is not geared as a competitor for Super Hexagon, and it’s certainly not trying to profit from its original concept at all. If anything it’s actually attracting more attention towards the original game. If that wasn’t enough, the developer actually took the time and decency to ask permission to Cavanagh himself to create his game, while he had no obligation to do so at all.

image: tweets between devs

What ensued was a deep and long-winded apology from Vee, to all Super Hexagon fans, and the subsequent approval of his game by Cavanagh, despite the fact that he was never against the idea, since day one. I guess all’s well that ends well, but even though Cavanagh’s reactions were fairly reasonable from his part, I still can’t stop thinking that issues like this could have been easily avoided altogether, had he, and other indie developers such as him, made habit of releasing the source code of their own games, something that has, in fact, been done successfully in the past with surprisingly positive results.

Call me crazy, but I find it troubling that this new, so-called generation of “indie” developers and their supporters, heralded as the avant-guarde of video game originality, and as a counter-cultural movement that opposes industry stereotypes and its negative practices, shows so little knowledge and sensibility on matters of software freedom, and how it can be used to help and empower other amateur / independent developers such as themselves. The result is the accidental propagation, to their followers, of the gross misconception that for some reason, game concepts are the exclusive property of their authors, and that copying and innovating over other people’s ideas is a wrong thing to do. Coincidently, Vee himself has shown some great eloquence on this matter in his written apology, which really makes me wonder how come there aren’t more people like him in this new indie circle:

As a independent game developer, I wanted to create my own tribute version of the game, not only as an experiment, but also as a completely new experience: I wanted to make the game fully open, both as a free open-source product, and also as a customizable and scriptable game, in order to let people share their creations and have fun.

Now, the game itself is quite simple. You are a triangle spinning around a hexagon. Incoming polygons want you dead, so you have to dodge them. Sounds easy enough, right? It turns out it isn’t. And it could be a lot more if you’re whiling to help, because unlike Cavanagh, Vee crafted his game thinking of customization and the freedom to easily script, paint and construct your own levels in any way you wish.


image: Open Hexagon ad

Version 1.3 is out now, with updates pouring in, on a nearly daily basis, as Vee is still trying to shape his game into a more unique experience, a process in which you can take part as well! So if you have a mind for quick-reaction puzzle games and enjoy crafting your own personal conundrums for later enjoyment, or even showing them to your friends, by all means, download Open Hexagon, play it, and share your own levels with others!