Zero-K, the probably coolest fully FOSS offspring of the SpringRTS engine has seen at least two new releases since it last crossed my mind to check their page… a pity actually as the new features of version 184.108.40.206 (and prior) seem quite nice. And for those not into the game (yet), there is now a channel with commented multi-player matches like this one:
Just a pity that the game-play doesn’t really allow much zooming in to see the graphically really nice units 😉
Given the often quite small online communities around FOSS games, one has to become creative on how to keep players and attract new ones. Regular tournaments are one of those good ideas, albeit one that is a lot of work organizing. One of the games that is still struggling to attract a stable player base is Unvanquished, even though the game is based on Tremulous and thus quite well developed game-play wise.
Don’t hide from the Aliens
However for those complaining about it being the “same old” just with fancy graphics, they have implemented an all new resource and base building system, which will be also used in the tournament! To quote them:
Your tactics may need to change to compensate for this, but you can always test out the new gameplay on our development server beforehand, as well as by attending and observing our weekly development games on Saturdays. An explanation of the differences between our gameplay and the classic Tremulous variety will be explained in a helpful guide that we will provide to you shortly. Most notably, camping is no longer a desirable tactic, and map control is the new focus.
They said “no more camping” !”§$%&/!!!
So where can you learn more about this tournament? Well follow the previous link 😉 The event will begin in the middle of July, with the first matches held on the weekend of Friday, July 19th through Sunday, July 21st.But if you manage to pass those rounds, you will have to plan for some matches on the following weekend too. Registration starts on the 1st of July and you will need at least 3 other people on your team. I would naturally suggest a FreeGamer team, however due to my current bad internet connection, it is sadly not possible for me to join. But I hope some of the matches will be recored so that we can cover them here on the blog too 🙂
Here is a nice (but slightly older) game-play video for those not having played Xonotic yet:
Changes are quite extensive compared to the last official release… most notably an extensive update the the CTF mode, some neat additional features for competitive gaming and an assortment of great new maps.
New maps in Xonotic 0.7
On the technical side of things, the engine DarkPlaces got quite a few performance improvements (mainly due to the fact that the creator now works at Valve software and thus has direct access to Nvidia’s and AMD’s graphics hardware divisions) and that an all new script compiler is now in use. That it runs on SDL 2.0 might also increase it’s usability a lot for some. There are also finally an animation bending feature for the player-models and creation of new characters has never been easier now that the iqm format is used.
Here is another post about a project I found in the far ends of the internet (“here be dragons”), but which seems really promising never the less.
But first of all a disclamer by the original creator:
The screenshots you are about to see are not yet an eye candy, they’re rather to be seen as a ‘proof of concept’ with lots of crappy placeholders. Work so far has mainly been done on the internal mechanics of game handling such as object interaction (player can carry gun which again can ‘carry’ a mag and the like), realistic calculation of trajectories, hit testing etc.
All there is so far is a thread on the Irrlich forums (with a few more details and development screenshots) and sadly the main developer seems to be bogged down by “real-life” ATM. But it seems like a worthwhile project to support.
Oh and get this: it is developed primarily for Linux 😀
And the other one is for “FreeGameDevs”: And as they say: good things come to those that wait, and things are better late then never… so I am happy to also report about the Octaforge 0.2.0 beta1 release.
This friendly fork of the Cube2 engine, brings an impressive list of new features on the table, and should once it becomes more “production ready” be a strong contender for the easiest to mod FPS engine out there!
For 0 A.D., Erik Johansson steps down from project leadership and Michael D. Hafer assumes that role.
In Unknown Horizons, Nightraven steps back and Kilian fills the project management role.
Leadership in free and open source game projects is an exciting topic with much opinion about which style will lead to a successful game – whatever the subject’s definition of “success” is – and too few examples to make objective statements about it.
Are you following any specific projects and their leadership structures an want to comment on these? I must admit that I am out of the loop with many, many projects, although I am pretty sure that for example Flare, NAEV and Valyria Tear have (successful) Benevolent Dictator for Life style leadership.
On related note: FIFE (the isometric 2d engine used by Unknown Horizons) moved to GitHub.
Great news from the people behind the idTech4 powered stealth FPS The Dark Mod: They are making great steps to leave their Doom3 mod legacy behind and a standalone version should not be all that far from now.
Sadly both of them use proprietary themes (and one could even argue that The Dark Mod is borderline infringing on one too), but I am still looking forward to try out these nice community creations once they become stand-alone!
In a pretty surprising move the source-code of the idTech3 based games Jedi Knight 2: Jedi Outcast and Jedi Academy were released under the GPL by Activision and Raven Software. You can find the original source drops here and here. The content is obviously still propitiatory (e.g. you need to buy it), but some people have already plans to upgrade the source as OpenJK (most likely back-ports from ioQuake3) and make a Linux version most likely. Would be also cool if a nice stand-alone FOSS 3rd person sword-fighting game would come out of this… but the detailed player animations will likely be the biggest road-block.
Ahh well… and since I hate posting something with no pictures or videos I include the pretty nice new Flare 0.18 release:
It includes some pretty nice new features too:
10 Equipment Slots, up from 4 (and easily configurable)