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Top Futuristic Open Source Racing Games on Linux

Saturday, April 18th, 2015

F-Zero and Wipeout set the standard for the futuristic sci-fi racing games genre and inspire many game developers.

Over the years, four projects of that genre were started and developed to a playable state that are now open source code:

H-Craft by Irrgheist is a free sci-fi racer with IAP on Android. It is built with the Irrlicht engine and was recently released as free software with freeware data.

While gameplay is simple without pickups, boosts or weapons, the campaign keeps it interesting. The 180°-Turns used in H-Craft level design are very refreshing to the genre.

CoreBreach is a commercial anti-gravity racing game with combat gameplay. There is a freeware dataset that allows compiling and playing a simpler-looking version.

Being an Objective C project, it was unusual to compile for me on latest Arch Linux but possible. Campaign mode, weapons and split-screen multiplayer make it cover many bases.

Racer is the only project with 100% free as in freedom data, yet unfortunately it does not compile on current Arch Linux.

Of our four projects, this is the only that has the classic drive-over boost fields.

Ecksdee is the oldest of the bunch and has challenging time trial single-player gameplay.

There are weapon pickups but without AI or human competitors they serve no purpose yet.

Project Comparison

H-Craft CoreBreach Racer* Ecksdee
Latest Version 2015-02-23 (1.3) 2012-11-30 (git) 2010-10-10 (r349) 2006-11-24 (0.0.9)
Campaign Mode yes yes no no
Split-Screen Multiplayer no yes yes no
Weapons no yes no yes
AI yes yes no no
Gamepad Support yes yes yes no
Menu UI Look good ok good ok
Music yes yes no yes
Sounds yes yes yes yes
Linux Builds or Compiling not tested, build used complicated but compiles fails fails, win32 build/wine used
Art Asset License(s) Mostly no-modify-no-distribute no-distribution, GPL, CC-BY 3.0 CC-BY-SA 3.0 GPL, CC-BY-NC, CC-BY-NC-ND
Is It Cool? yes yes yes yes

* Could not build racer, reviewing from long term memory

Related projects

Stunt Rally has a F-Zero-esque antigrav vehicles and futuristic levels but primarily it’s a car racing game. The default physics don’t seem to be working for a futuristic racing style.

The cool Blender Game Engine project RGP has it’s .blend file available but it does not have license information. The .blend contains no audio and only one level without AI.

HexGL is pretty but has no sound, no ai, only one level and is CC 3.0 BY-NC licensed (including code) at the moment. If anybody is interested in contributing: the developer indicated interest in the MIT license.

TheRush seem to be Windows-only and does not run in Wine.

Linux Game Awards: PotM March 2014 VOTE NOW!

Monday, January 27th, 2014

It’s time for another installment of the somewhat bi-monthly Linux Game Awards:

Project of the Month March 2014

The list of nominees is again quite interesting, so choose your favorite.

This months winner was 0 A.D. by the way… I guess we need to increase the promotion efforts a bit in case you weren’t aware…

Linux Game Awards voting open now!

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Quietly in the background a group of open-source and Linux enthusiast websites (full disclosure: including FreeGamer ;) ) has developed a new platform for promoting open-source games:

One of its regular features will be a monthly award and a related promotion drive for the winner on all affiliated sites.

Project of the Month January 2014

As a start, our community came up with the first 10 nominees for the January 2014 award and you can now vote for your favorite game of those here.

P.S.: One of the nominated projects, SuperTuxKart, had a new release today also. Don’t forget to check it out and vote for them if you like it.

DevCorner: Blender Game Engine

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

While Blender3D is one of the premier FOSS projects out there, its integral part the Blender Game Engine (BGE) is often belittled as not a serious game engine.

While the criticism is certainly not completely unfounded  and the integration of limited “non-programming” game code creation (via logic bricks) gives it a bit of a “RPG maker” image, it really is a quite interesting platform to work on it seems.
Ok, probably as of now the BGE is really more of a rapid game prototyping engine, but previous experience during the Yo, Frankie! project has actually shown that at least compared to some other well known FOSS engines, it is a serious contender (that Blender Foundation project originally started on Crystal Space, and after many problems was implemented in the BGE in a few weeks only).

So what makes it so interesting? Well for one there is the full integration with a creation tool (obviously Blender3D) so that getting your content into the game is only a matter of making it. No exporters or anything needed… it just works. Then of course there is the fully scriptability via Python, also integrated tightly. Basically you never have to exit Blender, and testing your game can be done right in the editor with one click (no compiling etc. necessary). Oh and did I mention the great physics capabilities via Bullet, also build right in?

In addition your created game will be immediately available on any platform the Blender Game player has been ported (all major desktop operating systems, with an Android port under development and a browser plugin, too). In addition you can choose to publish your game as a single .blend file, giving the users a direct access to all the source files of the game; a wet dream of any true FOSS game developer!
The tight integration with the GPLed Blender Player, has been a major source of discontent with the predominately propitiatory game developing users of the BGE however. Thus there now exists also a few options to encrypt your game and/or run it on an external engine that can be kept close source (but I will not go further into that here). 

You can find a lot of (sometimes really awesome looking: 1, 2, 3) game projects on the forum. Now as I said, most of it is sadly closed source with propitiatory artworks, but I also have the feeling that some simply don’t know or care about the legal implications of their “freeware” game (which sadly shows that even many people who use a great FOSS tool, mostly care about the “free as in beer” aspect of it). 

One of the more interesting projects right now (which might or might not become a full FOSS game) can be seen in this video:

It shows the most recent work by Martinesh, who is basically BGE’s resident game art guru. Two years ago we already featured previous awesome work by him, but sadly that Air Race project is by now canceled.
What he is now working on is however rather a show-case for the really nice new graphical features in the BGE which he and others are developing in the so called “candy” development branch (on his blog there are also more details and nice videos from some time ago).

Another cool recent project it the rewrite of the the logic bricks visual programming idea via nodal logic blocks called Hive.

While not completely integrated into Blender yet, you can already try it via an external editor (the created python code works fine inside Blender). There are also some tutorials and a documentation for it.
Since my programming skills also lack somewhat, I find that an interesting tool… however most likely it is rather a nice way to do some level scripting, than actually programming the real guts of a game with it.

So where can you get started with developing your own game using the BGE? Well, the sub-forums are always helpful, with some nice beginners video tutorials linked here, here, here and here ;)
There are even some books available (this one in particular is quite recent, which is a plus given the fast development of Blender3D) and there is of course the official Blender documentation.
Oh and a good source of content is (besides our friends of course) Blender Swap (nice interview with one of the creators here).

If you have further questions please comment below or ask over at!