Archive for the ‘Free Gamer’ Category

Hexoshi – inspired by Metroid

Thursday, December 1st, 2016

Hexoshi (forum thread) is a libre game generally inspired by the Metroid series, notably the older versions.

It is seeking funding using CrowdSupply for a budget of at least $1100 to achieve “Milestone 1” which involves fleshing out the first world of the game, including new enemies, player abilities, and 30-40 rooms, and the graphics for it all (which seems to be the bulk of the funding requirement).

It already looks quite well done, even though it is in the early stages of development. Smooth animations, accurate and responsive movement, and fun music all make it quite a compelling game and something the FOSS game scene doesn’t really have.

Hexoshi is developed by Julie Merchant, aka onpon4 on the FreeGameDev forums. It is written in Python and SGE. Julie/onpon4 also developed ReTux (forum thread) – a project that received less credit than it deserved, likely because it looked so similar to SuperTux due to re-using graphics from the classic FOSS platformer. In my opinion, ReTux is a better and more original game than SuperTux and a remarkable achievement given it was a 1 man effort with a relatively short development time. However, when the developer tried to get ambitious funding for ReTux there seemed to be little response.

This time around, Hexoshi has no such problems with potential mistaken identity. The caveat is that the graphics do not exist for Julie to pick up and use. The crowd funding effort is already on track to succeed.

Warsow down, FOSS Sauerbraten fork and maybe an unkown project?

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Assorted news from the vast realm of open-source FPS games:

  1. Sadly Warsow, despite recentish good news of open asset re-licensing, seems to have come to an end, with the lead engine developer stepping down and general chaos in its wake. Initially I thought it would sort itself out somehow, but after a few months things look still bad. And an forking attempt also seems to have fizzled. So, maybe YOUR chance to step up and take over a brand new fork? It includes nice relatively unknown game modes similar to Team Fortress and Counterstrike “bombing”, so one could try to refocus and re-brand everything.
  2. Maybe old news, but it seems people finally got sick of the lack of development and restricting assets licenses of Sauerbraten, and decided to start a nice fork called Inexor. From the looks of it, engine development is quite active and new asset licensing should make the result fully FOSS. They even plan to back-port some nice stuff from Tesseract (sadly also very low profile development on that one).
  3. Not yet released, but projectUnkown is a cool one-man-show project, with extremely liberal game-code and assets licensing (CC0). It will utilize the latest and best of the Quake1 derived engines FTEQW, and has been recently showcased on the QuakeExpo2016.
  4. Another unreleased WIP is the Darkplaces based “A Dark Place” (sic) single player FPS. Check out their development screen-shots on our forums and on quakeone.com.
  5. And last but not least it looks like the the Alien Arena (open-source Quake2 based engine with closed art assets) is getting yet another major content upgrade. Amazing how much endurance they have in updating this game…

That’s it for a small summary update. If you have more recent open-source FPS gossip, please comment below 😀

DevCorner: Exciting news from the Godot Engine project

Monday, October 24th, 2016

The Godot Engine (“the open-source answer to Unity3D”) continues to make exciting progress with the recent stable release of version 2.1. Besides lots of small usability improvements to the GUI, the main new feature is a asset sharing store build right into the editor:

This should hopefully result in a lot of extremely easy to use assets, and I am looking forward to seeing a lot high quality assets from OpenGameArt.org transferred into it 😉

In related news, it was recently announced that there is work going on to allow C# (a extremely popular game scripting language also used in Unity3D) scripting in Godot besides the current Python based custom language. So this should lower the entry barrier for indie developers significantly, and maybe we will even see a conversion utility for open-sourcing simple Unity3D games?

Furthermore they are also working on a visual scripting system akin to Unreal’s Blueprint or what you can use in the Blender Game Engine. Yeah, visual programming systems are usually pretty limited, but they have their use-cases and definitely lower the entry barrier for artists (map events or shader scripting). Or to put it in the Godot Engine developer’s words:

To make it clearer, it is not our belief that forcing programmers to write code with visual blocks will result in a more efficient workflow. We know other game engines and solutions try to sell you this point of view, but rest assured that this is not our view or intention. We stand by programming and still believe it’s the best.
So then, again, why visual scripting? Our goals with it are the following:

  • Provide a way for non-programmers to experience what developing in Godot feels like, by ensuring they have a way to manipulate their game’s logic.
  • Allow programmers to set up their scenes, AI, etc. in a way they can expose the coarse parameters and logic to level designers or game designers. This way, they can do tweaks without bothering programmers.
  • Allow programmers to expose how data is organized in a visual way. Godot’s VisualScript has so much flexibility in how the graph flows that it allows creating dialogue trees, coarse game flow, event handling, etc. with small effort.

Please understand it as just an extra tool, not as a replacement to programming. It will be possible to use both GDScript and VisualScript as complementary tool in a same project.

Sounds pretty good doesn’t it?

Oh and last but not least, after long waiting the first version of the Godot based point and click adventure framework Escoria has been released. It is based on the work done for the pretty cool commercial game developed by the original team behind the Godot Engine, so it should be quite powerful. You can find the source code here and a nice manual here.

P.S.: There is also work on-going on a higher level networking support for Godot, which should really help with multi-player prototypes.

Yearning for more blog posts

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

Gosh that tumbleweed is clogging up the blog!

I logged into github today and saw this highly active project in my feed called The Yearning

A hybrid singleplayer / multiplayer game about spider drones and the meaning of life.

If that doesn’t mean too much to you (it didn’t to me!) then fortunately you can check out this gif of some gameplay. 

Lots of other projects continue on strongly. Then there’s others that need a bit of TLC. Somebody is having a bit of a go with reviving Open City, which could hopefully lead to making it a bigger project with more contributors later down the line. Then there’s somebody reviving Lips of Suna. That’s the great thing about open source – there’s always a chance somebody is interested enough to take on the mantle should the original developer move on to other things.

SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 released & new website

Sunday, July 3rd, 2016

Great news from our friends of the SuperTuxKart project! Read all the details on their latest blog-post here.

They also made a nice new trailer showing off a more unusual game-mode:

Clearly this project has come a long way and looks better with every release! So grab your copy over at their fancy new website.

QuakeExpo2016 16-30th of July, register your virtual booth now!

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Seem like some people want to revive the old QuakeExpo tradition this year, which is after all the 20th anniversary of Quake1:

https://qexpo2016.com/

Booth pre-registration started on the 18th of June, and the for those that wonder what it is all about:

If you are a qexpo old-timer:  The format is virtual ‘booths’ set up for a limited number of days just like the past.  But unlike the past, this site has a built-in comment and messaging system.  The site-wide stream of discussion is available on the ‘Activity’ tab.  However, any booth owner may disable comments on their particular booth page by checking the ‘Comments Disabled’ category.

We also have a fancy event calendar to be populated.  Events occurring prior to the Expo days may be posted, but it is requested that there be an event coverage booth, news, or other tie-in available during the Expo itself.

If you’re a new-timer wondering what the heck this is:  The Quake Expo concept is based on virtual ‘booths’ where people show off projects, provide tutorials, or share nostalgia.  See the links at the bottom of the site for previous years.  The idea is a bit retro given all the possible online outlets for creativity now.  But that’s one of the reasons to have it-  with so many islands of forums, social media groups, and code repositories, it might be nice to come together for a few days and see what everyone else is doing.  The time limitation is key.  Booths will only be open for two weeks and afterwards the entire site is closed and archived.

Focus is mainly on Quake1 engine derived projects (Darkplaces Engine for example), but in the past there were usually also a few Quake2/3 engine projects in it. Fully FOSS is not a strict requirement, but quite common, and the engine is of course GPL licensed.

Personally I hope we will see some projects picking up the quite awesome mobileVR port of Darkplaces: http://quakevr.com/ 

P.S.: Slightly OT, but the Inside3D forums (all about Quake1 engine programming) have a new home at http://www.insideqc.com/

Blackvoxel, an ambitious Minecraft/Factorio mix?

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Check out this interesting (somewhat recently GPLv3 re-licensed) game Blackvoxel:

As you can see it has some interesting mechanic which they call “Molecular Voxel Interaction Engine“. As seen in the trailer above, it basically allows you to automate crafting, resulting in interesting “programmable” factory setups.
Of course this might sound a bit too much like actual work and not fun… but given the big fan scene for the closed source game Factorio, I would say it can be more fun that it looks at first 😉

Blackvoxel itself probably needs to be a bit more of a game instead of “just” a sandbox, but there is big promise in the overall concept, so give it a try 🙂

Cute Character Crowdfunding (CC-BY-SA 4.0)

Sunday, April 10th, 2016
Remember Justin Nichol’s amazing Portrait Kickstarter? He’s up to no good again:

Horde of Cuteness! is an ongoing crowdfunded high resolution character icon collection and the indiegogo campaign will add 2 heroes, 5 monsters, and 3 boss monsters chosen by the backers.

All the characters will be released under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 4.0 license, and will be made available as .pngs with transparent backgrounds, and will have include .kra or .xcf source files for editing the characters yourself. All new images will be 2000px by 2000px.

 There’s a month left and only 590$ out of 1000$ missing.

Back the icon collection on indiegogo.

DevCorner: Atomic Game Engine MIT (Urho3D fork) and Godot 2.0

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

First off (and you probably read it elsewhere before): The awesome Godot game engine got a really awesome 2.0 release a few weeks ago. It also got independent of it’s original developers (who stay active in development), and the first larger commercial game with it was released on Steam just a few days ago.

Fresh of the press is a FOSS release of an pretty awesome competitor though:
The Atomic Game Engine was just released fully under the MIT license! Its render engine is a fork of the pretty nice Urho3D renderer, but it includes an cross-platform integrated development environment similar to Godot:

Looks nice, but where is the Linux binary release? 🙁

Dive into the source code here. Similar to Godot it features some neat platform support: Linux, Android, WebGL, Windows, iOS and OSX (resorted for significance 😉 ); but unlike it you have much more and more common scripting languages at your disposal: JavaScript, TypeScript, C++, and C# scripting in the works. Especially the latter could be interesting if someone manages to make an Unity3D compatibility layer for migrating and open-sourcing Unity games…

For a nice overview, don’t miss the GamesFromScratch video and introduction tutorial (from back in December 2015 when it was not yet MIT licensed):

DevCorner: Superpowers HTML5 collaborative game maker open-sourced!

Monday, January 18th, 2016

Great news for HTML5 game developers: a few days ago Superpowers was released under the ISC license.

What is Superpowers? A game development platform (an integrated editor but you can collaborate in realtime online; how cool is that! 😀 ) for making HTML5 games using TypeScript (a superset of Javascript). But you will also be able to work with other languages, so far support for the well known LÖVE2D is available.

Learn more in this video:

The source is available here and there is also an repository with a few sample games. If you like what they are doing, please consider becoming a supporter.

Looking forward to your new HTML5 games!