Archive for the ‘Free Gamer’ Category

Freeablo is that Diablo engine remake we’ve been wishing for, is currenly looking for contributors (and general ravings about Diablo. In fact, mostly that)

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014
Freeablo engine in its early stages
Who doesn’t love the original Diablo? When it was first released in 1996, this game set a notable landmark for making the RPG genre more accessible to a broader audience, while still keeping many gameplay aspects of classic Rogue-derived RPGs, that kept the game fresh and unique even after being completed several times. This bridge between classic and modern aspects combined with an incredible attention to detail, a uniquely crafted atmosphere that still gives me the creeps, and a gameplay pacing and length that is just the right balance between level progression and grinding, has helped making Diablo one of my all time favourite games. Well, that and Battlenet, of course, we can never forget how Diablo was one of the first to make it so easy to just go dungeon crawling with a couple of friends online.
There is, however, one thing that I don’t like about Diablo. One thing that annoyed me all over these years of repeated runs and occasional multiplayer meetups. And that is how Blizzard itself decided to neglect its maintenance and compatibility completely and practically drop all active support for it, despite keeping the Battlenet servers online. Yes, you will have a tough time trying to buy a fresh copy of this game nowadays, because Blizzard cares so much about their legacy games they don’t even sell ‘em anymore in their official store. But even if there still are plenty of used copies available online for cheap, running the game on modern systems can be a whole a new quest, given that the last patch is dated from 2000, which means no performance maintenance, no improved graphics compatibility, in fact, not even additional screen resolutions, and certainly no stability updates whatsoever. 
The first Cathedral levels loaded and randomly generated in Freeablo
As a matter of fact, Blizzard has a whole tradition of being disrespectful to legacy fans. They refuse to let resellers touch their games (physical Diablo II and Starcraft copies still go by $25 nowadays, with no Steam or GOG versions in sight), they frequently discourage and hamper any type of mod support or mod attempts, other than whatever’s produced under their little walled garden editor-type programs and, obviously, they never ever released the source code of any of their games, just to make sure us, the plebeian fans, would never touch their precious abandoned heritage with our filthy paws.
Luckily, this might just be about to change, with the coming of a bold, new engine remake project most aptly named Freeablo. This project aims to rebuild and expand upon the original Diablo engine, keeping it fully portable and compatible with modern systems, as well as making it adaptable and moddable for anyone willing to modify the game. All of this while still paying due respect to Blizzard and requiring the original game files in order to run the game. Now isn’t this nice? 

As of the current 0.1 release, there is still much to be done, which is why the project is open to contributors of all sorts. Hopefully, with enough time and effort, we can all free Diablo one day from the clutches of proprietary software and greedy corporate execs who are still stuck in a 90s mentality on how to commercialize and support video games.

Code License: GPLv3

Assets License: Relies on original proprietary data files

Official Website
Source Code (Github)

Vote for the LGA: May 2014 (OS game engine remakes)

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014
Project of the Month May 2014

And Holarse.de even did a small trailer:

P.S.: Sorry for the lack of updates lately. If you are interested helping out with the blog give us a notice here.

POTM March 2014 winner announced

Saturday, March 1st, 2014

Quite close outcome this time for the Project of the Month 2014 vote over at linuxgameawards.org. But there has to be a winner:

Here is a closer look that which project got how many votes:

Congratulations to the winner Battle for Wesnoth!

GSoC 2014 mentoring organisations announced, review and apply!

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

After sorting through almost 400 applications of mentoring projects, Google has announced this year’s list of projects students can contribute to.

There aren’t too many FOSS gaming related projects this time though.
These are the relevant ones:

If you are not into game developer but would still like to contribute your programming skills I recommend you to have a look at these other selected projects (totally subjective and unsorted list):  Non-profit accounting, Mifos, Mixxx, Freifunk, OSGeo, Sahana & ProjectTox.

GSoC 2014 mentoring organisations announced, review and apply!

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

After sorting through almost 400 applications of mentoring projects, Google has announced this year’s list of projects students can contribute to.

There aren’t too many FOSS gaming related projects this time though.
These are the relevant ones:

If you are not into game developer but would still like to contribute your programming skills I recommend you to have a look at these other selected projects (totally subjective and unsorted list):  Non-profit accounting, Mifos, Mixxx, Freifunk, OSGeo, Sahana & ProjectTox.

FlightGear 3.0 and Bombable add-on

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

This week saw finally saw the official release of version 3.0 of FlightGear.

Notable changes:

Highlights in this release include integration of the FGCom voice communications client within the simulator, improved terrain rendering, faster scenery loading, and improved usability. This release also coincides with the release of FlightGear World Scenery 2.0 – massively improved scenery data covering the entirety of the planet and incorporating OpenStreetMap roads and detailed terrain information from a variety of sources.

Also interesting is the “Bombable” add-on, which adds combat mechanics:

KeeperRL and OpenIG

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Two interesting projects I recently came across:

1. KeeperRL:

Description from the author:

KeeperRL is a Dungeon Keeper and Dwarf Fortress inspired dungeon simulator built on top of roguelike mechanics. My vision is that you are a Sauron-like character, searching for ultimate knowledge of destruction. What makes the game different from other RTS is that you can, and are encouraged to, control your main character and lead your minions to an open war. The characters use equipment, scrolls, potions, spells, and other things you would expect in a roguelike. Combat is turn-based and very tactical. The whole world is procedurally generated, and there is adventure mode too.

See a video of the (still in ASCII graphics) action here and the GPL licensed code here. Latest development release can be downloaded here (Win&Linux).

2. OpenIG:

A real classic is being reimplemented as OpenIG (follow the development blog here). Interestingly the original developers have granted the rights to all the game’s data to be freely (as in beer I assume) distributed with the new Java based engine.
Time to jump into the 4X games again ;)

DevCorner: Multiple new platforms for Torque2D MIT

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

I tend to focus a bit on the 3D side of things, but the recently open-sourced Torque2D (note the “2″) engine is pretty cool too:

And in fact it got a whole lot better in the last couple of weeks with it being ported to Linux, Android and your browser (through Mozilla’s emscripten).

So if you are thinking about developing an open-source 2D game targeting multiple platforms, Torque2D has just became a serious contender.

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…

Preparing for a crowd-funding: Torque3D MIT Multi-platform

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

I mentioned the nice developments on the Torque3D OpenGL and Linux ports a few weeks back, and now it seems like it is getting even more serious:

Planned platforms of Torque3D

Now don’t spill your beer just yet, as this is just the proposal the developer makes for a crowd-funding building up on his great previous Linux/OpenGL work.

One of the first (hopefully soon to be) FOSS games that could benefit from this, is the currently also looking for crowd-funding RoTC abstract FPS. Only 9 days left, but they made another good increase in the last couple of days, so it is still possible to reach their goal of $1500. In fact the older (mostly closed source) version was also recently updated and you can try it on some new servers.

The (more or less friendly) fork GREED tech MIT that aims to make a full FPS development kit out of Torque3D also seems to make some interesting progress, so it looks quite bright development wise for now :)