Archive for the ‘Free Gamer’ Category

Duck Marines, FOSS remake of ChuChu Rocket

Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Thanks to Tangram Games for pointing out to us that they just released version 1.0 of their local multiplayer game Duck Marines.

They describe it as:

Duck Marines is a cross-platform free software PC remake of Sonic Team’s ChuChu Rocket.
Duck Marines attempts to recreate the magic from the local multiplayer of ChuChu Rocket while adding new elements like mini games, a level editor, colorful pixel art and more.

But see for yourself:

For those not familiar with the original on the Dreamcast here is a small description of the gameplay:

The goal of the game is to get as many ducks into the submarine of your color. Gray ducks give you one point, gold ducks give multiple points and pink ducks will trigger an event or mini game.
Guide the ducks towards your submarine by placing arrows on the ground. When walking over an arrow ducks will instead walk in the direction the arrow is pointing.
Beware of the blue predators. Predators love to eat ducks and will kill a large number of your ducks if they reach your submarine. Try instead to guide the predators to the other players’ submarines using your arrows.

Source-code (zlib) can be found here, assets are licensed under the CC-by-NC-SA/ND. Build with the great Lua 2D game framework LÖVE by the way.

DevCorner: GameDevelop goes open-source

Saturday, July 5th, 2014

Thanks to GamingOnLinux for pointing out that this crossplattform *no-programming* 2D game development suite has gone fully FOSS.
It can export games to HTML5 and native code (x86 Linux and Windows).

Read the original announcement here. The github repository is here.

License infos:

  • The IDE (in the IDE folder) is licensed with GPL v3. 
  • The Core library, the native and HTML5 platforms (respectively Core, GDCpp and GDJS folders) are LGPL v3. 
  • Extensions (in the Extensions folder) are using zlib/libpng license. 
  • The name, Game Develop, and its logo are the exclusive property of Florian Rival.

Here is a small video to get you started:

& you can find some example games here.
—-
By the way: I also recommend to have another look at the Godot engine which has had many improvements since it became open-source a few months ago.

Winner of the Linux Game Awards PotM July 2014 announced!

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

See full announcement here.

Congrats to Unvanquished, they are doing a great job for sure!

While they won by a clear lead, the follow-up projects are also very much worth mentioning:

May the source be with you

Saturday, June 28th, 2014

I’m a big advocate of the phrase, “Release Early, Release Often.” I think it is by far the best way to keep or gain community interest in a project.

Of course, that simple phrase doesn’t quite sum up what you actually must do – simply uploading a release and announcing it on your mailing list is unlikely to attract interest. For example, who knew about Lincity-NG 2.9beta in lieu of the intended Lincity-NG 3.0?

Lincity-NG is in a bit of a mini-crisis. A victim of the shutdown of the Berlios developer services, all the web material is in a bit of a mess. Its home page is now on fedorahosted.org but still links back to the defunct Berlios page. There are entries on Google Code and Github that are up to date with the source, as well as an imported Sourceforge project* which is the only place you can currently find the beta, however all are unofficial / back up for now.

(* Not to be confused with this redundant redundant project)

Another game project which suffered was Battles of Antargis. It has re-emerged on Github and development seems to have resumed with C++ replacing the Ruby bits which previously encumbered the game. For a web presence, you have to use the Internet archive for its old Berlios page or external sites e.g. the LGBD entry or on Libregamewiki.

Battles of Antargis

It’s not just Berlios that throws a spanner in people’s works. Sourceforge has setback the oft-setback Extreme Tux Racer by closing down their hosted apps. The main communication medium was phpBB but now it is completely gone. They did manage to get an updated 0.6.0 release online before this, at least.

Since there doesn’t appear to be any project communication channel for ETR, I have contacted them suggesting a FreeGameDev forum.

Speaking of FGD forums, there’s plenty of activity amongst the projects there. Stunt Rally continues to gain more strings to its bow. Sci-fi hovercrafts! That ought to be interesting. Despite being one of the prettiest open source games and incredibly put together almost by one person, CryHam – well, not quite; it took VDrift‘s physics and Ogre3D‘s jazz – the project doesn’t seem to get the attention it deserves.

Sci-fi overcrafts now in Stunty Rally

You can browse the tracks online. Check out this fun looking track with pyramids and chasms galore.

Another project gaining momentum is OpenDungeons. It’s had its ups and downs, but seems to have gotten its footing now with regular test releases and several active contributors. The new website is coming along, but more importantly so is the game as especially Yohann Ferreira aka Bertram (of Valyria Tear fame) has come in and steadied the ship. I look forward to seeing creatures like this golem trudging dark, damp and dangerous dungeon corridors.

Of course the reality of open source game development is that it is not an overnight job. It takes years of perseverance to realise the goals of many projects. Over the course of that time, occasionally the rug may get pulled from under you. You just have to be prepared to dust yourself off, get up, and keep going.

Or you could just call it quits.

OpenRA also has a new release

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

OpenRA is a Free Software recreation of the famed Command & Conquer engine, and it aims to support and enhance all Westwood games originally built upon it, namely Tiberian Dawn, Red Alert, and Dune 2000. However, unlike most engine remakes, OpenRA isn’t a simple 1:1 recreation with a little streamlining here and there, as the project also aims to optimize and rebalance the gameplay for purposes of online multiplayer. The project has recently released the latest stable version, fixing a lot of bugs and adding plenty of new features, as seen on the following release trailer:
Interestingly enough, in order to play all the games supported by OpenRA, you are not forced to own an original copy of any, given that all three ones were released gratis a few years ago. Though the package comes without any of this data, it immediately invites the player to download it from the project’s own repositories, thus making all the games readily available to play.
The campaign mode is still not fully supported by OpenRA, with only some missions available for playing and no cinematics support at all, but we can only hope this will change in the future. In the meantime, you’re free to enjoy all the supported games in skirmish mode, or play online against friends. So here’s to the OpenRA team, and keep up the good work.
Code license: GPLv3
Assets license: Free-as-in-beer (available gratis, but still subject to copyright, as the C&C franchise is still intellectual property currently owned by EA)
Official website
Source code (Github)

YSoccer out of Beta

Monday, June 23rd, 2014

Since football is all the rage right now – unless you are hiding under a rock then you can’t have escaped the World Cup – then a little bit of football game news seems appropriate!

The game formerly known as Yoda Soccer has left beta and been unleashed upon the classic pixel soccer game world as YSoccer.

YSoccer version 14

If you never played Sensible Soccer, then you may not yet get what the fuss is all about – if that’s the case then you should download it and give it a try!

Sadly football games are a little under served in the open source game community. Bygfoot and Eat the Whistle are quite playable, if a little raw. Project Football is almost a game. Open Football and Open World Soccer never quite got off the ground.

Project Football looked great but was last updated 4 years ago

YSoccer stands out amongst them and deserves a bit more attention than it probably gets.

EDIT: I feel I was a little unfair to Open World Soccer. If you download 0.5 (the most recent release, from 2010) you can see it is quite close to being a playable game. It is by the same guys as YSoccer and was originally an attempt to get away from the proprietary language that YSoccer is written in. You could even say it was intended to be a full port of YSoccer from Blitzmax to C++ (the author suggests so).

OpenXcom hits 1.0

Saturday, June 14th, 2014
We have previously mentioned OpenXcom on several occasions before, but now the massive UFO: Enemy Unknown engine reimplementation project finally hit the long-awaited 1.0 mark, and they decided to celebrate by releasing this lovely trailer that sums up quite well the insane amount of detail and improvement put into the project over the course of 4 years. I’ll let it do justice by itself, but not without thanking all the contributors for raising one of the most acclaimed DOS-era strategy classics from the stagnating swamps of buggy unsupported legacy releases and platform incompatibility.
On a final note, the engine is, of course, free-as-in-freedom, though it relies on original game data of proprietary nature. You can download OpenXcom here, and buy an affordable digital copy of the original game on Steam, or somewhere around the web.
Code License: GPLv3
Assets License: Relies on original proprietary data files. All new original art assets included in the OXC package available under CC-BY-SA

Official Website
Source Code (Github)

Vote now on Linux Game Awards for the PotM July 2014

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

You know the drill ;)

Project of the Month July 2014

For those a bit slow: yes you can vote for multiple projects… So lets share the love a bit and not only focus on a single title (you know which one I mean).

Otherwise: If you have great ideas how the award could be made even better than it already is (yes we know, this time the nominations are a bit random), comment below.

Mutant Gangland is Free (but only as in Freedom)

Monday, May 12th, 2014

Mutant Gangland is a nice-looking, turn-based strategy game that just happened to have all of its code released under the MIT license.

The games graphics follow a classic pixelart aesthetic

This project is attempting to follow the classic Free Software game business model where you share the source but keep the artwork proprietary, which is perfectly acceptable and fine. It currently sells for $3.99 and it’s available for GNU/Linux, OSX, Windows, and Android.

So let this be an example to all of the new wave of indie developers. People, share you’re freaking source codes under a Free License! Not only you’re not losing money because of this, you’ll also be getting free revisions and improvements to your own code, and you will be providing others the chance of creating something different with it.

Code License: MIT
Assets License: Proprietary

Official Website
Source Code (Github)

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)