Archive for the ‘Free Gamer’ Category

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 :)

The Sky of Verdun 3D – dogfight in HTML5

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Came across this seemingly fun little game over here, too bad I don’t have a Occulus Rift (yet):

Check their page for the Win32 and browser server/client download.

Code Combat: Open Source Javascript Tutorial Gamification (In A Good Way)

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Code Combat is a javascript programming learning IDE wrapped in a delicious cute RPG/2D RTS packaging that runs in the browser without any plugins. They recently announced their open source/free art release.

The current set of Code Combat tutorials starts with directional movement and activation of pre-programmed behavior, continues with coordinate movement and targeting and conditional behavior and continues towards prediction calculations.

Editor GUI

There is an editor, officially described as “broken”. I can confirm that the text editor was slow when I tried using it. :)

All in all, a very exciting project. I have noticed a few possible drawbacks so far:

  • It’s not yet clear which parts will not remain proprietary. It looks like the excellent humor (writing) unfortunately will do so (legal page).
  • The music tends to be too exciting to code to.
  • There’s a CLA requirement for contributing.
What do you think? Persuaded to work on a HTML5 game yourself perhaps, seeing that this performs okay? :)

Happy new year & Congrats to the LGA January 2014 winner!

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Hello 2014 and happy new year to everyone!

One of the new things for this year will be the regular Linux Game Awards done by various Linux and FOSS gaming site (and which has been spearheaded by the great LGDB).

And the first winner is:

Project of the Month Winner January 2014: 0 A.D.

The votes have been quite clear, but our friends from SuperTuxKart got a very respectable 2nd place:

You can expect some further promotional news coming up this month for 0 A.D. so stay tuned :)

Torque3D seems to finally get a Linux port!

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Following the release of the Torque3D engine under the MIT license (latest release 3.5 here), there was a lot of back and forth regarding a port to Linux (the engine actually used to have a good Linux port, but that one was dropped a few years back). At some point there was even an official Kickstarter crowed-funding attempt, which however failed to reach the estimated funds (but nether the less more than US$10k were pledged). After that things quited down, but several people continued developing a OpenGL renderer and Linux port.

Now it seems like all these efforts seem to be near a somewhat usable Linux port or at least that’s what I understand by following this forum thread.

Torque3D running on Xubuntu 12.10

In the short term the most interesting application of this Linux port is probably that the creator of RotC has announced on his currently running indigogo campaign to liberate (and update) the game, that now there will also be a Linux port.

Great news if you ask me, so don’t forget to pledge some of that Christmas money you got towards reaching the funding goal (currently $388 out of $1500, with 36 days left). Let’s make this happen!

Edit (nearly forgot): these two projects related to Torque3D might be interesting to follow: Project GREED and Zentense.

December RTS updates

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Merry Christmas from FreeGamer!

As a nice present from the 0 A.D. team, the new Alpha 15 Osiris was released today:

Lots of great new features and especially multiplayer games should be now much easier to do with hosting improvements and a lobby for browsing available games.

Another open-source RTS engine (using Mono/C# though) has also released a new version: OpenRA. Currently it is still geared toward running an assortment of older Command & Conquer based games, so you need to own these for the data. But this release adds lua scripting for the creation of custom missions, so maybe someone will come up with a libre game to run on this engine.

Last but not least, a new version of Warzone2100 was released about a week ago. This one actually includes some higher resolution textures, which is hopefully the first step to officially integrate all the awesome new art assets from the art revolution project.
Speaking of WZ mods: There is also an interesting new tower-defense mod currently being developed.

Let’s Play Permissions for Open Source Games With Free Art

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013
Let’s Play (LP) is an uprising form of previewing and experiencing video games.

While a review summarizes the experience, a LP allows to look a player over their shoulder and indirectly experience the game from one perspective in its entirety – if both Let’s Player and viewer have the endurance.

LPs have many styles: non-commented, informational, humorous… And their production quality varies too, be it video, audio or presentation.

Example of a Let’s Play video in its natural environment
Some creators of LPs (“LPers”) earn money using YouTube’s monetization features. When they do, YouTube’s semi-automatic moderation process starts paying more attention to the videos’ compliance with copyright.

Sometimes, LPers will contact game developers to receive permission to create LPs. To many creators of games, LPs are a welcome form of promotion and they will always say yes.

Clint Bellanger of FLARE released a Let’s Play policy, which elegantly covers both the situation in which a game’s art assets are CC-BY-SA 3.0 licensed and where all copyright belongs to one person.

FLARE is a collaborative effort of many artists who agreed to release their art under CC-BY-SA 3.0 and I think that FLARE’s LP policy reflects the intention of the license very well.

A complicated case might be a game which contains art that is under the GPL, which could be interpreted in a way, that requires the resulting video, as well as video project files to be made available under GPL as well.

In theory, any LP could be considered “fair use”. However, for-profit use and use of large portions of a work are often considered as not being “fair use” – for example by YouTube.

For game designers, I consider LPs to be a valuable resource, allowing to look up features or part-experience gameplay, where acquiring, installing and playing the game would be impossible, due to time restrictions.

I recommend looking up games that you have fond memories of or which you always wanted to try but the installation effort was too high on or just YouTube’s search function with “let’s play” in the query.

If YouTube’s HTML5 doesn’t work for you, youtube-dl will allow you to circumvent flash player issues (monetized YouTube videos appear to require flash).