Archive for the ‘Free Gamer’ Category

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 lparchive.org 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).

Reminder: 1 week left to vote

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Voting for the Linux Game Awards January 2014 will come to an end in about one week (24th of December).

So if you haven’t voted yet, don’t waste any time!
You can read more about the award in this older blog entry.

Tales of Maj’Eyal (ToME) version 1.1.0 and Steam edition

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

The great roguelike RPG Tales of Maj’Eyal (ToME) is available as a new version (1.1.0) nicknamed “Full Steam Ahead”. Here is a slightly older trailer for version 1.0.5.:

Release highlights:

  • New necromancer tree: Animus
  • All achievements now feature beautiful 128×128 images
  • Improved Alchemist interaction with its golem
  • Tons of fixes and balance adjustements
  • Many improvements for addon creators, including a way to enable debug mode and a tool (inthe debug menu) to register and upload addons to te4.org directly from the game.
  • Includes a Fez. Fezzes are cool!

Interestingly it has also been “greenlit” on the popular game distribution channel Steam, so if you want to donate to the developers you can also do it by buying ToME through this channel. The currently discounted version includes a DLC with an updated UI (and the hint for a Steampunk themed extension) which seems to me like a planned way of funding the development of the game in the future.

Help to ROTC:Ethernet to become fully open-source

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

The creator of the nice, but pretty niche, freeware game (but with Creative Commons licensed assets) Revenge of the Cats: Ethernet has just informed us that he started a Indiegogo campaign (target US$ 1500) to liberate the game.

The current version still runs on an old closed source build of the Torque3D engine, but with the somewhat recent move to MIT licensing, it has now become possible to go fully open-source.
According to the author:
All I need is about a month’s time and some cash to make it happen.

So lets give him the help he needs ;)

The only not so great part of it is that the Linux port of the Torque3D MIT engine is not yet available. Several people are slowly working on it, but after a failed attempt to crowd-fund it, there seems to have been some setbacks.
But optimistically speaking, this could give it the needed push to also motivate the finalization of a working Linux port.

Progress on Octaforge

Saturday, November 30th, 2013

One of the newer engine/game projects I have been following closely is Octaforge. It is basically a fork of Tesseract, which in turn is an graphic improvement project by the makers of the well known Cube2 engine.

The main difference with Octaforge is that aims to become a game SDK and platform for easy creation of mods; And one of its prime new features for this is full scriptability with Lua.

Read about their progress on the latest beta here, which also includes this nice video showcasing the new player model and an test map:

Zelda can now be free as in freedom

Thursday, November 28th, 2013

Not only from the clutches of Ganondorf, but also from the dominion of proprietary software. All thanks to the magnificent Solarus Engine, a GPLed, SDL-based, 2D action RPG engine. This amazing project aims to provide a stable and easily customizable platform for users to create their own Zelda-like games, and so far, I must say, I am darn impressed by what I’ve seen. The engine already has two incredible launching titles, named The Legend of Zelda: Mystery of Solarus DX, and a parody of the former, Mystery of Solarus XD. Both are true love letters to the classic SNES RPG, The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, and amazing and enjoyable games on their own.

Mystery of Solarus DX

But hark, the mere words of a mortal make no justice to the grandiosity of this undertaking. Sheathe thy sword, get thy green cap and ready yourself to adventure! You can start by marching straight to the Solarus download section, or, if your intentions are more creative, you can check the various sources here, and the quest editor here.

Code License: GPLv3
Mystery of Solarus DX Artwork License: Mixed  (original Solarus assets under CC-BY-SA, but the game also uses spritework taken directly the A Link to the Past rom)

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: http://www.linuxgameawards.org/

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.

Holiday Racer 2.2 released (aka Stunt Rally)

Monday, November 25th, 2013

Obviously someone is having a hard time with the winter in the northern hemisphere right now:

More awesome screenshots of Stunt Rally 2.2 here, and don’t miss the details of the new version in the full change log.

Last but not least, discuss it on our forums :)

Lips of Suna 0.8.0 released

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013

And another great new release :)

Our favorite work in progress & not quite serious anime RPG Lips of Suna bumps its release number to 0.8 (change-log).

I know what you are thinking…

Most notable changes:

  • New player model and animations contributed by gruntunbur.
  • Lots of sound effects contributed by qubodup.
  • More powerful animation blending.
  • Performance improvements.
  • Better eye, face and hair color customization.
  • Fixed the AI not being able to use many kind of weapons correctly.
  • Procedural map area placement and planning system.
  • Procedural dungeon generation with corridors, rooms, treasures and monsters.
  • Balanced the movement speed and physics behavior of player characters.
  • Terrain chunks close to the player character load much faster.

Comment away below or in our forums.

Addition (2013-11-21): Now there are also windows binaries available.

MegaGlest 3.9.0 released

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Since I am having internet troubles as of late, I’ll keep it short and hope it will actually come through:

Megaglest 3.9.0 was released today, see changelog:

v3.9.0
- we hopefully now really solved the last out of sync problems for cross platform games.
- animated tileset object support. ( like trees moving in the wind )
- new tileset texturing possibilities
- new tilesets birchforest, desert4 and updated mediterran using animated objects and new texture system
- greatly improved textures and animations for the roman faction
- new maps
- better network game performance / management to handle slower clients.
- easier ability to download game content from host and masterserver( if available there ).
- new arranged options menu with several sub menus
- menu gui improvements
- attack hotkey toggles through all attack types
- single player games can be sped up incrementally in steps.
- color picking is greatly improved and the default selection mode now for better compatibility
- greater ability to translate game content into your native language. (including techtrees)
- Added Hebrew, Arabic, Vietnamese (and others).
- screenshots for savegames without annoying menu in screenshot.
- addition of google-breakpad to better track down bugs.
- many new lua functions for scenario modders.
- cell coordinates are shown in the mapeditor
- tilesets can set default air unit heights
- added ability for stand alone mod’s to customize more of the engine like about screen.
- performance improvements.
- and as always many bugs were fixed
- improved textures for tech faction