Archive for the ‘Free Gamer’ Category

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 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 :)