Archive for the ‘freeorion’ Category

OpenDungeons and FreeOrion updates plus ReTux

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

A couple of long standing open source game projects have received significant updates.

OpenDungeons, an open source dungeon management game, has seen release 0.6 make it out the door. Release highlights from the changelog:

  • New spell logic with cooldown, targets and cost management
  • Fancy new spells: Heal, Explosion and Haste
  • Particle effects!
  • Reworked library logic and made research order configurable
  • New creature overlays that show the creatures’ mood
  • Customisable creature sound effects!
  • Doors to better block enemies and macromanage allies
  • In-game settings menu support!
  • New claimed walls graphics and various other graphical improvements
  • New minimap camera with real-time rendering
  • Dedicated server support with command-line parameters

There’s plenty of screenshots in the announcement on the frontpage of the OpenDungeons website (but no direct link for the announcement, frustratingly).

Explosions! Spells! The research tree

The project has some very regular contributors (both programming and art) and the game has multiplayer support which the developers test with the occasional weekend virtual lan party. OpenDungeons has certainly gone from strength to strength in the last year.

FreeOrion version 0.4.5 (announcement with changelog) wraps up the last year’s worth of development. Much of the work seems to have been motivated by trying to make the game more fun to play — “performance, responsiveness, AI, balancing etc.” —which is nice to see. At some point a project has to stop pushing new features and work on improving the game experience.

I couldn’t find any screenshots of 0.4.5 to share, but here’s a recent gameplay video posted on YouTube which should give an idea, although he’s well into a game at this point:

Finally, and a little too late unfortunately, here’s some coverage of ReTux. At first glance, it would seem somebody has taken Super Tux and tried to profit off of it. However, author Julian Merchant (onpon4 on the FGD forums) has written a new engine from scratch in Python. Whilst there are the obvious similarities with the original Super Tux, due to ReTux using many of the same graphics and sounds, there are a number of notable gameplay changes many of which can be seen in the ‘Concept Castle’ video (I really think his IndieGoGo campaign should have used this video at the very beginning of it).

Julian only raised $378 in the 30 days the campaign lasted, which was very short of the $50,000 goal. Reasons for this will be likely poor coverage (no FG article!) but also probably the perception that it was basically the same as Super Tux. For example, the IGG page starts with a video which the first 2 minutes or so (aside from the change to the fireflower) could easily be recreated by substituting the Super Tux logo for ReTux.

I do think avoiding the more popular media sites (e.g. no YouTube video) hurt the campaign. I can find little-to-no mention of ReTux when searching for it.

It also highlights one of the problems with developing Free games i.e. generally there’s no money in it. Julian is obviously passionate about the concept, having done so much work on it already, and I hope he continues with it. As to where he goes from here? I would suggest perhaps trying to get it greenlit on Steam or another platform where he can solicit a small fee from players whilst still maintaining the open source status of the project – a great example being Tales of Maj’Eyal which is also selling well on Steam.

Don’t give up Julian. Persistence is the key to success with any endeavour. You just have to find the right path.

Assorted news #1024

Monday, August 5th, 2013


tl;dr: Just click on the links above :p

Free Orion 0.4.2

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

A few day ago a much improved version of the 4X space strategy game FreeOrion was released. Check out this cool set of introduction videos (Part 1, 2, 3):

Most notable additons:

  • Very much improved, non-cheating AI. Sometimes experienced 4X players loose.
  • Many GUI enhancements and shortcuts.
  • Galactopedia expanded with game mechanics articles and many cross-links.
  • Batch production of ships now possible.
  • Improved sitrep notifications
  • Reworked stealth and detection
  • Almost everything has been enhanced, reworked, and better balanced.

So go and kick some alien butt 😉

Shorts: FreeOrion 0.4.1 and Xonotic Vehicle Gameplay

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012


image: Moving a fleet around in FreeOrion

video: FreeOrion testplay (best viewed at 720p HD)

FreeOrion 0.4.1 has been released a month ago. There still is no manual ship combat mode and there is a certain sluggishness regarding GUI responsiveness but the beautiful audio and graphics and consistent writing are definitely worth a try.

You can check out a preview of current 3d ship combat tech demo in this video (7m30s in).


Unsealed Trial 2 - Xonotic1233544-00
image: Sniping a Hovercraft on Unsealed Trial 2 in Xonotic (more screens)

I have been playing Xonotic on the [MoN] Vehicle Gameplay server and quite enjoying it lately. Just recently, a first version of Unsealed Trial 2 (screenshots) has been released there.

Some helpful vote commands:
vcall timelimit 600 (for when the time is draining too quickly)
vcall gotomap unseal (for when you realize that Unsealed Trial is the only playable map 😉 )

If you’d like to record your own videos, all you need to know is on Xonotic’s Democapture wiki page.