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
Note that this is a flexible funding campaign, so even if they don’t reach their goals all money donated will go to the project.
They also released a new Alpha version, codenamed Naukratis. Change-log would be too long to list here (which I consider a good thing ), but here is a picture of some high-quality newly added building models:
New blacksmith buildings
So check out the new version and please consider donating to this top of the crop FOSS game project.
Zero-K, the probably coolest fully FOSS offspring of the SpringRTS engine has seen at least two new releases since it last crossed my mind to check their page… a pity actually as the new features of version 188.8.131.52 (and prior) seem quite nice. And for those not into the game (yet), there is now a channel with commented multi-player matches like this one:
Just a pity that the game-play doesn’t really allow much zooming in to see the graphically really nice units
For 0 A.D., Erik Johansson steps down from project leadership and Michael D. Hafer assumes that role.
In Unknown Horizons, Nightraven steps back and Kilian fills the project management role.
Leadership in free and open source game projects is an exciting topic with much opinion about which style will lead to a successful game – whatever the subject’s definition of “success” is – and too few examples to make objective statements about it.
Are you following any specific projects and their leadership structures an want to comment on these? I must admit that I am out of the loop with many, many projects, although I am pretty sure that for example Flare, NAEV and Valyria Tear have (successful) Benevolent Dictator for Life style leadership.
On related note: FIFE (the isometric 2d engine used by Unknown Horizons) moved to GitHub.
In the genre mix between MMORTS, city building, economy simulation and tower defense game, you control an exiled human, with the apparent goal to get back to earth.
The interaction with other players is quite indirect. You can attack other player’s bases and win the “data” resource this way, which you need to perform “research” actions. However, defeating a base does not change it, you simply get the reward and can attack again.
Shunned Survivor Server map
While researching, however, you need to perform in a tower defense minigame, during which your defensive towers can be destroyed. If you succeed, the research was successful. If not, you have to enforce your defenses and try again.
Even though quite a bit of the gameplay time is spent on waiting for resources to be generated by the various resource gathering buildings, I find this game very entertaining and highly recommend you to give it a try.
It has a few nice new features, but probably the greatest update is a major change in the car handling physics, including an “easy” mode for those of us not wishing to practice for a career as a professional rally driver and the guys would like feedback in the SR forum so let them know what you think.
A big collection of (partially quite crazy) screens can be found here.
Another great release that surfaced just today is Warzone2100 version 3.1.0. It cumulates all the changes made during the last 2.5 years, however if you tested the RCs already then there isn’t too much new. Most notably they mention the new and fully fixed netcode, so that “out of sync” is a thing of the past (unless you have a crappy net connection like me ).
I filled a recent craving for playing a sci-fi real time strategy game by re-discovering Bos Wars and playing every single player map.
image: Bos’ level of art, many screenshots indicate a much lower quality.
The game runs on low-spec computers and can be quite fast-paced. I quite enjoyed playing it in a tower-defense/tower rush style. The last release of Bos Wars has been over two years ago, but development is not frozen, the last commit was on 2012-08-09.
The three biggest issues I personally had are:
Some maps are aesthetically displeasing.
For a beginner, it’s hard to decide what map to play.
Many units and buildings don’t have voices/sounds.
The interface is confusing in regards to resource quantity.
Visual style of old maps
image: most likely the first map you play in Bos (because it’s selected by default)
To address issues 1 and 2, I hope that this blog post will help. The screenshots at the bottom show the game start screen at 1280×1024 for every of the “Start Game” single player maps. If you see a level that you’d like to play, right-click and “open” the link or image, to see the level name in the file name of the screenshot.
An in-game solution to issue 1. would be to create a map folder called “old” and move all levels in there, when the rendered ground texture clashes with the units, buildings and resources.
This suggestion might be seen as disrespectful insult to the original map makers, but having the current map selection structure is a barrier for new players, who need some guidance to get started without having to open random levels first. They are likely to assume that the first level they play is representative of the visual style of the entire game, which can be quite wrong, as you can see by the different-looking screenshots at the bottom.
Map selection screen
image: Bos Wars map selection screen
To solve issue 2 in-game, a preview of the mini-map, as it is seen with “non-revealed map” would help. This might be a non-trivial UI/in-game-rendering task if it has to work fully automatic.
In regards to issue 3, I started by contributing a patch with some voices and sounds. If you would like to help as a voice actor or by turning voice lines into soldier/pilot/driver voice/effect mixes, please feel free to comment in this blog post, if you would like to coordinate this with me and other potential contributors. Female voices are especially welcome (source).
Feedback on my patch is welcome too. Watch/listen to the video below, to see what kind of voices are missing and what kind of voices are being used multiple times in Bos Wars.
Some assorted news from the FOSS RTS thematic area.
First of all, Megagest saw another somewhat bigger release (3.7.x), and someone also made a nice cinematic for them:
Sadly no news on the planned graphical update, as the merger with GAE seems on hold, but the new version adds a lot of nice usability enhancements.
Much more active on the graphics front is 0 A.D. on the other hand. In their recent development update #9 they talk about completely switching to their new shader based renderer, and the guy behind these renderer improvements recently gave a short interview too.
The thread over at the 0 A.D. forums has a few additional details, but no significant info on the FOSS status they are aiming at in regards to their media. Never the less, it looks like it might become a RTS project to follow more closely.
Small retro-style quick news today, so that you don’t hear the crickets here on FreeGamer:
There is a new game available for the FOSS classic engine Stratagus (read up on the history of it here). It is called Aleona’s Tales:
Looks very familiar, right? Yes Grandpa!
You can download it here (only windows builds) and discuss with its creator on the Stratagus forums. Graphics are sadly a mix of various Free and non-Free licenses… but at least you get it for freeeee…