Archive for the ‘genre-rts’ Category

All Maps of Bos Wars 2.6.1+ (svn r10193)

Monday, December 3rd, 2012
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:
  1. Some maps are aesthetically displeasing.
  2. For a beginner, it’s hard to decide what map to play.
  3. Many units and buildings don’t have voices/sounds.
  4. 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.

Missing/repetitive sounds

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.

Resource UI

I’m not sure I have figured it out completely but here goes nothing.
image: how I interpret Bos’ resource info
Without having thought this through in detail, this is what seems to be missing:
  • Resource icons.
  • Absolute value of resources in stock, rather than divided by ten(?).
  • Color coding of income/spending.
  • Display of the sum of income and spending – in a prominent position, individual display of income and spending in a non-prominent position.
  • Indication of resource effect by buildings when selecting buildings and when hovering them in the build menu.

Starting screens of all Bos Wars 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.
gallery: All Bos Wars maps

0 A.D. and Megaglest updates

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

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.

Some other interesting news include this recent forum posts of some modders trying to switch to the 0 A.D. engine for their modern warfare RTS called Rogue Republic.
Asset integration seems to work already as you can see here:

Rogue Republic assets in O A.D.

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.

Cinematic ZeroK trailer

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Busy for a while moving… and the crickets take over FreeGamer it seems *chirp* *chirp* :D
Anyways, I am partially back in business, so a warm HELLO from East Africa!!!

So nothing much to report right now, except that there is a really nice cinematic trailer available for the FOSS RTS ZeroK (which is based on the Spring engine):

They also released a new version not all that long ago, so give it a try if you haven’t so far.

Stay tuned, as I struggle to get into my regular FOSS-Games blogging habit again ;)

Aleona’s Tales (Stratagus game)

Monday, October 15th, 2012
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…

Shorts: LambdaCube + StuntCarRacer, Naval Warfare, 0 A.D. Alpha 11

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
StuntCarRacer (last release 2006) got re-born as a demo for LambdaCube 3D, a Haskell-based rendering engine.

Naval Warfare is a game in progress being made at Universidade de Brasília, using Gear2D (Linux/Windows).

image: celtic settlement in 0 A.D.

0 A.D. Alpha 11 got released.

Some of these news have been powered by SourceForge’s ability to sort games by update date.

Simple & Quick GPLed Java Tower Defense Game

Friday, September 7th, 2012
image: github.com/godrin/TowerDefense screenshot

Just a simple, smooth and stable tower defense game by david kamphausen (godrin) & marc giersch (undermink).

Pro:

  • Quite fast-paced, no boring waiting time.

Con:

  • Drag-and-drop building placement sometimes fiddly.
  • Effect of upgrades not clear.

Download .jar: https://github.com/godrin/TowerDefense/downloads
Run via: java -jar defend-desktop-0.3.jar
Github: https://github.com/godrin/TowerDefense/

Also out of Beta: Annex:CTW Release 3

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

We are a bit late to the party (partially due to my current German Telekom induced Internet abstinence at home :( ), but last month the first stable release of Annex: Conquer the World was released.

For those out of the loop: Annex is a so called total conversion mod (albeit standalone) of Megaglest. You can read up on its development and the latest news in their forum post on the MG forums.

Open Source Game Summer Screen Shorts 2012 #1

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012
Knights, a top-down multiplayer quest/fighting game, received some GUI enhancements.

Tales of Gydia, a Liberated Pixel Cup fantasy turn-based RPG that focuses on UGC, was started on SourceForge.net.

Unknown Horizons, a historical city-building and economy RTS, received some new citizen building graphics from a first-time contributor.

Black Dog, an extremely atmospheric HTML5, fully-FOSS helicopter mini-game, got its (unfinished) Android port released.

Linus Torvalds not only showed his annoyance with Nvidia but also his love towards open source games in a recent talk (goto 58m20s).

ctdabomb, an active community member, converted and license-clarified the Art Museum SuperTuxKart racing track over the time span of about one and a half months, after asking the community for support.

SuperTux, a cute platformer, needs help finishing an animated owl sprite. To the left, you can see the current placeholder graphics.

unrelated monster spawner animation

FLARE, a hack’n'slash RPG engine and game, requested translations via email, pull request or forum post.

0 A.D. Audio interview and special effects

Tuesday, June 5th, 2012

The premier FOSS RTS 0 A.D. has recently won (by an incredible small margin) the Sourceforge.net project of the month vote and now they have done a cool audio interview:

Rich: Do you have much interaction or collaboration with any of the other Open Source gaming communities?
Aviv: We’re kind of in the middle between the Indie game world and the Open Source software world. We don’t quite belong to either culture entirely. We certainly invite more projects to reach out. Perhaps we can find new ways to collaborate. We do believe that a large part of the code that we developed can be used for other projects. But at the moment we’re more focused on developing 0 A.D. to completion, and writing a lot of code and implementing a lot of features that are specific to 0 A.D., than implementing general solutions for all sorts of games.

Click here for the transkript of the full interview, but if you are to lazy to read you can also listen to it on that page in the original voices of the developers.

Besides this, they have recently implemented a lot of cool new graphical effects (I guess you could call it JUICE ;) ):

Distance fog and other new effects

For more nice screenshots of these effects, have a look at this post on their forums.