Archive for the ‘mode-multiplayer’ Category
- 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
Map selection screen
- 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
Some assorted news from the FOSS RTS thematic area.
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.
I thought I should take some time to discuss in detail one form of project that has been sometimes featured here, on FreeGamer, and is generally quite popular in the FLOSS gaming world: engine rebuilds / re-implementations.
Rather than being wholly original projects or Intellectual Property-free clones of more popular games, engine rebuilds (also known colloquially as “engine clones”) are essentially an attempt to completely reconstruct and improve upon the features of a given original game, without going trough the trouble or replacing original game art assets and without creating a new whole, free-of-restrictions and copyrights IP. Thus, engine rebuilds merely reproduce the rules, mechanics, and game logic of the original game, while still being dependent on some other form of original data.
These projects frequently arise as a form of preservation: the need to ensure and expand compatibility of a proprietary game out of its original borders, and to make sure the target game will not only be able to run on future systems, but also to be ported to different platforms where it wasn’t originally available, without damaging the profits of the original developers or breaking any form of copyright. Better than that, engine rebuilds are a great way to fully enjoy many video game classics in a purely free-as-in-freedom environment, while still rewarding the original developers by purchasing the original game. As of now, I have four particular projects under my radar which I would like to talk to you about.
VCMI is an engine re implementation of New World Computing’s turn-based strategy classic, Heroes of Might and Magic 3. It aims to replicate the original game, and introduce many new features that will make it a more pleasant and customizeable experience, as well as providing a platform for scenario building, mod making, and even the creation of completely new games.
VCMI has also been noted for its portability outside of the desktop computer environment, with some developers outside of the main dev team apparently creating an Android port, and other similar mobile versions.
With the recent release of version 0.90, and bordering closer and closer to the 1.0 release, VCMI is the brightest hope for the huge Heroes of Might and Magic fan community which still holds HOMM3 as its all-time favorite game in this long-running series, and whose official releases and reeditions tend to run poorly on modern operating systems, including Windows.
The second project is the Syndicate reconstruction known as FreeSynd. For those that are too young to have ever played the original game, Syndicate was a dystopian organized crime simulator, in which the player controlled a team of cybernetically enhanced zombies (!!!) in a campaign to achieve complete global domination.
Syndicate was known for its fast-paced, guns-blazing gameplay, and, after many years since its original release, it’s still highly regarded as one of former British developer Bullfrog’s best titles. FreeSynd is currently on version 0.6, with updates oozing out slowly, once in every few months.
The goal of the developers is to replicate the original game as it was, when released, with further upgrades and improvements coming only after version 1.0 is finished.
At its current form, many missions can be fully played, but the game still has many bugs and much to is left to be made. However, as a fan of the original game, I still felt it was my duty to talk about it and maybe motivate some of you to lend some help to what promises to be a fantastic game. Naturally, you will still require the original game data to run FreeSynd.
Next up we have NXEngine. So far, I’m really surprised how come this one escaped most people’s attention, especially at the FLOSS gaming sphere. NXEngine is none other than a free, open source recreation of the legendary freeware game Cave Story. Now the original game is not only freeware, it has already been ported to as many platforms you can shake a stick at (including GNU/Linux). However the game creator, Daisuke Amaya, AKA “Pixel”, always requested people in charge of porting the game to never share the source code, due to the deal previously signed by Pixel to distribute the game commercially. This, however, did not stop programmer Caitlin Shaw from rebuilding the whole game engine from scratch, requiring only for the user to download a copy of the original freeware version, and extract all art and music assets from its bowels.
As of the current version of NXEngine (22.214.171.124), the game runs flawlessly, even more swiftly than the freeware original. Having played both in their entirety, I can say the only slight inconsistencies going for NXEngine, are a couple of enemy attack patterns which are slightly different, and barely affect game experience in any way. All in all, it’s Cave Story, running free-as-in-freedom. And that’s a great achievement by itself.
Finally four our fourth project, we have OpenXcom. Many of you might be familiar with the game it is based on, as it was considered many times as one of the best PC games ever made. OpenXcom is a full reconstruction of this great tactical simulator, once again aiming for expanded compatibility and a more stable, smoother gameplay, along with many improved features and mod support planned along the way.
If you disliked the Firaxis remake, maybe you should keep an eye on this one. It’s pure, classic X-COM with all the rough edges trimmed, and even at its 0.45 release, it already seems like an impressive achievement. If you feared for the future of X-COM, fear no more. OpenXcom is here.
That’s all for now! I’m sure there are other great engine rebuild projects around there, many of which have been discussed here on FreeGamer previously. Feel free to post your own suggestions or comment on this matter.
|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…
UPDATE: Here is a nice video of the (Note: Alpha) gameplay:
|New Unvanquished human player and weapon model|
Besides the changes already mentioned previously, they have also replaced some more weapon models and now also have a really nice new webpage!
Still lots of things to do… but big thumbs up for the progress so far!
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).
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.
0 A.D. Alpha 11 got released.
Some of these news have been powered by SourceForge’s ability to sort games by update date.
Somewhat related to the previous blog post (don’t forget to vote to give a VR kit to the Cube2 developers), I can bring you the news that you can now download a new release (1.3 Galactic Edition) of Red Eclipse. By the words of the developers this is mostly a bugfix release:
This release sees a semi-stabilisation of the gameplay in favour of implementing a variety of bugfixes and user requests. We’ve removed some old cruft and implemented a few new game types to replace them, like coop (humans fight high powered bots), and king-of-the-hill (control and defend one flag). Due to the popularity of the impulse/parkour system we have introduced a new “impulse vaulting”, where you can hold down your parkour key to “vault” over low obstacles, making it that much easier to navigate around busy levels.
|Some MekArcade mechs|
Information is otherwise relatively sparse (I couldn’t find any word on their media license for example… but given RE’s CC-By-SA licensing scheme I hope they sticked to the same), but they plan to release a first version relatively soon (Maybe they waited for the RE 1.3 release?).
The screenshots released so far look quite nice also and first released video gives off a Mechwarrior like vibe too, so I guess I am looking forward to their first release
I have to apologize for the recent lack in FG updates, but at least *I* have a good excuse as first my Internet broke down, and now I am preparing to relocate to another continent (extra points for guessing which in the comments ).
Anyways… it seems like there is now a “winner” out of the total breakdown and split-up of the efforts to revitalize Tremulous earlier this year. I will not go into details, but I can assure you it was not pretty, and I decided to skip any news coverage on it until the dust had settled.
I hope this is now the case, and for now it seems only one of the projects really shows some progress… that is unless the other is not working in stealth mode.
Lets see… at least Unvanquished is actually releasing alphas of their game, so I am leaning toward them when it comes to which will actually become a nice, playable game soon.
You can follow development quite well on one of the team-member’s blog here. In the most recent post, some nice screenshots surfaced, and both their new modeling, GUI and animation work seems quite nice too.
|Unvanquished: Human base preparing for an attack|
Anyways, check out the other cool news from them, and maybe try one of their recent alphas… however don’t expect a fully refurbished Tremulous yet.