Archive for the ‘mode-singleplayer’ Category

Engine reimplementation day!

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012
This is a guest post by user Hythlodaeus, discussing GPLed video game engine reimplementations, and presenting several projects related to the topic.

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

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.

FreeSynd

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.

NXEngine

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 (1.0.0.4), 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.

OpenXcom

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.

Force: Leashed – GPL First-Person Gravity Not-Like-Portal

Monday, October 29th, 2012

Force: Leashed is a free first person gravity fiddler. To advance, you need to guide rockets to their targets using spherical potential fields. And no, it’s not like Portal. That much.

Force: Leashed was started as one of the 2012 7DFPS prototypes. It is based on GPL-licensed Darkplaces which for example also powers Xonotic.

Force: Leashed is available for free download for Linux, Mac OS X and Windows from its website.

The art asset license status is unknown. Watch this tweet for further information.

Scavenger: Atmospheric Open Source 2D Space Exploration

Friday, October 26th, 2012
Image: Scavenger in-game credits

Scavenger is a simple space exploration game set in a large debris field, created by Fiona Burrows in December 2009.

It is polished, very atmospheric and expresses a subtle sense of humor inside item/object names.

Scavenger was voted 2nd place in the “overall” category at Ludum Dare 16 (48 hour dev jam). It recently was released in a github repository under MIT license (both code and art!).

The code is written in Python and runs on Linux, Mac OS X and Windows.

Video: Scavenger

On her blog, Fiona writes about her development process:

  1. Pick a simple idea and roll with it.
  2. Never leave an unfinished feature.
  3. If anything can be polished then do it – If an animation can be added to something then do it, if a small particle effect can be added here then do it.
  4. Don’t stress over running out of time. When it doubt, pretend this was the plan all along.

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…

Promising Open Source jRPG: Valyria Tear

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2012

Valyria Tear [blog, GitHub] is making stable progress! One new code contributor on GitHub, one new art contributor on OpenGameArt, a stable commit history.

If you are looking for a free, open source jRPG and are done with Fall of Imiryn, then this is the place for you to test, develop and contribute!

git clone https://github.com/Bertram25/ValyriaTear.git
cd ValyriaTear/
cmake .
make
./src/valyriatear

Valyria Tear is easy to compile with CMake and features about 30 to 60 minutes of gameplay so far.

LinWarrior 3D September news 2012

Friday, September 28th, 2012

A word from the developer of LinWarrior 3D:

In the past weeks I’ve been working on some of the last changes to clean up the guts inside the mech class by moving everything to components and systems.
That includes a component for sounds that should eventually enable foot steps.
Of course some special cases still remain for later cleanup (like the jump jet light).
Some possible experiment-branch directions I see now are these:

  • Persistence (savegames dude) using sqlite
  • Reworking the Input to have events consumed by systems/components (or passing abstractions of SDL events).
  • Some relaxing modeling work and integration of some more models
  • Extending Physics to support tracked and wheeled vehicles – just talking about slanting on sloped ground by having 4 particles for wheels.

Multithreading would be possible, and easy with the system/component approach now but it isn’t a top priority I think.
Easy because the execution model is working in phases, one sub-system at a time with no immediate communication between subsystems.

- hc on the forums

Shorts: FreeOrion 0.4.1 and Xonotic Vehicle Gameplay

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

FreeOrion

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).

Xonotic

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.

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/

OpenMW 0.17.0: Changes and Freedom(!?)

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

The OpenMW engine re-implementation for proprietary RPG classic Morrowind brings fixes, a pause menu, camera modes and proper player control, potion usage, drain/fortify dynamic stats/attributes magic effects and other changes in release 0.17.0.

Work has also begun on an Editor and The Example Suite.

A Free-as-in-Freedom OpenMW game?

The Example Suite is going to be a small standalone game that does not contain any Bethesda owned art assets. Therefore, even those who do not own Morrowind will be able to play with OpenMW and test it.

The project uses the “Release early and often” mantra and so hopefully we will have an early build available for download soon.

If you can help with; skills in animating, music, sounds, modeling or are an experience modder please visit The Example Suite forum.

An editor for OpenMW!

The OpenMW Editor is necessary in order to implement the post 1.0 features that the original Morrowind engine isn’t capable of. It’s currently a one man project and he could use some help. Visit the OpenMW Editor forum.

Additional links: