Seemingly made by people not happy with the recent commercialization of Ace of Spades, it’s an all FOSS remake, those early development you can follow here (or on their Github page).
Now maybe the graphics are lacking on purpose (see disclaimer above), but I couldn’t help to think: why for f***’s sake did they have to reinvent the wheel with their own engine instead of using for example Terasology:
Ahh well, at least it made me aware that Terasology is still very much under development, and with its focus on DungeonKeeper & Dwarf-Fortress elements, it might actually become a game I would play (and doesn’t make my eyes bleed :p ).
Speaking of which… the guy behind AgentKeeper released yet another nice video and graphics are constantly further improved as seen here.
While the criticism is certainly not completely unfounded and the integration of limited “non-programming” game code creation (via logic bricks) gives it a bit of a “RPG maker” image, it really is a quite interesting platform to work on it seems. Ok, probably as of now the BGE is really more of a rapid game prototyping engine, but previous experience during the Yo, Frankie! project has actually shown that at least compared to some other well known FOSS engines, it is a serious contender (that Blender Foundation project originally started on Crystal Space, and after many problems was implemented in the BGE in a few weeks only).
So what makes it so interesting? Well for one there is the full integration with a creation tool (obviously Blender3D) so that getting your content into the game is only a matter of making it. No exporters or anything needed… it just works. Then of course there is the fully scriptability via Python, also integrated tightly. Basically you never have to exit Blender, and testing your game can be done right in the editor with one click (no compiling etc. necessary). Oh and did I mention the great physics capabilities via Bullet, also build right in?
In addition your created game will be immediately available on any platform the Blender Game player has been ported (all major desktop operating systems, with an Android port under development and a browser plugin, too). In addition you can choose to publish your game as a single .blend file, giving the users a direct access to all the source files of the game; a wet dream of any true FOSS game developer! The tight integration with the GPLed Blender Player, has been a major source of discontent with the predominately propitiatory game developing users of the BGE however. Thus there now exists also a few options to encrypt your game and/or run it on an external engine that can be kept close source (but I will not go further into that here).
You can find a lot of (sometimes really awesome looking: 1, 2, 3) game projects on the Blenderartists.org forum. Now as I said, most of it is sadly closed source with propitiatory artworks, but I also have the feeling that some simply don’t know or care about the legal implications of their “freeware” game (which sadly shows that even many people who use a great FOSS tool, mostly care about the “free as in beer” aspect of it).
One of the more interesting projects right now (which might or might not become a full FOSS game) can be seen in this video:
It shows the most recent work by Martinesh, who is basically BGE’s resident game art guru. Two years ago we already featured previous awesome work by him, but sadly that Air Race project is by now canceled. What he is now working on is however rather a show-case for the really nice new graphical features in the BGE which he and others are developing in the so called “candy” development branch (on his blog there are also more details and nice videos from some time ago).
Another cool recent project it the rewrite of the the logic bricks visual programming idea via nodal logic blocks called Hive.
While not completely integrated into Blender yet, you can already try it via an external editor (the created python code works fine inside Blender). There are also some tutorials and a documentation for it. Since my programming skills also lack somewhat, I find that an interesting tool… however most likely it is rather a nice way to do some level scripting, than actually programming the real guts of a game with it.
I mentioned this nice new project that appeared on our forums some time ago already, and while the promised source-code isn’t available as of yet, a new and quite good looking video was recently posted:
Now as you can see, it shares quite a lot of graphics with OpenDungeons, which is not completely dead either, but there is at least some discussion to “jump ship” as AgentKeeper is progressing much quicker (with it being a University supported project). You can follow AgentKeepers progress here if you fancy some nice dungeon management simulator
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 ).
Having played the SD version back in the day on my GP2X handheld (and it seems to be available for Android nowadays too ), I can assure you that the game holds up very well to today’s standards, with a really cool and funny story and awesome voice acting. Higher resolution graphics thus can only make it better
Looks like we will get some nice x-mas presents this year:
A bit delayed but probably right on time for the Mayan end of the world, we will see a long awaited new release of Cube2:Sauerbraten. Read about the release announcement here. Hmm, I wonder if it has already Occulus Rift support…
Also on the FPS front, AlienArena is having a major engine update, with a claimed massive 3-4 times speed increase in BSP rendering and more VBO improvements.
Furthermore they announce a new game-mode to be added soon, which tries to slow down the game-play of AlienArena a bit and add a more tactical appeal. Sounds a bit like selling out to the CounterStrike/ModernWarefare crowd to me, but lets see how it will play
You can support the developer of this nice puzzle game by buying the Expansion-pack for 2 Canadian bucks or more! Another option to try and fund FOSS game development… maybe there will be some sales figures published at some point?
Next on the list: open-source engine reimplementation project Corsix-th:
You will need the original game for the non-free artworks though.
And last but not least: 0 A.D. got a brand new website: www.play0ad.com! Celebrating this they also made some nice video tutorials for total beginners:
Hot off the press is the news that id software has released the source-code to their Doom3 remastered BFG edition. Have a look at the code here. It seems like Mr. Carmack has back-ported a few nifty things from idTech5, so this is potentially quite useful for upcoming idtech4 based FOSS games.
In unrelated news, I am happy to report that we are now hosting the forums for the nice off-road racing game StuntRally. Join the discussion here.
Old StuntRally screenshot, too lazy to find another right now
One of the really awesome features of that game is the track-editor by the way… have a look at some awesome video tutorials here. Given the Techno-style music in these and the awesome spline-based tracks, I actually think that a WipeOut like modification of this game would really rock, join the discussion I started on that here
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.