Archive for the ‘platform-windows’ Category

Various follow-ups

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

First off as a rather fast follow up on the last post:

Otherwise, as previously mentioned, Garage Games has now also released their 2D game framework under the MIT license:

Their 3D game engine also saw some nice updates lately, however sadly their crowd funding push to port Torque3D to Linux fell (not totally unsurprisingly) short of their 30,000$ mark (with about 10,000$ pledged).

Various voxel engine ramblings

Wednesday, January 30th, 2013

I have outed myself previously as not a big Minecraft fan, so take everything in this post with a grain of salt (as I obviously don’t really understand that genre).

Anyways… recently this sub-reddit for open-source games was pointed out in our forums, and while it isn’t really as lively as others (for example the Linux gaming one) it pointed out an new project called Iceball:

Pre-alpha Iceball screenshot

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:

Or Minetest, or the Ardorcraft API for that matter???

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.

DevCorner: Blender Game Engine

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

While Blender3D is one of the premier FOSS projects out there, its integral part the Blender Game Engine (BGE) is often belittled as not a serious game engine.

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.

So where can you get started with developing your own game using the BGE? Well, the blenderartists.org sub-forums are always helpful, with some nice beginners video tutorials linked here, here, here and here ;)
There are even some books available (this one in particular is quite recent, which is a plus given the fast development of Blender3D) and there is of course the official Blender documentation.
Oh and a good source of content is (besides our friends opengameart.org of course) Blender Swap (nice interview with one of the creators here).

If you have further questions please comment below or ask over at blenderartists.org!

Updates from AgentKeeper

Saturday, January 26th, 2013

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 ;)

P.S.: Stay tuned for an new version of Red Eclipse early next week.

Fresh versions of Stunt Rally and Warzone2100

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Just released today, there is a new version (1.9) for Stunt Rally:

Stunt Rally 1.9

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 :( ).

Have fun playing!

Ur-Quan Masters HD released

Tuesday, January 1st, 2013

Happy new year everyone!

So today I found out about this really cool project to improve the graphics of the open-source (with freeware media) classic Ur-Quan Masters (aka Star Control 2):

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 ;)

So, NO excuses now… give it a try!

Some upcoming releases

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

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.

Mars meets CounterStrike?

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 ;)

Last but not least, GarageGames has announced that after the recent FOSS licensed release of their 3D engine Torque3D (see latest updates here, sadly no working Linux port yet), they will also open-source their 2D engine!

And in fact it will not only be a source-drop, but rather a significant update including a merger of their iOS code with the rest of the Torque2D one.

Also no Linux port yet, but just as for the 3D engine one will hopefully show up sooner or later.

P.S.: In case someone has missed it: SuperTuxKart had a very nice new release recently, bumping it up to version 0.8. See a video of it in action here.

Video updates (various)

Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Today I let the videos speak:
First of all a nice FOSS bullet hell SHMUP, called Shmupacabra:

Taisei Project is maybe also relevant if you like getting killed ALOT (hehe, insider joke for q).

Previously mentioned Cube Trains (based on Frogatto) has reached version 1.0:

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:

Have a look at tutorial 2 and tutorial 3 also.

Signing off :)

Edit: Small interview with the 0 A.D. developers.

A tale of two Hexagons

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
This is a guest post by user Hythlodaeus, discussing open source clones, indie game community behavior and developer’s apologies.

Vee Software’s Open Hexagon is a very, very recent game, but even in its short existence, it has already managed to stir up quite an amount of controversy, the matter being that Open Hexagon is none other than a free software clone of the popular iOS/Android game Super Hexagon, created by the equally popular indie developer Terry Cavanagh.

Now, video game clones are not a negative or uncommon thing at all, and have pretty much existed since the beginnings of video game history. However, Open Hexagon developer, Vee, has recently found himself the victim of some serious flak, the reason behind this being that he decided to release his own game clone before the much anticipated PC/Steam version of Super Hexagon. This resulted in a legion of rabid Cavanagh fans rushing in to accuse Vee of being a thief, a liar, and quite a variety of other unpleasant names and insults.

To make a few things clear, Open Hexagon is not only 100% free software, programmed from scratch using C++ and SFML (unlike Super Hexagon which is primarily based in Adobe Flash, with the PC port being completely redone in C++ as well), as it is also available for absolutely zero cost. It is not geared as a competitor for Super Hexagon, and it’s certainly not trying to profit from its original concept at all. If anything it’s actually attracting more attention towards the original game. If that wasn’t enough, the developer actually took the time and decency to ask permission to Cavanagh himself to create his game, while he had no obligation to do so at all.

image: tweets between devs

What ensued was a deep and long-winded apology from Vee, to all Super Hexagon fans, and the subsequent approval of his game by Cavanagh, despite the fact that he was never against the idea, since day one. I guess all’s well that ends well, but even though Cavanagh’s reactions were fairly reasonable from his part, I still can’t stop thinking that issues like this could have been easily avoided altogether, had he, and other indie developers such as him, made habit of releasing the source code of their own games, something that has, in fact, been done successfully in the past with surprisingly positive results.

Call me crazy, but I find it troubling that this new, so-called generation of “indie” developers and their supporters, heralded as the avant-guarde of video game originality, and as a counter-cultural movement that opposes industry stereotypes and its negative practices, shows so little knowledge and sensibility on matters of software freedom, and how it can be used to help and empower other amateur / independent developers such as themselves. The result is the accidental propagation, to their followers, of the gross misconception that for some reason, game concepts are the exclusive property of their authors, and that copying and innovating over other people’s ideas is a wrong thing to do. Coincidently, Vee himself has shown some great eloquence on this matter in his written apology, which really makes me wonder how come there aren’t more people like him in this new indie circle:

As a independent game developer, I wanted to create my own tribute version of the game, not only as an experiment, but also as a completely new experience: I wanted to make the game fully open, both as a free open-source product, and also as a customizable and scriptable game, in order to let people share their creations and have fun.

Now, the game itself is quite simple. You are a triangle spinning around a hexagon. Incoming polygons want you dead, so you have to dodge them. Sounds easy enough, right? It turns out it isn’t. And it could be a lot more if you’re whiling to help, because unlike Cavanagh, Vee crafted his game thinking of customization and the freedom to easily script, paint and construct your own levels in any way you wish.


image: Open Hexagon ad

Version 1.3 is out now, with updates pouring in, on a nearly daily basis, as Vee is still trying to shape his game into a more unique experience, a process in which you can take part as well! So if you have a mind for quick-reaction puzzle games and enjoy crafting your own personal conundrums for later enjoyment, or even showing them to your friends, by all means, download Open Hexagon, play it, and share your own levels with others!

D3 BFG source drop, and new hosted forum

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

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 :D