Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Top 3 Open Source Pinball Games

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The first flipper pinball machine was released 68 years and 1 month ago and yet there is only a handful of open source, cross-platform pinball video games available! Oh well, let's take them for a spin, shall we?

Nexus Pinball

Started only a month ago, Nova Pinball's simple sole 2D table is a lot of fun and development has made good progress.

Emilia Pinball

The ancient 3D Emilia Pinball project has a recent fork on GitHub that adds more tables (the last official release had only 2, the new one has 5).

The game has 4 perspectives (F5-F8)

The models are very low-poly, which is fine and fast but the textures are sinfully low-resolution. However editing textures appears to be simple in existing tables, simply by overwriting them with higher-resolution files, as demonstrated with the angry gnu head in the screenshot above.

Creating new tables requires an editor, which I unfortunately was not able to compile yet (possibly due to lack of old Qt libraries).

There is a zombie/horror/Halloween table, which unfortunately contains non-free content.


The 2D Linball table is crazy fast but suffers from some sounds ripped from proprietary games (maybe there's more non-free content).

Honorable mentions

Sadly, Visual Pinball only runs on Windows (wine page).

Vector Pinball for Android unfortunately has no instructions for desktop/Linux compilation.

Devil's Pinball is a Blender-made pinball table. It's quite buggy when played in recent Blender and there is no license information.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Naev, Valyria Tear, Wyrmsun, ReTux

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Wymrsun 1.6.0 was recently released (announcement on our forums and on Steam). Wyrmsun is inspired by the original Warcraft games and many reviewers on Steam compare it to Warcraft II. The project continues a steady development pace which is always a good sign so I encourage RTS fans to try it out.


Naev 0.6.1 has been released. After a long period without releases until release 0.6.0 appeared in March, this follow up release indicates a return to regular progress for the project. Naev is a 2D space trading and combat game.

I couldn't find a more recent video but here's a bit of a development log of some features for the 0.6.0 release.

Speaking of resurgent projects, Valyria Tear has some news.
The most noticeable change is that I killed a few days ago a very nasty bug that was there from the beginning, making the lua threads never freed from memory. This means the game won't end up anymore swallowing gigs of memory for nothing and crash due to some memory overflow.
Well that does sound like a bit of a killjoy, so good to see it fixed. Other changes are in the blog post.

Onto more things slightly more dubiously open source in nature...

ReTux 0.2 has been released. ReTux is a new Super Tux inspired game. It is a completely rewritten (in Python) codebase although uses many of the assets from the original Super Tux so naturally people will mistake the two despite the significant differences. I already covered the IndieGoGo campaign in a previous article.

I'm not really on board with the way the developer Onpon4 is now soliciting $20 for access to the code. I think he's both hurting himself by limiting exposure of the game (you need a password to access the downloads) as well as asking for a fairly significant sum in an age where AAA games are of a similar price a year after release (and regularly on offer, as any Humble Bundle or Steam user will know).

I would say he should just get it on Steam, sell it there, and be open source outside of that. Perhaps have additional levels in the Steam version but accept that charging for the source code is as pointless as it is ineffective.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Anticube 2 - a game within a game

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So, as I sometimes peruse various forums, the occasional gem pops up. This is one of the best hidden gems in Open Source gaming.

Anticube 2 is a map for Tesseract / Cube 2 that is inspired by the game Antichamber and NaissanceE. If you are unfamiliar with those, that means it is an abstract FPS puzzle game where things are not quite what they seem. Or, as the creator Lord Kv probably better explains:

Anticube 2 is a puzzle map for Tesseract. You'll find yourself in an interactive, dynamic, non-euclidean world. Supported by 5000+ lines of Cubescript and GLSL code, this map will do things no other Cube 2 / Tesseract map has ever done before.

Here is the trailer:

There is also a gallery of screenshots for you to check out. I won't include them here because, to be honest, the screenshots won't mean much for this kind of game.

I'm calling it a game, even though it is just a map for a game. You can tell it is worth checking out because of the reactions it elicits from the Tesseract developers (warning: NSFW language). Here's what developer ImNotQ009 had to say about it:
Whoa, I would NEVER have though I'd see anything like this on BARE Tesseract.
This is one hell of an astonishing piece of work, the music is great, the whole atmosphere and the aesthetics are really good as well. With the exception of a little bit lousy looking (compared to everything else) terrain on the very last part but nevertheless I genuinely couldn't stop "wow-ing" through out the whole thing.
Anyway, check it out, let us know how you get on. This definitely deserves more attention than it has gotten up until now - but then again how does this kind of thing get more eyes on it when it is just a game within a game and one which is currently suffering from a severe lack of a player base? Hopefully we can change that starting here. :)

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Games with G (Gorynlich & Gigalomania)

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Great news for people who like GGGGames ;)

The author of the new action roguelike dungeon crawler kind of darwen mayham game Gorynlich was so kind to inform us his game. It comes with this funny trailer (and some great programmer's art :p ):

The code is licensed under the LGPL, while the assets are only freeware right now. But the author seems to be open to look into replacing the assets with Creative Commons licensed ones if someone is interested in doing so.
Gorynlich is done by the same author as the ASCII game Goblin Hack by the way.

Another nice game starting with G, is the awesome remake of the oldie Megalomania, appropriately called Gigalomania!

The author is still looking for improved art asset contributions, but the game itself is already quite playable (even on mobile devices and a bunch of other rare systems!). Also check out the other two cool games by the same developer: Erebus RPG and Conquests (a Civ like game).

Monday, September 21, 2015

Stunt Rally 2.6 and Irrlamb 0.2

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Stunt Rally 2.6 has been released, with new features including pacenotes (i.e. corner speed/severity hints) and a rewritten sound system with reverberation (changelog).

Stunt Rally is a sandbox racing game with a huge number of tracks (172 in 2.6) and lots of cars. It was originally forked from VDrift and features Ogre3D as a graphics engine instead of the custom (and less sophisticated) graphics engine in VDrift.

A video is worth a thousand pictures and a picture a thousand words so, instead of me writing a million of those, I invite you to check out the gameplay in the video that accompanied the release:

Also recently updated is Irrlamb. Those with incredibly good memories will recall this physics-based game originally appearing many years ago. I originally wrote about Irrlamb over 8 years ago on Free Gamer, and the previous release (0.1.1) is over 5 years old if I'm not mistaken (it is hard to check since things have moved on since then i.e. Google Code where its development was originally hosted).

This release adds new graphical capabilities, new levels, gamepad support and various fixes - see the announcement for more details.

I'll also write a really lengthy... wait a minute! Let's link a video instead. ;)