Wednesday, May 31, 2006

About Me & Vega Strike

Me being the list, not the person. The addiction to updating this blog has been so overwhelming as to consume my person. I no longer function as an individual, instead serving merely to emit superlatives about the endeavours of a select few; the Free game programmers.

For those returning viewers, there has been ever more updates to the list. At this early point, the changes are so many that I can't really bring myself to remember them so you'll just have to have another look. In the future I will be noting additions rather than silently inserting them.

I was going to add Deadly Rooms Of Death (a.k.a. DROD) to the freeware list but it's website seems to have dropped off the edge of the Internet. Other references to the game cite charges, so perhaps it shouldn't be there anyway. What a shame, I quite liked that game. Back to Freer matters and I did discover that two seemingly dead projects, Adonthell and Egoboo (community), appear to have life in them. However they both have a long way to go before they can be considered revived. Another reality of open source gaming is that CVS activity is nothing without playable releases.

The last few months has seen a lot going on in the community of one of favourite projects; Vega Strike. There has been so much activity in the VS forums that it's a shame they don't have more structured development. The official release is so outdated. Here's a tip for game creators out there: if a mind-blowing artist rapidly produces commercial-grade art for your project, put it into your game immediately. Issues about whether it fits perfectly or needs placing properly are MOOT. VS would be the envy of the Free gaming world right now if the developers had reacted quicker. I was vocal enough at the time (sadly I shout better than I contribute). I would have posted more VS-specifc examples of his work but found mostly broken links - timerotted postings - although his website is more reliable (here and here). Fortunately his efforts were not forgotten and somebody is finally making use of his models. Still, luckily for them the VS forums has always been teeming with new talent.

There's a follow-up release for the fledgling Warsow, which seems to be winning over a lot fans after recent updates. This release (0.11) also raises a common issue afflicting Free Software developers - version numbering. There are those who interpret version numbers as outright numbers - 0.1 < 0.11 < 0.2 - and to them this will make sense. There are others who believe each point is it's own independent number - 0.1 < 0.2 < 0.11 (nought point eleven) - who will scoff at a 0.1 to 0.11 version jump. The latter is the most adopted in my experience, hence the typical X.Y.Z versioning system. In this sense, the Warsow team would have been better expressing their releases as 0.10 and 0.11 respectively (or 0.1.0 and 0.1.1) but their numbering system is their perrogative. I just hope they realise how many puppies they killed.

I could write an entire article on that; how unproductive.

Finally, a note on the future direction for this blog - it involves interviews and reviews galore, commentary on important Free game updates, as well as articles on Free Software game development. I hope that whets a few appetites.