Wednesday, July 12, 2006

VDrift - More Cars & Tracks

There's a significant update to VDrift, the open source drift racing game. Now it has a decent selection of cars and tracks, 19 and 12 respectively, to play on and development seems to be picking up pace. This is an excellent game and I urge any people interested in racing games to get involved. With a bit of community dedication this could be turned into a really polished commercial quality racing game.

At the moment they are looking for people to post screenshots. There is only a binary for Linux of the latest release but I'm sure other platforms will follow sooner rather than later.

Loose Cannon is a 3d Gauntlet-style post modern shoot-em-up. The previous release (0.4) was promising but shaky. I'll have to see what this update is like.

I see Eternal Lands has had an update too. I've known about this update for a couple of weeks, just forgot to post about it. Still, I'm not an EL fan. I don't really understand what motivates people to play a game where the main focus is on harvesting - that is, your character sat down with numbers occasionally popping up over their heads representing improvements or gained goods. Still, I have a friend addicted to EL so it can't be that bad, it's just not for me.

I was quite interested to see Dune Legacy make an appearance on the Linux Game Tome. I remember playing Dune II back in 1992 and really enjoying it's gameplay. I then remember playing Command and Conquer and noticing how they'd improved the graphics but the gameplay was always essentially the same.

Then, eight years later, out came Dune 2000. It still had identical gameplay to Dune II, right down to some of the real playability bugs (units not always defending themselves, especially if you accidentally set them shooting the floor - they'll craterise the landscape whilst being picked off by weaker enemies) just it had pretty 3D graphics. I was disgusted. Now I see references to it being a remake of Dune II, but at the time I remember otherwise and recall an interview with the lead developer describing how innovative they were being.

It's always great to see game innovation and Dune II was amazing for it's time. It's always dismaying to see a company like Westwood then become so unoriginal. It's like they sacked all the people with decent ideas. One of the great things about Free games is you don't see people sinking into a wash-rinse-repeat development schedule pumping out meaningless titles that stick to the same formula after a decade. Unconstrained by commercial handcuffs where the priority is the money and not the game, people work on what they believe makes a good game.

Are recent C&C releases still as pathetic? Still based on gameplay that hasn't really changed since 1992?