Thursday, June 22, 2006

Know your market - OPTIMISE!

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Going back to Yoda Soccer, I had earlier talked about performance issues on my 1ghz laptop. Upon reporting the problem, I had this response:

This is likely because the game requires a graphics card with 64MB of video ram.

Let me get this straight. A remake of Sensible Soccer - a game that ran on the Amiga 500, an Atari ST, the SEGA Mega Drive, and a 486 PC - requires a 64mb graphics card? That is ludicrous.

If you are making an open source game, know your market. Your market is typically not people with high-end graphics cards. If anything, it's people with older PCs who have less cash who do not want to invest in an uber-PC to play games. Of course, you have the ideological few who purchase a Cray to play Supertux, but they are the minority.

So, with your market in mind, and knowing the kind of graphical and computing intensity your game requires, an open source developer should not be satisfied with something that performs badly.

Optimise, and optimise early.

Why optimise early?
  • Your game will be respected more by players if it performs well, regardless of how complete it is
  • More people will come to play your game and spread the word about it
  • You will understand the underlying architecture of your codebase better if you focus on refining it
  • Your codebase will become cleaner as you work on optimising it
  • You will naturally eradicate bugs and improve user experience during the course of optimisation
  • You'll become a better programmer through learning while optimising code
  • Future development of your game, by yourself or by attracting new developers, will be easier because of the above reasons
Is your game slower than it should be? Why are you waiting? Stop feature creeping and start making it faster and smoother. A simple game that plays well is better than a complex game that barely works. Of course, the pragmatic position lies somewhere between those two extremes but err on the side of the former because that is what will impress people the most. It will also help keep you motivated because of the reasons I have mentioned.

Certainly, requiring a 64mb video card for a game that was written on 15 year old hardware is outrageous. Perhaps it is because they use BlitzMax, but surely BlitzMax can't be that inefficient. Hopefully in the future the Yoda Soccer developers will consider porting away from BlitzMax so this game can be enjoyed by those of us who are not using fast machines.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Mono and Bubble Thing

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Well it appears I missed out Onyx from the special on open source 3d space games... or did I? With no pointer to a source repository nor a zip/tar/rar of source, or a freeware download of any mention, I can't classify this game as anything other than todoware at the moment. Contact the Onyx developer(s) if you want to beta test the game.



There has been updates to the 2D open source & free MMORPGs (that was a mouthful) Crossfire and Stendhal. Stendhal looks cute but those kind of games are not my cup of tea.



Mono

Bubble Thing


Something I did find a lot of fun was mono, by Binary Zoo. Sadly it's only available for Windows, although I'd be interested to hear if it worked through WINE. It's fantastic fun and really shows it's possible to innovate even though the graphics and gameplay are so simple.



A great freeware title that runs in Linux, with similar innovative qualities, is Bubble Thing. Inflate the bubbles until they burst and see if you can create bubble-popping chain reactions. You can make the bubbles absolutely massive with controlled inflation.



I know this is supposed to be an open source games blog but those two freeware titles really caught my eye (and attention).



Currently the games list is missing a large number of iD-based open source 'stuff' such as Darkplaces, FreeDoom, the Vavoom Engine, OpenArena, Hexen II: HoT, and others. There's a lot of them. I'm working on adding them to the list in a way that does not swamp the rest of the list in the new 3 column layout. Expect it in a couple of weeks.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Oo the Madness

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To any regular readers, apologies for the lapse in posting - I did, though, have a valid reason. It tooks 2 weeks to get infected and 2 days to get out of it! I blame myself for not using protection, especially when it's freely available.




Balazar Brothers

Arkhart


There was an update to Balazar Brothers over the weekend. This fun 3D platformer has great visuals for a Free Software game and is a little brother to Balazar. It comes from the same stable that produced Slune and Arkhart, the French setup Nekeme Prod[uctions?].



Delving deeper into Nekeme I found out that Arkhart is still being developed with a release (0.2.0) scheduled for Christmas. Whether this sees the light of day is yet to be seen, given the 3 years that has passed since the last Arkhart release, but it's good to know that the project is not dead. It's one of those open source games that you look at the website and screenshots and your jaw drops, only to close it with a sigh when you see how [in]complete it is.



Also of note whilst browsing Nekeme Prod was Bankiz!, a worms-like inspired by Liero. It's not available yet (at least, not released) but the [French] news was updated just a few days ago.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Open Source Game Engines

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ScummVM



FIFE



OpenTTD

Today is a game engine special on Free Gamer. These are the projects that take your favourite [old school] titles and provide not only a native port but also fix all the nasties that had you saving and loading or even resetting your PC in the past. I remember the days of autoexec.bat and making every byte of that 640k count. Well these won't give you that fun but at least you get to play your old games!



Let's start with the exciting FIFE: Flexible Isometric Fallout-like Engine. Started as an attempt to make a Fallout engine, it is becoming more ambitious and there are even rumours of a FIFE-based game in development. It should be able to run fan-made Fallout mods like the aptly named Fan Made Fallout.



I have a pet favourite among RPG engines - GemRB. (I respect the steady progress on a difficult project.) This Infinity Engine emulator aims to be able to run the Baldur's Gate titles and even improve the experience they offer. The development version is advancing nicely and hopefully the next release will give BG fans something to clamour about even if it still won't be quite capable of playing a full game.



Let's not forget ScummVM, one of the grand daddies of Free Software engines. This enables a host of old-school adventure games to be playable in a modern environment. Since it's inception, some of these adventure games have even been made freely available by their publishers, notably Beneath a Steel Sky and Flight of the Amazon Queen. Sadly they show their age. As fickle as it is, the low resolution makes it harder to enjoy the game when we live in an increasingly detailed and beautiful digital world.



FreeSCI is another adventure game engine for the many old Sierra titles out there. Like ScummVM, it boasts an impressive list of supported games with more added each arbitrary period of time that goes by.



Moving on to RTS games, we start with the evergreen TA Spring. I gave it column inches yesterday and it's thriving community doesn't need the publicity so I move swiftly on.



The classic project of the open source RTS engines is Stratagus. Once named FreeCraft, it has survived a blizzard and been made stronger for it. The available games, not counting Warcraft support through Wargus, are still a little rough around the edges but the future looks good.



Speaking of snow stormy games, we come across SCSharp, a C# adaptation of Starcraft. It's not yet capable of much more than loading a few game objects but it's worth watching out for.



Of course no RTS-related round-up is complete without a mention of something C&C (or should I say Dune 2 reincarnate). The main effort here is FreeCNC. Or should I say FreeRA, as it appears FreeCNC development has ceased so somebody has taken on the codebase under another moniker.



We finish with OpenTTD. This has breathed life into an excellent old-school game. Transport Tycoon is addictive and OpenTTD (partially inspired by TTDPatch) fixes the old problems such as vehicle limitations and then adds even more features to the game. However they are still working on the crazy railroads the AI tends to create! They are working on a hires replacement graphics set which will make OpenTTD a game in it's own right, hopefully by the end of the year.



I can only mention so much so left out the various engines ID have open sourced. However, if I missed any other cracking open source engines please comment below!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Sauerbraten and TA Spring

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Sauerbraten



There is an updated release for Sauerbraten. This innovative open source 3D FPS is an evolution of the popular game Cube. For those who don't know, Cube and Sauer are not just FPS games but live map modding tools as well where you can manipulate the game world in real time. The game maps are combinations of deformable cubes giving map creators massive control with minimum complexity. There are already some jaw dropping maps available for Sauer which is adding new eye candy all the time.



The developers are designing a roaming action RPG using Sauerbraten engine called Eisenstern. The entire game world will be in one massive level which the player will have to battle around. It seems to be more in a proof-of-concept stage whilst Sauer matures but is definitely one worth looking out for.



TA Spring

In other news, playing TA Spring just got a whole lot easier for Ubuntu (Dapper) and Debian (Sarge+) users. There's an entire guide to getting it up and running over at the DebSpring project.



TA Spring really does look beautiful lately. There are some incredible screenshots on the website. This game, more than anything else, makes me want to upgrade my PC. When I do you can bet your bottom dollar there'll be a 7-page review up on Free Gamer.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Set Your Games Free

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I'll start by acknowledging I've been mentioning games I've not yet added to the list. I'm redesigning the layout to be tri-columnar - 3 columns - so they are going into that design and not the current one. The new design should make browsing the list even easier.



I'm busy putting together a special on game engines. So for today I'll just make a note inspired by the fate of Parsec in the hope it will encourage freeware developers to publish their games under a proper open source license.



It is a lesson for all freeware developers to heed; just because you have glorious plans and motivation now, know that the future is known to no-one. It is as easy to lose the desire as it was to initially dream. By keeping your project closed you exclude the world from it's development. Should life take you in another direction nobody will be there to pick up your project. Your efforts will be wasted and that is a tragedy only the Freedom of software can avoid.



Do you have any more freeware come rotware stories to share?

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Nexuiz 2.0 Released

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Nexuiz, a rising star of open source gaming, has reached milestone 2.0. This version brings improved and optimized graphics, weapon balancing, new maps, bug fixes and a single player campaign with "advanced AI" (possibly incomplete changelog).

Here are some screenshots from the showcase video which can be seen on youtube or downloaded in a higher resolution.

My machine is not powerful enough to play this, but it looks absolutely fantastic. If you have the hardware, check it out and support the best Free games; they are community dependent.

I could, however, play Bontago. This Windows-only (boo!) freeware (boo!) title is an innovative (yay!) 3D RTS (yay!) where you use blocks to build structures and use special features to destabilize your opponents. I've contacted the authors and encouraged them to make the game Free Software so that it can be ported to other platforms and it's development continued.

Along with the Nexuiz 2.0 release, there was a note on 3delement.com, a site for 3D development tutorials:

3delement is a tutorial database site, holding tutorials dealing with all aspects of 3d development. Rather than going through many users sites, we catagorize thousands of tutorials for easy access. Register on our forum also to discuss 3d development.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Weekend Scourge

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Well a few days without posting is put down to an all-day BBQ and the trappings of such social occasions. After a good rest I can think lucidly once again.

I'll start with the news that Scourge 0.14 is ready. This is a very promising RPG game that is beginning to pick up pace with new artists recently joining the project to enhance it. Whilst I'm not a massive fan of the premise for the storyline (aged has-been adventurers... need I continue?) the main developer is focused on making the game easy to extend and mod so hopefully, before long, a more serious background will be developed by the playing community.

RG Pro Hockey is a promising looking 3D ice hockey simulation. I emailed the developers and, despite the project showing few signs of recent life, they are actively working towards a 1.0 release at the end of this year. I did advise an earlier, interim release.

Release early and release often - this is the mantra of the most successful open source projects.

There was a Beats of Rage update. This old-school beat 'em up is a throw back to the arcade action of Double Dragon and also has a fork, OpenBOR. The OpenBOR forums are thriving with mods although they mostly re-use graphics from old arcade games which is legally dubious. Sadly OpenBOR seems to only be available for Windows but Beats of Rage is cross platform.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Open Source 3D Space Games

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Welcome to a space game special on Free Gamer!



No Gravity

Vega Strike

Oolite

Parsec

Crimson Space


At the heart of open source space game development is Vega Strike, a 3D space trading and combat game. With a dynamic universe and dynamic econmies, there is massive depth to the game. However the current stable version (0.4.3) is aging. While there is an update to the development version, it is not yet stable nor easy to try but does include some great new models and art on top of various gameplay improvements. Feature-wise it rivals commercial counterparts and the next releases should restore Vega Strikes position as one of the showcase open source games.



Vega Strike is highly moddable and has spawned some excellent mods. There's something for Babylon 5, Star Wars, and Star Trek fans, with the latter moving forward nicely.



The most well-known mod is Privateer Remake, a modernization of Wing Commander: Privateer - an offshoot of the Wing Commander series. Privateer Remake was forked to form Privateer Gemini Gold, a version more true to the original Privateer. Both games breathe life back into a popular franchise, dragging it into 20th century gaming with vastly superior graphics to the original. There are more Wing Commander game remakes being developed out of the Vega Srike mod stable, springing from the meta-project Wing Commander Universe that spawned Privateer Remake.



No Gravity is a 3D arcade space shooter set in a fantastic universe made of 5 intergalatic worlds. The website is one of the best looking sites I've seen for an open source game. The game itself does not look as pretty as more recent titles like Vega Strike, but it looks fun nonetheless. It's gameplay reminded me of X-Wing vs TIE Figheter although it's been a long time since I played that so I could be mistaken.



Another space game whose progress has been steady is Oolite. It is basically Elite for the modern PC and was developed as a response to the withdrawl of Elite - A New Kind from the Internet (although it is still available from a few freeware sites). Oolite continues to exceed Elite in many ways and should delight fans of the original as well as attracting new players to the Elite brand.



Then there's FreeSpace 2. I was somehow under the impression that the whole game had been made Free Software. However, I could only find the FreeSpace 2 Source Code Project which did not contain much useful information, let alone a useful download. Increasingly convinced that the original FreeSpace 2 data was required and not Free, my interest quickly waned. If I'm wrong then could somebody please correct me.



Sadly there are those game development efforts that never quite make it. I came across Reaper whilst poking around the Internet. It's development ceased in 2002. Another space game whose candle went out a while ago is Andromeda 9, so it joins the echelons of once-promising projects.



Then there is Parsec. Once a darling of Linux gaming, Parsec suffered from being closed source. By the time the developers realised their mistake and open sourced Parsec, it was too late to interest a future maintainer.



Update: I have stumbled across Crimson Space that looks intriguing - you can enter a planet's atmosphere, it has several ships - although I'm uncertain of how complete it is and development ceased in 2002.



For people wanting an immediate fix, I would suggest No Gravity, Oolite, and Privateer Gemini Gold. No Gravity has the polish, Oolite has the depth, and Privateer the great 3D graphics. For people who are not afraid of rough edges, Vega Strike and it's burgeoning mod scene will push your 3D cards and engross you at the same time; Vega Strike is the open source future of this genre. One thing is certain, the open source 3D space game scene is very healthy.



Please comment if I missed an important open source 3D space game.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Updates & More Updates

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I have an ever-growing list of games to add. Soon the existing organisation of the games list will be inadequate so I'll be forced to think of how to make the list more scalable. I'm thinking of an AJAX driven table where I can assign more information to each game and make it orderable and searchable. However I don't want to commit to something requiring too much manual management; the current list is quite simple to maintain. Ideas on a postcard (or in a comment) please! Anything I can host on blogger.com is best.

Several games got recent updates; Empty Clip 1.0.2, OpenArena 0.4.1, and Vulture's 2.1.0 were some notable ones.

I downloaded Enigma which is a good test of your mouse handling ability. Inspired by two retro games I've never heard of, you manoevure a ball with the mouse to find matching stones. It was simple and fun, and felt like a complete game for what it is. As a potential distraction from work, I had to pay Enigma the compliment of deleting it immediately.

Next up was Yoda Soccer. First thing to note was that only the custom teams were avialable to play with - you need access to the original SWOS data to get the proper teams. Pressing ahead, I relished reliving the memories of repeatedly scoring the perfect Sensi goal. No such luck with Yoda Soccer; on Windows the game was unplayably slow - less than 1fps on my 1ghz laptop, unforgivable given the simple graphics. So I had to pay Yoda Soccer the insult of deleting it immediately. I reported the problem and will try it on Linux tomorrow.

Finally, testing my girlfriend's patience, I tried out Empty Clip. Again there were issues with performance - GUI elements made the game unplayably sluggish. When there was no GUI on-screen the game ran fine but I did not have the patience to stutter through the tutorials and initial stages of the games which were littered with GUI pop-ups. Still it looked fun and, again, I reported the problem and will try again on Linux tomorrow.

I've got a 3D space game special lined up for tomorrow. Ciao 'til then, folks!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Karting Race to GPL, VDrift

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I contacted the author of Karting Race with regards to open sourcing the game, and he agreed! There's something to be said for GPL advocacy after all.

I really think it's a good idea... I think the main reason, that I haven't opensourced it yet, is that I think the code is too bad. Same thing when people mail me for the sourcecode because they wanna learn from it; It's just not good enough. But maybe it doesn't really matter when it comes to opensourcing...

Do you think I should just upload it to my own homepage, with a link alongside the final game?


I recommended a sourceforge project so we'll wait and see.

On a racing-related topic, VDrift will come as an autopackage for it's next release. The VDrift forums are alive with development progress and I look forward to an update to this very promising racing game. With new features and bug fixes plus cars and tracks being imported from the Racer community, this game seems to be picking up momentum.

I fully endorse Autopackage as a means to get Free games immediately available to players without the overhead of supporting multiple distros.

I'll finish off todays post by noting a few smaller games I added:

  • I remember playing Pipemania years ago and it was fun, so imagine my delight when I discovered Pipepanic last week.
  • I came across Intellidiscs a while ago too. For once a Tron-game that does not base itself on light cycles.
  • I also had not included Tower Toppler until now. For me the gameplay was slow-but-hard, a strange combination. Also the pixellated main character doesn't add much atmosphere.
  • Super Transball 2 is a fun take on the thrust genre.
As usual I can't really give each game I mention the column inches they deserve. If you want to highlight your favourites then please write a review and send it to me. Presuming it's reasonable, I'll be happy to publish any fan reviews on Free Gamer.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Stunt Playground Source Released

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I'll start with the exciting news that the source to Stunt Playground was released at the end of May. This is a really cool looking game written using the OGRE 3D engine. It really highlights the spreading understanding of the importance of Free Software when reading the reasons behind the decision:

I have decided to release the entire source code for Stunt Playground 2.0, to aid those interested in Ogre / OgreNewt / Newton Game Dynamics programming. The source is available under a free license, and might be of particular interest to people using the Newton Game Dynamics vehicle constraint, as it was used for the vehicle physics in the game.

How could I forget two of the classic Free games - Liquid War and Jump n Bump, both frollicking fun. It seems that Liquid War 6 is under development. Whilst not expected before 2008, it is always good to see the ongoing development of original Free games. I hope it brings a nice update to the rather garish graphics of it's predecessors. Still, if you haven't heard of the Liquid War games before, I highly recommend trying Liquid War 5. It is a worthy fill of a few minutes of your time.

I also spotted FreeSCI, on linuxgames.com, which is looking active. For those who don't remember what SCI is, it is the engine Sierra used to implement their original adventure titles before things got ugly. This harks back to the time when adventure games ruled the PC game market. With SCI Studio, a tool for creating SCI-based adventure games, being released as Free Software, hopefully we'll be seeing some good Free adventure games in the future.

On Freshmeat I saw an update to Rescue! Max, an action adventure space game written in Java. I haven't yet played the game but it looks interesting. Has anybody else tried it yet? If so, please comment on your experience.

Finally (for today - I have so many backed-up games to mention and link) I have added a digg.com entry for Free Gamer, so please support your favourite Free gaming resource (I mean this website) and digg FG!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

One Point Nought

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I added a few more titles to the list: Runescape (online only), FreeCNC (game over), and Karting Race (freeware).

Those readers who are Game Tome regulars may already be aware of an update to Armagetron AD. It's reached version number 0.2.8.2 which is something I want to talk about.

To me, version 1.0 of a project represents a stable release of the original concept. Not the perfection of that concept, but the playable implementation of it's core features. Armagetron passed this mark a long, long time ago. Also, the popular X.Y.Z versioning usually has respective major, minor, and bugfix connotations. For brown-paper-bag releases there is an occasional 4th digit version number.

Strikingly, this update (0.2.8.1 to 0.2.8.2) implemented new features. I just can not grasp such a minor version increment for a feature-based release. It's nonsensical. It almost reduces the significance of the new features.

Armagetron AD should ditch the 0, putting the version at 2.8.2 - more representative of the maturity of the codebase. Versions with new features should bump up the Y number, not the Z, so that people could better differentiate between more advanced versions of the game.

Another sinner in this regard is TORCS whose changes between Z increments can be very significant. Yet people who tried 1.2.1 don't bother to try 1.2.4 because they'll think nothing much has changed when that's not the case. The players miss out, the project misses out on players, and all because the developers thought it'd be better to be frugal with version numbers.

The moral of this rant is that if you want people to really notice the improvements between versions in your Free game, then treat versions numbers properly. Don't abuse them but do not be too respectful either. A developing game naturally should have a corresponding version number but it should represent the state of the game and not the state of mind of the programmer. 1.0 is not perfection. You'll never reach it if it is.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Football Focus

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There was an update for the only well-developed Free football management simulation I know of, Bygfoot 2 was released. Sadly the lead developer is moving on so it may be the last release if nobody takes over maintainership. Saying that, open source project addiction may bring him back.

Bygfoot is fun but the user interface can be fairly non-intuitive and the game lacks depth when it comes to player management and information - e.g. there's no indication of a player's performance in the game. Outside of the players, there are plenty of features. With some UI love and elaboration on the player management it could be a very competent footy manager.

There was also an update to Alien Arena 2006; another mod-turned-standalone freeware deathmatch game. Since Q3A now is available under a Free license, I wish these mods would adopt a similar approach. Still, that is their perrogative.

Today I received a laptop with Windows installed, so if you know any Windows-only Free Software games then please let me know. I'm going to have to make the games list a little more refined (add a platform indicator of some sort) but I'd like to promote all Free games, regardless of their platform.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Campaign - FreeTrain Localization

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[UPDATE 2009] FreeTrain was translated quite sometime ago, thanks to people who saw this campaign and helped out! It still only runs on Windows but there is hope of a port to Linux - contact the team via the mailing list if you think you can help. There is a project, website, forum. [/UPDATE 2009]






FreeTrain is a clone of A-Train. I can't find much information right now (please comment if you know where to look) but it's a long-running series developed by ArtDink and is primarily marketed to the Japanese. I remember playing A-Train 3 about 10-12 years ago and quite liking it.



The problem with FreeTrain is that it's only availabe in Japanese. The game needs localizing and translating. I have spoken to the author before and he's open to contributors. From the website:



I wanted to do a proper localization of FreeTrain to English at some point, but the game just doesn't have enough interest outside Japan to justify the effort to myself.


The lack of interest probably stems from the fact all the game material is in Japanese!



There is a mailing list linked on the game page. However, if you are really serious, I suggest contacting the author Kohsuke Kawaguchi directly - email also on the FreeTrain website.



So the first Free Gamer campaign is to get FreeTrain properly localized and translated into English. I don't even know if it runs on Linux. Not the most organised of campaigns but hopefully somebody will check it out anyway!



Update: Ok, I can confirm this is currently a Windows-only game. So the campaign is extended to porting it to Linux as well.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Introduction to Wing Commander

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Thanks to those out there who pointed out the broken Wing Commander Universe link in the exciting prospects section. The link is fixed, now pointing to the WCU section of the Vega Strike wiki (WCU is a VS mod). The original project page currently serves as the homepage for Privateer Remake which has, as far as I'm aware, been superceeded by Privateer Gemini Gold. PR was created from the WCU codebase and PGG was a fork of PR. It does make sense, I promise.

Privateer is a classic PC game from the mid-90s and was an off-shoot of the Wing Commander series. You play the role of a space merchant and/or mercenary who fights his way across the galaxy in a game where you travel without limits, sometimes following the storyline if you were so inclined.

PGG and WCU development is still very active and there are more WC games expected to be created out of the WCU project. The next PGG release has high-res base backgrounds, more graphics, more balancing, and lots of bug fixes so look out for it.

Those interested in Wing Commander may be interested in Wing Commander Pioneer, a freeware game still in development by some of the prominent modellers of the WC fan community. It won't be released any time soon but the models and teaser screenshots are very nice.

Privateer was revolutionary and one of the best gaming experiences I ever had. Origin (now defunct) had a habit of doing this - think of the long-running Ultima games. I will do a Free Software perspective on them some day.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Another Large Update

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Well I just did another large update, including adding another 30+ games to the list - even I'm beginning to get surprised at the quantity of quality Free games out there.

I also tweaked the layout further, added an FAQ, and a 'Jump To' quick-nav for the sidebar. Hopefully this will be the last major update for a while meaning all subsequent updates will be properly described so in the future the list won't change radically overnight like it has done every night since it's inception.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Deadly Soccer in a Warzone

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A rather topical title has just been released, Slam Soccer 2006 (a.k.a. Bolzplatz 2006), a 3D soccer game with cartoon-style players. It requires Java 1.5 but don't let that put you off. With some half-decent hardware, it looks like fun. It did not perform well enough on my machine to be playable - however I blame my GeForce2, so do not let the Java tag put you off. Quite a few decent games are appearing in Java recently. There's even a Java port of Quake 2 - Jake2.




Warzone 2100


The not-so-well-known Free game Warzone 2100 continues to be updated. Importantly, for me, it looks good and runs good on older hardware.



It is a 3D RTS game that was originally a commercial title. One of the contributors is an Ubuntu user and, over in the forums, gave an overview of the state of Warzone. It looks like it's coming together nicely. Even though a bit of the original game content still isn't working in the Free version (notably the cut-scenes), it still feels like a very complete game and is definitely worth trying. There is a very dedicated community and such dedication only forms behind decent games.




DROD


Thanks to Evil Mr Henry for pointing out where to find the freeware version of DROD v1. It's DROD v2 that's not freeware, although the DROD engine is released under the MPL.



A bit of a short one today; I must do some work before I turn into a blog-junkie and lose everything dear to me.



Edit: Uploaded the screenshots to blogger to stop the berlios.de pestering for https confirmation. Apologies for any inconvenience.