Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Digging Deep

Well, well... my prayers are being answered. There is an open source Dungeon Keeper clone inspired game. Dungeon Digger has just 1 week ago had it's inaugral release. The author seems really eager (as happens during the inception of most OSS games) but the progress has been rapid enough to already attract a small community so hopefully it will reach a critical mass of developers if it gets enough attention.

Still there is a lot to do before it is a playable game but patience is a virtue. Thanks go to Ben Schram for pointing me in the direction of Dungeon Digger.

One game that I enjoyed toying with this week was the Ghouls & Ghosts Remake (that's a Freshmeat link on purpose). It brought back memories of nights spent sleeping over at friends houses as a kid and racing through Super Nintendo titles. However it is currently fiendishly hard. I'd like to see a bit of game balancing and also usage of Scale2x or another similar technique for improving the [resolution of the] graphics.

One last thing. The other day I mentioned a Geometry Wars clone, Xwars. By coincidence I came across another Geometry Wars clone, this time for Linux, called Grid Wars 2. On the website is the notice:

Sorry folks... I've had to remove the link to the download. Email from BizarreCreations:

"We're beginning to feel the effects of the Geometry Wars clones on our sales via Microsoft now and are beginning a process to begin to more robustly protect our copyright and intellectual property.

Therefore, I'd like to ask you in an amicable fashion to stop infringing our IP and pull the game 'Grid Wars' from the internet for download.

I hope you understand and are able to do this without us having to take further steps."

Grossly unfair. In other words, a corporation has made a simple enough game for a volunteer to copy and is objecting to the dent this volunteer creation is making in their sick profit margins. You know what, I fucking hate that. I respect commercial titles that have a lot of effort put into them, but if this is a precedent then it's going to threaten the position most FOSS games which are often inspired by a commercial title. And if people can clone a commercial title in their spare time, I do not respect that a significant effort (or at least a significant intelligent effort - get enough monkeys typing and you will rewrite the works of Shakespeare) has been put into that commercial title.

Here we have somebody reverse engineering a game - is that not what cloning a game is? - and he is muscled out by a company afraid that their cash cow is going to get creamed. The power of money. It outweighs the purpose of law.