Monday, March 26, 2007

Go With The Flow

Firstly a quick update on FreeTrain. The main game has now been translated, so should compile and run on Windows. At the moment, though, there are a few things to be addressed before it can be officially released and also it probably needs porting to SDL to run on Linux as - although Mono is implementing WinForms - it makes a few DirectX calls. That and I'm too lame (in combination with VS2005) to even make it compile on Windows.

FlowFlowMania, a Pipe Mania clone, showed up on Freshmeat today. Sadly there's only 2 playable levels and graphics for a resolution of 320x240 but it's early days yet so hopefully development will continue. I loved Pipe Mania when it came out on my ZX48+.

Since I was commenting on FLOSS platform games (or lack of) the other day, "Steve" brought to my attention his game - Danger Man. I gotta say, although it's early days for this game (don't expect much), it was a fun to play for a few minutes. It's only v0.1 and there's no real animation but the essential gameplay elements are there. Danger Man reminded me a bit of Abuse [SDL] (Freshmeat link due to homepage not working) with the mouse/keyboard combination, although it has a long way to go before it reaches a similar level of polish.


Continuing the platformer theme, I played SuperTux 0.3.0 for the first time yesterday. It felt sluggish and generally not-as-fun (on my 1Ghz laptop) compared to SuperTux 0.2.0. Maybe I'm just getting old or something? It is labelled a "preview" release so I also had a look at their progress towards a full Milestone 2 release (v0.4.0 I presume) and noted a complaint about a penguin that can't swim. Does anybody else see an opportunity for a Mario meets Ecco the Dolphin clone? Now that would be something special. :-)

Of course to do that well, you might want 3D characters instead of 2D sprites. Perhaps an adaption of the Windstille engine? I'm an idea-a-minute at the moment!

I love Fish Fillets. If you haven't played it, go to that link IMMEDIATELY. I like it that much, that I'm going to mention it's commercial follow up - Fish Fillets II. The graphics are, as usual, much improved. Anyway, I mention it only to see if people can bug Altar Games to either make a Linux port or perhaps GPL the engine so people can do it themselves aka Fish Fillets NG.

There's a rumour that UFO:AI 2.1 will get released before the end of the month. They got bored backporting changes from SVN trunk to the 2.0 branch so skipped an official 2.0 release altogether (after 6 RCs). I've no complaints with that - at the end of the day open source developers have limitted time. If something is actually detracting from development then sometimes it is better to forget about it. At the end of the day players want the latest, greatest stuff so generally will prefer a quick 2.1 release to a 2.0 release that delays v2.1 of the game. Besides, the developers can just argue that 2.0 was just a preview of 2.1 anyway! ;-)

Music tip:

Conamore - I've Got This Feeling (Ben Macklin Mix)