Wednesday, September 05, 2007

How Original

I really shouldn't be posting right now because I have a million more important things to do but I love you guys so...



There's a preview version of Vega Strike 0.5.0 up for download for Intel Mac users. The VS devs need some feedback on most notably sound due to porting issues. Users of other platforms will have to use subversion for the time being but Windows users don't need to compile as there's a .exe in subversion.



Want to know what OpenTTD will look like when the new graphics are ready? Well there's some interesting screenshots in the Ubuntu forums. I know this guy has riled the OpenTTD community by posting work there that they don't approve of. Issues to do with language barriers and badly put-together mockups / inserted graphics. Still, it seemed a bit harsh to me but for some reason he doesn't understand English. Anyway, this babble is digressing too much.



Globulation2 and Bos Wars got updates. Hopefully C&C being released as freeware won't dent the efforts of the developers of those games by taking players away from their communities.



I hate Westwood and the C&C series. Why? It's the most unoriginal piece of crap. Ever played Dune II? Awesome game for it's time, truly awesome. So awesome that the entire C&C series was just a rehash of it. I was so disgusted when I played Dune III, over 10 years after Dune II, the gameplay was pretty much identical and even the same gameplay / stupid AI bugs still existed. You could still select units, click on the floor, and watch whilst a few enemy units systematically wiped them out and your units continued to attack nothing. I vowed never to play a C&C game again after that - it's just the same but with shinier graphics. This probably isn't the first, and probably won't be the last time I mention this. I still remember watching a video of one of the game designers talking about how "original" Dune III was and feeling sick to my stomach that I helped line their pockets with gold. Dune II was original. Dune III had nothing original about it - it's not like 3D graphics were even a new phenomena. The evolution between Dune II, through the C&C series, to Dune III, was purely superficial, which for a multi-million-dollar franchise was pretty poor going if you ask me.



Never fear, open source is here! FOSS games are often original, contrary to what many people think. Originality goes beyond the conceptual. Originality is about project direction, about improving gameplay. Free games may often be reimplementations but they usually take a proactive approach to addressing gameplay and game balancing issues. You can be sure that the same AI bugs that afflicted the initial versions of Freeciv 10+ years ago have been addressed in the upcoming Freeciv 2.1 - which already has patches for the issues I mentioned the other day.



Hey, how topical is this. Whilst searching for a Dune III link (unable to find one easily - obviously a completely unremarkable game unlike it's predecessor) I came across two active Dune II remakes; Dune II: The Sleeper Has Awakened, which was only updated on the 3rd of September, and Dune II: The Maker, updated in August with gallery additions even yesterday. Intriguing.