OpenCity 0.0.5 has been unleashed upon the wider public. The game is, well, not yet much of a game but it is progressing steadily. I would like to see the author approach maybe the Open Transport Tycoon project to see if there's any room for utilizing some of their many wonderous building models. I'm a big believer in project synergy, of which there isn't nearly enough occurence in the Free Software game world. People seem to fear a lack of identity to a game, but a game identity is foremost created by experience - of which graphics are only a part of the bigger picture. Also, just becasue two projects share graphical resources, doesn't mean they have to completely overlap.
Getting back to OpenTTD, version 0.6 is around the corner and 0.6-beta2 was released a few days ago. 0.6 final, "will give you loads of new features, like newhouses, newindustries, signals and diagonal tracks under bridges, trams, autoslope, oneway roads, half tile slopes and much more. It furthermore contains quite a few performance improvements under certain conditions as well as a very long list of bugreports."
OpenTTD is pretty addictive and this sounds like another good upgrade. I'd better stay away, if this blog is to regain momentum. ;-)
There's a lot of people hacking away on OpenTTD for one reason or another. I thought this 3D hack-up (as opposed to a mock-up, a hack-up is a barely functioning codebase to showcase an idea) was pretty interesting, as was the suggestion that 3D could work in different ways - I quite like the idea of an abstract 3D transport simulation.
Keeping with the city/transport simulation theme, Simutrans 0.99.16 got released a few days ago. Simutrans and OpenTTD are both incredibly portable. Both have been ported to BeOS [a classic-but-defunct operating system]. I'm not sure how current the OpenTTD build is, but Simutrans could probably run on Haiku [an open source successor to BeOS].
I do think that a good niche for Free Software games is alternative operating systems. Not only does it allow OS enthusiasts to port games to their favourite platform (e.g. the SkyOS author has ported a number of open source games) but it allows the games to be played on a platform that commercial games are not available on, even if it is a tiny minority.