Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Happy Gnu Year

Well, well, it's 2008. Happy birthday time! Thanks to Qubodup for posting, and I'm sure he'll be doing so regularly this year.



I'll just catch up with a few of the other game releases over the festive period that snook under the general radar, and suprisingly so too.




Simutrans 128


Simutrans 0.99.17 got released on December 20th. It's a "stable candidate" due to the increasingly few major bug reports the developers are receiving. The game has improved immeasurably over the last year. Given that Simutrans is now Free Software, it's a bit of a shame that it doesn't get as much publicity as OpenTTD which (people forget) still requires proprietary data. They also have a new website at simutrans.sourceforge.net in addition to the community site www.simutrans.com. And, whilst OpenTTD engages in a still far-away effort to create a hi-res version of the game, Simutrans is already playable in 128x128 tile textures and looks fantastic. And you can play it on BeOS!



Egoboo 2.7.5 came out. It's the biggest update since the original release of Egoboo, however it doesn't work in Linux so we'll go into more detail when 2.7.6 comes out. Windows users should check it out regardless.



VDrift "Christmas edition" is available for download. There's a rewritten physics engine in there, among many other improvements. Also, now the VDrift community has attained somewhat of a critical mass, instead of including all available cars and tracks (of which some were of dubious quality) this release only includes those that are of a high standard. It's pretty awesome looking but I don't understand drifting so I couldn't drive around corners. I hope they provide an arcade racing mode in the future.



I'll wrap up with Sauerbraten "assassin" edition. Released just before Christmas, this release brings hud guns amongst many, many small iterative improvements. Sauerbraten recently got rated 7th out of 7 popular Free Software shooters. The reason being that, despite it's community-map-editing innovations, most of the content isn't so great and there aren't many people playing online, so it's more of a tech demo. I'd say that's fair, but something Sauer does [other than innovative technology] that other games don't do is provide a platform for creating new games, such as Blood Frontier and Eisenstern. I have a feeling that 2008 will be a great year for Sauerbraten and it's mods, where the effort of the last few years comes together very nicely.