Wednesday, September 17, 2008

English transcription of "Hobby Game Development" (neues, 3sat)

Narrator: On first sight it looks like the commercial online role-playing game Ultima Online. On the second the viewer might spot one or another change. Maybe even something special, which doesn't even exist in the original game.

This game is named Iris 2, built on top of Ultima Online and is freely available online. It was developed by hobby game developers.

It's their hobby, just like others knit pullovers in the evening. Florian Fischer and Iwan Gabovitch develop games in their free time. What's the thrill of developing games on your own?

Florian: It's just fun to be creative and to express this creativity. Games are super for that.

Iwan: First I stopped playing commercial games and started searching for new, interesting games. I found many freeware games and then came across the open source scene, where also games get developed, where
it's easy to contribute, without having to get involved too much.

Narrator: Most developers are not professionals but they have lots of potential and ideas, which they want to share and to put into practice with others.

Free software is being used, which is available gratis online. For example to create graphics of special effects.

For the 3D visualization, Florian works with OGRE. OGRE is open source software, which can be copied, distributed and used without limitation. Working with free software excites the developers.

Florian: Others can download our code, can compile games on their own, can try own things and can improve the programm. The principle of open source is nice: I give something and, as I use open source tools, I also take something.

Narrator: Usually each developer works seperately on his computer but once a year the hobby developers meet live.

The event Dusmania was initiated so that developers could exchange experience, but of course there has to be some actual development too. In nine hours, they had to develop a game. The group of Iwan and Florian created "lalalove", a game in which sounds have to be generated to make people happy.

Iwan was responsible for the graphics in lalalove. First he sketches the images, before layouting them on the PC.

Somebody who invests so much love and free time into game development could work for commercial game producers, but this doesn't interest the community.

Florian: We don't have to follow any rules, we can implement every idea and we can throw it out too. We can be as creative as we want to be and this is fun. We can create prototypes of games and then say "we like this game principle" or maybe someone else in the community likes it and develops it thurther. I find this freedom fascinating.

Narrator: One who wants to experience developing games on his/her own, finds a lot of tips on the web. Beginners are also able to get into the scene easily.

Free Gamer is an online community for hobby game developers. It consists of a blog, a forum and a wiki. The forum is for discussions. On the wiki articles can be published and freely edited. For example there is a list of open source 3D game engines, which everyone can use for his own games.

If someone prefers to play rather than develop, won't be disappointed. Games of all sorts are available on the net. For example the cute SuperTuxKart. Instead of Mario, a penguin drives against the tree.

End of transcription. Please not that all text by the Narrator is not freely licensed and it's copyright is owned by 3sat.

Please note that simplification and generalization are unavoidable if you want to squeeze a topic into four minutes. There are of course people who are interested in commercial application of open source and there are open source game developers who would like to work in non-free, commercial game developer companies.