Saturday, October 11, 2008

Open Source Survives Financial Meltdown

There's a few juicy updates to several great Free Software game projects over the last few days. I'm feeling too lazy to grab screenshots though. You'll just have to peruse yourself if you find something interesting.

We'll start with TA:Spring 0.77b3 - Linux and Windows binaries are up for download - with the comment, "After some people have stated that we should release more early and often*, we give you 0.77b3 here." I downloaded and installed it using the generic Linux installer - worked without a hitch - and it looks fan-bloody-tastic. Still, the state of licensing of some of the content is a little unclear - I don't feel reassured that I'm playing a totally Free game although I'm certain some of the mods are Free Software. That doesn't bother me like it might some of the purists out there.

OpenLieroX 0.57_beta8 arrived. Worms and blood and chaotic 2D action. It's a pixel dream.

Open City 0.0.6 beta can be found on Sourceforge. There's no release notice yet on the website but there's plenty of features in it. Open City is a largely unknown open source 3D city building game. It really deserves more attention than it gets IMHO. The fundamental gameplay foundations are already in place and it's a more in-depth game than Lincity[-NG] or Micropolis (aka Sim City classic), but lacks the polish and stability required to make it attract a larger playing community. Every release is a step closer!

Ok, hrm, how about two new [to Free Gamer] projects?

LBA Prequel (project) is a fan-made effort to create a Free game based on the Little Big Adventure universe, a prequel to the original games. The franchise is officially discontinued so unofficial intervention is required. They are taking the work of two previous projects - which partially reverse engineered the original games to create cross platform engines to play them - to create an engine capable of playing the original titles and the game LBA Prequel is essentially a total conversion that uses this engine.

Epic of Thalia is an RPG of the non-MMO variety. Woohoo! MMO has become the new shell suit, for those of us that don't like MMOs. Alas, I digress. The game is in early stages of development and the website is cryptic until you realise you have to click on the 'navigation' button. What is good is that they have an active source repository** and a few concept releases already, which is more than many aspiring projects make. The Epic of Thalia team is, like all good open source projects, looking for contributors.

* I firmly believe it is true: "release early, release often" is the mantra of a successful open source project.

** It's Darcs. Which reminds me of a new DRCS I saw called Fossil - it's an integrated RCS, Wiki, and bug tracking system. Think git meets trac. Anybody tried it yet?

EDIT: Just got emailed that Platinum Arts Sandbox 2.2.4 is out. The project is an attempt to make a version of Sauerbraten that's more kid-friendly and oriented around cooperative content. Lots of new features and there's been work on a Kid Friendly RPG (brainstorming) for it too, check out Cabzilla: