Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Freedom is Fun

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Happy festive season to all those who are celebrating, and commiserations to those who are missing out or have not been blessed with a nice Christmas period.



Many thanks to Q for being a custodian of the blog. It would surely have died long ago but for his endeavour and I deeply appreciate his ongoing efforts.




NYC in Sauer


I have a queue of interesting things... like this lovely screenshot of a NYC map for Sauerbraten that pushes the engine's performance.



There was a Christmas release of SuperTuxKart and it's full of goodies. Verison 0.6rc1 (an rc, thusly YMMV) offers (among a lot of new tracks and other improvements) improved physics with skidding, nitro, a better AI, and positional sound effects. Sounds super.



Gearhead2 is now completable as of the latest release, version 0.530, meaning that it is no longer a tech demo but a real live game. It's a futuristic / mech-based graphical roguelike and a very nice one too by all accounts.




UFO:AI Starchaser


I really liked this UFO:AI "Starchaser" interceptor (right). I'm looking forward to 2.3 which should be another impressive release for the project.



Vega Strike has had a lot of speech packs contributed in the last few weeks. To preview them you'll have to head on over to the VS forums (sorry, no direct links). I'm sure this will make the next release of the game more atmospheric. Whilst core development seems a little cool at the moment, the community contributions are as active as ever and I predict an explosive release sometime in 2009 that makes people go, "Wow, that's what open source can do." I also mined this nugget from the Ogre forums when procrastinating the other day (hellcatv is a lead VS dev, VS is prospectively getting ported to OGRE, and that thread is about a feature that looks particularly useful for transitions between space and planetscapes). Yes, that is rumour-mongering, and I'm proud of it!



Scourge is getting nicer lighting, there's a poor quality video on vimeo of it in its infancy (the effects have since improved). There was a bump with the 0.21 release, which got pulled and replaced by 0.21.1, but now that's sorted out development momentum has returned and already 0.22 looks promising.



I don't monitor nearly as many projects as I used to. Are there any other impressive screenshots you guys have seen lately? Any other projects looking promising for nice 2009 releases?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Plutocracy, Cheese Boys and Goblin Hack 1.16

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Cheese Boys breaking the fourth wall
Cheese Boys is a humorous post-apocalyptic action adventure. The current two-level implementation, that features dialog and fighting already contains a lot of strange fourth wall breaking humor (although it is quite different to Fallout's.)



Goblin Hack 1.16
Goblin Hack (GH) 1.16 is now out with new features, including music by Pascal Provost and new level kinds. Apparently there even is an end game level now, which I assume 0.17% of all GH players will reach. (Ever finished Nethack? Not me. :) )



Plutocracy rev 499
Plutocracy is
a multiplayer 3D RTS game focusing on merchant trade and domination by economic means, although warfare and piracy are always an option. The game has a 1600s Caribbean theme, is played on a real globe, and aims to replicate realistic economic transactions.
I fell in love with it's graphical style, which reminds me of Populous III. I haven't had the chance to play it with anybody else and there are no bots, so I can't say anything about playability, besides the fact that it's easy to lose your units out of sight.

Friday, December 19, 2008

DccNiTghtmare 0.3, ASC 2.20

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DNT: inspiration source in the shelf

DNT: post-apocalyptic santa
DccNiTghtmare (DNT), the RPG with a dyslexical title, a post-apocalyptic setting and The Sims-like graphics, is 0.3 Versions old (download here).



To my great joy, there are already three solvable quests and a bunch of collectable items. The main thing, however: humor. In your journes you can either choose the light path and install GNU/Linux on the computers you pass by or infect it with the dark force of ruinix. You can actually do this in the latest version. I like where this is going, if this open source/proprietary thing gets implemented well, the game will have completely different playing styles.



Update: 0.3.2 of DNT has been released and it runs! [video] Also check out this DNT tutorial in comic form.



Advanced Strategic Command's latest stable version is 2.2.0. Some of the changes include new terrain and object graphics and changed unit definitions. Unfortunately it won't run on my system for now, so no screens from me this time.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Late nights and leftovers - Scourge 0.21

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Scourge 0.21 is out. It's been optimized and stabilized considerably and now has a full 12 chapter storyline. Each release of Scourge gets closer to being a really good game - there are still a few issues that need addressing such as the character models - and that is reflected in the increasing activity of contributors. Until a year or so ago, Scourge development was mainly a 1 man effort, but 4 people put a lot of work into this release. A new model format (they are looking at [the unfortunately named] assimp for 0.22) and some better character models (think Glestimals, some JCRPG models, and a few of their own) and Scourge will offer some real immersion as well as a platform for creating new Free Software 3D isometric RPGs.



Talking about optimizations, VDrift is getting back on track after a ground-up rewrite to address key weaknesses in the codebase. Most features are now back and working better than before. I'm going to give the SVN version a go, but the vdrift-data check out takes a while. I think I started it 40 minutes ago.



Cube on the iPhone? No, really. Yes, really. Video:





Talking of cube-things, in Sauerbraten land I thought this idea was a good one. The Intensity Engine is a... well, it's ambitious. I won't go into that bit. However it brings procedurally generated content to Sauerbraten and that's pretty awesome. Video:





[i]Oops, forgot to link to the [arguably more interesting] counterpart video which shows how a bit of Python generates the above.[i]



Yo Frankie! Or yo, what's the deal Frankie? I guess when something gets so much hype, the expectations are high. The screenshots look lovely. The game? Well, the BGE version (which came with 0documentation and meant I had to ask in irc how to actually start the game since the Yo Frankie website gives as much info as the 0documentation) performance was terrible and the Crystal Space version I couldn't play because 0launch* is just about the worst way of distributing a game I have ever encountered. All hype and a totally cute techdemo. Good effort though.



* As if web browsers weren't already overburdened, apparently now they should be installers for things too. I hope the next release they at least provide a tar.gz download alternative.



I'm a bit off-radar at the moment with work. Thankfully Q is filling in brilliantly. He's the next-gen Free Gamer dude because he actually does stuff like create videos rather than just linkify interesting things.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Word War vi 0.24, Daggerwind Scrolls, jClassicRPG music, Yo Frankie! download

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Word War vi is now downloadable as version 0.24. I'm having an awfully great time playing it (even if it took me some months to finally get over myself and resolve some dependency problems at first). I especially like how I can use my xbox 360 controller for playing and how it's rumble function is used. Word War vi is the most high-tech retro arcade shooter you can get your hands on right now.



One super thing about it is that development and tweaking is being influenced by player criticism a lot. So for posting feedback on the game, use this thread.



Daggerwind Scrolls
Daggerwind Scrolls is a traditional 1st/3rd person CRPG dungeon crawl game written using C# for Mac OS X. Its a fan based project inspired by 'The Elder Scrolls Daggerfall', Bethesda Softworks 1994.
I haven't given it a try (and won't do as long as there are no for-*nix instructions).



I now count four bigger The Elder Scrolls-related open source projects: Daggerwind Scrolls and DungeonHack (Daggerfall-inspired game projects), OpenMW and The Crystal Scrolls (Morrowind engines).



jClassicRPG's first soundtrack was released on Jamendo. The music was composed by the project's developer and there will be many more track additions in the near future, I presume.



Yo Frankie! logo, in case you missed it ;)

Apricot (aka yofrankie) is now available for download. Is your definition of a video game "video game engine plus media"? I think Yo Frankie! shows that this is not true. :|



Should you download it? Sure, why not? Do it at least for checking out how cool it looks (if your machine can take it) and to watch the video tutorials (if you're into Blender editing at all).

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Warzone 2100 Liberation Day 2008 & Interview

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Happy Warzone 2100 Liberation Day! Four years ago Eidos released Warzone 2100 under the GPL (see this announcement).



Warzone 2100 GUI proposal

There has been more progress with the new texturing system, but also a GUI system is in the works (both a library called betawidget and an interface proposal) which looks quite impressive compared to the current look. And hopefully the feel will improve too - there are some small unergonomicalities with how assembling tanks currently works.



Warzone 2100 GUI proposal also
Also read this interview if you want to know more about betawidget (it has SVG support!) and future plans for the project. There's also a German translation available.



The WZ wiki has now a page that explains how people can contribute to improving the wiki. For all the MediaWiki-fetishists out here.



Speaking of MediaWiki and fetishism, there's now a LÖVE wiki. Let's see and hope it brings much use!