Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rigs of Rods goes Open Source and Glest 3.2

Rigs of Rods is going open source. How cool is that?

Rigs of Rods (also known as RoR), is a truck, car, airplane and boat simulator. You can drive, fly or sail in total freedom in an open environment. What makes RoR different to most simulators is its unique soft-body physics: vehicles chassis and wheels are simulated in real-time as flexible objects, giving the simulation an extremely accurate behavior, while allowing the vehicles to be simply specified by their structural composition, as a network of interconnected nodes (forming the chassis and the wheels). Crashing into walls or terrain can permanently deform a vehicle in a realistic manner. In addition to its unique soft-body physics, RoR also features an advanced flight model based on blade element theory, allowing the accurate simulation of any airplane, base on their physical dimensions and wing airfoils. It also features an accurate buoyancy model based on elemental pressure gradients, enabling boats with complex hulls to move realistically in the swell.

Thanks to Mantar for the heads up. Here's a video showing just how cool it looks:

Well Glest 3.2 is out. Which is interesting given I proclaimed official Glest development dead* and Glest Advanced Engine to be its successor. It's like I just made it all up. Only I didn't, there was a thread where the official Glest developers stated that GAE would become official Glest. The link now goes to an inaccessible page. However, I'm not the only one who found it and logged it. Sadly Google obviously hadn't, since there's no cache available.

* FYI "Glest is dead, long live Glest!" is a play on "The King is dead, long live the King!" I didn't mean it was actually dead.

So, either the good news is that the main Glest developers have returned, or that the Glest team (new and old) has decided to make things look a little more cohesive, or somebody is playing a practical joke on me and posting grumpy anonymous comments implying that I am inciting trouble. Either way, it's great to see a new Glest release.

Glest 3.2 brings Lua scripting support, a new tileset, and tutorials as its primary features. I think more was expected, but given the lack of activity, the developers decided to push out a toned down 3.2 release instead.

Freelords tech release 0.03 has been released. Ignore the website, which says 11th Feb 2008, it's a typo. New graphics and new features, although it is still not quite playable yet.

Some other releases that piqued my interest: Neverball 1.5.0, Tennix 0.7.0, Vacuum Magic 0.9.

In the article reviewing simulation games, I lamented a lack of documentation for Simutrans. I was a bit off, there is plenty. It's just a bit scattered. For those who want to try it, I suggest starting with the wiki and specifically this page on transportation basics. There are also several errors in the article that stem from me writing it ad hoc and not proof reading properly, but I'm too lazy to correct them.

In the comments somebody offered to help out with FreeTrain development, the didn't leave any contact details and didn't get in touch. Still looking for help from C# developers for FreeTrain. Please leave details or email me - freegamerblog at gmail.

There did seem to be a bit of a negative slant from some commentors on the article in general. There were those lamenting that there is no depth (5 playable games not enough for you?) and those lamenting that Lincity-NG was not enough like Sim City 2k (no-win scenario, if it was a clone there would also be complaints). Come on guys and gal! Lighten up a bit!