Wednesday, March 04, 2009

UFOs and Post-Apocalyptic Adventures

There's another monthly overview of developments for UFO:AI, the 3D turn based tactics game where you see off an alien invasion of sorts. Development is happening at an impressive pace, with a lot of new minor features and improvements to existing features. The changes affect many aspects of the project, and as such I won't summarize them here. Read it for yourself on their website. (No permanent link to the update, sorry.)



Speaking of UFO games, I do wish UFO2000 development would return. I have an affinity for the original game and I really hoped UFO2000 would emerge as a playable single-player game. It hasn't yet, and looks like it never will, which is a shame. They have a gorgeous website though.



FIFE world seems to have taken off a bit lately. FIFE is a 2D isometric game engine. It was originally created for the purposes of being a Fallout engine but evolved.



Shortly after stepping down from management duties from FIFE, project manager MvBarracuda announced PARPG - Post-Apocalyptic RPG - to the world, a game that uses FIFE to create a new, erm, post-apocalyptic RPG. I think he'd gotten a bit tired after many years working on FIFE - when you work on an engine sometimes the end result is less tangible and harder to motivate yourself for.



The announcement of PARPG seemed to galvanise the FIFE community, with new and old faces now popping up to fix and featurize FIFE after a fairly long quiet spell in development. There seems to be a lot of interest in contributing to PARPG with threads like this popping up in the forum. It seems they are looking primarily for C++/Python devs at the moment.




Unknown Horizons
OpenAnno has been renamed to Unknown Horizons, partly because the name OpenAnno sucked but mainly because Unknown Horizons is an original game and not an Anno rip off. I do like the new name.



Unknown Horizons is a 2D realtime strategy simulation with an emphasis on economy and city building. Expand your small settlement to a strong and wealthy colony, collect taxes and supply your inhabitants with valuable goods. Increase your power with a well balanced economy and with strategic trade and diplomacy.



Zero Projekt
Zero Projekt celebrated 3 years of active development and it's looking as nice as ever. There's some beautiful graphics in that game. Annoyingly for me site updates/news tend to be in German with English updates being somewhat sporadic.



With 3 promising active game projects on the go, the FIFE community future looks bright.



Like Morrowind? OpenMW 0.6 got released. Still, you need Morrowind to play it, and that's not Free, so...




DungeonHack
However, a project that is Free software and Morrowind (well, more Daggerfall) inspired is DungeonHack. There's lots of interesting development noises going on in the forums - that's one to watch for 2009. There's an imminent demo which is the culmination of a lot of refactoring and project reorganizing and new technology adoption, but the next version after that will be where things start to get interesting as several procedural generation techniques are surfacing in their subversion repository.