Friday, April 30, 2010

OGA challenges and snippets of games news

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What you see here are the 2D/3D submission to the first three OpenGameArt 5-day game art challenges, which were initiated by pfunked, author of OSARE and active OGA artist.

Check out the general rules and the current challenge rules in its thread in this forum. You don't even need to register to participate, just remember to include your author information and the correct tags ("Friday Challenge" and "ChallengeTitle", separate via ",") to your submission!

The challenges/competitions last from Monday till Friday, so there are still a bunch of hours left to submit something to the current "Homage" challenge. :) This feed will keep you updated about new challenges.

The following is a preview of the four pieces of music submitted to the first three challenges. (.ogg)

And here are the sound effects submitted to the first three challenges. (.ogg)

By the way, Blendswap apparently will implement license selection soon. Since I mentioned my preference for their poll, "licenses" has been leading with ~30 votes. Thanks! This means that, depending on what licenses will be selectable, models on Blendswap will be usable by foss games.

The TORCS fork racing sim Speed Dreams (new website) seeks dev/art help for finishing the 2.0 release. The impression I get from taking a look at their commit history is that the project seems to be developing at a steady pace.

I discovered Pac Defence recently. I love this genre, but prefer the non-abstract implementations (PacDef is abstract) and the kind where you can use your towers to build mazes (in PacDef you build along the path). Here's a gameplay video for you. If you know of any foss maze/non-abstract TD games, please let me know! :)

I saw a video of FlightGear's urban effect and it looks awesome! If you enjoy these kind of videos, I can only recommend subscribing to planetacancun2 (author of the video) via YouTube profile or feed.

Violetland was tweaked a little, it has improved GUI and new pick-ups: bombs, bullet boosts, some pills which I don't know the effect of and the player has a teleport ability.

Epiar, the foss space action/trading game that is not naev had a dev chat meeting for planning the next version and is now looking for new developers and art submissions.

It feels good to post without embedding YT videos for a change. :)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Open Source RPGs coming up: Dawn RPG, OSARE, FreeDink, Hero of Allacrost, FoI

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The future FOSS Diablo-and-more-like Open Source Action RPG Engine has an art style which I can approve of. (I do not approve of the Diablo-and-more-like FreeDroid RPG's art style.)
OSARE will be close to feature complete in Fall 2010.
I assume this means that it will be a working action rpg engine with enemies, items and skills, but no plot or story, ready to be turned into a game.

If you feel that you can contribute something matching high quality of this project, check out the tasks page!

Dawn has very nice graphics and a decent demo with items, a fetch quest, enemies and spells. It's hard to beat -- but easy to exploit, due to pathfinding/collision fun stuffs.

Communication seems to work via mailing lists.

There's a little list of things I don't like:
  1. Slow walking speed (needs a run button)
  2. Huge sprite masks/collision boxes
  3. Two very Zelda™/Link®-like looking sprites..

Hero of Allacrost's release policy experiments result to a release early, release often philosophy.

There is a HoA subforum which is visible only to registered users, for discussion of the game's design. I find it irritating that a large part of discussions is hidden from non-registered lurkers, when it might attract participation. I wonder what other's think about such practice, which has also found its place in the DungeonHack project in this subforum, which is used for discussing a mini-plot/'module' called "Spider Forest". Please comment your experiences with partially hiding game dev discussions if you have any.

HoA also has forums that are developer-only, which feels very non-open to me (because it isn't :) ) but on the other hand the project is supposed to be 'closed' in the sense of 'dedicated developers instead of casual contributors'. What do you think about having part of the development hidden unless you 'promise' to become a dedicated developer?

Funnily enough, there are many projects which have 'closed' communication due to the simple fact that there are many users and developers who don't want to use mailing lists (in my opinion they are usually not usable for browsing, google groups should be acceptable for people used to forums, but GNU mailman is horrible in its default state, if you want to have an overview over existing threads.)

Fall of Imiryn: Hardly anything new about it. A few tweaks there and here in the svn.. If someone wants to test this, I'm looking into polishing the game so it can be 'finished' via a 'last' release. It is playable from start to end right now, but might be enhanced with a few content, without breaking any backs or endlessly continuing development. :) (suggestions welcome)

spoilers - tinyogg
The ..weird.. crazy action-RPG Dink Smallwood was released as open source (minus sounds and music) and is being developed as FreeDink.

I will try to spend some time for adding sfx to FreeDink - haven't started yet, even though I have quite the plan. I will use a github repository. Of course anybody is welcome to join in and there's probably nobody working on looking for music to add to FreeDink.

Hopefully there will be a 'full' release without missing audio soon.

Not a game, just an UI thought - gpl/bySa source - base
Let's have a little rant, shall we? (the thing that makes Linux have graphics) often crashes, when a game force-fullscreens on me. This makes a sad qubodup D:. I wish games would have a 'select your video/audio configuration' window before game start or just start in windowed mode. :)

Friday, April 16, 2010

From death declaration to dragons and damnation... and two 2D map editors

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youtube-dl: hyzOB92EuZM | tinyogg
The 2D RTS Bos Wars (BW) 2.6 has been released, after two years of release-silence. The new release includes
  • Enhancements to the editor and map format
  • New units, tilesets, maps, translations (italian and portugese)
  • A campaign
About the campagin, which is called "swindler", I can only say that the story drawings are beautiful and that the first mission is unbeatable boring (which is why I can't say anything about follow-up missions, if there are any): you need to navigate a weak unit through a maze of high-damage towers - blind. You only have a chance when you have a good memory and accept having to restart the mission 20 times. The only other scripted scenario is the tutorial level, which has (computer-generated) mission voices even! You can see both missions being played (and the mentioned story drawings) in this video [tinyogg].

The new map format is 'patch-based', which is like 'tile-based' I suppose, only that it allows you to use tiles of any dimensions. The editor works well, it could only use a 'tile draw mode' which would continue to draw tiles while holding down the mouse button (this happens for units, but not for tiles). Here's a video [tinyogg] demonstration of the editor, make sure to skip if it gets boring, I show off tile, resource and unit placement and then test-play the map.

What I really really want BW to have is a tower defense map/mode. :)

Since I started talking about editors, I'll just go ahead and show the PARPG one:
youtube-dl: vXqojPwGYj4 | tinyogg
The editor is all right, it seems to be a bit hard to get existing resources into the game though: they need to have a xml definition file for each image (hand-written I assume) and then you have to import them into the map with multiple mouse clicks.

You probably know of the lack of a maintainer for PARPG but there are also coding and asset-making jobs to do for Techdemo 2 - enter "2D" and "3D" into your browser's search function to filter out the art tasks. A list of 'good tasks for new programmers' was written, you also ask for guidance here. The current programmer's hot topic is "inventory and objects".

youtube-dl: NFoGyph_Bc4 | tinyogg
Formido is a short top-down shoot-until-aliens-kill-you game. It is well-made, but I won't be coming back to it as I will be doing to Violetland.

youtube-dl: bRnHlyYJSlI | tinyogg
Damnation of the Gods aims to become an enhanced Dungeon Master clone. Right now it is an old-school engine with a pleasant GUI which relies on freeware DMJ's assets. Assets is what the project mainly needs.. and maybe some guidance for a plot?..

youtube-dl: a6q4X3ZxKNM | tinyogg
Dragon History is a Czech-language (with some horrible but fun text translations) adventure game for scummVM. Its code is GPLv2-licensed. I got no reply yet after asking for the gfx and audio's license..

Did I already mention that my Linux game video recording troubles were over the day I discovered this guide to use ffmpeg for it?

Remember my high praise of krank? Well now thanks to above post you can finally witness [tinyogg] visuals and sound in motion!

Also, dear Linux users: get youtube-dl if you're unable to use the youtube website. It owns. Look for it in your software repository.

Oh wait, I forgot one piece of news:
youtube-dl: 3B4GVILtzIw | tinyogg
Search and Rescue 0.9 was released. Contrary to FlightGear I was able to get my vehicle into the air (on the third try ;) ). Sounds would not work but I kind of like the low-resolution textures. I'll have to play it a little more to figure out if there's more fun things to do besides crashing helicopters. ^^

Thursday, April 15, 2010

SuperTux 3D & Xdriller

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youtube-dl: NPK4ZaWYkJU | tinyogg: EWuLa

SuperTux 3D is a 2½ years old idea that is now being turned into reality by using the 2D platformer SuperTux' style and assets and the Blender Game Engine (BGE).
 I think the assets work well in 3D space, but of course controls and camera movement are unpleasant yet.

youtube-dl: OdV9cqdy49s | tinyogg: SRqm9

Xdriller is a falling-cubes-style puzzle game with nice colorful visuals and happy music. I found the game on a while ago and recently got reminded of it when I saw this tux model on OG.

Speaking of Blender and asset sharing: Blendswap currently has a poll on what website feature to add next (right sidebar here) and I would like to encourage you all to vote for the 'licensing' option, as once clear licenses exist, it will be possible to determine what models can be used in fully free as in you-know-what games.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Hedgewars, JCRPG, and 0AD

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Hmm, been a while, but since nobody is using my opensourcegames reddit yet, I'd better pitch in a bit here. Qubodup and Julius have been doing a stellar job in the last several months with some great posts.

Hedgewars 0.9.13 is out. It now looks better than the game it is a clone of (Worms 2) which is a pretty significant milestone. They have also started to add some features that were not in the original (also an important step - differentiation). I could reel off a list of new features since 0.9.12 but it's a futile task given there are so many. The standout features for me are the beautiful explosions, the birdy weapon, the generally impressive new graphics themes, and the trailer:

That is about as good a lesson in Internet marketing as you can get. Beautifully timed to the music, based on a very famous song, but in the style of the game characters. I found it to be very impressive and that's a trend since I originally tried out Hedgewars back when looking at all the available Worms/Artillery clones.


The ever-promising JCRPG has been ported from one Java 3D technology (jMonkeyEngine) to another (Ardor3D). The latter is a newer engine from the creators of the former, and seems to have taken several lessons on board with the design. The motivation for the port was difficult to debug crashes, but a number of nice enhancements have been discovered along the way and JCRPG really looks sumptuous.

Hopefully soon the game will start to get a bit of a storyline as well as beautiful scenery!

Finally, a pre-alpha download of 0ad is available. This utterly gorgeous looking historically-based RTS has so much potential. They have struggled to get more developers involved since originally going open source. I have been encouraging them to make a release and follow up with regular releases in order to expand the pool from which they may discover new contributors.

Here is a 2 year old trailer for 0ad.

Maybe they should make a new one, that could also be a marketing boost for the project.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


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ps: you probably missed it.