Sunday, May 23, 2010

Shotgun Debugger

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In Shotgun Debugger, you play a hacker on the run from black-shades-agents and fight against armies of droids. Projectile and energy weapons serve your cause, the most original of which gets reflected by walls and can be used to destroy enemies out of sight.

Game mechanics include damage-inducing surfaces, exploding barrels and droids and simple press-the-button or find-the-key tasks. The story progresses in text boxes which appear between levels.

Varying level styles...

Relatively simple puzzles...

Various weapons, including grenades...

... a kind of 'blue rocket launcher'...

... and a reflecting laser rifle

Shotgun Debugger has two problems: default control and perspective, thus here are two hints for playing the game:
  1. Press 'v'. It will fix the perspective.
  2. Use WASD and mouse (or set different keys in ~/.sdb/preferences.txt)
Also, here's one hint, in case you get stuck in the first level: "behind the police car". I didn't know about 'v' and the police car hint the first time I tried sdb about a year ago and gave up on the game after starting level one for the 20th time. :)

The game is rather hard and there are no save function, except between levels. Enemies mostly hit hard and I found careful movement and taking cover to be the safest way to finish it.

SDB gameplay [small .ogg | big .ogg]

Code and assets are both GPLed and levels are editable in the SVG vector format. Inkscape was used to create the 2D (but rendered in 3D) levels! The level sources, are available on the homepage. I also want to recommend the 'trivia' section there.

Part of one of sdb's levels, viewed in Inkscape

I think that with such level editing capabilities and mechanics (exploding and movable barrels) some interesting levels could be easily produced. I only need to figure out how to load levels independent of story mode.

Shotgun Debugger is probably the best 'pure action' (no base building or 'advanced' item collecting or xp-gathering involved) top-down shooter I have played so far and it's definitely worth giving a shot.

PS: If you're desperate for a windows version, over here!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Free as in F..Dragon History.. and cyberpunk

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Some of Dragon History's GPLv2-ed assets
You might remember this video-heavy post about Dragon History, a comical fantasy adventure game for ScummVM. I wanted to inform you that the game art, including music, graphics and text are all covered by the GPLv2. They can be downloaded here.

The game is originally written in Czech and properly translated to the Polish language. If you have the necessary language skills and want to make the game accessible to a wider audience, it would be great if you could work on cleaning up the English translation. The contact information of the maintainer is on his homepage. If you want to turn this into a team project, feel free to use FreeGameDev's general forum for a thread.

Speaking of free assets: The current OpenGameArt friday challenge is "Near Future" and I have no idea what to.. hm.. cyberpunk?

To the six finished challenges, 50 pieces of game art have been submitted. It's quite fun to follow new art and picking the best pieces, so don't let the submission forms discourage you from joining in. ;)

Oh, and speaking of cyberpunk, the quite awesome soundtrack to the hacker game Endgame: Singularity has been uploaded in .ogg and source form to OGA. And the minimal-graphics single-player HTML5 turn-based strategy game Evil Cult has a great feel to it when you play it while listening to that (kind of) music.

PS: Silly me forgot to include my source of information for the art licensing of Dragon History. It's email communication with the project maintainer. :)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Penumbra engine open source (non-free 32bit library dependancy)

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Penumbra 1's engine now FOSS
The engine of the best proprietary horror game in existence (Penumbra Overture) has been released under GPLv3, and some parts under even more liberal licenses. The engine features a physics interaction system, which is extremely well-balanced between complexity of possible interactions and intuitive usability. A few test maps and some objects and textures were released under By-Sa-3 (in comparison: Lugaru comes with no freely-licensed assets).

The textures that come with Penumbra

There is a guide available on how to compile Penumbra and you can get some help on #penumbra or on the official forums. The biggest task is to get rid of the legacy Newton Dynamics dependency and replace it with Bullet. This 'procedure' has been applied to DungeonHack a year ago or so.

About Lugaru: there is a thread that contains some thoughts on adding free (faif free hopefully) content to it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Of Summoning Wars and RakNet

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When I found out that Summoning Wars, it in fact uses a freely licensed network library, I wanted to test it, but failed at compiling. Today, with fresh Subversion checkout, I succeeded and was surprised by a Diablo-rules-style RPG with 3D graphics (OGRE) a lot of dialog (hours and hours of tutorials ;) ), choices, different character classes and various spells and items.

Sarcophagus open up! (And let me take precious loot!)

Enlightening zombies in a dark cave with fireballs

Leaving loot behind

Why am I  even writing these captions?

Action-RPG GUI layout 101: Left: Character, Right: Skills or Inventory

Scaring goblins to death with a lovely mask

4-way dialog sequences make plot confusing fun!

Video: Rescuing some NPC [.ogg (shorter)]

I wonder what the network part is all about. I could imagine cooperative plot-games to be fun.. Anyways, about the net lib:

The popular network library RakNet is neither open source nor free software, as defined by OSI and FSF. However, version 2.451 (Feb 18th 2006) is GPL-licensed. It can be found via the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine [zip mirror]. The developers of Summoning Wars mirrored some version as well and even created an Arch Linux AUR package.

The owner of RakNet commented on GPL in commercial game development.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Combing Github for Games

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I am bored. doesn't produce many new foss game findings, so I say: "Let's try GitHub's search function!"

Searching "game" quickly turned into "game -warcraft -framework -iPhone -life -cocos -Invaders" and I gave up such a general approach. Next up "fps".

  1. maroxe/fps - Soya3D-based shooter. Doesn't run, so I write a report. Project probably inactive, the history tells me. Next.
  2. ctmammoth/mammoth - "Tactical/strategy CTF-style FPS". Contains just a .sln (Visual Studio) file and dlls in the repo. Is written in C#. Obviously non-Linux. Next.
  3. treeform/simple-fps - "Simple fps demo for panda3d". Last action October 2009. It runs! Let's make a quick video, even though it's nothing, but the texture is kind of interesting. Lagging in the video [YT, TO] because of recording app I think. Next.
  4. mlambir/Pygame-FPS - "Wolfenstein style fps in pygame". It uses original Wolfenstein's gfx too. Nothing to look at, still recorded a video [YT, TO]. Last activity September 2009. Next.
  5. Michael-mrg/Sauerbraten - "Fork of the sauerbraten fps with a variety of convenience patches". Not going to test it, but nice to know there are Sauerbraten improvements on GitHub..
  6. gitpan/SDL-App-FPS - What a compelling... name. But then again, behind lame names, there sometimes are quality games! Requires SDL-Perl. The test suite tries to fullscreen and kills in the process. Next.
  7. danopia/quak - "Implementation of duckinator's weird FPS idea". I don't know who duckinator is, but this sounds swell! OGRE-based. Won't start, let's rebuild OGRE. Doesn't help. Write report.
Okay, no more "fps" search results that I could care about. Let's try "rts".

  1. spring/spring - Spring. Oh hi, I didn't see you there! And you brought a friend: the GPL/BY-SA game "Project Recoil" which seems to have at least some 3D & concept art going on.
  2. mrpouet/chenilles - "RTS worms-like". Can't say that I like those, the original is the best Worms-like game so far for me. No activity since > 1 year. Okay, we have terrain and a worm which won't stop walking. Not mucht, but have a video [YT, TO].
  3. shawn42/snelps - "Rubygame RTS" which is now over three years periodically in development. I was unable to test it this time however, due to rubygame problems on my side.
  4. dragly/loose_cannon - "Simple Qt's OpenGL RTS". I accidentally wrote an incorrect report but then got instructions for compiling the game. (Didn't manage to do it ye though.)
  5. Acedio/craft - "A simple RTS". This is a WarCraft 3-style WarCraft 2 clone (at least it feels like that)! Too bad it has nothing more than unit movement and animations. No more development since May 2009. Blender files of models are in the repository, so if somebody found out the license, they might become useful to some other project. Have a video [YT, TO].
  6. jvranish/SpaceWars - "RTS with an emphasis on gravity". It seems not to work. Bug report. Next.

Let's try "rpg".

  1. Can't run | can't run | can't run | can't run | a renderer [YT, TO] | not pretty but functional [YT, TO] | too complicated to set up, no convenient package of pybox2d for Arch Linux | a little something [screen] | A pre-alpha Panda3D RPG [YT, TO] | tiled map, I could watch this guy all day | no content [screen]
  2. foxostro/arbarlith2 - Finaly something more 'robust'! Charlie once mentioned the game in a post. Rather complicated to compile (see readme) and fails too, so I created a report and hope for support.

That wasn't much fun... Um, "adventure" anyone? I'll ignore games I can't run for the rest of this post.

  1. kallepersson/subterranean - This one is playable! (Only one quest to solve but it has music.) One great thing about it is that wheels are not being re-invented for it, it uses an adventure engine that was the product of a PyWeek challenge. Here's a little video [YT, TO].
  2. codingisacopingstrategy/ countryoforigin [homepage] - This one is a ScummVM adventure, where dialog and philosophy appear to be the key to winning the game (does it even matter?). It looks so retro but breaks its visual predecessor's habits in a way, that reminds me of Mr. Rohrer's games.
  3. Droggelbecher/Grail - An adventure engine with parallax drawing, noir graphics and no interaction as of yet. A video shows the effect and animations [YT, TO]

What a clusterfoo! I hope you enjoyed it nonetheless! The next post I'm going to write will hopefully be a one-game one. :)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lugaru open source on GNU/Linux (64bit)

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Lugaru was open sourced (the code, not the assets). Aquaria, Gish and Penumbra Overture are to follow in a time frame of three days. Here's the counter (top right).

Lugaru is a 3d martial arts fighting game that mainly plays in open-air levels in it's proprietary version. Besides kicking and jumping, sneaking and weapon use are main features of the game.

A fork allowed me to compile Lugaru on 64bit Linux with ease.

Hopefully tutorials for creating completely original content will appear soon, so there can be some fully faif fun foon (soon) with fully free content, for example with a gnu fighter from Ryzom.

Lugaru open source main menu, if you add the proprietary content

Monday, May 10, 2010

Port and Configure - Specialists Wanted for Diablo-like and 3D and cute pixels!

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Holyspirit is a good-looking hack & slash game with (rendered?) 3D graphics, which I unfortunately was only able to run using wine (and it wasn't very stable either: entering some areas and saving would cause it to freeze).

It appears however, that it should be very simple to make it compile on Linux, somebody will just have to figure out how to make Code::Blocks (.cbp files is provided) find SFML, a SDL alternative that is used by Holyspirit and provide compile instructions.

DotModeler is a 3D pixel editor which could use non-AZERTY language keyboard bindings and a little bit of English-language documentation (or anything that can be easily translated).

Kwest Kingdom is a Kwute roguelike which even a Nethack-hater like me can love! Here's a YT video [TO] of the kewtness.

I haven't been able to compile the game (I think) but it apparently has 64bit Linux binaries in its GIT repository and Windows binaries for download. Still, I think the Makefile might use some cleaning up. Volunteer! For cuteness in FOSS games! EDIT: My fault, see comments for clarity!

Summoning Wars is the third Diablo-like in the last two months you read about here. It uses OGRE but unfortunately also the non-free RakNet and could use some alternative library support. (Hintedy hint hint.)

EDIT: Apparently the version used is an old GPL-compatible version of RakNet. I will report, as soon as I know more. You can follow the discussion here.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Formula Retro

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Formula Retro is an actively developed "Sega's Virtua Racing look-alike". I found it to be somewhat buggy (but stable) and I like the look.

Windows releases are available for download and here are GNU/Linux compile instructions, you will need to have irrlicht installed:

svn co formularetro
cd formularetro
find . -exec sed -i 's|../irrlicht/include|/usr/include/irrlicht|g' {} \;

If you like the art style, you might want to give SimCar a go.

PS: I recorded a short video of the action and found out that the art license (CC-BY-SA 3.0 ES) is compatible with the international version of that license.

Ryzom FOSS: The Art

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Ryzom has been released under AGPLv3 for server, client and "content creation tools" and BY-SAv3 for 17463 png image files and 7553 max 3d model files (see ). The 3D format is problematic, as .max is a proprietary format, but art is also available in the NeL shape format in ryzom's media browser (maybe not all of it, I'm not sure).

"Porting the art" is one of the tasks for which Ryzom will welcome developer support. Finishing porting to GNU/Linux is another goal and I'm sure there will be a little more coverage about the game here on Free Gamer and on other blogs once it runs. :)

(4 MB 24x24 preview of about 14000 of 17463)

I think most ground textures I saw were rather small (128x128) but of high quality and also include to-transparency alpha-blend tiles that are helpful for transitions between ground types. There are also in-game icons and GUI elements.

Here are the most popular resolutions, if you're curious:
files resolution
   5493 256x256
   2243 128x128
   1864 256x512
   1422 32x32
   1337 64x64
   1142 512x512
    646 24x24
    613 128x256
    316 40x40
    238 64x128
    199 256x128
    137 1024x1024
    121 4x4
    116 16x16