Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Energy Tycoon

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Rejoice! Now you can become the CEO of a multinational evil energy empire on your home PC. Build as many nuclear power plants as you always wished, destroy the world's climate with coal electrification and make a big advertisement campaign to greenwash your evil plans with some wind-mills ;)

You can download this great looking game called Energy Tycoon, for Windows and Linux, and the source-code is available under a MIT/BSD like license. It includes some non-free parts however (e.g. irrklang AFAIK) and the media license is unclear, but it's rare that such a polished game shows up as open-source more or less out of nowhere.

Quick selection of other news

A rather interesting GPL licensed racing project was recently released for the Blender game engine (BGE): SAAB-91 Virtual Race. Interesting especially because it seems to have some sort of official support by the designers of the car, but currently it is still at a very early stage.

It's also nice to see the official page of ZeroBallistics online again, even though it still needs an update. In the message-boards there is finally an official word of the FOSS release, however. Oh and I am fully aware that I am repeating myself, but this great project is still looking for additional developers!

The also previously featured Wolf:ET Xreal port is making some great progress, with the renderer almost completely ported. Oh and their website also got a nice overhaul, reflecting Xreal's new focus as a game engine rather than a game project. In related news there is a very young project based on Xreal aiming to create an open Enemy Territory, conveniently called OpenTerritory.

Last but not least there are a bunch of updates on the open-source (but with non-free media) cartoon FPS World of Padman, which them preparing for a big version 1.5 release.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Neotron Games: Treasure Trove of 2D Games

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Neotron Games

These guys have compiled quite a selection of quality, complete games. Actually, to such an extent, one could say that they are one of the most prolific open source game devs out there, even if not all of their works are completely "open".

Most of their games are compatible with the GPX-Wiz, and hopefully the Pandora once Bennu, the language they use for developing their games, gets an official port.

Before we were Dead : Under the sea RPG

Play as one of 4 fishy characters, all with their own individual abilities and personalities in an atmospheric underwater world. Explore the multitude of scenic aquatic environs and immerse yourself in the lore presented through branching NPC dialogue and interaction, the choices you make being apparent as the game progresses. This of course means that there is a lot of text to read, so I wouldn't quite recommend the game if you just want a quick blast of arcadey action...

Nether Dimensional Runner : Trippy Platformer

Falling under the category of Alt-Arty-Jump-Shoot game, Nether Dimensional Runner has an interesting visual style that is something only truly appreciated when seen in motion. A selection of guns is at your disposal, along with a powerful dash ability that allows you to bounce up walls and through enemies. Gameplay mainly consists of differing levels of either crystal collection or boss battles, but they are cleverly composed as to pose a challenge to the player. The game definitely deserves the recognition it got from the Pandora Angst 2010 Competition

Apocolypso : Post Apocolyptic Shooting Gallery

An interesting and seldom seen genre nowadays, Apocolypso is shooting gallery/platforming cross genre game with RPG elements. You play as the iconic lone wolf who has been tasked with defending cities from rampaging robots; gameplay consists of shooting enemies coming at you from the z and x acis, and defending yourself with a shield from bombs and missiles dropped from planes. You also have to ensure that the city you are defending doesn't take overmuch damage either, or else it's game over as well. After completing a level along with its boss, you get to choose from a number of upgrades to help you on the next level. Not an especially long game, only covering 5 levels, but it is of pretty high quality and fun to boot, and being foss, you can always hack on a couple more if the mood takes you :)

RailRoad Rampage : Fresh take on the Tower Defense genre

And last, but not least, Railroad Rampage, the mandatory Tower Defence. Some might sigh at the genre, but Railroad Rampage definitely contains enough of the Neotron secret sauce (not a very fitting metaphor, in retrospect, if the source was secret, it wouldn't be on this blog!) to make it palatable if not rather tasty. Play as an engineer tasked with getting a train from point A to point B via a bunch of enemies. Defend said train from the relentless attacks of aforementioned enemies, using a bunch of humorous implements. Simple, and fun

And that's all for now, lets hope Neotron stay inspired, keep up their good, and pump out many more cool games

Friday, September 10, 2010

Steel Storm - Indie AND open-source

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Wait... isn't this FreeGamer? Why do you have a commercial game on your blog about free games?

Well... because it is free, just not as in beer ;) Okok, the first episode is even free as in beer :p

What am I talking about? Steel Storm, an indie arcade top-down shooter:

Steel Storm is based on the GPL engine Darkplaces, and its media license is even "almost" FOSS too with the CC-BY-NC-SA license. This makes it possible to use its engine enhancements (like a in-game editor, a really nice menu system, etc) also in other open-source games!

I think this is actually not a bad compromise between trying to cover some expenses and still making open-source games, and that commercial efforts are not strictly incompatible with FOSS game development can be discussed here ;) It would be cool though, if they would consider a "ransom" design also, i.e. that the game becomes completely FOSS after a certain sum of sales has been reached.

Oh and I almost forgot: you can pre-order the second episode for $10 here

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Galactic Vice RTS

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Hot news for today! A project unknown to me so far just released its first alpha of their upcoming open-source RTS Galactic Vice. It's still at a very early phase, and they are looking for contributors, but as you can see in this video (action starts at 0:45) it's looking like a great start already:

Their aim is to create a RTS similar to Starcraft2 or Dawn of War, and they are making good progress towards this goal. Currently you can even download the alpha binaries for Linux64bit and windows 32bit.

Very interesting is also their approach to create a tile based 3D map system, for which some examples can be found here. They are also plan on using Blender3D as their content creation tool, which is cool ;) Not so cool is that only the source code is GPLv3, while the data is CC-NC-ND >:( Edit: They plan on releasing the data also somehow under the GPL... lets wait and see how exactly. Edit2: After some discussions I was able to convince them to license the data under CC-BY-SA and GPLv2(or later)... really awesome!

Monday, September 06, 2010

A bunch of updates

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Very creative headline, I know... but news of various games were piling up in my "should post about it on FreeGamer" link-list... yet I never really felt like actually writing an article about. So some of it might be old news... but hey at least it hasn't been featured here AFAIK.

So, where to start?

Maybe with some nice puzzle games: Rezerwar is a pretty nice mixture of a pipes game and some sort of tetris, and it was even created using only open-source software. Another pipes game is Cooldown, which might be worth to check out, too. Graphically a bit more advanced is Octaspire: Crates, a block movement type game or something like that ;) But see for yourself:

A non puzzle game worth checking out are Hero of Allacrost (a 2D RPG), which recently had it's DEMO 1.0 release. Another, albeit 3D RPG (engine) is DNT (DccNiTghtmare), which is set in a "satirical post-apocalyptical world".

If you are following the development of the promising turn based colony game Unknown Horizons (aka the artist formerly known as OpenAnno), their new development blog might be of interest. Oh and did I mention that FreeCol also got a bunch of updates lately?

Very neat is also the recent release of FreeOrion, a turn based space colonization game. It still lacks some important features to be really playable (combat and diplomacy), but otherwise it is already a pretty good looking game:


Another game currently heavily updated game (engine) is OSARE, which aims to be a fully featured base to build Diablo like story lines/games with. An already slightly outdated (v0.08, newest v0.09) shows what can be done already:

Another interesting project I came across lately is the Darkplaces based Blood Omicide, which is of course sadly based on copyrighted material. Overdose, a recently already mentioned open-source "in engine but not in media" (and even the engine code has yet to be released) game has recently shown some rather nice enemy model screen-shots. Furthermore their newest video is quite amazing in regards to the light rendering.

A game-engine and the games based on it that is probably vastly under-reported here on FreeGamer, is the Spring RTS engine. I guess it might be due to my dislike of Total Annihilation like RTS, but there is actually one (with public domain licensed media) that strays from that kind of RTS concept: Kernel Panic puts you right inside of a PC, and has quite a bit of nice uncommon game modi that break up the usual RTS grind.

I guess that's all for today... my link-list is not yet completely empty, but the rest will have to wait for another day ;)

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Two FOSS gems

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Ok today I have updates for two real FOSS gems. First of all the long promised update on ZeroBallistics: the former indi, now FOSS tank shooter. A few weeks ago thy made all the game (including even .blend model source files!) available under the GPLv2 (and the media also under CC-BY-SA) so even the most hardcore FOSS enthusiasts will be pleased :)

After some trouble compiling it (more on that later) I made a nice game-play video today (sorry for the low frame-rate, but my PC wasn't quite up to the task):

Pretty neat, isn't it? The developers are currently looking into getting their master-server and website back up running soon, but are also looking for more people to help them out!

There is especially one problem that needs to be solved however: Currently it still depends on the un-free Raknet3 for networking, so it's not possible to distribute GPL binaries. There is an older GPL version of Raknet2 which could be maybe used (we talked about it earlier), but it has its far share of problems too (f.e. broken 64bit support). Another project recently replaced it with their own enet wrapper, so maybe that could be also used. So if you know your coding, get into contact with the ZeroBallistics developers ASAP!

Summoning Wars 0.5.2 released

Speaking of Summoning Wars, they have just released their new version now with music and sounds (at least partially). Check out the game yourself (available for Linux, Windows or Mac)!

Edit: Here is a small video showing some features:

But for those that like more eye-candy, the next version with terrain system will for sure make you look again. Besides with upcoming new player models like this, it will for sure look even greater soon.