Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Dark Days

I came across Zak McKracken and the Alien Rockstars the other day. It's a GPL cross-plaform fan-made sequel to Zak McKracken, a Lucasarts game. Whilst browsing for information on Zak1, I came across another ZM sequel, Zak McKracken: Between Time and Space. It looks even better than ZMAR, but is Windows only and seemingly only freeware. There's a rather impressive trailer available. It reminds me a little of the also-impressive The Silver Lining project (formerly known as King's Quest 9).


In other freeware news, Simutrans version 0.89 is now available. It's a preview release but this game is constantly moving forward and seems to update every few weeks, a practise I approve of. There's also a rather funky hand drawn "sketch" graphics set for Simutrans, shown in the screenshot here.

A topic I would like to cover more in the future is the sharing of content between Free game developers. Since volunteer resources are predictably limited, a way of getting more quality into Free games is to share good art between projects. People will disagree with the concept, thinking that it makes game content less unique and hence the game less individual, but I think that's an asinine perspective to take when game media should compliment gameplay rather than define it.

I came across Low Poly Co-operative, an initiative to create quality low-poly models for use in open source games. If you really need models then you can request them in their forum.

Recently due to job commitments I have been forced to return to the dark forests of Dr Demon. Fortunately there are friends in this forsaken place. I have come across Notepad++, a Scintilla-based editor that really makes modifying web pages a joy rather than a chore. I heartily recommend it.

It will be worthwhile, at some point, doing a special on various editors and compilers that power the Free game creator.


Kiba said...

Perhap instead of just trying to share art resource, you could teach new artists.

I don't know how Wesnoth managed to gain a lot of artists and managed to produce so many graphics. I think they teach their fellow artists on how to improve. They even have links to tutorial and did made their own in some case.

Godrin said...

The hard part about sharing art is the lack of infrastructure I think. There's a bunch of model- and texture-offering sites - sometimes with dubious info about licenses. Another problem are the very different file-formats, which sometimes are not that easy to convert.

Grumbel's site (can't find it anymore - seems to be offline) is (or was) a very exception, because there were many images with the authors and license info.

For a new site I'd propose:
* a search-function
* a browse-function (category)
* people (identified by email) must confirm, that license given is correct
* meshes must have a thumbnail
* as kiba said, tutorials would be nice
* along with some scripts to include data and generate thumbnails automatically. This could help to include whole games into the repository.

But you don't want to make such a site, no? Anyway - I like your ambitions to improve game development by contacting developers and giving recommendations. I've benefitted from this, too :)

godrin said...

Replying to myself.. I should've followed your link to lowpolycoop - great site!

Emanuele Savo said...

Hello, I'm Italian so excuse me for my English... I visited this site because I need some informations for my Linux-Day presentation... Good site! Could you post some GLs, e.g SDl and OpeGl... do you know any other GL? Thanks... My blog is in Italian, sorry! I add now a post in English... it is about Linux here in Ciociaria, a part of middle Italy (Frosinone, 80 Km from Rome)

Emanuele Savo said...

if you need help with transalations, just comment any post in my blog!

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