Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Freecol, VDrift, Sauer... heaven!

I'll start by noting I messed up my last post. Despite making the post on the 23rd, it was dated the 18th so any frequent readers may have easily missed it. So, for those who haven't yet read it, check out Freeciv3 Part I.


Now, onto the real meat. In the last week, Freecol 0.5 was - at long last - released. The original colonization had a cult following and Freecol is only going to enhance that community. It's got a lot of potential. It's got some very nice visuals for a Free game and they're improving with every release.

I've been lazy here and used a screenshot from 0.4 since I'm at work and can't load it up to take a new one, although to me it looks the same in 0.5 for that part of the game.

The game is now very playable with plenty of depth but there's still a few negatives for me:

  • The ugliness of Java does sneak through in places despite heavy UI customization. (God damn the default Java UIs are ugly - are Sun developers blind?)
  • Sadly I'd forgotten how to play Colonization and there's no tutorial so I didn't get too far. Hopefully a tutorial will be added in a future version.
  • The GUI tended to redraw quite slowly every time I closed a dialog.
  • Usability needs reviewing e.g. when moving a unit, if it finishes it's move, the game switches to the next unit automatically. That makes it really easy to accidentally move units in the wrong direction by pressing a direction too many times with the previous unit.

Anyway, since 0.5 != 1.0, I look forward to improvements in upcoming releases.

VDrift scenery

Following up the VDrift release earlier this month, the VDrift team have provided an autopackage to help people get drifting. I tried the Windows install on my laptop with it's integrated not-really-3D card and VDrift looked like a toddlers colouring book - bright and messy. Can't blame them for that though, and it's not worth fixing so I can play at 3fps.

There are some screenshots from the latest VDrift. It is beginning to look absolutely beautiful.

In what could be a Free Gamer exclusive, I spotted an update to Sauerbraten. Entitled, "normalmap version", this release presumably focuses on the introduction of normal maps to Sauer's rendering capabilities.

There's an amusing exchange in that thread between Passa (a Sauer developer, I think) and Aardappel (the main Sauer developer), where Passa notes community confusion over to Sauerbraten's identity.


On the community promotion Aardappel, I have been trying to convince my ISP to host a server for Sauerbraten.. unfortunately the general community say its just a Quake 3 clone..


well, so we are improving.

- I started Cube as an advanced Wolfenstein 3D clone :P

- It was then perceived as a Doom clone

- Once we got the really HQ maps like metl3 it was perceived as Quake 1, sometimes even Quake 2 Clone

- Sauer started life as looking like a Quake 2 clone

- Then with the better maps people thought it looked more like Quake 3

- and now with the bump maps I have heard comparisons with Quake 4!!!

So hey, even though people can't get it in to their thick skull that there are other things besides quake out there, and that this is not some kind of lame based on quake source project, we are certainly moving forward!

Sauerbraten isn't half bad for a Quake 3 clone.

What!??! ;-)


Steve said...

ahh need more posts! great blog... thanks

Cellfisher said...

I guess that for Sauerbraten to be really successful, the developers should make an effort to make modding as easy as possible, in order to build a mod-making community around the engine. But it's all up to the developers. IMO, Sauerbraten is interesting because of its potential, not its current state as Yet Another FPS.

Vince said...

Sauerbraten rocks.

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