Sunday, June 29, 2008

Shadow game prototyping challange, FreedroidRPG lifesigns, recording GNU/Linux games with glc

Shadow & light mock-up, thrown together by Danc

Daniel Cook of Lost Garden started a shadow and light based game prototype challenge. Lost Garden is probably the best thing to read related to gaming. If you would like to participate via an open source project, feel free to gather a team on the forums!

There's some activity surrounding FreedroidRPG. The students Kaisa Anttila, Markku Väisänen and Sami Mylly wrote an usability study of the game and it's editor. The criticism is very general and there are no direct solutions provided. The documents are supposed to serve interested developers in helping improving FreedroidRPG.

Version 0.11 of the game is scheduled for... soon? Anyways, for now the 0.11 pre-release candidate is available.

Video of Slune, made with glc

glc is now my tool of choice when it comes to recording game videos on GNU/Linux systems. It is faster than xvidcap, istanbul or gtk-recordMyDesktop and is also the only app that manages to records audio on my machine. It's also easy to install! (Hints: cat /proc/cpuinfo to find out what flags to use, O2 is written with an uppercase o, if you don't know where to install to install it to /usr/ and also execute the install script as root.) Using it is easy too! Just run glc-capture game-name and press Shift+F8 to start/stop recording. There is even a script provided, which will convert the glc files to mp4 (attention, non-free), the preferred format of Vimeo. If you know how to use ffmpeg to create an Theora/OGG video, you can probably export to that format instead.

glc is great! I want you to use it! I've used it a lot already. It is to my knowledge the first Linux direct rendering capturing tool that does not suck! If you have any trouble whatsoever with it, you're invited to ask for help in this thread. (There's also #glc on

Edit: Many thanks to Pyry for writing glc and making me aware of it!

Speaking of game videos, I discovered some game-exclusive video hosting services! GameVee even supports OGG/Theora!

One more thing: Apricot is looking for animators!


Jacky J said...

Nice find on the glc.

Anonymous said...

While glc certainly gives better quality and doesn't hog your machine as fast, it is anhything but easy.

You install it by compiling; then you need to know the path to the program you run (or the command-line name). You also need to figure out that it doesn't start recording right away, and that it has a hotkey to stop the recording.

When you're done, you get a .glc file. You can play it with glc-play, and that's about it - nothing else can play it. You need to encode it first - and it's not as easy as just running a script. You have to figure out where is the video stream, the audio stream... and I couldn't get further.

So if you're a technical user, of course it's easy! Otherwise, don't expect it to be as easy as the other tools.

qubodup said...


No seriously, go to HowtoInstall, search for the header "Other distributions" and click "build script"

Perhaps you rather have a problem with the instructions than with the act of installing it? Please tell, it would be helpfull to create a EasyInstall wiki page..

qubodup said...

And about playing / encoding: It really seems that you did not read the three pages (installing, capturing, encoding) The first and last is accomplished by scripts, the middle is easy to get used to..


Again, your criticism seems non-valid, but perhaps I misunderstand what you are criticizing. :)

Anonymous said...

Yes, I've read all of the pages, pasted all of the commands, and chatted on the #glc.

I'm giving a warning for everyone else that glc is not easy as you're claiming it to be, because programs like gtk-recordmydesktop and istanbul define that easy.

Anonymous said...

I may as well respond to some of that criticism. glc is meant to be like recordmydesktop (note no -gtk), a powerful command-line tool adhering UNIX philosophy: "Write programs that do one thing and do it well.". Most of that criticism is out of scope of glc. For example:

* Hard installation - It is distributions' responsibility to create .deb, .rpm or whatever packages for easy installation via package manager. I've actually done more than I should by providing simple installation script (ad-hoc solution before proper distribution packages appear) AND gentoo ebuilds.

* Requires command line / hard to use - Have you ever tried mencoder? It is damn hard to master but still it is one of the most popular video encoding apps for linux. Just write a GUI for it.

* .glc files are supported only by glc-play - If you come across a video format with such flexibility, simplicity and performance as .glc format, please notify me. I'm glad to add support for it.

Anonymous said...

A few comments on the freedroid RPG stuff. I've been beta testing it for over a week now. One of the first, if not the first, to start. I grabbed it out of SVN just as they were packing up the tar file for general use in beta testing. It's substantially better in a lot of ways, although some of the balance has shifted a bit. What they could use at this point is a teensy bit of artwork. Little things like a baseball bat picture, or other such icons within the game. More Tiles would be nice to have, like a dirt road instead of running the "inside road" outdoors. Simple things like that, which people with art talent would likely find easy would be most helpful.

Hop onto the IRC room sometime, and you'll find quite a bit of activity, especially now. This is one of the better, and more mature RPGs out there, and now that it has a level editor included that's actually usable (part of the revamp for .11) I think there will be more moving forward.

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