Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Double Trouble

Hallow thar Free Gamers!

Warmux, the project formerly known as Wormux, is dying. (It amuses me how "formerly" sounds like "formally", doesn't it? Or is that my colloquial pronunciation?)

The current development version has rather minor changes: improved game mode (ie including weapon), new "squad" play (teams can ally). But there's little more coming. What this means is that the next version - if any - of WarMUX, might be the last. At least, it is most probably over for the author of these words.

Who knows. It was not long ago that the PARPG lead was calling that dead (and I scolded him for it, did I). The great thing about Free software is that it can live on.

Moving on to more vibrant projects, and ToME4 beta 29 30 31 is in the wild. The current development pace is quite astonishing. More graphical tiles, bug fixes, play balancing, and some useful optimizations - don't get addicted!


In a similar vein, the author of Scourge has embarked on another project: a HTML/JS isometric graphical rogue-like called zzoxx. It is intriguing, though not yet really playable. What's the best Free browser-based game you know of? Comments encouraged, let's talk about how Free software gaming is engaging the browser as a platform - and if it is a good idea or not.

Freeciv 2.3rc1 (NEWS) was released a few days ago. This major release of Freeciv is focused on multiplayer features including longplay. I just had a quick go and Freeciv is really well done these days. There's a few kinks still, but this is the best release yet. It still misses some of the charm of the original, and there's a few ways in which is not friendly to new users (no direct link from the city screen to the help content, in case you want to know what a wonder or building does, for example). I'd love to see some dedicated community members put together an introduction and a palace and/or throne screen.

There's also been a Freecol bugfix release. Freecol 0.10.1 fixes many of the issues with version 0.10.0 which was a fairly major release for the project.

There's been other stuff I forgot about. It's a funny time of day. Speaking of fun - here's a rather fun video of Stunty Rally 1.2 mishaps doubled up with music I found fitting. There are several points where it seems like those two videos are deliberately synchronized!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

SuperTuxKart 0.7.2: Add-on manager release

SuperTuxKart now has an add-on/DLC/community-content manager, which allows you to download tracks and karts from inside the game, without having to move or unzip files. I am very excited about this feature, which hopefully will be a strong motivation for community members to create new content for the game.

Suzanne's kart

One example of the advantages of this feature: a few days after the release of 0.7.2 the amazing Suzanne (Blender's mascot) kart was finished. Instead of having to manually download and install it or wait for 0.7.3, players can simply get the kart in the add-on manager. [edit: unfortunately right now Suzanne is only in SVN and not yet in the add-on manager (to be fixed)]

Here's a video of some of the content you can get via the add-on manager:

In case you are on Linux or OS X, consider getting the 0.7.2a release, which should perform much better [info here].


Two more content addition in this version are:

  • New Beastie Kart
  • New Snow Peak track by Samuncle

Thursday, July 21, 2011

NOLF2 source released but to what end

The commercial abandonware 2002 game No One Lives Forever (trailer) has been released under the GPLv2.

The NOLF2 source code has been released under the GPLv2 by Touchdown Entertainment. Along with the game source code, you will find the engine source code, as well the tools behind it. It's great news for the entire NOLF2 modding community, since now we'll be able to keep the game alive!

I have uploaded the package to free services since the Touchdown Entertainment website is down:

It isn't yet clear what license the assets are released under, but as with most commercial game source releases I suspect that it is not part of the source release.

Do these commercial source pseudo-Free releases have any merit beyond giving loyal followers a way to keep their fun alive? It has been of great benefit to have had the ID engines released as Free software, but they were the platform for a number of very significant free projects that would later transition from freeware mods to true Free software.

If the source release is a way to say thanks to the fans, why not bundle the media too?

The same recently happened with the more popular Arx Fatalis. The Arx Liberatis developers are doing a valiant job of cleaning up with the ultimate goal being a native Linux port (currently WINE reliant) but is this just a commercial company using the open source community to keep a dead game alive and milk the last few drops out of their dying cash cow?

I'm not impressed by decade-old game source releases that do not include the full media for the game. It's still not Free, even worse, it's still not free. If anything, it is arguably a negative for the open source community because it reduces the pool of developers who might otherwise contribute their skills to a more worthy cause.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

RIOT Game Coding Competition

RIOT is a game coding competition for Caanoo, Wiz, Pandora and Dingoo's Dingux developers. In the future, probably also for nD devs, unless that one turns out to be vaporware.

The contest entry dealine is over but votes are running until July 22 2011.

Four RIOT entries that provide source

So far, four of the entries provided their source, you can filter them out here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

HTML5 2D Game/Engine crowdfunding: Time Hammer

When I was looking for last post's link to Justin's portraits, I found a collection of b/w portraits and a new crowdfunding game project: Time Hammer.

What is Time Hammer?
  1. A game where you run, jump, fall and die, try again, smash enemies, and have fun (hopefully!)  It's a retro, 8-bit throwback to an earlier time, but with some modern touches that we just couldn't help but include.  Low gravity, destructible environments, a kickin chip-tune soundtrack... yeah, it's a blast!
  2. A gaming engine built from scratch in HTML5 / Javascript. Time Hammer will be the first fully-featured, plot-driven game featuring the HTML5
  3. An indie community dream come true. The game engine will be released open-source on GitHub - meaning that anybody can download it, improve it, and use it for any purpose, free of charge.
"Which license?" was my first thought and question.

I haven't actually researched the nuance of those licenses, and honestly some of the kickstarter money would be used to get a lawyer to recommend one. Two strong contenders are the GPL and MIT license.
Isn't there a group of free software lawyers, who might consult for free beer or less? Supporters can voice their opinion to this topic on the comments page.

Going for USD 8,500

I was reassured, that flash will not be used at all, not even for sound.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Flare 0.14 Characters, Quests and HD video

The last version of Flare that Free Gamer took a look at was 0.11. The newest version is 0.14.

Character customization in Flare

Title and savegame loading screens now exist, adding to immersion.

Character customization (gender, portrait and name) is now possible. (Note how much depth this part of starting a game can acchieve in some cases). The character portraits are a product of Justin Nichol's fantasy portrait marathon.

Joystick support, conversations, vendors, quests, a new area and many more smaller additions included. It is now possible to configure keybindings and resolution, which leds to my first 720p HD video of Flare gameplay:

Clint Bellanger, main developer of Flare, posted a reflection on game progress in Flare, which includes some simple but interesting statistics.

You can show Flare some pocket love via Flattr.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Warzone2100 art revolution project

I've been following the Warzone 2100 art revolution project for some time now... but after years of displaying only nice renders of cool new models, it finally seems to be getting closer to an actual game integration with the recent integration of GLSL normal-maps etc. into the latest Warzone2100 snapshot.

More awesome (very much work in progress) screen-shots can be found in the Warzone2100 art dev forum (especially this thread) and on the art revolution forum. And while there is still a lot of things to do... an actual Warzone2100 release with a massive graphical update seems not too unlikely in 2011! Lets hope for the best ;)

Script Blocks: 3d visual programming(?)

Yesterday we wrote about Java3d-based Callie. This project is also Java-based but uses the jMonkeyEngine.

Script Blocks is a 3D .. environment, in which you can place blocks that produce or modify signals and blocks that react to them by changing color or by moving for example.

I assume that the project is inspired by Minecraft's Redstone Circuits. And I think it's a great virtue that instead of yet another attempt to implement Minecraft, this project focuses on one (complex) mechanic and extends it.

The video below is much better at explaining what the project is about:

Monday, July 04, 2011

Callie: 3D Action

Callie is an in-development 3D action game with jumping puzzles and guns. It runs using Java WebStart.

This is Amy

There are a few common problems with the project: animations are missing, the camera is hard to handle in the level environment, license info is missing for both assets and code. One very nice thing the developer did is providing this simple control scheme.

The use of Java3D in the project, lead to complaints and might discourage developers from contributing code. Apparently the problem is that Java3D is not an active project.

Callie 0.4 gameplay

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Some random news from our forums etc

Yes, big summer hole here in FG... luckily we get at least some guest posts from Bart (aka the OpenGameArt founder).

So, maybe today we just make a small summery of recent news that popped up in our Freegamedev forums (boring for the forum regulars I know :p ):

First of all (as we mention that project way to little), find a release candidate of the latest SuperTuxKart version in this thread.

In our showcase forum you can also find a nice (but low-fi) turn based strategy game called Strategic Initiative, which is made by the same guy who was also behind the classic Empire (well I didn't know it before ;) ). Also don't miss the updates on The Legend of Edgar.

Back in the section of out hosted projects, the user Skorpio has been showcasing some nice Mechs for Linwarrior3D lately, which are now being integrated into the game:

At the Red Eclipse forums an interesting collaboration project to make a mod loosely based on Team Fortress (classic?) recently showed up, with the user John_III making a lot of progress on the first map (and a very recent small WIP by me too ;) ):

Oh and the work that is currently done to redesign the look of OpenDungeons as seen in this thread, is looking rather fantastic too.

In other words, don't miss the action in our forums (and on the FG planet), during this time of little blog updates ;)

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