Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Remembering and discovering some adventure and role playing games

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Blood and Iron menu

Blood and Iron "is a dark low fantasy tactical RPG where you attempt to lead a mercenary company to fame and fortune." This sounds like a Mount & Blade demake [EDIT] but it's not!


  • Dark low fantasy theme 
  • You play the owner of a mercenary company, the characters on the battlefield are just employees 
  • Your goal is to make your mercenary company the most famous one in history, and to complete various special challenges (achievements) 
  • Yes, you really won't save the world this time 
  • Tactical (actual combat) and strategic (resource management) layer 
  • Turn-based, of course 
  • Ironman only, no girlie man reloading whenever something goes wrong here 
  • Yes, when characters die they are gone - forever 


It is written in SDL and supposed to be portable.

So far (the project is one day old at time of writing) there is only a win32 binary (runs on linux using wine) available for download which features an incomplete menu and low-pixel art.. I would love to see this project ripen.

Pages of Adventure dialog

Pages of Adventure is a lovely "puzzle adventure in a strange world" which so far features one puzzle. I tested the game on Arch Linux.

Game testers are wanted for the SVN version of the game, different resolutions need to be tested for example. Testers and people who can recommend game/map/dialog editors for tile-based rpg/adventure games, please report to the PoA thread on our forums!


Dawn RPG makes progress. They use MediaWiki for posting news, which makes following development not too comfortable. SumWars is progressing as well. Both games have gained new team members and released new versions.


Hmm.. remember Hero of Allacrost, Silver Tree and Adonthell, FLARE, Arkhart, Radakan and PARPG ? I wonder how many open source non-roguelike role-playing or adventure games are out there and how many are playable and how many are finished..

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Aðfangadagskvöld!

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Three more days, 688 more US Dollars pledged to the Portrait Marathon and we get art video tutorials (so spread a little word, why don'tcha? ;) ):


Fantasy Portrait Marathon pledge progress

OGA's presents

There has been a *LOT* of giving on OGA lately, two fully rigged 3d character models for example.

Another present: IOFORMS' (aka iosketch) first alpha release is being prepared.

Please let us know in the comments if you notice are any special present-ish foss game releases. :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

News Avalanche!

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Zero-K:



Zero-K is the reboot of Spring RTS game Complete Annihilation, with aims to distance itself from the TA IP that has plagued Spring games, and just generally be better in every way :)

It comes with a revamped UI, multiple specialist commander units to play as, and a single faction instead of the traditional 2. The team is also providing a set of web services such as map and mission lists to enhance the experience, and maybe we'll even see the resurgence of Planet Wars, the awesome persistent galactic RTS that was running a while back

IrrRPG Builder



IrrRPG Builder looks like a promising 3D RPG IDE. So far, it features a terrain editor, drag and drop object placement, and scriptable using Lua.

There's a set of tutorials to get you started, and comes with enough content to play around with; the scriptable object system along with template scripts make it really beginner friendly. The built-in script validator could use a bit of work (doesn't detect undefined functions yet, which crashes the game) and adding some sort of api refference along with autocompletion would really make it a fully fledged IDE :)



Ryzom:


We've been giving Ryzom quite a bit of love recently, with their Linux native client and all, but they just announced an In-game competition for a Linux netbook and got accepted for the Google Code-In initiative. Here's hoping they have lots of success!

Warlock's Gauntlet:





Warlock's Gauntlet is a highly polished Gauntlet/Diablo/Hack'nSlash mashup. A nice interface, smooth gameplay and lots of spells make this a very nice find.(Thanks archl from the comments :) It even has co-op!


Egoboo



The Egoboo team just released their version 2.8.1 beta, it adds randomized loot, special effects and lots of bugfixes. Check it out!

FreedroidRPG


Freedroid recently had their website redesigned(aww I liked the old one :(), and also released version 0.14 which included the Summer of Code work. This added better randomized dungeons, a better interface for the level editor and replaced magical weapons with a more sci-fi addon system (the last addition was done by Nekotaku from Lips of Suna, which also had a release recently :)

Monday, December 20, 2010

An early Xmas?

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Not very X-mas like at my current place of residence, but there are just so many good things coming to the FreeGamer enthusiast right now! But I am short on time and on a crappy internet connection... so only text for you guys tonight :p

So, as a follow up the the recently mentioned Alpha 0.3 release of 0AD and their donation drive, UbuntuGamer has now published a pretty nice interview with one of the 0AD contributors.


Their donation drive is also still running, so if you have some money to spare, head over here. They are still a long way from the target, so don't be shy :)

ZeroBallistics 2.0


So why is there an early X-mas? Well I just got the hot news that there has been a 2.0 release of the ZeroBallistics FOSS game!!! Definity some nice new features, but have a look at their release announcement yourself here.

War§ow 0.6 and AlienArena2011

Two pretty big releases also, but since I always get snubbed a bit for mentioning these games with non-FOSS media around here I will make it short: War§ow 0.6 (BIG and very nice release) and AlienArena2011 (now with ODE physics for rag-dolls).

Thursday, December 16, 2010

From Open to Free, visual programming, new SumWars RPG and Berlin game dev summoning

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FLARE logo

OSARE is now FLARE. From an OGA tread:
I sent an email to Richard Stallman asking if he's interested in supporting Justin Nichol's Creative Commons Fantasy Portrait Project.

He pointed out that the difference between "open source" and "free" or "free/libre" and noted this:

"However, if you decide to describe it "free" or "free/libre" instead of "open source", then I would be honored to participate."

Stallman's lectures are what convinced me in the first place to use the GPL for my work, and to be interested in copyleft licenses in general. I'm quite honored that he answered my email at all, and I agree with his reasoning.

IOSKETCH visual programming

IOSKETCH is a cross-platform visual authoring tool for games. It is written in Common Lisp.

Summoning Wars 0.5.3
The new version

SumWars 0.5.3 is out:
  • Upgrade to Ogre 1.7 and CEGUI 0.7
  • More art and story content
  • Russian translation

See the arrow?

There's a little meeting this Saturday for making little games in Berlin. Artists, programmers, designers and whatnot are welcome! We speak English. Wir sprechen Deutsch. At least one speaks Spanish, at least one speaks Russian.

You might want to bring a multiple outlet strip (don't forget your converter if you need one).

Berlin Game Developers Meet-Up #5 on Facebook.
Where:   Cafe Osswald
When:    Saturday, December 18 from 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Lithosphere - awesome visual procedural 3d terrain map generator with shaders

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Forget my last post about terrain generators! I'm just going to let the screen/video talk for themselves.




Lithosphere is a GPU driven terrain generator. It allows you to create and export material textures and heightmaps intended for use in realtime graphics applications.

All terrain algorithms are implemented as GLSL fragment shaders operating on floating point textures. This allows realtime modification of the terrain. A graph of nodes is evaluated in order to arrive at the terrain output.

License: AGPL

Requirement: 32bit python2.6 (:|), a modern graphics card

Tested on: Windows, Linux

The creator's blog might be of interest to you as well. The last few articles cover OpenGL and HTML5/JavaScript Canvas.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Fantasy Portrait Marathon Update and Reddit Game Jam #4 in a few hours!

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Justin added new possible targets to his freely-licensed fantasy portraits project for OSARE and OGA:

$1500
by December 28th
30 portraits



$2000
by December 28th
35 portraits



$3000
by December 28th
35 portraits + a full length instructional video showing the painting process for the collection

I sure hope we can arrange this gift of Justin's video to ourselves..
You can spread the word on fsdaily and reddit.

In other news: there's a 48h game jam STARTING TODAY! Here's the IRC channel, here are the rules. I recommend github and love2d!

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Contributing to FPSs, RPGs and other games by sharing thoughts and spreading words

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I* joined PARPG to work on game interaction (controls and GUI). This decision was made after taking a look at some projects and talking with their members about what tasks are available. Now I want to tell you about the 'open source jobs' available out there.

Radakan (RPG) is currently a solo project that uses the Python 3D engine Panda3D. Project lead Taldor would like help with the game design, GUI design, Writing (dialog & quests) and content creation (creating and converting models, managing the content pipeline). Warning: Radakan's website is currently down, best way to get in contact is irc.freenode.net#radakan.

CubeCreate (FPS + Editor) will be a Lua-driven Sauerbraten-based engine. It could use some design help for editor accessibility improvements and thoughts on asset management (model/texture import) while the developers port to Lua.

0 AD (RTS) has a a well-compiled list of tasks.

Megaglest (RTS) would like to have somebody find more players for the game. In my humble opinion it could use the help of an audio designer to take a look at some files' volume levels as well. :) A re-work of their homepage is being discussed as well.

Ryzom (MMORPG) still needs to port the world editor but also would be interested in designers to work on a 3D editor.

LinWarrior3D (Mech Action) will soon have a new release. There might be a git repository soon. I got a list of possible tasks:

  • Homepage enhancing, either with Drupal or static (portions of the website should have the feeling of you-are-in-the-world rather than you-are-reading-the-website). There needs to be resemblance to the current homepage for keeping identity.
  • The HUD-Displays could use an overhaul.
  • Concepts for a world setting, places, factions for (GTA-like) emerging gameplay - to enhance and populate the game world.
  • Concepting a tutorial at the current state of interaction
Suggestions, problem/bug reports, performance reports and fan-mail are always welcome with LW3D. Contributors should be aware that LW3D is a slow-paced "lifetime" project. :)

*remember, this is a collaborative blog, I'm one of currently 4 posters :)

Monday, December 06, 2010

Quoting releases: Bitfighter, Love2d, OpenClonk

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Bitfighter

There's a new version of the retro-style multiplayer top-down action game Bitfighter and a well-readable changelog:
This version features new Soccer rules, and a verified user name system protected by your forums password. Many other improvements, including important stability fixes and enhancements for all platforms.

love2d 0.7 no-game-screen

LÖVE 0.7 "Game Slave" has finally been released! This is a Lua 2D game engine also known as "love2d". Oh, and it's on Indie DB. Oh, and Indie DB allows to sort engines by license!
Framebuffers, for rendering to places other than the screen. Threads, for true multithreaded programming. New callbacks, like love.quit and love.focus. A text-origin change from lower- to upper-left. And about a million different bugs have been squashed!
You'll find games and toys and demos to try out in this forum and you can give my stupid little game a try too.

"The Guardians of Windmills" OpenClonk scenario

OpenClonk 1.0 hass been released and I just noticed that I love how their main page contains all the info important to people who don't know the project.
This milestone focuses on some fast paced melees, races and a few experimental scenarios to choose from. All scenarios are meant to be played multiplayer through the internet. It features completely new controls, a new HUD and many weapons and tools to choose from. Also included are four tutorials that guide new players and veteran clonkers through the new controls.
I feel like giving OpenClonk a try soon and hope the tutorials are any good. Here's a game description, if you never took a closer look at the project like me.
OpenClonk is a free multiplayer action game where you control clonks, small but witty and nimble humanoid beings. The game is mainly about mining, settling and fast-paced melees. OpenClonk is also not just a game but also a versatile 2D game engine that offers countless possibilites to make your own mods.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Freely Licensed Fantasy Portraits Financing!

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The style

Open-art artist Justin Nichol intends to create 30 freely licensed portraits (or more) in the style you see above. I support his Fantasy Portrait Marathon for 3 purposes:
  1. Allow an open source enthusiast artist to continue his studies
  2. Provide portraits for  the excellent slash-and-hack OSARE
  3. Add a quality set of art to OpenGameArt for use in various games

The cash

$1500, Dec 28
The target

Targeted is a backing of $1500 until end of 2010. At time of posting, $580 (38.6%) have been already pledged (7 backers).

The artist

Other works by Justin

Justin Nichol is attending the Concept Design Academy in Pasadena, Ca. He contributed art to PARPG and OGA. He has a portfolio.

The portraits

  • GIMP will be used for drawing the portraits
  • Backers will be able to determine the faces they pay for (check the right sidebar of the project page for details)
  • The portraits will be CC-BY-SA/GPL dual-licensed for maximum copyleft compatibility
I can only say: invest in this one! And spread the word too, for example on reddit.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

M.A.R.S. - A Ridiculous Shooter

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Can a game that has "ridiculous" in the title be bad? No. It can not!

M.A.R.S. - A Ridiculous Shooter

Even though I'm no fan of the multiplayer (zero-)gravity-shooter genre, I enjoy playing M.A.R.S., which features AI enemies and wingmen, various weapon types, upgrades and a pretty cool game mode, where a huge cannon will shoot at the planet of the enemy team of whoever is holding the remote to it. I also think it's darn pretty.

BAM!

M.A.R.S. uses shaders (but does not require them). The game menu is well-made in both look and feel too. The media license is not specified. Code is GPLed. M.A.R.S. runs on Lin/Win (get it here) and uses the SFML library (2.0, I had to get it from SVN).

BOOM!

If you want to help the project out, you can do so by translating it. English and German translations are available so far. Since SFML 2 has recently been ported to OS X, it probably would be welcome if someone could provide a build as well.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A little bit of everything

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Long time no see!
Before you look at the pictures: I can only recommend following the FGD Game Planet and Dev Planet. That is all ;).

Games

CONS

CONS is a NOOB FRIENDLY!!! roguelike written in Lisp. It is 'friendly' because the amount of possible actions is low and they are all tooltip-explained in the main window. I also like the color scheme and simple look. Follow the developer on his blog. I know I do.

Xenowar

Xenowar is a simple-gfx squad tactics game and it runs on Windows and Android. Didn't try it yet.

skunks is a "3D game with cars, stunts and software rendering, based on Open Dynamics Engine" by Matei Petrescu, who also brought us simple3d/simcar.

Contests

SDLTutorials.com is hosting a little top-down car racing game contest (runs until 31. Dec)

Game On 2010 is an open web game contest started by Mozilla Labs. Deadline: January 11, 2011. [Rules]

Assets

OpenGameArt is getting bigger and bigger and nicer and nicer and their forums cover more and more topics. Hopefully one day they (the forums) will have a better usable design :) (this probably depends mostly on Drupal and Drupal extensions).

BlendSwap on the other hand is not getting that much attention as I imagined it would after finally introducing free licenses.


UFO:AI license statistics

UFO:AI wants to legalize it! They seek freely-licensed textures and images to replace their "license unknown" files. And they have statistics and graphs! Also their latest news cover changes to their level editor in screenshot form.

Engines

Burster is bringing Blender into the browser. Not stable.

jMonkeyEngine's team is working towards a visual SDK. They recently released alpha 3.

The developer 2D LWJGL engine Slick is making first Steps of porting to Android. Meanwhile the developer of Android platformer Replica Island blogs about development for that platform.

SDL Multi-touch, gestures and android port are some features added during Google Summer of Code. [source]

PixelLight [videos] is a new, LGPL3-licensed 3D engine on the block.
  • In development since 2002 (released in August 2010)
  • Runs on Windows and Linux, a prototype for mobile devices exists
  • The free libraries ODE (physics) and OpenAL (sound) are supported

Friday, November 19, 2010

Well, screw this...

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We need contributors, contributors, contributors to misquote a famous internet meme ;)
So if you want to be a new author writing wacky (or wicked) articles here on FreeGamer, contact us! Don't let this Blog die! And hey it's a good excuse to be lazy and not work on actual open-source games :D

FOSS game news



So what kind of gaming related news have piled up in my list during the last month (yes it has been nearly a month since goat's post :( )?



Freeroid recently got a major update, bringing it up to version 0.14. Another major update was given to us by the great Hedgewars team, so who needs worms if he can have hedgehogs? They also make better splashes under my car...*hust*.

Forget what I just said, FreeGamer minion! Concentrate on the news I bring regarding the the FOSS MMORPG Ryzom. You might remember that this game has gone free as in freedom (but not as in beer) some time ago, and besides various improvements, it now resulted in a working Linux client. So go and try out their free 21 day trial if you are on Linux (you better be ;) ).





On the FPS side of things I have both good and bad news: First the bad ones... the very promising project Axis Revenge has closed down again for unspecified reasons. Some of their stuff will be going towards the also very nice looking Xreal based Weaver project. But no, that wasn't the good news yet... I recently came across another promising project based on the Cube2 engine, called CLONE, a rather funny name given that they want to make a CS like game ;) Not much to see yet, but the guys involved seem quite dedicated and experienced. So lets wait and see.

Hmm... what else? Ahh yes, the creator of the great AlienArena recently showed up in our forums to give us a peak at a new trailer for the upcoming AlienArena2011:





Another Cube2 /Syntensity based project I am currently closely following, is CubeCreate. It tries to become a really polished FOSS game engine and distribution platform, and so far I like their approach (like LUA scripting).

Oh year, for the RTS fans... the new Warzone2100 3.0 Beta looks rather nice, and also has a test build with an improved netcode now. Personally I can't wait to see the Art-Revolution models integrated however. So watch this space for updates on that!



I guess that's it for tonight, hope you all stay a loyal readers even though the blog has slowed down a lot lately. And please... consider contributing as explained in the beginning!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Atonement (or Goat's Monthly Post)

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Julius' endless poking has sent me over the cliff of post-guilt, fortunately, lots of projects have been jumping up and down for attention of late, so I have quite a bit of content to redeem myself with.

RPGs

OSARE


OSARE showing off powers
Pfunked and recently released an update to the promising OSARE This brings "powers" to the game, the classic Hack 'n Slash abilities that encompass magic, melee and ranged special attacks. No skimping on them here either, intricate systems such as block-counter based attacks and time stopping magic spells definitely differentiate OSARE's powers from the more generic "Do x damage" spells more commonly found. The new powers do bring in a bit of a balance issue though, but such is the nature of RPGs

Dawn RPG


Dawn RPG
Dawn-RPG has also been updating steadily throughout the year; I kind of forgot about the project and should be punished appropriately :P Main recent additions are sound an music (from the illustrious OGA, more on that later), and "characteristics" that diversify its abilities system. Dawn is definitely a project to watch, they are a bit more "traditional" than OSARE in a few ways: Larger amounts of inventory slots and more numerous actions and abilities (albeit more generic in the terms I described earlier), along with quests (although that may be added to OSARE in a future release).

Lips Of Suna


Lips Of Suna
Lips Of Suna hit the 0.1.0 milestone as well, recently. 240 days since the last release means that lots has changed. So much, in fact, that nekotaku didn't even have enough time to list it all, so sorry if I cannot give a concise overview (the game doesn't run on my system because of GFX problems :\). From the screenshots though, one can see that the models have been improved significantly, albeit at the expense of a couple m2 of cloth ;) --edit-- Scratch that, after interrogating nekotaku with a comfy pillow in IRC I managed to pry this out of him "I worked a lot on the graphics engine, as can be seen from it not working :-P I also wrote a new AI, worked on combat, implemented a faction system, a quest system, a crafting system, etc.".

RTSes

Warzone2100


Warzone2100 going BOOM
Warzone 2100 released v3.0-beta1. Another release that keeps its changes close to the heart, it seems that v3 mainly consists of graphical and gameplay improvements and fixes rather than slews of new features. Kick the Goat if you find that his journalistic integrity doesn't meet up to the standards of your average blogger though.

0 A.D


0AD's new Celtic Faction
0AD dropped their second Alpha release "Βελλεροφῶν" (or Bellerophon). Their change log is as beautiful as the game itself; and it had better be after having recently acquired a development manager, and they're always looking for more team members so if check their open positions list and join up if you're man enough. A new faction, gameplay improvements such as fog of war and unit formations, performance improvements... Oh, and victory conditions, sothat you can finally beat your opponent!

Racing

SuperTuxKart

According to my googling, it has been over a year since SuperTuxKart has been mentioned on Freegamer! Scandalous! Anyhow, they recently released Alpha 3 of their 0.7 Irrlicht engine revision, lots of new things has been added like ODE physics and a bunch of new tracks and racers. I'd love to post some screenies/videos, but they're all of the old version. You can find a recent video here, on a German fan site :)

Odds and Ends

Wesnoth Tactics


WTactics wiki
Wesnoth Tactics... Now here's an interesting one, a collectable card game based on the Wesnoth art and universe. Loads of cool art originating from there, which is available at OpenGameArt. The game is also playable on PC using a closed source CCG game client, LackeyCCG, but they plan to produce their own cross platform client in the future. This is a very interesting example of the flexibility of open source settings instead of code; Wesnoth has spawned quite a few shared setting (Or "commundo" as a circa '09 #freegamer channel would have said) games, and hopefully the trend continues

OpenGameArt

Finally, OpenGameArt has received quite a few mentions in this post; they are still alive and very much kicking with quite a few large developments done to the site, namely: Flattr integration, sothat users can recieve micro-donations for their art, and the freeing up of quite a bit of funds for commissions due to serving costs being covered by GameBoom

Thursday, October 14, 2010

A few interesting things

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Hello again from the dark side of the moon (at least it's equally remote ;) ).

Today I have some assorted news of projects previously featured and one new one. Lets start with the latter:



ArcanumAlive or OpenArcanum is a engine re-implemention and assets replacement project for the game Arcanum. It somewhat recently also got a Linux port, and seems to be progressing nicely so far/again.




ArcanumAlive


Some RTS news

Totally unrelated, the previously featured MegaGlest has been updated to version 3.3.7 which brings a series of nice improvements to the game (including a MacOSX port). Some time ago a much improved version of the WW2 themed RTS Spring1944 was released, and the engine it is based on also got a bunch of updates lately.

Finally some FPS news



For the readers with a short attention span, I left the FPS news for the very last (so that they don't read it :p). Recently Irritant the creator of AlienArena released some news about the upcoming version, called 2011. The main feature is probably ODE physics integration, but the new maps look nice too as seen in this video:



But that's all for today. Hopefully we will see an update by the other authors of this blog soon ;)

Saturday, October 09, 2010

An update out of nowhere!

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Quite literally, as I am posting this via a satellite connection from the other side of the world ;) But if those lazy co-authors spend all their time playing games instead of bringing you the latest FreeGaming news, then I have to come to the rescue no matter what!

For those that are disappointed that the blog isn't updated more regularly... well tough luck :p There is our planet feed though, and you can also hang out on the forums... or *gasp* try to get involved in a project yourself!



Mission X, side scrolling action



This pretty nice, old school, side scrolling shooter (written in Java) can be found here. Check out the video below:



Lots of eye-candy over at the 0 A.D. webpage



Amazing amount of nice looking stuff, and progress updates (f.e. implementation of the "shadow of war" feature) has been recently added to the 0 A.D. website. I know you are probably following that game anyways... but a quick reminder can hurt ;)

0 A.D. landscape


Red Eclipse



Sadly I can't make a video or post screens of it from this PC I have here, but only a short while ago I checked out the latest version of Red Eclipse, and it is really starting to be a quite fun game. It's even includes real player models now, and quite good looking weapon models are currently added.

It's rather easy to compile on Linux (automatic script), so don't shy away just because it is not released as a binary yet. There are even quite a few people online playing it already.

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:



FreeOrion


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.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Some more (L)GPL strategy game love

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Ok, quick update before too much dust gathers around here ;)

Just yesterday I stumbled upon this gem of a strategy game over at LGDB:

They call that simple bot???


Its name is Quantum, as some of you might have guessed it is a clone of Dyson/Eufloria. But the game is quite mesmerizing with the strange background noise and your armies of small space tree spores conquering new worlds. But try it yourself!

Now normally clones are not as good as the original, right? Not is this case: Full multiplayer (with master-server and lobby), singleplayer skirmishes, in-game editor etc. are just a small part of the long feature list! Furthermore it's all available under the LGPL (written in Java). Me = happy puppy :)


Seven Kingdoms GPL version



Not exactly super fresh news but the relatively recently GPLed 1997's strategy game Seven Kingdoms got a SDL based Linux port. Check out a small video tutorial here (as I found it difficult understand what to do initially).



So that's all for today. Stay tuned for more awesome FOSS gaming news!

Monday, August 16, 2010

O A.D. Alpha 1 Argonaut

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Fresh from our forums come the news that the first playable (multi-player only) alpha of O A.D. has been released!


It features "aggressive units that attack enemies on sight, lifelike animals that escape danger, two new maps, in-game multiplayer chat and much more"! Check their release news for more details and instructions how to install.

As always this gem of a game is looking for helping hands, so join them now and become part of FOSS gaming history!



P.S.: I will be looking into playing some MP FreeGamer matches with this release, so head over to our forums and discuss when and how!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

RTCW and ET open-sourced

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You probably heard it before elsewhere, but I was waiting for some actual developments to occur instead of making yet another "yay! source release!!!" blog entry ;)

Anyways... the kind people over at id software have decided to release the source code of this two awesome games under the GPLv3.





The guys behind the engine improvements of Quake3, IoQuake3 have already a source repository running and you can expect them to merge all the nice stuff from their Quake3 version into it soon (like in-game VOIP and 3D sound).

XReal goes Wolf:ET

Not really surprising news (due to the long silence of the project), but XReal the game is dead :( But don't worry too much since the main developer will now focus on getting all the awesome engine features into their version of Wolf:ET!

They even got a nice (but older) video along with that announcement showing what kind of ET like environments are possible with XReal:





Last but now least I have asked the guys behind the XReal powered WW2 FPS featured in the last blog post, if the ET source release would effect their plans...check the thread on their message-boards here. Would be for sure awesome if they would decide to make a super awesome Wolf:ET instead :)

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Quake2 engine day ;)

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Ok, today I have quite a lot of stuff, and its all Quake2 related :p Believe it or not Quake2 is alive and kicking... and its engine is featuring some of the very best open-source games!

For those who might have missed it: AlienArena 7.45 has been released recently and the release makes an already solid game even more awesome ;)


Further more the UFO:AI team is making some great progress after their highly acclaimed 2.3 release two months ago. Besides a a lot smaller changes, various new sounds have been added since then and the rockets got a nice new explosion effect:



Kaaaboom!


Oh and maybe this is of interest for some of you (personally I never really understood the need for it though): War§ow can now be played in a browser window via a Firefox plugin! Check out their development blog for more details.




Yet another 3D adventure game



A rather interesting Project I was unaware of until recently is Ya3Dag. It has quite a lot of rather unique features not found in any of the other Quake2 engine enhancements, like a in-game level editor (!), advanced terrain rendering, day and night cycles and maybe most interestingly a full Bullet physics integration! The developer of AlienArena showed some interest in the latter already, and I think the level editor and the day and night cycles would make a perfect fit for the Ufo:AI game!

Screenshot from Ya3Dag


Check out more screenshots and some videos here!


But lets talk about the actual game. Ya3Dag is aiming to become a single player adventure game (engine) where you play a poor legless pirate ;) It is already playable to a certain extent, but currently there is only a Windows version available (it works well with WINE though).


I quickly send an email to the developer to ask him about this and some other things regarding the media license and future development: Currently he does not have any plans for porting the game to other platforms, but he is open to other contributors. So, if some people are interested in collaboration it might make sense to set up a proper source repository and such (e.g. a sf.net site). Furthermore he does have plans about replacing all artworks with really free/FOSS ones (Yay!), but currently the project is still far from reaching this goal.



Overdose is looking for help



Overdose was a more controversial title in the past (un-free media and plans to keep the code closed), but at least the source code is available now (or at least should be soon *scratches head* as I was unable to actually locate a download link) and IMHO it is the most advanced Quake2 based engine by the looks:



Recently they have put out a call for help (especially for artists) so maybe you feel like contributing to a really ambitious project? They specifically state that you don't need to be perfect in modeling etc... someone with a good base knowledge and willingness to improve is very welcome! Check out their FAQ if you want to know more about the project.



A small treat at the end!


Ok this is something I just happened to stumble across in the Overdose forum. It's a pretty young project called "Axis Revenge" (name subject to change) currently working with the Xreal Quake3 Engine, but due to various problems with it might change to the Overdose engine (or the UDK, nooooo :( ).

Awesome player model WIP


The rest of the project description sounds awesome too: Alternative history (after WW2) and game-play similar to Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory? Sign me up! But check out their website, and this thread for more awesome pictures! Oh and did I mention that they are looking for help too?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Some Free, Open Source Puzzle Games

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Flipout


Can you imagine what a mix between a Pin-Ball machine, a physics simulator and a breakout clone would look like? Well your wildest dreams have been answered! Check this out:

Flipout
The game Flipout combines all this, and is a very challenging game in addition (didn't manage to even complete the first level :( ). But try it yourself ;)

Mechanical Tower


Another pretty interesting game by the same author is Mechanical Tower, a self described tower defense game: "but instead of defending with towers, you defend in a tower, with traps"

Mechanical Tower
Again the skill level required is quite high... but maybe I am just very bad in puzzle games :p

Jumpman

Another already a bit older puzzle game (Jumpman) has come to my attention since the neat (but closed source) indi hit And Yet It Moves seems to be based on it:


Interested? Well it is pretty hard also :( But don't get discouraged and download it here. Licensing is a bit unclear though... seems to be MIT like, but don't quote me on that ;)

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Two weeks?

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Has it really been that long since the last post here? I'd better contribute before tumble weed hits the front page.



Egoboo 2.8.0 has been released (download + changelog). The Egoboo team stress this is an unstable release, that it hasn't yet seen the kind of testing they would like it to have, but it is "biggest release Egoboo has ever had" so it is good news for the project.





Which got me thinking of the successor to Egoboo, SoulFu. Now, this project has had a rocky history. The author released it as "niceware" (some silly 'you agree to be nice to dogs' license) to prevent forks, but that just meant nobody really got involved. Amazed at the lack of help, along with some criticisms he didn't approve of, he threw his arms up and left the project in a huff.



Some years passed by.



Keen people started to get involved (screenshots!) and it seems it is moving again, albeit hampered by the loss of a domain name and forced to move to a new (crappy free-) forum.



Whether it gets fully rejuvenated and released under a real Free license remains to be seen.



At the end of June, VDrift got a major update. The changes are huge, including a rewritten physics engine that fixes many bugs, improves performance, and vastly improves simulation accuracy, new deferred rendering engine that supports normal maps, true HDR rendering, screen-space ambient occlusion, and soft particles, meshes for brake rotors, better wheel and tire meshes, bugfixes and tweaks to control input management, and new sounds.





Every now and again, somebody comes along and takes a Free game project and does something with it that makes you think "wow" and "that's why Free is cool". That applies to this guy porting VDrift to use OGRE. He wanted a stunt car racer game, he liked VDrift's design and physics but wanted to graphical options presented by OGRE, so he knocked up this rather awesome looking hybrid:





How cool is that? Anyway, find out more at the (surely tentatively named) VDrift-OGRE project.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Assorted FPS news

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Lets start with the big news for today :)

A new version of Cube2:Sauerbraten was released today: Justice Edition!

Changes include two new player-models, 30 new maps, a mini radar and the new hold and efficiency game modes. For a full change log click here.



The blue base!


The new game mode "efficiency" gives you a set amount of ammunition and all weapons, and you can only "reload" when re-spawning and in the "hold" mode you get points when holding the flag for 30 seconds for your team



Upcoming changes in AlienArena

In this other open-source online arena FPS (sadly also with un-free media) some major changes in the rendering engine have been announced recently. Version 7.45 will include the new IQM skeletal animation format, which speeds up and increases the rendering quality tremendously on all somewhat new GPUs!

Furthermore changes to the shadowing code have been made:



Improved self shadowing

Edit (07/29/2010): 7.45 was released today, get it here.

ZeroBallistics completely FOSS???



Ok maybe I am jumping the gun here, but this interesting post has recently appeared on the Phoronix message-boards. It seems like the former commercial indi game Zero Ballistics (an unrealistic tank battle multiplayer game with pretty sweet graphics) has gone completely FOSS (GPL including the media and even the .blend model source files).



Details are a bit shady, as there was a post on the currently offline webpage about ZB going to be released for "free", but no mention of the exact licensing. However now a complete repository has appeared on the Sourceforge page (tagged as GPL), so speculations are that it is completely FOSS!

We are currently trying to confirm this with the authors listed at the sf.net page, but so far there was no response :( But lets wait and see!

Edit (07/29/2010): I can now confirm that ZeroBallistics is indeed completely FOSS :) Stay tuned for a more in depth preview here on FreeGamer.