Friday, August 29, 2008

Sandbox becoming free, more free hardware: aurora

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Levelhead

I don't really know yet how to play Levelhead, but it has GPL-ed code and CC-BY-SA-ed art assets. This means it's good, right? Right? Well, I'll try to find out whether or not you can play it without having to cut a LCD display in mouth-sized pieces first.



Sandbox co-operative map editing

There's news regarding Sandbox, the child-friendly Sauerbraten-based 3D game/engine/editor. A completely freely licensed version is in the works. (Code and media.) So, hopefully we'll have a release soon, which will be includable in Debian for example. I'm very interested in this project, as it's obvious aim is to make content/game-creation a child's play!



MonkeyWorld 3D

MonkeyWorld 3D is a BSD Licensed scene editor for the jMonkeyEngine which I found through a thread on Radakan's forums.



Radakan's WorldTool is currently frozen as the energy is now aimed towards the general MonkeyWorld 3D editor. Maybe even jClassicRPG will benefit from it. :)



Speaking of Radakan: There's some tasty new gui design and concept art going on.



aurora: not only sexy but also with free inner values

Cool, I searched for "open source" on flickr and found a new toy: The aurora open source mixer. It's specifications and driver appear to be CC-BY-licensed. I'm not sure if the license is well suitable for hardware, but it does make the device attractive. I wonder if I can get enough motivation to get my soldering iron out. A GNU/Linux driver seems to be missing.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

UNF Game Development Camp and Pandora news

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Quad Fighter

Approximately 50 high school students from Denmark have participated in the UNF Game Development Camp, and two of the results have been published under some of the Creative Commons Licenses.



The seven teams' common tool was Blender and it's game engine. While the results seem very amateurish, I rather like the idea of involving children in the design of toys. Especially when preformed by non-profit organizations.




Pandora logo

The ultra-mega-super-duper portable Pandora, the ultimate open source handheld device, seems to become a reality.



Playing Quake 2 on a device slightly wider than a CD? Sounds uncomfortable. But in connection with a real keyboard and mouse, this device might be quite fun. In my opinion portable stuff just can't get small enough.





Pandora in action. Or get a good-resolution video.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

jClassicRPG's major breakthrough in the field of playable!

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jClassicRPG detail


jClassicRPG 'Vigilante Eye' is out for us to get. The game engine is nearing completeness, dialogs and a quest system need implementing. Then we'll be able to slay our first 15 foxes for the lazy shepherd Osgar Lindquist. The following features all-ready work:


  • Fighting: Bash (monsters) and be bashed (by monsters)!

  • Items: Collect gold and pieces of wood from slain foxes!

  • Camping: Rest to regenerate health, energy and mana!

  • Leveling: Spend hours deciding on what stat to increase!


And this is where you come into play! Get the release. Timong is waiting for your bug reports, patches and feature requests! =D



The visual (and aural) and performance improvements that happened lately are pretty much wow. The terrain now looks very natural compared to earlier versions, there are new animated models, there is a tropical background sound loop. I created a rather long video that shows off some of the new features. (Direct download, 118 MB, recommended)



SF.net data mining (har har)


I'm currently working on a simple categorization of all the stable and or mature game-related projects hosted by SourceForge.net. Not fun. But the results will hopefully be.



I will try to learn from Edwart Tufte's The Visual Display of Quantitative Information (which should have shipped today) to create some nice graphical overviews. If you can recommend me a statistical data visualization application, please do!





Block Attack b.q. (before qubodup)

I started a theme for the Tetris Attack-clone block attack. The current status can be seen in this video. Criticism is welcome. :)



The LÖVE smiley competition, in which you can win an awesome comic book, will end in two weeks.



PS: our new-found friends at TIGSource are having a remakes competition. This contestant appears to be willing to release her Bootlet Bash's code and media as free code and art!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

26 Year Conquest for Brains

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Conquest (OpenGL)


I think I found the oldest open source game out. It's called Conquest. In development since 1982. That's kinda awesome.



It is a real-time, multi-player space warfare game. Both curses and OpenGL clients are provided. It looks a bit like 2D Star Trek ship battles (not stereotyping there, it just does).



So, want to be brainier? Well, Brain Workshop might just be the answer.



Brain Workshop is a free open-source Python implementation of the Dual N-Back mental exercise. This exercise is the only mental activity that is scientifically proven to improve your short-term memory and fluid intelligence (IQ). The game involves remembering a sequence of spoken letters and a sequence of positions of a square at the same time.


O_o



Remember Portalized? I kicked up a bit of a fuss over it several months ago. Well, it has it's own website and forums now, and seems to be coming on a bit. It's not yet open source :'( but a bit of positive encouragement might make that happen.



Random one: I thought these faces were quite cool (OpenTTD).



There's a new stable release for VDrift. I'm not sure that it's much different in terms of features to the last VDrift release as lately the development effort has been on a refactoring / rewrite of the code (which is progressing well).



Also Simutrans 100.0 aka 1.0 got released. This really snuck under the radar as it's a very good open source game and not very well known in comparison to OpenTTD, but it's totally Free Software - something the OpenTTD guys are trying to fix but have a lot more work to do on.



The Simutrans team lost their previous forum when switching from one host to another. Which means the Simutrans website is a bit broken (most information was kept in the forums, so many of the links now just don't work). The main issue with the stable 1.0 release is that there is no official release of pak128 (the hi-res graphics pack) for it, although you can try your luck with the nightly builds which does have a section for the latest version of pak128. I'll leave you with a video of Simutrans pak128 although watch out for the dodgy music:



Saturday, August 09, 2008

Ludum Dare 12 and jClassicRPG updates

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Ludum Dare 12 starts in three hours. There are three lists of hints for python game programmers who are going to join the competition: SolHSA’s, mrfun's and GBGames'. Hints that help you be resourceful, constructive and alive before, during and after the contest.



jClassicRPG is getting bigger, prettier and cooler.



By the way: Orbit-Hopper does work on my machine. Only the 1.16 build creates segfaults. 1.15 works fine. (Though suffers from extreme slowdown when I try to record it.)




OpenArena 0.8.0

Post Scriptum: OpenArena 0.8.0 has arrived in a bigger than 300 MB archive. It contains some new media and "mission packs"
Missionpack is basically the trademarkless codename of Quake III Team Arena game code and since we've completed the minimal essential assets for it in this version it's 'playable' to the extent where you can score points in Harvester, Overload and One Flag CTF nicely. Among the game types is the 'annoying voice system' where you press a key and it says stuff audibly.

I don't really understand, but will check it out in 2.5 minutes.



Post Scriptum 2: The Uzebox will apparently be completely free as in freedom. As this note appeared yesterday on the project's homepage:

Following many requests, all sources and schematics will be published by August 24th '08. That's pretty soon so stay tuned! And everything will be released under fully free, open source licenses...open software, open hardware...hope you enjoy!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Uzebox

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Behold! The Uzebox!

Uzebox is a retro and minimal game console, which supposedly will have an open architecture, driver and game soon. It is built for NES controllers and it's driver is written for NTSC. Take a look at this video to witness it's capabilities!




PURITY

It's now possible to play PURITY with pre-compiled maps! See this thread for instructions. Currently there is half a dozen of maps, on which you can roll around and figure out what the different attacks do. I found experimenting with the weapons very interesting and already developed some techniques for "get as fast as possible from this part of the map to that other part of the map."



Also, if you're into minimalistic art, you'll find PURITY to be a tool for creating some sexy screenshots. Hm... three dee canvas...



Radakan's team decided to use the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license for all of it's content. What joy! I'm still waiting for WorldTool's next release. Impatiently.



I just red that Nosslak, who contributed to OpenFrag before, offered his skill to the Radakan project. His motivation seems to be the slow progression of OpenFrag.



Did you know you can learn to create a game showing a picture of cheese in under five minutes? It's true! True, I tell you!



Also, I'm trying to create a snake-like game in Lua. I've been thinking about the concept in the last four days, but I have some kind of mental blockade which keeps me from sitting down and keep on writing these less than a hundred lines of code.




Commander Stalin

PS: Commander Stalin is a Bos Wars-based RTS with a ww2 theme. The music in the game is screaming "copyright infringement" - I wonder about the artwork.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Reading material

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I finally managed to compile and play Be The Wumpus (using the CVS version). I had some trouble finding out how the controls work, but then found out that you don't turn in 90-degree steps and that you have to attack (space) to make the humans squeak in fear. I immediately started hunting down and consuming those two-legged pieces of meat.



I am amazed by how this game appeals to your hunting instincts. It's also a game which will give you a break from ruining your eyes, as keeping them closed while playing makes it easier (and more fun). Now I just have to wait untill it's night, so I can go hunting at full darkness!




Orbit-Hopper split-screen

I tried playing Orbit-Hopper, but it appears that my outdated GeForce 5200 isn't enough. Which is a shame, I'd love to try a pretty and improved version of Skyroads. And Orbit-Hopper is supposed to be just that. It even has split-screen support and a level editor and I imagine both might be impressive.



Bughunter2 and Tranberry are working on Burning Dust, which will become a 2D RTS engine and then a game, using Hard Vacuum graphics. There's also a game design/brain storm document in the works.



Project Alexandria is a 2D gravity arcade space shooter containing some plot. I find the gravity part somewhat hard, but the overall game rather entertaining.



Justinnichol's sci-fi art, fonts and drawings are available under the Creative Commons Attribution license.




PURITY

PURITY is a minimalistic ioq3-based shooter and looks very interesting to me [video]. I was unable to try it, as there are no GNU/Linux binaries and the required GTKRadiant is not easy to compile.



A very resourceful discussion on managing free game projects was started by Brendan on the Dungeon Hack forums.



He explains that the most important rules for a game developing community are:



It also appears that Anna Kournikova is the biggest enemy of volunteer game projects because she will start dating your best coder, making him unavailable for the project.



Since I have started giving reading recommendations: this blog will knock your socks off! It's a news blog for the being-developed, non-free* MMO game "love".



You will be either impressed by the fresh ideas or by how nifty the author introduces his views, so that you are tricked into thinking he is so right, which at the same time makes you love his game, as it's design follows his views.



*I'm talking about this kind of free by the way.