Thursday, June 25, 2009

Some Puzzle Games

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FreeTumble is yet another "destroy adjacent same-color bricks" puzzle game but one of the better-looking and -sounding ones. Three modes of gameplay are provided, they can be seen as variation of the same game for different types of puzzle players or different hardness modes.

FreeTumble - I much like that there is a credits screen

Biniax-2 is an original puzzle game in which colors also play a role and which also is stronger on the visual side than your typical open source Tetris clone. It features a turn-based and continuous mode. The latter can be played with two players in a versus-game.

Biniax-2 (no sound)

Simon Tatham's Portable Puzzle Collection will help you if you're bored at the office or similar.

CreepSmash is a java-based multiplayer tower defense game. Have some videos of it too!

26 June 06:09 UTC PS: RubyWeekend #3 with the theme "A Tiny World" started a few hours ago. It's a 3-day open source ruby game programming competition.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Turn up the juice!

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Go Ollie

An open source platformer I missed yesterday is Go Ollie. It's easy to overlook, I mean, worms are not exactly a glamorous topic. Whilst I'm not sure about the license (somebody care to check? I'm busy!) the game itself is polished and fun. The controls are different to your typical platformer, where instead of moving and jumping your character directly, you select where he moves to with the mouse. Places that can be reached are highlighted, so it's about picking the right path and having the reflexes to do it quickly enough, which can be tricky on scrolling levels.

It seems to be a gift to the Linux community from game makers Tweeler. The graphics and presentation look professional. It's a great game for kids as well as a fun time waster for adults.

<update> Actually Go Ollie is by Charlie Dog Games, but Tweeler acts as a download host for the Mac/Linux version. Also, it is definitely open source - code is GPLv3 and artwork CC-by-sa with exceptions for logos. </update>


There's a new release of VDrift, the open source drift racing game. Version 2009-06-15 is a significant release for the project which sees it re-emerge from a massive refactor as a better game than before the refactoring began. Here's a list of the major changes since the last release, which was after the refactored code stabilized:

  • cars collide with each other in Single Race mode now

  • AI is capable of much faster driving now, so added a difficulty slider

  • off-road tire spin sound support (thanks to slowdan!)

  • support for H-gate shifters

  • improved performance

  • lots of huge bugs fixed, especially car physics bugs


In other racing game news, the TORCS Endurance World Championship 2009 was recently held. The full report found on a participants blog. From what I can gather, it's a long distance race (500km) where people enter their own robot drivers to see how they fare.

Base Command is a fully finished OGRE mini-game. It's a straightforward 3D protect-your-base game, where you shoot down incoming planes. What is interesting is the author has provided an analysis of the game code which would help people who are learning how to program.

Scourge map

My favourite Free software game Scourge enjoys continued progress. There's now an artistic map of the large island that is the game world. There's more information to be found in the 28th "Scourge Weekly" that tracks major developers on an almost-weekly basis. They are still looking for contributors.

There's also more juicy updates on PARPG progress. That project is looking very promising and they are working their way towards their first demo release. Given the coordination and generally high activity of that project, I'm optimistic there'll be something solidly playable before the end of the year. Our own Q put together a video showing where they are currently up to:

Other interesting updates are:

  • Lips of Suna's second release, version 0.0.2, which introduces destructible voxel terrain. Lips of Suna aims to be an innovative 3D online dungeon crawl.

  • The first beta of Leges Motus, a kind of gravityless 2D multiplayer shoot-em-up.

  • A new Palomino release, a lovely looking 3D flight simulator - see this Free Gamer article for more flight sims.

There's probably more... feel free to add updates in the comments below!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Platformer roundup

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I thought I'd check out how Super Tux development is going. I grabbed the lastest svn, compiled, and performance was so abominable that it took me a minute just to quit. It didn't help that it was placed half-off the screen (probably because I have a dual screen setup) Super Tux used to run fine. I'll hold my hands up and say I'm using an nvidia chipset and the open source driver without any significant OpenGL Acceleration, but it's a 2D game. I hope they work on some kind of OpenGL-less fallback.

Mole Invasion

One little-known but very promising platformer is Mole Invasion. The website is mainly in French, but there is a dedicated English page. The game language defaults to English. The current release is version 0.4, and the first thing you notice is the Mario-like logo; obviously the inspiration for the gameplay. The second thing you notice is the performance - it runs great. It's really smooth, the animations are good, the characters move well, and there's plenty of variation. A lot of the levels are obviously made with testing in mind, and some of the graphics are still a bit raw, but otherwise it was a fun experience.

Mole Invasion feels like it is headed in the direction that Super Tux should have been. I can't help but feel that Super Tux development has significantly lost it's way. The first few post-GotM releases of Super Tux were very promising, and very well received. That was now several years ago, and little has changed for the better, some questionable decisions (move to OpenGL), and new milestones seem on the other end of a development void.

The Legend of Edgar

There's a new Parallel Realities game out. The Legend of Edgar is a platform game with a fantasy setting. I had a go with 0.1, which is playable with a single player storyline. For me, it suffers from the same issues I have with Blob Wars: Metal Blob Solid - the movement is just way too slow. It takes many minutes to navigate levels to the point that exploring a level is just tedious as you wait for your character to amble his way around.

Remember Frogatto is a old-style platformer starring an anthropomorphic frog, championed by the lead developer of Battle for Wesnoth? It celebrates pixels and thrives on cute blocky graphics. There are updated Frogatto builds for Windows and Mac from the weekend, although pious Linux users must compile from source. I couldn't compile it. I had previously, and it was looking promising! Anybody else managed to compile it on Fedora?


The next version of Widelands - based on the classic RTS gameplay of Settlers II - is fast approaching. "Build 14" will come with GGZ support, making it much easier to find multiplayer opponents. Map auto-generation, lots of other small enhancements, more campaigns and a better beta testing phase should make this the Widelands release well worth playing.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

What planet are you on?

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Wesnoth Knight

Battle for Wesnoth continues to get stupendously good art contributions such as this series of Loyalist portraits.

Hot on the heels of Extreme Tux Racer 0.5beta, contributor and original Tux Racer developer Erin has introduced his rewrite to the world. Tentatively named Bunny Hill, the rewrite has a better design resulting in better performance, nicer graphics (in some ways, lesser in others) and more features. It looks like it will probably become ETR 0.6 once the dust has settled.

PARPG Weapons

PARPG is back from the dead. 3 weeks not blogging being 'dead' apparently. The project itself is thriving, with plenty of graphical creativeness whilst the coders assess their options for developing the game.

Unknown Horizons will have a new release very soon!

Widelands is getting randomly generated maps.

Simutrans Subways

It looks like Simutrans is getting subways, at least pak96.comic is anyway. Subterranean!

There'll be loads more updates to your favourite Free games but I don't have my finger on the pulse as much as I used to, so... them in the comments!

Update: the FreeOrion project released version 0.3.13 and it has a huge changelog.