Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Pink Pony 1.2.1

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Pink Pony 1.2.1

I wanted to write about Pink Pony for a long time, but never came around to it. It's a Tron-like racing game and features hearts, ponies (also ai-controlled ones), graphic shaders and split-screen multiplayer support. Your aim is to collect hearts and to not run into your foes' trails. Last pony standing wins!


Download it for Win32 or as an easy-to-compile source tarball.


Unfortunately, the game does not support older graphics cards. If you are capable and willing to add legacy support, you can find the source repository here. If you have ideas for more features, please post them (or just comment this blog article).



Pink Pony development was not a one-man ride: While the game concept and code is by ginkgo, tornado created the pony model and textured it, then Skorpio added animation to the pony. A sky render by brisingre is used in the game and I contributed two textures to it. Edit: I forgot to add that MCMic programmed the AI and that Renich's music is used.


I believe that Pink Pony now is the best child-friendly open source game, regarding visuals and gameplay. Most free software games friendly for kids I know try to be education software. Then again, maybe I should give Tux Racer another try.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Just a small puzzle game update: Zaz 0.2.6

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Zaz 0.2.6

Zaz is a puzzle game, a 'clonespiration' of Zuma, one of PopCap's notorious proprietary (casual) games. You are confronted with a stream of differently colored balls and have to put three of the same type next to each other to destroy them. There are power-ups, you're under time pressure, you have to aim, that's fun actually.


The game has nice music and good sounds, though I couldn't find author information on any of the game data. EDIT: Ha, I looked in the source directory, but not on the menu screen! So gfx & sound is by Remigiusz Dybka (who also programmed the game) and I guess it's GPL3-ed. The music tracks are (remixed?) CC-BY-NC-SA Nine Inch Nails music.


What I'm *very* much impressed with is that the game has a in-game menu to create a recording of a game you played! It even captures audio! Usually I use glc for recording video/audio in OpenGL games.


When you record a game using Zaz' internal recorder, it creates a Vorbis/Theora .ogv file. Only problem is that you can't do anything while the recording process (you have to watch the replay, while it records and can't even switch to another window) See an example video that I recorded below.




PS: Since I'm a big wuss when it comes to playing puzzle games in which you have to aim games, I have a wish for Zaz (besides nice background images :) ) and that is to have an indicator, what ball will be affected by me pressing or releasing the mouse button. I don't like aligning the Grappling hook with the balls. :|

Monday, August 17, 2009

Snippets and whippets

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Complete Annihilation


Apparently the Spring mod Complete Annihilation is rather good, although it's about to be renamed and not quite fully free of its ties to the original Total Annihilation content. The goal is to be totally Free. And it's pretty complete(ish) as a game already. There's lots of lovely screenshots.



Glest Advanced Engine 0.2.12 got released. They also got a Sourceforge project for GAE.


Q3Rally


Fun racing games are always, er, fun. Well, in demand as well. So maybe Q3Rally can strike a chord with the Free gaming public? Apparently the original Quake Rally was the best Quake mod ever, although it was never completed and all that is left of it is Quake Rally: Leftovers. There's plenty of maps and cars and it is billed as a mod for OpenArena so should be totally Free. \o/



Here's a promotional video for Q3Rally that makes it look rather ooo aaah:





Dark Phear, a classic Phantasy Star-like RPG, as reported in the Ubuntu forums. Go there for links, screenshots, and more information.



Oolite, the Elite cloney-but-better game, is getting purty with shaders it seems.




The Privateer Gemini Gold team have been fairly quiet but work is ongoing and the next version will contain much better videos / graphics to make it even more immersive. Some of it can be seen on their youtube channel although the videos are currently just very short showcases.

Monday, August 10, 2009

An example of why a license matters

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Simutrans


OpenTTD OpenGFX

Why is OpenTTD now in Fedora 10/11 but Simutrans is not? The former has been only playable with Free media since some time this year - and the media is still incomplete - whereas the latter has been Free for years now? Is it because somebody requested it?



Digging (and by digging I mean Googling) to some it seems that Simutrans media is unclearly licensed. Download the official (currently r102) version of Simutrans and it comes with two licenses - one copy of the 'artistic license' and a 'copyright notice' that states:



"Simutrans may not be sold or modified in any way without
written permission by the author.


Which license applies to which part of the game? I guess you can make assumptions but it really should be clearer. The artistic license applies to the source, the custom NC / no modification license to the media. OpenTTD is about to get many 1000s more players by being in big distributions. Simutrans is going to continue in its role of shadowing OpenTTD by being the transport tycoon game that hardly anybody knows about and it is somewhat self inflicted.



Do you want your Free game to be played by as many people as possible? License it clearly and explicitly, and push for inclusion in mainstream distributions. And don't use a custom, restrictive license. Go with something that is compatible with mainstream distributions like a creative commons license.



Friday, August 07, 2009

Update 379

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Todays date is 07/08/09 if you're not a silly yank (m/d/y wha'?) and it made me think about how long the blog has been going. 379 posts... quite a lot! It's been a while since I started doing this blog. Who knows how far it'll go before life moves on, eh?



I originally started out to make a place that documented all the worthwhile Free software game projects. I stumbled a bit along the way - the original version of the blog (for those who don't remember) had a nice list down the side. Now we just have this broken old page that is too much of a PITA to edit and update. Hopefully one day I'll find the time and energy to sort it out properly.



Without a good central resource* of worthwhile projects, it can be easy for things to get lost in the Internet haze. People complain about a lack of polished FOSS games but there's more out there than you realise, even if some are still in active development. Then there's those that probably fell by the wayside because they just failed to penetrate the public view.



Update: as commentor Bram points out, Libregamewiki is a pretty decent resource, although not ideal - it misses comments, ratings, tagging, features to make it easier to get straight to the content you are looking for.



Update2: there is also the list of Complete open source games on the FreeGameDev wiki, but this omits many projects that are very promising and playable.



Shotgun Debugger is a fun, polished, top down GTA-style action game. It's well done, although I didn't get too far, because I'm a busy bee y'know.



People often lament the lack of FOSS single player 3D RPGs. Arbarlith II happens to be one of those although I haven't played it so have no idea how well done or how deep or how long the game is. It looks interesting though!



Lips of Suna is a very ambitious MORPG (not typo). If beautiful graphics and destructible voxel terrain don't appeal to you, then the developer focusing on gameplay must be applauded.




Grumbel's Mech


Linwarrior 3D is a mech warrior game that's been in slow and steady development since 1999. The mech models are a bit low detail, but it is a playable game. The website is one ad-ridden atrocity with no recent information on it, and no screenshots of the later versions other than some mosaic.



Qubodup put together a video of it.



I wonder if they know of and could make use of Grumbel's mech model and his other FreeMech concepts?



Speaking of long running projects, the Combat Simulator Project seems quite active at the moment (look at the project page and forums). Love planes? Love fighter planes? Get involved.



Knights (or Amiga Knights if happypenguin.org is to be believed) is a 2 player action/quest game. It looks fun, I might try to play it with my son some time.




Crimson Space


Crimson Space is a very interesting looking Elite-style 3D space trading game. Sadly development seems to have ceased circa 2002, but not before the developer implemented the ability to enter the atmosphere of planets and skim the oceans. This is the first time I encountered this game and purely by chance (linked as a 'similar project' on a Sourceforge project of mine). It's a shame development stopped and you have to wonder, if it had the kind of buzz Vega Strike has enjoyed, where it might be now had development been ongoing.



If I ever do a sequel to the Top 10 Projects To Revive (I'm collecting another list) then Crimson Space is sure to be in it.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Clonk open sourced and Free Gamer ceil(foss games)

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Clonk


Clonk got open sourced! Welcome OpenClonk. Clonky! It seems to be the indie game fashion at the moment what with 0AD and all. What is Clonk?



Clonk is a multiplayer-action-tactic-skill game. It is often referred to as a mixture of The Settlers and Worms.


So, the Clonk developers open sourced it, but since backwards compatability is a big problem for them, they ditched all Clonk content and are asking the community to contribute new game content. Judging by the forum, the community looks very active, it's a case of 'watch this space' I guess.





The above video is the "Clonk Rage" trailer. I got the impression this is what has been open sourced although I'm not sure how of the levels/content came with it, if at all. Perhaps somebody could check out the source and see where it is up to?



Anyhoo... so, Ceil... round up... get it?



Despite the lack of Free Gamer activity, the FOSS game scene is as active as ever.



Some new releases that should have been mentioned earlier:





I probably should make more of a fuss over Yo Frankie! than I do - it does look absolutely stunning as you can see in the following video - and it could yet become an important starting platform for creating other types Free games using it's materials and gameplay as a foundation:





Well, so, that's some stuff we already knew about, but what about some things we don't?



Skyscraper: A first-person 3D virtual building simulator. Perhaps not a game. I report, you decide.



Wesnoth + Bloodbowl + a blender = Wesbowl! It's early days (0.1 alpha) but good to see somebody having a bash.



Grandwing is a game being developed to be similar in gameplay to the game Spyro the Dragon.



And world's worst website award goes to... *drumroll* ...ok, I'm not going to say its the worst, but the site for YSFlight (an open source flight sim) has to be a contender.



Toodlepip!