Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Evidyon, HackWars, and SlothRPG: FreeGamer MMO Time!

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So, here we go! First post from scary old uncle TheAncientGoat ;)



Evidyon, MMO from Reddit-way




Evidyon
Evidyon is an interesting 3D MORPG recently gone Open Source under the advice of the reddit community, releasing a whole slew of content, tutorials and documentation of how they went about making it in the process. This is a very admirable move, we'll all agree, so show them some love. Unfortunately, it's windows only, relying on DirectX (not VB though, thanks for the fix Nerrad), and I haven't gotten it running under Wine as of yet, but hopefully a few smart alecs can help port it.



Like most other mmo's it has a fantasy setting, as you can see in the screenshot and video, it also sports a Diabloesque style of combat







HackWars: MMO where you craft by programming




HackWars
Here's one for you scriptmonkies, Hackwars, a Java MMO where you play as a hacker (or cracker, more accurately), breaking into pcs by attacking their ports for massive damage. An interesting aspect of this game is its crafting system, you program your own programmes, either in Javascript or the game's built in HackScript, to make scripts that either help you fight or just entertain you. It has both a 2d and 3d interface.



This was also found via reddit and the author wrote some pretty interesting commentary on developing such a game (which you'll see if you follow that link). Also, why not post upcoming FOSS games on our little corner of redditOpenSourceGames and we'll try and cover them if we have the time.







SlothRPG





SlothRPG
SlothRPG is a fantasy 2D MUD -like RPG, also written in Java. It has recently been re-invigorated, so it's worth checking for updates. Unfortunately it doesn't have any servers online at the moment, so you'll have to host your own if you want to check it out

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cube2: Is it finally taking off?

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Ahh, qudobup and Charly are back and posting. Lots of interesting news even for me!
So what can I add to this? Well first of all I forgot to mention this awesome TBS in my last post: UFO2000, which is of course like UFO:AI a clone of a very well known series.
And I should have also mentioned Stellar Forces which is a remake of Laser Squad :)

Cube2 Engine


So as you might have guessed todays topic will be the Cube2/Sauerbraten engine, which besides being a mighty fine game on its own, has also spawned some great offspring projects lately. Blood Frontier has been mentioned before and since there have not been any new releases since then I will keep it short and just mention this video review which gives you an idea of the game play. But check it out if you have not done so yet!

Platinum Arts Sandbox


Plantinum Arts Sandbox has also been mentioned here before, and could be quickly described as a game development platform aimed at kids (and adults), utilizing all the nice in game editor features the Cube2 engine offers (and more).

Recent news are that they are hosting a nice contest , they have also just announced a new version. And besides offering the usual amount of fixes and updates, it now boasts a really nice 2D platformer template for you to create new games:



Furthermore they have templates for RPG projects and for wanna be film makers a new tool called movie cube (movies made with game engines are also called Machinima for those unfamiliar with the term).

Syntensity


Syntensity is a project quite similar to the one mentioned above, albeit with a more mature focus. Their feature list is long and even though still under heavy development it is starting to be a really nice tool for game developers.

And besides the fact that we are happy to announce that they have chosen our network for hosting their community forums, they have also recently released a really nice new game template called Razanak:



So check it out via the Syntensity lobby (the mod gets dowloaded automatically when you enter the corresponding portal), and see for yourself what a powerful game making tool Syntensity has become.









Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bitfighter, "Cat Sokoban", JVGS, pseudoform, Gun-Fu Deadlands, Hex-a-Hop, racr.. and YouTube overkill

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All subscribers to the FGD Planet feed (RSS/Atom) probably would want to add this feed. We split the planet into a game news planet and a development news planet. The latter contains game developer blogs and game engine news.

Bitfighter is a no-gravity multi-player 2-D combat game with a cool name, cool looks, good controls and a quick way to get started. I like the visual style a lot too. (Which reminds of Word War vi by the way.) Unfortunately I was unable to compile on my 64-bit desktop so far (only on my 32-bit netbook).

The video recording qualities of my portable device are weak, so the video I recorded is .. broken. It plays 3x faster than it is supposed to. What you see in it is me flying on an empty server at 500ms latency, trying out the the "mines" and the "burst" weapons.

A game with an even more awesome name is The Villany of Cat Food Inc., which introduced on our forums as a little puzzle game, which I found to be a sokoban-like with interesting and weirdly cute story.

JVGS is the latest game brainchild of the author of Fall of Imiryn. It is a black and white "poem platformer" meaning you (sometimes) jump on platforms made of words -_-. The style is based on xkcd while the levels are based on .svg files - they are pre-rendered for use in the game though. The feeling is melancholic.. The controls are... not polished.. The video has been recorded...

Pseudoform.. aka portalized. aka Open Source Portal. It looks impressive! The game relies on non-free physics and sound libraries but the developers wish to change that. They are also thinking about using the Cube2 engine (although Cube2's main developer considers adding decent physics to his engine as equally challenging as creating an own engine).

Ah Gun-Fu Deadlands (GFD), you are pain, but even more pleasure, simple and forgiving but non-forgiving also. It is a specimen of retro 2D graphics wild west keyboard-move, mouse-aim game. One shot and you die but you also have unlimited lives and unlimited bullets. The lovely piece uses LÖVE. (Version 0.5, so watch your back!) It Is pretty much fantastic and well-received, according to the comments made on GFD's forum.

Do you like to stalk? Gun-Fu Deadlands' dad can be spotted in this photo!

Two years have passed since this blog last mentioned Hex-a-Hop. The project now has new developers (the original author disappeared it seems) and some sounds have been added to the game. The following might be the first recording of the game with sound/music! Who knows, maybe it will convince you to try it if you have not yet...

Are you a fan of Trophy and/or Racer and sad about these two not developing further [BEEP Racer's last release was 24th Dec 2009, shame on my research!] or do you just like top-down racing games? Maybe the new, early-development racr will give you hope.

I have something rather off-topic for you: a 5-headed team that is working on a audio editor and a video editor is looking for #6 in San Francisco, USA. Both their products are rather minimal so far. Let's call this news content-creation-related. :)

By the way: Having problems with the YT videos? I found youtube-dl to be an excellent tool for downloading videos for off-line/no-lag/no-flash-crash-risk watching of videos. `youtube -bt URL1 URL2 ...` will download the best quality and use titles in file names.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Speed Dreams, Racer, irrlamb, Violetland

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Speed Dreams (SD, formerly known as TORCS-NG) is a fork of TORCS with the aim to

implement exciting new features, cars, tracks and AI opponents to make a more enjoyable game for the player, as well as constantly improving visual and physics realism.

Now I'm not a racing game fan and so the biggest change I noticed between SD and TORCS is the menu look in which the fork really shines. See my comparison over here.

Anyways, I recorded a video. Please excuse my driving un-skills :)

Racer has been making some progress. You can now play player-vs-player (there is no way of 'winning' though) and the levels have been improved as far as I can tell. If you have some ideas to share for this sci-fi racing game in the works, please do comment on their group!

After quite a while, another version of irrlamb has been released! It takes away the old (in my opinion very original) levels and instead presents polished graphics, a friendly tutorial and two skateboard arenas.

I tried the um.. "top-down zombie shooter with rpg elements, I guess" violetland and was impressed by how much fun I had! Its simple gameplay is well-supported by the cool music. I have been playing a match of this fun action-rpg now and then.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Happy Gnu Year

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I know it's a corny title but, hey, it doesn't hurt to occasionally pay homage to the movement that preceded what we now know as 'open source'.



2010. Could be a good year!



We have a revamped FreeGameDev forum. It was a big spanner in the works when the previous forum got lost, but in the long term it may have been a blessing in disguise. Now the forum is better organized, using more recognised software, and has a very nice theme designed by Qubodup.



I encourage project maintainers reading this post to go straight to the Project Showcase & Collaboration area and share your hard work with us and the community so that more people can learn of your games.



The FreeGameDev Planet has also since returned, also looking better with a new theme by the dedicated Qubodup. And let's not forget the FreeGameDev Wiki, the place to point any budding open source game developer.



I'd also like some feedback on another idea - an open source games subreddit. This would allow easier submission of game updates or news from anybody. It is moderated, so shouldn't fill up with spam. Since it is part of reddit, it may also result in massively increased exposure for popular submissions. It can also be themed, but there's no point putting effort into that if it's not something that'll get used, so... feedback! :-)



I'd also like to thank Julius for some good articles during a quiet period for Qubodup and myself, and long may it continue - Julius' contributing, that is, not the quiet period! I like to think that the blog does serve a purpose and the more quality content the better.



Well, I hope you have a productive year, and that we get to enjoy the many open source game updates that are going to occur. There are some good ones already that have slipped in during the festive season, but that's for another day!



 - C