Friday, September 30, 2011

Cross-Language Community(?)

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It recently came to my attention that over 24% of Simutrans forum posts are in languages other than English. Some posts (including a few jokes) later FreeGameDev had its first non-English board.


Simutrans Forum Post Languages

Should we really have a section on our board for non-English languages?


Pro:
  • Lurkers who would not post in English would have the chance to contribute in the international forum
  • Engaged non-English-speakers are likely to improve English skills over time, attracted by the larger community

Con:
  • People who might give English a try to contribute will use the international forum out of comfort instead, decreasaing growth of the English-speaking community
  • People who use English now, will use the international forum and contribute less to the English-speaking community
  • Moderators need to be found
It could also be that there will be no effect at all. We will add non-English forums if we find volunteer moderators as an experiment for a while and see where this leads us (few more details here).

If you would like to help moderate a language forum, please let us know in this thread.


English language map of the non-primarily English-speaking world [source by-nc-nd]

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

GJID

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GJID's first level

I have a hard time playing puzzle games when their only reward is getting to the next one. Consequently I'm usually not a fan of Sokoban games. Having a little or a lot of story bundled with the puzzle helps though.

In GJID you control a brave robot of the name GJID, who volunteered to recycle dangerous weapons from a cold war. In 14 levels you have to dispose of nuclear and disruptor weapons.

Movement controls reacts instantly and you are allowed to skip levels. There is no save function and no sound. The game runs in full-screen but thankfully does not resize the screen and scales instead. License: MIT

This version seems to be made for *nix only. ./configure && make allows to easily run the game.

From the README:

This is a clone of the eponymous DOS shareware game written in 92 by John Remyn. I spoke with John in 95, when the first version of this clone was made. He admired the 8-bit graphics (original game was done in 4-color CGA) and did not object to its existence. His email address has since expired and the few contact attempts I've made recently hit dead ends. The DOS game was $10 shareware and I include the original registration form in the README, in case you want to track John down and give him money for the excellent level design that make this game what it is.
Aside from being an entertaining puzzle, I also release this game as an example of using the XCB library for making X applications. XCB is the new lightweight replacement for Xlib that suffers from lack of documentation. This game demonstrates how to create small applications with it and also how to use RENDER for drawing text, tile sprites, and for hardware scaling of the 320x240 backbuffer.


GJID reminds me of another, even more story-driven Sokoban-style game with simple graphics: The Villany of Cat Food Inc.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Totally missed the Annex Beta 1 release :(

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Wow... can believe this myself, but after hyping this cool Megaglest mod a few times here on FreeGamer I totally missed their first release last month :(

Here as a reminder how cool Annex-Conquer the World looks:


Currently there is only a Windows port available, but a Linux version is promised for the next release... Edit: I was confused about the media licensing... more or less all the new assets are CC-by-NC-SA, which is as you might know not considered FOSS due to the NC clause. A pity really :-/

So... how was I reminded of this gem? Well check out this cool interview with the Megaglest developers from the Greek site OSArena (in English though) ;)

Now I am off booting into windows to have another round with Annex ;)


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

0AD Alpha 7 Geronium and more

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Act 1

In case you've been hiding under a rock or you rely on Free Gamer for your open source game updates (and we love you if you do), there has been another release of 0AD (announcement) the 3D historical RTS game.

Lots of improvements, including an all-new and unique Carthaginian civilization, a new main menu that moves, new music, new sound effects, new maps, and likely (although not mentioned) a lot of development and the fixes and subtle improvements to go with it.

This is going to be one of the marquee open source games soon. It has the potential for mainstream appeal that is missing from a Battle for Wesnoth, no matter how polished it becomes (and it is very, very polished these days).

Since becoming open source to help save the project from an ignominious end, development seems to have gone from strength to strength with a series of alpha releases each bringing the game one step closer to being a playable title.

Act 2

Also big news coming out of the Dungeonhack Godhead project - a new release! This is the first since a tech demo over 2 years ago. This release marks the beginning of a different direction for the project. They now use the Lips of Suna engine. It is early days but the new engine already has a lot of what a now-defunct rewrite was trying to achieve in that it is server-client based, and it is 3D and the world is deformable, and there is now a workflow to get ideas straight in to a game world, giving writers and artists more possibilities to see their work immediately applied. Still, early days, it was just a black screen for me (but this was Windows 7 x64 - boo) so we'll see if this can reverse the fortunes of a project that has struggled to maintain momentum from one release to the next.

Free Gamer approves of inter-project cooperation. Huzzah!

Act 3

Finally, lady and gentlemen, for your entertainment, a fun ninja platformer!

Shinobi Densetsu is created using the OpenSNC engine, proving it is not just limited to hedgehog-based games.

I used to leave a plate of milk out for hedgehogs when I was a kid. I also had to shift through mucky half-rotten piles of leaves to make sure none were hibernating in the base of a bonfire-to-be. True stories! I digress...

Video!

Huzzah!

Monday, September 19, 2011

FPS news

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Short one for today... I guess Charlie will make a longer post about the new 0 A.D. release later on (sorry to steal your thunder :p ).

So FPS news only from me today ;)

Irritant, the lead developer of AlienArena was so kind to inform us that a new release can be expected within a week.

Check the rest of the new screens-hots in the thread linked above.

Other that this? Well there is a rather interesting thread about a Tremulous art update mod called Tremz in the official Tremulous forums.
More cool WIP screens can be seen here. Quite amazing progress given that is has been started only recently.

Oh, and the lead developer of the OpenWolf project joined our forums and posted a bunch of rather nice screen-shots and some background info from this ET:Wolf engine update project.
So if you have some questions regarding this project, fire away!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Adamant Armor Affection Adventure (and more) open sourced

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Adamant Armor Affection Adventure

The quadruple-A block-style story-based, sneaky-action pandora game Adamant Armor Affection Adventure is now GPLed. Along with it some other games for that platform by the same author (AAA for one [video]) were open sourced.

Sources can be downloaded here (AAAA) and here (other games).

 

 Much more info about the releases along with some internet drama history can be read in this post.

I'm not sure about the assets and their license, there seem to be none included in the tarballs.

/me requesting Linux desktop ports

Friday, September 16, 2011

Slipstream Vehicle Simulation

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The author of Techne has a new project:
Slipstream is a free racing vehicle simulator trying to be physically accurate and fun to play at the same time! Contrary to most simulators out there it's not designed around a single type of vehicle. It should be able to support anything from a bicycle to a car or anything else that can be driven around on a racetrack for that matter.
Help is requested on the content-side:
 The graphics are still very primitive I'm afraid but they get the job done at least. Making Slipstream pretty is still a high priority but I doubt I'll be able to create decent track and vehicle models myself. If you're an artist and want to participate in making a great racing simulator please drop me a line [dpapavas@gmail.com].
 

Monday, September 12, 2011

Summer Shorts 2 + Screens

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Unknown Horizons Player Scores...

gscai of the real-time colony building simulation Unknown horizons wrote a short player-view summary of how the game's artificial intelligence works.

libtcod's project browser filter

libtcod, an advanced toolkit for roguelikes now has an online browser for projects using it that allows to apply filters.

Tactical battle in Hale

I stumbled over Hale, an RPG described as having "deep tactical combat system and storyline".

The project seems to use freely licensed assets, which is a great. I hope that the GUI will receive a makeover (using a pastel background color and killing the 1995'ish 3d button/border look does wonders).

Example sound visualization at Freesound 2.0

Freesound went 2.0! CC-BY and CC0 as license options! (Unfortunately CC-BY-NC as well). Sampling+ remains for legacy sounds where authors have not switched to a modern license. Read the announcement here.

Six-legged vehicle in Xonotic

Xonotic 0.5 brings new maps, vehicles and multi-language support. Many more details can be found in their annoucnement post.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Wazzal (dx8 game) open sourced!

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Wazzal in space

Wazzal is a single-player role-playing space trading and combat game that features a compact plot, ship-boarding mini-fights and allows to switch control between ships during team battles.


The recently open sourced game was made by Ville Mönkkönen of Instant Kingdom (IK). He is responsible for excellent freeware games including Notrium and is currently working on a for-pay top-down fantasy RPG.


IK community member Amarth shared some insight about what it would take to make Wazzal run on modern operating systems:
It will be a lot of work. DirectX calls (Windows only) are sprinkled all around the code. Then there are some references to the win32 api, though not many when compared with the DX ones. There are probably also some non-standard C++ Visual Studio-only things going on, but that shouldn't be too hard to fix either. DirectX is the big problem here.It also needs to be done, because Wazzal is written with the DirectX 8 library, which seems to be no longer supported in any way by Microsoft.

It's positively impossible to find the headers and libraries needed to compile this at Microsoft. I haven't tried other locations yet. It's probably not impossible to find, but who knows how well supported old libraries will be on newer versions of Windows...
The license for both code and assets is a very permissive one and likely to be compatible with MIT/zlib/3-BSD (and CC-BY for assets):
10 You are allowed to use the game source files and the included resource files in any way you wish, I only ask that you retain this license and credit me.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

DungeonHack/Godhead Demo Ultimatum

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DungeonHack aka Godhead imposed an ultimatum on itself: two weeks for finishing a gameplay demo using the Lips of Suna engine.


Should the demo not be finished by that time, the development team will commit Seppuku.

Just kidding. :)

It's refreshing to see an open project put some pressure on itself. I'm looking forward to the results of this.

Friday, September 02, 2011

GeneticInvasion : a brand new Tower Defence

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Hi! I'm here to show you a new game that I'm working on: GeneticInvasion

It's Tower Defence game, but it has something special: it uses evolutionary algorithms.
The idea of evolutionary algorithm is to use darwin theory to solve problems:
  • We generate random solution to the problem.
  • We evaluate them.
  • We take some of the better ones, apply random mutations to them, and generate an offspring from them.
  • The child replaces their parents in the solution population to form a new generation.
  • And we do this, again and again, until we find a solution that is good enough.
Well, in GeneticInvasion, the problem, is you. So enemies evolve in order to crush you.


We used a real evolutionary computation library called EO to make this game. The library is being used for many serious projects.

So, you heard me, an army of colorful enemies are trying to eliminate you, don't just sit here, fight!

Some notes:

  • For the first time since we began to develop it, the game is now interesting to play. That means that it's neither too easy nor too hard to play.
  • I also added 3 levels that are supposed to be sorted by difficulty.
  • There is a medal system, so you can try to get gold on all 3 of them. (I failed to get the gold medal on the third one through :P)
  • There are no binaries, if someone is feeling like doing some, please contact me.
  • The game is theoretically compatible with at least GNU/Linux, Windows and Mac OS but has only been tested on GNU/Linux. You'll need SFML, EO and Glu to build it.
  • Please send us your remarks and comments.!


Also, I'd like to thanks OpenGameArt and the artists that contribute it, without them our game would probably had hand-drawing art, and we suck at it. (Also many thanks to ozzed who did the music on Jamendo)

Official website: GeneticInvasion   Controls for playin the game