Thursday, October 27, 2011

Multitouch RTS gaming

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Back from holidays... and no new post on the blog in the mean time??? qudobup is getting lazy :p

So before we lose all our loyal readers (e.g. the blog authors themselves *chirp* *chirp*), here a quick update:

Zero-K, the Spring-Engine using RTS game, got a bunch uf new releases lately... all the way up to version 0.8.13.1 by the time of writing this. Try it out if you liked Total Annihilation back in the days :D

However, the main reason for me writing about this is the cool multi-touch (tablet) interface someone coded for the spring engine and showcased with Zero-K:


Still a bit rough around the edges as you can see... but this shows that RTS games might have a bright future on tablet-pcs!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Garden of colorful projects

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Found this nice abstract shooter over at LGDB a few days ago:


As you can see, a nice piece of bullet-hell... just the music isn't as catchy as the one from Aleste (*sneeks in old-school gaming reference*).

In totally unrelated news, the guys (and gals?) from the open-source MMORPG Planeshift have started a small PR project called "Free Game Alliance" to promote theirs and other high profile open-source games. You can read some comments from our forums about it here... but all the nagging aside, I sure hope something good comes out of this!
Oh and Planeshift itself seems to be coming along quite nicely also... hadn't checked their progress in ages...

Another project whose developers show some serious long term commitment, is AlienArena, which just got a major update to version 7.52 and is now also easily available via the Desura Linux beta ;) Check out the change-log here.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Double 0.7.4: Pingus and M.A.R.S.

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No screenshot of Pingus 0.7.4

Version 0.7.4 of Pingus introduces an array of changes:

Content:

  • New levelsets, "Desert" and "Factory Campaign" (27 new levels in total)
  • This is the first use of the desert and factory graphics in official levels

Gameplay:

  • Deadly fall height increased
  • Digger/Miner/Basher paths cleanup

Features:

  • Demo recordings/playback re-implemented (32bit/64bit not compatible)
  • --usedir parameter added (useful for portable play)
  • Unicode support added
  • Option menu added

Usability:

  • Window can be resized in-game
  • Soundcard dependancy removed
  • Man page added

Look:

  • Level dimensions now suit 1920x1200 resolution
  • Anti-aliasing added to bitmap fonts

Performance:

  • Software rendering improved
  • OpenGL rendering option added

Other:

  • Editor enhancements
  • Fixes

Good Old Colorful M.A.R.S. (0.7.4)



0.7.3 and then 0.7.4 of M.A.R.S. were relesed:

  • New speacial
  • New weapon
  • Dutch, Mongolian and Norwegian languages added
  • In-game speed settings

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Ren'Py Visual Novels

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So a while ago we were asked on our forums why we never featured any games done with the open-source Visual Novel engine Ren'Py... which I pretty much dismissed in my mind with "prfff... those are not games anyways" :D
But well... a small competition over at the very nice Linux Gaming News blog asking which game engine actually had the most Linux compatible (and often at least freeware) games released so far, got me thinking about this again as with literally hundreds of games available on-line, we shouldn't simply dismiss this genre outright, I guess.

Screen-shot from the Ren'Py game Katawa Shoujo
Luckily, I do watch Anime from time to time, so I wasn't completely "out of the loop" so to say and thought "if tentacle p*** didn't kill me, I am up for anything" (except for 4chan's /b/ :D ). And at least in Japan, Visual Novels are a pretty big thing, with "next-gen" console releases, high quality movie adaptions and millions of players/readers (as an rather good example "Stein's Gate" could be mentioned).

However Visual Novels do have a certain prejudice attached to them, that most are all about school-girl dating sims or worse e.g. so called "eroge" surprisingly often also meant for a female audience, including boy-boy scenes o_o
And after digging into the scene a bit, I have to admit those prejudices are somewhat correct *slowly wanders off and wonders why he even bothered*

Screen-shot from the FOSS Visual Novel @Camelia Girls
But, that doesn't mean there aren't some good/interesting ones (for example this one), and the Ren'Py engine allows for some pretty awesome interactive storytelling (also on your Android powered device)... so lets not judge a tool by some of its user.
Besides that... it is perfectly feasible for a one man (or woman) team to succeed in creating a great Visual Novel, which can't be said for most other game genres. So if you have an awesome story to tell, and writing a book isn't your thing... well maybe making a Visual Novel is (the programming involved is rather simple... no worries ;) ). Interested? Well head over to the LemmaSoft Visual Novel development forums and dive right into this rather strange sub-culture :p


Tuesday, October 04, 2011

GunFu Deadlands 1.01: Performance Up!

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GunFu Deadlands title screen

GunFu Deadlands, a quick, atmospheric retro keys+mouse top-down shooter for Win/Osx/Lin has been updated (1.01) to run with LÖVE 0.7.2 and the development codebase moved from Subversion to Git.

The game plays perfectly fine on a ASUS EeePC 1000H netbook running Arch Linux 32bit. A previous version (don't remember which) was extremely slowly. I can't tell whether the playable speed is thanks to improvements of GFD, love2d or perhaps the drivers for my netbook but if you've had performance trouble with the game in the past, try again!

Note: if you get shot in the title screen and start the game before respawning, you will be able to walk through walls.

This is the first update of GunFu Deadlands since the 1.0 release 22 months ago.


By the way, did you know that GunFu Deadlands is one of the 250 Indie Games You Must Play?

PS: I got word from the developer about the performance increase:


Just for your interest, I made some measurements and it seems that the speed increase is indeed dramatic: 55% faster.

I computed the mean FPS rate by measuring the time it takes to render 1000 frames in-game and dividing 1000 by this number. The formula (FPS_faster_version - FPS_slower_version) / FPS_slower_version is what produced this 55%.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Summer Shorts #3

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"Summer?" you ask? Well.. I'ts warm in Berlin.*
Also a warning: this article is 80% development, 31.5% art and 18% games.

Cross-language forums so far

FreeGameDev Forums now have Spanish and Swedish/Danish/Norwegian subforums. Should we add some more? Read this then write here.

OpenClonk old and new terrain rendering

The 2.0 OpenClonk release brings higher resolution for the terrain, which makes the game look a lot better. Read the full changelog here.


Blendswap entries. Amazing.


Check out the Blendswap Military Vehicles Contest entries:

I'm amazed. But that's just me. I have a thing for mechs. Alot even.

WebGL lessons. Freely licensed too.

Did anybody know of these CC-BY-SA-licensed WebGL tutorials? This dog told me about them.

"Hacking" 8-hour prototypes: Hubwar and Nodehack

* Speaking of Berlin, Germany. There was a little game dev jam in Berlin . Two of the prototypes are open source! (Hubwar and Nodehack)