Sunday, July 13, 2014

Duck Marines, FOSS remake of ChuChu Rocket

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Thanks to Tangram Games for pointing out to us that they just released version 1.0 of their local multiplayer game Duck Marines.

They describe it as:

Duck Marines is a cross-platform free software PC remake of Sonic Team’s ChuChu Rocket.
Duck Marines attempts to recreate the magic from the local multiplayer of ChuChu Rocket while adding new elements like mini games, a level editor, colorful pixel art and more.
But see for yourself:



For those not familiar with the original on the Dreamcast here is a small description of the gameplay:
The goal of the game is to get as many ducks into the submarine of your color. Gray ducks give you one point, gold ducks give multiple points and pink ducks will trigger an event or mini game.
Guide the ducks towards your submarine by placing arrows on the ground. When walking over an arrow ducks will instead walk in the direction the arrow is pointing.
Beware of the blue predators. Predators love to eat ducks and will kill a large number of your ducks if they reach your submarine. Try instead to guide the predators to the other players’ submarines using your arrows.
Source-code (zlib) can be found here, assets are licensed under the CC-by-NC-SA/ND. Build with the great Lua 2D game framework LÖVE by the way.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

DevCorner: GameDevelop goes open-source

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Thanks to GamingOnLinux for pointing out that this crossplattform *no-programming* 2D game development suite has gone fully FOSS.
It can export games to HTML5 and native code (x86 Linux and Windows).

Read the original announcement here. The github repository is here.

License infos:

  • The IDE (in the IDE folder) is licensed with GPL v3. 
  • The Core library, the native and HTML5 platforms (respectively Core, GDCpp and GDJS folders) are LGPL v3. 
  • Extensions (in the Extensions folder) are using zlib/libpng license. 
  • The name, Game Develop, and its logo are the exclusive property of Florian Rival.
Here is a small video to get you started:


& you can find some example games here.
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By the way: I also recommend to have another look at the Godot engine which has had many improvements since it became open-source a few months ago.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Winner of the Linux Game Awards PotM July 2014 announced!

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See full announcement here.



Congrats to Unvanquished, they are doing a great job for sure!

While they won by a clear lead, the follow-up projects are also very much worth mentioning:

Saturday, June 28, 2014

May the source be with you

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I'm a big advocate of the phrase, "Release Early, Release Often." I think it is by far the best way to keep or gain community interest in a project.

Of course, that simple phrase doesn't quite sum up what you actually must do - simply uploading a release and announcing it on your mailing list is unlikely to attract interest. For example, who knew about Lincity-NG 2.9beta in lieu of the intended Lincity-NG 3.0?

Lincity-NG is in a bit of a mini-crisis. A victim of the shutdown of the Berlios developer services, all the web material is in a bit of a mess. Its home page is now on fedorahosted.org but still links back to the defunct Berlios page. There are entries on Google Code and Github that are up to date with the source, as well as an imported Sourceforge project* which is the only place you can currently find the beta, however all are unofficial / back up for now.

(* Not to be confused with this redundant redundant project)

Another game project which suffered was Battles of Antargis. It has re-emerged on Github and development seems to have resumed with C++ replacing the Ruby bits which previously encumbered the game. For a web presence, you have to use the Internet archive for its old Berlios page or external sites e.g. the LGBD entry or on Libregamewiki.

Battles of Antargis
It's not just Berlios that throws a spanner in people's works. Sourceforge has setback the oft-setback Extreme Tux Racer by closing down their hosted apps. The main communication medium was phpBB but now it is completely gone. They did manage to get an updated 0.6.0 release online before this, at least.

Since there doesn't appear to be any project communication channel for ETR, I have contacted them suggesting a FreeGameDev forum.

Speaking of FGD forums, there's plenty of activity amongst the projects there. Stunt Rally continues to gain more strings to its bow. Sci-fi hovercrafts! That ought to be interesting. Despite being one of the prettiest open source games and incredibly put together almost by one person, CryHam - well, not quite; it took VDrift's physics and Ogre3D's jazz - the project doesn't seem to get the attention it deserves.

Sci-fi overcrafts now in Stunty Rally
You can browse the tracks online. Check out this fun looking track with pyramids and chasms galore.

Another project gaining momentum is OpenDungeons. It's had its ups and downs, but seems to have gotten its footing now with regular test releases and several active contributors. The new website is coming along, but more importantly so is the game as especially Yohann Ferreira aka Bertram (of Valyria Tear fame) has come in and steadied the ship. I look forward to seeing creatures like this golem trudging dark, damp and dangerous dungeon corridors.

Of course the reality of open source game development is that it is not an overnight job. It takes years of perseverance to realise the goals of many projects. Over the course of that time, occasionally the rug may get pulled from under you. You just have to be prepared to dust yourself off, get up, and keep going.

Or you could just call it quits.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

OpenRA also has a new release

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OpenRA is a Free Software recreation of the famed Command & Conquer engine, and it aims to support and enhance all Westwood games originally built upon it, namely Tiberian Dawn, Red Alert, and Dune 2000. However, unlike most engine remakes, OpenRA isn't a simple 1:1 recreation with a little streamlining here and there, as the project also aims to optimize and rebalance the gameplay for purposes of online multiplayer. The project has recently released the latest stable version, fixing a lot of bugs and adding plenty of new features, as seen on the following release trailer:




Interestingly enough, in order to play all the games supported by OpenRA, you are not forced to own an original copy of any, given that all three ones were released gratis a few years ago. Though the package comes without any of this data, it immediately invites the player to download it from the project's own repositories, thus making all the games readily available to play.

The campaign mode is still not fully supported by OpenRA, with only some missions available for playing and no cinematics support at all, but we can only hope this will change in the future. In the meantime, you're free to enjoy all the supported games in skirmish mode, or play online against friends. So here's to the OpenRA team, and keep up the good work.

Code license: GPLv3
Assets license: Free-as-in-beer (available gratis, but still subject to copyright, as the C&C franchise is still intellectual property currently owned by EA)