Monday, December 21, 2015

SuperTux 0.4.0 Milestone 2

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Over ten years after the last stable release of SuperTux (0.1.3 released July 2005) the SuperTux team have announced the release of the first stable version in the Milestone 2 series.

Compared to 0.1.3, this release features:
  • a nearly completely rewritten game engine based on OpenGL, OpenAL, SDL2, ...
  • support for translations
  • in-game manager for downloadable add-ons and translations
  • Bonus Island III, a for now unfinished Forest Island and the development levels in Incubator Island
  • a final boss in Icy Island
  • new and improved soundtracks and sound effects
  • new badguys, bonuses and power-ups (air-, earth- and ice-flower)
  • a halloween tilemap
  • new graphic effects (glowing objects, particles, ...)
  • levels and worldmaps are scriptable using squirrel
  • much more game objects: trampolines, switches, portable stones, wind, moving platforms, ... - most of them have scripting APIs
  • improved statistics
  • many invisible changes, like unit tests, efficiency improvements and more bugfixes
  • much more...
And of course we updated the official levels to make use of all the new features.

SuperTux 0.4.0 Overworld
It has been a long road for the project, and a lot has changed as the engine seems to have been largely rewritten to make it suitable for more advanced graphics and scripting. Whilst the existing content has been updated, it would seem that the one area in which the project is short is new tilesets and levels, with only a partially complete 2nd forest overworld of the (originally planned) 7 desired worlds.

That's where the community comes in though. With a stable game to work with, hopefully players and artists can combine to extend the game and make it enjoyable for generations to come.

My own 15 year old son remembers SuperTux 0.1.3 fondly as, he says, the best game he played as a young child.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

3 Super Monkey Ball Alternatives - Open Sphere Rolling Games

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Marbles have fascinated the population of the blue marble for centuries. Today, we take a look at three digital variants that are open source and playable cross-platform.

Veraball




The newest addition to the group of open source ball-rolling games is minimal and was made using the Godot engine.

Rock and jazz music accompanies your through the only two levels so far. None of them are super hard, making Veraball the most beginner-friendly game of the bunch.



Windows (both portable and installer) and Linux releases are available but since Godot Engine runs on Mac OS X, you can play it on that platform as well using the source.

irrlamb



A magical engine powers the blue sphere from the inside, allowing it to roll and jump without reasonable explanation. Its goal is to touch other glass balls filled with yellow light by balancing towards them.

You steer the blue sphere. But to what end? Deliver the coup de grâce to failed experiments? Free trapped spirits? Harvest sleeping souls to grow in power? Is it a grim prognosis about the effects of future commercialized space travel and interplanetary colonization?

Welcome to irrlamb. The atmosphere is mostly dark and dungeon-like, sometimes abstract, always at least a bit magical. The two skater parks feel clinically sanitized (no graffiti).


There are around 20 levels starting from beginner-friendly to absolutely insane.

There have been two releases this year (0.2 and 0.2.1). Most of the changes were usability improvements and bugfixes, although some levels have been added as well.

irrlamb 0.2.1 is available for Linux and Windows. Windows users have to manually install OpenAL.

For creating own levels, there is an export script available for Blender.

Neverball




Neverball has been around for a while. There are easy levels, there are hard levels, there are levels that were apparently made to challenge the game's developers.

Many levels take place in space, on grass squares floating under the sky, above the sea or above a city at night. Of our three games, this one is least suitable for those with acrophobia.


There is a lot of content (326 maps minus Neverputt levels) and only a small part of it is accessibly due to my lack of balancing skills. So I present to you the most and least favorite aspects of Neverball, as seen by a player with newbie skills:

Best: 1. The oh so many levels! 2. Different ball models available, some have character (by containing characters), making it easier to have some kind of emotional connection to the game. No animated cute animals though unfortunately.

Worst: 1. The old looking non-baked textures of the basic levels 2. The camera (does not allow you to zoom, moves in disturbing ways) and consequently the controls.

Conclusion


"If only projects X, Y and Z could join forces instead of trying to re-invent the wheel!" - what an annoying thing to say, don't you think? I hope you got the chance to play irrlamb, Neverball and Veraball - and if not I hope this review brought you closer to them - so that you can appreciate the different feels to the gameplay and scenery.

All I really want now are video tutorials for creating new levels...

Are there any open source games with similar mechanics that I missed? Are there proprietary games that developers should consider taking inspiration from other than Super Monkey Ball? Please let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Warsow 2.0 is now almost fully FOSS!

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Great news for the FOSS enthusiasts: after many years of constant nagging the latest release of the great parcour/arena FPS Warsow has now most of it's artistic content under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 4.0 license (with a few remaining but clearly marked ones under CC-by-ND).

Also updated particle effects in Warsow 2.0
You can find more screen-shots in the above link and the full changelog here.

Rendering speed was also increased (claimed to be 30-50% faster) and a movement tutorial is now included.

So far I always recommended Xonotic over Warsow as the coolest (=most competitive; Red Eclipse is also cool, but much more casual) open-source arena FPS, but I think I might reconsider this now...

Happy fragging :p

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Top 3 Open Source Pinball Games

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The first flipper pinball machine was released 68 years and 1 month ago and yet there is only a handful of open source, cross-platform pinball video games available! Oh well, let's take them for a spin, shall we?

UPDATE
 Dec 1st, 2015: 1. Added Libre Pinball, see Honorable Mentions below. 2. Added conclusion section.

UPDATE
 Jul 17th, 2016: Updated Emilia Pinball links

Nexus Pinball




Started only a month ago, Nova Pinball's simple sole 2D table is a lot of fun and development has made good progress.

Emilia Pinball




The ancient 3D Emilia Pinball project has a recent fork on GitHub that adds more tables (the last official release had only 2, the new one has 5). The code is the ancient but consistent original SourceForge project and some new tables are flowing around patches/mailing list posts https://sf.net/p/pinball/

The game has 4 perspectives (F5-F8)


The models are very low-poly, which is fine and fast but the textures are sinfully low-resolution. However editing textures appears to be simple in existing tables, simply by overwriting them with higher-resolution files, as demonstrated with the angry gnu head in the screenshot above.

Creating new tables requires an editor, which I unfortunately was not able to compile yet (possibly due to lack of old Qt libraries).



There is a zombie/horror/Halloween table, which unfortunately contains non-free content.

Linball




The 2D Linball table is crazy fast but suffers from some sounds ripped from proprietary games (maybe there's more non-free content).

Honorable mentions



Libre Pinball (thread) is very atmospheric but has no missions and only very few table elements right now. It was made using the Godot Engine.


Sadly, Visual Pinball only runs on Windows (wine page).


Vector Pinball for Android unfortunately has no instructions for desktop/Linux compilation.



Devil's Pinball is a Blender-made pinball table. It's quite buggy when played in recent Blender and there is no license information.

Conclusion


I find the open pinball games on Linux more entertaining than I expected them to be. The major downside is decoration and context: while the themes of some tables are intriguing, they unfortunately exist in a widescreen world without a proper background that adds to the experience.

And of course some accessible (video) documentation on how to create new tables would be a huge plus.

Got theme ideas for open source pinball tables? Write them in the comments!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Naev, Valyria Tear, Wyrmsun, ReTux

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Wymrsun 1.6.0 was recently released (announcement on our forums and on Steam). Wyrmsun is inspired by the original Warcraft games and many reviewers on Steam compare it to Warcraft II. The project continues a steady development pace which is always a good sign so I encourage RTS fans to try it out.

Wyrmsum

Naev 0.6.1 has been released. After a long period without releases until release 0.6.0 appeared in March, this follow up release indicates a return to regular progress for the project. Naev is a 2D space trading and combat game.


I couldn't find a more recent video but here's a bit of a development log of some features for the 0.6.0 release.

Speaking of resurgent projects, Valyria Tear has some news.
The most noticeable change is that I killed a few days ago a very nasty bug that was there from the beginning, making the lua threads never freed from memory. This means the game won't end up anymore swallowing gigs of memory for nothing and crash due to some memory overflow.
Well that does sound like a bit of a killjoy, so good to see it fixed. Other changes are in the blog post.

Onto more things slightly more dubiously open source in nature...

ReTux 0.2 has been released. ReTux is a new Super Tux inspired game. It is a completely rewritten (in Python) codebase although uses many of the assets from the original Super Tux so naturally people will mistake the two despite the significant differences. I already covered the IndieGoGo campaign in a previous article.

ReTux
I'm not really on board with the way the developer Onpon4 is now soliciting $20 for access to the code. I think he's both hurting himself by limiting exposure of the game (you need a password to access the downloads) as well as asking for a fairly significant sum in an age where AAA games are of a similar price a year after release (and regularly on offer, as any Humble Bundle or Steam user will know).

I would say he should just get it on Steam, sell it there, and be open source outside of that. Perhaps have additional levels in the Steam version but accept that charging for the source code is as pointless as it is ineffective.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Anticube 2 - a game within a game

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So, as I sometimes peruse various forums, the occasional gem pops up. This is one of the best hidden gems in Open Source gaming.

Anticube 2 is a map for Tesseract / Cube 2 that is inspired by the game Antichamber and NaissanceE. If you are unfamiliar with those, that means it is an abstract FPS puzzle game where things are not quite what they seem. Or, as the creator Lord Kv probably better explains:

Anticube 2 is a puzzle map for Tesseract. You'll find yourself in an interactive, dynamic, non-euclidean world. Supported by 5000+ lines of Cubescript and GLSL code, this map will do things no other Cube 2 / Tesseract map has ever done before.

Here is the trailer:


There is also a gallery of screenshots for you to check out. I won't include them here because, to be honest, the screenshots won't mean much for this kind of game.

I'm calling it a game, even though it is just a map for a game. You can tell it is worth checking out because of the reactions it elicits from the Tesseract developers (warning: NSFW language). Here's what developer ImNotQ009 had to say about it:
Whoa, I would NEVER have though I'd see anything like this on BARE Tesseract.
This is one hell of an astonishing piece of work, the music is great, the whole atmosphere and the aesthetics are really good as well. With the exception of a little bit lousy looking (compared to everything else) terrain on the very last part but nevertheless I genuinely couldn't stop "wow-ing" through out the whole thing.
Anyway, check it out, let us know how you get on. This definitely deserves more attention than it has gotten up until now - but then again how does this kind of thing get more eyes on it when it is just a game within a game and one which is currently suffering from a severe lack of a player base? Hopefully we can change that starting here. :)

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Games with G (Gorynlich & Gigalomania)

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Great news for people who like GGGGames ;)

The author of the new action roguelike dungeon crawler kind of darwen mayham game Gorynlich was so kind to inform us his game. It comes with this funny trailer (and some great programmer's art :p ):



The code is licensed under the LGPL, while the assets are only freeware right now. But the author seems to be open to look into replacing the assets with Creative Commons licensed ones if someone is interested in doing so.
Gorynlich is done by the same author as the ASCII game Goblin Hack by the way.

Another nice game starting with G, is the awesome remake of the oldie Megalomania, appropriately called Gigalomania!


The author is still looking for improved art asset contributions, but the game itself is already quite playable (even on mobile devices and a bunch of other rare systems!). Also check out the other two cool games by the same developer: Erebus RPG and Conquests (a Civ like game).

Monday, September 21, 2015

Stunt Rally 2.6 and Irrlamb 0.2

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Stunt Rally 2.6 has been released, with new features including pacenotes (i.e. corner speed/severity hints) and a rewritten sound system with reverberation (changelog).

Stunt Rally is a sandbox racing game with a huge number of tracks (172 in 2.6) and lots of cars. It was originally forked from VDrift and features Ogre3D as a graphics engine instead of the custom (and less sophisticated) graphics engine in VDrift.

A video is worth a thousand pictures and a picture a thousand words so, instead of me writing a million of those, I invite you to check out the gameplay in the video that accompanied the release:


Also recently updated is Irrlamb. Those with incredibly good memories will recall this physics-based game originally appearing many years ago. I originally wrote about Irrlamb over 8 years ago on Free Gamer, and the previous release (0.1.1) is over 5 years old if I'm not mistaken (it is hard to check since things have moved on since then i.e. Google Code where its development was originally hosted).

This release adds new graphical capabilities, new levels, gamepad support and various fixes - see the announcement for more details.

I'll also write a really lengthy... wait a minute! Let's link a video instead. ;)


Wednesday, September 09, 2015

OpenDungeons and FreeOrion updates plus ReTux

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A couple of long standing open source game projects have received significant updates.

OpenDungeons, an open source dungeon management game, has seen release 0.6 make it out the door. Release highlights from the changelog:
  • New spell logic with cooldown, targets and cost management
  • Fancy new spells: Heal, Explosion and Haste
  • Particle effects!
  • Reworked library logic and made research order configurable
  • New creature overlays that show the creatures' mood
  • Customisable creature sound effects!
  • Doors to better block enemies and macromanage allies
  • In-game settings menu support!
  • New claimed walls graphics and various other graphical improvements
  • New minimap camera with real-time rendering
  • Dedicated server support with command-line parameters
There's plenty of screenshots in the announcement on the frontpage of the OpenDungeons website (but no direct link for the announcement, frustratingly).

   
Explosions! Spells!
The research tree

The project has some very regular contributors (both programming and art) and the game has multiplayer support which the developers test with the occasional weekend virtual lan party. OpenDungeons has certainly gone from strength to strength in the last year.

FreeOrion version 0.4.5 (announcement with changelog) wraps up the last year's worth of development. Much of the work seems to have been motivated by trying to make the game more fun to play — "performance, responsiveness, AI, balancing etc." —which is nice to see. At some point a project has to stop pushing new features and work on improving the game experience.

I couldn't find any screenshots of 0.4.5 to share, but here's a recent gameplay video posted on YouTube which should give an idea, although he's well into a game at this point:


Finally, and a little too late unfortunately, here's some coverage of ReTux. At first glance, it would seem somebody has taken Super Tux and tried to profit off of it. However, author Julian Merchant (onpon4 on the FGD forums) has written a new engine from scratch in Python. Whilst there are the obvious similarities with the original Super Tux, due to ReTux using many of the same graphics and sounds, there are a number of notable gameplay changes many of which can be seen in the 'Concept Castle' video (I really think his IndieGoGo campaign should have used this video at the very beginning of it).

Julian only raised $378 in the 30 days the campaign lasted, which was very short of the $50,000 goal. Reasons for this will be likely poor coverage (no FG article!) but also probably the perception that it was basically the same as Super Tux. For example, the IGG page starts with a video which the first 2 minutes or so (aside from the change to the fireflower) could easily be recreated by substituting the Super Tux logo for ReTux.

I do think avoiding the more popular media sites (e.g. no YouTube video) hurt the campaign. I can find little-to-no mention of ReTux when searching for it.

It also highlights one of the problems with developing Free games i.e. generally there's no money in it. Julian is obviously passionate about the concept, having done so much work on it already, and I hope he continues with it. As to where he goes from here? I would suggest perhaps trying to get it greenlit on Steam or another platform where he can solicit a small fee from players whilst still maintaining the open source status of the project - a great example being Tales of Maj’Eyal which is also selling well on Steam.

Don't give up Julian. Persistence is the key to success with any endeavour. You just have to find the right path.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Devcorner: Macros Are Evil

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The joys of programming - hours spent scratching one's head whilst trying to figure out why the seemingly correct code does not produce correct results.

Hi, Charlie here. I used to post often.

Where was I? Ah, yes, this nugget of brain fudgery from the VDrift forums posted by NaN:

So I've spent some time today try to figure out why cars are still flying off in random directions when hitting curbs sometimes.

It turns out it is a bug in Bullet, to be more specific in the SIMD_DEGS_PER_RAD macro.

Code:

#define SIMD_PI           btScalar(3.1415926535897932384626433832795029)
#define SIMD_2_PI         btScalar(2.0) * SIMD_PI
#define SIMD_HALF_PI      (SIMD_PI * btScalar(0.5))
#define SIMD_RADS_PER_DEG (SIMD_2_PI / btScalar(360.0))
#define SIMD_DEGS_PER_RAD  (btScalar(360.0) / SIMD_2_PI)

The first one to spot it gets a virtual cookie.

For the answer visit the thread, I won't spoil it here. Instead, I'll post a screenshot, also sourced from said forums and taken by Stunt Rally author CrystalH.

 


For those who don't know, Stunt Rally is a friendly fork of VDrift.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Xonotic 0.8.1 released & related news

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For those that are not keeping up to the latest development branch (via the autobuilds), the Xonotic developers have released a new version with various smaller changes and new official maps.

From the user "Antibody" (known for his duel commentary videos) comes this nice video overview of the new features:

(please note that due to video capture performance reasons the graphic settings are pretty low, and the game can look much nicer with different settings)

On the longer term horizon of Xonotic development, there is the very exiting news that they are currently porting their game to run on the same engine that Unvanquished uses. With this the future of Xonotic is indeed much brighter, as their current engine has not seem much development lately. See more details in this thread.

Oh and while we are talking about FOSS arena FPS: A short while ago Red Eclipse also released a new version. Changes include updated to the AI Bots and a build in universal updater to easily follow the latest releases.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Mini Sci-Fi Open Source Tower Defense Game

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Purely by chance, I found an obviously abandoned but still fun to play mini tower defense with a skippable tutorial level and two playable missions, beautiful graphics and performance settings.

To be a master is to spam en mass

So you place towers and the shoot enemies that move towards your base. I know this! Being an impatient player type, I skipped past the tutorial and was annihilated in level 1.

Short enough messages in a hard enough tutorial level

The degree of my destruction was such, that I was thankful for the tutorial being there at all. Even though I did die in it, it taught me enough about the all-or-nothing early game (which some might refer as to "unbalanced") to get my strategy right.

Turn off for speed. Turn on for awesome!

You get 3 towers: that allows you to build more tower, one that allows you to shoot more and one that shoots. You can block paths and create mazes. There are no tower upgrades and that's okay.

All the plot. Space to continue. Take that non-skip-able intro video AAA games!

Mission #3 is not possible to win (prove me wrong) but it was a great experience to find that I was able to beat the tutorial mission after all. By deviating from the given instructions! If that's not freedom (besides being open source) then I don't know what is!

Yeah right...

Come to think of it, the ridiculousness of level 3 practically speaks "dear player, you should totally fork and make new levels!"

Made with love2d

The last commit to Turres Monacorum was in May 2014 and the game was made at a game jam. My experience dictates that this won't be picked up by the original developers any more but to any player with love2d installed, it will come as a wonderful, visually polished snack!

Download the mini tower defense game from the github release page and enjoy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Limit Load, new arcade combat flight simulator

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Stealth development might not be very "open-sourceish", but it sometimes makes for some nice surprises in our project showcase forum.

This time it was the completely new open-source game Limit Load, self described as:

A cockpit flight game that is more of an arcade than a sim. The game is built on the Panda3D game engine. It is similar to the ancient games like the classic Wings or the very good Strike Commander. The story and the atmosphere are important elements of the game, so a lot of focus is placed on that too.
Here is some in-game action and it seems quite polished already for such a new game:


Licensing of assets is still a bit of a grey area it seems, but they are fully aware of it:
The game code is licensed under GPL 3, and custom-made game assets under CC-by-SA 4.0. Some of the assets were taken from "free" (as in "not sure in which way") sources on the Internet, so their licensing situation is unclear. Eventually these should be cleared for use or replaced.
So where is my VR kit? :D

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Old school 2D RTS Wyrmsun is looking to be greenlit

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We were kindly made aware by the main developer of the 2D RTS Wyrmsun that he is currently looking for support to get this game on the Steam platform (link includes a game-play video).

Here is a description of the game we got from him:

In Wyrmsun, humans, elves and dwarves all seek to carve a place for themselves on their different homeworlds, with humans living on Earth, dwarves dwelling on Nidavellir, and elves inhabiting Alfheim. In the game's missions, each world follows separate storylines, but the various civilizations can be mixed and matched in custom games.

Wyrmsun features:
  • Retro-style graphics
  • 2 playable civilizations, and a number of non-playable ones
  • 18 quests to play, earning technology points which can be used to obtain new units, buildings and technologies
  • 38 units, 30 buildings and 14 technologies
  • Units that can earn experience, being able to upgrade to new unit types or acquire new abilities upon level-up
  • Persistent heroes, who carry over their level and abilities throughout scenarios
  • Personal names and traits for units
  • Cave, Conifer Forest, Dungeon, Fairlimbed Forest and Swamp tilesets
  • 33 maps of real and fictional locations to choose from, as well as random maps
  • Living environment, with fauna reproduction and predation
  • Very moddable game, with mod-loading capability built in
  • Grand strategy mode, where production is resolved on the strategic (world map) level, while battles are resolved on the tactical level
  • In-game encyclopedia, allowing players to learn more about the units, buildings and other elements of the game, as well as their historical and mythological sources of inspiration.
For those more inclined to help out with the code, there are two code repositories: one for the game and one for the modified Stratagus engine.

P.S.: Yes FOSS games can be on Steam as long as they don't integrate with closed source steam integration libraries; And it can be a great way to attract more users to your game and maybe even collect some donations or sell add-ons (preferably in a "release freely when sufficient funds are gathered" style). See this game for an successful example.

Friday, April 24, 2015

New FOSS 3D RTS Engine, OpenRTS!

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I had been following this really awesome looking tile based RTS 3D engine project (think Starcraft2 like) on the jMonkey Engine forums for a while, and it is now fully FOSS including the arts assets.
Don't expect a playable RTS game, but as you can seen in this video of the in-game level editor a lot of work has been done already:



You can contribute to the MIT licensed source on their github page (the author asks for help) and/or head over to the website of engine it uses, jMonkeyEngine, a great project written in Java.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Top Futuristic Open Source Racing Games on Linux

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F-Zero and Wipeout set the standard for the futuristic sci-fi racing games genre and inspire many game developers.

Over the years, four projects of that genre were started and developed to a playable state that are now open source code:




H-Craft by Irrgheist is a free sci-fi racer with IAP on Android. It is built with the Irrlicht engine and was recently released as free software with freeware data.

While gameplay is simple without pickups, boosts or weapons, the campaign keeps it interesting. The 180°-Turns used in H-Craft level design are very refreshing to the genre.




CoreBreach is a commercial anti-gravity racing game with combat gameplay. There is a freeware dataset that allows compiling and playing a simpler-looking version.

Being an Objective C project, it was unusual to compile for me on latest Arch Linux but possible. Campaign mode, weapons and split-screen multiplayer make it cover many bases.




Racer is the only project with 100% free as in freedom data, yet unfortunately it does not compile on current Arch Linux.

Of our four projects, this is the only that has the classic drive-over boost fields.




Ecksdee is the oldest of the bunch and has challenging time trial single-player gameplay.

There are weapon pickups but without AI or human competitors they serve no purpose yet.



Project Comparison



H-Craft CoreBreach Racer* Ecksdee
Latest Version 2015-02-23 (1.3) 2012-11-30 (git) 2010-10-10 (r349) 2006-11-24 (0.0.9)
Campaign Mode yes yes no no
Split-Screen Multiplayer no yes yes no
Weapons no yes no yes
AI yes yes no no
Gamepad Support yes yes yes no
Menu UI Look good ok good ok
Music yes yes no yes
Sounds yes yes yes yes
Linux Builds or Compiling not tested, build used complicated but compiles fails fails, win32 build/wine used
Art Asset License(s) Mostly no-modify-no-distribute no-distribution, GPL, CC-BY 3.0 CC-BY-SA 3.0 GPL, CC-BY-NC, CC-BY-NC-ND
Is It Cool? yes yes yes yes
* Could not build racer, reviewing from long term memory



Related projects


Stunt Rally has a F-Zero-esque antigrav vehicles and futuristic levels but primarily it's a car racing game. The default physics don't seem to be working for a futuristic racing style.




The cool Blender Game Engine project RGP has it's .blend file available but it does not have license information. The .blend contains no audio and only one level without AI.




HexGL is pretty but has no sound, no ai, only one level and is CC 3.0 BY-NC licensed (including code) at the moment. If anybody is interested in contributing: the developer indicated interest in the MIT license.



TheRush seem to be Windows-only and does not run in Wine.

Friday, April 03, 2015

DevCorner: Overlap2D editor goes open source & Godot 1.1. Beta with huge 2D engine enhancements!

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Some nice developments on the 2D game-dev front lately, and as you will later see, 2D with full shader, real-time lights and so on can be a quite awsome way to make games, without having to hire a full team of 3D artists ;)

First of all a great new 2D editor, Overlap2D, has been released under the Apache2 license:



Contrary to other popular 2D editors (for example tiled or DAME), it is not tile based, has a modern renderer and also comes with a nice GUI editor. It currently exports to a standard JSON file and has a libGDX runtime.

Godot 1.1 BETA

Really awesome are also the latest developments of the (often described as the open-source Unity) Godot engine which you can now easily try. For me the coolest new features are the new dynamic lights (shown here in the also new isometric game sample):



This of course requires a bit more than simple 2D sprites ;) If you want to create cool 2D normal-maps, this should give you an simple way to create them.
Also very nice is the now working graphical/node-based shader editor:



If this has raised your interest in developing a game with Godot, check out this nice series of tutorials or these. It's script language is a simplified version of python, so most beginning coders should feel right at home. Also check out this cool video of a mobile game made with Godot, if you still need convincing ;)

Monday, March 09, 2015

SDL2 FPS & on Finding New Open Source Games

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I took a quick look whether one could find some open source games news (new game projects to be specific) by sorting SourceForge game projects by date but no luck, only established projects seem to show up there.

So I did the same on GitHub, and after making educated guesses whether projects might be worth clicking based on their title and short description, I f ound graphitemaster/neothyne.


The project uses SDL2, is about half a year old, doesn't have shooting functionality but at least movement feels kind of nice and definitely fast. In fact I'm honestly surprised that SDL is usable for 3D.
Neothyne is an attempt at getting back to the roots of good old twitch shooting akin to that of Quake World..
It certainly feels more like Cube 1 or Quake, rather than OpenArena, Sauerbraten or Nexuiz.

What surprised me even more that it compiles in mere seconds.



To come back to the point of finding games: My impression is that development is getting faster, projects are getting more but also less ambitious (read: more realistic to achieve) and less care is being given to licenses but at the same time more legal resources are being used because of OpenGameArt's and Freesound's popularity.

Personally, I have been using old onboard graphics for two years or more (no chance to run anything interesting 3D) because I'd prefer to upgrade from a HTC Wildfire (Buzz) to a OnePlus One, rather than buying a new Power Supply and Graphics card, having a louder computer and the knowledge that it's using more electricity.

This is also the reason why the above video is so tiny. :) No 720p 3D for my GPU.

If you find it interesting to browse through lists of game projects, trying to find a playable one that suits your interest, I recommend the GitHub search. Just don't rely on the "game" search key too much and imagine what the developer might use to describe it (probably genre names...).

For your entertainment, a list of "game" project short descriptions from GitHub.

  • Actual game for the Capstrong DePaul capstone team
  • recreating cs203-game1 repository because of a corruption in the original repo that I can't figure out how to fix atm
  • the tic tac toe game on node.js
  • Survival game
  • kouluprojekti2
  • Hotline Miami inspiered HTML5/JS game for school project
  • Island is a programming game designed as a support for Software Engineering classes
  • game
  • Just a little game I'm working on
  • Card game...
What's your favorite? Can you find anything better?

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Space Station 13 remake liberated!

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Many of us know Space Station 13 as "that awesome game I never played". Along with games like Dorf Fortress it stands as one of the pinnacles of the gameplay philosophy of fun through massive amounts of diversity. Originally developed in one of the most broken and unupdated platforms ever imaginable, BYOND, fans of the game have been trying to develop a standalone remake of the game for a while.

After a long period of development, the team of Robust Games, in charge of the project, decided to liberate the whole thing and turn to open development. This means all of the code is now GPLv3 and all of the art assets are now CC-BY-SA, effectively making the game 100% free-as-in-free-domes. 

So what are you waiting for? Get to developin'!

EDIT: Apparently only the placeholder sprites (not the fancy ones in the screenshot) have been released under CC-BY-SA. The game should still be 100% playable with these, though.


Code License: GPLv3
Assets License: CC-BY-SA

Via RPS

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Galaxy Forces: Moon Lander Action!

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Galaxy Forces is an open-source moon lander shooter single-/multiplayer game hosted on SourceForge, it is nearly finished.


It is unique of its kind in offering global hiscores and achievements. Replays and AI enemies also available.


Try it. It plays on Win, Mac and Linux.