Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Long time no update from...

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...FreeGamer? No not this time :p It's rather that the Spring RTS engine ran into some trouble with their long overdue 0.83 version and now decided to release 0.84 instead ;)

Along with it comes also a new Zero-K release (0.9), which prompted one of their players to make a nice new trailer in anticipation:


So...that's it for today ;)

P.S.: Check out Zero-K's Planetwars metagame too.

P.P.S.: Also Spring related... someone on their boards is looking for people to take over the development of another quite nice RTS game: Conflict Terra.

OGA challenge: Mobile, Become WTactics a Character, Illes' Game Music Album

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First 'mobile devices' contest submission by Mumu

The current OpenGameArt challenge is 'mobile devices' and ends on Monday, December 5, 2011. The contest before that was low on participants and a survey was started to figure out how to get more people involved.

Becoming a WTactics character

Taken from OGA: WTactics is currently offering a chance to have your likeness on a WTactics card in order to raise funds for the continued development of thier project.  From their website:

Give our artists a picture of you or your beloved one and become a part of the game! The artist will create a nice portrait with your chosen class, clothing and equipment, making it an everlasting part of our game and the open source communities, turning it into an immortal memory.

This reminds me of the Fantasy Portrait Kickstarter project, which produced some pretty portraits but unfortunately still istn't finished yet.

pzi's album cover

Pal Zoltan Illes of jClassicRPG fame released the game music album A Mantle Of Games under CC-BY-SA. Feel free to use and leave a comment here.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Open Source RPG News, Freedroid and IrrRPG builder

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The wayward Goat strikes again!


Freedroid 0.15 rc 1:



The plucky, 'puter punching penguin hack 'n slash RPG stalwart has had a new release recently, reaching the 0.15 rc milestone (how many years will it take them to get to 1.0, I wonder?)

It adds lots of things, new quests, new guns, new abilities, UI fixes, editor tweaks... Lots of development happening there, so check it out!

EDIT: Thanks to shirish for pointing out that it's still at rc 1 stage, and thus not a final release.


IrrRPG Builder Alpha 2


A project that looked promising, and that I almost forgot about, is the RPG game IDE, IrrRPG Builder. Finally, a basic battle system is implemented, and the scripting system was improved as well, so it's getting pretty close to being feature complete.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Fan made trailer contests and other FPS news

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So it seems Red Eclipse is having a "contest" for creating an official trailer for their upcoming 1.2 release. Nothing to win (except fame), but the guys from Sauerbraten (also Cube2 engine based, like Red Eclipse) recently did the same with a quite nice result:

 
New official Sauerbraten trailer

So if you want to participate, have a look at their rules and check out these nice open-source tools for video capturing:  GLC (short tutorial by our qudobup) and editing: PiTiVi or KDEnlive (sorry for being Linux centric here :p ).

In other news I can report that the Xonotic team is following up on their promise to report more news and developments on their Blog :) Check out the latest entry for a log read and many nice pictures.
Personally I am currently most excited about the mod "Overkill" with tries to take some features of the well loved instagib mode (sadly so much that it is sometimes hard to find anything but instagib games :( ) like right click laser jump etc. while keeping a variety of weapons that are a bit more appealing to non-instagib players.
Well, check out the more detailed description and pictures at the bottom of the post linked above! Oh and you can already play the mod by joining the test server with a vanilla Xonotic version (all needed files will be auto-downloaded).

P.S.: Here is a small video to show how it currently looks:

Xonotic Overkill mod (early WIP)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

jMonkeyEngine Official Beta Contest Announced



We're a week into what has been an absolutely thrilling experience so far. What was more of an experiment to see what some developers might pull off with the new Beta release has far exceeded our expectations.

Prizes include a free copy of the upcoming "jMonkeyEngine 3 Beginner's Guide" and a free theme from the WooThemes shop. Additional prizes might be added.

If you want to get caught up you should read the following articles:
Brief Announcement
Exhaustive Contest Rules
Contest Prizes

Even if you've never used jMonkeyEngine before, 1 and 1/2 months could be enough time to put a game together if you have some experience in Java programming and game development already. We highly encourage developers to download the jMonkeyEngine 3 SDK as the recommended route to a quick start. From there the wiki and community forum are mere clicks away.

We hope this contest will bring some new blood into our lively community, and we trust you'll find it worth your while.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Unknown Horizons 2011.3 Changes and Videolog

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Unknown Horizons 2011.3 is out! Features are:


  • Complete settlement AI (details here)
  • Combat and diplomacy system
  • Increase in performance (partially thanks to FIFE)
  • Support for internationalized voices (right now available: de, en, fr)
  • Nine new buildings, one new ship (here are some)
  • New statistic widgets
  • Usability and interface improvements (for example the in-game menu)
  • New maps and a parameters-based map generator
The original announcement is here and some more details about the new features here.




Development is active and they are on the lookout for people to help out or even join:

  • 2D/3D/Animation artists can find some tasks here
  • Naval public domain painting lovers can help by finding some background art
  • Interested in mechanics/story? Share your ideas for catastrophes!
  • Interesting screenshots and videos should be posted here
  • Feedback is needed for this release. It can be shared on the forums or IRC room.

Translators, sound artists, programmers, game designers, writers and voice artists can also help. The get involved  page will let you know how to get started.

Unknown Horizons 2011.3 Screenshot 12
Pioneer and settler buildings


Unknown Horizons 2011.3 Screenshot 11
Shooting pirates


Unknown Horizons 2011.3 Screenshot 9 - Translucent Environment
Translucent environment

Saturday, November 12, 2011

New websites, releases and competitions etc

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Couldn't really think of a fitting headline, but here is the bunch of randomly collected news from the FOSS gaming realm:


First of all, OpenDungeons finally got a nice website and a blog (as mentioned previously). And in collaboration with OpenGameArt, the kicked off their art competitions again.

SummoningWars also got a new website recently, and they have also released version 0.55 a few days ago.

New Summoning Wars GUI
Last but not least, the pledgie donation drive for 0 A.D. seemed to have payed off to some extend, so one of the main developers is now working full time on the game for one month. See here for his first report on things newly implemented (most notable a save-game feature). But... you can still donate to keep him motivated longer ;)

Friday, November 11, 2011

Settlers of Catan Rules in Open Source Games (aka Clones, Remakes, Implementations)

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Settlers of Catan is a popular board game. In today's terms it can be described as very 'social' thanks to its trade mechanic, which can lead to exploitation, corruption, deception... all that fun stuff.

There are a few open source implementations of the game rules, some of which I mentioned years ago and with two of them being updated recently, I decided to revisit them.

First, a few fun facts in comparable table form, further below you'll find screenshots, impressions and feature lists. Enjoy! If you're looking for somebody to play against, why not try the #freegamer IRC channel? :)

Thanks for hiponboy's (of SumWars fame) help at testing games and collecting data!

GamePlatformActivity© Infringement™ InfringementCompilable?
Pioneers
(pio)
C, GTK+activeHex-tiles look suspiciousNone foundYes (./configure && make)
Java Settlers of Catan
(jsettlers2)
JavaactiveYes ("Gorillaz" character portrait file in resources)Yes ("Settlers of Catan")Yes (ant)
Cities3DC/C++, openGL6 months agoNone foundNone foundNo (./configure error)
Solitaire Settlers of Catan
(solitairecatan)
Java3 years agoYes (original Catan card images)Yes ("Settlers of Catan")No (ant error)
jCatanoJava5 years agoNone foundPossibly ("Catan")Yes (ant)
GL CatanC/C++, openGL5 years agoYes (original Catan card images)Possibly ("Catan")No (source not found)
Java Settlers of Catan
(javasettlers)
Java6 years agoNone foundYes ("Settlers of Catan")No (instructions missing)
Nettlers of Catan
(nettlers)
C/C++7 years agoNone foundPossibly ("_ettlers of Catan")No (not ported to Linux)


In the table I pointed out copyright and trademark infringement, which according to this article created problems for SoC clones in the past.

I encourage project maintainers to check whether all assets are openly licensed, credited and legal and distance themselves from the Settlers of Catan trademark to avoid confusion.

Pioneers


Pioneers is feature-loaded and is configurable in content (maps), look (theme) and gameplay (rules).

Features: Various boards, Seafarers mode available, network multiplayer or single-player, one AI level, map editor, complex trade (not sure if it's possible to trade multiple vs multiple resources though), few custom rules, themes


Java Settlers of Catan (JSettlers2)


JSettlers2 nice to play with complex trade, although offers can be confusing and widgets can't be resized individually.

Another drawback is the apparently forced slowness of the AI. On the other hand the AI sometimes offers trade, which makes it stand out from the trade-passive AI of the other games.

Features: Board for 4/6 players, network multiplayer or single-player, one AI level, complex trade, few custom rules

My suggestion for a hopefully non-infringing name change: "Builders of Javatan"

By the way, I was inspired to create a little tile set for JSettlers2.


Cities3D


Cities3D looks great and feels great but needs a developer/maintainer.

Unfortunately FMOD is used for sound, which renders the game non-free.

Features: Various boards, Seafarers mode available, network multiplayer only, complex trade, polished UI, sounds


Solitaire Settlers of Catan


Solitaire Settlers of Catan has a nice look and a clear trade interface (although unfortunately only simple trade is possible).

Features: Board for 4/6 players, single-player only, different AI levels, simple trade, additional Volcano scenario

jCatano


jCatano has a non-intuitive interface and is a bit of a pain to play with for example no resource icons and impossible action buttons not being grayed out.

Features: Board for 4 players only, network multiplayer only, no harbors, no trade between players, unpolished UI

GL Catan


As long as source code is missing, GL Catan can be considered proprietary software.

Features: Custom board size, single-player only, different AI levels, savegames, map editor, no trade with AI, points to win can be set


Java Settlers of Catan (javasettlers)


Javasettlers is not playable.

Features: Javasettlers is a techdemo of board rendering and building placement.


Nettlers of Catan (nettlers)


Nettlers' advantage is its shortcut-driven interface and minimal UI.

Features: Custom board size, Seafarers mode only, multi-player only, complex trade, shortcut-driven interface

Note about features: "complex trade" means that "I will trade 2 wool and 1 wood against 1 iron" is possible with other players, "simple trade" means only "1 resource for 1" resource trade is possible.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

ET:Xreal 0.3.0 released

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Just as a quick follow-up to last weeks post about ET:Xreal:
Version 0.3.0 got released today!


As you can see, it is still a long way to go to replace all the non-free assets, and graphics sure don't look quite as great as all the features of that engine would make you believe (which proves again: it is the artists making a game look good :p ), but it's a start and you can begin brushing up your ET skills again ;)

Trigger Rally 0.6.0

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Testing Trigger's Physics [source video]

Trigger Rally 0.6.0 for Linux (source portable) brings following new features:
  • New (and old) contributed tracks and events
  • New Practice Mode
  • Paging on the Single Races screen to show all the available tracks
  • Option to show speedometer in KPH or MPH
  • Option to show digital speed on the speed dial ('hybrid' style)
  • Fading track comment and GO at race start
  • Freezing course time when passing through a checkpoint
  • Tweak menu colors for more contrast


PS: If I understand this tweet correctly, this means high-quality motor, drift and crash sounds for Speed Dreams that hopefully will also be usable in Trigger, SuperTuxKart and other racing games.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Phlipple - Unique 3D Puzzle

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Phlipple

Phlipple is an original puzzle game which could be useful for training thinking in 3D.

It's available for Linux and Windows with 50 levels and there is a 100-level version for Android (EUR 1.70 / USD 2.30) and iOS (was it taken down? License drama senses tingling!).

I don't know anything about the availability/license of the build instructions/scripts for the portable platforms and of the additional level files but assume they are closed.

Phlipple is by Remigiusz 'mal1ce' Dybka, who also made Zaz (including a [proprietary?] version for Android).

Thursday, November 03, 2011

Enemy Territory source related news

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About a year after the Wolf:ET source release, significant advances to the original game (in a playable and easily obtainable form) are sadly still MIA :(

The quite promising ET:Xreal engine enhancement project is one possible exception, even though they just had to sadly announce that they wouldn't make their Nov. 5th first release date (I was originally waiting for news about this until then...).

ET:Xreal with some Free high quality textures

As you might have guessed, this project takes the advanced id-Tech3 (Quake3) renderer from the now defunct Xreal project and brings it over to the Enemy-Territory engine (also id-Tech3 based). But besides that it also aims to give the engine a general overhaul and possibly add additional advanced features like real physics etc.
Additionally work has also started to replace the free-as-in-beer media from the original game, with much higher quality CC-by-SA textures to make use of the advanced engine features.
To qoute one of the developers (Eonfge) regarding their plans to go fully FOSS:
"The project we are working on consists of multiple parts. First we have a renderer, which is now fairly stable and pretty looking. Then we have the assets, new high quality assets that make the environment come alive. Then we have the official part from Splash Damage. It's our goal to go independent one day, but until we have all the assets replaced, we will remain a mod. After we replaced them all, we'll be an independent open source game."
Lets see how that turns out... alternatively the developer of the awesome looking (but totally non-FOSS) ET mod True Combat: CQB also did express interest in porting his game to ET:Xreal some months back.

On the other side of things it looks like the ET:Xreal fork OpenWolf is turning more and more into a wild mix of different id-Tech3 engines.
Its developer recently announced full compatibility with the id-Tech3 based game Tremulous, and is making his roads towards a quite fully featured general id-Tech3 compatible engine based on ET.
I suspect this is also somehow related to the very similar engine enhancements promised for the quite awesome looking Tremulous fork TremZ:

New alien model in TremZ
But information on that project are quite scares right now, as there seemed to have been some community drama related to it and they are waiting for their own official page to be published now.
But rumors are running wild (in face of the log awaited but more or less vapourware Tremulous 1.2), so I can't confirm if the proposed release date before the end of the year is true or not ;)