Saturday, June 30, 2012

OverDose now officially... hmm?... open-source?

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Somehow I was under the impression that the team behind Overdose had realized some time ago that by using the idTech2 base they would be bound to the GPL licensing requirements, and abandoned plans to buy a separate license just to keep the code closed... however that was never officially announced until now:
This now means that OverDose is totally open, totally moddable, and totally complete with its own mod tools, which include level compilers, map editors, font tools, custom HD .RoQ video compilers, texture compression tools, model format tools… Lets just say, a decent package of tools with a fully written SDK and developer wiki. So you don’t just get the game source code, you get the full shebang, everything. Of course media still belongs to OverDose, but the above should be great news to any mod people or budding game makers.
Whats more, the code is available… Right now! Get in touch at for a link to the codebase which is constantly updated! Any budding coders out there who want to be part of the OverDose team be sure to get in touch, we always, ALWAYS need more coders ;)
In their recent news they also mention that they have realized that keeping the source closed doesn't help against hackers (a realization that comes better late then never :) ) and that their updated (GTK-Radiant based) level-editor is now available. That they add all their other (AFAIK Windows only) tools into the open-source mix too is an unexpected but very nice bonus!

Some recent automatic foliage tests

I assume by asking for code access they will point you to the "hidden" repository here, but giving them some positive feedback by asking for it, will probably be the "right thing"tm to do ;)

Oh and don't miss the long WIP thread with some nice (but over post-processed) screens here.
WIP weapon model
Last but not least: To avoid sounding too negative *again*, I think this is a great development and this could become a really nice open-source modding platform, specially if they make at least a base set of assets available under a more liberal license *hint* ;) So show them some support by helping out or maybe donating.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Xonotic and idTech4 news

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Hello and welcome to slow summer news time ;)

But at least the awesome guys over at Xonotic took their time and wrote up what exciting new additions are on their way to version 0.7 in their latest edition of what they call WoX-Blox #4.

There you can read up up exiting changes to the Railroad tycoon mod they are working on... watch this video... pure exitement:

Ok I was kidding about the last part... that is actually one among many cool small additions they are working on to make Xonotic an even better game.
Not mentioned in the blog yet, are the cool modifications to the Overkill mod and the vehicles tZork is currently working on and which can be tested already on a few servers.

Staying with the FPS Topic, it seems like the development of the GPLed Doom3/idtech4 code is finally moving somewhere. However iodoom3 (besides that they got a nice looking website recently) is not the center of development as it was the case with ioquake3 it seems.
The Doom3World forums are buzzing with activity though, with open-source commercial developers looking into porting their upcoming games to idtech4, people working on code and openSDK enhancements and an awesome code review of the idtech4 engine to jump-start potential developers.

Besides that, the previously mentioned Doom3 modification The Dark Mod (additional info here), a Thief inspired steampunk-stealth game is finally making some progress toward the long promised stand-alone version (Progress Wiki here).

Here is also some recent commented game-play video:

Some more (uncommented) gameplay can be seen also in this video. The next version will still require a few Doom3 assets however, so if you are skilled in texture making, mapping (with their DarkRadiant) or such, offer them some help to get rid of those last remaining dependencies. However AFAIK most of the new art is also non-FOSS  and only freeware (or at least I can find any info on the art license... please comment if you know better) :-/

Last but not least there also seems to be another awesome looking Doom3 mod, aiming to go standalone at some point: Grimm: Quest for the Gatherer's Key. No idea when and how, but I guess they are just waiting for a more stable idtech4 community version.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

7DFPS - Open Source Prototypes (2012)

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Of about 150 entries at the first seven day first person shooter development jam (7DFPS), so far I could identify two prototypes that have clear open source licensing in their code and run.

Note that this contest did not require sources to be released, only 19 entries had theirs released at time of writing.

Cannonball Z is a game where you shoot zombies with cannonballs. It features randomly generated maps.The source code is in the .zip file. The engine uses a BSD license. My code is GPL and my assets are CC BY-SA.

Video: 7DFPS: OxyFPS

OxyFPS is a simple first person shooter with the restriction of being in an oxygen-lacking environment.You are on an airless planet with only a suit, a crossbow and a tank of air.Your objective is to survive as long as you can while the corporate goons that caused this terraforming catastrophe hunt you down.

Then there's also Jedi-Academy--Renaissance, which I haven't been able to compile yet and Zombies in the Dark, which is only indirectly GPL-ed by being hosted on Google Code.

By the way: I participated in a project with my beginner Blender abilities but only the art assets are freely licensed.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Video Talk by icculus: Open Source Tools for Game Development (Devcorner)

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Ryan "Icculus" Gordon talked about open source tools for gamedev last month at Flourish! 2012 and we completely missed that. Enjoy the 1h video, he's a great speaker and I'm sure most of you will enjoy the Direct X bashing. :)

Note: the first 2 minutes of the video have bad audio quality. The rest is crisp!

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Great changes upcoming for UFO:AI

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One of the FOSS projects I really hold dear (mainly because they chose to include a few models made by myself :p ) is UFO:AI.
For those totally out of the loop: it's a turn based strategy game based on the classic game X-Com utilizing an improved Quake2 engine.

Recently they had a new release, version 2.4, but the changes upcoming are even cooler (new soldier models and a greatly improved GUI):

More cool screens of those upcoming changes can be found here and here. And here you can find some more as part of a slightly older, but still interesting interview with the developers.

Besides these development news, there seems to have been an informal competition of who can do the nicer Let's Play videos of UFO:AI ;)

Click here for Part 2 and Part 3, or check out this series of Let's Play videos as the alternative: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (Part 1 starts out with an outdated version though).

So if you are hooked now by this awesome game, you might as well check out some alternatives: OpenXcom and XenoWar. Neither of which has as much polish and nice graphics as UFO:AI however.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Wizznic! Puzzle Perfection Progress

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Wizznic! cursor-driven level editor WIP
Keyboard, mouse and touchscreens control the prettier-than-ever, polished retro puzzle Wizznic!, which is 100% GPLv3 and available as a GitHub project.

  • Last release (0.9.9): ~six months ago.
  • Last commit: one day ago.

A recent progress update post reveals the goals for and the path to 1.0:

Before Wizznic 1.0 we will create two completely new themes, each for it's own pack, thus, two completely new packs! That is 40 new puzzles, leaving the mainline puzzle set at 80 puzzles.
However, before doing that, we will sit down and play through the entire game, this should allow us to come up with some really evil puzzles for the later levels ;)
Anyway, just wanted to say, in this in-browser, Object Oriented, Accelerated, flashy, highres, 3D world, that little pixel pushing Wizznic is not dead!
Quoted from "Wizznic work", 2012-06-05.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

0 A.D. Audio interview and special effects

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The premier FOSS RTS 0 A.D. has recently won (by an incredible small margin) the project of the month vote and now they have done a cool audio interview:

Rich: Do you have much interaction or collaboration with any of the other Open Source gaming communities?
Aviv: We’re kind of in the middle between the Indie game world and the Open Source software world. We don’t quite belong to either culture entirely. We certainly invite more projects to reach out. Perhaps we can find new ways to collaborate. We do believe that a large part of the code that we developed can be used for other projects. But at the moment we’re more focused on developing 0 A.D. to completion, and writing a lot of code and implementing a lot of features that are specific to 0 A.D., than implementing general solutions for all sorts of games.
Click here for the transkript of the full interview, but if you are to lazy to read you can also listen to it on that page in the original voices of the developers.

Besides this, they have recently implemented a lot of cool new graphical effects (I guess you could call it JUICE ;) ):

Distance fog and other new effects
For more nice screenshots of these effects, have a look at this post on their forums.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Liberate some crazy games

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So I guess we are a little late to the show, but you should still have a few hours left to pledge money towards the liberation of all games (and more) done by a guy that goes by the name Bryan Lunduke.

Amongst the games is the crazy Linux Tycoon in which you can roll your own OS:

And other such niche titles, but there seem to be some good tools in the deal too.
IHMO this seems to be rather an experiment, and the guy is promising to refund the money if he doesn't reach the goal of US $4000 by today (Yeah I said we are late, and I have no good excuse as it was posted a few days ago in our forums :-/ ).

So far he has gotten a bit more then half of it, so maybe it's still possible to reach the goal. However I guess the time was just a bit too short, and the games offered also a bit too not mainstream for this to really have a chance.

Edit: He extended the deadline until Friday, as the goal is almost reached.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Liberated Pixel Cup is a go!

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This weekend the Liberated Pixel Cup started its art contest, which will run until the 30th of June. You can check out the style guide and the existing assets here (includes a interactive HTML5 demo).

Reasonable prizes for the winners and runner-ups might motivate you to contribute, but judging will be only after the second phase of game prototyping, which ends on July 31st.

But even if you don't win, you can be sure that your contributions will be a very valuable part of the resulting FOSS game content pack, so every small addition counts.

Good luck!