Monthly Archives: August 2009

Eschalon: Book II is an old-school cRPG game that being developed by Basilisk Games and will be available for GNU/Linux, mac and Windows OS’s.

Basilisk games like some other indie developers really listens to the community.
They implanted many new features based on community feedback and greatly improves the experience compared to their first game Eschalon: Book I.

In Book 2 the map will be much bigger then in Book 1 and will feature climate and weather effects that influence the character.
For example when you are in the desert area you will consume more water if you enabled the option for mandatory food consumption at the beginning of the game.
Some weather effects can influence your combat abilities and torch light duration.

Basilisk really changed the combat in Book2…
One of the big disappointments of Book1 when playing as a fighter was that you only had one attack option and it became very boring to fight.
When picking a mage fighter it became very easy to deal with monsters.
In Book2 Basilisk will add more attack options for fighters (like quick attack, power attack etc…) and rebalance the skills and magic powers so it will be challenging to fight as a mage.

One very interesting feature of Book2 that was taken from the community is the new difficulty modes aka game rules.
You can make food and water consumption a requirement, you can make the loot items in chests “fixed” providing you with better better items, you can also make your equipment destructible with use and much more…
Those “challenges” apart from making the game more interesting and hard also effect your game ranking.

The difficulty modes cannot be changed after the game starts but there are also challenges which are very original :
You can set those challenges in the beginning of the game but you are not obligated to finish them (they are challenges after all)…
For example, you can try to play as a true Thief which forbids you from bashing any doors or chests or getting caught in act of a crime, you must also spot all hidden traps before they are triggered.
When choosing this challenge you get +10% to your thief rank.

Book2 features :

ENGINE
* 1024 x 768 native resolution
* Numerous optimizations implemented which improved engine speed (up to 30%) and lowers RAM usage.
* All tiles have been re-rendered to take advantage of the higher engine resolution.
* Enhanced lighting and special effects.
* New weather effects: snow, rain, and thunderstorms. Weather isn’t just a special effect; severe weather effects gameplay stats and skills.
* “Brightness Booster” option for players who are afraid of the dark.
* In-game control over sound volume has been improved
* Audio driver selectable at launch for improved hardware compatibility or the option to shut off all game sounds.
* Rebuilt timer function which should fix the problems associated with leaving your computer on for long periods of time.
* Most keyboard commands can now be remapped via .cfg file.
* The saved game location can be alerted via a statement in the .cfg file.
* Saved game function rebuilt with more redundancy and error catching to cut down on the number of bad saved games.
* Numerous updates to the scripting engine and file handling, making the game one step closer to being fully modable.

GUI
* New GUI layout
* Additional save game slots (20 total)
* Increased number of Inventory slots (79 total)
* Increased number of Quick Slot spaces (10 total)
* New Key Ring feature: any key acquired is placed on a virtual key ring and does not take up inventory space.
* Enhanced Alchemy mixer with one-click mixing via a built-in recipe book
* Two “equipment configuration” presets for convenient swapping of armor and weapons sets.
* You can now dump torches by right-clicking on the torch icon.
* Walking via keyboard
* “Health meters” on objects while bashing show exactly how much structural integrity remains

GAME PLAY
* 7 new spells; several existing spells have been altered/upgraded.
* Gender Selection (play as a male or female character).
* Selectable attack mode alters damage and accuracy based on character ability and enemy stats.
* Parry mode for defensive posturing when needed.
* New skill: Repair. Used in fixing worn equipment for better performance or increased value before selling.
* New skill: Foraging. Used to increase your chance of finding food and alchemy components during your travels.
* Significant skill rebalancing for more unified progression.
* Weapons and armor now deteriorate realistically with use (optional). Increasing your weapon and armor skills slows deterioration rate, and the Repair Skill can be used to fix damaged equipment.
* Food and Water now a factor in survival. Long treks into deep dungeons will require planning and preparation. (Optional)
* Powder kegs can now be picked up and dropped in new locations which makes for strategic game play options.
* Game world objects more dynamic: explosions and fire can affect objects; more objects are usable.
* Rebuilt the luminosity function to remove exploits. This corrects the “Torch exploit” as well as balancing “Hide in Shadow” better.
* New difficulty modes and tracked statistics add to replay value.
* New item generation function for thousands of unique weapon and armor variations.
* Difficulty settings for easier or more challenging gameplay.

MISC
* Improved User’s Manual with additional game information often requested by players
* In the Character Editor, pressing F1-F5 now loads premade character data into the editor and allows you to modify it from there, rather than just automatically starting the game with a pre-designed character.

The game engine is now improved and supports greater resolutions.

Screenshots :

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Book2 Website

Q&A and Interviews Thread

Love is a First Person, Multi-Player Online Game (MOG) in development which focuses more on building the world, changing it, meet new people you can actually bound with, build settlements, search for new technologies and using them.
This massive project is being developed by one man named Eskil which became a role model for many game developers.

In Love you don’t compete against other players, the players compete against the A.I (Artifact Intelligence)
Love is NOT a Massive Multi-Player Game (MMO), each server will have a max of 300 users only, so there will be much less people online at all times thus the connection between the players will be much stronger.
This fact leads to “economical” problem – this game will be “pay-to-play” because with the limited number of people in each server it would be very costly to “serve” people for free.
The world won’t be huge thus you won’t feel alone as some MMO games with big territories and small number of players at “sleep hours” .

“Love” wants you to feel responsible for the world thus you can’t just move to a different server (world) once things go bad or there is a player you don’t like, it is however possible to move to a different server but it comes with a cost.
The “build” system is just amazing (at least from the in-game videos that I’ve seen) , you can deform a terrain, build structures and defense around your settlement, build transportation and blow up things.

The graphic is “cartoonish” and yet beautiful with “home made” engine.

About the game

Love is everyone
This is a game to play with your friends, and for them to play with their friends. Never enough to be crowded; never so few to be alone. You can make your mark, but as in life, it’s not a contest. It’s not about who you are; it’s about the things you do. There is a small planet waiting for you to explore. There is an empire waiting for you to overthrow.

Love is evolving
The world is worth changing, so get on with it. Take your mates and make your planet whatever you want it to be. Some of it is yours, and some is your friends. Some just happens by itself. Sometimes it disappears and makes you sad. But then again, you know that kind of thing can’t last. It’s a balancing act between love and loneliness.

Love is an endeavor
What could be better than you and your mates on an adventure for the benefit of everyone? Play whenever you want, make your mark, then come back later and see how it’s changed. There is always something new to discover, someplace you haven’t seen. Love is not a casual thing you need to take seriously – it’s the most serious thing, in a casual way. If Love isn’t easy, you’re doing it wrong.

Love is yours
You won’t be told a story, but you will get to live one. It’s not what is given to you, it’s what you do when you hold it. The more you give, the more you get. Love your planet, and everyone who’s on it. We know you can, so just go for it. It’s the right thing to do, and you know it.

Love is being developed by Eskil alone, without funding or support. He is responsible for all code, design, networking, engine, art, pipeline and tools. More than just being an experiment in game design, Love is also an experiment in how games can be developed drastically more efficient using technologies like Verse, procedural generation, new tools and a host of other clever solutions.

Story

Love is not telling you a story
Stories in games are rigid and stale, because no team, no matter its size, can create content for all the things players may want to do. Stories are prepared long in advance and is something you follow, not something you create. Love is different.

Love is the story
In Love the story is not something that is “Pre-scripted” but something that is organically created while you play. By using Procedural algorithms the game can constantly generate new events and content for you to explore. By being generated while you play, the experience can be tailored to your play style and respond to your actions. This is not a game where you are being lead down a path, this is a game where you decide the direction of the story.

Stories are all around
If you have ever played a multiplayer game you have stories, stories of how you where the last survivor on your team, stories of how you captured the flag just before the timer ran out, stories of luck and failure. Love takes that kind of emerging story creation and expands it to a long lasting canon. Love is not a game you beat, is a world that is constantly changing. The game ebbs and flows, and how the story of the game proceeds depends on how the players respond to what the game does. Characters will remember what you do and it will color their views of you. Loves characters are driven by a innovative “Emotional” AI that can react to your actions with an emotional core. They may fear, hate, be curios, sad or even love other characters. Chose your actions well, they may give you both allied and enemies.

All you need is to nurture it
The game is based on a powerful procedural engine that creates a dynamic world that can be changed over time by players, characters, and the passing of time. The game can generate new landscapes, buildings, cities, secrets, characters and even networks of infrastructure and puzzles. With these tools the game has all the necessary components to create new story structures of adversity, glory and tragedy. If game chooses it can dynamically build a new city, introduce new characters or generate puzzles as the players are playing the game. To strengthen the lore of the game, important events and people will give name to places, Your actions will leave the trail of what you build or the ruins of what you destroy. As you return again and again new events will have created new things to discover, something made by either man or the passing of time.

Gameplay

Love is easy
Love is played form a first person view, because you should see the world not yourself. The controls of Love are designed to be a simple as possible to let you engage more in the story. Not dumbed down, but purified. All the mechanics designed to act as story devices to help the narrative. Each server has about 200 people registered, but as the same people comeback again and again you can make friends and get story continuity. With so few players you can get to know most of them and you can matter to the world. When you go to play Love its not just to see what is going to happen, its to see what has happened since your last play session too.

Shared World
In the world you can find a “Token” that lets you create a settlement. In this settlement the terrain is deformable so that you can build houses, caves of what ever else you want. Other players ca join your settlement to help you develop it and protect it. When you go out in the world you can find other tokens that you can put in your settlement giving you new tools and things you can build. Once a token has been placed in a settlement any one in that settlement can use it so all resources are shared among the community. If you bring in new Tokens to the community it will matter for everyone not just you. This system forms the basis of the social gaming structure of Love, as players are never competing against each other and are always playing against AI characters.

Building Structure
The building system lets you not only deform the terrain and place out object like trees, it also lets you lets you create infrastructure. Various object can be connected to work together by setting Coordinates, Radio frequencies and keywords. For instance you can set up a sensor, that sends a keyword over a radio frequency to open a door. This system is also used by infrastructure built by AI characters. By studying infrastructure the players can “hack” it by sending commands over the right frequencies. This system lets players build intricate relation sips, but it also sets up plot as the players will need to manipulate enemy installations, like deactivating shields, opening doors, and cut power to enemy weapons.

Features
Genre: First person not so massively multi player online procedural adventure game.
Engine: Custom highly optimized graphics engine with distinct “concept art” look.
Terrain System: Procedurally generated spherical, multi level height fields. Landscape, Building and City generation
Editing: Environment editable from within the game, fully destructible environments. Anything you can see you can be built and destroyed
Hardware requirements: win32 (possible Linux and OSX port) OpenGL, 512 meg ram, 1.5 GHz CPU, ATI RAdeon 9800 or better. Made to run on avrage Laptop
Pipeline: Realtime WYSIWYG verse connection. Loq Airou, Co On, Verse Export tool.
Characters: Fully procedural characters, creatures and robots with seamless environment aware procedural animation.
Simulation: Particle systems, fog, Cloth, Watter, wind, Day/Night cycle, and vegetation.
Networking: Low latency UDP networking for hundreds of players per server.
Biz Model: Pay-to-play. Prize to be determined
Developer: Quel Solaar
Release date: When ready.

Screenshots :

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Watch Video or Download

Love Website

Interview with Eskil hopefully coming soon…

Venetica is a 3D action game at the last stages of development from Deck13 – the company who brought us the Ankh series (3 games) and Jack Keane which were all ported to GNU/Linux.
Venetica like the other games from Deck13 uses the Ogre3D engine which is FOSS and cross platform.
But unlike the other games it will focus on action and RPG rather then puzzle solving.

In Venetica players take over the role of Scarlett, Grim Reaper’s daughter who is young and beautiful.. Set in a fantastic Venice, it is her mission to fight the pure evil. Venetica takes players to the here and now of its fantastic game world, making Scarlett explore Venice’s streets, canals, houses and even the roof tops. As the daughter of Death, she also has the ability to enter the Twilight World: the world of the dead. Here, she communicates with the dead and gets access to a number of unique gameplay elements. To achieve this, Scarlett needs to learn and train for special, supernatural skills and abilities – of which she initially doesn’t even know exist… During the game, her skills and abilities will allow her to get deeper and deeper into the Twilight World, and, for instance, ask the dead for help.

One of the Deck-13 developers commented on the forum regarding combat in Venetica :

“The real-time combat system is very versatile. Firstly, there’s the skill system allowing you to boost your combat abilities with more than 40 different skills. They are divided into physical (weapon) and mental (mostly magic) skills. Some are active skills and some have passive behavior, meaning that they change your combat values in some way or make you resistant against certain attacks.

There are 4 different weapon classes allowing totally different combat behavior. For example, the “spear and shield” class allows for a very defensive, protective combat, whereas the “hammer/axe” class is for those who like slow weapons with tremendous impact. The classic “sword” class is for the more quick and verstile fighter, and the “moonblade” class… I won’t reveal too much about that one.

Different weapon types have different kinds of impacts on certain enemies. Some have a shell that is very hard to pierce with a sword but can be smashed with a hammer, for example.

There’s also armor that protects the player. Different armor types are more effective regarding certain enemies and attacks, so it it wise to select the fitting armor if you enter a certain area.

There are many, many more things you can do in combat, like striking combos, blocking, dodging, and so on.

Also, the enemies have their own tactics and special moves and you have to learn to find their weak spots, or how to fight against more than one enemy at a time.

Not to mention the boss mosters…

As you can see, there’s lots of cool stuff regarding combat.”
(ref)

Also other interesting info from the developers :

“Replayability: There are different guilds you can join, and there are lots and lots of sidequests and hidden secrets. Although the game only has one specific ending (with some nice changes, though, depending on how you played the game), there’s lots of replay value. Especially if you are into exploring the more hidden spots of the game world.

Further, there are many different ways to develop your character: regarding a more offensive ore defensive style, or making him more a fighter or more a mage.

Plus, you can play as a honorable guy or solve the quest in a rather mean way”
(ref)

There are also NPC schedules like in Oblivion :

“not only does the game has a seamless day/night cylce: all citicens have their everyday schedule, their homes, and work to do. When it gets morning, you can watch them leaving their houses, and in the evening they will return. Likewise do the rogues and villains: When it gets dark, they flood the streets, looking for prey!”
(ref)

Venetica will be first released in Germany (German version) and then across the globe.
A GNU/Linux version is still unconfirmed BUT the fact that they use the Ogre3D Engine AND that all of their recent games had a GNU/Linux client says *something* about the possibility of this game also having a native GNU/Linux client.

Some of the features include :

  • Experience a visually stunning action RPG with a unique and captivating atmosphere
  • Follow the hero journey of Scarlett through a rich and original story
  • Conquer a host of merciless nightmarish creatures that pounce on the threatened world in a raged frenzy in action-packed battles and ultimately confront their masters
  • Explore palaces, villas and numerous dark alleyways in a living dynamic Venice filled with merchants, rogues, allies and traitors.
  • Learn how to use the powers of the “Twilight World” and wander between the worlds of the living and the dead and Put the ultimate powers of death to your advantage in battle.
  • Use the advantages of the “Twilight World” and the ultimate powers of death
  • Experience an open game world with dynamic night and day cycles
    Clear, easy to pick up rule system and intuitive game-play
    Experience a dynamic and open game world in which you can freely develop your own character and decide on different game strategies yourself.

Screenshots :

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Video Preview

GamesCom 2009 Trailer

Website

Forums

Dark Salvation is an horror FPS game built with id Tech 3 engine and meant for mature audience.
It’s developed by Mangled Eye Studios.

In my eyes Dark Salvation demonstrates few things …
1. id software’s GLPed engines are still alive and kicking, and more and more games use their FREE engines.
2. There is money to be made from GPLed software EVEN on the single player gaming business.
3. Once a game made with FREE software is released, parts of it will benefit the community as a source code that could be then used in other projects.

While Dark Salvation is not fully FOSS , they mean to release a SDK and the source code which the GPL license demands.
I assume that the graphic part will stay proprietary as in id software games.
They also working on a GNU/Linux and Mac clients – so stay tuned !

A little about the game…

Dark Salvation features 14+ levels filled with horror, monster slaying action, puzzle solving and magic casting.
The game offers 10 weapons as well as special items, each weapon can be used to cast spells.
Dark Salvation offers great soundtrack which is given for free as a separate music cd if you order the “box” version of the game (currently available for Windows only).

Update
It has come to my attention that this game was in development for 7 years, and that they licensed the id tech3 engine when it was still proprietary.
They said they will still release a source code , but there is no indication of what exactly.
In my opinion there is no need to leave the source code of “their” id tech 3 modified engine closed when the engine was freed years ago.

Some Screenshots :

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Trailer

Website

I’ve found Garshasp a few years ago… then it looked very very different – and not bad at all.
About a week ago I revisited the website and now it doesn’t even resembles the game I’ve seen.
I advice you to see the game play video to see the action , it somehow reminds me of “Gods of War” but it features more puzzles and less fighting.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see when the game be released…

The game is developed by Iranian company named Fanafzar Game Studios, and my hopes is that they will offer a download version as I suspect they won’t send their game (box version) to some countries due to political reasons.

Garshasp is a 3rd-person action adventure video game, based on ancient Persian mythology and will be initially available for PC. The game is based on the epic battles of the mythological hero, Garshasp, in the ancient lands against the evil monsters. The main mechanics of the game revolves around melee combat, puzzle solving and exploration.
The Garshasp game has been under development in Fanafzar Game Studios since early 2006. Fanafzar was founded in 2003 and has been active in the software market ever since.

The treasure trove of Persian mythology contains within it some of humanity’s oldest and most profound myths. They recount a rich and ancient culture, meaningful literature, and exciting legends that bring to life the excitement of Iranian civilization in all its glory-an experience often lost in the daily travails of modern life.
Fanafzar Company’s revolutionary new video game, Garshasp is a symbolic recreation of the spirituality, grandeur and mythical atmosphere of ancient Persia, derived from the epic poem Garshap Naame written by Asadi Tousi [Firdausi's mentor and professor]. Most of the images and scenes depicted in this game are drawn from or based directly upon historical resources and ancient stone carvings found throughout Iran, and a chain of thoughts that goes back thousands of years to the dawn of Western and Eastern civilizations alike.

Technical Specifications
Garshasp is targeted for the PC platform. The graphics quality is configurable but at least, a Shader Model 2.0-class graphics card is required. The game will run on any modern processor, but a dual-core (or more) CPU is recommended.
The game uses mostly in-house developed technology, along with industry standard technologies including the open source graphics rendering engine OGRE3D and the game physics simulation engine Nvidia PhysX.

Release Date
Garshasp, the Mace of Sarith will be released in the Fall of 2009.

Developers of Garshasp
Garshasp is being developed by Fanafzar Game Studios, a division of Fanafzar Sharif Software Company, in a partnership with the Computer Games Foundation of Iran, since early 2006.
Fanafzar Sharif was founded in 2003 and has been active in the software market ever since.

I’ve send an email to the developers and they said that they would love to make a GNU/Linux client and as they use the Ogre3D engine, it’s very possible !

Screenshots :

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Game Play Video Download

Garshasp Website (Flash Warning !)

Gallery

Development Blog

Achron is not Real Time Strategy game (RTS) it’s well beyond this “simple” aspect and deserves it’s own category of game genre.

Achron is still in heavy development and will have a GNU/Linux client in the future.
This game promises to be revolutionary in terms of gameplay.
It plays like RTS game but you can go back in time and undo your moves, go back to present and see the outcome.
If your opponent changes the present you will be notified and could go back to that time line and try to change it again.
Achron has a speed control that let’s you play in slow-motion, fast forward and even pause the game to give commands.

How would combat change if you could foresee the future? If you could prevent your past mistakes from ever happening? What if your enemy could too?

Achron is the first game to feature single-player and multiplayer free-form time travel. It is the world’s first meta-time strategy game, a real-time strategy game where players and units can jump to and play at different times simultaneously and independently.

You can undo your mistakes, change your strategy after committing to it, preview the future, freeze time to perfectly coordinate attacks, and send entire fleets through time to when they are needed. However, all of your opponents will also be independently moving across time, attempting to rewrite history in their favor…

TS – Real Time Strategy
Achron is a futuristic RTS featuring three races with vastly different playing styles where you create your buildings and army, explore the map, expand to acquire more resources, upgrade your tech tree, and engage in combat with your foes.

Timeline and Timewaves
Like many other games, Achron allows the player to view an overhead map of the surrounding area. However, Achron also shows a map of the timeline. If the player is attacked at a certain point in time, the timeline will show the amount of damage received at that point by a large amount of red on that portion of the timeline. The timeline also shows information including damage dealt and chronoports. Being able to see the amount of available resources at any point in time helps the player figure out the best points in time to construct more units.

Information on the timeline can be lumped into three categories:
1) A map of time – “Your opponent will attack you in 1 minute”
2) Inform strategy – “You should have taken advantage of your resources and built a larger army 2 minutes ago, go change the past”
3) Changes to the timeline – “Your opponent just undid an entire battle in the past”

Changes in history are not instantly propagated through the timeline, but instead are brought forward via evenly separated timewaves, giving the player opportunities to plan and react to those past changes before the next time wave sweeps by. These changes from the revised history are not reflected on the players’ screens until the proper timewave passes the player.

Chronoenergy
To prevent all players from always playing in the far past, their ability to change the past is limited by chronoenergy, a regenerating resource. Each command issued to every unit in the past consumes chronoenergy, limiting how much a player can change and play in the past. It is much more costly to modify a battle that occurred six minutes ago than a battle that happened only 30 seconds ago.

Hierarchy
A hierarchy is created when the player directs units to report to another unit, turning that chosen unit into a commander. The player can then direct commanders to report to other units, creating a command hierarchy tree. Since each command issued in the past consumes chronoenergy, the player can use the hierarchy to control any number of units by issuing just one command to the top level commander. In addition to enabling the player to change history without using up more chronenergy, the command hierarchy assists with some micromanagement. For example, any unit under attack in an otherwise idle hierarchy group will summon the wrath of the rest of the group, even when it’s beyond the group’s visibility range. Hierarchies also add flexibility to the player in terms of how groups of units move and attack, allowing the player to control units at any level within a hierarchy.

Speed Controls
The speed controls allow the player to progress through time at different rates. Pause and slow-mo can be used by the player to issue precise orders in a hectic situation, while playing in fast-forward is useful for players replaying in the past. Playing in fast-forward allows the player to catch up to the present. Fast-forward is particularly useful because when a player spends time in the past, the present has advanced by the same amount of time.

Chronoporting
In Achron, the players are able to send units through time, a process we call Chronoporting. If teleporting is instantly jumping through space, chronoporting is instantly jumping through time. This ability adds interesting new strategies as well as the creation of paradoxes which are automatically resolved by the game via the process discussed on the paradoxes page.

Many games utilize the concept of tele-fragging someone, where you destroy your opponent by teleporting to the same location as them. In Achron, a Chronofrag is when a unit travels through time but winds up occupying the same space as another unit. The weaker of the two units will be destroyed, while the stronger will immediately incur the appropriate amount of damage as they cannot both occupy the same space at the same time.

Races
There are three races in Achron, each with its own unique style of gameplay.
Vecgir: Rugged masters of teleportation
Grekim: Mobile masters of time travel
Humans: Specialized masters of offense

Resequence Engine

The Resequence Engine is a flexible game engine that enables multiple players and agents within the game to perform free-form time travel within a time window. It is a stable, high-performance game engine that can be used to create a variety of different game types beyond RTS. The core gameplay mechanisms, in-game scripting, and user interface are all fully customizable.

Serious Gaming, Training, & Multi-Temporal Decision Support Platform

The technology behind Achron’s Resequence engine opens up avenues for practical applications beyond time travel in video games. We have received significant interest in using this technology for serious games such as military and corporate applications. The main applications are as follows:

Training: Resequence can be used to teach causality and long-term effects. Because users can play at any point on the timeline, they must constantly evaluate and reevaluate the consequences of each of their decisions. If a user has made a mistake, the user can go back in time, retract commands, and re-issue new commands to the units. Players are thus able to change history, blurring the boundary between hypothetical and committed decisions. In particular, the player can revisit critical decision points, learn what decisions had the most long-term impact, and use statistical information on the timeline to make more informed decisions.

Finding Best-Response Strategies: Resequence’s support for multiple users to simultaneously change history can further enhance training. Each user can take advantage of an opponent’s strategic weaknesses in the past, and each user can correct mistakes in strategy and determine the best response to their opponent. This helps users to find minmax strategies, that is, strategies that minimize the maximum possible loss. Loss of information asymmetry can be severely detrimental to a given strategy, but Resequence pushes users to account for the possibility that their opponent may learn of their strategy before it is executed. Users can look into the future to see what the outcomes of their current strategies and their opponent’s strategies will be.

Qualitative Sensitivity Analysis of Simulations: Given a particular simulation, a user can revisit decision points on the timeline and determine their long-term effects. Seemingly major decisions may turn out to have little impact on long-term effects. Similarly, seemingly minor effects, such as improper etiquette with a local leader, may drastically alter the course of events. Resequence provides a new interface to drive simulations for exploring the effects of decisions.

Collaborative Planning: Multiple users can simultaneously edit a strategic plan, with information on the timeline guiding the users to prevent conflicting plans. Resequence can be viewed in this regard as an automatically merging configuration management system for strategies. The merging of plans is done by time waves, which carry the causality of changes in the past to the future. As events change on the timeline, the statistics depict change and pulse so a user can see how other players are affecting the time line.

Time Waves as a Computation Model
In the abstract sense, threads refer to different computational tasks running at the same time on different parts of some larger task. Time Waves, which are one of the cornerstones of Resequence, turn threads on their side; time waves operate on the same task but at different points in time. Threads and time waves are thus orthogonal and may be combined.

Time waves are a new model to run simulations or even deployed software wherever a user wants to change the history of an application while it is running (e.g., removing a fault that occurred in the past, fast-forwarding the change to the present) or wants to run a simulation which uses its own future output as input for predicting the future (e.g., financial modeling). Time waves may be used instead of or as a complement to reversible computing.

It’s very hard to find useful/interesting screenshots for this game (at this point), but I highly recommend watching the videos so you can understand better the gameplay and concept.

Achron Homepage

Achron youtube channel

Time Paradox Explained

Adonthell is a FREE RPG under GPLv2 or later license.
The game itself is currently very simple and have a nice 2d graphics and simple gameplay.
Adonthell 0.3 aka “Waste’s Edge” is a short demo game that was meant to show what the game engine is capable of.
With Adonthell 0.4 which is still in active development a lot of things have changed and added.
The game itself wasn’t exciting to me (at least not version 0.3) , but the development tools (of 0.4) are priceless.

Adonthell 0.4 is not yet available as a package and needs to be compiled from source – but for the tools it has, compiling is surely worth it.
As the title said, Adonthell is not just a game, Adonthell is a game engine and also a collection of tools which makes the game, like :

* Charedit for creating characters and creatures
* Dlgedit for creating conversations between player and NPCs
* Mapedit for creating the game world
* Questedit for creating the quest tree
* Itemedit for creating items

Those tools are still bound to the game engine and currently could only be used at Adonthell BUT without too much work they could be converted as “stand alone” and even used in other game project.
All those tools are bound to each other and integrated BUT also could be used separately – quests and inventory aren’t a must for game creation while map and characters are.
But they could be integrated with each other as tools, meaning that you could put a script in Dlgedit that would add things to the inventory and even update your quests when a specific dialog option is chosen by the player.

As you might know I am slowly developing a draft for a text game which if ever be done I will release under GPLv3, more on my little project I might write later.
So for my project I chose the Dlgedit tool for dialog trees, and it’s remarkable.

Dlgedit lets you easily create a visual dialog trees and add python scripts to them, the Adonthell developers even wrote a guide on how can Dlgedit be used – which is very impressive.
On that note their wiki is fairly detailed and holds much information for the developers

As I’ve mentioned Adonthell 0.4 and it’s tools needed to be compiled from source, it wasn’t easy at all – but the developers were extremely helpful and guided me step-by-step what I needed to do.
They also updated their wiki with new dependencies we discovered on the way and also fixed the code so it would actually compile on my machine.
I’m sure that now it is much easier to compile Adonthell with it’s tools.

My hopes is that other free game projects will use Adonthell’s tools and convert them to be used with their projects or even as “stand alone”.
I think they are very useful and in Dlgedit’s cease very unique – I didn’t see such a tool anywhere in the FOSS (Free/Open Source Software) world.
There were in fact such talks at PARPG forums (which is a FREE cRPG in development) but it’s still undecided.

This time I will not include screenshots for this game as version 0.3 doesn’t represent the current status of the development and my attention was not on the game, but on the tools – tools other developers can use for their projects.
You see, people seems to judge from first sigh, and the screenshot from version 0.4 (yes, only one screenshot – and not a good one) could harm people’s opinion about the game while the tools are good and useful in other projects.

Links
Adonthell Project Page
Adonthell Wiki
Dlgedit

Adonthell IRC channel could be found at #Adonthell at the Freenodes server, the developers are usually there and they are very helpful.

Last month I interviewed Michael from Viewizard, the developers of AstroMenace which is a fantastic hardcore space shooter which is available under GPLv3 and is FREE for Linux.
The funny thing is that the windows binary actually costs money and although it could be compiled from the source code, it’s still selling !

I’ve asked the questions is English and Michael answered in Russian, today I’ve took the time to translate the interview and publish it here :

Hello Michael !
Sorry for writing in English because I do speak Russian (but as I didn’t study in Russia my spelling grammar is horrible, but I can read).

Excellent, The I’ll answer in Russian
I off course can answer in English, but I think you would like more complete answers.

I am a Linux user and I am extremely happy that you released the source code under GPLv3 and supplied the Linux version for free…
I got a few questions however.

1. What made the devs release the source code under GPLv3 and the Linux version for free while the windows version costs money ?

My principle is simple – if you want to pay, then pay. if you chose a commercial OS, then why should I give you the game for free ?
A FREE game needs to be “earned” .

GNU/Linux is a community – it’s a huge army of experienced users, programmers, system administrators etc…
With their help testing the game was very effective, and we didn’t need to run and seek for people – they found us and offered help, this was very pleasant.

Making a cross platform game (Windows-Mac-GNU/Linux) isn’t a big problem. the most important thing is to want. everything else is already there in forms of documentation, pieces of code, etc…

2. How are the sells went ?

Franky speaking I didn’t see any change in sells, there were no downfalls after the code was released under GPLv3.
It is possible that somewhere there is a compiled version for Windows (we didn’t change the code on purpose and all Windows fragments are present), but we haven’t seen it yet

3. Is there a new game under development ? (I’ve seen on your site/blog 2 games Astromenace2 and other space non-Astromenace game).

We have some prototypes, but currently they on hold till “better times”. it’s very hard to foresee anything for the next 6 months and beyond (and developing a game takes much time), with all the economy problems.

4. On the “support” section I’ve seen 3 new games : Awakening, Black Star : first attack and dangerous activity 3d … however I did not see any of those games on the download or games section on the site – can you explain what are they ? are they available for Linux ?

I’ve started writing games spontaneously on a programming class at the university. like all normal people when we see a computer we start playing … the teacher was angry at us and said that “you can play computer games, but only if you programmed them yourself”. I think he regretted his saying very much afterwords.
At the time we studied recently released Delphi 3, and Pascal. not thinking much I used those languages to develop games, uploaded them to the Internet and started selling, well at least I’ve “tried” to sell them.
As you probably guessed converting those games to C++ was not possible for me, but was it needed at all ? those games already done their “job” and I got the experience from making them.
Now those games are no longer available, but if I already sold them – I still need to support them.

You misunderstood my question about the sells …
What I meant was if the sells where good ? if they covered the cost of the development and made profit for you ?

Yes, the game made profit, but not a big one.
There is a need to say that the game was hardcore, that’s why we couldn’t work with a publishers. they just rejected the game. everyone needs a game in which you push one button and see colorful explosions , that’s why they rejected our game by saying “it’s not arcade enough”.
Overall everything went us I expected, and the publishers we worked with done a poor job (at least in my eyes), their audience demanded an arcade game
I’m not arguing, arcade games could be made… but if your work won’t give you satisfaction – it is better to work as a regular programmer and get a steady pay without worrying too much.

I understand that you have another work right now for a different company , that’s why your projects are on hold – right ?

Well, our family is well funded, we have a family business in which I can always be something like IT consultant that I used to do all the time…
But I can’t not to talk with my own parents after all
The gaming projects needed to be put on hold, I just can’t pay people enough money right now, and using the people in my family is something I do not want to do…
Luckily, at August 2008 I already smelled that things not going right and advised “my people” to look for a job, so when the economy collapsed, they already had good jobs.
As far as I know, the crises didn’t hurt them.

The economy is indeed bad this year – many unlucky people got fired and companies got bankrupt … I hope that you as myself still hold your job

Thanks, I hope so as well

Are you also involved at other FREE (GPL, BSD …) projects ?

I helped Don translating Notepad++ to Russian.
I also translated his website and for “some” reason I accidentally became the Russian tech supporter for Notepad++, all emails are sent to my inbox :)

Other then that I am not involved in additional free projects.

Thank you very Michal for the interview Michael !

Some Screehshots :

am8

am9

am10

Website

Viewizard Describes Development Process – English Edition

Revenge Of The Cats: Ethernet is NOT your ordinarily Multiplayer Online First Person Shooter (MOFPS) game, far from it….

Rotc uses the Torque Game Engine and is cross platform, it’s still in development but a GNU/Linux version is very playable, unfortunately it is not FREE/Open Source Software (FOSS) ….at least not yet ;)

In Rotc you can’t really die like in other FPS games, instead you (and your team) win by conquering zones.
You can travel in Etherform form which is much faster and also used to regenerate health and energy, or as a CAT, the fighter – which conquer zones and shoot at enemies, the other team members.
Once a zone is free from the enemy (or the enemy is at Etherform form) , it could be conquered.

The fighting in this game is VERY cool and much different then in other FPS games
You have unlimited ammo but when you shoot your energy draws if you miss the enemy, and your health grows when you hit an enemy.
You have few different weapons one of which is homing-missile or as it called in game a sceptre.
This cool weapon could hit the target even when you are not directly aiming at him, it can also be deflected by obstacles and still reach the target – you got to see the video for it.

But how can the enemy defend itself against it you ask ? for that we have shields !
Every weapon draws different amount of energy and you can zoom in/out fast and to the last detail – I was very impressed by it.

Revenge Of The Cats: Ethernet, or just Ethernet for short. Ethernet aims to be a fast-paced, teamwork-oriented, non-stop-action multiplayer FPS game combining elements from games such as Starsiege: Tribes and Subspace/Continuum.

Players can’t really die, if they take enough damage, they simply lose their physical manifestation, which is something they can also do voluntarily.
Players have energy that constantly regenerates. Energy is both used to fire weapons as well as powering the player’s shield. While the energy used to fire a shot is restored if the shot hits an enemy, missing an enemy leaves the player with a decreased energy level and thus lowered shields which make him more vulnerable to damage.
Players have a “damage buffer” which constantly regenerates. If a player has full energy, weaker weapons don’t do enough damage with a single hit to cause “permanent” damage.
Apropos “permanent” damage: There are no health kits. Health is primarily restored by inflicting damage to enemies: If a player inflicts damage on another player, health lost by the victim is transferred to the attacker, if the attacker already has full health, the excess health “overflows” the player’s damage buffer, giving him more than 100% health until all the excess health has been removed by damage or has slowly “leaked” away.

In Ethernet, every map is divided into different zones and two teams of ethereal beings (“Reds” and “Blues”) fight over control of these zones. Players can exist in two different forms: The freely moving, indestructible “Etherform” and a humanoid, weapon-wielding physical manifestation called a “CAT”.

Players start out in Etherform and need to find a zone owned by their team in order to manifest as a CAT. As CAT, players take zones for their team simply by being inside the zone while no enemy CAT is also present in the zone. The zone then turns red or blue, depending on which team captured it. If CATs of both teams are present, the zone remains white.

The game is won if the opposing team has lost all their zones and has no more players manifested as CATs.

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WEBSITE

A few screenshots :

screenshot02300001

screenshot02300002
Videos !

ROTC: Ethernet – Demo/Tutorial (Prototype 1.7)

Revenge Of The Cats: Ethernet – Sceptre HowTo (Prototype 1.4)

They also have an IRC channel at #rotc channel at Freenodes.

I definitely recommend you to try this game out, but read the manual before so you won’t be lost in the game (the manual is published at their website and also included with the game).

By A BIG Demand from many sources I’ve decided to change the theme.
Tell me if you like it and what do you want changed.

Please comment below.