Tagged: FREE

The Project of the Month is back!

 

Only two days left to vote!!!

Announcement:

 

The Project of the Month was (re)created to raise awareness for individual free game projects and for the the free gaming community in general. Several websites teamed up to make this happen. The supporters of the award are:
Freegamer, Linux Game Database, Rootgamer, Gamin On Linux, Linux Gaming News and Portable Linux Games.
The prize for the Project of the Month is one month promotion provided by the supporting websites. Eligible are free Linux game projects. The voting process and everything else is described in more detail at the Project of the Month page.
In short it consist of two stages:

 

  • nomination stage
    where 10 game projects are nominated by one of the award supporters and a
  • voting stage
    where the winner is decided by approval vote by the community

Every one that has an account at the Linux Game Awards can vote! Go register!

 

The first award will be Project of the Month January 2014! And the short list of 10 nominees is currently created by Freegamer. The online vote for all registered users will be opened 25th of November 2013.

 

The way the Project of the Month will be promoted by the award supporters will follow shortly. Stay tuned.

 

The Linux Game Awards team

 

If you want to support the Project of the Month award or have any other questions you can contact us at: mail at linuxgameawards dot org

 

10 games were nominated for the project of the month, you can vote till the 24th and the winning project will get free ads on the participating GNU/Linux gaming websites (including LGN).

Here is the list:

  • Stunt Rally
  • SuperTuxKart
  • 0 A.D.
  • The Dark Mod
  • Flare
  • Pioneer
  • Simutrans
  • Zero-K
  • Megaglest
  • Hedgewars

So go VOTE!

 

 

David Lara sent me an email about a very old school game he ported named L’Abbaye des Morts .
The 2d platform game is freeware and the ported and rewritten game is also under the free source  GPLv3 license.

 

An obsolete videogame for a dark passage of history
In the 13th century, the Cathars, who preach about good Christian beliefs, were being expelled by the Catholic Church out of the Languedoc region in France.
One of them, called Jean Raymond, found an old church in which to hide, not knowing that beneath its ruins lay buried an ancient evil.
A style close to Spectrum ZX, with its dark background and bright colors, proper fit with the story, because it does look old and somewhat horrifying. Also, the gameplay is direclty inspired by Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy.

 


Here is was David Lara wrote :

“Hi!

I wrote this email to you because we released a Linux version of
“L’Abbaye des Morts”, a indie platform game released by LocoMalito
(www.locomalito.com) in 2010 for the Windows platform.

Because the game was made with GameMaker tool, no source code are
available. I rewrite the game in C language with the help of SDL
libraries (the code can be improved, I’m newbie in programming). Also,
I add the feature to “switch” between the original artwork (8 bits
style) or a enhanced version (16 bits style) that Locomalito redraw
for a Megadrive/Genesis port.

The code is released under GPLv3 license. The project is open to
anyone that wants to improve, optimize the code, port to others
platfoms, etc.

A member of the project (doragasu) has ported the code to OpenPandora
console. A port to GamePark consoles is in the works.

Home of the project:
http://code.google.com/p/abbaye-for-linux/
(Here, you can access to SVN repo, and Downloads sections with source
code and packages for Ubuntu, Fedora and openSuSE).

OpenPandora package:
http://repo.openpandora.org/?page=detail&app=abbaye
(Here you can find pictures of the game)

We hope you find this interesting :)


Greetings,

David Lara”

 

PixelLight is a free source, cross platform 3D engine and framework released under LGPL3 and GPL3 licenses.

About
PixelLight is a cross-platform application framework for any kind of 3D applications like games, interactive simulations or visualizations. It’s based on a highly flexible scene graph system that allows you to compose and visualize any type of 3D scene for your application.
PixelLight is written in C++ and has been designed with flexibility and extensibility as one of it’s main goals. Therefore, it’s not only a 3D engine, but a consistent framework that allows you to combine all the components that you need for your application without having to care about the differences of the actual libraries, APIs or operating systems that you are using. The underlying systems and libraries are abstracted by a powerful reflection and component system, which makes it easier and more effective to create applications for different platforms and target components such as rendering, sound, physics, network, scripting and so on.

Feature List

Platforms

  • Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista, 7)
  • Linux
  • Maemo 5

Rendering

  • OpenGL render
  • OpenGL ES 2.0 render
  • Deferred rendering support

Plugins

  • Flexible plugin architecture
  • Sound: OpenAL, FMOD and FMODEx
  • Physics: Newton, ODE and PhysX
  • Support for many input devices (e.g. SpaceNavigator, WiiMote)

API

  • Completely programmed in C++
  • Well structured and understandable code due to strictly object oriented design
  • Advanced reflection-, component- and plugin-systems making PixelLight highly flexible, portable, modular and quite universal
  • Flexible scene graph system which makes it easy to create even very complex scenes
  • Sophisticated application framework enabling you to “just start” quickly with your application development

Tools

  • Autodesk 3ds Max export plugin that can export whole scenes with nodes, meshes, materials and even morph targets with just one click

Documentation and examples

  • Detailed documented code with explanations of parameters and return values, examples and notes
  • A lot of sample applications

Screenshots

Video

Links
PixelLight
Pixel Light Youtube Video Channel

Thanks SlickMcRunFast for submitting those great news to LGN.

Frogatto is a new free source (but not art) 2d platform game released for GNU/Linux, Windows, MacOS and even iPhone !

Frogatto is now a fully playable, fun, classic adventure platformer with over thirty levels, version 1.0 representing the first stable version of the game.
Frogatto also contains a fully functional editor that allows you to create your own fun levels or edit existing levels. The engine is heavily moddable, and as an Open Source game we welcome new talented contributors.

Frogatto is a “platformer” or “jump-and-run” videogame. Like many older arcade/nintendo/sega titles, the world is viewed as a cross-section seen from the side, and your character walks and jumps between solid platforms, whilst avoiding being hurt by monsters. We’re not a clone of any specific game; although just by being a platformer, it’s impossible not to have something in common with games like mario or sonic. So we are trying to innovate a bit.

Frogatto is also the protagonist’s name. It’s eponymous.

Open Source?
Frogatto’s code, but only the code, is open-source. Open source means you can see (and reuse) the code we built the game from. This makes frogatto infinitely moddable (and fixable, and maintainable, unlike closed-source ‘moddable’ games which leave you permanently stuck with engine bugs or future incompatibilities). Even more importantly, this means you could take frogatto’s code and build your own 2d game out of it. We can help with advice on that – we’d love to see that happen.

This also means we’re open to translations – at least, once we have code support for it. We’re not going to bother until after the game is released.
The license on the code is the GPL; if you’re going to reuse our work, we insist you “pay it forward.” Our content, though, is not GPL – we’re reserving all rights to the art and music, because we want to be the only people who can sell it.
Also, people have suggested a CC-Non-Commercial license for the content, but we’re not interested. That would expose us to the very real danger of someone releasing the game for free on a platform we’re trying to sell it on. Whether likely to happen or not, if it did happen, it would have a catastrophic effect on sales, so it’s too much of a risk for us.
Those interested should note that some old pieces of our content have been completely open-sourced, and can be found at OpenGameArt.

Can I help out?
Sure. We’re open to level designs, and new puzzles. However, keep in mind that if you do help out, we’re not going to pay you, and anything you give us is ours to sell. We’re not jerks, here, we’re just covering our butt by not making any promises. (Realistically, we’d probably put you in the credits.)

Screenshots

Links
Frogatto
Frogatto Download Page
Frogatto GPLed Source Code
Frogatto Forum
Frogatto 1.0 Release Announcement
OpenGameArt

Thank Sven Arvidsson for the good news

Dariusz Dawidowski let me know about his new game “Maxi Mini Golf” which is a Commercial mini golf game that offers 36 holes, realistic physics, special score system and up to four human players.
Easy to use mouse or keyboard interface.
Download the demo for Ubuntu 32 and 64-bit (about 70 MB), more GNU/Linux versions coming soon !
You can order the game from within the game menu.

Many FOSS programs where used to develop this game : Panda3D, Bullet Physics, Blender, Gimp, Python and more…

Community Links
An official “Maxi Mini Golf” website is not up yet, but there are community links :
Download “Maxi Mini Golf” for GNU/Linux
Twitter Page
Facebook Page
Myspace Page

Breakthrough for Free Software Gaming–Ryzom Announces Full Release of Source Code and Artwork, and a Partnership with the Free Software Foundation to Host a Repository of the Game’s Artistic Assets.

PARIS, FRANCE, May 6, 2010 — Winch Gate Properties Ltd, the developer and publisher of massively-multiplayer online science-fantasy role playing games, is proud to announce the release of the source code and artistic assets of the popular MMORPG Ryzom to the Free Software Development Community.

Developers can now access the source code of the end-user client, content creation tools and server in order to make modifications, enhancements or to create their own virtual worlds. This move marks a milestone in Ryzom’s long history and dedication to the free software movement. In order to ensure that Ryzom continues to grow and foster as a free software project, Winch Gate is now releasing Ryzom under the terms of the Free Software Foundation’s GNU Affero General Public License.

Winch Gate is also excited to provide the free software community with high quality professional artistic assets including 3D objects, animation tracks, particle effects and thousands of textures. All of the Ryzom artistic assets will be licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike to ensure that they and any derivative art will be available to all free software projects. These assets will be hosted in a new online repository in partnership with the Free Software Foundation.

By freeing Ryzom code, Winch Gate is transforming the MMORPG marketplace and is setting a precedent for how gaming software should evolve–in freedom. The source code released totals over two (2) million lines of source code and over 20,000 high quality textures and thousands of 3D objects.

Welcoming the news, Free Software Foundation executive director Peter Brown said, “This is a unique opportunity for the free software movement and the emerging free gaming field to accelerate the production of free games and 3D worlds. We recognize the importance of gaming and the current dominance of proprietary gaming software, so today represents a significant breakthrough from which our community can benefit.” The FSF has published more information about the scope of today’s release, and suggested ways for developers to get involved

Vianney Lecroart, Chief Technology Officer of Winch Gate says, “The Free Software community often has a difficult time finding great graphical assets that they can use in their own projects. We are sure that the thousands of textures and 3D objects we are releasing under the CC BY-SA will help a lot of Free Software projects.”

Winch Gate intends to incorporate certain code changes and enhancements into the official version of the Ryzom game. All code developed outside Winch Gate’s in-house development staff will be thoroughly reviewed to ensure quality standards, stability and security. In order to engage and foster growth in the Ryzom project, Ryzom will have a group of community managers who can manage patch submissions and feature requests. Support will continue to be given for the official Ryzom software only, with third-party projects unsupported by Winch Gate.

Initial projects will include bug fixes and porting to operating systems such as GNU/Linux and Apple Mac OS X. Timeframes for these enhancements will vary depending on the scale of the project and the project team. The level and world data associated with Ryzom will not be released as free content and their use will remain exclusive to players of the Ryzom game.

The source code and additional information will be available from the Ryzom Core Development Portal.

The Ryzom’s free media assets are available from Ryzom’s Asset Repository.

About Ryzom
Ryzom is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing or MMORPG Game set more than 3.000 years into the future, on a living, evolving virtual world: beautiful Atys, where after creating your own personal avatar you will guide it through this strange fantastic planet to uncover its mysteries.
The game boasts a unique science-fantasy setting, a distinctive and artistic visual style and a sophisticated plot based upon the conflict of two mysterious supernatural powers. The storyline was awarded “Mmorpg.com Best Story” award. Gameplay is highly adaptive to your personal preferences and the actions/skills system is remarkably unique, sophisticated and profound.
Ryzom Ring is the proprietary innovative free expansion that brings MMORPGs to a new level. Ryzom Ring allows you to create your own role-play and RPG Adventures on the world of Atys.

About Winch Gate
Winch Gate Properties Ltd is the developer and publisher of the massively-multiplayer online science fantasy role playing game Ryzom since 2009. Former employees from Nevrax joined the company to continue to work on Ryzom.

For more information contact:
Vianney Lecroart, Chief Technology Officer
vl@ryzom.com
irc: #ryzom on irc.freenode.net

Links
Announcement
MMORPG Ryzom
Free Software Foundation’s GNU Affero General Public License
Ryzom Core Development Portal
Ryzom’s Asset Repository

Thanks for rettichschnidi from the lgp IRC channel at the freenodes server for the news.

A few days ago I’ve posted about new FOSS science fiction game under development named Avaneya.

Today I publish the interview I’ve made with the project starter Kip Warner :

1. Tell me about your game, you wrote :
“Avaneya will combine elements of a science fiction real time
strategy, adventure, and some of those of the classical city building
and management genre. “

A. To what game can we compare it too ?
How will the city building be like ? AoE ? Settlers ? SimCity ?
other ?

To be honest, I never played Age of Empires, but I have heard great
things about it. I didn’t know much about software as a kid, but even in
my teens, I smelt a rat when I saw the Microsoft logo on the box. I
think that’s probably why I was too stubborn to try it. Nevertheless,
outside of philosophical reasons, it looked like a good game. I never
played Settlers and don’t know much about it, so I can’t comment.

SimCity, however, I played a lot and really enjoyed it. It wasn’t that I
was trying to deliberately avoid senseless violence in video games, but
at the time of SNES which I was playing it on, it wasn’t really
represented as an unorthodox alternative but as just another game.
Looking back, I see that, at least with respect to most games these
days, it’s very unusual in that respect.

SimCity had a reasonable amount of breadth for the capacity of the
hardware at the time (and thus people’s expectations). Crime, pollution,
population density, and so on, where various interacting dimensions to
it. What it lacked though was more substantial breadth and depth.

By depth, I mean it didn’t really probe too deeply into how any of
things might be related. In some sense, it kind of taught people that
getting your society to work was about finding the balance within that
paradigm of neo-classical economics. This is interesting to explore, but
it still leaves me wondering as I’ve come to view that school of thought
as a vehicle for unchecked assumptions. As time goes by and I learn
more, I am realizing that the whole paradigm is broken. Rather than just
reminding many of us of what we already are starting to figure out, it
would be more constructive to propose something useful to address that,
like the GPI.

Society is not a thing in itself, but perhaps a holistic or “emergent
property” of many people doing many things. Having said that, I’d like
to take Avaneya in the direction of embracing this.

Also, I didn’t mention SimCity in the FAQ, though I wanted to, because I
was unsure of the legalities of doing so. This might be an issue, given
my company is incorporated and this is a commercial game. I didn’t want
to step on any landmines.

Something I’d also really like to draw from SimCity is how, after a
certain point of user interaction, the city seems to take a life its own
and seems “alive”.

B. What kind of RTS can we expect ? AOE style or non-combat ?

I would like to see predominantly non-combat, as we saw in SimCity.
However, conflict is real and it would be unreasonable to white wash
society by removing it. So I will not rule that out, but it will be
presented in a non-traditional light.

It’s important that I am cautious in describing the game in terms of any
other game. If I could do that with a perfect one-to-one mapping, I
wouldn’t feel driven to create a new one. So I hope it will be
interpreted as somewhat cross-genre.

C. What is the adventure part in the game ?

One of the challenges I am facing is to see if there is room to
incorporating a personal dimension to the game. A story is necessary,
but characters, which is what I mean, are difficult. Traditional city
building games typically involve the player at a macroscopic level,
whereas traditional RTS like StarCraft have their heroes. I think there
is a creative solution to this that will reveal itself in time to
balance this need for both a high and low level of abstraction.

Another source of adventure is the user trying to solve old problems in
novel new ways.

D. The single player mode will be free while the online mode won’t,
tell me please about the online mode…will it be like a MMORPG, or a
single map online match like HoN or other RTS games ?

Single player I would like to see both a campaign mode (story driven)
and a separate quick game mode where you select a scenario and play it.

I am thinking multiplayer on a Martian regional / planetary scale. This
could allow players, each acting as governor of their respective city
state, to interact through trade, expansion, or what have you. This is
something that is difficult to do because there is the inherent problem
of what happens to your infrastructure when you are not online?

Another possibility would be to have players engage in scenarios where
they have, say, a time limit to raise their shared city to a certain
minimum GPI. StarCraft had a multiplayer mode where players shared
control of the same team.

I know I am being vague, but take it as a hint that many things are
changing right now.

2. Are you making this game alone ? (code and art) can people join your team ?

I am the sole soul behind the engineering at this point, but there are
countless people who have asked to be involved in some way or have
already contributed. I am also doing modelling, art, website, and
cinematics as well.

As I’ve mentioned in the FAQ, many in the academic community, from the
Department of Forestry and the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at
the University of British Columbia Farm to the Rubenstein School of
Environment & Natural Resources at the University of Vermont have
already made contributions. I’ve received a lot from them in the way of
academic papers, useful methods of measuring the GPI, environmental
models for the interaction of soil and deforestation and other
literature.

I’ve had many already step up to the plate to volunteer their modeling
skills. One of the challenges though is getting the data out of Blender
into a format the engine can use. This will involve likely writing a
exporter plugin, but the problem is that Blender’s API is predominantly
Python based. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just it’s another
language I am going to have to pickup. I’ll figure that out though.

Music is really the most exciting part for me right now, even though I
am anything but a musician. I can’t even read music. Nevertheless, I
have an awesome crew that is coming together for that. Mike Verde,
Izmar, Von Magnet, Rone, and some others are all on-board right now and
I’ve been enjoying their music long before I dreamt up this game. Some
of the music is already in the works and is, as we say, executing in
another thread as I work on the engineering side of things.

Obviously I will decide what music gets included and what does not, but
besides it resonating with the game, it needs to be in a free format.
Our musicians need to submit their work in FLAC at 24-bit / 96kHz to
make transcoding to Ogg Vorbis for different platforms as flexible as
possible.

This is distant, but we are also considering releasing a separate
Avaneya official soundtrack. This is popular in Japan where game
soundtracks on people’s shelves are commonplace. A challenge though is
figuring out the format. Regular red book? Well, that will work in
everyone’s car or home stereo, but you’re limited to 2-channels,
16-bit / 44kHz.

Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails, to name a few, have released albums in
the past in surround sound. We’d like to consider doing that, but the
problem are the legalities surrounding encoding to Dolby Digital (AC3)
or Digital Theatre System (DTS) and that they are non-free. Red-book
might be the way to go, but give people the choice of FLAC and Ogg
Vorbis as well. Given that most of the people who buy it will be
probably playing it back on their computers, this isn’t unreasonable.

The proceeds from the OST can, and should, go to the musicians. Since
many of them are not big names, getting their name out is really
important for them as well.

3. What engine are you going to use for your game ? some FOSS engine or costume ?

I am developing a custom one. It’s called the Ares engine.

My goal is to have it as data driven as possible, but still context
specific enough to the type of gameplay of a RTS / city builder. This is
a good compromise between trying to balance code re-use and the
performance benefits of a context specific engineering approach. The
physics, renderer, collision detection, audio, and so on will all be
written in C++.

The data that it operates on will be provided in AresPackages which are
binary archives that can carry shaders, textures, vertex attributes,
scripts, and so on. The AresPackages are defined through an XML
interface and enforced against an XML schema as they pass through a
compiler which transforms them into a binary format containing EBMI
data. EBMI is akin to XML, but binary. It’s what makes Matroska
possible. Indeed, it was created for that.

The logic of the game itself will be driven by Lua scripts, embedded in
the AresPackages.

An idea I have been flirting with is to have scenarios provided by the
community, in addition to the official ones that will ship with the
game, and have the authors compensated proportional to the number of
people playing on the server in it. That way, people are encouraged to
provide the best content for the game; secondly, it brings more people
to the game itself; and third, it invites those with domain specific
expertise to educate everyone due to their in depth knowledge of the
mechanics of agriculture or what have you. Everyone wins. But I need to
think more carefully of the logistics of doing this to ensure it is
sustainable and that I don’t make promises I can’t keep.

4. What kind of graphic quality can we expect ? do you have a screenshots yet to show us ?

I spent a lot of time going through some pretty advanced literature on
algorithms, shaders, lighting, and so on, so I will hope to do my best.

There isn’t much visually to see at the moment. There is code written,
but it is mostly for low level algorithm stuff that isn’t really
interesting to look at for the average end user. However, for the
developers out there, expect to see the Subversion repository come
online soon.

In the mean time, here are two render tests of the fluid dynamics aspect
of the physics engine simulating water. The engine just needs to know
the fluid’s viscosity (stickiness), temperature, atmospheric pressure,
and it will automatically generate it and respond to any disturbances
made. I create a disturbance by clicking with the mouse. It does all of
this through a differential method that was very tricky to implement,
but I was very happy when I finally got it to work. All of the number
crunching is done on the GPU, so the CPU doesn’t really do much.

http://www.thevertigo.com/temp/water.avi

http://www.thevertigo.com/temp/water2.avi

5. From your description about trees and water, while logical and real – most people won’t get it.
They are not environmentalists and can’t know many things you see as obvious.
Will you offer some explanation before they make the mistakes ? or, how would the tutorial work ?

You raise a very important point. It is peoples’ lack of awareness of
that which is a major motivation behind this game in the first place. If
you recall, the philosophy that drives Avaneya is to assist users
unlearn some things, learn other things, and enjoy the process of
transition.

It’s not that people are trying to keep themselves unaware with these
phenomena, it’s just that we’ve been able to live in a system of such
abundance for so long that we didn’t have to worry about that very same
system caving in on itself like now.

The Buddhists say you cannot teach anyone anything, but they can only
teach themselves. It is my hope to have the GPI integrated into the game
in an obvious manner. By this, I mean possibly built right into the GUI,
like other metrics in SimCity and other games. This way you are always
being advised of the effect of your interaction with the world.

I too was a stranger to the GPI and had heard only of the GDP. When I
realized that the GDP was just an income sheet and the GPI a total net
balance sheet, a light went on in my head and it all made sense why so
many things are dysfunctional now. We’ve been looking at the wrong gauge
all along, like the pilot following the wrong instrument in the cockpit
while trying to navigate and ending up in the side of a ravine.

The interesting thing is that most companies, to a certain extent,
already conduct their business by looking at their net balance sheet
(Net Profit). It wouldn’t make sense for you to look only at the fact
that you had made $10,000 in sales (Gross Profit) one month, but neglect
the cost incurred in materials and labour of $45,000. Unfortunately this
is the kind of logic that has taken hold of our policy makers as they
rely on the antiquated and dangerously limited GDP as a measure of
progress.

Here is a good example that GPI Atlantic
(http://www.gpiatlantic.org/publications/abstracts/fisheries-ab.htm)
provided on their website:

“In the late 1980s, Nova Scotia’s fishery for cod and other groundfish
seemed to be booming. The media reported steady catches, high exports,
and strong contributions of the fishery to the province’s Gross
Domestic Product (GDP), the conventional measuring stick of the
economy.

A few years later, many fisheries were collapsing and the fabric of
many coastal communities began to unravel. Our conventional economic
measuring sticks – such as catches, exports and GDP – did not warn of
the impending disaster. While catches were kept high, the decline of
the groundfish stocks remained hidden from public view, as we focused
excessively on a narrow set of economic measures that failed to
incorporate all that we value in the fishery – notably healthy fish
stocks within a healthy ecosystem, supporting strong fishing
communities and a sustainable fishing economy.”

Hopefully Avaneya will be able to make the GPI a household term and also
make people think twice when they hear policy makers cite the GDP as the
basis for something.

I wouldn’t say the GDP is the root of all evil, but it certainly
contributes to more messes than most things by providing short term
gains at the cost of mortgaging much larger losses into the future. It’s
had a free ride for decades and Avaneya will try to contribute to
putting an end to it.

6. What is the big differences between Avaneya and Simcity from user perspective ?
Except environment you have mentioned “human rights” and “social “justice”
… can you explain in more depth ?

Since the GPI is very holistic in nature, it measures many things. If
you produce, say, a $1,000,000 worth of goods and services, but it came
at a cost of that same amount in costs incurred through crime and
pollution, then the GPI will be zero. Any rational individual looking at
that will know immediately that things aren’t working properly and
something needs to be changed.

Since the end of the Second World War, we’ve seen the GDP in most
developed countries, on average, continue to rise. One would think that
kind of economic growth would be good. But as it turns out, household
debt (at least in my country), pollution, lack of satisfaction with
one’s career, potable drinking water, air quality, divorce, dangerous
foods, and so on all continue to be compromised. If people are worried
about their next meal or the air they are breathing, they are not free
and things generally continue to degrade from there on.

So as you probably see now, it will be similar to classical city
building games like SimCity, but aim to have much more breadth and depth
with far more metrics involved. I hope that answers that.

7. Will there be any combat at all ?
How will a winner be defined in an online game ?

Winning is something I need to determine. Remember that in SimCity for
SNES, while there were some scenarios that had goals, like surviving a
natural disaster, there was also a mode where you just built and
maintained your city. You could spend hours beautifying it or
experimenting. That is one mode.

The other scenarios I will leave up to the community to provide through
the engine’s Lua based interface. Want to see the effects of
McDonaldization or Coca-Cola in your city? No problem. However, some
scenarios will be official and distributed with the game. That way there
is already high quality content with goals that vary from scenario to
scenario, and also the process of creating new scenarios is documented
via the existing ones.

8. The game takes place on Mars – wouldn’t the materials be different there ?
What about life forms ?
I mean – Mars shouldn’t act like earth, what we know about earth
doesn’t necessary apply to other planets.

Absolutely. That is partially why I chose Mars in the first place -
because it affords more of a creative license for some things.

Nevertheless, many things will still be the same. Mars is comparable in
many respects to Earth, but the people there will be absolutely
identical in terms of their actual needs to their terrestrial
counterparts. They still need water, oxygen, food, shelter, a means of
sustenance, security, and so on.

As for non-terrestrial life forms, all I will say is that, if they do
make a presence in the game, it will be as consistent as possible with
the most plausible of scientific hypotheses regarding potential life on
Mars. I won’t say more about that now though.

Thank you Kip for this wonderful interview !
I hope we will hear more about Avaneya and in time more interviews will be made.
For more QA about Avaneya, don’t hesitate to read the FAQ on the projects website !

And if you want to contribute to this FOSS project, don’t hesitate to contact Kip :
kip [at] thevertigo (dot) com

Links
LGN News-flash about Avaneya
Avaneya
Avaneya FAQ

Avaneya is a science fiction FOSS game exclusively for the GNU/Linux platform.
It focuses on social justice, human rights,city building, adventure, strategy, economics and sustainability amidst a Martian planetary setting in the future.

This project was started 8 months ago by Kip and expected to be finished within 3 years.
This is a very unique game project because of several things :

1. Avaneya will be released under the GPLv3 license and the content of the game under the Creative Commons, thus making it free for all.
Kip the man who started the project is very passionate about free software, he just couldn’t go against his believes by closing his game and surrendering to the “dark side”.

2. Avaneya will be compiled exclusively for the GNU/Linux platform.
Kip doesn’t want to lock the users in chains of the non-free OS’s like Windows or MacOS, thus he won’t compile Avaneya to run on those platforms.
although because Avaneya is free software other ports might be made by other people.
This reminds me of other developers who developed AstroMenace, the GNU/Linux version is free and the source code is available under the GPLv2, but the Windows version costs money.
Funny enough that even as the source code is free none compiled a free Windows version of that game.
“Since we consider it unethical to encourage people to use non-free software, it is unlikely that the primary maintainers will undertake such an endeavour. However, it would also be unethical to deliberately design it in such a way so as to hinder porting to non-free platforms. Thus, since Avaneya will rely on portable libraries, it shouldn’t be unreasonable for someone in the community to do this if they do not share our values.

3. Avaneya will offer a new economic model, the single player campaign will be free, but in order to be able to play online at the official servers you will have to subscribe, which costs money.
Some people have tried to make a living out of FOSS games, while this is more then possible with programs and GNU/Linux distributions, with games it was always challenging.
There was one small company named “Sixth Floor Labs” which made a space shooter and offered to release it under the GPL for $39960, but the project failed because the game wasn’t better then what we already had released as FOSS, and the amount of money they asked was ridiculously high for their game.
Avaneya on the other hand will try a different approach, the game will be fully freed under the GPLv3 but the online play on the official servers will cost money via subscription.
There already were topics about this issue on some forums (can you make such model economically viable ?, what keeps the users from forming their own free server and play there ?), so it would be very interesting to see in practice.
Some who prefer not to challenge the status quo, argue that commercial free software, especially with respect to games, is not sustainable. One of the goals of the Avaneya project is to prove otherwise and we are hell bent on doing this

4. Avaneya is very wide game in terms of gameplay and might not fit into a single category like “RTS” :
The philosophy that drives Avaneya is to assist users unlearn some things, learn other things, and enjoy the process of transition.
Avaneya will combine elements of a science fiction real time strategy, adventure, and some of those of the classical city building and management genre. The setting is on the Martian surface.
The environment will aim to be rich, three dimensional, and possibly even based on real topographical data obtained from the Mars Global Surveyor’s orbital laser altimeter. NASA has provided the data into the public domain (that is, not copyrighted) and in a free format. They chose deliberately not to store it in a proprietary format in order to “ensure the long-term viability of the data”. A technical issue, however, is whether the spatial resolution will be sufficient to render it useful for Avaneya.
A major distinguishing characteristic of Avaneya with respect to traditional RTS and city building / management games is the sense of awareness the user experiences of externalities in game play.
In other games, it may be possible (even encouraged) to bulldoze large amounts of natural capital to accommodate the expansion of a city. Through the perspective of GDP, strictly an income sheet, this may appear beneficial to your society.
Viewed through the perspective of the GPI as a net balance sheet, however, one is left with a different impression of very costly ramifications. Bulldozing your natural capital would have deferred greater costs than those immediately amassed by mortgaging them into the future.
The dumbing down of our perception of reality, which is ubiquitous in the software entertainment industry, is necessary, for among other reasons, to accommodate the limitations of finite computing machinery. Nevertheless, if we tell a lie loud enough and long enough of this sort, we may eventually find ourselves strangers to the reality we were born into.
George Box once noted that all models are wrong, but some are useful. Avaneya aims to be useful.

There is a lot to be expected from Avaneya, read their FAQ for more info and stay tuned for the interview with Kip and updated on this wonderful project !

Links
Avaneya
Avaneya FAQ

Today I thought about writing about Blood and it’s remakes, freegamer already did it first (yesterday) but I hope I could add some new stuff he didn’t write about.

I’m a huge fan of Blood, yeah that old 3D shooter from 1997.
I think that Blood is the best game that used the BUILD engine, and even today with it’s outdated graphics it is one of my favorite 3D shooters of all times.

Luckily I am not the only fan of this great game and there are several fan made games/mods inspired by blood.

1. Blood: The Flesh Game :
As you can guess from the name this is a flash version of blood which runs on all OS’s.
Although it’s just a demo of what never became a full length game due to lack of time, it was praised by the fans.
Blood : The Flesh Game is an adventure game based on Blood and Blood 2 in which you are play the role of Caleb at a 2d platform shooter.
The game is closed source but I think that if you would like to finish developing this demo into a full game you can contact Tamás Tóth (at adatjoe [at] vipmail {dot} hu) and he will help you in your quest and maybe even release the source (who knows).

FleshScreamshot

2. ZBlood :
ZBlood (sometimes spelt Zblood or zblood) is a game that runs on the ZDoom engine, which is a modified version of id Software’s Doom engine aka id Tech 1 . ZBlood itself is a modified version of the Doom II WAD, Blood TC. However ZBlood includes many new weapons, levels and features and is currently being updated while Blood TC is no longer being worked on.
As id Tech 1 was released under GPLv2 and works with GNU/Linux, this mod should also work on GNU/Linux.
The original BUILD engine is more feature heavy then id’s 1 engine, so I consider it a downgrade in terms of technology.

ZB_003

3. Transfusion :
Transfusion uses the DarkPlaces engine in order to recreate Blood in full 3D.
Darkplaces is a very modified and improved Quake engine.
Currently Transfusion is a death-match game like Quake 3 Arena and Unreal Tournament (but with much less impressive graphics), but it’s a Free software (FOSS) and still under heavy development.
The goal is to recreate Blood so there is much work to be done still.

action01

dranzbb6-02

As you can see the first screenshots is the death-match and the second one is the actual (still incomplete) single player levels.

4. HYPERTENSION :
Now we finally came to the last recreation or even reincarnation of our beloved game Blood.
HYPERTENSION is based on the GPLed Hyper3dge which is was developed from the EDGE engine which was based on id tech 1.
HYPERTENSION is feature live-action videos with amateur actors, changing soundtrack based on events in the game, many new and old weapons and enemies, classic levels a brand new campaign and much more features !

While the game itself is not yet FOSS (this could be discussed) it will be out very soon and will have a native GNU/Linux client !

shot140

shot119

There is much to expect…

Links :
Blood
Blood Wiki
Blood: The Flesh Game
ZBlood
Transfusion
HYPERTENSION
Interview with TDGMods on Hypertension