Tagged: Ryan C. Gordon

Ryan Gordon who ported many games to GNU/Linux including those of The Humble Indie Bundle #1 #2 and #3 has made a guest post on the Wolfire Blog :

This is a guest post from Ryan Gordon, announcing the release of Haaf’s Game Engine (HGE) for Mac and Linux. HGE is the 2d engine that powers games such as Hammerfight.

On top of all the other goodness, the thing I love most about the Humble Bundles is how they tend to leave a trail of open source software in their wake.

We’ve seen games opened up, which has made them bloom on exotic platforms the original developers never dreamed of; never mind the iPad ports and the Mac App Store, I’m talking about insanity like Lugaru running on an Amiga, Gish on the Pandora handheld, and Aquaria ported to Sony’s PSP.

We’ve also seen great improvements, optimizations, and enhancements to all the opened games, across hundreds of patches from dozens of contributors.

I got my start in the game industry working for Loki Software, coercing a wild array of titles to run on Linux. Loki was doing something no one had tried to do before, and we found we were missing some fundamental tools.

Out of necessity, we rolled up our sleeves and built toolkits, libraries, utilities and infrastructure to aid in the job. Out of a sense of community, we released the source code to these things. Because it’s what you should do if you can.

Loki didn’t survive, but their open source projects did. Their contributions are still paying off, over a decade later: SDL, built by Loki employees as an answer to DirectX, is still the gold standard for low-level game toolkits on Linux. Over the past decade, it has powered everything from blockbuster commercial games to indie experiments to awesome demoscene showcases. Almost every Mac and Linux game that has appeared on humblebundle.com uses it. The same is true for OpenAL, a 3D audio API which Loki spearheaded back in 2000. Now this library ships on every iOS device, Linux desktop, and Mac computer. It has powered the audio in several generations of Unreal Engine and id Tech.

What I love most about my career is that I get to follow Loki’s crazy, quixotic example.

It’s not enough to just bring games to Linux. Games will come and go. A game may take years of devotion to build, and then maybe it will live on a best-seller list for a few weeks and be forgotten. Ultimately, any given product is just another bullet point: does this run on Linux? Great, but what have you done for me lately? Porting a game isn’t nearly as rewarding as releasing the source code to something you built to help port that game. To that end, today I’m announcing the availability of hge-unix.

Under the hood, Hammerfight uses an engine named “Haaf’s Game Engine” (or “HGE,” for short). HGE has been popular for 2D indie and casual games in the last few years. It provides a decent wrapper over Direct3D and other common Win32 functionality, plus gives you some basic tools like particle systems. It’s an open source project, under a very permissive license, but it’s a big pile on non-portable Windows source code.

I had ported HGE to the Mac a few years ago for Red Marble Games. We used it for several games: Magic Match Adventures, Go Go Gourmet and its sequel. This was an education in the casual market: if we could make these games run on a blueberry iMac with Mac OS X 10.0, by god, we were going make it happen. It was great fun; I had to learn to inch as close to the impossible as I could, and develop the wisdom to know when I was close enough to it. As a benefit, the Mac port of HGE could run on some seriously ancient machines.

When Hammerfight came along for Humble Indie Bundle #3, I didn’t want to reinvent the wheel, so Red Marble and I discussed the HGE work we had already done. They were incredibly supportive, and let me use it as a starting point for Hammerfight. And now, they have graciously allowed me to open source that work, with the revision history intact, so others can benefit from it, too.

hge-unix is built with SDL, OpenGL and OpenAL. It has been known to run on Mac OS X and Linux, PowerPC, x86, and x86-64. It will probably run on any reasonable Unix variant. It might even run on Windows. The original API remains intact; if your project uses HGE for all its functionality, it’s possible that your Windows game will more or less Just Work on Linux and Mac OS X.

You can find details on hge-unix here. For those that want source code (which is currently identical to what we shipped in Hammerfight), point your web browsers or Mercurial client at this URL:


If you’re a Mac gamer that has enjoyed the Humble Indie Bundles, you should stop by redmarblegames.com and shop around. Red Marble does nothing but Mac games. They’re one of the few true believers, so you should go support them.

If you know someone with a Windows game built on HGE, you may now officially harass them for a Linux port. Just like Loki did ten years ago, I’m giving out the source code to my tools where I can, in hopes that it makes other game developers more successful.




Hamish Paul Wilson started let me know of his porting of The Chzo Mythos to GNU/Linux at May 2010, and updated me on his progress at June 2010, now finally the porting is done and The Chzo Mythos is available for GNU/Linux free of charge !

Hamish Paul Wilson sent me this email today :
After playing more than my fair share of email tag with several individuals, I am happy to announce the availability of The Chzo Mythos for GNU/Linux. Hosting is being provided by the always generous Ryan C. Gordon of icculus.org and Linux porting fame, who most kindly accepted my request for an icculus.org account. Although I did hope to have this done by the end of July and with the support of Yahtzee himself (I never was able to get a response), I am quite happy with the release and my new found hosting abilities. Thanks again to icculus for making this possible.

Upon playing I recommend everyone contact me with their thoughts and experiences. Specifically of interest would be information about how it ran on the various distributions it was being played on, as currently I have only been able to test them on Fedora 12 and Fedora 13. So all you Ubuntu, Debian, Mandriva, Suse, Slackware, Arch, or whatever the hell you are running people please send me a message!

More information is available from The Chzo Mythos GNU/Linux Binaries website:

To contact me please send me an email at:

Thank you,
Hamish Paul Wilson.

From The Chzo Mytho GNU/Linux website
The Chzo Mythos GNU/Linux Binaries
What is the Chzo Mythos?
Although he is probably more well known for his satirically negative game review series Zero Punctuation, Ben “Yahtzee” Croshaw has had another identity for at least the past twelve years; that of a talented freeware game creator and designer. His works include the amateurish yet still enjoyable Arthur Yahtzee Trilogy, his first publicly released games from which his nickname is based. He would then go on to envision the Rob Blanc Trilogy, the wickedly funny game series which first made his name a household one, well, that is if you were a part of the amateur adventure scene at least. His next project, The Trials of Odysseus Kent, took a step into the lurid which would eventually lead to his most celebrated works and the subject of this website: The Chzo Mythos.
Originally styled after horror slasher films, the games later took on the character of an H.P Lovecraft novel. The first and most celebrated game of the series, 5 Days a Stranger, depicted the events that would later become known as the “Defoe Manor Incident”, as seen through the eyes of the eccentric cat burger known only as Trilby. From this modest beginning the series spans hundreds of years and entangles many different characters, from ancient Celtic druids, to freed African slaves, to land use authority investigators, and even starship counsellors. Each game in the series has its own unique setting, and each game offers a different view to of the universe and plot of the games. It is important for them to be played in order for the plot to make any sense however.

What does this have to do with GNU/Linux?
Although all four games, five if you include Trilby: The Art of Theft which serves merely as additional back-story for the Trilby character in the form of a stealth platformer, can be run native on GNU/Linux using the sadly closed source AGS Linux Interpreter, this was often a pain to set up and caused these great gaming gems to be inaccessible to a common user. I myself have taken up the role of packaging native GNU/Linux binaries of each of the games which is easy to use and enjoyable for anybody on any distribution. Keep in mind these are the Special Editions, so they will include extra features not included in the original freeware releases.
Unfortunately some of his older titles, which are my own personal favorites, are not applicable to be packaged, since the AGS interpreter can not run Rob Blanc or Odysseus since they were constructed with an older version of Adventure Game Studio. However, I can confirm that both Adventures in A Galaxy of Fabulous Wonderment and the 1213 series can be packaged at a later date. Arthur Yahtzee was built using Visual Basic 3 and could potentially be ran through WINE. I know Rob Blanc runs great through Dosbox, and I can only assume that Odysseus does as well.

What exactly are all the games?
5 Days A Stranger:
A cat burglar breaks into a supposedly deserted country mansion, only to find himself imprisoned along with four strangers by a mysterious force. A nice nasty horror game with some murders and gore.
7 Days A Skeptic:
The sequel to 5 Days A Stranger. Four hundred years into the future, the scoutship Mephistopheles and its crew of six discovers something it should have left alone.
Trilby’s Notes:
Master thief turned paranormal investigator Trilby follows the trail of John DeFoe’s soul idol to a small hotel in Wales, where he discovers the dark history of the cursed wood.
6 Days A Sacrifice:
Council inspector Theodore Dacabe is sent to investigate the headquarters of a fad religion and finds himself embroiled in the machinations of destiny.
Trilby: The Art of Theft:
The eccentric British cat burglar Trilby is at large in an American city, robbing the rich to give to himself, but will his arrogance cause him to bite off more than he can chew?
You can find more information about these and other great games here
Download from here

Thanks Hamish Paul Wilson for the great ports and contribution to the GNU/Linux gaming !

The Chzo Mythos For GNU/Linux
Download The Chzo Mythos For GNU/Linux
More Information About The Games