Alien Arena Interview

October 21st, 2007 by Crusader

LANthraxhas interviewed John Diamond, lead designer for Alien Arena 2007, about his open sourcedeathmatch game:

KK: Fair enough.. So finally, Maltese gamers rarely tend towards freewaregaming, this is your chance to persuade them, what makes Alien Arena stand outfrom other freeware deathmatch games, and why should they download it?

JD: I’d say that the best reason to download it is that it offers alot ofvariety in gameplay modes, mutators, and things to add almost an endlesssupply of replayability. It’s a small download compared to most currentcommercial titles, so not a lot of investment is required to try it out. Thereare alot of other freeware FPS games, and many are very well done, so standingout is not an easy thing to do. In my opinion, which of course is a bitbiased, I would say that Alien Arena is a game that has a bit more polish thanmost, and is also very friendly to new players.

Beyond the Red Line Interview

October 21st, 2007 by Crusader

Shacknewshas interviewed Hassan Kazmi and Chris Hager of the Beyond the Red Lineproject about the genesis of their BattlestarGalactica-themed total conversion which utilizes the open source Freespace 2 engine. Ithought this exchange in particular was interesting:

Shack: What is the SCP?

Hassan Kazmi: The SCP stands for theSource Code Project. When the FreeSpace 2source code was released, a bunch of fans formed a team to work on it. Theresult was FS2_Open, which is a vast improvement on FreeSpace 2. We couldnever have made this project on FreeSpace 2–not without cutting seriouscorners. The SCP coders are responsible for making the engine, and then themod teams use it. For that reason, there isn’t a separate Red Line codingteam–we make requests of the SCP. That doesn’t mean we don’t need coders,just that they’d be SCP coders who primarily service Red Line requests.

Shack: So basically it’s a shared coding team between all FreeSpace 2 modprojects?

Hassan Kazmi: Yep.

Shack: That’s a pretty interesting solution to the general lack of codingtalent in the mod community.

Hassan Kazmi: It has nice side effects too. Quite often a request from anotherteam makes something possible that we’d never thought of before. For instance,we’d have never bothered adding a system to make atmospheric missionspossible, but the Starfox mod team is adding one. If we like it enough, thatmakes missions based on [Battlestar Galactica episode] Exodus Part II apossibility.

You can download their demo release; there’salso a recentforum thread discussing a new patch.


October 21st, 2007 by Crusader

We discuss this in more detail on the upcomingpodcast interview with id Software’s Timothee Besset, butthere’s a new fork of the GtkRadiantmulti-game level editor ZeroRadiant:

We are working on new Radiant releases based on the 1.4 sources for a new idproject. We had promised to get the 1.4 source released under the GPL, whichwill happen with this project.

There is no end user release yet, but if you are a developer we need yourhelp. Drop by on #qeradiant, or on the developer mailinglist and make yourself useful.

Although not explicitly stated, it seems obvious the id project mentioned isthe Quake III:Arena-derived project briefly mentioned at this past QuakeCon, Quake Zero. The 1.5.0 sources forGtkRadiant were GPL’edlast year.

There’s a good beginner’sguide to mapping at the Tremulous(a fun open source game you should really check out if you haven’t yet) wiki.

Galaxy Mage Redux Needs Devs

October 21st, 2007 by Crusader

FreeGamer pointed out that the GalaxyMage Redux project, an effort to continue development of the open sourcetactical RPG Galaxy Mage, islooking for programmers and artists to join the team. If interested, you canhead over to their forums.

Second Life Zombies

October 21st, 2007 by Crusader

We don’t mention Second Life much since I’ve yet to try it personally,the Linux clientis still in alpha, and it’s not so much a game as a metaverse, but I thoughtthis Reutersarticle penned by Warren Ellis (if you readcomics, you’ll probably know who he is) describing a game area created as afilm promotion was interesting enough to point out:

I’ve been playing “I Am Legend: Survival” for most of my inworld time thisweek.


The new film version, starring Will Smith, is imminent, and, as apromotional tool, an inworldIAL gamehas been created in collaboration withthe minds behind The Wastelands sims.


In “I Am Legend: Survival,” body bags litter the streets of New York City.Bumping into a bag allows you to essentially unzip it and raid the corpsewithin for useful stuff like ammunition clips, bandages, batteries and otheritems that a combining machine in the safehouses will turn into items vital toyour survival. Items like barricades, halogen bulbs (the beasties hate thelight) and, possibly, a cure for the New Flu.

D2X-XL 1.11.15

October 21st, 2007 by Crusader

Version 1.11.15 of D2X-XL, a portof the Descent 2 sourcecode that adds OpenGL support, hasbeen released. Fixed issues from previous builds:

  • Hires objects weren’t converted to fast model format
  • Sometimes objects became invisible at certain view angles
  • Doors sometimes didn’t close although they should
  • More bugs in lighting handling that could cause CTDs or program freezes

Download (install guide): [ ]

Secret Maryo Chronicles 1.2

October 21st, 2007 by Crusader

Secret Maryo Chronicles version 1.2,a platforming sidescroller inspired by Super MarioBros., has been released. The changelogincludes new jungle sprites, buttons, sounds, and a fix for horizontal levelscrolling.

Screenshots: [ View ]Download: []

Enemy Territory: Quake Wars 1.1 Retail

October 19th, 2007 by Crusader

id Software’s Timothee “TTimo”Besset has released the retail Linux client for Enemy Territory: Quake Wars:

After a few days of work, and seeing a very solid Linux demo release, we arereleasing the full client for Linux. See the new files section below fordownloads.

Our ftp will saturate pretty fastwhen we release new files, watch the QuakeWars community site foradditional mirrors.

The system requirements and recommended kernel configuration notes areidentical to those of the demo.

Screenshots/Media: [ View ]Download: [| more mirrors]

Dominions 3 Sale

October 19th, 2007 by Crusader

Thanks to the SomethingAwfulforums for pointing out that the fantasy-themed strategy game Dominions 3, developed by Illwinter Game Design, is now available at a discounted price:

I just got an email from theShrapnel Games, there’s a %20 off code forDominions 3 right now!


edit: the link in the email is,so I’ll assume you have to buy it through there.

It still works for me as of this writing, but I don’t know howlong the coupon code will last. Dominions 3 has scores of playable races,units, spells, and magic items; there’s also a huge manual included in the retailpackage to help get a handle on all of that content.

Demo Download: [ 3D Downloads ]

EA Calls for Open Game Platform

October 19th, 2007 by Crusader

The Beeb isreporting Electronic Arts’ executive GerhardFlorin is frustrated by existing, closed, game consoles:

“We want an open, standard platform which is much easier than having fivewhich are not compatible,” said EA’s head of international publishing.

He said the web and set-top boxes would grow in importance to theindustry.

“We’re platform agnostic and we definitely don’t want to have one platformwhich is a walled garden,” said Mr Florin.

Given there’s already a commercial Linux-based open handheld game console (theGP2X) and Sony officiallysupports Linux on the PS3, I wouldn’t be too surprised to seethis pan out sometime in the next several years.

Ultimate Stunts 0.7.3

October 18th, 2007 by Crusader

Version 0.7.3 of Ultimate Stunts,a 3D racing game with stunt-oriented gameplay, is out. Here be zee changes:

The most important change in this release is that cars will now crash if theycollide too fast with other objects. Some of the other changes are collisionsound improvements, a new and fancy OpenGL mouse cursor, and the addition of anavigation compass to the track editor. The Linux (x86) binary packages arenow based on OpenAL insteadof FMOD.

Screenshots: [ View ]Download: []

PlaneShift 0.3.020

October 18th, 2007 by Crusader

Version 0.3.020 of the CrystalSpace-based MMORPG Planeshift hasbeen released (thanks features 12 playable races, magic and skill systems, andnumerous quests. Among the changes are these newfeatures:

  • Duels aren’t deadly anymore. You will knock a player down and then you will receive a message asking if you want to kill the player or not.
  • New characters will now enter a tutorial-world when they login.
  • Authors are now able to name their books.
  • Only the author of a book or sketch can now edit it. This ONLY applies to books and sketches bought AFTER the .20 release!
  • Equipping helmets will now remove the hair mesh.
  • Various fonts were changed to ones with a better (GPL) license.
  • Work started on taxing.

The site also has additional details concerning the game setting and gameplay.

Screenshots: [ View ]Download: []

Ankh: Heart of Osiris Pre-Orders Needed

October 17th, 2007 by Crusader

A reader pointed out that ixsoft, a German online Linux retailer that has long supported gaming, is now taking pre-orders for a port of Ankh: Heart of Osiris, a sequel to the adventure game Ankh. Ankh was ported to Linux by RuneSoft, and ixsoft reports that RuneSoft will need at least 250 pre-orders for a port of Ankh: Heart of Osiris to be considered viable. My machine-assisted German is poor (Lightkey, help!), but I think the article states pre-orders will be taken through the end of the month, and if all goes well, the port could then be completed around Christmas of this year.

You can order the first Ankh game (actually the second in the series) from RuneSoft’s online store, ixsoft, or from Tux Games.

Freeciv 2.1.0 rc1

October 17th, 2007 by Crusader

After over a year of beta testing, the first version 2.1.0 release candidate for Freeciv, a long-runningopen source game project inspired by the Civilizationseries, is available. There are two relevant changelogs: what’s new since the lastbeta, and what’s newsince the last stable release. It’s also noted a final release will followin a week if there are no serious issues discovered.

Screenshots: [ View] Download: []

ALSA 1.0.15

October 17th, 2007 by Crusader

Version 1.0.15 of the Advanced LinuxSound Architecture has been released; there were many changesthat I won’t even attempt to summarize here. The project offers drivers, tools, and anAPI for to support a myriad of sound devices.

Download: []

Cross-Platform Game Tools

October 17th, 2007 by Crusader

Gamasutrareported that LucasFilm will be usingTrollTech’s Qt widget toolkit for, among otherthings, to create cross-platform game development tools at LucasArts:

Steve Sullivan, director of R&D at Lucasfilm, said, “We used Qt for a fewsmall projects and were impressed with its ease-of-use and support forcross-platform development. We were convinced our company could leverage thison a larger scale in our mainstream artist tools.”

While this probably will have no impact on LucasArts’ lack of interest inLinux game ports (there was some brief noise about a StarWars: Battlefrontport way back when), between this and Unreal Tournament III’s editorbeing wxWidgets-based, I think stepsin the right direction are being made.

Penumbra: Black Plague in Development

October 17th, 2007 by Crusader

I noticed the other day that the Frictional Games website was updatedlast month to announce a sequel to Penumbra: Overture, Penumbra: Black Plague:

Paradox Interactiveannounced today that the company has secured thepublishing rights to Penumbra: Black Plague. The highly anticipated finalchapter in the Penumbra story will thrust players into a creepy environment ofhorror, as they are challenged in this unique action adventure experience.

“Penumbra: Overture has been referred to as the scariest adventure game toappear in years, and with Penumbra: Black Plague, the developers have managedto push the boundaries of horror even further, said Fredrik Wester, ExecutiveVice President of Paradox Interactive”. “Their unique and innovative approachto gaming adventures made Penumbra a fan and media favorite and we areconvinced that Penumbra: Black Plague will have an even bigger impact on thegaming community”.

“Penumbra: Black Plague is horrific, life-like, interactive and unique andwe are thrilled to be working with Paradox Interactive to introduce this gameto a worldwide audience, said Jens Nilsson, Co-Founder Frictional Games”.”We’ve worked with Paradox in the past and their support for our vision andideas has made it possible for us to keep on developing games that we believein.”

Penumbra: Black Plague is scheduled for release during Q1, 2008.

Penumbra: Overture was released for Linux earlier this year; ademo isavailable, and you can order the full retail version online for $19.99 US.

levelHead Video

October 17th, 2007 by Crusader

I thought this was an interesting project: levelHead, by Julian Oliver, isan augmented reality game where the player must move a physical cube inview of a webcam to guide their on-screen avatar through a maze:

‘Inside’ the cube are six rooms, each of which are logically connected by anetwork of doors. By tilting the cube you leada character around the rooms.

Some doors lead nowhere and will send you back to the beginning. You have just120 seconds to find the exit of eachcube and move to the next.

There are five cubes (levels) in total and just as you imagine, the trapsbecome increasingly difficult to avoid.

It’s not available just yet, but there’s a video ( Flash Video | Theora| MPEG4)demonstrating the gameplay. Oliver states on the website that it’ll bereleased as an open source game for Linux soon.

Scorched3D 41

October 17th, 2007 by Crusader

A new release of Scorched3D,version 41,is now available. Scoreched3D is a 3D remake of the classic game ScorchedEarth; the new features include real-time water and shadows, new AIs, a new launching interface, music, and improved online play.

Screenshots: [ View ] Download: [ ]

BlinkenSisters 0.5

October 17th, 2007 by Crusader

BlinkenSistersis a 2D sidescroller withtext-basedlevel editing support. Changes:

  • More levels and an expanded scripting interface.
  • Many parts of the game engine have been enhanced or completely rewritten, and optimized for better performance on slow hardware.
  • The engine now handles transparency in PNG files correctly, and sports entirely new collision detection.

Download: [ ]

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