Monday, January 18, 2016

DevCorner: Superpowers HTML5 collaborative game maker open-sourced!

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Great news for HTML5 game developers: a few days ago Superpowers was released under the ISC license.

What is Superpowers? A game development platform (an integrated editor but you can collaborate in realtime online; how cool is that! :D ) for making HTML5 games using TypeScript (a superset of Javascript). But you will also be able to work with other languages, so far support for the well known LÖVE2D is available.

Learn more in this video:


The source is available here and there is also an repository with a few sample games. If you like what they are doing, please consider becoming a supporter.

Looking forward to your new HTML5 games!

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Best Open Source Top-Down Space Shooter : Super Space Invader

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Lasers, rockets, shields, health regeneration, pixels. You know. The good stuff. Just nicely packaged with levels of just the right duration and hardness, persistent upgrades, shaders, reverb...

Two buttons are enough to play, since that was one of the themes of Ludum Dare #34, in which the game came #74 among 1638 jam entries.


Supser Space Invader was made with LÖVE (v0.9) and thus runs on Linux, OS X, Windows.

The source is available on GitHub under zlib/libpng.

Monday, December 21, 2015

SuperTux 0.4.0 Milestone 2

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Over ten years after the last stable release of SuperTux (0.1.3 released July 2005) the SuperTux team have announced the release of the first stable version in the Milestone 2 series.

Compared to 0.1.3, this release features:
  • a nearly completely rewritten game engine based on OpenGL, OpenAL, SDL2, ...
  • support for translations
  • in-game manager for downloadable add-ons and translations
  • Bonus Island III, a for now unfinished Forest Island and the development levels in Incubator Island
  • a final boss in Icy Island
  • new and improved soundtracks and sound effects
  • new badguys, bonuses and power-ups (air-, earth- and ice-flower)
  • a halloween tilemap
  • new graphic effects (glowing objects, particles, ...)
  • levels and worldmaps are scriptable using squirrel
  • much more game objects: trampolines, switches, portable stones, wind, moving platforms, ... - most of them have scripting APIs
  • improved statistics
  • many invisible changes, like unit tests, efficiency improvements and more bugfixes
  • much more...
And of course we updated the official levels to make use of all the new features.

SuperTux 0.4.0 Overworld
It has been a long road for the project, and a lot has changed as the engine seems to have been largely rewritten to make it suitable for more advanced graphics and scripting. Whilst the existing content has been updated, it would seem that the one area in which the project is short is new tilesets and levels, with only a partially complete 2nd forest overworld of the (originally planned) 7 desired worlds.

That's where the community comes in though. With a stable game to work with, hopefully players and artists can combine to extend the game and make it enjoyable for generations to come.

My own 15 year old son remembers SuperTux 0.1.3 fondly as, he says, the best game he played as a young child.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

3 Super Monkey Ball Alternatives - Open Sphere Rolling Games

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Marbles have fascinated the population of the blue marble for centuries. Today, we take a look at three digital variants that are open source and playable cross-platform.

Veraball




The newest addition to the group of open source ball-rolling games is minimal and was made using the Godot engine.

Rock and jazz music accompanies your through the only two levels so far. None of them are super hard, making Veraball the most beginner-friendly game of the bunch.



Windows (both portable and installer) and Linux releases are available but since Godot Engine runs on Mac OS X, you can play it on that platform as well using the source.

irrlamb



A magical engine powers the blue sphere from the inside, allowing it to roll and jump without reasonable explanation. Its goal is to touch other glass balls filled with yellow light by balancing towards them.

You steer the blue sphere. But to what end? Deliver the coup de grâce to failed experiments? Free trapped spirits? Harvest sleeping souls to grow in power? Is it a grim prognosis about the effects of future commercialized space travel and interplanetary colonization?

Welcome to irrlamb. The atmosphere is mostly dark and dungeon-like, sometimes abstract, always at least a bit magical. The two skater parks feel clinically sanitized (no graffiti).


There are around 20 levels starting from beginner-friendly to absolutely insane.

There have been two releases this year (0.2 and 0.2.1). Most of the changes were usability improvements and bugfixes, although some levels have been added as well.

irrlamb 0.2.1 is available for Linux and Windows. Windows users have to manually install OpenAL.

For creating own levels, there is an export script available for Blender.

Neverball




Neverball has been around for a while. There are easy levels, there are hard levels, there are levels that were apparently made to challenge the game's developers.

Many levels take place in space, on grass squares floating under the sky, above the sea or above a city at night. Of our three games, this one is least suitable for those with acrophobia.


There is a lot of content (326 maps minus Neverputt levels) and only a small part of it is accessibly due to my lack of balancing skills. So I present to you the most and least favorite aspects of Neverball, as seen by a player with newbie skills:

Best: 1. The oh so many levels! 2. Different ball models available, some have character (by containing characters), making it easier to have some kind of emotional connection to the game. No animated cute animals though unfortunately.

Worst: 1. The old looking non-baked textures of the basic levels 2. The camera (does not allow you to zoom, moves in disturbing ways) and consequently the controls.

Conclusion


"If only projects X, Y and Z could join forces instead of trying to re-invent the wheel!" - what an annoying thing to say, don't you think? I hope you got the chance to play irrlamb, Neverball and Veraball - and if not I hope this review brought you closer to them - so that you can appreciate the different feels to the gameplay and scenery.

All I really want now are video tutorials for creating new levels...

Are there any open source games with similar mechanics that I missed? Are there proprietary games that developers should consider taking inspiration from other than Super Monkey Ball? Please let us know in the comments!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Warsow 2.0 is now almost fully FOSS!

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Great news for the FOSS enthusiasts: after many years of constant nagging the latest release of the great parcour/arena FPS Warsow has now most of it's artistic content under the Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 4.0 license (with a few remaining but clearly marked ones under CC-by-ND).

Also updated particle effects in Warsow 2.0
You can find more screen-shots in the above link and the full changelog here.

Rendering speed was also increased (claimed to be 30-50% faster) and a movement tutorial is now included.

So far I always recommended Xonotic over Warsow as the coolest (=most competitive; Red Eclipse is also cool, but much more casual) open-source arena FPS, but I think I might reconsider this now...

Happy fragging :p