20 February 2010

Game sfx maker tool ... sfxr in flash!

What's all this then? This is as3sfxr, flash port of sfxr. It makes sounds for your games. You only have to press buttons and listen and press buttons again.

This is great: no need to understand how sound synthesis works, ability learn a little about sound synthesis by pressing buttons/moving controls randomly, no need to download/compile/install anything either. Oh how I would wish for more tools of this kind, maybe specialized stuff like (non-8-bit) fire effect generators, ice effects, explosions... There are some sfx gens for pure data but it will take a little more time to get them running.

At the top of this post, there is an embedded flash applet. If you are a user of an open source flash player: do you see it? Can you use it? How many of you already knew of sfxr but only now did try it through as3sfxr?

I hope this 'no info about games' post does not shock you.

12 February 2010

Pretty Warzone; What's to see in Linwarrior; Sauerbraten and content

Warzone 2100 has pretty new textures! Oh wait, didn't I report this more than one year ago? Well.. the release after the next is supposed to feature them, finally.. But I *do* have news to offer: Building models are being re-modeled and re-textured! Slightly related: There is a tutorial on making models and texturing them on their forums.

 Warzone 2100: re-worked buildings

Hmm... I wish there were "tower defense" maps for Warzone 2100... and that moving units wouldn't be such a torture.. Speaking of torture, do you wish you could test WZ with new textures but don't have the time to figure out how to get the svn version? Well, maybe the following showcase video of the textures in-game will ease your pain. ^^

LinWarrior3D 2009_11_08 r15 was released a while ago. As a lover of the game that served as inspiration for LinWarrior, I'm compelled to like it. After all: you can shoot (and destroy stuff even!), you can move torso and legs individually and you have a wingman.

On the other hand, there is no mission goal and the game lacks any mech customization. Also I really miss a "STOMP STOMP" sound.. As for the game's name: well, at least they don't call it "FreeMech". :)

There's quite a bunch of new content in Sauerbraten's subversion repository, taken from Quadropolis, their community content sharing web site. However, [Insert expressions of discontent about licensing choices of others here].

I am quite surprised how much new content Quadropolis is attracting. On the other hand a discussion was started on OpenGameArt's forums, discussing the additional hardships of creating free as in freedom art, which kind of explains it. On the other, other hand, OpenGameArt is doing not bad as well, it attracts contributors who would probably never find a fitting project for their art and keep their works on their hard drive until the next disk failure should have separated them. I wish that projects would start telling their contributors to upload their works straight to OGA though.

I also hope that the community content sites set up for SuperTuxKart, VDrift and WorldForge will help contributors as they are supposed to.

10 February 2010

Game Center - The Magician's Handbook II: BlackLore

Return to a world of magic and mystery and use the enchanted Magician`s Handbook as your guide! The evil magician pirate, BlackLore, has captured all the world`s magicians and fairies. Using their magic to fly his pirate ship, he`s terrorized all who tried to get in his way…and you`re next on his list! The Magician`s Handbook II: BlackLore will test your Hidden Object skills, as you travel to magical worlds!


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Game Center - Aquapolis

Become an underwater real-estate developer contracted to build and improve underwater developments for some thriving oceanic communities! Create your own Aquapolis in this fun and exciting Time Management game. Earn the keys to the different communities, and explore more neighborhoods to expand upon. Unlock unique new buildings and gorgeous gardens to clean up the ocean and rake in some serious clams!


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Game Center - Aha! I Found It! Hidden Object Game

Publisher: Ateam Inc.

Category: Classics/Puzzles

Release Dates

WiiWare - 01/25/2010

Look Out for Numero UNO with New Game Downloads from Nintendo
You needn’t be bilingual to appreciate the first of this week’s fantastic downloadable game offerings

A hidden-object game for everyone has come to the WiiWare service. Try to find 12 particular items among a crowd of on-screen objects as fast as you can, from big fish to tiny earrings, easy-to-find items to well-hidden ones. Unlike most other hidden-object games, this one lets you play along with friends and family (additional Wii Remote controllers required) and compete to see who’s best at finding the hidden objects in each stage. With 10 stages and more than 277 different items, there’s plenty of searching fun to enjoy. Also, with items changing position each time you play, you can enjoy each stage again and again.

Wii Points: 500

Game Center - AiRace: Tunnel

Game Center - AiRace: Tunnel
Publisher: QubicGames

Developer: NoWay Studio

Category: Simulation

Release Dates

DSiWare - 01/25/2010

Official Game Website

Look Out for Numero UNO with New Game Downloads from Nintendo
You needn’t be bilingual to appreciate the first of this week’s fantastic downloadable game offerings

AiRace: Tunnel is an invitation to a certain newly started project - Project Tunnel. It was prepared to examine the quickness and attention of aviation rookies. Think you got the reflexes? Put your skills to the test and see how swift, how precise and how predictive you are. Maneuver your aircraft safely through specially created winding tunnels full of traps. And be careful – your plane will speed up with every second making each turn and each barrier harder to pass. It’s not just a game – it’s a challenge.

Game Center - Mystic Emporium

Take over a musty old magic shop and turn it into the best business in town in this fun-filled Time Management game. Brew potions, sell artifacts and tend to a variety of magical customers as you build your very own magic shop. Keep all of your customers happy and improve your Mystic Emporium with astonishing upgrades, new potions, and even a pet phoenix! Enjoy exciting minigames as you take your shop to the top!


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09 February 2010

Game Center - Magic Encyclopedia: Moon Light

After Professor Fobros goes missing from the Magic School, it`s up to Katrina, and her brother Roger, to find him. Discover Professor Fobros` terrifying secret, as you travel around the world in this exciting Adventure game. Unravel an ancient mystery as you piece together a powerful amulet in Magic Encyclopedia 2: Moonlight. Can you solve the tricky puzzles and master the minigames in order to find the professor?


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Game Center - Xbox 720 and PS4

Xbox 720 ConceptPS4 Concept
Developer of Xbox 720 and PS4 says that it'll be a browser-based. Gimme5Games head, Matt Spall, believes the traditional console is dead. The next round of consoles will be purely browser-based as all games move online and David Perry tries to take over the world.

Speaking at the Develop Conference, veteran developer Matt Spall, who earlier in the year took his casual games studio Gimme5Games independent from Eidos, told an audience that cloud computing will be the dominant force in the next generation of consoles. The traditional console market as we know it is in its last stages.

“I think the Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii will be purely browser-based systems,” he remarked, according to MCV. “Things will change a great deal.”

Spall seemingly echoed recent comments by David Perry, who of course is pushing cloud computing heavily with his own Gaikai service. "It won’t be long before 100 percent of games are all online," Perry said at the conference.

Perry pointed out that along with the digital revolution will come greater accessibility to content. The iPhone, for example, takes just one tap to install an app and another tap to play, whereas something like World of Warcraft, “I’m twenty clicks in and, finally, I see a play button.”

Perry plans to install his Gaikai servers in "every major city" across the globe. He noted that currently 67% of the U.K. and 60% of North America has enough bandwidth to support Gaikai.

via: GameDaily

Game Center - Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars

Game Center - Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
Publisher: Capcom Entertainment

Developer: 8ing

Category: Action

Release Dates

N Amer - 01/26/2010

GameZone's Review

GZ Rating
Gameplay    9
Graphics    8.5
Sound    8
Difficulty    Medium
Concept    9
Multiplayer    8
Overall    8.5

Reviewer: Dakota Grabowski

Review Date: 01/27/2010

Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars is oddly fantastic

Full Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars Review

Avg. Web Rating

GameZone's Preview

Louis Bedigian - 06/05/2009

One of Capcom's finest comes to the States.


Seth Killian speaks on DLC for Tatsunoko vs. Capcom
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars Q & A with Capcom Community Manager, Seth Killian

Capcom's Critically Acclaimed Fighting Game, Tatsunoko Vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, Now Available
Wii-Exclusive Fighting Game Delivers Insane Action, Iconic Characters, Innovative Gameplay

Capcom Announces Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars
Tatsunoko vs. Capcom pits Capcom’s iconic characters against Tatsunoko Productions anime superheroes.

TATSUNOKO VS. CAPCOM: ULTIMATE ALL-STARS pairs well-known characters from Capcom's roster of games with some of Japan's most beloved characters from anime powerhouse Tatsunoko Production. From Capcom's 30-year history comes characters like Ryu and Chun-Li from the Street Fighter series, Morrigan from Darkstalkers and company mascot Mega Man Volnutt from Mega Man Legends. Tatsunoko's near half-century of Japanese animation excellence is represented by the likes of Ken the Eagle and Jun the Swan from the Science Ninja Team Gatchaman anime (known in North America as Battle of the Planets or G-Force), cybernetic warrior Casshan and comedic action hero Yatterman No. 1. All together, there are more than 20 colorful combatants to choose from in order to form the ultimate tag team combination. Gameplay will instantly set fighting game fans' fingers twitching, combining elements from Capcom games like Street Fighter and previous entries in the VS series, TATSUNOKO VS. CAPCOM ULTIMATE ALL-STARS is a fun fighting game designed for all levels of players. Players choose from the combined roster of fighters to create their favorite two man/woman/cyborg/robot tag team, rotating on the fly between the two players throughout the course of each match. Those new to the genre will appreciate the game's bright visual style and simplified four-button fighting controls. Hardcore Capcom fighting fans will dig in to the game's depth, uncovering huge Aerial Rave combos and unique Variable Assists, gorgeous Ultimate Hyper Combos, and Variable Combinations that combine the capabilities of two members of the player's tag-team to unleash huge damage.
  •  More than 20 fighters to choose from:
  •  Capcom: Ryu, Chun-Li (Street Fighter), Batsu (Rival Schools), Alex (Street Fighter III), Morrigan (Darkstalkers), Soki (Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams), Mega Man Volnutt (Mega Man Legends), Roll (Mega Man), Saki (Quiz Nanairo Dreams), Viewtiful Joe, PTX-40A (Lost Planet) and more to be announced
  •  Tatsunoko: Ken the Eagle, Jun the Swan (Science Ninja Team Gatchaman), Yatterman, Doronjo (Yatterman), Casshan, Tekkaman, Polymar, Karas, Ippatsuman and Gold Lightan, plus others to be revealed.     
  •  Possible additions to the game: the team is exploring adding new Capcom and Tatsunoko characters as well as online gameplay.      
  • Two-man tag team action: Players build their own perfect team and use Assist Attacks and each character’s special moves to create their own unique fighting style.      
  • Four button fighting controls: Easy-to-understand four button control scheme opens gameplay up to new players with familiar movements and combos     
  • Depth of gameplay: Once the basics are mastered, players can go deeper into the fighting game controls to master Aerial Rave air combos, Delayed Hyper Combos, Mega Crash defensive moves, Assault attack moves and the Baroque extended combo system.     
  • Fast-paced action and huge attacks: Each characters has a unique arsenal of moves, including spectacular Hyper Combos that literally take over the screen with devastating results.      
  • 3D characters, 2D fighting gameplay: As in Street Fighter IV, TVC: ULTIMATE ALL-STARS has bright, 3D rendered characters battling it out in familiar 2D style.

Game Center - No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle

Game Center - No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
Publisher: Ubisoft

Publisher 2: Marvelous Entertainment USA

Developer: Grasshopper

Category: Action

Release Dates

N Amer - 01/26/2010

Official Game Website

GameZone's Review

GZ Rating
Gameplay    9
Graphics    9
Sound    8.5
Difficulty    Medium

Reviewer: Caleb Newby

Review Date: 02/01/2010

Desperate Struggle is a fantastic experience for the adult crowd that is both chaotic and extremely likable

Full No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle Review

Avg. Web Rating


No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle in stores now
Title is exclusive to the Nintendo Wii

Ubisoft To Publish No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle
Ubisoft revealed today at its E3 they will be releasing No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle exclusively for the Wii

No More Heroes 2: Desperate Struggle continues the tale of punk anti-hero Travis Touchdown, the Japanese anime Otaku, and pro wrestling-obsessed assassin. Travis finds himself at the bottom of the UAA (United Assassins Association) rankings and must wage war to become the No. 1 assassin once again. The follow-up to the popular No More Heroes will offer fans infectious, fun gameplay that allows you to wield not just one, but two swords and face multiple bosses simultaneously in bigger-than-ever boss battles.

0 A.D. Now Open Source

Some breaking, amazing news related to one of the most exciting freeware Free game projects on the indie scene:
What is 0 A.D.?

0 A.D. is a free, cross-platform, under-development, 3D, historically-based, real-time strategy game.

What are you doing?

Switching from a closed development process to open source: making the code available as GPL and the art content available as CC-BY-SA, and encouraging external contributions. We've been working on 0 A.D. in our free time for years, and now we want to show what we've achieved and make it easier for more people to get involved.

How can I get started?

See the Getting Started guide to find more information about the game, forums for discussion, instructions for building and running the game, and links to further details.
For the full announcement, see the dedicated page for explaining why they moved to open source from the closed development model. For more media and information on the game, go to the official 0 A.D. website.

This is, of course, an exciting development. This game has been in production of some form for nearly 8 years, has 150k lines of code in the engine, and hundreds of dedicated (and now shared) models. It will be very interesting to gauge the impact this has on the open source game community. The game itself is not yet complete but it's definitely more than a tech demo, so it will also be interesting to see if the move to open source galvanises the project and gives it the push that it needs to get to a more complete/playable state.

08 February 2010

Beautiful Open Source Puzzle Games

The beauty of a (puzzle) game is not only what we see and hear, but also what we feel when pressing buttons and moving the mouse. Controls are important and I prefer them crispy.

No free software puzzle game has more flavor than Krank. The player piece is a string of circles, which follow the cursor to collide with smaller pieces, which need to be connected to static pieces in different combinations. Unfortunately I fail at recording videos of the game and screenshots can't communicate the feel of the movement and sounds.. Speaking of movement, the controls are not as sharp as they should be, according to my ideal. However, this seems to fit the game very much, slow music, slow pace, 'swimming' controls. At first I was frustrated, because trying to do precise movements quickly leads to disaster (or just a harder time finishing levels than if you would do it slowly) but then I learned to relax.

Anyways, you have to try the python-based game for yourself! Just listen! :)

Cuboid-Clone is a nice and simple Panda3D-based puzzle game. If I understand correctly, the levels are cloned 1:1 as well, which would be rather disappointing. If anybody feels like braining some levels, here are instructions.

Cuboid-Clone download link here. The code license appears to be BSD (let's assume 3-clause).

I always loved Zaz' sound effects and now it has prettier backgrounds, and as I believe, freely licensed music (although author info is missing). The replay-video generation function now works without stealing focus, but I advise against uploading the resulting .ogv file to YouTube. :)

If you're a web designer, you could help the developer out with building a web page for Zaz.

In Waymark, you move a piece around in turns, your paths are defined by static blocks, that keep you from falling over the edge of the screen. Collect other pieces and reach the exit is the goal. Thanks to Danc's lovely pixel art (which is freely licensed under CC-BY) and the fitting sound effects (license unknown), Waymark is a pleasure to play.

There is one big problem with the game: movement is way too slow. This confuses me, because I am sure that I played the game a few months ago and movement was very quick. The current version number is 2009-01-10, perhaps the developer forgot it's 2010 and recently released a new version? Or am I having troubles with running Java apps once more?.. In any case, I'll try to convince the developer that this game needs quicker movement. :)

EDIT: If you have trouble starting the game (version mismatch) read this. If you happen to have troubles with Java apps in general (because you are perhaps using a tiling window manager) tell me so in the comments and I'll add a solution to that to this post.

EDIT2: It appears, that I first tried the windows version and that movement in the win version is faster, than the developer intended. The bug was a feature, and a great one. :( Also the developer confirmed that 2009-01-10 is the correct date.

PS: I totally forgot JAG! One of the zagillion connect-four-based block puzzle games, I don't even know what it is a clone of or if it is original! In any case, graphics and sounds are far from programmer art. I'm enjoying this great game from time to time and my only complaint is that the bonuses (pay points to destroy all blocks of one kind and similar) are not properly introduced. Maybe they are described in some readme, but for such a colorful puzzle game, the only proper introduction is having a shiny fat arrow pointing at them when I have accumulated enough points to use them the first time. :)

Game Center - Shadow of Destiny

Publisher: Konami

Developer: Konami

Category: Adventure

Release Dates

N Amer - 01/26/2010

    * Also available on: PC
    * PS2


Shadow of Destiny Now Available for the PSP
Use Time Travel to Solve Your Own Murder in this Classic Adventure Title

Konami Announces Shadow of Destiny for PSP
Use Time Travel to Solve Your Own Murder in this Classic Adventure Title Soon to be Available in North America

Shadow of Destiny puts players in the role of Eike, a 22-year old man who is about to embark on the most important quest of his life, solving his own murder. Using a special time travel device, players will guide Eike through multiple time eras ranging between the 1500s, to present day, in attempt to find clues to unlocking the mystery behind his death. But remember, what you do in the past will affect the present.

Game Center - MAG

Game Center - MAG
Publisher: SCEA

Developer: Zipper Interactive

of Players: Up to 256 players online

Category: Action

Release Dates

N Amer - 01/26/2010

GameZone's Preview

Dakota Grabowski - 09/28/2009

A dream made in heaven for first-person shooter aficionados

Michael Lafferty - 06/04/2009

MAG offers massive online battles with a flair for the tactical


MAG Launches Exclusively on the PlayStation 3
Zipper Interactive's Massive First-Person Shooter Delivers Revolutionary Online Battles with a Squad-Based Command System and a Persistent World

Sony Relentless Lineup of Exclusive Software During E3 Media & Business Summit 2009
SCEA today revealed an unrivaled line up of software for PS3, PSP and PlayStation Network during E3 2009

Sony Demonstrates Breadth of Software Content at E3 Media & Business Summit 2008
SCEA Unveils Extraordinary Showing of Genre Defying Titles Across PS3 PS2 PSP

The year is 2025. The optimism and harmony of the 2010s were completely eradicated by 2020. A global crisis loomed. Food shortages sparked riots, currencies plummeted, fuel reserves dwindled, and oil-producing nations began to ration what remained. It is a dark future. Governments earmarked money for humanitarian efforts, overseas security, and intelligence services which, over time, found its way the coffers of a small group of Private Military Corporations (PMCs). These three private armies (Valor, Raven, and S.V.E.R.) then began to recruit aggressively. Soldiers without a country, the contractors fight wars that never happened. This is the nature of the Shadow War.

From the award-winning developer, Zipper Interactive, comes the next evolution in gaming – MAG. A first-person, online-only shooter, MAG lets you experience battles with up to 256 real people across a global battlefield. Players join one of three PMCs fighting each other in a shadow war and can either become skilled operatives or rank up to eventually command their private army to victory. Featuring unprecedented online action of a scale never before devised with player controlled strategic assets such as calling in air strikes, mortar barrages and parachute insertions; the persistent Shadow War in MAG keeps players coming back for more.

Utilizing a sophisticated ranking system and chain of command model, MAG manages the large number of players by breaking them down into squads of eight players. Players climb their way up the chain of command to take control of their 8-person squad, then 32-person platoon, and ultimately a 128-person army.
  • Unprecedented Action – For the first time ever, fight 256 real player battles in hi-def online combat for contracts around the world.
  • Command Structure – Rise through the chain of command, earning the right to lead an eight-man squad, 32-man platoon, and even command a full 128-man army.
  • Persistent Shadow War – Each battle victory or loss contributes to your PMCs world standing, moving them on the offensive or pulling them back to the defensive.
  • Choose an army – Three distinct PMCs from which to choose from, each with their own history, personality, and style.
  • Customization – Customize your character and begin to pursue a wide variety of combat specialties.

Game Center - Fairy Tales Three Heroes-SKIDROW

SKIDROW came up with this unknown game (at least to me, not sure about you guys) titled “Fairy Tales Three Heroes”. Graphic style of the game somehow reminds me on latest Prince of Persia… Or I’m wrong? Anyways, it’s about 1GB “large”, so not a big problem to download for those who are interested.

“Fairy Tales: Three Heroes” is a Fighting Adventure based on Slavic eposes and characters.

The key game features are bright graphics and easy-to-learn gameplay, ingame physics, directly affecting the gameplay, and numerous animation videos, vivid characters and, certainly, humor.


System Requirements:

* Windows XP SP1 or Windows Vista
* Pentium IV or AthlonXP or above
* DirectX 9.0c (compatible video card with 128Mb video RAM PS/VS 2.0)
* RAM: XP 512 Mb/ Vista 1 Gb
* HDD with 3GB free
* Sound card, keyboard, mouse


Game Center - Crazy Machines 2-CPY

Crazy machines 2 is packed with all new features to help you create your wackiest “Rube Goldberg-style” contraptions yet! All new elements, plus an amazing 3d physics engine lets you craft even more complex gadgets and effects. Go on tour with the crazy professor and put your skills to the test with challenges from around the globe. Travel, from the bazaars of Egypt to the white sands of the Caribbean, then blast off into space for an out of this world gaming experience. Check out the crazy machines community online! Post machines you’ve created and download those made by others. Compete for tropies and high ratings.

General Features

* New parts to tinker with, and new puzzles to solve
* World Tour – travel with the professor to exotic locations such as the Caribbean, Alaska, and China
* Multiple solutions to every puzzle
* Free-style mode – create, destroy, and publish your own crazy machines
* Upload and download player laboratories and rate the best of the best online
* All-age appeal
* Bonus levels


Game Center - Amazing Heists: Dillinger

Take a ride as America's most famous public enemy! In this thrilling hidden object adventure game, you embark on a wild ride through one of the most fascinating periods in American criminal history. Playing as the ruthless Dillinger, you heist the banks, select your gang and steal the loot without getting caught. Amazing Heists: Dillinger will leave you having so much fun, it's a crime!


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07 February 2010

Game Center - Hotel Giant 2

Game Center - Hotel Giant 2 
 Publisher: Nobilis

Developer: Enlight Studios

Category: Simulation

Release Dates

Intl - 02/14/2009

Digital Download - 02/14/2009

N Amer - 01/28/2010


SouthPeak’s Hotel Giant 2 for PC Now Open for Business
Run Your Dream Hotel in the Comprehensive Sequel to the Smash Hit Hotel Giant

Start Your Own Hotel Empire with SouthPeak’s New PC Sim Hotel Giant 2
Hotel Giant is Back and Bigger than Ever

Hotel Giant 2 features 26 locations from around the world including Paris, Los Angeles, Munich, Rome and Phuket for aspiring Donald Trumps to dominate the hotel market. The key to success is careful observation of your guests’ behaviour and monitoring their happiness in the surroundings you have created for them. Build restaurants, health clubs, swimming pools and business centres to appease their needs, all the while keeping a close eye on your ratings in order to achieve that coveted 100% customer satisfaction rating.

As with any customer-facing business, one of the most important roles is in the business of hiring and firing. Guests will be quick to file complaints about less than satisfactory service; so following your staff’s duties carefully may prove profitable when deciding whether you should be brandishing the P45s or not.
Hardware Requirements

    * OS: 98/Me/2000/XP/Vista
    * CPU: 1.5 GHz
    * RAM: 512 Mb
    * Video card memory: 64 Mb
    * Disk space required : 2 Gb
    * DirectX®: 9.0c

Game Center - Mass Effect 2

Publisher: EA Games

Developer: BioWare Corporation

Category: Role-Playing

Release Dates

N Amer - 01/26/2010

    * Also available on: PC

GameZone's Review

GZ Rating
Gameplay    9.5
Graphics    8.5
Sound    10
Difficulty    Easy
Concept    9
Overall    9.5

Reviewer: Dakota Grabowski

Review Date: 01/26/2010

By all merits, Mass Effect 2 is simply amazing

Full Mass Effect 2 Review

Avg. Web Rating

GameZone's Preview

Dakota Grabowski - 12/17/2009

Shepard is back and he’s out to rid the galaxy of the “Collectors.”

Steven Hopper - 06/02/2009

Get ready to explore the universe again with Shepard and his crew.


Mass Effect 2 Interview with Casey Hudson Part 4 of 4
GameZone sits down with Mass Effect 2 Project Director Casey Hudson for the final installment in the interview series

Mass Effect 2 Interview with Casey Hudson Part 3 of 4
GameZone sits down with Mass Effect 2 Project Director Casey Hudson in the third part of the interview series to discuss the game

Mass Effect 2 Interview with Casey Hudson Part 2 of 4
GameZone sits down with Mass Effect 2 project director Casey Hudson in the second part of the interview series to discuss the game

Mass Effect 2 Interview with Casey Hudson Part 1 of 4
GameZone sits down with Mass Effect 2 project director Casey Hudson to discuss the game

A chat with Dr. Ray Muzyka and Dr. Greg Zeschuk
“The key thing is to find people who are as excited about the IP as we are.”

BioWare Launches Mass Effect 2 to Intergalactic Acclaim
One of 2010's Most Anticipated Blockbuster Videogames Ships to Stores Worldwide Today

Mass Effect’s Subject Zero a Tattooed Natalie Portman?
Casey Hudson, via our four part intimate conversation, has revealed his thoughts about the labels placed upon Subject Zero’s cinematic debut a few months back, such as the label that she was a tattooed Natalie Portman

GZ Exclusive: Future Settings for Mass Effect Revealed?
In part two of our exclusive interview with Project Director Casey Hudson revealed that Earth and various other planets from the Milky Way Galaxy (Venus, Mars, Jupiter, etc.) may turn up as planets for players to visit

BioWare Unveils ‘The Cerberus Network’ – An In-Game Pipeline for Downloadable Content in Mass Effect 2
On January 26 Mass Effect 2 Players Can Download Exciting Bonus Content

BioWare Reunites with Jack Wall for Mass Effect 2 Original Score
Renowned Composer Provides Original Music for 2010’s First Mega-Blockbuster

All News for Mass Effect 2

The second chapter in the Mass Effect trilogy takes you to the darkest reaches of space, where you must uncover the mystery behind the disappearance of humans across many worlds. Prepare yourself for a suicide mission to save mankind. Travel the galaxy to assemble a team of soldiers and combat specialists, and launch an all-out assault on the heart of enemy territory.

Game Center - Passport to Perfume v1.0.0.87-TE

Passport To Perfume takes you around the world as Sophia, a young adventure-seeker, perfume maker and shop owner in the 1940’s. You’ll manage a perfume shop, create scents, select from elegant perfume bottle inventory and sell your creations to customers. On weekends, travel the world searching for rare ingredients, perfume bottles and new fragrance recipes. Will you find rarest of all—a secret fragrance worn by Marie Antoinette herself? Or will a rival perfumer find it first?


Pass: relax-games.blogspot.com

Game Center - Mystery Masterpiece The Moonstone v1.0.1655-TE

An ancient and priceless piece of jewelry, the Moonstone, has been stolen, and it`s up to you to track it down! Investigate every person who was in the mansion at the time of the crime to solve the mystery and catch the crook, in this Hidden Object game! Explore every room of the mansion to find valuable clues in Mystery Masterpiece – The Moonstone, and return the jewel to its rightful owner.


Pass: relax-games.blospot.com

Game Center - Farm Frenzy 3.v0.5.0.0-TE

Featuring expanded gameplay and a delightful new central character, Farm Frenzy 3 has arrived! In the arcade business sim, Scarlett travels to Africa, South America and other exotic locations to manage five farms and try her hand at penguin breeding and jewelry making. Her goal is to become the president of the farmers union by earning the votes of the people she helps.You’ll sling hay in 95 outrageously fun levels, tend to 30 wacky animals (including walruses and llamas) and purchase more upgrades than there are ears in a field of corn! What’s more, as you grow crops, feed animals, collect produce and manufacture goods, you’ll be treated to some of the zaniest animation to ever grace a casual game!

  • 95 levels in five countries
  • 30 animals, including five enemies
  • 33 products to make
  • 17 buildings and vehicles
  • 16 trophies and achievements
  • Colorful comic book interludes


Pass: relax-games.blogspot.com

Contributors, contributors, contributors

The development structure of FOSS game projects can be a one-man show, it can be semi-closed by having a fixed team and little web presence, it can have lots of tasks without anybody knowing what needs to be done, or it can be plain frozen until a developer decides to pick it up.

Today, I will try to pick some of the open development ones that provide some kind of ordered task list and provide instructions in the case of media creation being the job.


Rocket Race in Syntensity [more]

Syntensity has some open tasks (having played the game helps understanding :) ), which involve tinkering with the Sauerbraten-based engine and JavaScript.

latest UFO:AI world view
I just found out on #ufoait that UFO:AI is soon to release the first version that allows you to win the game. This will make the squad tactics game be eligible to a line on our list of complete foss games! There are still a few tasks to complete before 2.3, a humble list compared to all the open issues.

PARPG developers wants to ship the first tech demo on 10th of March but could use some Python programmers' help. The engine used by PARPG, FIFE, just released 0.3.0, introducing internationalization as one of the features. One plan for a forthcoming version is to improve rendering performance.

Never mind the sidetracking, regarding PARPG programming: here's the first step (chat) of involvement and the second (forums). :) In case you're worried about setup complications: being on Arch Linux it has been no effort for me to install fife-svn and test the svn version of PARPG many times.

Current PARPG status

I told you about the problems of getting Bitfighter to run on my x64 system. Others suffer from the same and now the development team is looking for someone willing to take a look at our errors and their code in this thread. Should you happen to take a look and have an idea of what the problem is but are too laz.. busy to register at yet another forum, please do comment on this post. :)


Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

Racer r242 screenshots

Racer is getting prettier and prettier and hopefully the instructions for making cars, using the editor and creating visual themes will let some race track artists do their magic. I recommend the racer-dev group for getting in touch with the developer.

A list of wanted voice lines for NAEV was compiled. For brainstorming, a PiratePad was used, which is based on the FOSS collaborative web text editor etherpad.

jClassicRPG recently received a new voice pack but is still looking for more voices. If you are or you know someone who likes to put their voice to use and has a way to record it, go to/direct them to the updated voice acting instructions.

irrlamb documentation now features a wiki page on level editing. For questions and feedback use this thread.

06 February 2010

A3P: Acquire, Attack, Asplode, PWN!

Hey FreeGamer crowd, I hope there are still a few people around ;)
Today there will be only a short update, as I simply can't believe this gem of a game (see below) has not been featured on this page!

EDIT: Do not miss qudobup's post about FOSS engine news directly below this one!

A unique arena shooter

So someone had the balls (pun intended) and released a completely unique arena shooter with many nifty features, described by the creator as a mix of TPS/RTS/OMG/BBQ ;)

Check out A3P, if that has sparked your interest! At it's current version (0.5) it can be described as a third person arena shooter with some small RTS/squad command elements, and it is definitely fun to play:

The technical specs are rather interesting too: Based on the BSD licensed Panda3D engine (while itself being licensed MIT; the media license is unclear though) it has all the bells and whistles one can expect from a modern game (Full GLSL shader based rendering, networked ODE physics, even integration into your webbrowser).

Yet it was developed by ONE man in only ONE year! That makes us fellow free game developers look a bit bad, I guess :( Maybe that's because it was developed in Python!

Check out the development blog for further insight into this miracle ;)

Game Center - Interview: Stephen Carlyle-Smith aka Me_Programmer

In the second Free Gamer interview - over 2 years since the first with grumbel - serial Free game developer Steven Carlyle-Smith (UK) aka Me_Programmer Games aka Steve16384 was kind enough to take the time to reply in detail to my questions about his development activities.

Steve has created a plethora of Free games over the years. Whilst they have struggled to gain mindshare - usually he moves on at speed to new projects before completing others - there's a lot of content to peruse and I thought his experiences were more than worth tapping for advise to budding game developers. He has created all his games with little or no community help other than occasionally reusing resources from other projects. He also maintains blog on his development efforts which is often witty.

You can ask questions / get support / give feedback for Steve's games in the new FreeGameDev forum for Me_Programmer Games. There you can also find an exhaustive list of his playable game projects, including several not mentioned here.

He is also responsible for coding/creating the site Online Game Planner - which he uses to host his projects - which is a fairly new portal for organizing multiplayer gaming sessions.

The game that originally got my attention was Laser Tactics - previously called Nuclear Graveyard, which he talks about later in the interview. So, without further ado...

The Interview

Q. Please introduce yourself...
I'm a 30-something professional applications programmer, amateur games programmer, married with one child and another on the way.
Q. What do you do for a living?
I work for a small company writing software for businesses. Everything from web applications, social networking sites, VB apps, web filters, stock control software, networking tools, and the odd game. Whatever people will pay for!
Q. What notable games have you created?
I don't think any qualify as notable -- editor is impressed with the humility, some of the games are good they just haven't hit the right public spot yet! -- but these are probably my best:-
Xenogeddon (home)
This is a simple FPS based on Space Hulk, but I'm very pleased at how the graphics turned out. I didn't do any of the models, but overall it captures the Space Hulk imagary quite well. It is small and simple however, and needs a lot more scenery and features adding to keep the player's interest.
Laser Tactics (home)
The less said about the graphics the better, but this is my attempt at making a pseudo-realtime verson of Laser Squad and have tried to recreate the original graphics in 3D. It uses what I think is a unique system where both side's "action points" are replenished in real time which can make for interesting gameplay. I'm also particularly pleased with the AI as well. The overall presentation could do with a damn good polishing though.
Island Commander (home)
This is my most recent game and I'm still working on it, but it's fully playable and I enjoy playing it. I've always liked strategy games, and this one is a simple RTS/RTT where the player builds units and then watches them do battle. I'm interested in games where you only have indirect control. I've got loads of ideas yet to implement, like different races, more unit types, and maybe a better name!
Q. Of your game projects, which is your favourite?
At the moment it's Island Commander, because it's my newest and I still enjoy playing it. I'm probably most proud of Xenogeddon though, in that if someone asked me to show them one of my games, that would be the one.
Q. Excluding your own, what is your favourite open source game?
I don't spend that much time playing games, but the one I used to play the most is Tremulous, probably because it's multi-player with a big player-base. I'm crap at it though.
Q. What games do you play at the moment, FLOSS or commercial?
Definitely FLOSS, as I haven't bought a game since X-Com for the Amiga! My home PC isn't up to playing modern games and I don't have time anyway. I'd much rather be programming games than playing them. When I do play games, it's usually simple but addictive Flash-type games. And if they're very simple, I then have a go at writing my own version.
Q. How did you get into games programming?
Way back in 1984, my dad bought a ZX Spectrum, and the book "First Steps with your Spectrum" to go with it. Ever since then I've been programming, for the Spectrum, Amiga and then PC. I like to think my games have improved since then.
Q. What are your best games programming tips?
Re-use your own code as often as possible. Have something playable as quickly as possible. And use descriptive var/function names. I don't agree with people who dislike verbose var/function names; if you're sharing code with others (or coming back to your own project after a 6 month gap) you need as much description as possible. With tools like code-completion, long names aren't a problem.
Q. What draws you to open source, what is your Free software philosophy?
I particularly like the way that we all provide each other with programming help and actual source code, which enables everyone to learn and produce software much faster than they would be able to otherwise. It's a shame that in the corporate world, when somebody learns something, it's top secret and usually patented. Just think how advanced technology (not just software) might be if everyone shared their knowledge and skills with everyone else.
Q. What are the things to avoid, the things that make FLOSS game
development fail?
The biggest problem is not getting something playable as quickly as possible. Whether its a one-man project or bigger, people soon get bored of discussing and planning everything to death. You need to show yourself and everyone that you are actually doing something practical that is actually possible and progress is being made. There are a million "Status: 1-Planning" projects on Sourceforge as a testament to this.
Q. If you could take one abandoned FLOSS game and restore it's
development (excluding your own titles!) which would it be?

I don't really know any off the top of my head. I sometimes browse Sourceforge to see if there's anything I can help with, but I usually end up with ideas and inspiration to write a game of my own! Unfortunately, trying to understand someone else's source code and designs (especially the larger ones) is often harder than just writing my own project.
Q. What are your future game development plans and which of your games
do you hope to see come to fruition in the near future?
My dream is to have a game (and more importantly, a community) as popular as, say, Starcraft. This is my ultimate (and obviously unattainable) ambition, but if one of my games can get a thousandth of the popularity of that, then I'll be more than pleased!

Steve's Other Game Projects

You can ask questions / get support / give feedback for Steve's games in the new FreeGameDev forum for Me_Programmer Games. There you can also find an exhaustive list of his playable game projects, including several not mentioned here.

Danger Man


Danger Man (home)

This is my contribution to the saturated market of platformers. It's reasonably complete, but requires more levels designing and it's own set of graphics. It has a few good features though, like different weapons.

Metal Glove Solid (home)

This is a playable but limited version of Gauntlet. The advantage of having this in my repotoire is that if I want to make any other top-down 2D game, I can just start with this. I do that with a lot of my games, meaning I can usually knock something up very quickly. I just need to improve the graphics and create more levels.

HoloRacer (home)

I'm quite pleased with this one, and I sometimes go back and have a quick game. I just wanted to write the fastest racer that I could, and it was my first game using OpenGL. It's deliberately quite simple (in gameplay and graphics) but fun in short bursts. I seem to remember that when I uploaded it to Sourceforge, it got about 200 downloads on the first day. They'v trailed off a bit since then!

Realtime Chaos (home)

This is a remake of "Chaos - The Battle of Wizards" for the Spectrum, where wizards do battle with various spells, but converted into an RTS. I've written countless version of Chaos over the years, but this is by far the least-worst. The only drawback is that it has no AI, so you need at least one other player and a LAN to play a game.

Simwar (home)

This is an RTS in the style of C&C. It's quite simple, and also multi-player/LAN only, but is designed to be quick and fun to play. It has some features like proper line-of-sight (unlike just fog-of-war), so you can only see the enemy if you have a clear view. Prizes for guessing which game the soldier sprites came from!

GTA-MUD (home)

As the name says, this is a MUD. I liked the contemporary setting of GTA, and thought a MUD in the same setting would be a good idea, where you could do anything in a modern-day realistic setting rather than either medeival fantasy or futuristic. It's quite small, but gets about 5 logins a day. It's also quite "adult" in some sections, just like GTA.

Online Game Planner (home)

This is a website I produced. I think this was inspired by me trying to get more players on at the same time on GTA-MUD. The premise is simple - you select an online games that you play, and then organise a session by date and time. Everyone else who has also marked that game as one they play then gets informed of the date and time, so everyone plays the game at the same time. It also hosta a few of my simple applet games. I think I should rename it "MultiplayerGamePlanner".

The Last Word

I'd really like to see Steve polish some of his older games a bit more and be more astute with advertising them. Some of them are very hard to come by unless you go through his blog, so posting announcements/showcase/help-wanted threads in the appropriate forums (starting with the FreeGameDev forums) should increase their visibility.

Xenogeddon looks full of potential and it'd be good to see what people make of it. I don't have functional 3D so couldn't try it myself yet.

Metal Glove Solid could become a popular game if he worked on performance (it was unplayably slow on my graphically-unaccelerated 2ghz laptop) as well as used the better graphics available in the Gauntlet Resurrection thread from the FreeGameDev ideas forum.

There's a lot of projects that he didn't mention because he feels they're not complete enough, e.g. this Shadowfire remake. It makes me curious to know if there's a complete list of Steve's projects anywhere! See update!

Sometimes the life of a Free game developer can feel a bit lonely because of the lack of exposure. Hopefully some of you will go away and try his games and, even if you don't end up playing them for long, at least give some decent feedback so he can work to make them better and increase player retention.

Update: Steve has posted a complete list in the forum. Two games he has made that he didn't mention in the interview but are worthwhile projects are Passenger and Last Remaining. I think he needs a bit of modelling help to really realise the potential of Last Remaining.

Game Center - WonderKing

Game Center - WonderKing

Publisher: NDOORS Interactive

Developer: Ryu Entertainment

Category: Role-Playing

Release Dates

Online - 01/28/2010

Official Game Website


Ndoors Interactive's Highly Anticipated WonderKing Springs into Commercial Launch
Ndoors Interactive officially launched its highly anticipated 2D side-scrolling massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG) WonderKing

WonderKing Enters Open Beta with a Brand Spankin' New Pet System, Mounts, Levels and More
Ndoors Interactive will enter the open beta for its highly anticipated 2D side-scrolling massively multi-player online role-playing game (MMORPG) WonderKing at 12 p.m. PST/3 p.m. EST today

WonderKing Reigns On with Closed Beta Three
Ndoors Interactive today announced the launch of a third closed beta for their new MMORPG, WonderKing

WonderKing Closed Beta Launches
NDOORS Interactive today officially launched the closed beta of their adventure-filled new MMORPG, WonderKing

NDOORS Interactive Announces WonderKing
All Hail the WonderKing


The title’s playful visuals and gameplay is designed to appeal to teenagers and pre-teens -- ages 12 to 15 -- looking for a light, engaging online experience. Players will challenge the demonic forces of Valron in real-time combat as they strive to become the “Wonderking” that will bring light to the shadows of darkness. There is a wide variety of customization available from clothing to facial features and hairstyles. WonderKing will be free-to-play and offer players the ability to acquire tools, weapons and mounts from the item mall.

    * Home Town System: Players can personally decorate a private room where they can rest and store items and trophies.
    * Pet System: Adorable, loyal AI animals will aid in hunting, item collecting, and other tasks.
    * Class Change: The game allows players to focus their character’s abilities and change between classes to learn powerful techniques (mage, swordsman, thief, and scout).
    * Mounts and Vehicles: Get moving with a variety of vehicles to ride and animals to mount, providing boosts to attack and defense.
    * Castle Battles: Engage in PvP battles using siege warfare across castles.
    * Crafting and Cooking: Weapons, food, and potions can be made to give players an edge in battle.


8/13/09 game enters its second Closed Beta

Game Center - Assault Heroes

Game Center - Assault Heroes

Publisher: Konami

of Players: 1-2

Category: Action

Release Dates


    * Also available on: 360
    * PC


Assault Heroes Now Available on PlayStation Network
Konami's Action Arcade Shooter Pushes the Boundaries of Downloadable Content With High Caliber Weapons and Revitalized 3D Graphics

Konami Announces Assault Heroes For PlayStationNetwork
High Octane Action Arcade Shooter Joins Roster of All-New Titles for Konami's Next Wave of Downloadable Content

Players begin the game as the only surviving members of an elite Special Forces Unit tasked with uncovering a classified weapons program hidden deep within a secret underground lab. Featuring vibrant graphics and intense environments such as enemy war camps, Assault Heroes offers an arsenal of weapons including devastating flak cannons, flamethrowers and grenades to navigate through the levels. Assault Heroes also features interactive destructible battlefields and underground areas to discover, as players are able to explore environments by foot, speed boat onto sea, or traverse through the lands in a heavily armed 4x4 artillery vehicle. Missions can be played in single player mode or in 2-player cooperative mode with a friend locally or online in order to strategize their plan of attack. As an added bonus, competitive rankings on the online leaderboards can also motivate players to execute the sinister alien force and fight their way to the top of the charts.

Game Center - Bilbo The Four Corners of the World v1.01

Run restaurants around the world in this wonderfully animated time management game! Take a trip around the world with Bilbo to see if he can win the heart of his true love! Choose the menu based on the tastes of your guests and then do everything in your power to earn Bilbo a big tip! From seating guests, to taking orders, to serving meals, there’s plenty to do! Featuring a cast of wonderfully animated animal characters, you’ll be grinning from ear to ear!


Pass: relax-games.blogspot.com

05 February 2010

Open Source 3D Game Engines Updates

Crystal Space 1.4 is out. Features include improved animations ("integrating vertex based animation with skeletal animation") and terrain ("improves rendering and handling of large outdoor areas"), OpenAL for sound and an internationalization plug-in.

Engine screenshots are very informative. This is Panda3D by the way.

Panda3D has a prettier website, it released version 1.7.0 and apparently has a web-plug in. The new version makes it easier to crash the computer, but also gives a performance boost - with the magic of 'pointer textures'.

I have a little crush on Panda3D, because it gives access to 3D and audio with no complicated setting up through a scripting language (Python). On the other hand it requires 3D models to be in its own format and I find converting not very convenient. For example there have been problems importing animations into Radakan.

OGRE mascot

Ogre has a mascot, and it might even become freely licensed, somebody just needs to confirm this (by posting in the thread). :)

Besides that, 1.7.0 RC1 has been released, which is licensed under MIT license (before, it was LGPL). Here's what seems like a changelog.

OGRE wikis
Furthermore, the OGRE wiki moves from MediaWiki to TikiWiki. I suspect that a main reason is because a nicer OGRE style was made for TikiWiki, while the MediaWiki OGRE style looks bad. That may be a strange reason, but as long as it makes people use the wiki more, why not? Here's the discussion if you have an idea.

Just for kicks: a simple comparison of OGRE, Panda and Crystal regarding lines of code. What does it tell us? Well, that OGRE has the biggest codebase (even though it only handles graphics), that Panda3D is the most compact of the tree and that Crystal Space code size had strange ups and downs. Nothing more really.

Kambi VRML v2.0 is soon to be released, as is the final version of the demo game Castle (which will only mean additional eye candy to the game). What is more important, as soon as Castle 1.0 is released, work will start on Castle 2.

Castle 1 is a three-level game and I consider it hard (easy to die) and its controls to be rough. On the other hand the level design is great: the layout invites exploration the levels are linear, each with a goal to be reached. This way the levels actually are part of a game, rather than an open-ended tech demo. This is why I have a good feeling about Castle 2.0 already. Depending on whether the developers decide to work on Castle 2 on their own or to ask the community for contributions, we might see some more use of their forum.

Morrowind scroll loaded in OpenMW
OpenMW, the Morrowind engine implementation in OGRE switched from D to C++ (because of compiler availability and language popularity) and from svn+git to git-only (because of git-svn problems). Git clone instructions here. The next feature to be implemented are animations. A video was promised as soon as they are ready.

Old news: OpenGameEngine development stopped in October 2009, until a project manager wants to take over. The form in which the project is left is described as "usable" and "still too much work to make it worth the time investment".

Enjoy another ridiculous comparison of 3D (game) engines: OpenMW, KambiVRML and OGE. I just love diagrams. :)

We have a list of 3D engines on our wiki, if you want to dig some more. Also all FOSS game engine blogs that have feeds are included in the FGD development planet feed aggregator.

Game Center - My Best PSP Games

Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce

Dynasty Warriors: Strikeforce

Final Fantasy: Crisis Core

Final Fantasy: Crisis Core

Modified Air Combat Heroes

Modified Air Combat Heroes

God of War 2: Chains of Olympus

God of War 2: Chains of Olympus

Resistance Retribution

Resistance Retribution

Prinny: Can I Really Be the Hero?

Prinny: Can I Really Be  the Hero?

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