Tag Archives: me and my shadow

5 More Linux Games to Distract You During the Summer

Whether or not you are going on a vacation this summer, it is always good to take a break. And if you are using Linux, what is better than playing video games under the sun? (Except going out, of course.) So, in continuation with Travis’ work, let me present you five more games to distract yourself during the summer. From action to reflection, and through racing, these games are assured to bring you the fun that you deserve. And to add to the cocktail, all of them are completely free!

1. Mari0

Let’s begin with my personal favorite: an incredible crossover between Mario and Portal. It’s called Mari0 (with a zero instead of the “o”).

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As you can expect from a crossover like this, you control Mario in the traditional levels, while wearing a portal gun. And what is really awesome is that every aspect of the portals is used: you can warp yourself to evade enemies or gain time, jump higher using loops and gravity, transport the enemies straight into a pit by creating a portal under them, etc.

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A personal favorite, even if hard to master, is creating portals to throw back the weapons to the opponents. However, it takes some time to get the habit, and a lot of you will die very quickly because we tend to open portals everywhere at first and warp an enemy on ourselves. Yes, pretty stupid but so frequent.

2. Speed Dreams 2

Another good racing game! If you like TORCS, you will love Speed Dreams, now in version 2.0. As a fork of the former, Speed Dreams 2 presents decent graphics with a high sensitivity control, and a lot of interesting aspects

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One of them is the possibility to configure the races to a high extent: player’s difficulty, circuit, time of the day, cars, cloud, rain, distance per lap, etc. The only thing that it lacks may be the multi-player game, which is yet to come.

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3. Xmoto

Still about roads and races, Xmoto is a stunt game for bikers. With advanced physics and a plethora of levels, it is a must in terms of biking games.

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It even proposes a multi-player mode and games on the network. The levels are well distributed as packs and frequently updated.

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And as a bonus, you will compete in each of them against the champion’s ghost. I also appreciated the languages pack and the extensive options on the menu. On the downside, the bike seems very sensitive, and it may require a lot of practice in order to master it fully. Meanwhile, the levels may seem a bit repetitive and some are less aesthetic than others.

4. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Infocom Adventure

Once in a while, we all like to go back to our roots. And if you are a true gamer, you will surely remember that your roots are the console, way before graphical games. For the command line, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Infocom Adventure is a must have game.

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Inspired by Douglas Adams’ work, you will incarnate Arthur Dent in his adventures. I had some doubts in the beginning, but the program is really well thought out and it is a pleasure to give orders from the terminal. The adaption time is relatively short and the plot evolves quickly. The only weakness arises if you are not very familiar with the English language, as the puzzles are already hard enough.

5. Me And My Shadow

Finally, Me And My Shadow is a more modern reflection game. The base principle is quite original, as you are able to record and make your shadow execute certain actions.

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The graphics are really sober but it only gives a good atmosphere to the platform part of the game. Again, the levels are distributed in packs, helping the player to progress and gain control of the commands.

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The gameplay is simple and yet very efficient, while the puzzles are gradually harder. The developers did a good job of bringing everything that we expect from a good platform game (spikes, switch, moving blocks, etc) and combining it with the shadow-control ability. For example, your shadow will be necessary as a partner in order to jump higher, or to walk on some special blocks that are only solid for her.
Conclusion

With that, you should be ready to spend the summer with excitement. It is always amazing to find such fine games for free. The only thing to add is congratulations to the developers: thank you for creating professional quality games like this and sharing them among the community.

Have you tried these games? Did you like them? Do you know some other ones that you would like to propose? Please let us know in the comments.

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Easily Port C++ To HTML5/JavaScript With Emscripten

If only porting code between other platforms was this easy

Mozilla turned some heads last week when they announced BrowserQuest, an HTML5 powered MMO that runs in any compatible browser. That was just the beginning of the potential for HTML5 to power games and other applications in-browser. Of course, BrowserQuest was built from the ground up for HTML5. What about games built in stand alone executable languages like C++?

Games for the Web are usually built on an existing Web extension like Flash. To port to the Web, you would have to rebuild your game in Flash from whatever programming language you used. The same was once again true when it came to building games in HTML5 canvas and JavaScript. You had to rebuild your code in those languages to publish on the Web – not anymore.

On the Mozilla Hacks blog, it details a new program called Emscripten. It’s an open source C++ to JavaScript compiler that uses LLVM. While the original game needs to be in C++, this cuts back on the development time on a port to almost no time at all.

For this particular experiment, Alon Zakai of the Mozilla Emscripten team, used the open source game Me and My Shadow. It’s a puzzle/platformer game where the player controls two characters at once. The port created by using the Emscripten compiler “works almost exactly like the desktop version does on the machines and browswers” Zakai tested it on.

The particular success of this port is due to the game’s use of the SDL API. For those unaware, the SDL API is a wrapper library for basic game functionality like getting input, loading images, and rendering text. Emscripten has SDL support through the use of native canvas calls, which allows the game to run as fast in browsers as it would natively on the desktop.

There are a few problems, however, with this porting method that can be fixed by the browser creator themselves. The first problem is that typed arrays are needed to run C++ code quickly. Firefox, Chrome and Opera have the necessary typed arrays to make maximum compatibility possible. Zakai says that Safari should be fine ready soon and that Internet Explorer will be getting the capability in IE10.

The other problem comes from the Blob constructor. This is necessary for decoding the visuals and the audio of the game. Most browsers should be able to decode the visuals in the game, but the audio is where things start to fail. Zakai claims that only Firefox is currently capable of decoding the audio, but says that there may be a workaround somewhere in Chrome.

Emscripten isn’t perfect though as it still requires a bit of manual programming on the part of the person doing the port. Here’s how Zakai explained it:

JavaScript main loops must be written in an asynchronous way: A callback for each frame. Thankfully, games are usually written in a way that the main loop can easily be refactored into a function that does one iteration, and that was the case here. Then that function that does one main loop iteration is called each frame from JavaScript. However, there are other cases of synchronous code that are more annoying, for example fadeouts that happen when a menu item is picked are done synchronously (draw, SDL_Delay, draw, etc.). This same problem turned up when I ported Doom, I guess it’s a common code pattern. So I just disabled those fadeouts for now; if you do want them in a game you port, you’d need to refactor them to be asynchronous.

Regardless of the few kinks that need to be worked out, this looks like a quick and easy way for developers to bring their games to the Web. If you want to check out Me and My Shadow running on the Web, you can play the game here.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUcdtxoO5Lw&w=480&h=360]

Free and Open Source Puzzle Game 'Me and My Shadow' is Quite Challenging – linux game

Me and My Shadow is a challenging puzzle/platformer for Linux with rather unique gameplay style.
In each level of the game, you and your shadow start at different locations. Your real self have to record moves by jumping and moving around. These moves will be then followed by your shadow and the level clears if you and your shadow both reach to the exit unharmed.
Check out the video:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UUcdtxoO5Lw&w=480&h=360]

The game was originally designed and written by Luka Horvat. Later the author open sourced the game under GNU GPL. A small team picked it up and started to develop it further.
Game features:

– Long tutorial for beginners
– 2 level packs containing over 40 levels
– 18 different block types
– Easily installable addons
– Original music
– Cross platform

Download Me and My Shadow (Linux, Windows, AmigaOS, Source)

An Ubuntu PPA is also available (Oneiric, Natty, Maverick, Lucid). Run the commands below:

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:odamite/meandmyshadow-stable
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install meandmyshadow

If you are using Ubuntu 12.04, directly download deb files: 32bit | 64bit

Me and My Shadow is a 2D puzzle platform game for Linux and Windows. It is written in C++/SDL, so it must compile on any system SDL supports. The game has a unique system. It’s originally developed by Luka Horvat as a prototype. The author gave us permission to open the source code and maintain the project. Game is GPLv3 licensed.

Me and My Shadow

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