Tag Archives: open source game engine

OpenRA, Free and Open Source RTS Game Engine Supporting C&C and C&C: Red Alert

OpenRA is a free and open source real time strategy game engine supporting early Westwood games like Command & Conquer (C&C) and Command & Conquer: Red Alert.

Almost an year back, I tried OpenRA but couldn’t get it to work. Recently I gave it a shot again and was pleasantly surprised at the level of polish.

The game is absolute pleasure to play. The graphics may look a bit dated but they have their own charm. Gameplay is as addicting as it used to be and brings back old memories. Check out the video below:

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRbzggPzGS8&w=480&h=360]

OpenRA can be currently played as online multiplayer game only. However, you can create a single player game by selecting bots as enemy opponents with three different AIs (easy, medium, hard).

If you have original Red Alert files, you can use them with OpenRA. But, they are not necessary. Both original C&C: Red Alert and C&C has been recreated as mods and can be downloaded from game menu itself. They are not just clones of the original versions but provide improved and rebalanced gameplay.

Download OpenRA (Arch Linux, Debian, Ubuntu and Fedora Packages

Choose My Adventure: I fell into a burning ring of Ryzom

After an intensely close vote, the winner for my destination in this round of Choose My Adventure is Ryzom! And I do mean intensely close; up until the polls closed, it looked very possible that the vote would end in the favor of Lord of the Rings Online or even a straight-up tie. But the readers have spoken, and my destination is set to the world of Atys and its inhabitants. Meanwhile, Johnny Cash handily won the bonus poll, so it’s time to spin up song songs by the Man in Black while I write this.

For those of you who don’t know what in the world Ryzom is, you can sort of be forgiven. It’s one of those games that seems to be uniquely brilliant while managing to fall off the radar altogether, which is a real shame. So this week I’m going to discuss the game in an overarching sense, outline what I’m looking forward to, and of course give everyone a chance to vote on the character that I’ll be making for the next six weeks of exploration.

The Saga of Ryzom (as the game was originally known) launched in September of 2004, giving players a chance to explore a world that might best be described as beautiful and baffling. And it’s best to get this out of the way right off the bat: Ryzom was designed, from the ground up, to have a truly staggering number of moving pieces. The game’s wildlife behaves according to believable patterns, meaning that herd animals move as a herd, migrate depending on season, and scatter when they detect predators. You can’t even learn something as simple as an early melee attack without understanding that the game’s entire ability system can be edited, meaning that each “ability” is really just a handful of traits that can be altered to create custom abilities.

Interesting? Definitely. Unique? Certainly. The sort of thing that throws you into the deep end with no explanation of how to start swimming? Yeah, pretty much.

Put simply, this was a game that would have been a challenge to get a handle on no matter when it launched. And to the game’s great misfortune, it launched two months before a much more accessible game was launched, which meant that this small indie title fumbled along for quite some time before a mess of near-shutdowns, acquisitions by other companies, and finally its current incarnation under the aegis of Winch Gate Property.

And yet through all of this, the game has remained stunningly beautiful and unique. The fact that you can directly edit your abilities, the fact that you have a realistic and open world to explore, the overall tenor of the game — none of that has changed. It advertises itself as a roleplayer’s world, a fresh new place for you to adventure as you wish, a living world that’s different from our own. It’s also one of the few games that’s native to both the Mac and Linux, and the entire game engine is open source. If you wanted to, you could basically create your own little Ryzom.

Want a private server? Go for it. The developers encourage you to try that out if you have the ability to run it. How unique is that?

My own experiences with Ryzom are constrained to a single set of experiences back forever ago in the free trial. The funny thing is that they were, by and large, very positive experiences, enough to make me wonder why it is I never went any further in the game. Certainly it wasn’t a lack of interest in the game as a whole. I think, looking back, it was simply a matter of the scope of the game versus the other things I already had on my plate.

Now, however, I’m excited. I’m curious about what sort of things I can create with the game’s ability system, about what sort of character I’ll make, about what I’ll be doing in the world of Atys. And so I’m turning the polls over to you, the readers, as is always the way in these columns. Well, after a little more preamble, anyhow.

For those of you unfamiliar with the game’s setting, let me sum up. Characters can be from one of four different civilizations. The Fyros are desert dwellers, serving as the game’s “average” humanoid (insomuch as you can have an average in such a setting). The Matis are forest-dwelling masters of botany and biotechnology, making their homes among trees and mastering careful growth. The Trykers are lake-dwellers, building floating homes utilizing wind power. And my personal favorite, the Zorai, are jungle-dwellers wearing genetically bonded tribal masks.

Left to my own devices, I’d probably make a Zorai because man they’re cool. But it’s not up to me.

The other major choice at character creation is which character “package” you start with. All characters are capable of learning anything as they progress due to the game’s tiered leveling system. You start out by leveling just “Magic,” for instance, but then it subdivides into “Offensive Magic” and “Defensive Magic,” and so on and so forth as you focus on certain skills. However, there are four basic packages for players to start with, each one focusing on a different aspect of gameplay. I intend to explore a bit of everything during my first steps into the game, but my starting package will determine where I excel to begin with.

So go forth and vote! To make it easier to fit in time to play, I’ve decided the polls will be closing at the start of Saturday, so vote early! And of course, we have another bonus poll. See you next week when the adventure kicks off proper!

Updated Versions of Bungie’s Marathon Trilogy Hit Version 1.0

You can play the original Marathon trilogy for free with high-resolution graphics.

Long before Halo, Bungie created the Marathon trilogy — a series of first-person shooter games for Mac OS released in 1994, 1995, and 1996. Halo fans may have become somewhat acquainted with the series thanks to Marathon 2: Durandal being released on Xbox Live Arcade in 2007, but that still left two games to be played.

Source code for Marathon 2 was released to the public years ago, prior to Microsoft’s acquisition of Bungie. Subsequently all three games were made available for free from Bungie’s website, including Infinity being made open source this past summer. Not content with having the games to play just as they were originally created, a team of modders has spent the better part of a dozen years working on an updated version of the Aleph One engine, and the Marathon trilogy with it.

That open source engine project has hit a big milestone today with the release of version 1.0. Although the games were already available — the project has set out to introduce features like online multiplayer, mouselook, and gamepad support — you can now download the first versions deemed complete enough to be called version 1.0 on PC, Mac OS X, and Linux.

Those downloading the games will be able to enjoy the original Marathon reworked with high-resolution graphics and a modern HUD in addition to “extensive changes to the scenario to create the most authentic Marathon experience since 1994.” Marathon 2 has been updated to include the high-res graphics seen in the XBLA release (pictured above). Infinity, the third game in the trilogy, also now has high-res graphics.

You can download each of the games, complete with all of these additions, from the project’s official website where you can also find a list of system requirements and a changelist. Suffice it to say, with games this old, even a fairly old computer will manage to run them without issue.

ZOD Engine – Game Review

Today we’ll take a look at a remake of the classic game Z. Z was a real strategy pc game by Bitmap Brothers launched in 1996. It is about two armies of robots (red and blue) battling to conquer different planets.

The remake it’s Zod Engine is an open source remake written in C++ using the SDL library and available for Linux/ e Windows.

The Zod Engine is a multiplayer oriented game where as Z is a single player oriented game. Here you will be able to for the first time do things such as play games against multiple bot players, or play the original levels with friends helping you on the same team.

Installation

Zod it’s available on the official page as source on a .tar.gz file

For ubuntu i’ve used the play deb repository to install it, if you want to add the getdeb/playdeb repository, if you want to add the getdeb/playdeb repository:

1 – Install the getdeb package.
2 – Or configure the repository manually:Go to System-Administration-Software Sources, Third-Party Software tab, Add:
deb https://archive.getdeb.net/ubuntu natty-getdeb apps

Add the repository GPG key, open a terminal window and type:
wget -q -O- https://archive.getdeb.net/getdeb-archive.key | sudo apt-key add –

Now you can install Zod with these commands:

sudo aptitude upodate
sudo aptitude install zod

Gameplay

The Zod Engine is a MMORTS / RTS style game. In the game you command an army of robots and vehicles to take over neighboring territories in the ultimate goal of destroying all of your enemies. Unlike traditional RTS (Real Time Strategy) games the Zod Engine does not create units from collected resources but instead construction is constant from preset factories scattered throughout the level.

There are many regions and structures inside a map, you can capture a region by moving soldiers to their flags, once inside the region your unit must stay there for a definite amount of time to capture it.

The more regions are in player’s control, the less time is required to the development of units. Powerful units need more time to be developed. The main purpose of the game is to eliminate the enemy by conquering their command fort. It can be done by two ways: by sending units into the fort or by destroying the fort. You can also win the game by destroying all the enemy units.

In the beginning of a mission, both sides gets control of their fort and a group of unit. There are turrets and vehicles spread into the map and you can send robot to capture and include them into your army. The robots will stay in a captured vehicle or turret as gunner or pilot.

This game is slightly different from other strategy games. For example, the driver of a vehicle can get damage from enemy fire, if the driver is killed, the vehicle he was commanding will be set free and will be available to both sides, the first to move a robot inside the vehicle will use it.

Also different robots behave differently. Units like sniper that have an higher intelligence level are less likely to be destroyed by a tank because they are expected to take cover and avoid shots.

The game start with easy and symmetric levels where the CPU begins with almost the same resources as the player begins. As the game progress, the levels of the game turn out to be more difficult than the starting levels. It needs much more skillfulness and great efforts to manage efficiently all the units and the CPU will get more beginning units than the player.

For example, the fort of the CPU will get more defensive turrets.

The main focus of creators of the Zod Engine is to give a friendly base to play multiplayer. They consider that the original game is simply available. So the creators of Zod Engine are decided not to focus on single player. Now Zod Engine gets almost all the features and game-play of the original game.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KM3F7Ofj1mI&w=460&h=264]

Red Locomotive, a open source game engine written in pure JavaScript

I know its not really something that fits into web design, but I thought that some of you might appreciate this.

Red Locomotive is a project I started about 3 or 4 months ago. Its a pure JavaScript game engine for making very complex 2d and isometric games.

Here’s a little introduction
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5iSt_gpfTg&w=460&h=288]

If your interested in seeing what I’ve done so far there is a little demo on my git-hub page.
https://robertwhurst.github.com/Red-Locomotive/

My engine can do more than just games. If your a web designer it might be useful for complex animations that were once only available in flash.

Please note that even though my engine is working, its still under very aggressive development. If you make something cool don’t cry if it breaks after you update Red Locomotive.

Click to access the login or register cheese
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