Manythings… so many !

Archive for the ‘Games Development’ Category

Choosing the Right Game Engine

It’s been a while since the last post, well, hope this is going to change as I had quit my daily job and I am starting my own business, which is making video games !

As I said in the latest post, it is not easy to choose the game engine, developing everything from scratch or using an AAA framework.

There is a big difference in pricing models and the needed effort to get the job done, also, in the last two weeks, I have found an other problem: Does the game engine match your needs and your game design ?! (more…)

Video Games for Indies, part II

So, as promised, I’m going to discuss choices made as a new comer to Indie video games development.

Now let’s talk about video game engine and middle ware, Unity, Shiva 3D and UDK. I am not going to discuss in details the technical aspect of each engine or what each engine can and can not do, you can visit each middle ware site to get such information, but in term of capabilities, Unity and Shiva 3D are both useful when targeting multi-platform and hand-held devices, but UDK is the best choice when you want to develop some PC game with really awesome graphics and physics.

As an indie, one of the most important aspects is costs, and here is what I found: (more…)

Video Games for Indies, part I

Aloha !

It’s been a while since my last post, you can blame it on work ! It became a lot harder for me to find time and will to publish anything.

Whatever, last time I have talked about video game development, I have made a little technical study and I want to share with you my thought. I will not talk about game design/ideas, as this will be done on further posts.

To start making games, you need a game engine, the middleware and libraries needed to develop a game: (more…)

Good open source game… Facts

I know that many of you, when reading the title, will say that I’m asking a stupid question, or maybe just trolling and try to get attention to my blog. Also, as a FOSS defendant, I should not ask such question, knowing how much open source games are there, also I want to make it clear that I’m not blaming the open source game developers, but let’s face it: In video games, FOSS is not much of a player !

Open Source GamesGood games exists, like Frets On Fire, or Nexuiz, but they are far from being competitors to commercial games. Most of open source games are good to play with friends, to have fun, but there is two things that are missing: Excellent graphics and a Good story !

So, the first point is visual experience, and if you played games like Half Life², Quake 4, Crysis, then you know what I mean ! Each new commercial big game push the limits a little bit further, with new graphics engines and new astonishing effects, with more and more realistic rendering. Also, gamers expect games to take full advantage of their machines. Can open source engines achieve such results… even on Linux, and with OpenGL… ? Sure they can ! And for those how don’t know, PS3 uses OpenGL, and the graphics are just wonderful !

Of course not all Open Source graphical engines are of the same quality, with some promising ones like XreaL, but even this engine is far from what recent engines deliver, like Crytek 2 and others.

Now, I’m sure most of you will say “Hey ! The XYZ engine has all the features you talk about !”, and here comes another problem: Modeling and Mapping ! Even if some engines offers possibilities for excellent graphic rendering, they are under-used, because games rely not only on technical stuff like graphics and physics engines, but also on 3D models and maps. Well, even if the majority of open source games uses good maps and games environment, when it comes to 3D Models, well, many of them are just… ugly ! I don’t need to say a lot about this, just take a look at most of open source games, compare with commercial games and judge by your self !

Now I come to the second point: Good Story ! Many gamers, so do I, acknowledge that only graphics doesn’t make a good game, to have a good gaming experience, we need immersion, a well written scenario, with a plot, characters, places and scenes to remember. This is what makes us remember games we played when we were kids, this is also what makes us play old games again and again and I still play Duke Nukem 3D since 1997 !

Now, if we take a look at open source games… well, 99% of them are e-sport FPS games, with many Unreal-Like games, Quake Arena-Like games. So, where are single player games, single player FPS, single player horror and survival games, single player action/adventure games ?! In my opinion, this is a bigger issue then not having good graphics.

The partial exception to this is open source strategy and RTS games, where single player campaigns are good enough, examples include Bos Wars and The Battle For Wesnoth. Also, there’s the platform game Yo Frankie! by the Blender Institute.

Finally, the last problem faced by open source games is the lack of advertising, we need to be looking for open source games to find them, and this must change, open source games need some advertising and needs to get reviewed on major video games websites.

Well, I repeat that I’m not against Open Source games, also, what I wrote doesn’t mean that open source games are bad or not worth playing, but, this are the facts that holds open source games from being a real competitor to commercial ones, like Linux is in the OS market or Firefox in the web browsers market.

This situation needs some serious work and solutions, and this will be the subject of my next post, until then your comments and suggestions are welcome !

Xreal under Fedora 10

From the Xreal site:

XreaL will be a non-commercial multiplayer only first person shooter based on a heavily modified Quake 3 Arena engine (id Tech 3). The aim is to push the rendering technology until it can be compared with current commercial titles and then to produce a playable Total Conversion. Quake 3 Arena’s gameplay will be only slightly modified. The simpleness of the original game will stay but the game media will be replaced completely with high quality assets that match the new engine’s technology.

Take a look at the screenshots here.

Now, let’s install Xreal under Fedora 10 !

First, we need to install some libraries and tools, we will use yum: “yum install subversion scons SDL-devel openal-devel curl-devel gtkglext-devel libxml2-devel zlib-devel”

Now, we move to compilation process, during this tutorial, my working directory is “/home/duke/Public”.

We’ll start by getting Xreal sources, “svn co https://xreal.svn.sourceforge.net/svnroot/xreal/trunk/xreal XreaL”

After all the sources are downloaded, enter “cd XreaL”, we’re working under the XreaL folder.

You can compile the game using the “scons” command, or you can fine tune it a little bit, enter “scons -h” to get the list of possible compilation options.

I’ll use this command to compile: “scons arch=linux-i386 smp=1 mapping=1 tremulous=1”, the last option will compile the Tremulous game using the XreaL engine, but I don’t know what to do with the files, and I didn’t find any useful informations yet, I’ll update this if I have useful news.

If nothing goes wrong with compilation, well, it’s time to test XreaL !

Go to “base/maps” directory and run “./gwdm2.sh”, than, “cd ../..” and run “./xreal.x86”, when choosing a map, choose “gwdm2”, that’s all !

Version 7.20 of Alien Arena 2008 released!

From linuxgames.com

COR Entertainment announces the latest release of it’s freeware, open sourced FPS shooter, Alien Arena 2008!

Version 7.20 features a host of improvements, optimizations, and new features such as the implementation of per-pixel GLSL effects including parallax, normal and specular mapping/highliting, occulusion culling of entities, shader performance boosts, new and improved weapon/event effects, and much more. The end result is a game that not only looks great, but also runs considerably faster than previous releases.

On the gameplay aspect, a brand new reward system has been implemented, allowing players to choose from three powerups when reaching a certain achievement total. Weapons have received further balancing, powerup effects made more smooth, and various bugs have been squashed. Several brand new levels have been added, as well as player skins that improve visibility and an HUD based weapon inventory.

View the extensive changelog here – http://icculus.org/alienarena/changelogs/7.20.txt

For more information and to download the game please visit http://red.planetarena.org

This post was submitted by irritant.

EA Spore backlash could help end DRM

Hope other actions will follow 😀

The backlash over DRM has finally started to gather serious momentum. Everyday consumers started a campaign to give the highly anticipated game Spore one-star ratings on Amazon. Thousands of Amazon users labeled Spore a poor choice because of the SecuROM DRM system that is forced onto PC users machines that purchase the game.

The rest on zdnet.com