In this article I will explain why I think that games are fundamentally different to most types of software.
Open Source Games
- Playing the Open Source Game
In this article I will explain why I think that games are fundamentally different to most types of software. I will suggest a few reasons why an open source approach could nevertheless make sense for a commercial game developer, and also point out what I see as the major stumbling blocks that are making it hard for hackers to produce a commercial quality game.
- Five addictive open source games
You can use open source software to make yourself more productive, but the open source community has also produced some impressive game titles, such as Freeciv, Vega Strike, and Flight Simulator. I've found some lesser-known yet excellent and quite addictive games for you to try. All of these games have low system requirements and run on multiple platforms, including Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X.
- Where are the Good Open Source Games?
Despite the impressive list of achievements of open source software, it can be argued that there have not been any world-class games created under the open source banner. Sure, several old games like Doom and Quake have been gifted to the open source community, but there are no comparable original creations in this area. One should not expect this situation to change anytime soon, because the open source development model does not make sense for game development.
Most games, by their very nature, have a relatively short lifespan. This is natural. A game provides the user with an experience, but ultimately the user moves on. Since a single user is only interested in the game for a short period of time, it is unlikely that they will contribute much back to the open-source project.
- Stratagus: Open Source Strategy Games
Sometimes calling something free might not make for the best publicity. Such was the case with FreeCraft. This open source project began with much promise ? an engine that game developers or hobbyists could use to create real-time strategy (RTS) games for Linux, Windows, and other platforms. It also annoyed game developer and publisher Blizzard Entertainment (renowned for its RTS franchises Diablo, StarCraft, and WarCraft) for two reasons.
The Stratagus engine copies the basic, standard gameplay features of the typical RTS game engine. Its developers admit that they implemented the controversial association with WarCraft 2 because it was easier to use the Blizzard game's graphics than to create their own, though they intended this only as a temporary means to make their engine work.
- Open Source Game Development
Amazon's recommendation system recommended me "Open Source Game Development: Qt Games for KDE, PDA's and Windows" when I was looking for an introduction to OpenGL. While it does contain two chapters on OpenGL, there's much, much more. It's not just an introduction to writing open source games, it's a complete introduction to participating in open source projects like
- Open source software and games
Today, for many computing tasks, the open source ecosystem provides programs that equal or surpass what the proprietary Windows-based world offers. Gaming, however, is not among those areas, nor will it likely be anytime soon. But if we look further into this fascinating field, we find a number of positive developments.
Open source games do exist, and the development scene is active and creative. You can get a taste of this by visiting sites devoted to Linux gaming, such as The Linux Game Tome, which highlights updated open source game projects every day. You can usually find a couple of announcements for new open source game projects every
- Open Source Game Development: Qt Games for
KDE, PDA's, and Windows
Open Source Game Development: Qt Games for KDE, PDAs, and Windows starts with a review of game design and walks the reader through Open Source game development using Qt and KDE. From there it moves on to cover topics such as Canvas Games (2D), OpenGL (3D), graphics & sound, pathfi nding, AI, particle effects, math, and physics. All relevant sections of the book include ready-to-use code snippets that are accompanied by fully functional tutorial/example programs and extensive API documentation. The companion CD-ROM includes C++ source code for Qt applications and all of the algorithms from the text. After reading this book, game programmers will have the tools and knowledge to master Open Source game development.
- Open Source Java Game Utilities: LWJGL 0.98 and Game Gardens
The days of Java applications being necessarily slow and cumbersome is ending as faster processors and improvements to JVM technologies continue to proliferate. What this means is that you can start doing some cool stuff with graphics and interactivity.
LWGL is geared to the game developer who wants to develop serious games for fun or commercial sales. The library includes implementations of OpenAL for audio delivery and OpenGL for graphics. Additionally, there are utilities for handling user input (e.g. from input controllers, or, "joysticks"), basic 3D modeling, FMOD utilities (for embedding audio), vector tools, and more.
- ExoEngine 3D Game Engine
This 3D engine imports it's level/worlds data from the popular Worldcraft editor . Strangely, Worldcraft outputs it's world/level data in sets of bounding planes which define the contours of solid objects. Thus one has to convert the bounding plane sets into their respective sets of polygons. The resulting set of faces is then quickly optimized to remove hidden or redundant faces created by adjacent objects. Then this face set is converted into a binary space partition tree (commonly called a "BSP tree") representation for both collision detection purposes and efficient visibility calculations. There is also some auxiliary code that recognizes specifically defined entities in the Worldcraft data such as the animated pond and the duck sprites.
- Linux Games
The world is filled with Free Software to do all kinds of jobs. From top-to-bottom, a typical GNU/Linux system provides a kernel, basic administration tools, servers, clients, a graphical substrate, and (finally) high-level graphical environments sitting atop it all. Graphics, sound, input, output, networking... you can find Free Software for all of these. Despite this power given to hackers, Free Software games are often considered to be of lesser quality, compared to those available in the non-Free software world. In this review, I'll look at the variety of Free Software games available today and whether Free gaming software deserves its reputation.
- Open Source APIs for Java Technology Games
MDR-EdO: Welcome to today's Java Live chat on open source APIs for Java Technology Games. These APIs include Java Binding for OpenGL (JOGL), Java Bindings for OpenAL (JOAL), and JInput. Our guests today are three key members of Sun's Game Technologies group (the group responsible for these APIs): Athomas Goldberg, Jeff Kesselman (Jeff is not here yet), and Daniel Petersen. Also joining us is Ken Russell, who is a coauthor of the JOGL API. Our guests are ready to answer your questions about the APIs, and about Sun's support for Java technology games in general. So let's first level set. Athomas, Jeff, Daniel, and Ken, can you give us a brief overview of these APIs?
- 2008 Olympics plans open source migration
The 2008 Olympic Games could switch to a cost-saving open source technology platform under proposals to be considered by the Beijing Organising Committee for the Olympic Games
(BOCOG).The open source move will be recommended by the International Olympic Committee's technology partner Atos Origin on the back of guidance from its suppliers HP and IBM.
- Edutainment and Game Theory Realization through an Open-Source UNESCO Virtual Perspolis Project
In the recent years, educational research has shown that peer-to-peer teaching reinforces mastery. Moreover, educators have recognized the value of practical experience and competition. For instance, students can design and build robots which then compete against one other in navigating through an obstacle course. However, a lack of resources or other factors may limit the situations in which this is possible. In contrast, a computer simulation of such a competition would enable more rapid prototyping and further refinement, and could expand the total number of students who can properly share in the experience.
- Open Game Licenses
The Open Gaming Foundation believes that a license must provide for two important features in order to be an Open Game
1. The license must allow game rules and materials that use game rules to be freely copied, modified and distributed.
2. The license must ensure that material distributed using the license cannot have those permissions restricted in the future.
- OpenRTS - open source real time strategy game
OpenRTS is a new project founded to fill a void in the open source game world and create a real-time strategy game. It will be featuring isometric graphics, networked multiplayer and single-player scenarios. The game is being developed using Python and SDL. The software is released under the GPL, and new developers and testers are encouraged to join the project and contribute in their area of interest. The game and source code is available for download at