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Freeware FPS Alien Arena 2007 Reviewed

ScuttleMonkey posted about 7 years ago | from the best-of-the-cheap dept.

First Person Shooters (Games) 158

Alienkillerrace writes "Linux.com has reviewed the brand new release of Alien Arena 2007, giving it a glowing review. 'New Alien Arena 6.10 blows away its FPS competition' claims that Alien Arena is now the very best of the freeware FPS games, surpassing even Tremulous."

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Open Source is Communism (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20964783)

Also, I am looking for a girlfriend. Any single slashchicks out there?

...and ESR is Stalin. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20964835)

So, what was our Krondstat?

Re:Open Source is Communism (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20965241)

Yes, I am single! But I must warn you - I like to keep my lower regions full and hairy, and right now my wirey pubic hair is heavily matted with the fishy, acrid discharges that result from my lengthy masturbation sessions. Also, my masturbation has been going on so long that I can only be satisfied by large objects such as marrows and traffic cones, so having sex with me is likely to be similar to dangling your penis into an old wellington boot filled with dead, pulped fish. Finally, my labia are horrifically distended, twisted and curled up into such a labyrinthine mess that even I have trouble finding my vagina, let alone my clitoris! But if you're happy to live with this (I'm sure you're not perfect!), please, leave your ICQ number!

Re:Open Source is Communism (0, Offtopic)

FLAGGR (800770) | about 7 years ago | (#20967847)

6.

hmm (1, Offtopic)

nottoogeeky (869124) | about 7 years ago | (#20964815)

Better than counterstrike?

Re:hmm (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20964851)

Counter-strike is opensource/freeware now? Including the engine? Wow I really should come out of my cave more often.

Re:hmm (4, Insightful)

beardz (790974) | about 7 years ago | (#20964919)

Riiiight, because having access to the source makes a games soooooo much better to play.

Re:hmm (4, Funny)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | about 7 years ago | (#20964973)

getting it for free does though. Especially when you spend the money on weed and play while high.

Re:hmm (0, Redundant)

thegnu (557446) | about 7 years ago | (#20965887)

*high five*

Re:hmm (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20966845)

Yeah...But does it play on Windoze?

The new linux tagline (5, Funny)

kwabbles (259554) | about 7 years ago | (#20966763)

Linux: Allowing geeks to afford herb since '91

Re:hmm (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 7 years ago | (#20965935)

It sure does. Look at all the great source ports we have of Doom. Internet play, 3d acceleration, jumping, ports for any OS. iD opening the source really did make it a better game.

Re:hmm (2, Funny)

Brian Gordon (987471) | about 7 years ago | (#20968241)

You are kidding. Quake was unplayable after the source was released. People could compile in their own hardcoded aimbots!

Re:hmm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20966659)

But we do have the source to Source, thanks to a bit of magic sauce [slashdot.org] .

Re:hmm (1)

imbaczek (690596) | about 7 years ago | (#20964873)

Well, Urban Terror [urbanterror.net] is.

Let the flamefests begin!

Re:hmm (1)

longhairedgnome (610579) | about 7 years ago | (#20965107)

*cough*

Re:hmm (2, Informative)

Nomaxxx (1136289) | about 7 years ago | (#20964891)

Alien Arena looks more like Quake 3 / Unreal Tournament than Counter-Strike. Personally, I like Alien Arena better. ;)

Re:hmm (2, Interesting)

Ticklemonster (736987) | about 7 years ago | (#20965897)

I'm still waiting for Unreal Tournament to be open source. I like it way better than other games based on the simple fact that I can sit down, raise cain for a few maps, then leave. I don't have time to learn a bunch of stuff just to play a game, but I do have time to sit down, get an adrenaline rush, then get up and walk away. I understand the draw that the other more complicated games have, but they aren't for me due to time restraints. I have AA on here (Ubuntu) and it's every bit as good as Q3 ever was. (a simple duh will suffice here). Frag on.

Re:hmm (1)

4D6963 (933028) | about 7 years ago | (#20965939)

Better than counterstrike?

Errr, if it's free then where can I download it?

Re:hmm (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20966225)

Re:hmm (1)

nottoogeeky (869124) | about 7 years ago | (#20966313)

oooh yer!!! it used to be free. Now valve charge $20 :(

Re:hmm (1)

crhylove (205956) | about 7 years ago | (#20967217)

Well, it's technically not Open Source, but the engine is, and it's free:

Urban Terror is MUCH better than counter strike OR Alien Arena. Play some DM on Ramelle, you will love it!

http://www.urbanterror.net/news.php [urbanterror.net]

Better than Tremulous ? (4, Informative)

mikesum (840054) | about 7 years ago | (#20964819)

Tremulous is a really good game. If Alien Arena 2007 better than that according to this guy, then it's at least worth checking out. /me is BruceCambellsGhost on Tremulous

Re:Better than Tremulous ? (3, Interesting)

BiggyP (466507) | about 7 years ago | (#20965137)

There's no way you can compare AA and Tremulous, Alien Arena is a simple and uninspiring FPS deathmatcher and always will be, Tremulous wins hands down for those with the mental capacity to play it.

Re:Better than Tremulous ? (5, Interesting)

generic-nickname596 (1035978) | about 7 years ago | (#20965279)

Yes, I would love to hear in what ways Alien Arena surpasses Tremulous. Tremulous is one of the most interesting team action games I have ever played, far surpassing Counter-Strike and its cronies. I have never played AA, and the article is very low on details. Some of the innovations of Tremulous include wall-walking, strategy elements and a balanced two-class system reminescent of Starcraft. The aliens play like nothing you've ever tried before, except maybe that they are somewhat inspired by Alien vs. Predator. These stats are quite an opponent to match, but nothing would be better than the sorry state of Free Software gaming getting better.

A lot of the more interesting free software games are in fact based on the GPLed Quake 3 engine. There is a pattern here...maybe we could improve things by liberating more commercial gaming software? It's either that, or someone with authority has to take a lot more responsibility in designing tools for creating open-source games. I'm thinking something along the lines of procedural content generation, the major problem is creating all the models we need for a real game. There are many awesome things happening in academia on this subject right now, for example http://www.vision.ee.ethz.ch/~pmueller/wiki/CityEngine/PaperBuildings [ee.ethz.ch] from SIGGRAPH 2006. We all agree that most free software games don't work out, right? For all the interesting aspects in Tux Racer, it isn't nearly up to the standards of commercial software, and masterpieces like Tremulous are the exception in OSS.

I'm afraid I have to go off topic for a moment. But this is a thing I have been thinking a lot about lately, and I haven't heard it discussed in here before. I promise it is highly relevant to the task at hand.

The Mozilla Foundation is swimming in money from its Firefox ad programs, and I have seen little information indicating that they are using the money for the good of the entire Free Software movement. In fact, I have heard little information at all indicating what they are doing with all of their millions, except for the obvious team of programmers that are working on Mozilla software. This is one arena where the Mozilla Foundation could be much more active in participating: donating money to ransoming out commercial software. I am certain there is a lot of valuable code out there that could do good things for the open-source gaming environment. Firefox is unique in the free software world in being able to bring in huge amounts of revenue, so in my opinion the Mozilla Foundation has an obligation to help out and be more generous with their cash reserves. Firefox is free software, and its benefits should belong to all of us. We are all on the same team here!

Any thoughts? I feel that these things aren't talked about nearly as loudly as they should be, these are all important problems to both the Free Software movement and to nerds in general. Are there any big Mozilla players in here who might have some good answers?

Re:Better than Tremulous ? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20965639)

Nice post.

The only disagreement I have is with your soup kitchen approach to software development, specifically Mozilla. This isn't the Depression. If this is the Software Renaissance, commercial reward from the hands of another's art should not be what you seek.

Re:Better than Tremulous ? (0, Offtopic)

zolf13 (941799) | about 7 years ago | (#20966557)

Maybe try Natural Selection (free HL1 mod) http://www.unknownworlds.com/ns/ [unknownworlds.com]

Re:Better than Tremulous ? (1)

Das Modell (969371) | about 7 years ago | (#20968399)

It's just a mod for a commercial game.

Re:Better than Tremulous ? (1)

turing_m (1030530) | about 7 years ago | (#20966069)

Absolutely. I'm blown away by how good it is. (Nexuiz is pretty damn good too, way better than openarena.) And with ubuntu, it's as simple an install as typing tremulous into synaptic, check, apply.

There aren't many high quality FOSS games, but they certainly exist. For those people who think FOSS is a noble cause, and don't have ADD (or the urge to pirate) to the point where they must have whatever shiny new game is out there now, Ubuntu certainly checks the boxes.

Now, you'd best be getting out of the way of my tyrant...

Re:Better than Tremulous ? (1)

fritsd (924429) | about 7 years ago | (#20968533)

Tremulous wins hands down for those with the mental capacity to play it.
I used to play Dretches, you insensitive clod!

While the game looks interesting... (5, Insightful)

Stuidge (1104439) | about 7 years ago | (#20964837)

This is less a review, and more a HOWTO. There's nothing there that isn't in the readme, and the only opinion is on the last line proclaiming that it is better than Tremulous. And even that has no justification.

(E-) Must try harder.

OSS games need more graphical artists (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20964847)

While we already have very good to excellent 3d games as Sauerbraten [sauerbraten.org] and Nexuiz [alientrap.org] , we still are behind commercial software companies in the graphical area. Many otherwise excellent games have poorly designed characters, maps, weapons etc. In the last two years the gap shrunk, but IMO more work is needed.

Re:OSS games need more graphical artists (2, Insightful)

grumbel (592662) | about 7 years ago | (#20968175)

### Many otherwise excellent games have poorly designed characters,

Could you name them? Most of the free software games I know have poorly designed 'everything', its not a issue of graphics, its an issue that goes from bad code, over to the lack of tools right down to the complete lack of a solid core game design (aka nobody knows what the hell they actually want to accomplish). So fixing the graphics would help little to nothing to create a compelling game.

Wait (3, Informative)

Kelz (611260) | about 7 years ago | (#20964849)

No warning that linux.com and /. are owned by same company?

Re:Wait (3, Funny)

bl8n8r (649187) | about 7 years ago | (#20964959)

If you know, you don't need to be told. If you don't know, you won't notice.

Re:Wait (1)

Tim C (15259) | about 7 years ago | (#20965125)

The point is that you're supposed to disclose that sort of thing, although in this case it doesn't really matter. Now if the people behind the game were also owned/paid by the same company, that would need to be disclosed.

Marketing dept. snuck one in? (2, Funny)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | about 7 years ago | (#20965449)

After yesterday's CmdrTaco interview, it sounds like he's locked in a constant struggle with the marketing department. Perhaps this was a battle lost? Or maybe their evil mind-control rays are finally starting to work?

A bit of variety wouldn't hurt (1)

Jack Malmostoso (899729) | about 7 years ago | (#20964855)

I am not much of a gamer, but I *really* suck at FPSs. I'd love to see some variety in games produced for linux.
Now if only we could reuse Quake III's engine for a football game...

Re:A bit of variety wouldn't hurt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20964867)

There is always Aleph One (Marathon) [bungie.org] from Bungie, it's a free download, has multiplayer and runs on Linux.

Re:A bit of variety wouldn't hurt (2, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 7 years ago | (#20964883)

There was a football mod for the original Quake. You had to kick a head (complete with blood trails) to the other goal. As I recall, players were armed with axes, to allow fouls.

Re: Football vs fútbol (2, Funny)

wuputah (1068216) | about 7 years ago | (#20964935)

Association, American, or Canadian?

Re:A bit of variety wouldn't hurt (2, Informative)

xoundmind (932373) | about 7 years ago | (#20964979)

OK, its not football, but it is the only Quake-based chess game I know of:
CHESS III ARENA [verizon.net]

Re:A bit of variety wouldn't hurt (1)

imbaczek (690596) | about 7 years ago | (#20964983)

There are some fine RTSes, a very nice one is Spring [clan-sy.com] , which was once a Total Annihilation more-or-less reimplementation in full 3D, but now is much more than that.

Re:A bit of variety wouldn't hurt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20965421)

There's are simulators as well, besides the well known flight gear, there's now an world war 2 uboat simulation as well http://dangerdeep.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

Re:A bit of variety wouldn't hurt (1)

nostriluu (138310) | about 7 years ago | (#20965875)

I was a huge fan of Total Annihilation, and TA:Spring took it in some new directions that even the big money TA successor, Supreme Commander didn't try (like deformable terrain). However, from what I can tell, TA:Spring is dead in the water. While fully playable on Windows, it's a pain to get running on Linux, and not compatible with the Windows versions, and development and forum discussion seems to have dried up.

Frustrating, but not as frustrating as the propensity for Linux games to be cheap clones of games developed on other platforms, especially boring first-person shooters which consist of wandering around dreary tunnels with a big penis^wgun in front of you shooting people.

Re:A bit of variety wouldn't hurt (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 7 years ago | (#20968525)

It's not dead at all, maybe you're looking in the wrong place or something (OSRTS died but not Spring, or were you perhaps looking for TA Spring? The project was renamed to just Spring). The current release is kinda crappy though and we're hoping for the next one because the SVN version is just so much better but getting Lua for mods was a huge step ahead for the flexibility of the engine. Also Fang is back and E&E is getting developed again now so Spring is less dead now than a while ago.

AFAIK Linux players can play versus Windows gamers, I've seen it happen. The lack of a binary makes installation a bitch though, I agree.

Re:A bit of variety wouldn't hurt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20965187)

No variety! Come die, n00b!! :P

Re:A bit of variety wouldn't hurt (0)

smchris (464899) | about 7 years ago | (#20966147)

I *really* suck at FPSs

Ditto. Tremulous is way too frantic for me. Try TORCS road racing or Flightgear. Flightgear has incredible potential as volunteers rebuild their cities virtually into it.

Re:A bit of variety wouldn't hurt (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20968573)

I find Tremulous OK, Nexuiz great fun (esp. for slower video cards), but with Urban Terror I absolutely suck horribly. Usually I last up to 5 seconds in that game and then have to wait until everybody else is dead :-/

the very best of the freeware FPS games ? (2, Informative)

skzo (1058906) | about 7 years ago | (#20964931)

what about warsow !? or even wop ? i find them a lot better than Alien Arena.

Re: the very best of the freeware FPS games ? (2, Interesting)

Hackeron (704093) | about 7 years ago | (#20964953)

And what about Enemy Territory? -- not opensource, but freeware. And the variety of mods available for it like True Combat. I tried this Alien Arena game and it feels like quake2 with new textures - very outdated...

Enemy Territory while based on the Quake 3 engine, doesn't feel like quake3 at all, this game feels like quake 2 :(

Re: the very best of the freeware FPS games ? (1)

Megatog615 (1019306) | about 7 years ago | (#20965057)

It _is_ Quake 2.

Re: the very best of the freeware FPS games ? (1)

CaptnMArk (9003) | about 7 years ago | (#20965067)

And that is bad why?

Q2 had the best rail ever.

Re: the very best of the freeware FPS games ? (1)

bvimo (780026) | about 7 years ago | (#20966373)

Or Nexuiz from http://www.alientrap.org/ [alientrap.org] .

Where is the review? (1)

PMBjornerud (947233) | about 7 years ago | (#20964945)

All I found, was a "FPS for dummies" description of what FPS games are.

How to use the console? How to change key settings? What is "capture the flag"?

You know it's weekend when TFS aucks horse balls. Time to go out in teh sun, then!

hot sweaty horse balls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20965017)

You know it's weekend when TFS aucks horse balls. Time to go out in teh sun, then!
Mmmmmm... horse balls....

Re:hot sweaty horse balls (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20965041)

Not to mention that you can auck them.

Must be a "down under" kind of fetish.

Awesoon (1)

island_tux (803586) | about 7 years ago | (#20964957)

Pretty Cool, runs pretty smooth on Linux...

Tremulous... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20964977)

...that's the Gloom ripoff, right?

What license is it released under? (1)

mw13068 (834804) | about 7 years ago | (#20964999)

Can anyone find details of the license this game is being released under? I can't, even in the SVN repos. I know the Quake II engine is GPL, but what about the rest of it?

Re:What license is it released under? (4, Informative)

hweimer (709734) | about 7 years ago | (#20965089)

docs/license.txt:

It is only permissible to distrubute the game data(models, maps, textures, sound, etc) as a whole, and with the intention of being used with Alien Arena. It is not permissible to distribute individual portions or items of the game data without express consent from COR Entertainment. [...] Under no circumstances ALIEN ARENA 2007 as a whole be sold or used for profit, without express consent from COR Entertainment.

If you want a free-as-in-speech shooter that rocks, try Nexuiz [osreviews.net] .

What? (1)

Mr_Silver (213637) | about 7 years ago | (#20965005)

This is not a review, more instructions on how to play the game.

Ok... (2, Insightful)

TheNetAvenger (624455) | about 7 years ago | (#20965035)

Ok, I don't truly mind that the majority of FOSS software has a geek mindset and the UIs tend to reflect and look like the UIs of the Win9x era.

However, can we ever get to the point that the 'best' horse that gets trotted out for OSS Gaming looks like the era of games released for Windows95?

It is just not possible for a high end gaming production to be FOSS?

One further sad note... I have seen games developed by newbie gaming developers that are picking up XNA and MS Game Studio and producing higher quality games in terms of playability and especially in the area of graphics/audio.

Can't we do better than your neighbors kids and his/her friends designing an XNA came in C# that runs on their PC and the XBox 360 as well?

PS. You should really have a 'review' of the game, when you write an article 'reviewing' a game, and not just a quick intro of key commands.

Re:Ok... (3, Insightful)

ardor (673957) | about 7 years ago | (#20965109)

This reflects the great deficiency regarding design. XNA/MS Game Studio all have predefined stuff that gets used often. In the OSS world such presets do not exist, however. In addition, anything that does not relate to programming often just does not exist in the OSS realm. I'm talking about 2D/3D graphics artists, game designers (no, most game programmers are NOT prepared for this task), musicians, sound FX guys etc.

Many artists will make things for money ONLY. The altruistic spirit of OSS does not translate well to game art (with a few exceptions). Usually, the artists doing things for free are usually the bad ones, and the ones demanding lots of cash are the real deal. But without the latter, any game looks and sounds 1995ish, no matter how good the code is.

So, if you want GOOD game art, start donating.

Re:Ok... (2, Funny)

Ford Prefect (8777) | about 7 years ago | (#20965701)

Many artists will make things for money ONLY. The altruistic spirit of OSS does not translate well to game art (with a few exceptions). Usually, the artists doing things for free are usually the bad ones, and the ones demanding lots of cash are the real deal. But without the latter, any game looks and sounds 1995ish, no matter how good the code is.

What about the eleventy billion people working on free modifications for commercial games? Yes, plenty of that is Bad Art, but there are some [mapcore.net] fantastic [nuclear-dawn.net] bits [moddb.com] of [bitproll.de] work [mapcore.net] out there.

The motivations aren't purely financial, either - I've seen a lot of people get jobs as the result of mod work, but I've also seen people already employed in the games industry contribute stuff back to free mods. I think half of Natural Selection [unknownworlds.com] was built that way - it acquired fantastic voice acting, music, audio, animations, models and textures as a result. Altruism? Kinda. The whole place seems built on old boys' networks.

So if you want good game art? Stop mucking about in the world of open source and programming, and try looking at the game mods world!

Re:Ok... (1)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | about 7 years ago | (#20965893)

Many artists will make things for money ONLY. The altruistic spirit of OSS does not translate well to game art

BANG! You nailed it, bud. Except I would not have added the qualifier "game" to the word "art."

Re:Ok... (1)

grumbel (592662) | about 7 years ago | (#20968567)

### Many artists will make things for money ONLY.

Where did you get that from? I mean sure, professional artists might prefer to work for money, but so do most professional programmers. Communities like deviantArt [deviantart.com] on the other side don't seem to have an exactly hard time to find great artists. Which isn't exactly surprising, since there are far more artists around then programmers.

I have done a lot of work for free software games (Pingus, SuperTux, Lincity-NG, etc.) and while my work isn't exactly up to commercial standards, it is 'good enough', most people seem to like it. Thing is, I am not exactly super talented, I'd say that 3 out of 10 people are easily as talented as I am or even more so when it comes to graphics, I couldn't say the same thing about people being able to program, these are far less. Now ok, having some talent, doesn't mean that you can create a texture for a game, you need to know a thing or two about graphics formats, how to use Gimp, Blender and friends, but compared to learning the ins and outs of C++, OpenGL and all that stuff, that is really the easy part.

### But without the latter, any game looks and sounds 1995ish

I personally wouldn't have a problem with games looking like 1995, heck, I wouldn't mind games looking like 1990, if they where actually good games. However that isn't the case, most games don't feel like a finished game from 1995, but more like a game that is 15% done from back in 2000. The thing isn't lack of graphics, but lack of everything. Just a random engine with random graphics and a few random test levels doesn't make a compelling game, at best it makes an interesting techdemo, but nothing more.

In the end I think there are four core problems:

1) Lack of free art resources: not every sound effect or grass texture needs to be recreated from scratch, neither does a model of some real life car or plane. Many could be reused and there are many free resources like this around, issue is that very few of them have licenses that work together with free software, some don't have any at all and trying to track down the creators and collect permission for every grass texture often just isn't worth the effort, it is often faster to recreate from scratch. The commercial world has tons of collections of textures, sound effects and stuff, the free software world has basically none that are large enough to be really useful.

2) Art pipeline: just calling for more artists is one thing, but as soon as they arrive most projects end up in deep trouble, since they don't have any proper pipeline in place to turn a model done in Blender into something that is usable in the engine. The existing export scripts are often out of date or not provided in the first place, many free engines only provide usable export scripts for 3Dmax and friends and some really don't have anything in place at all. How many polygons a model is allowed to have, what resolution a texture should have and all that stuff is often also an open question without clear answer, leaving the artists pretty much in the void. At this point in time many distributions don't even have packages of Gtkradiant, which just raises the bar even further when it comes to level creation.

3) Organisation: As mentioned, there are millions of artists around. But with a random techdemo without much concept behind it you can't really attract them. In fact many games would be better of when they would start with a clear concept/design document, instead of a random techdemo and that design document better be created by somebody good at storytelling/gamedesign or whatever the game is actually going to focus on. Programmers as you said it, often just aren't up for this task. The hard part here is getting the people with the good ideas together with those that have the knowledge to implement it. A good game isn't created by a huge set of random contributors, but by a relatively small team where everybody knows what the goal is and constructing such a team is among the hardest parts when you want to get a game done.

At the happypenguin.org forums [happypenguin.org] we had a little project going to focus on that, i.e. pick some half finished free software game and bring it into a state where it actually feels like a game, not just like a techdemo. It kind of worked for some games, but beside running out of programmers after a while, we soon simply ran out of games which where far enough to give you an idea what the goal should be. And without either a game far enough or a design document exact enough to describe what to accomplish you simply can't form up a team.

4) Time: A commercial quality game takes time to develop, plenty of time. On the other side the amount of use a game gets is very tiny. This is *very* different from normal software. At the most extreme look at Linux, how long have you used that? Month, Years, decades? How long do you play a game? 10 hours, 20 hours, with a really good one maybe 100 hours, but that is a *very tiny* fraction of the amount of use a normal application gets. Games simply are very short lifed. Free software might be able to create one Photoshop-clone and that will be 'enough' for most needs. But with games you don't need one Doom clone, you need a new one every month and you better fill it with plenty of original content or people will get bored very quickly. The problem is that games simply are disposable, while free software strength is on those pieces of software that last basically forever.

Issue 1) and 2) might be fixable and are for most part issues that can be solved by code. Issue 3) is quite a hard one and issue 4) is likely not going away any time soon, so I doubt that free software games will ever get much closer to commercial games then they are now, however they really don't need to. Just look at something like AGS [adventureg...udio.co.uk] or Interactive Fiction, if the pipelines are smooth enough for an individual to create a game on his own, they will do it. Know with 3D games things are harder, but even there a smooth enough pipeline would help a lot to get games done with much smaller teams. However we just aren't there yet and for most part again, that is more a code issue then a art one.

Re:Ok... (2, Interesting)

sammyF70 (1154563) | about 7 years ago | (#20965151)

Check out Scorched3D [scorched3d.co.uk] . *VERY* fun game, and the latest version looks just great.
Armagetron Advanced [armagetronad.net] is also a great free game, even though the grafics may not be your cup of vodka.

Additionally, you might find some very fun and good looking games by checking open source game- or 3D- engines. The showcase forum at ogre3D [ogre3d.org] is a good start.

The point is: there are some great looking, fun Open Source games out there they don't get reviewed or advertised in such a way that you'll hear about them often.

Re:Ok... (1)

jandrese (485) | about 7 years ago | (#20967329)

Scorch is fun, but it suffers a bit from the same thing the original Scorch did. The computer seems very adept at killing you with their first or second shot, but then spends the next 50 turns taking pitiful shots at the other opponents while you sit and watch from your smoking crater. Also, like the original Scorch it has a tendency to crash.

Re:Ok... (1)

WWWWolf (2428) | about 7 years ago | (#20966561)

However, can we ever get to the point that the 'best' horse that gets trotted out for OSS Gaming looks like the era of games released for Windows95? It is just not possible for a high end gaming production to be FOSS?

As others pointed out, it's the issue of not having enough 2D/3D artists and music/sound folk. OSS developers certainly have a whole bunch of good coders - and writers, in a pinch.

For example, take a look at the Irrlicht [sourceforge.net] or OGRE [ogre3d.org] screenie galleries - you see the technology is definitely getting there. You can get ye trimesh to ye rendering device, and by golly does it ever look shiny and, with a bit of work, not that bad. (More bloom! More! More!) But we'd definitely need folks creating those models for the display first! The tech is there, but the art lags a bit.

If you want to see a project where the art and tech goes well hand in hand, try Battle for Wesnoth [wesnoth.org] - top notch graphics (albeit in 2D pixel-art), sound effects and music. We can do this.

Re:Ok... (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | about 7 years ago | (#20968561)

It's kinda hard for an opensource game to look up to date because it has a much longer lifespan than a commercial game. Its graphics may have been up to date when development started but there's just no way they're going to be current 5 years later (though I don't think AA has been in development that long...).

The only solution I can think of is going for an abstract look that doesn't show what era it's from, something like Tron.

Free software or freeware? (1)

b4stard (893180) | about 7 years ago | (#20965105)

TFS says it's freeware, TFA says free software, TFPWS (Project WebSite) says its freeware based on free software. So, which is it?
I'm guessing, free software with proprietary artwork?

Re:Free software or freeware? (1)

Provocateur (133110) | about 7 years ago | (#20965265)

I'm guessing, free software with proprietary artwork?

Browsing thru some of the docs, the answer is Yes. Some of the screenshots show Q1 metallic panels; don't know if those are free. And if they say it's more Q1/Doom speed demon-ish, I'm there. Now to restore my (damaged) 'driva-with-GL *mux setup...

Anyone have a working torent going for 6.10? (1)

waferhead (557795) | about 7 years ago | (#20965155)

Google and all the usual suspects are not turning up any valid torrents of Alien Arena 6.10, just older versions.

Lets use bittorrent for what it's good for, all the std servers are hammered...

Thanks in advance!

very nice.. (1)

Danzigism (881294) | about 7 years ago | (#20965197)

that definintely looks pretty sweet.. one day I was browsing through the games in ubuntu's add/remove programs list and came across OpenArena [openarena.ws] and was thoroughly impressed.. my friends/co-workers who don't use linux or anything opensource for some weird secret reason saw me playing it one day and asked what it was.. when they heard it was free and had deathmatch capabilities, they were soon hooked and we were all doing some serious gibbing religiously once a week after the office closed.. this particular game based off the Q3 Arena engine does look pretty damn sweet for a freeware game.. i can never get tired of these damn things.. it's just fun!

Re:very nice.. (1)

Anonymous Cow herd (2036) | about 7 years ago | (#20965335)

Wow... seriously? The levels feel like they were designed by middle school kids that forgot to take their ritalin. OpenArena even pales against the original Q3A, let alone anything released in say, the last decade.

Re:very nice.. (1)

Danzigism (881294) | about 7 years ago | (#20965357)

i understand why you feel that way, it's just that its free and still equally as exciting when you kill someone..

Artists (3, Interesting)

Zombie Ryushu (803103) | about 7 years ago | (#20965221)

Linux Programmers have shown incredible technical skill. The issue is artists. It is very hard for F/OSS people to get art designers. Art Designers tend not to be F/OSS and not as knowlegeable to the technical side of things to help develop the beauty side of things.

mod parent offtopic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20965307)

Not every story is about Linux vs Windows you fucking bore.

Re:Artists (1)

grumbel (592662) | about 7 years ago | (#20966873)

### The issue is artists.

Nope. The issue is for most part game design and after that simply lack of contributors, since programmers are very hard to come by too. But game design is really by far the biggest issue. As long as people just clone an already existing game engine it might work without much coordination, since the goal is clear, but as soon as you try something even just a little bit new it gets insanely hard to find the right people and communicate the ideas across the whole team or even just getting them motivated to actually work on some goal instead of just write random code.

I have seen *far* more games that struggle with "we have no clue what we want to archive" then teams that "we know what we want, but we lack artists to finish it". In fact I have yet to see a project to which the later applies, while of the former kind there exists dozens or even hundreds.

Wolf ET!!! (3, Insightful)

Dersaidin (954402) | about 7 years ago | (#20965295)

Wolf:ET is the best freeware FPS released. Quite possibly the best PC game released. Also, half of the articles praise should be directed to the engine, not the game.

Re:Wolf ET!!! (1)

nahpets77 (866127) | about 7 years ago | (#20966229)

I have to agree with you there; I can still play ET on my old P3/866 box. Medal of Honor, while good, was basically a rip-off of ET. BattleField 1942 introduced new gameplay, but it was/is such a resource hog I stopped playing it (buggy too).

Re:Wolf ET!!! (1)

4D6963 (933028) | about 7 years ago | (#20966965)

Also, half of the articles praise should be directed to the engine, not the game.

Isn't Wolf:ET's engine the Quake 3 engine?

This story was accepted? (2, Interesting)

Aabra (775518) | about 7 years ago | (#20965355)

Don't get me wrong, personally I love articles like this. They worked hard to create a new versoin and want more people to try out the game. Getting the story posted on Slashdot helps get the word out. Considering the game is free I've got absolutely no problem with it. It's just frustrating for me that when I've submitted stories regarding new versions of Skulltag (another freeware game, which yes - also runs on linux) they've always been rejected. Is a Doom 2 port not considered cool enough these days?

Re:This story was accepted? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20966677)

There's loads of Open Source games out there, probably only the biggest releases ever reach Slashdot. Anyone interested in the smaller games can, however, read LinuxGames [linuxgames.com] , The Linux Game Tome [happypenguin.org] etc. - actually those are only Linux game sites, but many of the games there have ports for other platforms too. Also, from what I've seen Skulltag isn't completely Open Source, in the sense that it requires files from the original Doom in order to be playable (at least that's recommended), whereas Alien Arena is completely Open Source (or is it?) independent and more or less original game.

Warsow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20965603)

This game really is crap compared to http://warsow.net/ [warsow.net]

Re:Warsow (0, Troll)

Alienkillerrace (1172801) | about 7 years ago | (#20965741)

Posted by a true Warsow troll. What jealousy. Pretty much anyone pimping another game here is someone who's part of another game community. And no, this game is better than Warsow, it's not even close.

Re:Warsow (1)

LingNoi (1066278) | about 7 years ago | (#20966255)

WTF does Warsow have to do with the GPs post?

Re:Warsow (1)

Alienkillerrace (1172801) | about 7 years ago | (#20966309)

Uh, that was in reply to the person posting about how great warsow supposedly is. Check your threshold level, you'll see that.

Re:Warsow (1)

alphamugwump (918799) | about 7 years ago | (#20967257)

Personally, I'm staggered by the amount of flame wars, elitism, and sheer hatred in the open source gaming community. AA has been claiming to be the best OSS FPS evar for quite some time now, which may or may not be justified. Then, there was the time some sauerbraten admins deliberately took down the default listserver, in order to lock out the noobs. There's also the infamous Ogre vs. CrystalSpace wars, as well as some obscure faggotry between two Tron clones. I've also been hearing dark rumors about renegade admins in PlaneShift.

Seriously, when will all this bitterness end?

Awesome deathmatch action for the price... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20965839)

It's a great little game with nice maps and reasonable graphics. The engine is certainly WAY upgraded beyond"vanilla" Q2 standards (It reminds me more of Unreal Tournament 1) and anybody whining doesn't know what they're talking about.

quake 2 engine? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20966003)

Wooo yeah it blows them away with a modified quake 2 engine? Yeah, right, maybe back in 1999. You do realize Quake 4 is out with 2 more generations of engine right? Just look a the screenshots. The textures look very primitive and the lighting is hacky. It's possible the gameplay could be good but to say some throwback to 1999 graphicwise is "blowing away the competition" is just lame.

P.S. I come check slashdot for once and I see now they have some bullshit dhtml or some crap slider bar that slows the site down to a crawl, at least in firefox. Just another reason to not read slashdot anymore. I read this site like once a month now when in the past I read it all day.

Re:quake 2 engine? (1)

Alienkillerrace (1172801) | about 7 years ago | (#20966351)

Alien Arena has - Real time lighting, real time shadows, bloom, reflective water, flares, per pixel lighting via bumpmapping, excellent particles and effects, shaders, etc and etc. Certainly stuff that puts it well beyond 1999 specs. Play the game before making comments on the supposed "quake 2" engine.

Re:quake 2 engine? (1)

Paralizer (792155) | about 7 years ago | (#20966895)

That's why id made it open source, so people could add to it. You're thinking of a mod where only the game content has changed and the engine is exactly the same. With the GPLed engine these third party developers can go in an update the engine making it more modern... and it's free. It's my opinion that game play is more important that eye candy anyhow.

Also, no one gives a shit why you don't read /. that often.

Re:quake 2 engine? (0, Offtopic)

MutantBlue (665411) | about 7 years ago | (#20967261)

Thanks for coming by asshole. I suggest you limit your visits to one-per-year.

2 out of 3 ain't great (1)

666999 (999666) | about 7 years ago | (#20966839)

Tremulous plays on OS X.

Alien Arena doesn't.

better than TrueCombatElite.com? (ET add on) (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#20967483)

I love me some second-generation counterstrike TCE. I think they put me in jail for the week of 9/11 because I play it too much though. I guess security can't tell the difference between a game and reality...

Linux.com Rating System (2, Funny)

Blakey Rat (99501) | about 7 years ago | (#20967749)

Controls: 5 pts.
Graphics: 5 pts.
Sound: 3 pts.
Music: 2 pts.
Story: 5 pts.
Multiplayer (if applicable): 5 pts.
Runs on Linux: 50,000 pts.
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