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Games Entertainment

Indie Game Jam Results Posted 80

baruz writes "You may remember a previous story on Slashdot about the Indie Game Jam organized by Chris Hecker and company. The game sources have been posted." Anyone feel like porting these to Linux?
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Indie Game Jam Results Posted

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  • Most sources, once they become available on the web will be available is some time of mod within a few days, just wait, it will come.
  • Love it! (Score:5, Funny)

    by JUSTONEMORELATTE ( 584508 ) on Thursday August 01, 2002 @04:56PM (#3995169) Homepage
    First title listed:

    Angry God Bowling
    Doug Church


    This was the engine sample game that everybody got when they arrived. You roll a ball and crush the flocking people, who start following a "prophet" when they get scared.

    Starting on the port this evening -- gotta get this one!
  • Some Hurdles (Score:5, Interesting)

    by P!Alexander ( 448903 ) on Thursday August 01, 2002 @05:01PM (#3995191)
    From story:
    Sadly, most of the games do not have documentation for their user interfaces, and a number of the games require gamepads, usually with specific control layouts.

    I'm not familiar with programming control interfaces in Linux but it seems like the lack of documentation plus the need for controllers would make this rather difficult.

    Not to mention (In big, bold print):
    NOTE: THESE GAMES WERE DONE AS EXPERIMENTAL GAME DESIGN RESEARCH, NOT AS FINISHED PRODUCTS. THESE ARE NOT POLISHED AND COMPLETE GAMES!

    Plus some of the games used proprietary sprites from Doom 2 which are not re-distributable. Almost sounds like it would be better to start from scratch.

    Other than that the games look very cool. Especially for four days of work!
    • Re:Some Hurdles (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Almost sounds like it would be better to start from scratch.

      I doubt it. Lack of documentation?? [sourceforge.net]

      Besides, well-written code doesn't need much documentation.
      And from the c++ code I looked at,
      the DirectInput code has been abstracted,
      which should simplify porting a great deal.

      Programming controllers on linux isn't difficult; The joystick driver isn't that hard, and SDL makes it even simpler.

    • Especially for four days of work

      I think that's the problem source for all the bickering in this forum. The purpose of the Jam is to get talented people together to bounce ideas off each other and hopefully come up with some new ideas, not to create saleable games (four days isn't much time to polish the work).

      Perhaps the developers could have chosen a different source for their sprites, but I'd have to say from experience that the amount of time in question here is certainly not enough to design sprites from scratch (if you want to code the game at all)! I haven't really looked, so I wonder if anyone is putting their art out for free (as in beer) on the web??? An open-sourced art gallery, anyone? (Sadly, most free art I've seen is worth the price you pay for it)

      Anyway, I thought some of these concepts were clever, though I did wonder why so many of them were based on numerous hordes and gods (Must have been the caffiene).
    • Id software is pretty cool about letting users get creative with their older (and newer!) products. It was their open policy toward user mods (are you listening, Blizzard?) that helped create the amazing community of indie game authors creating commercial release quality games.

      This is such a cool project, I'm sure all they'd have to do is write Carmack (or whoever makes such decisions) and he'd let them use it. A God bowling game based on 8 year old sprites isn't going to decrease the marketability (or whatever) of Doom 3.

      Hmmmm... might be time to hunt down one of the old editors and make myself a .WAD, just for old time's sake.
  • Gamasutra coverage (Score:5, Informative)

    by jwinter1 ( 147688 ) on Thursday August 01, 2002 @05:02PM (#3995193) Homepage

    Gamasutra covered this a little more in depth a while back:
    Link [gamasutra.com]
  • What? (Score:3, Funny)

    by tcd004 ( 134130 ) on Thursday August 01, 2002 @05:03PM (#3995198) Homepage
    I thought they were talking about Indiana Jones games. It was the dog who was named Indy. The dog.

    Play the Stock Market Drinking Game! [lostbrain.com]
    tcd004
  • 'Flow' recommended (Score:4, Informative)

    by wackybrit ( 321117 ) on Thursday August 01, 2002 @05:07PM (#3995214) Homepage Journal
    That 'Flow' game listed on the results page there is worth downloading. 600kb download, and it's not as easy as it sounds. Been playing it for a little while now.
  • The Dueling Machine (Score:3, Informative)

    by RumGunner ( 457733 ) on Thursday August 01, 2002 @05:09PM (#3995222) Homepage
    The Dueling Machine is an awesome book. Too bad there's no linux port for this game. Here's a little info on the book. The Dueling Machine [amazon.com]
    • Man, when you say "a little info" you really mean LITTLE info...

      The book's review: it's a great book, as great as other great books that were great.
      It had people. Really realistic people.

  • Hmmm (Score:1, Insightful)

    by cca93014 ( 466820 )

    Anyone feel like porting these to Linux?
    Er, no?
  • Let's see: black shirt, blue jeans black shirt, blue jeans black shirt, blue jeans black shirt, tan jeans grey shirt, blue jeans grey shirt, black shirt, white shirt (that guy in the back has a red shirt--must be gay)
  • by phriedom ( 561200 ) on Thursday August 01, 2002 @05:29PM (#3995296)
    They have taken those "god" games to a whole new, strange level. Angry God Bowling: be wrathful. Worship: protect embodiments of Jesus from hordes of demons who would crucify and drag them away, similar to missle commmand. Another one whose name I forgot: convert people to believing in you, then kill them, multiplayer where the god with the most dead followers wins. Was Black & White this weird?
    • Worship I think was the inspiration for the demented skew many of the games took -- it was the first one to really latch onto the demented possibilities of the 100,000 guy god game.

      And the one you forgot the name to is Wrath, the one Brian Sharp and I wrote. Yes, you want to convert as many people as you'd like to your side (Saved vs Damned) and then kill them to get them to Heaven or Hell. Programming for three days straight breeds strange themes. :-)
  • by Kirby-meister ( 574952 ) on Thursday August 01, 2002 @05:54PM (#3995377)
    "A Missile Command style game..."
    "It works a bit like the old Robotron 2084 arcade game..."
    "A super-RTS..."

    Maybe I'm not getting the point; was this contest just to make quirky titles from standard, well-defined genres with a gimmick, or to actually make something that is completely different?

    I'm not saying none of the results were original or unique; I just noticed a lot of sentences like the ones above.

    • by Anonymous Coward
      I share your concerns. But really, I think lots of people describe new things that way. One effective way--perhaps the only way in some ways--to convey something new and different is to compare it to known quantities. That doesn't mean it's the same, just that it shares qualities with some reference point.

      So you see things like a "Missle Command STYLE game" rather than a "Missle Command game".

      You see this in the game industry all the time. Black and White, which was innovative (if sort of a popular flop), got described in terms like this all the time. Rarely is something so new that it can't be compared to some existing reference.

      Then again, maybe they're rip-offs. I haven't played most of them, but the ones I did play with for a bit were interesting and actually rather refreshing.
    • Maybe I'm not getting the point; was this contest just to make quirky titles from standard, well-defined genres with a gimmick, or to actually make something that is completely different?

      There's no room to be picky when it comes to any sort of innovation in game design. With a handful of exceptions, it's the most stagnant "artistic" field I can think of. Almost every game created isn't just somewhat like other games, but trying very hard to be similar to other games, because that's what designers are trained to do, and that's what marketing people can sell.

      Yes, there are some similarities to other games in the descriptions, but the games themselves are pretty out there. These days I'll take anything that isn't a 100% blatant rip-off of another game and call it a landmark. And the open source hobbyist games are even worse, sadly. They're obsessed with recreating Boulder Dash and the light cycles segment of Tron and every other 20 year old game they can find. Yuck. That the Indie Game Jam group can come along and out-do every hobbyist game of the last ten years in four days...now that's saying something.

    • To be fair, a number of the games that were patterned after existing games were done by the folks running the Jam, not those there doing the experimental gameplay parts.

      And has others have said, some games become very different with 100,000 guys, even if they are based on other game ideas. The super-RTS, for example, became much more like a fluid control game than a micromanagement exercise.
    • Not many game engines out there that could model a fluid, never mind any that have actually tried to. I found this to be a truly unique thought in game design, and very "different" even within the theme they were given. (Bear in mind I haven't played it.. )

      Also, I think in some of the descriptions of the games they just couldn't help themselves when they added "it's like XXX" to the description. It's so common now to describe games in terms of other games that it's like a knee-jerk reaction. I especially had this impression in the case of Charles' Chopper which isn't really like Choplifter except for having a theme in common, but they added that description anyway.

      Dueling Machine is also quite unique. On the surface it's just another shooter, yet the magic is in the one disorienting difference of having so many "noncombatants" around. This game probably wouldn't be that difficult if it was attempted with fewer than several thousand obstacle characters hiding the target... sort of 3d interactive realtime Where's Waldo? Here again is a unique concept working in symbiosis with a unique engine.

      And then there's Very Serious RoboDOOM which is unique primarily because it's not so much a game a statement about games. ;-)
    • This is certainly an issue. Some of the games were not that thrilling from a game design innovation standpoint. But you've named the three worst cases; if you made the full list, they wouldn't all be like that, so you're making it look worse than it really is. Plenty were quite innovative: the firefighter game, Wrath, Flow, Dueling Machine.

      And even for those three, it doesn't quite tell the whole story. I wrote the least significantly innovative one from a game design standpoint: Very Serious RoboDOOM. This was because I was one of the main engine authors, and I had to spend a lot of my time answering questions, or simply eavesdropping on what people were discussing with each other in case they were having trouble with something I knew how to fix.

      We had a big list of 20-some game ideas that we had come up with in the early stages of the engine development--but all the participants were coming up with those ideas so none of them were getting written; I decided to try to write something off that list. Robotron was simple, and hopefully wouldn't be too hard to task switch on, and in fact, it was fairly easy to implement. I didn't end up innovating the game design, but I was able to use the game to make (I think) a comment about the the game-design of shooters and implicitly of the industry--which I think is a fairly good accomplishment for one day's work where I spent most of the time helping other people.

      Unfortunately, I made the "used the Doom 2 sprites" mistake, so it's an effort to see the result; as organizers of the event, our focus was so much on making the experience for the participants during the event optimal, we didn't consider the redistribution issue particularly well--it just wasn't our priority.

    • First off, no innovation happens in a vacuum. As Newton put it, any great innovator is standing on the shoulders of giants.

      Even the most innovative works of art can be described in terms of older works of art. A contemporary of Van Gough might have said "well, he takes the hazy imagery and thick brushstrokes of the new landscape painters and applies them to still-lifes and portraits"

      All innovation is made by modifying and expanding existing works, that's how it works.

      Furthermore, even if you don't start out trying to create a missile command game, but the game you create has a passing resemblance to Missile Command, then the easiest way to describe it to people who haven't played the game would be "somewhat Missile Command like" even if the only real similarity is an a stressful game involving an increasingly dangerous wave of enemy attacks, that you have less and less time to deal with.

      Before you blast them for lack of innovation, download some of the games and play around with them, I promise you you haven't seen anything like them before.
  • by jonr ( 1130 ) on Thursday August 01, 2002 @06:02PM (#3995410) Homepage Journal
    The Duelling Machine stirred an old idea that I have been thinking about for a long time, but the technology hasn't been up to it: Add GPRS/3G phone/pda, sign up, and you get a target you have to find (preferably in your home town). But there is a twist, you automatically become somebody elses target, so you never know who is after you. Any venture capitalists reading this? :)
    (Patent pending, patent pending, patent pending)
  • by lingqi ( 577227 ) on Thursday August 01, 2002 @06:36PM (#3995653) Journal
    I mean... Yeah sure there are interesting twists, but they are just *TWISTS* from the same genre, not really anything innovative [avault.com].
  • by Anonymous Coward

    48 hour competition, starting from scratch.

    All entries:
    http://ludumdare.com/user/viewentries.ph p

    Winners:
    http://ludumdare.com/articles/?link=v& arid=37

    Most fun contest I've been in. Making a playable game from scratch in 48 hours is quite the caffeine rush.
  • by bogie ( 31020 ) on Thursday August 01, 2002 @06:48PM (#3995728) Journal
    Too bad half of the games crash on startup. Were these designed for win95 or something?
    • They need the bitmaps from Doom2 that could not be included because of legal issues.
      Check the website.
    • That's why you SHOULDN'T be using that condemned OS to run them!
    • What, bugs that need fixing? It doesn't run on your platform? Isn't that the whole point of Open Source?

      Anyway, the games were developed on P4s under Win2K, running on GeForce4s. I did a lot of the development on an Athlon under Win98, with a Radeon. I wouldn't expect significant Win32 portability issues. (Performance will suck without a top-end machine, though.)

      It's possible the missing sprites is the problem--the only one I know Chris Hecker tested running without the sprites was RoboDOOM. I can't suggest any other fixes without a real bug report (what system are you trying it on, etc. etc.).

  • Dueling Machine (Score:2, Insightful)

    From the site:

    You are in a city full of thousands of pedestrians, you have exactly one bullet, and you have to find and kill a single unique fugitive.

    This game was byfar the most enjoyable out of the bunch.

    The use of sonar to find your enemy is brilliant! I tell you: Polish this baby up and you've got gold! (This is not a guarantee.)

  • Subject says it all..
  • Not if I can't make money selling the games!
  • by Osram ( 185373 )
    There are several open sourced games that are or were commercial. One of the most up-to-date is "Battle of Britain", a flight simulator that was written by Rowan software. When they were bought by Empire, and when it was decided they should leave the small Windows flight sim market (no joke, they now code console titles), they open sourced "Battle of Britain" and some time later "Mig Alley". These are fairly state-of-the-art, 600 000 lines games with the experience of approx 10 previous flight sims inside.

    They are windows only, but could be ported to Linux. I expect that for example the flight model and the famous artificial inteligence would port straight forward.
    The main parts to port would be the directx stuff and the user interface, which is in MFC.

    So I will not be accused of false advertizing, I also have to tell you that
    - I am the lead developer of the non-for-profit BDG, the "Bob/ma Development Group".
    - To play the complete game, you need the artwork and for that have to buy the game. However, there are demos of BoB/MA out and at least for MA you can use a recompiled exe with that.
    - You may be dissapointed in the source code, since it has little comments etc.
    - Unfortunately, it is not GPLed. Find the license here:
    http://www.3d-raumplan.com/wk_privat/downlo ad/bobl icence.txt

    The code (16MB) can be found in the download section of
    http://www.simhq.com/
    The BoB forum on the same site is the main hangout for the community. Also, you might want to look here:
    http://www.3d-raumplan.com/FlightSim

    Another open source flightsim is flightgear, see www.flightgear.org . But that does not need porting, that already runs under Linux ;-).

  • No, ***Nobody uses linux for anything but servers, so give it up***
  • * BEGIN RANT *

    We all lament the lack of creativity in games these days. First off, it isn't true. There's TONS of creativity in games these days, more so than at any time after the early-1980s. Where is all this creativity going? Sports Games, Party Games, and new Immersion Arcade Games. The more "nerdy" games have completely stagnated while Dance Dance Revolution and Tony Hawk are changing everything.

    The problem is, of course the nerds. Nerds, for all their wonderful taste in pop-culture weirdness, aren't really willing to try new things. We say that the RTS genre has completely stagnated, but every time a new RTS game is released, message boards fill with "bla bla bla, Starcraft was so much better. They messed this part up, they should have made it more like Starcraft." The best example I can think of is Neverwinter Nights. Now overall, professional reviewers love this game. It's the first game to ever take the D&D ruleset in (almost) all of its complexity, and actually make it easy to play in realtime. The DM system is amazing. The single player ain't half-bad either. Gamers, however, were apparently expecting a cross between Diablo 2 and Baldur's Gate. And because it was actually innovative, and wasn't a cross between Diablo 2 and Baldur's Gate, they threw a fit.

    It's like scifi on TV and in Movies, If it's not exactly like Star Trek or the X Files, we won't watch it. The Matrix sequels are doomed from the start. They'll be blasted by critics everywhere if they're too much like the first movie, but if they aren't basically the same as the first movie, geeks will go up in arms.

    Obsessive fans are really the worst thing that can happen to a creative medium. They pretty much single-handedly destroyed comic books as a popular medium. In 1972 Comic books were basically like the early X-Files episodes, some continuity, but more or less completely encapsulated adventures. In 2002 if a kid could even find a comic book, they would have no idea what the hell is going on, since we want to be Japan and have 3000 page running stories. The 3000 page running story is great for the fat bearded guy that works in a comic book store, and is so rude and elitist that nobody but comic book obsessives can even shop there, but it means that comics are getting almost no new fans.

    * END RANT *
  • Worship (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by Rupert ( 28001 )
    Contains the code:

    #define MAX_CHRISTS 5


    Kind of sets an upper limit on second comings.
  • by kisrael ( 134664 )
    NONE of these seems to work on XP, even with Win95 mode, and doing all the stuff to download the sprites...any advice?

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