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Thread: Good/original OpenSource games don't exist ?

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  1. #1
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    Good/original OpenSource games don't exist ?

    Hey

    After a few years of observation, I reached a disturbing conclusion. I'd like nothing more than you to prove me wrong.

    There are Open Source games of impressive quality. Especially no original games.

    There are lots of clones, though. Freeciv may be good (I don't like this kind of games except for Master of Magic), but my friend - who likes civ-like games a lot - tells me it's it's little more than well-made Civilisation clone. I asked him if Freeciv has anything that hasn't been done before in commercial Civs. He says there isn't anything like that. Freeciv may have a little better network support, and that's it.
    Some people like Wesnoth, but I don't. I really don't like the graphic style, and the game is too simple for my tastes. Even if I liked it, it's been done before.
    To my knowledge, there's no good opensource RPG game, most probably because rpg games require a LOT of time to build convincing story and dress it up in pretty clothes.
    TA Spring doesn't even try to pretend it's not Total Annihilation clone, even worse - it requires a lot of commercial data to work, and free media replacements for the game are far from working.
    Freecraft - the name says it all.
    Attal - Homm clone. Freelords - ...

    So how about fps games ? Cube/sauerkraten may have its advantages, but quake-style deathmatch has been done to death.
    Best opensource fps games are based on ID Software engines, not that I don't appreciate the fact ID has a tradition to regularly release outdated engines. The point is: I know no original opensource game based on them. Mostly quake-style deathmach clones.
    Tremulous is fresh enough, but suffers a lot from bad design and lack of punkbuster.

    Arcade - clones, clones everywhere.
    -----------
    There are some truly fresh opensource games, but they're few and far between. I can think of 3:
    Liquid War - althrough fun, it doesn't last long. (available in ubuntu repositories)

    DROD - in my opinion the best puzzle game ever made.... but it didn't start as opensource game.
    By the way: not all people know the last DROD game (JTRH) is actually GPLed despite being commercial. They just charge for extra graphics and official levelset. You can still play usermade levels (LOTS of them), and use fully functional level editor !
    http://drod.net

    Linley's Dungeon Crawl (http://dungeoncrawl.org , but also available in ubuntu repositories)
    In my opinion the best, most polished, varied, balanced, and fun roguelike ever made. The only thing it lacks is good documentation. But again, it didn't start as an opensource game. A.D.O.M. doesn't even come close.
    ---------------------
    So, is opensource even remotely viable way of developing games ? I'd love to say 'yes!', but my experience says otherwise. Prove me wrong.

    I don't get one thing. All it takes to make a good game is a brilliant, fresh idea. (unless you'd like to develop a RTS or FPS game; these require very efficient and advanced code). Master of Magic is played to this day by some hardcore fans (dosbox; the game available from the underdogs), despite having truckloads of bugs !
    Are fresh game ideas so hard to come by in opensource world ? Can't be !
    One thing that personally discourages me from contributing ideas to opensource games (or any games for that matter) is that usually you get no credit whatsover. Many of my suggestions have been implemented in games, and I'm only credited in one (Lbreakout2 uses many of my powerup/brick ideas). On the second thought, there's a mention of 'b0rsuk' somewhere in Wesnoth changelog, too.

    (the author of this rant would love to make some games himself, but he has a long way to go from being just IT student/linux fan. He'll be making games all by himself, because you can't count on others.)

  2. #2
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    Re: Good/original OpenSource games don't exist ?

    And are there any original commercial games? All of them owe their success to some ancestor.

  3. #3
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    Re: Good/original OpenSource games don't exist ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Illidan
    And are there any original commercial games? All of them owe their success to some ancestor.
    Yes, there are lots of original commercial games. And can you point out opensource ancestors of good commercial games ?
    For each original, fresh opensource game I can show you 20 original commercial games.

    I know what you mean - these days, big companies, especially EA, don't innovate but instead sell remakes of the same game; they don't care about balance, patches etc.
    Smaller companies have it easier to try something new - they don't risk as much. But opensource game designers seem to just clone, clone, clone, clone. And clone.

    There's much more innovation in abandonware games ( downloadable from underdogs), than in opensource games. Which is suprising, because opensource games have no shedules, no dates to meet, no marketing team to please with back-of-box features. Opensource designers can work at their own pace.
    Such a waste.

    Unfortunately I don't really like simulation games. I kinda liked Seawolf (nice music). I played Mechwarrior3: Mercenaries a lot, but that's it.
    But the screens do look good.

  4. #4
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    Re: Good/original OpenSource games don't exist ?

    Check out the screens for this game. It looks great if you like simulations.

    http://dangerdeep.sourceforge.net/

    Also, flightgear is open source. It's definitely a good game. So is planetpenguin-racer for that matter.

  5. #5
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    Re: Good/original OpenSource games don't exist ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason_25
    Check out the screens for this game. It looks great if you like simulations.

    http://dangerdeep.sourceforge.net/

    Also, flightgear is open source. It's definitely a good game. So is planetpenguin-racer for that matter.
    It's actually from a game called 'Silent Service' which was released by Microprose (I think) years ago..think I had it on an old Atari 800XL. Good game, but its not original.

    If Trem pushed the strat side a little more then it'd be more unique - not many proper FPS / Strat games around (the best being, of course, Battlezone 1&2)

  6. #6
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    Re: Good/original OpenSource games don't exist ?

    As far as Tremulous goes....

    - it doesn't have punkbuster. Cheaters' paradise.
    - many deficiencies related to kicking. You can simply change name while there's a vote to kich you and nothing happens. The game allows names with spaces and parses them poorly. Names like 'all idiot' can be exploited. Kicking such player actually kicks all players from the server.
    Players who's just been kicked aren't banned and can instantly rejoin.
    It takes 1 player to pass any vote - for example to change or restart map, or to kick someone. If 3 players vote yes and 2 vote no, the vote passes.

    This is very important, because Tremulous is very vulnerable to griefers. Someone can deconstruct reactor and you're pretty much dead at that point. Malicious player can deconstruct spawns, preventing other players from playing. It wouldn't be as bad if many servers didn't have voting disabled (they have it disabled because voting is poorly implemented and can disorganize matches)

    These were just technical aspects. Now lets look at gameplay design:

    - the game has ambitions to be 'strategic', but to make the biggest impact on the match you need to kill the most stuff, this enables higher technologies. I've seen many matches won by 1-2 good players (usually dragoons). Killing more players gives you more points/money to purchase better weaponry/armor/whatever. Winner-wins-more mechanic.
    - human turrets are very powerful early, and early aliens are very weak at destroying buildings. If humans feel like camping for several minutes at the start of match, nothing will stop them, and there's no reason not to do so.
    Camping is bad because it makes the game very boring. If both teams sit there for several minutes doing nothing, with turrets between them, something is just wrong.
    - one of alien classes - basilisk - is very pointless and a waste of evolve points. It's not very fast, quite vulnerable, has weak melee attack, and no purpose whatsover. Some will argue it's good against isolated humans (because it clearly doesn't work on groups !). But only very inexperienced human players travel alone, and basically any alien is good against lone human. On top of that basilisk is very bad against buildings,jetpacks, and very bad against battlesuits (can't poison it, can't hold it properly, and it takes like 20 melee attacks to kill it).
    My observations are based on several dozens of matches played.
    - another mark of bad design: Hovel (alien building). It's intended as a hideout for alien builder class, granger. But it's available only at 3rd tier, and at that point humans already have heavy weaponry and explosives. Sitting in a building, even as tough as hovel, is asking for big trouble. Therefore nobody uses hovel, except as free wall.
    - the game is very unfriendly to late joiners. Especially if you join aliens... assuming both sides are at stage3
    - no one bothers with alien Barricade structure, and for good reason. Again, bad design.
    To summarize: I played many team-based multiplayer games, but no game had such boring stalemates like Tremulous. Matches lasting for 60 minutes (despite Sudden Death mode enabled), and ending with a Draw result, are fairly common.
    I discourage people from trying Tremulous. Try Wolfenstein:Enemy Territory instead. As far as I remember, it has been opensourced a while ago, even if some media (graphics, sound) isn't GPLed.
    If W:ET is too arcade for you, try a free total conversion called True Combat: Elite. http://truecombat.com/intro.php
    Last edited by B0rsuk; May 25th, 2006 at 09:54 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Good/original OpenSource games don't exist ?

    Quote Originally Posted by B0rsuk
    I discourage people from trying Tremulous. Try Wolfenstein:Enemy Territory instead. As far as I remember, it has been opensourced a while ago, even if some media (graphics, sound) isn't GPLed.
    Tremolous is a good game, just they need to change those anoying "bugs" about vote and all those things.. as simple as parse the command with quotes...

    About camping same.. I remember mods in my old quake times for anticampers, killing them if they where too much time in the same place.

    The difficult thing is about those guys removing bases.. that is a bit more difficult to figure out how to prevent this.

    Also when you get done to play with the humans, it is not that hard to kill a "dragon". I remember a game plenty of dragons where i ended with over 200 frags and we won the aliens, was a very long and fun game.

    About the thing there is not good/original open source games.. well there are some, you should think that the regular time that takes to make a good comercial game is about 2/3 years depending if they have to implement the engine or they bought it, then it can be a bit less. That is why most of these open source projects move to existing engines like quake 3 and so on... usually the developer team for these projects are very short in people... I remember the engine tenebrae, a Quake modified engine wich implemented all the stuff doom 3 engine was capable to do, even before this one was out. The developer team was 2 people if im not wrong and 1 of them is working in splash damage making Quake Wars - Enemy Territory right now.
    Last edited by minisori; May 25th, 2006 at 09:46 PM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Good/original OpenSource games don't exist ?

    Games I wouldn't mind getting re-invented as Open Source games - Dungeon Keeper 2 clone and Majesty clone.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Good/original OpenSource games don't exist ?

    I agree with A.I., that would be sweet to have a Dungeon Keeper (1 or 2) clone. Majesty was a blast as well, though since they have a natve linux version, it's all good on that front.

    Actually the rogue like games were initially based on open sourced games that were created back in the old Unix days. So if you're looking for an original open source game that is an ancestor to a lot of commercial games, like diablo, sacred, etc. Look no further than Nethack or other Rogue style games. The only thing Diablo added was real time play and it took out the most of the randomness.

    http://www.wichman.org/roguehistory.html

    Leech
    Last edited by leech; May 26th, 2006 at 12:31 AM.
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    Re: Good/original OpenSource games don't exist ?

    I don't know if anyone's mentioned it, but True Combat: Elite is an excellent game. True it has been refered to as a CS clone, but it's much more realistic and a big upgrade will be out any time now.
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