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A Battle For Good Open-Source Game Graphics?

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  • #46
    Well this sure got a bit off topic I think the point of the article is that open sourced game engines are making some advances graphically, and that they are pushing each other via a bit of friendly competition.

    That the games that are currently using these engines are primarily FPS is irrelevant for the most part. The reason most of these are FPS is quite simple - the source code was released by the FPS Kings, id Software. Quite naturally the people who gravited towards and tinkered with it were going to be fans of the genre and create something that they liked. The blunt truth is, most people that create games as a hobby primarily are doing it for themselves, as artistic expression, and not for others. If people like it, that's a great bonus, but it's not often what drives them.

    Games like Nexuiz, Alien Arena, Warsow, etc, are so much more than simple "Quake/UT clones". They are created by people who've been playing this type of game for years and wanted to make something that they enjoyed, and improve upon the original idea. The old tried and true "run and gun deathmatch" is only but a small portion of what these games offer. Do they have stories? No, but they aren't meant to. These are much more akin to elaborate arcade games than to anything story driven.

    Citing a lack of story or RPG elements is not really a valid criticism because that just isn't what they are trying to be. One can lament the lack of RPG's or 2D side scrollers, but that again has nothing to do with the article or the games mentioned in it and only reflects on personal tastes or distastes of a specific genre.

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Irritant View Post
      Well this sure got a bit off topic I think the point of the article is that open sourced game engines are making some advances graphically, and that they
      -------snip----------
      personal tastes or distastes of a specific genre.
      I don't think anyone is knocking them for creating a FPS, it's just that there is a vast wealth of resources out there to develop other game types as well. Chances are that people are tired of YAFPS. Just take a look at World of Goo, it provided a much needed breath of fresh air and it shows with the amount of Editor Picks and rave reviews it got. FPS has really been done to death meanwhile there is a whole untapped community who would be willing to help out with top notch creative content for something like a RPG given they had good tools and a decent engine to work with.

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      • #48
        I'll knock em' for making just a simple FPS, they aren't any better really then the quake clones they claim not to be, all of those alien arena modes I've seen the same or close to them in other FPS titles, they aren't that much different, and are still reliant on the twitch factor and thus only remotely interesting to those that play them hardcore, like the guys on the top tier on Quake live. Just join an unranked or a top tier server for 5 mins, unless you're tweaking like you've just had 8 gallons of espresso you don't stand a chance against them.

        None of the games have any semblance of a story or single player mode that isn't just bot practice for online matches. You don't even need much of a story, just some interesting levels laid out a little better then Sauerbraten and some interesting enemy AI.

        Seriously, borrow a windows box and a copy of Rainbow 6 vegas, time shift or S.t.a.l.k.e.r. for some ideas on interesting game play, you don't even need a storyline f the AI and arenas are good. Just try a terrorist hunt on realistic in rainbow 6.

        As for "console crap" I guess thats why those titles make it on to almost everyones top games of all time list? Have you played a game like Shadow Of The Colossus,

        Granted, some games don't translate at all to a kb and mouse, take beat 'em ups like Devil May Cry or God Hand for instance, the control scheme works great on any console, but it is ridiculous to try and play the Devil May Cry 4 port on windows, the keyboard is an absolute kludge for it. The Same goes for the aforementioned Time Crisis and House Of The Dead, those are arcade light gun shooters, excellent ones, but a mouse with a crosshair is no substitute for a lightgun, no way no how not ever.

        Most PC gamers though act so high and mighty about their games being superior over consoles, they, most of the time just aren't, a keyboard and mouse are often a square peg for a round hole and only make sense for FPS and RTS titles. Trust me, I've tried Final Fantasy 11 Online on both PC and PS2, a PS2 with a Keyboard works better then a keyboard and mouse any day, it's just faster and easier to control your movement and speed through your spell, item and equipment windows on a controller then it is with a keyboard and mouse, the keyboard is only useful for talking to other players.

        Is there any chance at all of any Metal Gear Solid. Splinter Cell type infiltration style game, I.E. not an FPS, more of 3rd person, use your surroundings to your advantage to sneak past your opponents using various movement controls besides run up, own. left, right and jump? No? Then its really just the same game now isn't it? you know, like that one over there that other team is doing.

        Don't tell me it's all a question of artists either. I've said it before, we are the stereotypical geeks and nerds, you know damn well you've got a stash of old scifi, fantasy and anime that you can draw basic inspiration from, it doesn't even need to make sense, just look at the Japanese games, they where most defiantly high when they came up with it, it doesn't stop it from being a fun, although weird as sh!t game.

        If hat doesn't work, try survival horror, easy inspiration for that, put on a nicotine patch before you sleep, that way you'll be conscious enough of your dreams to remember them, but not such that you will be able to control them, allowing you to experience just what exactly goes on inside your head every night...

        You'd think that game devs looking to beak into pro gaming that they would try to make something that would stand out from the crowd and you know, produce something not yet another uninspired FPS title.

        I know, write me off as just a troll that isn't a game dev, because yeah, I couldn't code to save my life. But it doesn't make what I'm saying any less true that there is a distinct lack of creativity in linux gaming,

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        • #49
          why considering those engines that hardly anybody uses before the likes of Ogre3D that feats tons of games and applications already developed upon?

          i haven't checked the feature list of Ogre3D but, even if it's less advanced than the ones mentioned in the article, imho the main goal of a FOSS engine lies in the ease of development/content creation NOT on bleeding edge graphics!

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          • #50
            What would be nice is if games used advances in graphics to advance the gameplay. I haven't seen many games really do that, but some examples that come to mind are Raven Shield (you could see an enemie's breath from cold air, which helped locate them sometimes), Doom3 (though perhaps a bit overkill, it did use the shadows to add to the atmosphere), geo-morphing from red faction, that sort of thing.
            I'd like to see something like dynamically modified megatextures where you can follow footprints around, stuff like that (I'm working on it as a hobby).
            Graphics improvements are nice, but interest me mostly when it adds to gameplay, rather than just eye candy.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by cb88 View Post
              @energyman the freespace license only restricts commercial distribution so yeah it obviously can be distributed otherwise you wouldn't be able to play it... also where is the source for Crysis? pretty sure it is closed source

              IMO as long as the license allow the game to be updated and worked on by new people (new blood if you will) and can be distributed freely there shouldn't be a problem discussing it here

              Homeworld has a similar license to freespace...

              these questions aren't new... but is a BSD license second class to GPL or the Freespace and Homeworld Lisences? the all allow the code to continue development isn't that what is important anyway? These lisences all have pros and cons ie BSD is awesome for proprietary companies to worth with it makes things easy for them with GPL being harder to deal with and the homewold/freespace licenses at the other end of the spectrum with no commercial possibility at all
              Yes, BSD is second class when compared to GPL, because GPL forces people to bring upgrades to community. Thankfully GPL makes companies to deal with it harder or impossible.

              That doesn't change the fact however that they are ALL Open source with varying degrees of freedom (ie GPL having a sort of reduced "protective freedom")
              It depends what Open Source mean for you. For me it's only FSF way. ie GPL having a sort of reduced "protective freedom"? Can you explain this? GPL is the best option to give code freedom.

              @ Duo Maxwell
              As for "console crap" I guess thats why those titles make it on to almost everyones top games of all time list? Have you played a game like Shadow Of The Colossus,
              I'm not interested in stupid 'game of all time list', because much percentage of players are children... Thanks, but I hate such games. Some people prefer more ambitious titles rather than console crap.

              @Deanjo

              Being opensource is a requirement for the GPL but the GPL is not a requirement for being opensource.
              Yes and not always. In my opinion license to be truly Open Source should allow you to modify code and pass it further. Not only look at it :> I'm talking about overall not FreeSpace or Homeworld license mentioned before. Btw. why Homeworld is still in terrible state on Linux? Isn't this, because license? One of the best games in my opinion and no one's interested in polishing it?!
              Last edited by kraftman; 04-28-2009, 08:52 AM.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by kraftman View Post
                GPL forces people to bring upgrades to community
                This is not true. In fact, the FSF has said that such a requirement shows a "disrespect for privacy". GPL does not force anyone to distribute their changes, nor does it force public distribution; you are perfectly within your privileges under the GPL to keep a modified version to yourself (in fact, this does not require adherence to the GPL at all, since it is not distribution), or to share it with a small circle of friends or associates, or to distribute it only to paying customers. Of course, they can then distribute your modified version to others, but they are similarly not forced to give it to anyone.

                Originally posted by kraftman
                I'm not interested in stupid 'game of all time list', because much percentage of players are children... Thanks, but I hate such games. Some people prefer more ambitious titles rather than console crap.
                As Duo said, go play Shadow of the Colossus (or Ico, or Eternal Darkness, or Killer 7, or No More Heroes...) and then come back and explain to us how much more ambitious PC games are.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
                  This is not true. In fact, the FSF has said that such a requirement shows a "disrespect for privacy". GPL does not force anyone to distribute their changes, nor does it force public distribution; you are perfectly within your privileges under the GPL to keep a modified version to yourself (in fact, this does not require adherence to the GPL at all, since it is not distribution), or to share it with a small circle of friends or associates, or to distribute it only to paying customers. Of course, they can then distribute your modified version to others, but they are similarly not forced to give it to anyone.
                  Of course. I meant if some company wants GPL code in their project they have to release its sources.

                  As Duo said, go play Shadow of the Colossus (or Ico, or Eternal Darkness, or Killer 7, or No More Heroes...) and then come back and explain to us how much more ambitious PC games are.
                  As I mentioned before I don't like such crap. There's youtube and game portals. Go and play Fallout, Homeworld, Battle Isle 4, Heroes of Might and Magic 3&5, Neverwinter Nights 2, Dangerous Waters or read about them and explanations will be unnecessary. More ambitious means !=arcade for me.
                  Last edited by kraftman; 04-28-2009, 09:47 AM.

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                  • #54
                    Originally posted by mirv View Post
                    What would be nice is if games used advances in graphics to advance the gameplay. I haven't seen many games really do that, but some examples that come to mind are Raven Shield (you could see an enemie's breath from cold air, which helped locate them sometimes), Doom3 (though perhaps a bit overkill, it did use the shadows to add to the atmosphere), geo-morphing from red faction, that sort of thing.
                    I'd like to see something like dynamically modified megatextures where you can follow footprints around, stuff like that (I'm working on it as a hobby).
                    Graphics improvements are nice, but interest me mostly when it adds to gameplay, rather than just eye candy.
                    MT is overkill. Resolution is bad and memory footprint is horrible if you need more than one active camera. Foot steps is anyways a job for decals. You could update an MT at runtime but you can't do any map of decent size with it and constantly frobbing memory while still looking pixelated doesn't really help in the end. It's nice for learning purpose but hardly a solution for the future of game design.

                    And yeah... graphics advance in FOSS games. They better would advance on the game design part and editing tools since if people want graphics they take an AAA engine ( if they can pony up the money ). Those engines can only boast with graphics but game design wise it's nothing particular and the pipeline is crap to begin with.

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                    • #55
                      Forget about using commercial engines. People making FOSS games are generally doing this as a hobbby, and aren't going to spend half a million dollars(or even 5000 dollars) to use a AAA, AA, or A engine.

                      As I said before, FOSS game creation is most often a hobby, and a labor of love. If I had half a million to blow on licensing the UT3 engine, I wouldn't do it. Where would the fun for ME be in that?

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                      • #56
                        Having a badly designed game engine is not funny at all. This is what keeps Linux games back right now since those who could do something great are blocked by the existing engines right now. Linux gaming won't pick off using one-shot FPS-aligned engines as we have right now. It simply can't because FPS games are just a tiny part of all possible games. And with inflexible engines everybody has to reinvent the wheel and as a hobby most of the capable people don't have the time for that.

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by Dragonlord View Post
                          Having a badly designed game engine is not funny at all. This is what keeps Linux games back right now since those who could do something great are blocked by the existing engines right now. Linux gaming won't pick off using one-shot FPS-aligned engines as we have right now. It simply can't because FPS games are just a tiny part of all possible games. And with inflexible engines everybody has to reinvent the wheel and as a hobby most of the capable people don't have the time for that.
                          I'm not sure if you understood me. I didn't say "funny" as in humorous, I said "fun" as in it gives me pleasure to work on it. I would also request that you cease with the insulting dialog(as in referring to something as being "badly designed"). I won't continue any discussion here if the insults continue, and I think it's in the best interest of the non-developers to show a little courtesy when they are requesting of the developers.

                          These engines are not nearly as inflexible as you think. I've seen a variety of game types created from them that are not FPS.

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                          • #58
                            FOSS games need artists, but they would need them less if these projects were using free license for their artworks, not only for their engine.
                            There are a few repositories with open assets : some are public domain, some others BSD, GPL, ... and Creative Commons by & by-sa.
                            Keeping in mind the more your license is restrictive, the less it will be compatible with existing projects, this is why some Creative Commons clauses (the ones which make it non-free) can be annoying.
                            If artists are planning to help FOSS gaming community, they should seriously consider adopting a very free license, see no license at all (i.e: public domain). Or eventually release work under several licenses.

                            Freegamedev already did some quite good job for that : http://wiki.freegamedev.net/index.ph...udio_resources

                            My 2 cents.

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                            • #59
                              Actually Homeworld is being ported to the Pandora at the moment ... so developemt is hardly halted and you aren't stopped from fixing proglems with it

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by 0.1. View Post
                                FOSS games need artists, but they would need them less if these projects were using free license for their artworks, not only for their engine.
                                We will always need artists. Using free assets isnt a choice, first because each game design is almost unique, perhaps I handle switching items/clothes in a different way that Scourge, for example. Second, all open source games would look the same. A free assests repo sometimes not even covers the models required for testing in the initial game phase. I dont even have a decent looking trees because the ones available doesnt export properly to Ogre. I just have 2 animated models, both from Ogre demos, because no humanoids properly textured and animated are available for free.

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