What better way to spend Valentine’s Day with your sweetheart(s) than playing one of the oldest and best freeware local multiplayer deathmatch games, Liero? Released in 1998 by Finnish programmer Joosa Riekkinen, Liero quickly became a cult classic for its slick controls, destructible terrain, and numerous diverse weapons. Although the original source code was lost, fans have released a number of successful clones and remakes, such as NiL and Gusanos.
Last year, however, a new, “official” version of Liero was released, 1.36. Although not developed by Joosa Riekkinen, Liero 1.36 is more or less an exact simulation of the original and has received the creator’s blessing to use the name. This update runs “on almost any OS”, fixes the few bugs that were present in Liero 1.33, and also adds a host of welcome features, such as post-game stats and an enjoyable new mode, called “Hold a Zone”, where players must claim and protect small zones for a specified period of time.
The AI is also significantly improved, making single-player Liero a viable way to play for the first time. So even if you’re your own Valentine today there’s no reason why you can’t also enjoy the sweet sounds of bleeding worms violently grunting amidst hails of Zimms, Mini-Nukes, Banana Bombs, and other classic weapons.
PuzzleScript is a simple, open-source game engine by Stephen “increpare” Lavelle that allows you to easily create turn-based puzzle games using a unique scripting language. The engine is HTML5-based and games can be built and shared (along with their source code) straight from your browser. The graphics, which are composed of 5×5 tiles, are also designed within the editor, in the same manner that levels are defined.
There are already quite a few clever games in the burgeoning PuzzleScript gallery, showing off the flexibility of the engine, as well as its ease-of-use – although some of the developers are seasoned indies (like Terry Cavanagh, Joseph White, and Stephen himself), quite a few of them are from first-time creators (like Jonah Ostroff, who made Heroes of Sokoban, shown above).
Desperate Gods is an open source “digital board game” developed by Wolfire Games for Fuck This Jam, a week-and-a-half-long game jam based around making games in genres you generally dislike. In his design overview, Wolfire’s David Rosen describes how he enjoys board games but feels that their video game counterparts lack a lot of what makes them fun. Check out the video above to see how he and artist Aubrey Serr tried to overcome these problems while developing a unique board game from the ground up.
Wolfire has released the first content update for their “7-day” FPS Receiver, which includes a flashlight, a S&W Model 10 revolver, a Glock 17, and the ability to move your guns closer to the screen through the settings menu. Players who already own Receiver can get the update free from the Humble Store. You can purchase the game for $5 on its website or by pre-ordering Wolfire’s main project, Overgrowth.
Steam Greenlight: Receiver
If you’re interested in NES homebrew, you should check out Zooming Secretary, an original action game from programmer Shiru and artist PinWizz. In the game you play a secretary who has to answer phone calls after visiting the appropriate filing cabinet. Various co-workers will hamper your progress, but a coffee power-up will offer a speed boost to help you get through each of the eight work days.
Zooming Secretary is simple but polished, making it a good study for people interested in making their own NES games. The source code of the game is available here. A NES emulator like FCEUX is required to play.
Also, FEMICOM has an interview with PinWizz here.
TIGSource hasn’t covered Crawl since 2007, back with Linley’s Dungeon Crawl, and it’s changed a lot since then. Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup is the living branch of Linley’s Dungeon Crawl (the original branch hasn’t been updated since 2003). Most fans of roguelikes have played it or at least know about it, but for those seeking to get into roguelikes this is a good place to start. Ortoslon got me into this particular game, and it became the first roguelike I ever finished (albeit as a Minotaur berserker, one of the easiest combinations to beat the game with).
The new update added (among many new features) a new species, octopodes, which can wear eight rings, but can’t wear armor except hats. In Crawl, species matters a lot more than starting class, class just determines which skills and items you start with, but is non-binding because you can always learn other skills and find other items: so you can begin as an elven fighter but then find a spellbook and decide to focus on magic anyway. Your species determines how fast you can increase different skills (varying from -5 to +5 learning rates), your movement speed, body size, metabolism, whether you have horns or claws or other features, and so on. If you get into the game you’ll probably try out all the species at least once, but then stick with a few favorites.
While I’m waiting eagerly to the full release of Xenonauts, I’ve been filling my commutes and times away from home with the similarly titled Xenowar; a light, X-Com inspired game available for Android and Windows.
With a simple touch interface and low-polygon 3D graphics, Xenowar manages to maintain the essence of X-Com, tasking players to fight an alien invasion through the construction and management of bases, researching of futuristic technologies, and commanding of ground-troops. While there are some areas where the game is vague or obtuse, there is almost always a button present to pull up a ‘help’ or ‘reference’ screen.
If you’re a fan of X-Com who’s frequently away from their computer, be sure to check out Xenowar.
[This is a guest post by Machine Saint]
Aaron Bishop is an independent game developer who may not be as familiar to members of the indie gaming community as he is to the open source software community (where his games are a bit more well-known, it seems). He is the creator of Egoboo and Soulfu, and he recently announced that he is working on a new game, plainly codenamed “Mystery Project X”. I thought this might be a good time to interview him for TIGSource, but, since the details of this new project are still a secret, it is not the core subject of the interview.
The pay-what-you-want Humble Indie Bundle was an amazing success, raising over 1.2 million dollars, with nearly $400,000 going to the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the wonderful Child’s Play Charity. We were really blown away by the response to the bundle and the buzz it generated across the internets. Definitely a win-win-win situation all around! Thanks to everyone who participated and helped spread the word on this!
To keep the love flowing, four of the bundled games had pledged to go open source toward the end of the bundle: Aquaria, Lugaru HD, Gish, and Penumbra Overture. Well, I’m happy to say that the source code for those games has finally been released! You can find out more (including all the relevant links), at Wolfire’s blog.
Tales of Middle-Earth, a roguelike more commonly known as ToME, has come out of its hobbit’s hole after a multiple-year hiatus. What’s really exciting about ToME 4′s release is that it comes with T-Engine4, an open-source, Lua-based roguelike engine. In fact, ToME 4 is simply included as a module for the engine. According to DarkGod, the game’s creator:
Among its features, T-Engine4 has a single, unified user interface using OpenGL on all platforms, keyboard and mouse support, generic save and load using serialization, and support for both a graphical (tile-based) mode and traditional ASCII (potentially at the same time). Developers interested in creating their own roguelike should check this engine out. See DarkGod’s original announcement for more information.
(Source: Slash, via Temple of the Roguelike)