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Latest Comments by Liam Dawe
Monster Rpg 2 Full Linux Port
15 May 2011 at 12:17 pm UTC

Thanks updated the post with the demo link :)

Want to win a copy of the Humble Frozenbyte Bundle?
27 April 2011 at 8:56 am UTC

I try to run these types of things now and then but it seems it hasn't prompted anyone to chat, so another failure :

Helena The 3rd
28 April 2011 at 7:40 pm UTC

Added a link to the demo in the news post.

Interview with Michael Bok developer of The Zod Engine
16 April 2011 at 3:15 pm UTC

Part 2

GOL: Was it those game design holes that actually led you to remake Z yourself into the Zod Engine?

MB: Yes, The goals for the Zod Engine were foremost to be multiplayer driven and cross platform. After that we hoped to break as many boundaries as possible with the engine such and any resolution support, team play, and hopefully scriptable campaigns much like Starcraft.

GOL: Sounds awesome, so are you planning full single player compatibility with the original game, or will you let the community do them via the scriptable system?

MB: Well the original single player really was just a series of levels played out much like a 1v1 red alert skirmish. So that is already finished.

GOL: What would you say are the main improvements over the original game as it stands right now?

MB: Well the main unique feature which we have is the ability to enter and leave a game at any time. At the moment the features which stand out from the original however are the ease of starting a multiplayer game, the ability to have more then one bot per game, being able to replay single player maps as multiplayer maps, new gui, much more improved control system, a map editor, open source, and the ability to tweak any of the unit stats with an easy to read script file. I'm sure there are more I am forgetting...

GOL: Some pretty hefty improvements there, the multiplayer is a very welcome aspect which hopefully a lot of people are taking advantage of!

MB: Actually it seems that most people are mainly interested in single player play. A lot of people who play on our main multiplayer server tend to get discouraged from losing very easily. I believe a lot of people have mixed expectations when they play the game and some might be looking at it as just a modern OS supported version of the original which it is much more than.


A little video to break up the text:
View video on youtube.com


GOL: Anything exciting on the roadmap for future releases?

MB: Well for future releases, aside from ironing out a few of the differences between the original and our remake, some of the bigger possible features would be scriptable campaigns, fog of war, more strategic elements such as the ability to upgrade factories and fortresses and the ability to do team wide upgrades in damage etc.

MB: Also another big idea I've had to to swap all of the unit sprites with small simple 3d models where the original color palette is used for the textures.

MB: I believe this would be a very simple conversion especially consider the engine already supports opengl.

MB: There are also ideas of doing things such as adding another layer above the rts engine where you go from planet to planet conquering a universe.

MB: However for that no one has really brought the whole idea down to something that can really be played and programmed.

GOL: Sound similair to Planet wars from Spring RTS (And previously Total Annihilation)

GOL: So apart from Z any other favourite bitmap brothers games? Personally I remember playing The Chaos Engine on the Amiga!

MB: I've never played any of their other games. But when I look at comments for the Z rerelease they are making for the iphone and ipad I see a lot of people asking for a Chaos Engine rerelease which from my understanding is being done by another company right now.

GOL: Are you planning anymore oldschool remakes?

MB: I would really love to remake the game Constructor. A few other games would be death rally and gangsters.

MB: However I don't think I would make a direct remake of gangsters as I could probably come up with a much better game with the graphics and idea.

GOL: I had that game on the Playstation, was very good, would love to see a remake of it!

MB: Ya constructor is another game i feel came out slightly before it's time and really only needed a few upgrades to make it a particularly awesome game. I have been trying to get in contact with someone I have found who has hacked the assets for that game but he has never responded yet.

GOL: Sounds good, keep me posted on that one!

GOL: Well that concludes the main part of the interview, just a few other smaller questions now :)

GOL: Something that has been burning in my mind since we talked a bit about Linux earlier, What is your operating system of choice and why?

MB: The gentoo distribution is probably my OS of choice however I have come to learn that the visual studio development kit is superior to a linux environment development scenario so I have been spending most of my time in windows again.

MB: I also want to mention that considering the Zod Engine is not my first remake I've noticed some particular things about it's community. The most striking thing is how many professionals follow it. The other is how many others wanted to remake it themselves.

MB: I was not actually the first to attempt to remake it. From what I can tell I am at least the 4th. One person even spent over $100k in a bitmap brothers licensed remake.

GOL: Sounds like someone who is either really that dedicated...or just has too much spare money :D

GOL: Any favourite open source games at the moment?

MB: I don't actually play games anymore but I do try to follow other similar open source remakes such and openra to see what tricks and features they are using to get the community more interested. There are a lot of complications with trying to get people interested in actually actively playing a remake. It is quite a science of it's own which is most parallel with general game design theories.

MB: I do try to put a commercial spin on my remakes even though they are open source which causes me to work towards commercial quality output and a scientific study of the players and their experience etc. Which is by far the most unique thing about my efforts.

MB: However with the bitmap brothers "unabandoning" Z things have become complicated in that department. I have also seen Death Rally unabandoned in the same way, and technically Constructor still makes sales as it is.

MB: I can't get openra to run on my computer sadly, their graphics requirements are too strick. I think there is a lot I could teach them.

GOL: Well that's it for the questions I have

GOL: This has been the most fun and informative interview I have done so far, but shhh don't tell anyone...;)

MB: haha =) Cool, ya when it comes to projects like this I don't see many other people who do it solo.
MB: So I've experienced a lot more

GOL: Any notes you would like to end on for GOL's readers?

MB: I dunno maybe that open source game projects are very huge things not ment for small teams working together for free. If you see a game or project you are genuinely interested in you need to at least express your interest. If you play or plan to play then you should either donate your time or a few bucks because those developers give up portions of their lifes and a second job or part time masters etc to do these kinds of things.

MB: I could also say a lot on where I see the game industry going and how open source games and open source remakes fit into that but thats a bit more detailed.

MB: When you try to make a game make money you are forced to see how things are really working.

Will put up a few pictures later :)

Remember if you want to be interviewed PM me via the forum or email myself at liamdawe [at] gmail dot com

Family Farm Linux Demo Available
13 April 2011 at 7:42 pm UTC

Good to see yet another game coming to Software Centre.

Not sure what to make of the game though, will try the demo and see how it fairs.

The Humble Frozenbyte Bundle
14 April 2011 at 9:08 pm UTC

Yeah i read that, another good reason if more games come to Linux, people who like the games want to improve drivers, we all win!

The Humble Frozenbyte Bundle
13 April 2011 at 8:34 am UTC

Well i found info on their blog about things so i have updated the first post for Jack Claw.

I don't know any "high profile" game that works right on open source drivers.

Tested Shadowgrounds Survivor and Trine, both work great for me :D, gives me more things to do on my time off in the weather is cack! This bundle came at just the right time for me!

The Humble Frozenbyte Bundle
12 April 2011 at 9:55 am UTC

Yeah i will probably buy it as well.

Not just to have a better download link for shadowground since i already own it, but it's a good cause.

Quoting: "MaximB, post: 1539"Although I already have some of the games I'll definitely contribute more.

And I've been told by the developers that the "Windows" game in the bundle is being ported to Linux and Mac.

O, and they fixed a lot of bugs in the SG games (which made the game unstable and crashed it very often).


Can you point us to where the developers said they are porting the game?

Also where is a link to what has changed/been fixed in the HB shadowgrounds?

Tux Games Sale!
9 April 2011 at 11:50 am UTC

Pitty as there is a few games i want but i don't get paid until 21st, typical.

Monster Rpg 2
7 April 2011 at 9:53 am UTC

I've tested it a bit on Ubuntu 11.04 with open source AMD drivers, no problems all pretty smooth.