Libre Game Recommendations List

Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby onpon4 » 15 Mar 2018, 21:51

I linked to this in another topic, but I'd like to give it its own topic, so it can be discussed.

I've recently decided to compile a list of really good libre games, to the point that they're worth recommending on their own merits (not just because they're libre). It's here:

http://onpon4.github.io/articles/libre-games.html

So far, I have identified around 60 such games. I'd appreciate any comments, and any suggestions for others to add.
User avatar
onpon4
 
Posts: 499
Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 18:38

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby c_xong » 15 Mar 2018, 22:52

It's a good list and complements other lists of games like osgameclones.com well.

What is the target audience for this list? Is it for FOSS game advocates looking for games that they can recommend? If so there are some ways the list can be improved
- Reasons for inclusion in the list; http://onpon4.github.io/articles/reject ... games.html was more interesting to read because it had short explanations for why a game was rejected, likewise, you can explain why a game made the list
- A thumbnail image or gif for each game
- Genre information

I recommend you check out http://www.battleforthesolarsystem.com/games/pw/, although I haven't finished the game and I found the pacing inconsistent, it's a polished game with lots of content and a big campaign.
User avatar
c_xong
 
Posts: 234
Joined: 06 Sep 2013, 04:33

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby themightyglider » 15 Mar 2018, 23:31

A nice list!

Like c_xong said a few additional infos (like genre) would be nice.

Here are a few more games you should check out:

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (Roguelike) - is one of the most important FOSS roguelikes today and has a great community.

IVAN (Roguelike) - Has a great sense of humor. A totaly underrated game.

Tanks of Freedom (TBS) - Not finished yet, but fully playable and very polished.

Story of the lost Sky (TBS) - A touhou-fangame. Nothing big but if you are looking for a game that entertains you for just a few hours this is a good choice.

Flare (RPG) - Just reached v1.0 and got a first campiain. I didn't tested it yet but its previous versions were very promising.
User avatar
themightyglider
 
Posts: 125
Joined: 23 Feb 2016, 12:13

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby onpon4 » 15 Mar 2018, 23:45

Yeah, that's about it: games that are worth recommending or, if you're just looking to try some games, ones that are worth trying. The basic idea is if someone asks me what kinds of games are worth trying, I can just send them to the page and leave them on their way.

The only reason any game is on the list is because:

1. it's fun;
2. it stands out from other games; and
3. it's a complete game that's ready to play right now.

I suppose I could add short explanations for what makes these games stand out, though; that would be nice.

I haven't tried The Pandorian War yet. Does it feel complete, with a proper ending and such? If so, that might be a good one to check out.

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup (Roguelike) - is one of the most important FOSS roguelikes today and has a great community.

Oh, is it? I should check it out then. I've seen it in the repo multiple times, but always passed over it because the name sounded generic. Thanks!

IVAN (Roguelike) - Has a great sense of humor. A totaly underrated game.

I've never heard of that one. I'll have to check it out.

Tanks of Freedom (TBS) - Not finished yet, but fully playable and very polished.

I'll take a look. I've heard that name before, but I'm not familiar with it. Thanks!

Story of the lost Sky (TBS) - A touhou-fangame. Nothing big but if you are looking for a game that entertains you for just a few hours this is a good choice.

"Nothing big" is fine, but if it's just a typical Touhou-like game, it won't be any good for this list. I'll take a look in any case. Thanks!

Flare (RPG) - Just reached v1.0 and got a first campiain. I didn't tested it yet but its previous versions were very promising.

I've always had trouble running this game IIRC. I'll give it another shot.
User avatar
onpon4
 
Posts: 499
Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 18:38

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby onpon4 » 16 Mar 2018, 02:46

I've added brief descriptions. How does that look?
User avatar
onpon4
 
Posts: 499
Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 18:38

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby Magellan » 16 Mar 2018, 04:30

Very cool list! There are a lot of games on there that I have never heard of... Time to get playing I guess :D

A couple of potential recommendations from me:

* Endless Sky - A top-down spaceship action/strategy game. Very cool and extensive, lots of replayability. It has a lot of world-building and narration too, which is pretty cool.

* Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead - A hybrid roguelike/simulation game where you play as a survivor during a zombie apocalypse. CDDA is huge (like, nearly Dwarf Fortress levels of huge) and has an active dev and player community.

Reading your list makes me want to put together one of my own :)
I make Let's Play videos of FOSS games. You can find them on DTube and VidLii. I have also made a few small Free Software games, available on my GitHub page.
User avatar
Magellan
 
Posts: 36
Joined: 24 Mar 2017, 02:25
Location: USA

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby onpon4 » 16 Mar 2018, 06:17

Thanks for the suggestions. I actually forgot about Endless Sky, and that reminds me of another game I think I should try: Nox Imperii.

Also reminds me of the GUI enhancement I want to do for Naev. xD

Anyway, I gave Endless Sky a quick run, and while it looks like it will be a fantastic game, I was rather put off by how quiet it is. There's no soundtrack or even ambient noise. I consider this to be a production quality problem for a game like this.

I also wish it supported doing more things with the mouse, though that's not in itself a deal-breaker.

One other thing I noticed, though I'm not sure about it, is that Endless Sky seems to be not all that different from Escape Velocity. I've never played the Escape Velocity games, but I took a look at some gameplay footage, and I couldn't tell any particular difference except for the loan shark at the beginning and the fact that you pick the ship you start out with. Perhaps I just didn't play long enough.

Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead sounds interesting, but I wasn't successful when I tried to compile it just now. I'll have to look more into it later.
User avatar
onpon4
 
Posts: 499
Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 18:38

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby leilei » 17 Mar 2018, 01:31

It's Word War vi.

Armagetron Advanced is still a clone of the traditional Tron light cycles game. It'd fit in with your rejects list given your confusing and hypocritical determination on what a clone is and what defines 'distinction' and what's not allowed because it is technically a non-clone (based on original source but with new data), etc.

Flight of the Amazon Queen isn't completely libre and seems an odd duck on the list. It's not in the same librated tier as Dink and Warzone, and if that's included you might as well include the rest of the freeasinbeer-data adventure games for ScummVM. Beneath a Steel Sky's an excellent game that's oddly on the rejects list, it's one of the more unique pointandclicks out there....

SDL-Sopwith is very much lacking. Also this one and this one, both of which sadly don't get enough love for not being born from a *nix programmer's mailing list argument.

offtopicish - a win9x compatibility list based on this list.
User avatar
leilei
 
Posts: 147
Joined: 03 Apr 2012, 02:53

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby onpon4 » 17 Mar 2018, 06:38

leilei {l Wrote}:It's Word War vi.

Thanks for the correction. Fixed.

Armagetron Advanced is still a clone of the traditional Tron light cycles game. It'd fit in with your rejects list given your confusing and hypocritical determination on what a clone is and what defines 'distinction' and what's not allowed because it is technically a non-clone (based on original source but with new data), etc.

The reason Armagetron Advanced is included is because production-wise and gameplay-wise, it's far superior to the original 2-D, top-down game with (by today's standards) very basic graphics. Just for comparison, consider two other games: SuperTuxKart and XScavenger, which are on the "rejected" list.

If SuperTuxKart came out with very significant, distinguishing features that the current Mario Kart games don't have, or if it came out with a massive graphics overhaul that made it substantially better than the current Mario Kart games (which would be highly unlikely, it must be said), then SuperTuxKart would be added to the list too. As it is, while I like SuperTuxKart and appreciate what it's trying to do, it's stuck playing catch-up with Mario Kart for the most part. It doesn't even have online play yet, which is essential for a game like this in the modern age.

XScavenger is substantially improved, production-wise, over the original Lode Runner. If that was the end of the story, it would be added. However, the story doesn't end there: throughout the years, there have been several proprietary Lode Runner remakes, and several of them are better still than XScavenger. One of the best ones, Lode Runner: The Legend Returns (and its sequel, Lode Runner Online) is even much older than XScavenger. This old proprietary remake adds much more advanced graphics, several terrain types, several new items introducing all kinds of new game variations, great music, 2-player support, and support for putting items inside of terrain. XScavenger, on the other hand, only adds support for a gold piece you're rewarded for collecting first, and a special one-time enemy you find in the ground somewhere and kill permanently, plus graphics that are better than the original, but nowhere near as good as Lode Runner: The Legend Returns and other proprietary remakes of Lode Runner (like the XBLA version). It doesn't even begin to stack up. So while I like XScavenger (or rather, the SDL version of it, "SDLScav"), it has been rejected for inclusion on this list.

Note that Armagetron Advanced isn't the only game to get this treatment on my list. Other such games include: Criticalmass, Dopewars, Rocks'n'Diamonds, and SolarWolf.

I am of course willing to entertain arguments for any currently rejected games to be listed.

Flight of the Amazon Queen isn't completely libre and seems an odd duck on the list. It's not in the same librated tier as Dink and Warzone, and if that's included you might as well include the rest of the freeasinbeer-data adventure games for ScummVM. Beneath a Steel Sky's an excellent game that's oddly on the rejects list, it's one of the more unique pointandclicks out there....

Flight of the Amazon Queen is under a libre license. There's no source code, I'll grant, but I feel like the ScummVM-supported code has been reverse-engineered to the extent that it's a minor point. If you would like to argue against that, your first step should be to report its presence in Trisquel's repository as a bug. If GNU FSDG distros were to stop including libre-licensed ScummVM games for that reason, I would probably remove Amazon Queen from my list despite my disagreement.

As far as Beneath a Steel Sky goes, I found it to be a very poorly designed point-and-click advenure game, based on pixel hunts more than anything, and I found its production quality (especially its soundtrack) to be lacking. I don't know why you say it's "unique"; nothing about the interface stands out to me, the setting is just a run-of-the-mill dystopia, the story is bland and forgettable, and the gameplay mostly involves a massive game of trial and error combined with wandering all over the place. Actually, my strongest memory of this game is listening to the atrocious music on... what is, it the second level?... for hours on end just trying to get out of there already.

So Beneath a Steel Sky is on the rejects list because it's nothing special as far as point-and-click adventure games go. It's on par gameplay-wise with something like King's Quest V at best (but at least that game was entertainingly bad; Beneath a Steel Sky was equally bad while being insanely boring), and production-wise it's horrible.

SDL-Sopwith is very much lacking.

Hm, I've played that briefly before and found it to be a completely unremarkable game. I'll try it again to make sure, though.

Also this one and this one, both of which sadly don't get enough love for not being born from a *nix programmer's mailing list argument.

I notice that it's only made available for Windows and DOS(Box). What is the reason for this?
User avatar
onpon4
 
Posts: 499
Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 18:38

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby O01eg » 17 Mar 2018, 07:54

FreeOrion - 4X sci-fi TBS inspired by Master of Orion.
Public FreeOrion multiplayer server: https://freeorion-test.dedyn.io/
Donates for FreeOrion multiplayer improvements: BTC:14XLekD9ifwqLtZX4iteepvbLQNYVG87zK
O01eg
 
Posts: 50
Joined: 17 Sep 2012, 11:15
Location: Russia

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby Julius » 17 Mar 2018, 09:19

I guess the point was to highlight not so well known FOSS games, but then it is strange that the list includes very well known ones such as Xonotic and Megaglest. If it is meant to be a more general list, than for sure it needs 0 A.D. ;)
User avatar
Julius
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 2424
Joined: 06 Dec 2009, 14:02

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby onpon4 » 17 Mar 2018, 14:52

It's not just not so well known games, but isn't 0 A.D. in an alpha state? I've never played it, but it's clearly labelled as an alpha. Games that are in an alpha state or feel incomplete are excluded from this list (the only reason Ardentryst, Plee the Bear, and Naev are excluded from the list).

It looks like FreeOrion is, according to the developers, in an alpha state too:

http://www.freeorion.org/index.php/FAQ# ... g_is_it.3F

"The game is currently playable, but probably only fun to the more hard-core fans of the genre. Many features have been implemented, but many others are not. Much of the content is provisional, and unbalanced. In other words, it'll be a while till it is finished."

I exclude all alpha-state games because this list is for recommendations that definitely apply now, not ones that may apply in a few years; and this is a list of recommendations for players, not developers.

So just to clarify, O01eg and Julius, do you disagree with the FreeOrion developers and the 0 A.D. developers (respectively) that these games are in an alpha state? If so, I'll give them a try and evaluate them.
User avatar
onpon4
 
Posts: 499
Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 18:38

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby Julius » 17 Mar 2018, 17:30

0 A.D. is definitely not a real alpha, but you probably get more enjoyment out of it in multiplayer as the enemy A.I. for skirmishes is not that good.
User avatar
Julius
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 2424
Joined: 06 Dec 2009, 14:02

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby onpon4 » 17 Mar 2018, 18:09

Hm... I think I'll go with the developers' statement for now:

"Currently, 0 A.D. is still in alpha phase, which means an early experimental phase. It is playable, and you can already download and test the game, but some features are still missing."

I'm sure it's very fun to play, but as long as the developers say that it's an alpha in an "early experimental phase", it's probably best not to recommend it to the general gaming public; and the fact that you know of a particular problem that makes the single-player mode not very fun further confirms this decision for me.
User avatar
onpon4
 
Posts: 499
Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 18:38

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby onpon4 » 17 Mar 2018, 18:21

Can someone comment on OpenTTD? I've heard that it's substantially improved from Transport Tycoon Deluxe, but in what particular ways? I'll have to playtest it, of course, but since I haven't played Transport Tycoon Deluxe, I'll need to know what in particular to look at.
User avatar
onpon4
 
Posts: 499
Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 18:38

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby dulsi » 17 Mar 2018, 20:40

Is "Sleep Is Death" an open source game? Source code doesn't appear to be available without purchase.
dulsi
 
Posts: 236
Joined: 18 Feb 2016, 15:24

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby onpon4 » 18 Mar 2018, 03:10

"Open source" does not mean "available without cost". When you buy Sleep Is Death, you get the source code, and it's in the public domain (like everything else Jason Rohrer has written). So yes, it's open source, and more importantly, it's libre.
User avatar
onpon4
 
Posts: 499
Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 18:38

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby onpon4 » 18 Mar 2018, 06:35

I just played the version of Flare available in Trisquel's repo (which is the 0.18 alpha version) for the first time, and what a nice gem I've missed all these years! I'll have to test version 1.0 to be sure (and preferably get through a good chunk of the campaign), but it's looking very likely that it's going to be in the recommendations list.
User avatar
onpon4
 
Posts: 499
Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 18:38

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby charlie » 19 Mar 2018, 00:39

I would say 0AD and FreeOrion are only in alpha state in so much as you might argue SuperTuxKart pre-0.9 was considered alpha. They are still fully playable games and are both very well done.
Free Gamer - it's the dogz
Vexi - web UI platform
User avatar
charlie
Global Moderator
 
Posts: 2063
Joined: 02 Dec 2009, 11:56
Location: Manchester, UK

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby onpon4 » 19 Mar 2018, 05:10

What cemented it for me for FreeOrion was that the developers specifically assert that some of what's missing makes it "only fun to the more hard-core fans of the [4X] genre". My list is not for hardcore 4X fans; it's for general audiences. It would be like listing Naev; Naev is very fun as it is now (certainly "fully playable" and "very well done"), and it's quite great if (like me) you're a huge fan of space adventure/exploration sandbox games. But I still refuse to recommend Naev through my list because it's clearly incomplete and would disappoint general audiences.

As for 0 A.D., the developers describe it as "experimental", which tellls me that it still needs testing, and that anything can change at the drop of a hat.

Moreover, if a game is considered to be in "alpha" or "early development", it could very easily happen that things could go out of whack in between releases. It could easily happen, for example, that a release file is broken and fixing it has low priority because the game is still in development, or it could be that builds are unavailable for an extended period of time for this same reason. Furthermore, most developers are not going to be shy about showing the rough edges in alpha releases, so you could have things like research paths that go nowhere, or buildings that do nothing, or obvious test maps, in some alpha releases. These kinds of things would be fine for hardcore fans who just really like games of the genre, but general audiences could easily find this sort of thing confusing and frustrating.
User avatar
onpon4
 
Posts: 499
Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 18:38

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby Julius » 19 Mar 2018, 13:19

onpon4 {l Wrote}:As for 0 A.D., the developers describe it as "experimental", which tellls me that it still needs testing, and that anything can change at the drop of a hat.


After almost two decades of 0 A.D. development this is probably an inside joke or the result of way too ambitious goals. Yes the pathfinder performance and enemy A.I. needs some work and there isn't a campaign mode, but otherwise 0 A.D. is a fully stable and well featured game. Just try it yourself :)
User avatar
Julius
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 2424
Joined: 06 Dec 2009, 14:02

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby onpon4 » 20 Mar 2018, 06:16

OK, I did, and I don't see what all the fuss is. It seems like a nice RTS, but not so amazing that it needs to be recommended to the general public immediately.

I also agree that it's in an alpha state. I didn't play a game myself (mostly because I am not experienced with it), instead I just observed two A.I. players playing for a bit. And it was quite slow, around 20 FPS at normal speed (10 at 2x speed). Additionally, I note that a lot of sound effects are missing, and if I may be blunt, the visuals are not that great. In fact, I can clearly see why the developers are so insistent on alerting players that the game is in an alpha state: if general audiences were to see 0 A.D. as it is now and misinterpret it as a complete game, they would be frustrated by its slow speed, even moreso with its lackluster graphics.

So no, I will not be recommending 0 A.D. right now. I'll re-evaluate it when it's finished.
User avatar
onpon4
 
Posts: 499
Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 18:38

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby Julius » 20 Mar 2018, 13:28

Ok, fine. Totally up to you of course. But your assessment of "lackluster graphics" is probably a bit controversial :p
0 A.D. (on a sufficiently fast PC) is in my opinion among the top 3 FOSS games with the best graphics (of course comparing it to commercial titles is another story).
User avatar
Julius
Community Moderator
 
Posts: 2424
Joined: 06 Dec 2009, 14:02

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby onpon4 » 20 Mar 2018, 16:46

Maybe that was a bit harsh, but what I meant was that a lot of the animation is wonky and there should be particle effects in some places that aren't there. Really small things, but if I notice it, general audiences will notice it too.
User avatar
onpon4
 
Posts: 499
Joined: 13 Mar 2014, 18:38

Re: Libre Game Recommendations List

Postby rogerdv » 22 Mar 2018, 18:41

Julius {l Wrote}:Ok, fine. Totally up to you of course. But your assessment of "lackluster graphics" is probably a bit controversial :p
0 A.D. (on a sufficiently fast PC) is in my opinion among the top 3 FOSS games with the best graphics (of course comparing it to commercial titles is another story).


I agree with that. The graphics are not that bad, and anyway, who cares about graphics when playing RTS games?
User avatar
rogerdv
 
Posts: 257
Joined: 10 Dec 2009, 18:26

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest