Thoughts on the Free Game Alliance

The place for chatting and discussing subjects unrelated to Wesnoth.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

Post Reply
uncleshelby
Posts: 427
Joined: May 10th, 2011, 7:20 pm

Thoughts on the Free Game Alliance

Post by uncleshelby » October 24th, 2011, 11:44 pm

I was just wondering what all you Ladies and Gentlemen thought about the Free Game Alliance.

I think it looks really cool. I've hated trying to find the best game in a certain category whether I Google it or look through the Ubuntu Repos, and I think this is really cool.
Timshel

User avatar
Pentarctagon
Forum Administrator
Posts: 4057
Joined: March 22nd, 2009, 10:50 pm
Location: Earth (occasionally)

Re: Thoughts on the Free Game Alliance

Post by Pentarctagon » October 25th, 2011, 12:03 am

I was actually going to try planeshift, but unfortunately my college blocks torrents :roll:
99 little bugs in the code, 99 little bugs
take one down, patch it around
-2,147,483,648 little bugs in the code

User avatar
averyimaginativename
Posts: 245
Joined: August 21st, 2010, 12:40 pm
Location: /dev/null

Re: Thoughts on the Free Game Alliance

Post by averyimaginativename » October 25th, 2011, 1:13 am

Not overly keen on the thing.

First, IMO, the only game on the list that deserves singling out is Wesnoth. Planeshift is buggy as hell (in fairness, it's been ages since I last tried it), Megaglest is good for what it is, but feels more like an engine demonstration than an actual game, Rigs of Rods has no specific downfall but is nothing special either, and Xonotic, good as it may be, the lowest common denominator of FPS games are the reason there have been only a handful of decent games in the last decade, and they're surely past their sell by date.

Second, I'm not sure why you'd want to co-promote open source games. Do you want people to play games simply because they're open source? I'd prefer games to be open source, but I'm not going to like them because they're open source. Do you want them to have some sort of shared game world and assets offering some cohesion between the games? Too late for that to happen. Where is Frogatto? Where is Singularity? Where is GNUJump? Where is TORCS? Where is Super Tux Kart? Where is GCompris?

What, exactly, is allied among this "alliance"? It doesn't appear to be very much - in fact, it doesn't appear to be anything at all.

I really don't see how this is any different to the list of "Ten Best Games" you see repeated ad naseum on random blogs. If you take it as just a list of games, then meh, it's fine - but I can't help but feel that if a similar idea had been suggested in the Ideas section on this forum it would have been rejected.
UMC Story Images web gallery

On an indefinite Wesbreak for health reasons - please only try to get my attention for UMC story images website issues.

User avatar
Gambit
Loose Screw
Posts: 3266
Joined: August 13th, 2008, 3:00 pm
Location: Dynamica
Contact:

Re: Thoughts on the Free Game Alliance

Post by Gambit » October 25th, 2011, 12:18 pm

The idea is to take the best games open source has and get them more web exposure. More developers and players to them. Then open source can maybe have one really polished game in a genre instead of fifteen different startups and forks.

As for "where is game X" you'll have to check a few things:
1] They only want one game per genre (No Singularity because they already have MegaGlest) (What genre is GNUJump? Platformer? There are certainly better platformers.)
2] They have standards in quality, well-knownedness, and openness. Given how difficult it was for me to find "Singularity" by google even with you giving me the title, I doubt it will ever be able to get well-known enough.
3] If the first two points fail to disqualify a game then: this thing is only a week old. Give it time.


That said, "they" (the people single person?) running it are not very clear on the details of how they plan to make this happen. I like the idea, but I'm skeptical of the management.

User avatar
artisticdude
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 2424
Joined: December 15th, 2009, 12:37 pm
Location: Somewhere in the middle of everything

Re: Thoughts on the Free Game Alliance

Post by artisticdude » October 25th, 2011, 1:57 pm

Gambit wrote:That said, "they" (the people single person?) running it are not very clear on the details of how they plan to make this happen. I like the idea, but I'm skeptical of the management.
My thoughts exactly. The concept is good, but the methodology is somewhat obscure. Seems like whoever is in charge of the thing is crosses his/their fingers and hopes that more exposure through other FOSS projects will increase the amount and quality of development on all the projects across the board. Thing is, I imagine a fair number of the members of any one particular FOSS project are already familiar with most of the other projects listed under the alliance, so I don't imagine they will get much more exposure than they already had to begin with.

I'm no expert in these matters, so I very well could be barking up the wrong tree here. But that's how I see it.
"I'm never wrong. One time I thought I was wrong, but I was mistaken."

User avatar
averyimaginativename
Posts: 245
Joined: August 21st, 2010, 12:40 pm
Location: /dev/null

Re: Thoughts on the Free Game Alliance

Post by averyimaginativename » October 25th, 2011, 2:30 pm

Gambit wrote:<snip>
You've answered the wrong "why". Maybe I should have found a better way to word it, because
That said, "they" (the people single person?) running it are not very clear on the details of how they plan to make this happen. I like the idea, but I'm skeptical of the management.
is pretty much what I was getting at, just with a bit more scepticism.


Also this
What genre is GNUJump? Platformer?
raises another question. GNUJump is a platformer, I suppose - but I'd considered it a Casual Game to be compared to, say, Farmville or Bejewelled rather than a Platform Game to be compared to Frogatto. Where does one genre end and another begin? That's a very important question if you can only have one of each.



Oh, and Singularity lives here. Completely different type of game, but like Nethack in that you think it's crap at first and wonder what the hype is all about, then the next thing you know you've spent ten hours solid on it.
UMC Story Images web gallery

On an indefinite Wesbreak for health reasons - please only try to get my attention for UMC story images website issues.

User avatar
Gambit
Loose Screw
Posts: 3266
Joined: August 13th, 2008, 3:00 pm
Location: Dynamica
Contact:

Re: Thoughts on the Free Game Alliance

Post by Gambit » October 25th, 2011, 3:49 pm

averyimaginativename wrote: Oh, and Singularity lives here.
In perfect demonstration of the problem I pointed out with that game (just from the standpoint of including it in the FGA) the Singularity I found earlier was an open source RTS (hence why I said MegaGlest's being there disqualified it) and that's apparently the wrong game? :lol2:

There's also a commercial shooter by that name. And wouldn't you know it, one of the only tools Microsoft has ever opened up the source on has that title too.

It's the Isle de Muerta of the internet apparently.

User avatar
Crendgrim
Moderator Emeritus
Posts: 1328
Joined: October 15th, 2010, 10:39 am
Location: Germany

Re: Thoughts on the Free Game Alliance

Post by Crendgrim » October 25th, 2011, 5:15 pm

There has been some interesting discussion on the FreeGameDev forums about this: http://forum.freegamedev.net/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2097
I personally find it interesting that Planeshift itself isn't completely open source (as they license their art, music etc. under a proprietary license as Frogatto does it), yet the FGA is being run by planeshift developers... So, it's somehow not really a "Free Game Alliance" if you take "free" as "free as in speech". That's the only bad thing about it IMHO. :?


Crend
UMC Story Images — Story images for your campaign!

User avatar
Boldek
Posts: 576
Joined: April 14th, 2011, 6:37 pm

Re: Thoughts on the Free Game Alliance

Post by Boldek » October 25th, 2011, 9:30 pm

Well, if this big free game alliance shebang is just Wesnoth being added to a list of games for accessibility issues, then who cares? To me, I don't care about it as long as this doesn't change the distribution or development. What is this 'free game alliance' anyway? To me it appears to be a handful of games that hold links to each other. It's not like Wesnoth is gonna get its name on billboards, or ads on websites. As long as it continues to be downloadable and fun, I don't really see the point of this alliance.
Guys I never thought I'd come back to this forum after 8 years this is wild

AI
Developer
Posts: 2394
Joined: January 31st, 2008, 8:38 pm

Re: Thoughts on the Free Game Alliance

Post by AI » October 25th, 2011, 9:33 pm

Singularity has improved a lot since I last played it, but it's still the case that once you have quantum computers, it's basically just a matter of waiting for construction of things, and waiting to gather the trillions you need to create the final type of base.

User avatar
lipk
Developer
Posts: 631
Joined: July 18th, 2011, 1:42 pm
Location: Here and there and everywhere

Re: Thoughts on the Free Game Alliance

Post by lipk » October 31st, 2011, 1:44 pm

I'm curious who preferred the inclusion of MegaGlest over Warzone 2100. One might like the fantasy setting more than the post-apocalyptic, but that's all. Regarding the variety of units/buildings, the size of the tech tree and the maps, Glest is no match for Warzone. And it also has a more sophisticated battle system than the build-and-rush style of Glest.

User avatar
Gambit
Loose Screw
Posts: 3266
Joined: August 13th, 2008, 3:00 pm
Location: Dynamica
Contact:

Re: Thoughts on the Free Game Alliance

Post by Gambit » October 31st, 2011, 5:53 pm

lipk wrote:I'm curious who preferred the inclusion of MegaGlest over Warzone 2100.
Well you have to remember that Warzone was made by a commercial studio with a big budget and a good publisher and then open sourced much later.

The FGA is looking for shining examples of "Look. This is what open source can do." Warzone doesn't really qualify.

User avatar
Rhonda
Site Administrator
Posts: 47
Joined: January 26th, 2008, 9:13 pm
Location: Vienna, Austria, Europe, Earth, Milky Way
Contact:

Re: Thoughts on the Free Game Alliance

Post by Rhonda » November 15th, 2011, 11:56 am

Gambit wrote:
lipk wrote:I'm curious who preferred the inclusion of MegaGlest over Warzone 2100.
Well you have to remember that Warzone was made by a commercial studio with a big budget and a good publisher and then open sourced much later.

The FGA is looking for shining examples of "Look. This is what open source can do." Warzone doesn't really qualify.
Along that reasoning I start to wonder why planeshift then is included. The chosen license for the game data is intentionally highly proprietary. The actual code for the engine might be GPLed, but that's it. Unfortunately, a game is more than just its code, especially when it comes to a rich playing environment and world.

The inclusion of planeshift in the so-called "Free" Game Alliance shows how much the Free part in there really counts, it's rather a lip service than living up to the term and what people understand as being Free, what drives Free software. What you really should understand was written by our own and beloved Jetryl in this very forum, in the GPL Policy thread. If the "Free" Game Alliance would really care about Open Source like they want to promote on their site, then I fail to see how they could include planeshift therein because it doesn't live up to that expectations.

To me this case makes it clear that the FGA isn't worth much of a thought.

Joram
Posts: 366
Joined: September 2nd, 2008, 5:36 am

Re: Thoughts on the Free Game Alliance

Post by Joram » November 15th, 2011, 7:11 pm

If you wonder why Planeshift was included, it's because they're the ones that started the whole thing. :P
The Fires of Pride 0.3, a heavily story based campaign.
On hold while I try and finish my book

User avatar
Jetrel
Art Director
Posts: 7242
Joined: February 23rd, 2004, 3:36 am
Location: Midwest US

Re: Thoughts on the Free Game Alliance

Post by Jetrel » January 18th, 2012, 5:38 am

Rhonda wrote:The inclusion of planeshift in the so-called "Free" Game Alliance shows how much the Free part in there really counts, it's rather a lip service than living up to the term and what people understand as being Free, what drives Free software. What you really should understand was written by our own and beloved Jetryl in this very forum, in the GPL Policy thread. If the "Free" Game Alliance would really care about Open Source like they want to promote on their site, then I fail to see how they could include planeshift therein because it doesn't live up to that expectations.
No contribution to open-source, especially when it's an entire codebase, should be looked down on. It's dangerous to demand all or nothing, because you stand a strong chance of getting "nothing" if you insult people for giving "something".

When you're working for some foundation like debian, or have a fulltime job supporting open-source from somewhere like IBM, Apple, or Google, it's easy to dismiss the economics of open-source - it's easy to imagine you can just open-source everything, and it'll all magically pay for itself. But the reality is that most of us that don't have tenure somewhere are desperately trying to scrape together any means we can to contribute to open-source when practically every economic force is against us doing so.

There are a huge group of people out there who DO support open-source, but don't have some cushy job at google, and they need to earn a living from the software they write. They regularly contribute to open-source projects, but they can't give away everything, because they need to eat. There isn't a way to earn money when someone else can legally distribute your program free-as-in-beer. Consulting, usually cited as the way, is only viable for enterprise software - the other 95% of the market for consumer software, such as all games, has no viable revenue stream for open-source. So these people do what they can - given a choice between open-sourcing nothing, and open-sourcing part of their work, they choose to do as much as they can afford to.

They won't continue to do so if they're not appreciated.
Rhonda wrote: What you really should understand was written by our own and beloved Jetryl in this very forum, in the GPL Policy thread.
It's worth noting none of what I just said contradicts my statements there - in that thread, we were proposing some license change for our art that would force attribution, or restrict reuse. I'm still all in favor of free sharing. But it's unfair to demand more when people are already giving everything they can afford.
Play Frogatto & Friends - a finished, open-source adventure game!

Post Reply