The Brilliance of Dwarf Fortress – The New York Times

Dwarf Fortress is barely a blip on the mainstream radar, but it’s an object of intense cult adoration. Its various versions have been downloaded in the neighborhood of a million times… At bottom, Dwarf Fortress mounts an argument about play. Many video games mimic the look and structure of films: there’s a story line, more or less fixed, that progresses­ only when you complete required tasks. This can make for gripping fun, but also the constrictive sense that you are a mouse in a tricked-out maze, chasing chunks of cheese. Tarn envisions Dwarf Fortress, by contrast, as an open-ended “story generator.” He and Zach grew up playing computer games with notebooks in hand, drawing their own renditions of the randomly generated creatures they encountered and logging their journeys in detail. Dwarf Fortress, which never unfolds the same way twice, takes that spirit of supple, fully engaged play to the extreme

Source: The Brilliance of Dwarf Fortress – The New York Times

A game-making app for everyone? – Offworld

Of the other tools I wrote about, Scratch, a free tool designed for kids, is still about perfect. And Twine has blossomed into a beautiful orchid beyond my wildest dreams. But as far as graphical game-making tools go, I find myself wishing more tools were like Warioware D.I.Y. for the Nintendo DS, whose servers finally went offline a couple of years ago. Although it has some painful shortcomings, there’s lots to learn from what it got right, in the hopes other toolsets can take those lessons on.

Source: A game-making app for everyone? – Offworld

Panda3D – Free 3D Game Engine

Panda3D – Free 3D Game Engine.

  • Convenient installer packages for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux
  • Only one external dependency: working graphics driver
  • Sample programs run right out of Start Menu
  • No compilation step needed
  • All Python versions from about 2.4 to newest 2.x supported
  • Highly optimized: all core functionality in C++
  • Thoroughly-tested: two commercial MMOs in Python
  • Panda3D structures garbage collected when using Python
  • Manual and sample programs use Python

Unity 5 is free – is jMonkeyEngine still relevant?jMonkeyEngine

Unity 5 is free – is jMonkeyEngine still relevant?jMonkeyEngine.

This just in: Physically Based Rendering isn’t dark magic, cross platform publishing is not the thing of fairy tales, and a solid asset pipeline is not exclusive to a million dollar budget. They’re not easy; faaar from it. But as long as we can show that these things can be accomplished by a part-time hobbyist just for the heck of it, the end user gets a fair price (i.e. free!), and our fellow hardcore misfits will continue trying to solve the most difficult problems the industry has to offer.

Unity 5 is free – is jMonkeyEngine still relevant?jMonkeyEngine

Unity 5 is free – is jMonkeyEngine still relevant?jMonkeyEngine.

The game development industry just got hit by a tidalwave of free. Unity 5, Unreal Engine 4 and Source 2 all give away their flagship product for free now. They’re all different brands of “free”, but who cares? The average game developer certainly won’t. The little guy now has access to more tools than what could be mastered in a lifetime. There’s absolutely no excuse any longer: Go make that game!

But.., what about open source? What about it indeed. Glue a Stallman beard on me and call me an idealist, but I actually believe there’s no stopping open source (in game development) at this point. Open source is a feature, and an incredibly appealing one as such. When you start competing to be “the most free”, open source is the inevitable end-game.

Why video game engines may power the future of film and architecture | The Verge

Why video game engines may power the future of film and architecture | The Verge:

Today, Epic Games faces more competition than ever, both as a developer and an engine maker. To retain its dominant spot in the industry, one established over the past two decades, the company is making aggressive moves to attract new designers to the engine.

“Everything we’re doing now is about iteration,” says Sweeney. “We’re developing the engine live. We’re doing both incremental improvement and major new systems and features, all simultaneously. This is it. This is what we’re going to be doing for the next decade. If over the course of this constant stream of new things we’re developing, if at some point we call it Unreal Engine 5, that will be a version number rather than some top secret project that eventually sees the light of day.”

Unreal Engine 4 Is Now Free for All Budding Game Developers

Unreal Engine 4 Is Now Free for All Budding Game Developers:

Today Epic Games, made it possible for anyone to become a game developer with Unreal Engine 4. The Unreal Engine has been used to develop games on almost every platform there is, including Windows, OS X, Linux, Xbox, Playstation, iOS, and Android. Now you can download and use it for free and get all future updates for free as well. The small catch is that you have to pay a 5% royalty on gross revenue after the first $3,000 per product, per quarter, of whatever you make. Considering how versatile the engine is, though, it’s a small price to pay for complete access to their software with no upfront licensing fees. You can download Unreal Engine 4 at the link below.