Vincent's blog

GNU/Linux, tech and thoughts

My new game project: tuxomania

GNU/Linux needs more games ! That’ s what I read sometimes from people like me who hope that one day GNU/Linux can become more popular. Anyway, there are already lots of games for this operating system, and most of them are open source. Even some commercial games are available, like Unreal Tournament 2003 I personally own. Works very well 🙂

Since I also want to contribute to the free and open source world, I have decided to make one of my child dreams come true: write my own video game and publish it !

When I was about 8, I started learning Basic because I wanted to be able to write my own games. Later I also learnt Pascal and had some books about how to use assembly and some graphic card hacks that enables to make video games. We were four friends and multiplayer games were not so popular. So I created a game that looks like Enigma, but where the goal was to create a base and kill the other players. Each player controls a ball and is able to modify the whole map by creating floors, walls and holes. The game was in split screen up to four players on the same computer. Unfortunately, I lost the source code… I will maybe write more about this on a separate blog post.

Fortunately nowadays it is much easier to write video games thanks to all the open source libraries like SDL, Allegro, to name a few. So recently I decided to try again to create an open source video game. Its name is Tuxomania and is heavily inspired from an old Amiga game called Clown-O-Mania (see the link for screenshots). It’s a tile-based platform game in isometric 3d. Here is a screenshot of Tuxomania:

You must control Tux the penguin and help him to collect all the pearls to finish the level. Each level may include puzzles, special objects, monsters, etc… In the current version there is only one test level and two types of special platforms: the red one is a teleporter that will transport the player to the next teleporter. The blue platform is some kind of trampoline that makes the player jump and reach the next platform above.

As you can see, the game board itself is only in 2d, but it use a visual effect to make it look 3d by making the ladders join two platforms.  I drew all the graphics by myself using Gimp.

The game is still in an early stage, and I will publish the game in SourceForge as soon as it is more playable and extensible. I already created the project page:

Tuxomania is written in C++ and is based on SDL and OpenGL. I intend to use OpenGL to create particle effects and other to make the game look more fancy. The game will be cross-platform and will also work in Windows. I will post an update here once I am more advanced with its development.

I know there are plenty of people like there like me who still enjoy such old-school platform games 🙂

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