Rote learning of "math facts" is one of the really dull aspects of grade-school mathematics. But if you can't recall them quickly, it can really hold you back even in higher mathematical disciplines, because it just slows you down. My son's been struggling with this for some time now, with traditional solutions like flash cards just not working very well. With "Tux of Math Command", otherwise known as "TuxMath", though, he's making considerable progress at overcoming his "wall" with math. Homework times are getting shorter because his recall speed is getting much better with just one or two games a day -- an easy goal to reach because the games are actually fun (Seriously. I play it myself now and then).
Today I happened upon a site I really, really wish had been there in 2000 when I started my own game project. Free software games often suffer from poorly-executing graphics, simply because it's a real challenge coordinating both the artistic and software needs of a project. Few developers are good at both, and so it makes sense to accumulate commonly-needed elements in one place.
Sadly, there's nothing genuinely new about this story, but a recent discussion on the Fedora Games mailing list demonstrates the sort of chilling effect on innovation and impoverishment of the intellectual commons that occurs today because of a broken, outmoded US patent system and its misapplication to software. I'm at a loss for words to express how absurd these "patents" are.
Of all the various types of computers games out there, my favorite is the computer role-playing game, or CRPG for short. Almost everyone has heard of classic CRPGs like Ultima, Baldur’s Gate, and Fall Out, but what about free software CRPGs? In this article, I take a peek at what’s out there.
All my previous posts were pretty much technical in essence, and several were related to my work habits: 3D desktop productivity enhancements, virtual machines, etc.
This time, I’ll go back to something else entirely: GAMES!
Do you remember that old game that you used to play all the time? Do you still play it? It probably isn’t free software. Do you wish it was? Sometimes writing a clone of a game is a lot of work compared to the amount of work it takes to relicense one. Here is a story about how one group of people are going about freeing the game known as “Moria”.
Those of you that are fans of car racing will probably recognize this post's title as the famous phrase that gives the official start to the Indianapolis 500. If it happens that you are a fan of both car racing and free software, you may well be interested in TORCS (The Open Racing Cars Simulator).
Hi, it's B and G, the little kids in this house. We've had a lot of ice lately. The TV says we may even lose the electricity. Dad said he needed to write his blog early this weekend. But right now, he is walking around the living room and griping about writer's block. He looks kinda funny.
So we sneaked in here to say what we don't like and do like about the computer. The adults have said what they liked, now it is the kid's turn.
MMORPGs, or Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games, are fairly popular in the proprietary gaming world. Rather than playing a game all by yourself on a computer in your own dark room, you could be playing a game all by yourself on a computer in your own dark room---but against thousands of other people who play the same game on-line along with, or against, your character in the game, adding an intriguing social edge to the genre. Unfortunately, no such game currently exists in the free software world. Not yet, anyway.
Nevrax and Ryzom
One business model that I’m surprised hasn’t been further explored for funding free software is advertising. Ads have been a standard way to make “free” media pay in countries like the USA, where advertising-based commercial television broadcasting has been the dominant medium for decades.
Ron Gilbert can’t find any support for his new game project. Who’s to blame? Well, Gilbert cites unimaginative publishers who are too short-sighted to appreciate his concept. Perhaps it’s time that Gilbert considered the alternative to proprietary game development. Perhaps it’s time we offered him this alternative.
Midsummer seems like a perfect day for a posting on GNU/Linux games! I decided to talk to my family about their favorites. My sons play these things for hours at a time, and spend more hours creating new game levels for them (a favorite activity, which free software games are particularly suited to, since level editors are almost always included). So, it seemed like a pretty natural thing to ask them, as the local expert game testers, what they liked the most. Afterwards, I decided to figure out my own favorites, and my daughter's (she's too little to answer for herself, but it's not hard to figure out what she likes to play with).
I may qualify myself as a power user sometimes - I'm not afraid to go dabbling in a system merely using a command line interface and an alien looking text editor (alien looking to those who think Notepad is pushing it in terms of bareness).
Still, some very enjoyable experiences are still difficult to have under Linux - for purely technical reasons.