games

Learning with TuxMath

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. Luckily, you can find an algebra tutor or other resources to help with comprehension. 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).

Free-licensed art for free software games: OpenGameArt.org

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.

Red Hat packagers dance around frivolous music game software patents

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.

Computer role-playing games for GNU/Linux

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.

Freeing an old game

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”.

Introduction

Linux software: the kid's plan for an icy day

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.

Ryzom: a free MMORPG?

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

Let’s get Ron Gilbert on our side

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.

Free software game favorites

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).

(Screenshots!)

The demo experience

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.

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