Open Source Video Game - History - Rise in Popularity and Diversity

Rise in Popularity and Diversity

Individuals and teams have continued creating many popular free software games, starting really in the late 1990s to the present day. Many of these are clones such as Pingus (Lemmings clone), SuperTux and Secret Maryo Chronicles (Super Mario Bros-inspired), WarMUX and Hedgewars (Worms) as well as Frets on Fire, which is a recreation of Guitar Hero. A number of these games and those mentioned earlier and later in this section have even received mainstream press coverage and have helped to establish free gaming as a moderately popular pastime, even if mostly enjoyed by Linux and BSD users. Frozen Bubble, originally a clone of Puzzle Bobble, has become a classic known for its addictive gameplay and winner of many Linux Journal reader's choice awards. These games and others have also helped expand the prevalent Tux genre which started with titles and like A Quest for Herring and are related to the activist content of games like XBill. More unique games like Neverball, another 3D title, have also been able to carve out their own niches.

Strategy games have also been a prevalent force in free software gaming, partly due to the lack of proprietary strategy games for free software operating systems as compared to other genres like first-person shooters and role playing games. FreeCiv began the trend, and was followed by other clone titles like FreeCol, LinCity and Widelands. The Stratagus project began as an attempt to recreate the proprietary Warcraft II engine, under the name FreeCraft. Blizzard Entertainment sent a cease and desist letter in 2003 over the use of the name "craft" in comparison to Warcraft and StarCraft. Though the earlier free software strategy game CRAFT: The Vicious Vikings shared the name "craft" without controversy.

With the new, legally inoffensive name Stratagus, the team began work on a new strategy game called Bos Wars. Development on this game still continues, as well as the modern Warcraft II port Wargus. Other games branched out of the engine project as well such as the Battle for Mandicor and Astroseries projects and the StarCraft port attempt Stargus. After the Stratagus example, other real time strategy games were developed, such as Globulation 2, which experiments with game management mechanics, 0 A.D., a former freeware project, and the 3D projects Spring and Glest. In addition, the more economically driven strategy game Widelands bases itself upon the proprietary Settlers franchise.

Racing games, another uncommon Linux commercial genre, has also seen development with TORCS and VDrift, as well as the Mario Kart-inspired SuperTuxKart. WorldForge is another example of increasing diversification, in its attempt to create a free massively multiplayer online role playing game. Free software is also the main source for educational and children's software specifically for Linux, usually utilizing the child appeal of the Tux mascot, such as Tux Paint, Tux, of Math Command, Tux Typing and related efforts.

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