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Open Source

Ask Slashdot: How To Get Old Commercial Software To Be Open-Sourced? 234

Posted by samzenpus
from the set-it-free dept.
First time accepted submitter Optic7 writes "Many gamers have probably dreamed about the idea of an old favorite game or other no longer supported or developed commercial software being converted to an open-source license so that it could be updated to add new features, support new hardware, other operating systems, etc. However, this type of change of license seems exceedingly rare, unless the copyright holder itself decides on its own that it would be beneficial. The only examples I could think of or was able to find in a brief internet search were Blender (3D animation software that had its source code bought from creditors after a crowd-funding campaign) and Warzone 2100 (Game that had its source code released after a successful petition). With those two examples of different strategies in mind, have any of you ever participated in any efforts of this kind, and what did you learn from it that may be useful to someone else attempting the same thing? Even if you have not participated, do you have any suggestions or ideas that may be useful to such an effort?"
Hardware Hacking

SNESDev-RPi: a SNES Adapter For the Raspberry Pi 30

Posted by timothy
from the mashup-with-diagrams dept.
New submitter Blinky0815 writes "I just found what's quite possibly the world's very first SNES-Adapter for the Raspberry Pi. Florian's design helps create what he calls the 'universal console.' His blog explains everything in detail to create your very own 'universal console' at home. His blog has instructions, videos and even a github repository for downloading his software."
Software

Valve Hands Over Its Own Movie-Making Tools To Gamers 68

Posted by Soulskill
from the movies-about-hats dept.
cylonlover writes "Valve has gained a reputation over the years not just for consistently putting out great games, but also for the slick trailers and promo videos that go along with them. But now the developer is turning the tables and handing over its own video-making tools to fans free of charge. With the Source Filmmaker, gamers will be able to direct, animate, and record their own videos as if they were shooting on location inside a video game."
GNU is Not Unix

Liberated Pixel Cup: Art Entries Closed; Code Competition Begins 34

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the race-for-the-cup-continues dept.
Nushio writes "Continuing with the Liberated Pixel Cup coverage: The Art Competition recently finished, and the code portion of the Liberated Pixel Cup has begun. There are some pretty awesome tilesets and assets available for game makers to use, and still plenty of time to make Free Software Games." Entries are due by July 31st. Any Slashdot readers planning on giving it a shot?
Math

World's Hardest Sudoku 179

Posted by Soulskill
from the addition-is-tricky dept.
jones_supa writes "A Finnish PhD in mathematics, Arto Inkala, has allegedly created the world's toughest sudoku puzzle. 'There's no straightforward way to define the difficulty level of a sudoku. I myself doubt if this is the hardest in the world, but definitely harder than my previous ones,' Inkala sets off humbly. The news agencies around Europe are nonetheless excited (Google translation of Finnish original). The particular difficulty in this version lies in the number of deductions you have to make in order to fill in a single number on the grid. 'It is a common misconception that the less initial numbers, the harder the puzzle. The most challenging ones have 21-25', the creator adds."
Open Source

Open Source Morrowind Version 0.16.0 Released 98

Posted by Soulskill
from the with-many-eyes-even-that-many-bugs-are-shallow dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The OpenMW team recently released a new version of their open source engine. While the project is not fully playable yet, the goal is to preserve Morrowind, provide modders a better engine and tool kit for creating their works, and make it cross-platform. Like most open source projects, they are always seeking new contributors. So, what do you think; what's the state of FLOSS games that are not first-person shooters?"
Games

Linux Users Banned From Diablo III Servers 518

Posted by timothy
from the heavy-hand-holding-broad-brush dept.
dartttt writes with word that "Blizzard has banned all Linux users who are playing Diablo III on Linux using Wine." Reader caranha adds that these users have been flagged as "using cheating programs," and that replies from Blizzard support staff so far have upheld these bans. Update: 07/03 16:57 GMT by S :An official response from a Blizzard Community Manager indicates they don't ban people for using Linux. As with most reports of game bans, we have only the word of random gamers that they were banned for the reason they say they were banned.
Businesses

Sony To Acquire Cloud Gaming Company Gaikai for $380 Million 72

Posted by Soulskill
from the streamed-gaming-has-officially-arrived dept.
Sony announced today that they've entered into an agreement to acquire Gaikai, Dave Perry's cloud gaming company, for $380 million. Sony said they will use the company to "establish a new cloud service" which will provide a "broad array of content ranging from immersive core games with rich graphics to casual content anytime, anywhere on a variety of internet-connected devices." The Digital Foundry blog discusses what this means for the gaming industry: "What the deal represents is acceptance from a major console platform holder that gaming is fast approaching its own Netflix or iPod moment — the point where convenience and accessibility to content becomes more important than the inevitable hit to fidelity demanded by the underlying technology. ... The quality of the experience comes down to two specific factors: image integrity and control response. The former is going to require significant increases in bandwidth, because the current 5mbps level needs to rise to 10-15mbps to really solve the artifacting issues that are present in the first-gen cloud systems as they stand right now. But in a world where top-end UK internet connections have leapt from 2mbps to 100mbps in less than a decade, this is only a matter of time."
Quake

Quake 3 Source Code Review 107

Posted by Soulskill
from the sleep-is-for-the-weak dept.
An anonymous reader writes "id Software has a history of releasing the source code for their older games under the GPL. Coder Fabien Sanglard has been taking it upon himself to go through each of these releases, analyze the source code, and post a detailed write-up about it. He's now completed a review of the Quake 3 source code, diving into the details of idTech3. It's an interesting read — he says he was impressed in particular by the 'virtual machines system and the associated toolchain that altogether account for 30% of the code released. Under this perspective idTech3 is a mini operating system providing system calls to three processes.'"
Businesses

The 'Everyone Gets the Source Code, Donations Get You Binaries' Software Model 341

Posted by Soulskill
from the freedom-with-a-side-of-sustainability dept.
TroysBucket writes "One developer who is trying to fund his development work via donations has taken on an 'Everyone gets the source code, donations get you binaries' business model, where he provides installers and binaries directly only to donating users. Quoting: 'A very central goal of everything I am doing, right now, is to show a concrete [and highly documented] way that other developers can fund their own FOSS work. With that in mind One major mistake I made, right off the bat, was that I provided very little direct benefit to people who donate (no “perks”).' Has anyone seen this work well before with other projects?"
Role Playing (Games)

Guild Wars 2 Release Date Announced 128

Posted by Soulskill
from the once-more-unto-the-breach dept.
New submitter Woldry writes "After five years in development, Guild Wars 2 has been given a launch date: August 28, 2012. ArenaNet's aim is to provide 'a living, breathing online world that challenges convention, that's designed for fun instead of grind.' There's a beta weekend planned for July 20-22 for those who have pre-purchased the game (and for those who have gotten legitimate beta keys in advance)." Rock, Paper, Shotgun has a good write-up of some hands-on time during one of the earlier beta weekends, saying, 'Time after time, Guild Wars 2 impressed me with just how carefully no, how smartly everything has been thought out. Those things that annoy us in other games are simply banished here.'
Games

Atari Turns 40 Today 162

Posted by samzenpus
from the back-in-the-day dept.
harrymcc writes "On June 27, 1972, a startup called Atari filed its papers of incorporation. A few months later, it released its first game, Pong. The rest is video game history. I celebrated the anniversary over at TIME.com by chatting with the company's indomitable founder, Nolan Bushnell. From the article: 'Like everyone else who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s, I played them all: Pong, Breakout, Asteroids, Centipede, Millipede, Battlezone, Pole Position, Crystal Castles and my eternal favorite, Tempest. The first computer I bought with my own money was an Atari 400. So when I chatted with Bushnell this week to mark Atari’s 40th anniversary, I felt like I was talking with a man who helped invent my childhood.'" I spent my fair share of time playing Warlords with friends on my 2600.
Japan

Robot Hand Beats You At Rock, Paper, Scissors 100% of the Time 225

Posted by Soulskill
from the we-have-outlived-our-usefulness-as-a-species dept.
wasimkadak writes "This robot hand will play a game of rock, paper, scissors with you. Sounds like fun, right? Not so much, because this particular robot wins every. Single. Time. It only takes a single millisecond for the robot to recognize what shape your hand is in, and just a few more for it to make the shape that beats you, but it all happens so fast that it's more or less impossible to tell that the robot is waiting until you commit yourself before it makes its move, allowing it to win 100% of the time."
Nintendo

Nintendo's Big-Screen 3DS XL Meets Lukewarm Reception 192

Posted by timothy
from the will-need-a-new-set-of-pants dept.
MojoKid writes "Nintendo took the wraps off its new, super-sized 3DS XL handheld on Friday, but reactions have been anything but enthusiastic. The new DS offers a larger set of screens (4.88 inches top / 4.18" bottom), better battery life, and will ship with a copy of New Super Marios 2 but it's launching into a very different market than what the original DS XL faced in 2009. The 3DS XL's battery improvements aren't just icing on the cake — they're seen as remedying a critical problem with the current handheld. It also won't support the second circle pad added by the Circle Pad Pro, which implies Nintendo is ready to kill that peripheral altogether. The other major problem is that a larger screen isn't really what the 3DS needed in order to be more successful."
Facebook

The Death of an HTML5 Game Breeds an Open Source Project 147

Posted by Soulskill
from the game-devs-take-heed dept.
colinneagle writes "German social gaming company Wooga has thrown in the towel on its HTML5 project after seeing little return on the increasing amount of effort put into its Magic Land Island game. Some early success convinced Wooga to devote additional resources to the game, which was launched in October of last year. However, 'As the project continued to progress, so did the industry. Whilst the benefits of an open platform future are clear for games developers, it became clear halfway through Magic Land Island's development cycle that the technology wasn't yet ready for mainstream exposure.' The announcement sheds some interesting light on HTML5, as Wooga hardly holds back on any of the details behind the game's failure. The biggest barriers to HTML5's entry to the mainstream include internet connectivity and limitations on sound. The consensus? The time for HTML5 will come; it's just not quite there yet. In the meantime, Wooga has made the game open source so other HTML5 developers can learn from it."

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