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Tuxracer 1.0 Retail Version Finished 244

Posted by timothy
from the snow-games-are-the-best dept.
Nailer writes "Tuxracer 1.0 is complete Version 0.6 has been downloaded over a million times, and 1.0 looks like it will kick its older siblings arse. This latest version has a massively improved set of features compared to the earlier versions, including multiplayer support, far more detailed tracks, new hazards (giant boulders, better trees, vehicles, and entire towns with roads, houses, castles, fountains, etc) new players (a girl tux, a funky polar bear, and others), split screen multiplay, internationalization, and probably a whole bunch of other stuff. Take a look at the screenshots and trailer movie. The initial release of the game will be proprietary for Windows and Linux (and perhaps Mac), but some of the code from 1.0 will be released as Open Source. Sunspire are still looking for a publisher, but should be taking direct orders soon. And when they do, I'm buying it."
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Tuxracer 1.0 Retail Version Finished

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  • Open To Closed (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by jeriqo (530691)
    Too bad it has gone to closed source.. older versions used to be free (as in beer & GPL).

    You can still download the source of the 0.61 version directly from their homepage [tuxracer.com], or from sourceforge [sourceforge.net]

    -J
    • Re:Open To Closed (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dreamchaser (49529) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @08:30AM (#2618515) Homepage Journal
      I understand your sentiment, but it is hard to put food on the table if you give your product away. There is room in this world for both open source and proprietary software.

      Of course, I expected to see at least a dozen comments like that. Not everything can be free, guys. People need to live and eat and take care of their families. That being said, open source is here to stay, and as I said above I think it can easily coexist with commercial software.
      • Re:Open To Closed (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Games are one of those things that even RMS expects to be proprietary - the real work in a gmae is not usually the engine, but the level design, plot, artwork, etc. Actually, a model that seems to work well is data proprietary, engine GPL, once the game is out of the initial sales period - this has served Id, Outrage, and other companies well.
        • 'Real Work' (Score:5, Insightful)

          by EnglishTim (9662) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @08:54AM (#2618548)
          The 'real work' in a game is pretty much split 50/50 between programming and things like artwork, level design etc. I'm sure there are exceptions (Final Fantasy could be one), but that's been pretty much the way it is on the games I've worked on.

          This is one of the reasons I can't agree with RMS. Why is it that someone who creates some music, a level design, some textures or a model deserves compensation for their hard work, but somehow someone who spends just as much energy writing code does not?
          • Re:'Real Work' (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @09:18AM (#2618625)
            They don't. Artwork and music should be free too. In fact, all intellectual property should be free. Artists could make up for it by painting cathedral ceilings or doing portraits of rich Italian bankers. Musicians can make their money by selling t-shirts and doing concerts.

            Anyway, Open Source is a fun concept as long as people don't push it to the extreme. If someone wants to do an open source project because they love it and it's a hobby and they want to share their work, more power to them. Demanding that all software be open source and that people should someone try to make money by selling support for it (and competing with 20 other companies selling support for your product too if it's good enough) is just plain whiney on our part. People deserve to make an honest day's wage.

            Personally I don't think I'd buy Tuxracer as it got boring after about 5 minutes of playing the different levels, but it might be fun for a child.
            • I dunno. If there were no IP, would programmers still work? I think so.

              No license fees, but you could still be paid to make things happen. My own small company makes about even amounts from license fees and custom work. If we had no license fees we'd probably have more user and more custom work. Things would be tighter, some non-programmers would lose their jobs, and we would have less time to do some of the more researchy things, but the programmers would survive.

              For larger companies, the situation would be mixed. IBM would do fine, Microsoft not so good, companies like Oracle would probably survive but look much different.
            • Why? (Score:3, Insightful)

              by EnglishTim (9662)
              Why should they be free?

              Why shouldn't the person who created the code/art be entitled to compensation for the work they put in?

              This is one of the things that I really don't understand about RMS's philosophy. He asks 'how can it be wrong to share a program with one's friend?' without asking 'how can it be fair to make use of another person's work without compensating them for the effort they put into it?'
              • Re:Why? (Score:2, Insightful)

                by Anonymous Coward
                If *I* write a program, piece of music, etc. I should have the write to share it with my friend. But I don't need a GPL to do that. I think it's more a matter of respecting the creator's rights. If I want the world to make free use of something I've done, fine. But I should have control over my own intellectual property (including the ability to declare I don't want control over it or that I want compensation for it) and those wishes should be respected as courtesy good [insert your favorite religion here] ethics.
            • OK, I'll admit that the one child I've tried Tux Racer out on enjoyed it a lot. But most people who aren't hardcore gamers will find even the free version pretty enjoyable.

              I couldn't care less about Half-life or Diablo, and don't get me started about Super 3D Virtua Kick The Shit Out Of Rendered Anime Guys Champion Edition. I play a lot of MAME and newer games with outstanding gameplay like Bomberman, Myst, Quake 2, and Chu Chu Rocket. As far as racing goes I haven't really seen anything since Road Rash that was fun, and really Road Blasters was pretty much the pinnacle of fantasy driving experience. I can't imagine myself ever playing a snowboarding game, but Tux Racer is kinda pretty, whimsical, easy to pick up in 30 seconds and put down when you're bored with it, and satisfying.

              Playing it with adult family members leads me to the same conclusion. For the 80% of the population who's never touched a Playstation 2, games like Tux Racer are an embarassment of riches. Finding out that it "just comes with Linux" just makes them sort of stare blankly and then a month later ask me if they should run Linux instead of Windows. (I still haven't answered "yes" to anyone because things like Reader Rabbit and American Greetings don't work under WINE yet.)

              I'm not sure it'll make it if it ever gets to retail shelves, even with all the extra nice stuff I see in the screenshots -- I kind of expect to see it in the 10 dollar bin at Staples or computer shows pretty quickly -- but the vast middle ground of people who like games but not enough to know what "CTF" stands for or buy a Playstation are the perfect market for Tux Racer.

              At any rate, I'm going to pick up a copy just so my partner and I can race each other in real time instead of having to take turns.

            • Re:'Real Work' (Score:2, Insightful)

              by praxim (117485)
              I'm killing my karma here, but someone needs to say it...

              If I create something that people are willing to pay for, no one, certainly no pompous ass on slashdot or UNIX-bearded Bulgarian-dancing hacker has the right to insist that I have to find another way to make a living. You can't tell me that t-shirts are worth more money than quality music. (I don't listen to Radiohead because their t-shirts kick ass.)
            • Artists could make up for it by painting cathedral ceilings or doing portraits of rich Italian bankers. Musicians can make their money by selling t-shirts and doing concerts.

              You are at this point telling people how they will earn money under your system. That is antithetical to the entire concept of freedom.

          • Re:'Real Work' (Score:4, Interesting)

            by MartinG (52587) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @09:31AM (#2618663) Homepage Journal
            You seem to have directly equated "compensation for their hard work" with "financial compensation for their hard work." That is a very broad and incorrect assumption to make.

            The "compensation" I get when I write code is not primarily finincial, because I do it for the love of it, not just to make money. Similarly some of my friends write music for the same reasons. I can't say I have friends who do graphical artwork, but I imagine there are people who do it for fun.

            Maybe the question you should ask is:

            If there are coders who work very well for the love of it and produce excellent code, and they do not demand money for their efforts, then what gives musicians the right to make similar demands?
            • Re:'Real Work' (Score:5, Insightful)

              by EnglishTim (9662) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @09:42AM (#2618692)
              Obviously there are many people who code/make music/create art who do not ask to be compensated. Fair enough! that's their choice. But there are many who, although they still enjoy practising their art/skill, wish to be financially compensated for their work. Any time/work *is* worth money. To claim otherwise would be to reduce everything to the bare cost of the materials involved, which would not allow anybody to make a living from anything but farming and mining.

              When you pay for software (and this applies to music and art as well...), you are effectively paying for a service - the service of someone writing the code instead of you having to do it. As a result of many people paying for it, you don't have to shoulder the entire cost of that development by yourself.
          • It would be nice to download the engine as free software from Sourceforge, together with a minimal set of graphics and levels. Then pay real money for the full game data (sprites, sound effects, levels and so on). This is more or less what happens with Doom, I think.
          • I believe the argument is that code is like law in that it sets the rules by which the world runs and in order to maintain our freedom over these rules they must be available for all to see and know and make changes to. I could be wrong.. feel free to correct my impression.

            As a programmer and artist I don't mind giving away ALL my work and I don't really see a line between science and art. Very few people make a very good living off either and they are usually both appreciated most long after they are dead.

            I was sort of disappointed to see them close some of the source. I really hope they open it back up after they've earned back the money they invested. We all deserve to pay our bills if we are willing to work but it doesn't hurt to give as much as we can to the public good. Sure a game isn't life or death but even entertainment can do people good.

            Anyway it looks great and I'll buy a copy. I'd buy a copy regardless of license if I like it.. especially if it comes with some fun extras like manuals, pretty cd's, posters, stickers, etc. Hope to see some more games from this company. :)
          • This is one of the reasons I can't agree with RMS. Why is it that someone who creates some music, a level design, some textures or a model deserves compensation for their hard work, but somehow someone who spends just as much energy writing code does not?

            There is nothing in RMS' stated platform that I know of, where he makes such an unfair distinction.

            You're getting confused between someone being compensated for their work, and someone having exclusive control over something they have created and released to the public. You can have the first without the second. But it requires that you sell your labor (i.e. get paid by the hour) rather than sell a product (i.e. get paid per unit sold). In many industries, labor and units scale at the same rate (and also there is a material cost that scales at the same rate), so this distinction wasn't noticed. For example, it takes about twice as long to sew twenty shirts as it takes to sew ten. When you get to easily-duplicated intangibles such as software or digital art, where there is no significant material cost and unit production does not scale at the same rate as labor, the distinction between labor and units becomes very large.

            The traditional business models for proprietary software, entertainment media, etc is to pretend that the distinction does not exist. But GPL-commies ;-) take that distinction into account, and want compensation for software to be proportional to its production cost, as is the case with most industries.

        • Re:Open To Closed (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Hobbex (41473)
          Games are one of those things that even RMS expects to be proprietary - the real work in a gmae is not usually the engine, but the level design, plot, artwork, etc.

          I don't see why this should necessarily be true, I remember some wonderful and freely released TCs (Total Conversions) for Doom and Quake, as well as seemingly endless amounts of levels. The quality of the user made levels and artwork varies, of course, but it's not like that can't be said about Free software.

          I think you have differentiate between replayable and non-replayable games. In replayable games, what you see is that a couple of models (like Civilization, and multiplayer Deathmatch) have been stumbled upon that except for technical updates have remained much the same for the last ten years. In Civilization we have seen a free implementation of the concept grow up quite well, and with Deathmatch JC of course GPLed a lot of the code himself - though I am unaware of any attempts to combine the GPLed code with user levels and artwork to make a totally free Quake.

          I think that that the real reason that we have not seen a lot of Free games developed is that decent proprietary versions have been around. We have seen time and time again that there aren't often enough coders who are motivated by ethics for free software to thrive when there are propreitary programs available to do the same thing (cf the lack of a free RA decoder, and the bad state of the free Flash player (and Flash is even documented!))

          For non-replayable games, the kind that people play through in 10-12 hours and then don't look back to, I might agree that free development might be difficult, at least not for the same amount as come out today. I think the world can do without them.
        • Re:Open To Closed (Score:4, Informative)

          by Nurgster (320198) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @09:18AM (#2618624) Homepage
          No, he doesn't.

          I've had an at length discussion about this matter with RMS, and his stances is that either the developers write free (using his definition) games (of a lower quality) while working at jobs who pay them to write free applications, or they don't write games at all.

          Email me (me@thisisnurgle.org.uk), and I'll forward you the emails if you don't believe me...
          • I believe you Nurgle. RMS is a man of his ethics--he sticks to them. All software must be Free, including games. Why people call RMS stupid for this...RMS would be stupid if he said "All software must be Free except for games" or something like that. He is simply strong-willed. The fact that he doesn't back down when he believes something is admirable. More people need to say something, and then stand behind that belief instead of backing down at the first attack.
      • It seems that I am the only karma whore on the line that still remember about the openracer project:
        http://moria.mit.edu:8080/wf/dev/systems/OpenRacer [mit.edu]

        http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/08/02/202621 9&mode=thread [slashdot.org]
  • Trailer movie? (Score:2, Informative)

    by RovingSlug (26517)
    Take a look at the screenshots and trailer movie.

    I couldn't find the link to the trailer movie... can someone point the way?

  • Great (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dreamchaser (49529) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @08:27AM (#2618510) Homepage Journal
    I've been following the development of this, and it's nice to see a game being developed simultaneously for Linux and Windows, rather than being released on Linux a year or more after the Windows counterpart.

    I also like the fact that the binaries for all platforms will be on one CD. I'm tired of buying two copies of games if I want to run them on both Linux and Windoze.

    Hopefully they will find a partner and be successful. It could be a good shot in the arm for Linux game development. It will be hard for them to say who is running it on what platform though, but I can live with that in return for getting all of the binaries in one box.
    • This wouldn't be the first time that a game has been developed for Windows and Linux simultaneously.

      However, I'm not sure we all appreciated the result much [lokigames.com].
    • Re:Great (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Rhone (220519)

      I've been following the development of this, and it's nice to see a game being developed simultaneously for Linux and Windows, rather than being released on Linux a year or more after the Windows counterpart.

      I would certainly hope that a game starring Tux, the Official Linux Penguin, and originally developed on Linux, would not be available for Windows before it's available for Linux.

      I also like the fact that the binaries for all platforms will be on one CD. I'm tired of buying two copies of games if I want to run them on both Linux and Windoze.

      Yes, it's certainly nice when the game is developed, and originally released, as cross-platform. (Like Terminus [vvisions.com].) Unfortunately, that's not really an option when a separate company like Loki does the porting after the game has been released, and it's kind of unfair to blame Loki for that. If gaming under Linux is important to you, then send a message by not buying Windows-only games; that way, you'll certainly not pay for the same game twice.

  • Where can I download the demo for version 1.0 ?? See tuxracer.com [tuxracer.com] for earlier demos.
  • Is it just me (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by yatest5 (455123)
    or does this look like a big load of shit that's only got on here cos it stars a penguin?

    I'll get my coat ;-).
    • Re:Is it just me (Score:2, Insightful)

      by rm-r (115254)
      I have to agree, it's just joe racing game and there's plenty of those around already. It's not as if this is the first game to come out on Linux either (although granted they do normally take a few months after the windows release)

      Will I get mod'ed down as well for having my own opinion?
    • You are mighty brave to say this openly, and I completely agree with you.

      When it comes to games, the only ones published here are the highly anticipated geek games (CivIII, Black&White, etc...). Tux racer has none of these, cept a penguin.

      MAYBE if it was linux only, I can see it, but, quite frankly, its a racing game. Not many nerds get into racing. And another thing is that its been done SO MANY TIMES.

      Lets just leave it as MarioCart being the champion "cartoon" racing game, and try for something new, shall we?

      Yeah, I'm your average slashdot whiner, but they post stuff that would obviously be complained about!

      Next article will be "Microsoft is bad, linux is good"... just wait and see.

      FYI - Its best to whine when you have 50 karma, so after you get modded down some, you can work your way back. I call it the "Slashdot Game".
      • FYI - Its best to whine when you have 50 karma, so after you get modded down some, you can work your way back. I call it the "Slashdot Game".


        Yeah - brilliant innit? I've managed to pick up some notright who gives me grief each time I post because I disagreed with groupthink at some point. Fantastic that not only are the linux freaks who live under the rocks on this site losers in real life, but they are on here too!!! Mod away MF's - another 18 points to lose :).
    • I'll get my coat ;-).

      /. getting infested by hordes c.s.s. lurkers? What's the world coming to?

    • Yeah, it is just you.

      I really love TuxRacer. I'm sure there are other racing games out there that are equally fun, but that takes nothing away from TuxRacer.

      TuxRacer is easily played with just a keyboard; it runs smoothly and looks pretty; some of the courses are really well-designed; in short, it is nice in many ways. The only shortcoming, to me, is that there aren't enough courses, there is only 1 song, and only 1 player model... and the 1.0 release will provide more courses, music, and models.

      There are times when I am in the mood for a short, fun game, a sort of snack of a game, and TuxRacer hits the spot. Unless they have changed the fundamental nature of TuxRacer somehow, I'll be paying for 1.0.

      steveha
  • Who owns Tux? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pr0nbot (313417) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @08:37AM (#2618525)
    Just out of interest - who has intellectual property rights over the Tux character?
  • by popeydotcom (114724) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @08:43AM (#2618532) Homepage
    Well done slashdot / Nailer / Timothy.
  • why... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Antity-H (535635)
    is the penguin so slooowww! only 73km/h as maximum speed (at least on the screenshot) if not fun enough, i hope they will have introduced a bonus to boost it up to 300km/h :)
    • Yeah, I mean the star wars racer game lets you go over 800mph, and that came out over a year ago! Maybe I just need to overclock my processor...

      :)
  • More cool screenshots can be found at this link :

    http://www.sunspirestudios.com/images/

    Many of these are not linked from the site.
  • I'm really not trying to troll here, but IMHO a game called "Tux Racer" will conjure up images of racing butlers. Without a more exciting name, people who don't know or care about "tux" the linux mascot will turn their noses up at this game.
  • Boris (Score:2, Funny)

    by lastninja (237588)
    I sure hope Boris the polar bear (one of the playable charachters) drinks Open Cola and not coke.
  • by codexus (538087) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @09:01AM (#2618566)
    TuxRacer started as an open-source game and as such it was right to use Tux. But as a commercial game I feel like little Tux has been betrayed.

    Remember what Tux stands for. It's Tux not Mario or Sonic. He's a free animal and I want it to stay this way. I won't buy this game.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Well, your sentiment is nice, but they can do whatever they want with Tux. You can still get the source for the older version if you're so inclined.

      from http://www.isc.tamu.edu/~lewing/linux/ [tamu.edu]
      Feel free to do whatever you see fit with the images, you are encouraged to integrate them into other designs that fit your need. Comments suggestions are also welcome, so please tell me what you think of these. I suggest that you look at some of the other images available with integrated text.

      ...

      Permission to use and/or modify this image is granted provided you acknowledge me lewing@isc.tamu.edu and The GIMP if someone asks.


      Furthermore, nobody has a trademark on Tux. As I said, the sentiment is nice, but it seems somewhat hypocritical for the same crowd that espouses "free everything" to complain when its mascot is used in a way it doesn't like. But then, the Slashdot audience has always been fickle like that. "Free Everything" even if it puts the content creators out of business. Splendid idea.
      • I do wonder whether they have that right however on code that has been GPL contributed to by 3rd parties. Soliciting free labour on the terms that it's a community project and then shunting them out of the deal by closing the source doesnt sound fair, and I doubt it's necesarilly above board either. But hey! as they say ...IANAL
        • While I'm not familiar with the particulars of TuxRacer's development, you can hardly say that the 3rd party developers were "shut out." Ok, maybe the company that owns the commercial version of TuxRacer copied the GPL code without the explicit consent of the 3rd party coders (although, from my understanding, there were VERY few of them...what's more it's possible that they simply excluded these patches from their code), however nothing has been taken from them. I fail to see how the Open Source community can claim that knowledge can be shared without dimming your own and then turn around and claim that some knowledge simply should not be shared, because you do not like the way it is used.
          • > the company that owns the commercial version of TuxRacer copied the GPL code without the explicit consent of the 3rd party coders

            They didn't. They just didn't use that code or got permission.

            > I fail to see how the Open Source community can claim that knowledge can be shared without dimming your own

            I fail to see how the proprietary software community can claim that they should be able to use anything the open source community puts out, but we can't use anything of theirs. If the author didn't give you permission to copy it in that way, then you don't have permission, proprietary or open source.
            • They didn't. They just didn't use that code or got permission.
              I didn't say they did. However, if you know, then why don't you know which particular method? Did they do both depending on the particular contributor?

              I fail to see how the proprietary software community can claim that they should be able to use anything the open source community puts out, but we can't use anything of theirs. If the author didn't give you permission to copy it in that way, then you don't have permission, proprietary or open source.
              I, and probably virtually everyone in the so-called "proprietary software community", have no problem with Open Source people dictating the terms of their license. After all, one should be entitled to the product of their own mind. Whether they want to keep it for themselves, share the source, dictate the license, charge for it, or whatever, that is up to the creator.

              However, while they may have the right, it is hypocritical to claim that ideas cannot be property and can be shared without any cost to the creator and then turn around and say that there some be an exception in their own case. If it's truely FREE, in every sense in the word, then I should be ALLOWED to take the source and do whatever I want with it, including releasing a derivative proprietary product and keeping my modifications to myself. You may not like it and you're free to protest it, but it should be within my rights, at least if the OSS people are to be consistent. It may be consistent with for them to object to the copyright law that protects the proprietary product, but that's a distinctly seperate issue.
              • As long as there is thieves, there will be locks. Any successful social system has some way to prevent those who would just take and hurt the system in doing so. So long as you can chose to steal, we have to protect our stuff. I see no obligation for someone in the free software community to allow themselves to be ripped off.
                • I fully agree that it is your right to put conditions on your product. However, the fact of the matter is that this right descends from the same exact principles that proprietary software does. RMS and other parts of the OSS movement attack it, but they like to ignore their stake in it (even if it is misguided). That's my point.

                  That said, I do not believe that a GPL-style license is really necessary to prevent free software developers from being "ripped" off. What, precisely, is the harm of someone borrowing your code and not publishing their modifications? You and your buddies can still share your code every bit as well. You've not lost out financially. It seems to me that if you're going to give a gift to society at large, that it should be more in the style of the BSD license. Not only is that gift is more free without restrictions (by definition), but it can also do the greatest good. (e.g., Open AND Closed Source developers benefit)
                  • > What, precisely, is the harm of someone borrowing your code and not publishing their modifications?

                    Do you really want to compete with someone who has access and permission to use everything you do, but you don't have access or permission for any of their stuff? If GCC had been that way, we wouldn't have the massively multi-target multi-frontend compiler we have now; we would have a compiler supporting a few languages and a handful of targets, and thousands of buggy limited proprietary compilers based off GCC. C++, ObjC and Ada were all added in part because the GPL compelled the freeing of the code.

                    > It seems to me that if you're going to give a gift to society at large, that it should be more in the style of the BSD license.

                    If you want to give away a million dollars, do you throw it into the street, or do you carefully consider who to give it to and what conditions to put on it? Is it wrong to give a million dollars to a university to build a new library?

                    > it can also do the greatest good. (e.g., Open AND Closed Source developers benefit)

                    But the other 99% of the world - non-programmers - end up with more proprietary bugware and less working free software. If you want to do the greatest good, focuse on the largest number.
                    • Do you really want to compete with someone who has access and permission to use everything you do, but you don't have access or permission for any of their stuff?
                      Well this point is really OT from my initial point [ that the FSF cannot say that information can never be property, but then try to enforce the GPL. ]. However, the only way your argument makes any sense is if you see Open Source to be an end into itself. I, and I believe most developers, simply do not start from this point of view. When I develop such software, I am aiming for the greatest good and/or my own edification, not to grow Open Source's marketshare for its own sake. The way I see it, when you release software under BSD you are every bit as likely to acquire future open contributions as you would under the GPL. Those that are willing to make contributions of their time for free are going to do it regardless, by and large. The GPL only ensures that closed source cannot take advantage of the code base. In other words, Open Source's gain under the GPL is only relative, not absolute.

                      Under a BSD-style license, if customers would rather spend 50 dollars more on proprietary extensions, then that is the greater good. If, however, the closed source additions simply crap it up, it's rather unlikely that people will buy in large numbers. Thus the propreitary line will die and become irrelevant. In other words, I believe allowing the free market, of sorts, to handle this is a far better method of contributing to this world.

                      If you want to give away a million dollars, do you throw it into the street, or do you carefully consider who to give it to and what conditions to put on it? Is it wrong to give a million dollars to a university to build a new library?
                      The difference is that this is not a zero sum game and that the money is finite, whereas my code can be used towards multiple ends at one time without wearing away at it. If I allow my code to be thrown in the "street", so what? Some incompetent coders my screw their modifications up. Other competent developers in Open and Closed Source can still make the most of my code.

                      But the other 99% of the world - non-programmers - end up with more proprietary bugware and less working free software.
                      Firstly, relatively little of this code was ever based in Open Source. Secondly, you're making an assumption that I disagree with, that Open Source is an inherantly better process than Closed Source. Thirdly, that, as I alluded to above, you are presuming that consumers are irrational and therefore incapable choosing the better product.

                      If you want to do the greatest good, focuse on the largest number.
                      What does this mean precisely?
    • Agreed. It does seem a little contradictary using the linux mascot in a closed source game. I had allways considered this game to be carrying the "linux banner" in the gaming world, but now it seems to carrying it in a different direction. Not that I am against closed source, but just doesnt seem right on this occasion.

      Anyways, to be honest, Super Mario Kart will allways be the best cart racing game - man, how many hours did we wast at Uni on this game. Ahh... those were the days - tokin' through the night with winner stays on SMK.

      So, forget tuxracer - download yourself a SNES emulator (there are plenty e.g http://www.snes9x.com/ ) and a SMK ROM & enjoy....
  • WAIT A MINUTE!!! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by skrowl (100307)
    Isn't closing the source on a GPL'd project a violation of the GPL?
    • by PhilHibbs (4537) <snarks@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @09:13AM (#2618608) Homepage Journal
      The GPL is a grant of additional rights, that you the user has. It in no way restricts the original copyright owner from exercising their right to exploit their copyright in other ways. So long as no-one else contributed to the current code base, the fact that prior versions were GPL is irrelevant.
    • by Novus (182265)
      Isn't closing the source on a GPL'd project a violation of the GPL?

      The original copyright holder is always free to relicense his code under whatever license he wishes. In other words, you can take GPL:ed code you have written, and put it under any license you like. However, if there's someone else's code in there, you'll have to remove it unless you get that person's permission.

      Sunspire Studios had to rewrite parts of the game to get rid of other people's GPL:ed code, which they couldn't relicense.

      Of course, the code on SourceForge is still GPL. They can't change that.

  • by lightspawn (155347) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @09:06AM (#2618578) Homepage
    Race with the Super Mario [ign.com] characters.
    Race with the Disney [ign.com] characters.
    Race with the Looney Tunes [ign.com] characters.
    Race with the Hanna Barbera [ign.com] characters.
    Race with the Donkey Kong [ign.com] characters.
    Race with the Star Wars [ign.com] characters.
    Race with the Austin Powers [ign.com] characters.
    Race with the South Park [ign.com] characters.
    Race with the Muppet Show [ign.com] characters.
    Race with the Disney [ign.com] characters again, except something went wrong and only three disney characters are there.

    You know where were heading, don't you? Mary-Kate and Ashley mall racing, that's where.

    God help us. God help us all.
  • by Benjiman McFree (321140) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @09:07AM (#2618583)

    Forget the fact you can download it for free, or have it included with your favorite linux distribution; convience of getting it off the shelf at best buy under the GPL GAME SECTION for five bucks a pop, is the way to go.

    The proprietary version will probably be 30$ and they'll sell 10,000 or so vs. 75,000 gpl'd games at 5$ a pop.

    --the temptation to exploit users through hidden code is too great for proprietary software. ie.. haven't they learned anything yet? 300,000 gross sales for propiretary version vs. 375,000 for gpl games, you do the math!

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Won't the GPL version of the game have graphics and courses with scribbled "// Fix This!" all over the graphics (done by tigert in BrushedMetal theme)?

      Open Source is great, however don't force it upon people who don't want to open source their products. People write software for a living you know - software that is good enough to not require support services. Games don't need support services - there is no market for single-player game support, only in selling the game itself. Sure, in multi-player games you can sell time on the server itself, but someone will just set up their own server anyway thus making the work worthless.

      The art of coding should not be treated any differently from music creation or graphics creation. Why is coding considered to be less worthy? Let people write free opensource software if they wish, who are you to criticise them?

  • by letoram (40049) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @09:19AM (#2618626)
    Didn't see it anywhere on the site, but most competitors in the down-hill snowracers business (as in snowboard games & the likes although few on the PC) always features a bunch of tricks you can preform to obtain higher scores. Something that really increases the replay value. Or why not add weapons and downhill-deathmatch?

    Imagine a 360-inverse-tux-flip or perhaps a tux-slide.. There's no end to the possibilities =)

    That put aside, the linux version wil be mine.
    • Actually, with a gamepad, you CAN stunt. Push button 'B' (I think...someone correct me) and hold down your pad in the direction you want to spin or flip. I'm not sure what the corresponding keypresses might be.
    • Last version of Tuxracer I played was old and crusty from many months ago, but it did have the capacity to do stunts and tricks.

      Hold down the jump key, wait until it powers up, then release it and slam a direction key. You'll spin end of end, flipper over shoulder, or even do a fancy horizontal pirouette.

      It's all in there ... you just gotta read the docs. (Docs weren't added to make the gzip larger.)

  • on the Game Cube? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by the_2nd_coming (444906) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @09:27AM (#2618651) Homepage
    I think this is the perfect platform to place this game on. This game is perfect for kids of all ages, which Nintendo prids them selves on having a platform of the same ideology. This could bring HUGE exposure to the game and probably be the place where it is most successful since consols make for better multiplayer splitscreen platforms than the Computer.
  • by Junta (36770) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @09:42AM (#2618693)
    I remember downloading it and thinking it was kinda neat. An OpenGL game written with linux in mind, and it's somewhat entertaining. While I think it above many other GPL games in many respects, I don't think it's so great as to be worth anything money wise when you look at the market out there.

    The gameplay is pretty straightforward and boring. Doesn't even seem as interesting as, say, the snowboarding mini-game in Final Fantasy VII, which wasn't even meant to stand on its own. Snowboarding games and the like typically offer a significant deal more than TuxRacer, and for this reason if I was going to shell out cash for a game of this genre, I'd go with a good game.

    For another thing, the graphics are not that spectacular. The scenery has some nice textures, but the characters and objects are simple gouraud shaded polygons, and even then the polygon count in the player models and how they are put together is now substandard. I understand that having a low polygon count helps performance, but companies like Square show how you can really have some decent looking graphics without complex geometry.

    All in all it was a neat little game that kept my attention for a few minutes when I first got it. It's not on the level of any commercial competition in my opinion, considering games from 97 have roughly equivalent graphics and the gameplay is really boring and repetitive, with next to nothing to spruce it up.
    • From your comments about playing the game I assume that you are talking about the 0.61 version of the game. If you look at the mailing list archives [sourceforge.net] You will see that the developers have completely redone all of the rendered models, physics, collision detection etc. It's a very different game apparently.
      • That's good to hear, but has the gameplay changed significantly from just being able to basically slide left and right? The graphics in the screenshots still seem sub-standard to me.
    • This gets me thinking about the DV revolution. I can walk into any electronics hop and buy all the kit I need to make a movie for about £3000, not a hell of a lot of money.

      I can walk out and make my own movie with some friends. The resulting movie can be truly great. It wont have the effects of the Matrix, or the babes (unless I happen to know some talented 'ass' - which I don't) but it can be great. Ideas make movies. It can be great. It could make it to a film festival, do a small run in small cinemas / video screens and get a small release on video.

      I can also gather a bunch of people together and write a snow boarding game. Unless it brings something new to the genre then it'll just be mediocre or crap. It can look pretty through good design, it can play well through refined physics, it can be good. It'd take years. It _could_ be good. At a push.

      But I could make a movie in a couple of months with no money just using my spare time - it'd be a short most likely - but it _could_ quite easily be cool.

      Can a game in an established style ever be worth £30 when on the same shelf as something that cost literally millions to develop and is supremely polished?

      Most people would agree a movie is a movie is a movie - some are bargain priced on video/DVD - but on the whole they cost the same.

      Games, on the other hand, are different. If Tux Racer is justifiably likened to a mini game in FFVII how can it be justified in charging £30?

      I used to write games on my old Ataris - they were shit, but we enjoyed playing them (racing platformers mainly - now THERE is a dead genre to resurrect). We enjoyed them because we could dick about with them and speed characters up, slow them down, turn gravity upside down etc... the games themselves were painfully mediocre - actually it was all the same game at various points on its evolution.

      I always thought jeff minters games were kinda cruddy - they were small, the graphics were small - but I loved playing them and always paid double the shareware fee because I enjoyed the idea of feeding camels. Thats the territory I see TuxRacer inhabiting, not the boxed £30 games shelf.
    • 1.0 is a completely different game from 0.61. Yes, nobody would buy 0.61, its a vey ancient tech demo.

      In 0.61 you:
      * Skied / jumped down a slope
      * Tried to race on icy bits to get the lowest time
      * Collected herring which didn't do anything
      * Enjoyed the occasional jump
      * Stop moving when you hit something

      In 0.1
      * Race opponents (computer controled and split screen)
      * Deal with hazard like falling ice blocks, moving vehicles, giant boulders, interfering opponents, logs across your path, stumps, moving cable cars, ice spikes, falling snow, etc.
      * Have cool ice tunnels to use centrifugal force to climbs the walls within
      * Actually collect herring to contribute to your score, which can be places in the sky and only accessible via jumping from a ramp or perhaps a hidden rooftop, making the game much more challenging
      * Ski through slopes, towns, ice tunnels, fountains, roads, etc. More detailed backgrounds and artwork make the levels much more unique and complex, check out the realistic trees and beautiful sunsets
      * Stop moving when you hit something in a way that makes it seem like you actually hit something
      * The path may diverge in more than one direction, meaning there can be hidden shortcuts.

      1.0 is nothing like 0.61. Yes, 0.61 sucks as a videogame (as I said, its an ancient tech demo) but 1.0 (from the screenshots and trailer movie) looks like being a quality game up there with most Nintendo titles, and, more to the point, worth my cash.
  • Looks like the authors have the same problem seperating the poles as Gary Larson lamented. Oh, well, it's just a game. ;-)
  • The sunspire web site doesn't have any details on how much or when...the last bit of news is from October 2nd. :(

    It looks like a good gift for the holiday season!

  • by Anonymous Coward
    With that particular perspective of Tux going down the hill, I was wondering how they were going to differentiate between a girl Tux and a boy Tux. Looking at the screenshots, I am glad they decided on a bow and a pink snowsuit :]
  • Openracer (Score:3, Informative)

    by svara (467664) on Tuesday November 27, 2001 @11:22AM (#2619030)
    The tuxracer 0.61 tree has been forked - it is called Openracer and stays GPL.

    They try to move away from the original game, though, in order not to interfere with the commerical versions' development.

    Their site is at:
    http://moria.mit.edu:8080/wf/dev/systems/release s/ OpenRacer

    You can check the source out from cvs using CVSROOT :pserver:anonymous:@cvs.openracer.sourceforge.net: /cvsroot/openracer

    Please note that it will need the newest plib version from CVS, too, though.
  • The website says:
    That being said, we're still confident that Tux Racer will be available for purchase on our website by Christmas, and will be availble [sic] in retail in the new year.

    In other words, Sunspire Studios won't have Tux Racer out in time for the biggest shopping season for games.

  • From the Tuxracer manual:


    installation for Windows 95/98/ME/NT/2000


    Obtain the tuxracer-win32-.zip file from the Downloads page.

    Unzip this file to your hard drive. You will need a program like Winzip to do this.

    You're done!


    installation for Linux


    Make sure you have (and have correctly installed) the following libraries:

    An implementation of the OpenGL API version 1.1 or greater (Mesa versions >= 3.2 work; see http://mesa3d.sourceforge.net). Note that you will need a hardware-accelerated implementation of OpenGL in order for Tux Racer to be playable.
    The GLUT library, version 3.7 beta or greater. This is distributed in the MesaDemos package, so if you have installed Mesa you probably also have GLUT. Otherwise, see http://www.opengl.org.
    Tcl Version 8.0 or greater.
    (Optional) Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL) Version 1.1.1 or greater. This is required for joystick support.
    (Optional) SDL_mixer Version 1.0 or greater. This is required for sound and music support.

    Obtain the tuxracer-.tar.gz and tuxracer-data-.tar.gz files from the Downloads page.

    Unpack the code tarball:

    shell$ tar xvfz tuxracer-.tar.gz
    shell$ cd tuxracer-

    Configure for your system:

    shell$ ./configure

    Many people will be able to run configure without passing any options. The more commonly-used configure options are:

    --prefix=DIR: Specify where to install tuxracer. (The tuxracer binary will be placed in DIR/bin)
    --with-tcl-libs=DIR: Specify Tcl library location
    --with-tcl-inc=DIR: Specify Tcl header file location
    --with-tcl-lib-name=NAME: Specify Tcl library base name
    --with-gl-libs=DIR: Specify OpenGL library location
    --with-gl-inc=DIR: Specify OpenGL header file location
    --with-glut-libs=DIR: Specify GLUT library location
    --with-glut-inc=DIR: Specify GLUT header file location
    --enable-stencil-buffer: Use if your hardware has a stencil buffer
    --with-data-dir=PATH: Location of tuxracer data directory (can be also configured in options file later)
    Run ./configure --help for a complete list of options.

    Compile:

    shell$ make

    Tux Racer should compile cleanly, with few (if any) warnings. Please see the FAQ or our Support page if Tux Racer fails to compile.

    Install the tuxracer binary:

    shell$ make install

    Unless you specified the --prefix option when you ran configure, this command will install the tuxracer binary in /usr/local/bin

    Install the data files:

    shell$ cd /usr/local/share
    shell$ tar xvfz /path/to/tuxracer-data-.tar.gz
    shell$ mv tuxracer-data- tuxracer

    You may install the data files anywhere you wish, but tuxracer looks in /usr/local/share/tuxracer by default.

    You're done!

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