Archive for the 'UV' Category
Hey there. Just wanted to let you know that “3½ inches is enough”, Unreal Voodoo’s entry to the Assembly 2009 oldskool demo competition is now up. The recommended way to see it is of course on a Macintosh Classic II, but alternatives in decreasing order of preference are running the PC version, watching it on Youtube or reading the source code and imagining what the demo is like.
Watch this space, as I might do a little writeup about our experiences in making the demo.No comments
The new issue of Espírito Livre just went live with the focus on free software gaming. I was interviewed for the magazine on the subject of Frets on Fire by João Fernando Costa Júnior. With permission and for the benefit of those who do not speak Brazilian Portuguese I’ve posted the English translation of the interview below.
Who is Sami Kyöstilä. Make a presentation to the readers of the magazine.
I’m a 26 year old guy from Finland who’s into game development, open
source software, graphics programming and a fan of digital art in
Tell us about the Frets on Fire? Why the reason this name? Based on a music song?
Frets on Fire was originally created as our team’s entry to the
Assembly 2006 game development competition. Assembly is one of the
largest demoscene events in the world and its held bi-annually in
Helsinki, Finland. It brings thousands of enthusiasts together to
discuss, play games, and compete in various categories such as the
demo competition. In 2006 our team, Unreal Voodoo, decided that it
would be cool to make an entry for the game development competition,
and in about two months that idea became Frets on Fire.
The name of the game was derived from a musical term that describes a
very skilled guitar player.
How the Frets on Fire is innovative? It’s a Guitar Hero clone?
I think the game is innovative in they way it emphasizes the community
and the social aspect of playing. Right from the start we wanted to
make it easy for people to create their additional content such as new
songs for the game, as well as compete against each other in online
tournaments. Based on the number of people playing the game and the
communities that have formed, I think that approach has paid off.
What are the main difficulties in develop a opensource game and free distribution?
The main difficulty in creating an open source game is bringing
together a talented team of individuals who are motivated about
working on the project. It is also a good to have a clear idea of what
the completed game should look like so that everyone can work toward
that common goal.
Personally my greatest challenge is finding enough time to work on
games, since I’m doing game development mostly as a hobby.
How the project is sustainable? There is financial donations to the project?
We do not actively collect donations from players, but we do
appreciate it when people decide to give something to help us. Frets
on Fire is something we do for fun, but of course donations help, for
example for adding support for new guitar controllers to the game.
What is the minimum hardware to run Frets on Fire?
The game does not require a very powerful computer, but it helps to
have a good graphics card. Most of the problems that people have had
in playing the game have been because they have had old drivers for
their graphics card. Another important requirement is to have a good
keyboard (I recommend wireless) or a guitar controller.
There is plans to launch versions for other operating systems or mobile?
Currently we support Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, but since most of
the game code is platform-independent, it is pretty easy to port to
new operating systems too. I think we’ll eventually see a mobile
version too, perhaps on Nokia’s Maemo tablets.
Frets on Fire can become a “Guitar Hero” opensource? This is the plan?
While Guitar Hero has been a source of inspiration for us, we’re not
out to make an exact replica of it. Instead, we want to focus on our
own unique approach to rhythm gaming.
What are the main differences between the Frets on Fire and other music games?
I guess one difference is that Frets on Fire can be played without any
special hardware like guitar controllers just by using your keyboard
– and you look really cool doing so
In the latest Frets on Fire version, what’s new? What’s features?
The latest release has mostly focused on bug fixes and performance
optimizations so that people with older computers can also play the
game. Because Unreal Voodoo is now working on our next game project,
Frets on Fire is now mostly in maintenance mode from our point of
view, which means that we are not actively working on new features for
the game at the moment. But don’t worry — there is a very vibrant
development branch called FoFiX
which adds tons of new features and improvements at an incredible
The Frets on Fire is an example of a great game that is distributed free. How is that? How de project survives?
The most important factor here is the very strong online community
that has kept the project going for all this time. We owe a lot to the
dedicated individuals who have set up forums, created new songs,
supported new players and helped the project in numerous other ways.
What motivated you to create Frets on Fire?
It all started from an idea for using the keyboard as a substitute for
the guitar controller. We just had to see how well that would work in
an actual game. It also helped that the game development competition
had a strict deadline to keep us motivated
Do you have some problem with music copyrights or about game interface?
We did not have any problems with music copyrights since we created
all the music for the game ourselves.
Is there a feature you wanted to put in the game but was unable, for lack of cooperation or some other reason?
There are lots of features we would have wanted but simply did not
have enough time to implement. Since the initial development team was
so small, we had to focus on the essential aspects of the game.
Fortunately people from the community have stepped in to implement
things like multiplayer modes and support for drums for instance.
How to create a popular game so good and so small?
The most important thing is to focus on gameplay; I think that as long
as the game is fun to play, almost everything else is secondary.
The opensource games has future? What do you think about this?
I think open source games are a good way for game developers to share
ideas and build on the work of others. In my opinion open sourcing
Frets on Fire was a good choice, because it has enabled others to add
important new features to the game that we could have never done just
by ourselves. One good example is a university project in which they
modified Frets on Fire so that it could be played by blind people with
a custom controller. I think doing something like that is a lot more
difficult — if not impossible — with closed source games.
What is the secret of creating a popular game?
Community-building features such as online tournaments and the ability
to create new songs and themes have really helped in the case of Frets
Who wants to contribute to the project or have further information, what to do?
We do appreciate all help, and anyone interested in working the
project should contact me firstname.lastname@example.org.
> Do you have other opensource projects?
A have a few other projects I work on occasionally, such as Album
Cover Art Downloader for getting album graphics from the internet.
What is your opinion about the proprietary music games (like Guitar Hero) with closed code?
I think they are a necessary evil because of the terms the console
makers force upon game developers. I think Microsoft’s XNA for the
XBox 360 is a step in the right direction, because it makes consoles a
lot more accessible for game developers and also encourages open
source games. However, I don’t think there is anything wrong with
selling a game for money, and in most cases it is the only way of
keeping the project going. I believe it is important for players to
support the work of small independent game developers, because they
often have the creative freedom for making something truly new.
Who are the other people (the team) behind the game?
Frets on Fire was created by myself (code), Tommi Inkilä (music) and
Joonas Kerttula (graphics). Also, we must not forget Mikko Korkiakoski
starring as the voice of Jürgen.
What do you think about the community that was created around the Frets on Fire game?
We were taken by complete surprise by the sheer magnitude of the
different communities that formed around the game almost immediately
after the first release. We still receive mail from around the world
from enthusiastic players, and it’s unreal to think that we have
created something enjoyed by so many people.
What Frets on Fire fans can expect the in future versions?
All fans should have a close look at FoFiX as a hint of things to come.
Encourages you to fans of the game to make packages with songs to the game? Remember that most of the music packs found in internet are composed of ogg files that may have been copied from a CD.
We think distributing ripped songs without a license not a good idea,
but there is no getting around the fact that people are still doing
it. Instead, we suggest players should just distribute just the note
files, or stick to free songs that can be found from forums such as
fretsonfire.net and keyboardsonfire.net. Also, many bands have
discovered that bundling a copy of Frets on Fire with their own songs
on an album is a good way to increase interest.
Thank you for the opportunity! Leave a message for the readers of the magazine.
Thank you for the very interesting questions, and remember to keep on rocking
I just ported our 2004 N-Gage game N-Speed over to the Maemo platform. If you have a Nokia N800 or N810 internet tablet or other compatible device, just click here to install the game. The source code for the game is also available if you’re into that sort of thing.
Here’s a shot of N-Speed in action on the Nokia N810:8 comments