Featuring a handful of homebrew NES games, opportunities to get into game development, and more!
Game Bytes is our monthly series taking a peek at the world of gamedev on GitHub—featuring game engine updates, game jam details, open source games, mods, maps, and more. Game on!
Godot 4.0, the open source cross-platform engine for 2D and 3D games, is here. With this release, the Godot team has put together a major rewrite of the engine. The release contains a bevy of new features. Nuts-and-bolts upgrades include internationalization and editor interface improvements. Meanwhile, revamped 3D rendering and expanded platform support (say hello to Godot games on Android) may be the foundation of the next all-time hit.
Read the extensive release notes, Godot 4.0 sets sail: All aboard for new horizons, to learn more.
Coincidentally, the Godot GDC 2023 Meetup took place at GitHub HQ a few weeks ago, where Juan Linietsky gave a talk on the state of Godot and Godot as an open ecosystem. Definitely worth a watch!
Looking for inspiration for your next Godot game? MenacingMecha has released a collection of shaders and materials for Godot that pays homage to the visual style of mid-90’s era PlayStation games. Billboard sprites, shiny metallic textures, and heavy use of fog effects are a great fit for games with low-poly models, low-resolution textures, and simple lighting. There’s never been a better time for your Spyro the Dragon or Tekken 2 nostalgia project.
Take to the skies in Fly Dangerous, an open source multiplayer flight sim racing game. Pilot your spaceship through narrow canyons, daring orbital racecourses, or scenic open environments. You can even test your skills—and your stomach—in VR. The Early Access 2 update adds new biomes and courses to race above (and sometimes below) and new collision mechanics will demand your accuracy and speed.
See the Fly Dangerous Early Access Update 2 release notes for details.
Cataclysm: Dark Days Ahead (CCDA), a roguelike exploration and survival RPG, has appeared on Steam. Open-source games are increasingly reaching wider audiences by shipping on new platforms and popular game stores. It’s especially exciting to see a long-term labor-of-love like C:DDA find new plays and fans, even after five years of ongoing development.
We’ve been charmed by notapixelstudio’s alpha release of the 2D arcade combat game, Starship Olympics. Built in Godot, the latest release challenges you and your friends to steer a starship through even more minigames, or you can match yourself against more capable AI opponents.
To learn more and see the game in action, see the alpha v0.11 release announcement.
OpenRA is an open source revival of classic Westwood Studios real-time strategy games, like Command & Conquer, Red Alert, and Dune 2000. OpenRA dropped its first stable release in two years, featuring improvements to pathfinding performance, multiplayer netcode, and balance improvements to Dune 2000—the latter thanks, in part, to renewed interest following the release of the 2021 film). If you’ve never played some of these foundational games of the RTS genre, then OpenRA is a great way to start.
Learn more from OpenRA’s announcement, Release 20230225.
OpenHV is a remarkable project that is both making something new and an act of preservation: it’s the revival of an unreleased real-time strategy from 1993, Hard Vacuum. OpenHV adapts the OpenRA engine to create a standalone game. The latest release, building on OpenRA’s recent stable release, adds new units, maps, and other assets, while rebalancing gameplay and fixing bugs.
See the OpenHV release on GitHub to see what’s changed.
Tabletop Club is an up-and-coming free-form multiplayer tabletop game simulator. It’s on the verge of 0.1.0, with its recent first release candidate. The opensource simulator aims to offer an easy-to-use asset system for simulating any board game, plus the physics required for a customary post-defeat table flipping (minus the tedious cleanup). (╯°□°）╯︵ ┻━┻
For details, see the latest devlog on itch.io.
Barotrauma is a science-fiction horror story that takes you beneath the surface of Europa, where you must protect your submarine from crushing depths, alien creatures, and hostile humans. In March, Barotrauma hit the big 1.0, which introduced revised faction and reputation mechanics and a fever dream-inspired campaign endgame.
Learn more about what’s new in the Barotrauma 1.0 release announcement.
PixiEditor, an opensource pixel art editor, is celebrating its 1.0 release! Version 1.0 introduces a number of handy new features to get that pixel-perfect art style. For example, the new symmetry tool is “like having fourhands drawing simultaneously.” New layer controls TK layer blend modes, alpha locking, and clipping to adjacent layers. Interface refinements, like command search and remappable keyboard shortcuts, also make an appearance.
Read PixiEditor 1.0 Released! for more detail.
Game Jams are a great excuse to learn a new game engine, language, or build your next or first (and sure to be best) game. Here are a few jams starting in April:
- Games for Blind Gamers 2 (April 1-30) — Jam on a game that plays with sounds, audio description, screen readers, and other forms of accessibility for blind gamers.
- GameDev.js (April 13-26) — Build a game playable in a web browser, featuring a bonus open source challenge.
- Godot Wild Jam #56 (April 14-23) — Godot developers are unleashed in this monthly jam. Join early to participate in the community theme nominations.
- Ludum Dare #53 (April 28-30) — Solo game devs are challenged to build a game in a weekend in the April edition of the venerable Ludum Dare.
The 7DRL Challenge is a long-running jam to make a new roguelike in seven days. The entry LiDAR Dungeon impressed us, with its retro-style—running on the TIC-80 fantasy console system—and clever mechanics. In the game, you’re “a robot tasked with exploring a mysterious spaceship” but there’s a catch: you can see only what’s briefly revealed by the flashes of your scanner before they quickly fade into darkness. It wouldn’t be a roguelike if it weren’t hard, but take a peek at the README on GitHub to learn more about the thoughtful—not punishing—design.
You can play or download LiDAR Dungeon on itch.io.
That’s all for this edition of Game Bytes. We’ll see you next month!
Working on something cool or releasing something this month? Share it with us via email@example.com.