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!
YYYYYYESS! VVVVVV is still going strong. The hit puzzle platformer where you can’t jump but can flip gravity was released as a Flash game in 2010, ported to C++ in 2011, and open sourced in 2020. Version 2.4 features translations to 21 languages (a project led by @Daaaav), plus bug fixes and performance improvements. As @TerryCavanagh writes, “None of this would be possible without the many contributors to the game’s source code on [GitHub].” Whether you’re new to VVVVVV or remember it from its Flash days, be sure to check out the VVVVVV 2.4 release notes on Steam.
Hypersomnia is a fast-paced, top-down 2D multiplayer arena shooter that draws inspiration from the likes of Counter-Strike and Hotline Miami. Not just fun, it’s technically innovative: Hypersomnia’s texture packing has been reused in a AAA game and drone software. In development since 2013, the game launched on Steam for the first time in December 2023. Head over to Hypersomnia’s Steam page to duel a friend or join a frenetic squad battle.
Hyperrogue is a mind-stretching roguelike played on unfamiliar terrain: a hyperbolic plane. Instead of navigating a traditional 2-dimensional grid, you’ll traverse an Escher-like world where walking in straight lines will take you in unexpected directions.
Hyperrogue 13.0 is the project’s first major update since 2021 and it twists the genre even further, with the introduction of a crossbow. We’ll explain the consequences of firing in a straight line on a hyperbolic plane, just as soon as we wrap our minds around the concept.
Beyond this new gameplay mechanic, this release also introduces a variation on Minesweeper played on non-periodic tiling and new ways to visualize non-Euclidean geometries. Head off into strange dimensions by reading the Hyperrogue 13.0 release announcement.
Hyperdagger—wait, no, sorry, Daggerfall Unity, is celebrating the big 1.0, declaring the project complete. Daggerfall Unity is the most complete re-implementation of 1996’s The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall. This game preservation project brings the classic action RPG out of DOS emulation to Windows, macOS, and Linux.
While the project honors the original adventure and intrigue of Daggerfall (including a retro mode with a restricted resolution and color palette), Daggerfall Unity includes optional graphics overhauls, quality of life fixes, mod support, and hundreds of bug fixes. Read the Daggerfall Unity 1.0 announcement before you set out for your adventure in Tamriel.
Heaps.io is a game engine created by the original designer of the Haxe language, @ncannasse, which uses Haxe to make games for the web, mobile, desktop, and consoles. Heaps.io 2.0 ships refactored buffers, unified shader caching, and production-ready DirectX 12 support. Read the Heaps.io 2.0 release notes on GitHub to learn more.
W4 Games—a company that makes commercial products for the game engine Godot, such as console-porting middleware and cloud infrastructure—has announced that they’ve raised $15 million in series A funding. The money will help the company build the ecosystem around Godot, as well as the company’s ongoing contributions to the engine’s development. It’s exciting to see a validation of Godot’s place in the gaming business. Read the announcement to learn more.
Say hello to GodotOS, your new go-to interface for a sleek, minimalist desktop experience – and guess what? It’s all crafted in the Godot Engine! Dive into a world where you can effortlessly browse folders, edit text files, view images, and even indulge in some gaming fun. But that’s not all – this gem shines on the web too! While GodotOS is more of a playful experiment than a hardcore tech endeavor, it’s a brilliant showcase of UI design prowess in Godot, offering a distraction-free and aesthetically pleasing environment. Plus, it’s open source! (We love that, right?)
LDtk (the “Level Designer Toolkit”) is a 2D level editor and Game Bytes favorite from @deepnight, the creator of Dead Cells and Nuclear Blaze. LDtk 1.5 introduces an array of new features. The most notable are global search (across layers, worlds, entities, custom fields, and beyond) and reduced loading times for large projects and levels. But it’s a big release with much more, such as biomes, UI improvements, and expanded JSON exports. Check out the LDtk 1.5 release notes to learn more about the project’s latest (and admire that new logo and redesigned site while you’re there).
ScummVM is a game preservation project that reimplements games and engines to make it possible to revisit hundreds of classic adventure and role-playing titles. The “Mysteries, Mammoths, and Muppets” release includes support for 50 new games, including several Nancy Drew titles, entries in the Syberia series, and Muppet Treasure Island. Plus, a release that some thought would never come: ScummVM is now on the App Store for iPhones and iPads. Read the ScumVM 2.8.0 announcement and full release notes for details.
By the way, ScummVM is a recurring Game Bytes fave, so check out this previous look into the project.
ICYMI: be sure to see the results from GitHub Game Off 2023, which ran in November 2023. With 632 entries, it was very difficult to choose highlights from the best interpretations of the “Scale” theme.
Build, play, and rate games under challenging time and creative constraints. You can test your skills or learn something new with one these upcoming jams:
- Global Game Jam (January 22 to 28)—Join thousands of participants in the largest game jam, held at hundreds of locations around the world and online.
- 7DRL Challenge 2024 (March 1 to 11)—Put procedural generation to work and join the 20th(!!!) year of the jam to make and finish a roguelike in 7 days or less.
Grapple Pack is this month’s Game Jam Game of the Month, a puzzle-platforming entry to Game Off 2023. Grapple Pack equips you with a grappling hook and a dream: scale your way to the top. This game is a complete package. It has charming, funny, and fully voiced dialogue. You’ll feel smart as you solve challenging-but-fair platforming puzzles. And it’s remarkably polished, even including assist settings if you need them. Head over to itch.io to play Grapple Pack in your browser.
🚨 Vertical video alert!
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.