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{ Category Archives } Games

OSDC & orbital death, better late then never…

So last year at the end of November I spoke at OSDC. I had been meaning to blog about the conference but never gotten around to doing so. The conference was great, but like previous OSDC’s I came down with something. Sadly, this meant that missed Andrew Tridgell’s talk about the EU-Microsoft agreement. Joel, who had been camped out in my lounge room for the week, said it was really worth listening too. I really wish OSDC recorded all the talks like does.

As part of speaking at the conference I had to produce a paper. This paper puts into writing a lot of what I have been talking about. I wasn’t going to post it, but after getting a email out of the blue about the topic, I’ve decided to put a copy here on my blog. I might as well also upload the presentation I gave, but it won’t be very interesting by itself. Both are released under a CC-BY-SA.

If there is one thing that any budding game developer (open source or otherwise) should take away from this talk, it is the following:

When a person is looking for normal software, they have an issue to solve.
When looking for computer games, they are looking to be entertained.

This fundamental difference in mindset should drive every aspect of your game, website and release process.

Edit: How could I forget? A big thanks goes out to Leslie Hawthorn who helped proof read the paper and making it much easier to read!

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Tech Talk at Google – Gaming for Freedom

Last week on friday, I gave a Tech Talk about Open Source Gaming as part of Leslie Hawthorn’sOpen Source Developers @ Google” talk series. For those who were silly enough to miss it, it should be soon coming to a YouTube near you.

I had given a similar talk at my local LUG only recently, I think that version went a little better but it was quite a different crowd. The first part of my talk came across way more preachy then I had hoped. I also see now how I can better use Thousand Parsec as examples of the tips I came up for releasing FOSS games. I guess practice makes perfect, maybe I’ll get it right to one day be able to give it at

At the beginning this time I tried some of the “one word per slide quick succession” talk which Anthony Baxter had suggested. I think however think I ended up just insulting every American! I don’t think I speak fast enough to make this type of talk successful, but I’ll keep experimenting.

If you have any feedback on the talk, please do send me an email!

The real reason for this post is to upload the slides for the tech talk so they can be linked from the YouTube video.

Edit: The talk has now been uploaded, you can access it via the following link or see it below,

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Open Source @ Freeplay debrief

As some of you may know, I was invited to speak about my experiences with Open Source games at the Independent Game Developers conference, Freeplay. The conference was in Melbourne at the ACMI and at my guess around 250 people attended the event.

I organised with the Freeplay organisers to have postcards available at the registration desk and dotted around the other venues. About 100 cards where picked up and the remainder where given to Geoff Leach (who lectures at RMIT) to distribute to students. I also advertised the “Gaming Miniconf” which I will be organising at

I gave a talk entitled “The best things in life are free” which was split into two sections. The first was an introduction to what FOSS actually is, while the second was a brief tour of various open source game technologies and games which exist. I hoped to show how the independent game developers and open source game developers where closer then both sides realise.

The talk went well and there seemed quite a bit of interest. There was quite a bit of interest (among game library developers) in the dual-licensing model that MySQL and Trolltech both use. More importantly many of the upcoming game development students attending were interested in both using open source and open sourcing their own games.

I also talked directly to a variety of leading Australian game developers to find out how, where and why they are using FOSS in there company and games. As I have previously thought (and discussed at last year’s Gaming Miniconf), the amount of FOSS being used is extensive. Python, for example, been embedded in many AAA games and is used in multiple MMORPGs. Hopefully I will have some cool case studies very soon.