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{ Monthly Archives } August 2007

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.

Summer comes to an end, but it’s not over.

Well, not really – I’m in the Southern Hemisphere and Summer is yet to arrive. What I am ranting about is the “Google Summer of Code”. This year, much to our suprise Thousand Parsec the space strategy empire building game I founded “oh so many years ago”, was selected to become a mentor organisation.

We had 3 students accepted into the program and then Google also agreed to fund an extra student outside the program! Sadly only 3 out of these 4 students passed the mid-term evaluation, but the work they have been doing is really, really cool!

This last 6 months have been really rewarding personally. I started the project in 2001 and it has been a long slog to grow the project past just the other founder and me. With all these new people who are actively excited about the project (and not just the SoCers!) it has been a huge relief that time over the last 6 years has not been wasted. With myself recently graduating, the nature of my contributions to the project is going to change and it’s nice to know that others will be helping to keep the project alive.

It use to be the case that if I stop working on the project, no progress would be made. Now almost everytime I turn on the computer I see new commits. When I go to our gitweb there is always a lot of green. It’s an absolutely wonderful feeling!

The next 6 months are also going to be really exciting, with TP04 reaching the final stages of specification, a new website reorg, a bunch of new games and an almost complete rewrite of the primary client. We might actually start attracting users :).

Exotic VPN support!

It would be cool is someone added support to network Network Manager for the following “VPN”s.

  • nstx or iodine, tunneling over DNS
  • ssh, tunneling over ssh
  • http, tunneling over that “wonderful” web protocol

It would be also good if we could enter proxy servers for particular locations – in many locations in Australia they are mandatory.


Here is a copy of my Resume. You can find it in PDF form or plain TXT form.

Going to FreePlay

Well, I am going to FreePlay this weekend. I will be giving a talk about FOSS Game Development called “The best things in life are free”. If you are in Melbourne and have nothing to do on Saturday, why not come a long and see some cool talks?

I am running the Gaming Miniconf at LCA 2008 (I also ran it at 2007) which I will be advertising. I have also managed to organised to have 2008 postcards given out at the registration desk, which is pretty cool.