December 14, 2001, 12:00 AM — Linux gaming takes a fun turn with Critical Mass
(http://criticalmass.sourceforge.net), a classic shoot the critters
arcade game that uses SDL/OpenGL and runs on Linux. The author, Frank
Becker, stated that he had cross-compiled the game on Windows but had
not tested it. For now, only the Linux version has been released.
Critical Mass provides a classic arcade look and feel with modern three-
dimensional bad things to shoot. I especially like the shoot the
pumpkins feature of the special Halloween version. Download Criticcal
Mass from SourceForge at http://sourceforge.net/projects/criticalmass.
For those who still pine for the days of the wonderfully addictive
Doom, there's EDGE -- the Enhanced Doom Game Engine
(http://edge.sourceforge.net). Doom, a very popular game that lead to
follow-ups such as Quake, was ported to the X Window System on Linux
and UNIX. EDGE provides a game engine that acts as the core of a Doom-
like game and runs on Linux or Windows.
As an engine, EDGE requires a WAD file that describes a given game.
Doom and Doom II, for example, each came with a WAD file. The WAD file
describes all the levels and monsters in the game.
EDGE can be downloaded from http://edge.sourceforge.net/downloads.htm.
Finally, I've been impressed by the progress on Parsec
(http://www.parsec.org). Parsec is a free three-dimensional space
shooter game with versions available for Linux, Windows, MacOS, and
MacOS X. Work in progress on Parsec includes a network mode over
TCP/IP, allowing multiple players to shoot it out in the dangerous
universe of their choice.
The features list includes fast 3D graphics using OpenGL or GLIDE, and
a digital soundtrack and the graphics look beautiful, especially the
space ship gallery at http://www.parsec.org/gallery.html. The actual
game is still in development though, so your mileage may vary. I really
like the developers' attitude to avoid highlighting features not
finished yet and, instead, focusing on what has been completed.