Over the course of the last month a number of open source projects have come to my attention namely The Dark Kind: Darkness Falls, inspired by the 80's ground breaking 3D space game, Elite and Parsec, a fast-paced multiplayer cross-platform 3D Internet space-shooter. Although Amiga versions are not presently in the works it is possible that Amiga programmers prepared to take up the challenge may bring these exciting new games to the Amiga.
Elite was one of those Amiga games which will always be remembered as a compelling game which pushed the boundaries of gaming. Fans of Elite such as Christian Pinder and Ian Bell are working on The Dark Kind: Darkness Falls, a game inspired by the original. Ian Bell was in fact responsible for the original Elite on the BBC. They plan with Darkness Falls to take the genre to new heights of imagination and wonder.
In Darkness Falls, the Dark Kind are amassing their powers. Darkness is falling over the civilised worlds. Fight for freedom, fight for your life, kill for the money. It's your choice...if you're lucky. Following the release of the first Alpha version the game will be open source allowing anyone to contribute. It is possible that with the help of some skilled Amiga programmers an Amiga version might be prepared.
The second open source project is Parsec, which has been under development since 1996 and was originally a lab project at the Vienna University of Technology. Beginning in May 2003, Parsec will be an open community project striving toward a Parsec release that also includes Internet game play. They hope that by going open source Parsec will bring lots of fun to even more people.
Parsec is a fast-paced space shooter, where the emphasis is more on fun and action than on realism. As far as game play itself is concerned, Parsec has probably more in common with the network game play of first person shooters like Quake than with sophisticated simulations like Elite. After starting up the game you simply choose a ship and select the galaxy you want to be playing in. Every ship has some basic equipment right from the start, but to get most of the funky stuff like additional weapons, energy, invulnerability, and the like, you have to pick up power-ups that are floating around in outer-space. When you're shot down you lose most of them and are once again back down to the basic equipment. Other players can then reclaim the power-ups you've just lost.