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The liberated Pixel Cup

Hi all,
This will be a slightly longish post about a FOSS creating game competition which will be happening shortly.

If people have been reading this blog for sometime, they must be realizing that I’m bit of a game freak and not just any game freak but a FOSS game freak.

So, it is with much excitement I share about Liberated Pixel Cup.While the site gives all the details but still give a short version of it :-

This is a contest/competition with some prizes given to the winners. The contest would be in two parts, the first part would be creation of art from 1st June and the second would be the programming part from 1st July.

Nushio gives some very nice pointers as to how you should go about organizing things if you want to take part. Apart from his blog post, there is also a handy Art Request page/corner he has made at opengameart.org. In fact you should check out couple of before entries too as he has given some interesting ideas there as well.

What was not so interesting however was the Joystiq’s take on it.

It seems they didn’t/don’t really get it as can be seem from the statements they have made.

It seems pretty likely you’ll be able to download and play all the games from the contest as well, given that, you know, “free software” business. If you don’t want to participate artistically, you can do so financially, by donating to the style guide artists and prize fund. Consider it an act of ironic charity.

If one were to seriously think about it, it’s not so different from something like the humble bundle games. The only difference here is in the implementation. While in humble bundle you got full games, here you will get art which is free (as in commons). Mind you I think they would have not been able to raise that kind of cash if the organizers hadn’t made the sources free later on to incentivize more donation. The facts speak for themselves, except for couple of odd games, almost all the games of the first three humble game bundle were open-sourced shortly after the money was raised

What is also to be taken into account is that some people perceive is that there is no gaming to be made if you are doing FOSS art but that isn’t true at all. While you can see paid commissions on Opengameart.org quite a few times, you can also see artists from projects such as Battle of Wesnoth, the bottom line being things are more similar than mainstream press such as joystiq feels/understands.

The way I see it, all of the art could be dual-licensed (depending on the creator) so if people want they could be used in game-maker and other proprietary engines as well although that’s not the aim of the competition though.

As to why they chose Pixel art, I guess 2D is simpler and Pixel art is cute/can be cute. I dunno though if 1 month programming contest would be enough to make a good game. Probably some kind of prototyping would be achieved by then for sure.

What is more interesting though is not the contest or the money (although donations would be nice to kickstart the competition itself) but the possibility of new art, game engines and most though the community which now hangs out at #liberatedpixelcup at freenode. What would be also interesting with this venture people get to be a bit more aware/read more about FOSS engines as well for e.g. see the post about Frogatto . The best though is for the last, see some of the art which would be coming out as a sort of design guide before the actual contest begins.

At the end, what people need to understand with initiatives such as LPC, games would be nicer looking, cheaper and better as programmers use existing engines and frameworks (rather than wasting time and reinventing the wheel) and as more and more art becomes publicly consumable (usable) games would be that much more faster made.

As an aside, apt 0.9.0 is now in Debian sid which means better, faster and shorter index udates.

Lastly, there’s still much water to flow under the bridge from now till couple of months. Happy gaming and Happy hacking till next time.

Update: 18/04/12 – Linux.com has a nice article about LPC as well as slashdot featured it few days ago as well.

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