Oolite: Elite Re-Invented, Open-Source style

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oOlite was originally created by Giles Williams around 2005, as a response to the withdrawal of Elite: The New Kind (Elite: TNK), by Christian Pinder. oOlite is a free and open source 3D Space trading and combat simulator in the spirit of Elite. You begin as the Commander of a Cobra MKIII, with 100 Credits in your pocket. Setting out on a new life as a trader, bounty hunter, pirate, or haulier and passenger taxi, flying from planet to planet gaining fame (the rank of Elite) and fortune. The planets or Systems, are living entities that range from Rich Industrial, Corporate States, to the Poor Agricultural Anarchic Systems, each one bringing its own tapestry of law and lawlessness. Each system has, in the Vanilla option, one inhabited planet, with the orbiting Space station. Whereas with the addition of OXPs (extensions of oOlite) there are many different dockable objects that are added, from Casinos to Penal colonies.

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Starcraft on Open Pandora: How the Port Came to Be

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When the Alive and Kicking Coding Competition for the Open Pandora Scene was about to close, one week before the deadline, Notaz (of Picodrive fame) had a special request: to move the deadline till the end of the weekend instead of the initial Saturday evening one. That’s when I knew Notaz was on to something, while he would not disclose anything else than “it’s not Pandora specific”. The deadline came and went and Notaz could not finish his project on time. A couple of weeks later, he released what he had been working on: a perfect port of Starcraft running on the Pandora. This is an impressive feat, since Starcraft is closed source, and only available as a x86 binary in the first place, and Pandora runs on ARM hardware. So, how did he do it ?

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Gods: Brutal Deluxe

A couple of days ago, PtitSeb released a port of Gods Deluxe for the Pandora, a remake of the classic 90s game, Gods, from the Bitmap brothers. If you were born a bit too late and missed the rock’n roll and all the good stuff, you may not have heard or who the hell the Bitmap Brothers are and what Gods is about. Or maybe you were playing on consoles back then and completely missed the excellent Amiga version and thought the SNES version was the same thing (that one sucked bad). Here’s why you should care.

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ZDoom, GZDoom and their Mods. Are They any Good ?

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PtitSeb released a port a Zdoom not too long ago, and I was actually curious as to what one could do with it. Actually Zdoom is not just another Doom engine, it supports a lot of mods and I thought it was a good idea to check if there’s anything worth looking at. Of course, most people already know about Brutal Doom, but let’s see if there’s anything else there that’s interesting AND runs well on Pandora, which is unfortunately not the case for Brutal Doom at this stage.

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Breaking News: StarCraft Running on Pandora

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I will definitely come back on this in more details later on, but Notaz has just done it again: he has found a way to create a port of Starcraft on Pandora, using the concept of static recompilation. It was supposed to be released for the Alive and Kicking Coding Competition but he ran into issues and could not make it on time. Note that it was already possible to run Starcraft on Pandora via QEmu, running under Windows, but it was sluggish as hell compared to what Notaz has just achieved. This is just great!

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Who is Kenta Cho ?

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Maybe the name is unfamiliar to many of you, but Kenta Cho is the Japanese game creator behind many of the shoot’em ups available on Pandora (and ported by MH-T and mcobit). rRootage, Tumiki Fighters, Titanion, just to name a few. Most of his games source code is available, and I guess you now realize he specializes in shooters. After looking at his productions I started to wonder how he came to do that. What was his story ?

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