January 11, 2005

New Online Gaming Portal based on Free Software

Josef Spillner writes "Players who care about the freedom not only of their operating system, but also of the complete software stack including games and game servers, are offered much more fun from now on.

Enter GGZ Community:

Having been launched today, GGZ Community (https://www.ggzcommunity.org/) offers a
range of online multiplayer games together with player and team administration,
ranking tables, history on played games and much more.

Web forums, blog aggregation and a game content repository based on the
Get Hot New Stuff architecture (http://www.kstuff.org/ghns/) are waiting to be used.
Beside the tight integration of all features, security has been part of the design,
providing users with encrypted communication in every aspect: web pages, email and
the connection to the GGZ server itself.

Future plans include further internationalization (i18n) and hosting of additional free games,
which unfortunately is always a question of financing the server.
Of course, given the open nature of the project, everyone who is interested in hosting such
a server providing the above services on his own is encouraged to do so, and might as well
adapt the software structure to the needs of special gaming communities, be it an
online Chess club or a Hearts and Bridge players group.

The project and its jubilee:

The backbone of GGZ Community is the GGZ Gaming Zone system (http://www.ggzgamingzone.org/),
already available in many Linux distribution and BSD flavours.
Beside the games offered by GGZ (mostly board and card games), other free game
project are increasingly capable of using GGZ features.
The latest such game on the list is Widelands (http://widelands.sourceforge.net/),
which for the first time will integrate GGZ core features directly into the game client.

Once installed, many games even offer multiple GUI clients such as for KDE, Gtk+
or SDL. The installed games, tools and core applications are now complemented
by the web pages and will make it much more pleasant to organize game matches or
even tournaments.

The GGZ project has launched GGZ community as a present to its users celebrating the
5th birthday. In the meantime, development for GGZ 0.0.10 has almost finished, and
the new GGZ release will in turn make available more of the features already integrated
into GGZ community.

Development and software background:

One of the new features to expect around the end of January will be GGZBoard, a board
game framework implemented in Python, and using Pygame (http://www.pygame.org/) as client
toolkit. Using the framework, writing a board game such as Reversi comes down to a few dozen
lines of code, including network and AI handling.
Already available is GGZCards (http://www.ggzgamingzone.org/games/ggzcards/), which is its
counterpart for card games such as Hearts, Whist or Spades.

Another important aspect is making the software available to all people. This means primarily
to add translations (coordinated at the new i18n page (http://dev.ggzgamingzone.org/i18n/))
and to care about operating system portability. The next version will come with LAN games
detection, improved KDE and Gtk+ integration, and some SVG graphics.

The other upcoming features shall not be spread yet, but the CVS repository is open for
everyone to have a look already. If you never played a game on GGZ, be invited today to try
it out (GGZ Community works with either version). Otherwise, just wait until GGZ 0.0.10 will be
released in a couple of days."

Link: ggzcommunity.org

Click Here!