Some of you might remember previous coverage of Solarus, the Free Software Zelda-like ARPG engine that comes with its own complete game creation suite and a pretty impressive palette of Zelda fan games already available under its wing. As of last December, version 1.6 has been released, and while the changes under the hood are too many to number (check the full announcement and changelog here), it is worth highlighting the package now includes a more varied amount of libre tilesets, meaning developers now have available a wider choice of default non-proprietary graphics to use on their own creations. While the community is still very much focused around Zelda fan-games and their respective copyrighted graphics, this is an important first step to attract more developers and spark future libre game projects.
|The Ocean's Heart tileset, now part of the Solarus package.|
One such project is Ocean's Heart, the brainchild of Solarus community member Max Mraz. The game follows a gameplay structure similar to classic Zelda games transported to a Viking age-inspired setting. It features an entirely original story and a beautiful pixelated tileset, which Max was kind enough to license under a Creative Commons license for integration with the Solarus suite. Upon completion it will become the first true libre Solarus-made ARPG in code and assets, which makes for very exciting news.
Stay tuned for further developments on this, and be sure to check the Solarus website for news on their upcoming game projects, along with complete instructions and tutorials on how to create your own game using the development tools.
Code License: GPLv3
Assets License: Mixed (most sprite packages copyrighted by Nintendo, original Solarus assets under CC-BY-SA)