Building a Retro Linux Gaming Computer – Part 23: On Your Marks, Get Set, Go!

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Continuation of part 22: Happy Hacking

If you look at the commercial catalog of Linux games at the turn of the millennium, of all the 3D shooters and strategic simulations released, one glaring omission seems to have been the absence of racing games. Loki Software has never ported it to Linux, nor have any of the other porting companies. This left a void for the free games community to fill. One of the first to leave for the races was Trophywhose development began in March 2000.

The latest version of Trophy I can run from Red Hat Linux 7.3 is the 1.1.3 version before the game was ported to ClanLib 0.8 and beyond. To do this, I first had to grab the ClanLib-0.6.1-fr1.i386.rpm, ClanLib-sound-0.6.1-fr1.i386.rpm and Hermes-1.3.2-fr3.i386 packages. rpm of cool laps. Even then, the included binary that came with the 1.1.3 source tarball still wouldn’t load, because it was built with libstdc++5 which is too new.

This is the same problem I had when trying to run later versions of cube, but since I could satisfy all the other build dependencies in this case, I was able to compile my own binary linked to my old version of glibc. To do this, all I had to do was run “make clean” followed by “make” in the trophies directory. This meant that I also had to install all of the ClanLib and Hermes development packages, which from freshrpms was eleven packages in total.

Even then, the game window still appeared labeled “Trophy 1.0.6” instead, but the “Snake” and “Rally” tracks were present and correct, so I know I built the correct version. Beyond that, the only other bug I encountered was that I was unable to change my car color using the arrow keys as the menu suggests, the new game screen looking like only allow me to enter my name. That said, I also don’t know what the “Hall Of Fame” is for at this point either.

Trophy is a top-down racing game that sets itself apart by emphasizing the use of extras such as vehicular combat to get ahead of your rivals. You can fire a machine gun at other cars by pressing the “x” key, drop bombs with the “c” key, and give yourself a boost by holding down the “a” key. All of these are powered by collectibles found scattered around the track, until you complete the fifth and final round. The result is a strong arcade feel without being a kart racer.

The graphics are attractive if a bit compressed, the tracks themselves being large for the time, 1200x1200px bitmaps created in multiple layers through the use of the GNU image manipulation program. In fact, a comprehensive Track Designer’s Handbook has been written that walks through the process of building a track, all to encourage Trophy players to submit their own creations. This manual can still be read from the Trophy site hosted on SourceForge.

Work on Trophy advanced in the beginning, the latest version 2.0.4 of 2019 still depending on the old ClanLib 1.0 SDK. But at the same time Trophy Technically ossified over the last decade, the gameplay has been greatly enriched from version 2.0.0. It was the first to feature a championship mode as well as a shop where you can buy vehicle upgrades and new cars, finally giving the money you collect a real purpose.

With all these additions in particular, Trophy reminds me a lot mini car racing as published by eGames, one of my brother’s favorite games growing up. Whether it’s a coincidence or not is hard to say, as both games were first released in the same year, but they both have you running on the moon. mini car racingby the way, is also one of many older games that are much easier to run on WINE than on modern versions of Windows today.

Looking at the TODO list included alongside Trophy show that the similarities were to go even deeper than that, with the inclusion of oil slicks, rockets, and runway jump points. All this reinforces the feeling that Trophy still has a lot of unrealized potential, with network multiplayer also being hinted at at one point. There is a legacy here that it would be nice for someone to build on, if the right contributor was found.

What free and open source game projects take off and stall often seems like a coincidence, but at least here there’s always the chance to breathe new life into them, given enough interest. The same can even be said for what is my mother’s favorite computer game to date, a free software title that for most of the 2000s was one of the most lauded Linux games ever released. for the platform.

Continue to Part 24: Mother Knows Best

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