Tux with a joystick

Linux.conf.au 2009 Gaming Miniconf

Tuesday 20 January 2009 at the University of Tasmania, Hobart

The aim of the Miniconf was to bring game developers and gamers together to promote Free and Open Source (FOSS) games, FOSS in game development and gaming on FOSS platforms.

LCA 2009 game development competition

Conference attendees were challenged to write a game between 10am Tuesday 20 January and 6pm Friday 23 January 2009. The judges were Andrew Donaldson, Andrew Pam and Josh Bush.


One Velociraptor Per Child (Python 2.5) - Joel Stanley and Tim Ansell

Download tarball (3.5M)

Honourable mention

Shaving Bdale (Flash) - Andrew Bennett

Miniconf programme

Previous years

Linux.conf.au 2007 in Sydney and Linux.conf.au 2008 in Melbourne.

The Linux Gooey - Andrew Doull

Andrew Doull

The Linux Gooey - An exploration of why Linux needs a Game Maker and the evolving language of games.

Games development for open source gives a skilled programmer a vast palette of possible tools with which to design games. But non-programmers are left out in the cold by the meritocracy of the open source development model, while the closed source commercial model has evolved to empower them through user content generation tools. How can we empower our users to contribute to the open source games: where do we need to set the skill bar, what languages should we choose, and how do we get them to make art?

The autobiographical perspective from a developer with over 10 years experience maintaining a complex open source games project.

Andrew Doull is an IT manager from New Zealand who spends his free time at developing Unangband, an open source roguelike game, blogging about game development and maintaining the procedural content generation wiki. He also writes as the Amateur for GameSetWatch.

Presentation (PDF)

Platinum Arts Sandbox - Mike Tomaino

Mike Tomaino

Platinum Arts Sandbox is an open source easy to use standalone 3D Game Design program currently being used in many schools throughout the world that allows kids and adults to create their own 3D video games, worlds, levels, adventures and quests. The goal is to make it accessible to kids but also powerful enough for full game projects. With a simple click and roll of a mouse wheel users can modify the world however they want. In the words of Margaret, a nine year old Sandbox whiz I babysit for, “Press Edit and go fulfill your dreams!”.


Presentation (PDF)

VR Application Development in Linux - Ioanna Ioannou

Ioanna Ioannou

Whether you work in game development, simulation, modeling, visualisation, or are simply interested in all things high-tech; virtual reality captures the imagination. It allows the creation of new worlds to experience. It presents exciting possibilities for game development as well as in simulating and representing many real-life situations.

Traditionally, users provide input to software through keyboards, mice, joysticks, and sometimes verbal interfaces, and receive output from software through visual and aural interfaces. Virtual reality expands this interaction by allowing users to provide input through touch and motion, and receive output through tactile interfaces and stereoscopic 3D vision.

Have you ever dealt with applications that could benefit from a more "real" human-computer interface? Are you excited by the possibility of touch-enabled software? Today, this technology is more accessible to the masses than ever before. As virtual reality equipment, such as haptic feedback devices, becomes more affordable, an active open source community is growing and providing more free drivers and software libraries for linux.

This talk aims to introduce the audience to virtual reality development on linux, and provide those who are interested in this domain with the basic background knowledge they need to get started. I will introduce the tools and libraries available, their capabilities, the basic theory and algorithms behind them, and show examples illustrating the basic principles employed in virtual reality application development. The opportunities and exciting technical challenges involved in the development of such tools will also be explored for the members of the audience who may be interested in contributing to the virtual reality community.

Ioanna is completing a masters thesis on the topic of touch-enabled virtual environments for surgical training at the University of Melbourne. She has been studying in the field of virtual reality for the past year and is familiar with a variety of virtual reality equipment and tools. She has spent the last six months developing a virtual reality simulation prototype for surgical drilling using the tools outlined in this talk. Ioanna has degrees in software engineering and commerce.

Presentation (PDF)

Share Your Experience: YouTube Integration In Games - Claus Höfele

Claus Höfele

Increasingly, YouTube integration is seen as a valuable feature addition to games. Spore, PixelJunk Eden, and Mainichi Issho are examples of current games that allow you to upload recorded video footage of your gameplay. But not only commercial games benefit. By hosting the videos, YouTube puts this feature in reach of indie game developers who might otherwise not be able to afford the server resources.

Get to know the practical steps to integrate YouTube into your game with the help of open source libraries.

Claus Höfele is an Engine Programmer at Team Bondi, an independent game developer based in Sydney. In addition to working with game consoles, Claus has a long history in developing software for mobile devices and is the author of Mobile 3D Graphics: Learning 3D Graphics with the Java Micro Edition (ISBN 1-59863-292-2).

Presentation (PDF)

Reverse engineering, anti-circumvention, and other broken laws - Nic Suzor

Nic Suzor

Legal issues affecting FOSS gamers and game developers such as copyright, game ratings and censorship of games.

This presentation will outline what I see as some of the more pressing legal issues faced by FOSS gamers and game developers, and how we can work together towards achieving some changes in the law.

We at Electronic Frontiers Australia are also very interested in hearing about other legal issues that may be hindering the development of FOSS games in Australia. If we can isolate and identify some problems, there may be opportunities to lobby for change or work together to find workable solutions.

See a more in-depth explanation on my blog

Or get the presentation (PDF)

Nic Suzor is the Chair of Electronic Frontiers Australia, and an iCi PhD researcher and sessional academic in the law school at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. His doctoral thesis explores constitutional principles for the governance of virtual communities.

His background is in both law and computer science, holding undergraduate degrees in Law and IT from QUT, and having worked as a computer programmer before moving to legal research. He has published on issues including copyright law, free software licences, parody and other copyright exceptions, new media regulation and legal issues around the development and participation in computer games. He holds a Masters of Laws (research), and his thesis examined the transformative use of copyright material in Australia. He is involved in several research projects including Creative Commons Australia, research into legal issues of Free and Open Source Software, computer games (with particular reference to massively multiplayer online environments), and commons-based peer production.

All photographs Copyright © and Trans© 2009 Andrew Pam