How to Play Almost Any Video Game on a Raspberry Pi

Source: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/play-video-games-raspberry-pi/
Capture Date: 16.09.2018 23:03:12

You’ve got a Raspberry Pi. You’ve probably entertained the idea of using it for retro gaming. But what if we told you that you don’t need to stop there—that you can play a massive selection of games, past and present, using a Raspberry Pi?

You probably don’t believe us, but it’s totally true. Save for a handful of modern console games, you can play almost any video game on a Raspberry Pi. Here’s everything you need to know about it.

6 Ways to Play Video Games on Raspberry Pi

Incredibly, you have six options for gaming on your Raspberry Pi. You’re not limited to Linux titles, or to games intended for x86 systems (like standard PCs). As long as you do it right, a massive library of games can be enjoyed on your Raspberry Pi:

  1. Retro gaming with RetroPie, RecalBox, and Lakka
  2. Play Raspberry Pi-exclusive games
  3. Install classic games directly on Raspberry Pi
  4. Play classic PC games with DOSBox
  5. Play PC games on Raspberry Pi with Exagear and Wine
  6. Stream modern PC games to Raspberry Pi with Parsec

Each of these six options will deliver some great gaming action to your Raspberry Pi. Let’s look at each in turn.

1. Retro Gaming With RetroPie, RecalBox, and Lakka

You probably already know about the possibilities of retro gaming with a Raspberry Pi. It’s one of the little computer’s most popular uses! While individual emulators can be installed on a per-platform basis, it’s a good idea to use one of the retro gaming suites, which include support for all emulators, including MAME for arcade machine emulation.

While these can be installed as full disk images, some are also available as apps to run on Raspbian (or your preferred Raspberry Pi operating system). All in all, there are several retro gaming systems for Raspberry Pi worth checking out.

10 Operating Systems You Can Run With Raspberry Pi 10 Operating Systems You Can Run With Raspberry Pi The hardware of the Raspberry Pi alone is only one side of the story: Today I explore 10 different Operating Systems you can install. Read More

Once installed, you’ll be able to copy your favorite retro gaming ROMs to your Raspberry Pi. In the video above, I demonstrate how to run Dreamcast games on Raspberry Pi 3. Note that as Raspberry Pi computers become more sophisticated, the more platforms are added as emulators.

Be sure to only use ROMs that you own the physical copy of, in order to avoid charges of copyright theft.

2. Play Raspberry Pi-Exclusive Games

Several games that have been designed to run on the Raspberry Pi are also available. You probably already know about Minecraft PE, which comes preinstalled with Raspbian (or even set up a Raspberry Pi as a Minecraft server).

Most games designed to run natively on the Raspberry Pi are written in Python. You can find a great selection of Python games at pygame.org. Meanwhile, you’ll find games that run on the Raspberry Pi via the Add/Remove Software tool.

3. Install Classic Games Directly on Raspberry Pi

An impressive collection of classic games has been re-released as open source over the past few years, enabling them to be ported to other platforms. Often, this means Linux, but typically only with x86 support. Fortunately, it can also mean ARM, which means Raspberry Pi compatibility.

Titles such as Doom, Quake III, and even Star Wars Jedi Knight II: Jedi Outcast have all been ported to the Raspberry Pi. All you need to do is download, install, and start playing! Our guide to running Doom on Raspberry Pi will give you a good idea of how simple this is.

How to Run Doom on Your Raspberry Pi Without an Emulator How to Run Doom on Your Raspberry Pi Without an Emulator It’s now possible to run FPS classic Doom on the Raspberry Pi, thanks to Chocolate Doom. We’ll show you everything you need to know. Read More

4. Play Classic PC Games With DOSBox

How to Play Almost Any Video Game on a Raspberry Pi muo gaming dosbox civ

Another option for playing classic games on your Raspberry Pi is with DOSBox. This is an emulator for Microsoft’s MS-DOS operating system, which precedes Windows (but was packaged with Windows 95 and 98). Almost all classic PC games can be installed in DOSBox, and the software can run on Raspberry Pi.

So, you can expect to revisit (or discover!) classics like F117A Stealth Fighter, the original Sim City and Civilization games, and many more. It’s estimated that over 2,000 titles were released for MS-DOS, so you’ll have plenty to keep you entertained!

Note: You’ll find most of these old PC games require keyboard and mouse, not a modern game controller.

5. Play PC Games on Pi With Exagear and Wine

how to play almost any video game on raspberry pi

Incredibly, you can even run some Windows games on a Raspberry Pi thanks to Wine. While the popular Windows application layer software for Linux is not designed to be run on ARM systems, Exagear’s software makes it possible.

The result is an ever-growing collection of Windows PC games that will run on your Raspberry Pi, with a bit of tweaking. Admittedly, these are not recent titles, but given that many older Windows games won’t work in modern versions of the operating system, running them on a Raspberry Pi instead seems like a good alternative.

Need some help? Check our guide to installing Windows software on a Raspberry Pi with Exagear.

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6. Stream Modern PC Games to Pi With Parsec

Configure streaming in Parsec

Finally, and perhaps most surprisingly, you can stream games from Windows, macOS, and Linux PCs to your Raspberry Pi. While this will require a powerful PC in the background to run the game, this changes everything.

You’ll need a reliable network and a Raspberry Pi 3 or later, but with Parsec set up on the PC and on Raspbian, it’s simple to stream whatever is running on your computer to your Raspberry Pi. We’re not talking retro gaming anymore, either.

The latest titles, as long as they run on your PC, can be streamed to your Pi. This makes the Raspberry Pi an alternative to the Steam Link. Our guide to using Parsec with Raspberry Pi shows you how to make this happen.

How to Stream Any PC Game to TV Using a Raspberry Pi How to Stream Any PC Game to TV Using a Raspberry Pi Don’t limit yourself to streaming only Steam games from PC to TV. With a Raspberry Pi, you can stream ANY game installed on your computer—without worrying about Steam Link! Read More

Raspberry Pi: A Surprisingly Versatile Gaming Device!

Amazing, isn’t it? The Raspberry Pi is an incredibly versatile machine, capable not only of letting you play your favorite retro games, but also current games thanks to streaming technology.

Better still, you can retain your existing retro game emulators at the same time as running Exagear or Parsec. In short, each of the six options listed here can be set up on a single Raspberry Pi 3 or later. Given the price of the Raspberry Pi, this surely makes it the most amazing gaming computer currently available!

All of this makes it the ideal gaming device, perfect for installing in a gaming cabinet!

7 Fantastic RetroPie Game Stations You Can Build This Weekend 7 Fantastic RetroPie Game Stations You Can Build This Weekend Retro gaming is soaring in popularity. These 7 awesome RetroPie game stations can all be built in a weekend with hard work and a Raspberry Pi. Read More

How to Play Classic PC Games on Your Raspberry Pi

Source: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/play-class…-games-raspberry-pi/
Capture Date: 16.09.2018 23:06:22

An incredible library of games and other software is available to your Raspberry Pi. You probably know that it makes a great base for emulating other platforms, but did you know it could run retro PC software?

Before Windows, there was MS-DOS. This old disk operating system from Microsoft can be emulated on the Raspberry Pi in a couple of different ways. Which method you choose depends on the outcome you’re looking for.

Here’s how to install old PC games on a Raspberry Pi!

Running DOS Software on Raspberry Pi

Civilization on a Raspberry Pi with DOSBox

Microsoft’s first PC-based operating system, MS-DOS was released in 1981 and discontinued in 2000. During this time, over 2000 games were released for what was then a largely office-based computer system.

Furthermore, Windows 95 and 98 could run DOS software. Often you would leave the desktop operating system to run MS-DOS games and applications.

The process is straightforward:

  1. Install DOSBox
  2. Configure DOSBox
  3. Find MS-DOS games
  4. Install MS-DOS games
  5. Enjoy!

For the best results, make sure you’re using a Raspberry Pi 2 or later, with an 8GB or higher SD card. Classic PC games typically need a keyboard and mouse to play, although some controllers and joysticks are supported.

You’ll also need an HDMI cable and display to enjoy the games (instead of a remote VNC or RDP connection, which can kill the magic somewhat).

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Step 1: Install DOSBox on Raspberry Pi

DOSBox on Raspberry Pi

You should already have an operating system installed on your Raspberry Pi before starting. With the Pi powered on, open a terminal, and check for updates:

sudo apt upgrade sudo apt update

Once done, install DOSBox:

sudo apt install dosbox

Step 2: Configure DOSBox on Raspberry Pi

Install DOSBox on Raspberry Pi

Configuring is a bit trickier. You’ll need a directory to run DOSBox and the software from:

mkdir dos

Next, edit the DOSBox configuration file in nano:

sudo nano .dosbox/dosbox-0.74.conf

Next, scroll to the end of the file and add your mount instruction under the [autoexec] heading.

Configure DOSBox to auto-mount a directory.

This will ensure that when DOSBox runs, it uses the dos directory as the C: drive.

mount c ~/dos c:

Save and exit the text editor with Ctrl + X, and hit Y to confirm.

You should now be able to run DOSBox from the Games menu on your Raspberry Pi!

Step 3: Find MS-DOS Games for Raspberry Pi

Where can you find suitable games? Well, thrift stores and eBay are a good place to start. Old games will typically be available on CD-ROM or floppy disk, however, so you’ll need to make sure you have the right type of disk drive connected to your Raspberry Pi.

If this isn’t possible, then you will need to rely on disk images found online. We can’t link you to these as there are copyright considerations. Such ROM files can be found in ZIP format, unpacked, and installed within DOSBox just as they might be on a genuine MS-DOS PC.

To avoid breaching copyright and breaking the law, restrict your use of game ROMs to titles you already own.

You really shouldn’t need to break copyright law to get hold of old games, however, as so many have been made open source. A big selection of such games can be found at the Internet Archive. Here, you’ll find everything from genuine games to cover discs full of shareware titles.

In short, you should be able to find something to play very easily. But what do you do once the games have been downloaded? How can you load them into DOSBox?

Step 4: Install MS-DOS Games on Raspberry Pi

To run DOS games on your Raspberry Pi, you need DOSBox to be aware of the game. The best way to do this is create a new directory for your games within the dos directory:

mkdir dos/games

You can then use the mv (move) command to copy any games from Downloads into this new folder:

mv Downloads/[GAME_TITLE] dos/games/

You’re now ready to start installing and playing games.

Launch DOSBox, and use the command line to navigate into the /games/ directory. Remember, you’re in an environment emulating MS-DOS, so different commands are needed. While cd still changes directory, the contents are listed with dir (you can use dir /p to display the contents list a page at a time). Type help to get more assistance.

Install games in DOSBox

Once you have copied games into the games directory, open a specific directory, then find the install.bat file and run it. Sometimes, this may be named after the game in question. For instance, in this example, I used cm2.bat to begin installation of Championship Manager 97-98.

Wait while the game installs. Once done, you can usually run the game using the shortened form of its title. Often, this is the same as the BAT file, but without the suffix.

For example, to run Championship Manager 2, I simply entered cm2. This will differ from game to game, however, so check the documentation. If all else fails, run the appropriately names EXE file to launch the game.

Copy game ROMs from your PC to Raspberry Pi over FTP

Note that you can also copy games to your Raspberry Pi from your PC. If you have SSH enabled on the Pi, the SFTP function of your preferred FTP software (we like Filezilla) will let you copy game files to the Pi. You should probably save them directly to the /games/ directory to save time.

When you’re done with DOSBox, simply exit the environment with a single command:

exit

Classic PC Games on Raspberry Pi Made Easy!

It can be a little time-consuming to set up a DOS environment on your Raspberry Pi, but once you’re up and running, you have a massive library of games and software at your disposal.

This isn’t the only way to play classic PC games on your Raspberry Pi, however. Some titles have been ported to Linux and altered to run on the Raspberry Pi without emulators.

10+ Classic Games You Can Run on Raspberry Pi Without Emulators 10+ Classic Games You Can Run on Raspberry Pi Without Emulators Want to play some classic games on your Raspberry Pi? These ten titles are available without using emulation. Grab them and you’ll be playing in minutes! Read More

4 Classic Websites to Scratch Your Retro Gaming Itch

Source: https://www.maketecheasier.com/retro-gam…8Make+Tech+Easier%29
Capture Date: 16.09.2018 22:40:41

The recent spat of “classic” consoles offer nostalgic gamers an easy way to experience their favorite titles from the 8- and 16-bit eras. Unfortunately, finding one can be a bit of a pain, not to mention they can command more coin than you might be willing to part with.

Of course, one could always install RetroPie or RecallBox, but configuring them can be time-consuming. Luckily, if you’ve got a retro gaming itch you can scratch it immediately. In recent years a number of websites have popped up that are dedicated to preserving old video games. The best part is all of the games are playable directly within your browser.

1. Archive.org

The mission of Archive.org is to keep an online repository of all things for posterity. From music to magazines to movies to everything in between, Archive.org has an extensive collection of artifacts on a wide variety of subjects in its database. Gamers young and old will be happy to learn that Archive.org also maintains libraries of classic video games.

retro-game-consolelivingroom

Archive.org organizes its collection of games into two libraries called Console Living Room and Internet Arcade. Console Living Room is home to the game libraries of numerous consoles. Here you’ll find favorites like the Sega Genesis and the Atari 2600. In addition, you’ll find more obscure consoles like the Bally Astrocade. Just pick your favorite console, select a game and play it in your browser, no emulators or roms necessary.

retro-game-internetarcade

If you’ve got a desire to revisit the arcade, you’re in luck. Archive.org’s Internet Arcade has a huge library of coin-operated games from the 70s, 80s and 90s. The best part is, no quarters needed! Finally, if you were more of a PC gamer, you can check out Archive.org’s DOS Collection. The downside to Archive.org’s massive collection is that the emulation can be a bit hit or miss. Additionally, control documentation is noticeably absent from a lot of the games. Unfortunately, this means that you’ll be tapping keys on your keyboard until you can work out which ones work with the game you’re trying to play.

2. Classic Reload

Speaking of classic computer games, Classic Reload is home to over 5,000 DOS and Windows titles. You’ll find games from the 80s and 90s in a variety of different genres. There’s something for everyone here, from real-time strategy games like “Command and Conquer” to first-person shooters like “Duke Nukem 3D” and “Doom.” The emulation is pretty spot on, and unlike Archive.org, the controls for each game are documented, so you can jump right in without hassle.

retro-game-classicreload

One of the more interesting features of Classic Reload is the ability to change sound cards, graphics cards and more when emulating a game. This is because the games on Classic Reload come from a time when games ran on different PCs with vastly different hardware specifications. This allows users to truly capture what their individual gaming experience was like from back in the day!

3. RetroGames.cc

Retrogames.cc isn’t the prettiest website out there, as it is riddled with somewhat intrusive ads. However, the site does have a fairly large collection of games. Most of the titles featured on Retrogames hail from the 8- and 16-bit era; however, you will find some newer games from consoles like the Playstation 1 and Atari Jaguar. In addition, Retrogames has an impressive library of coin-operated arcade games. They even have multiple versions of arcade games so you can see what the game was like in other regions around the world.

retro-game-retrogames

An interesting feature of Retrogames is the ability to embed a game directly within your own website. It’s not a feature everyone would use, but it’s a welcome addition. Finally, it should be noted that the in-browser emulation of the more demanding consoles can be spotty. During testing we found that some of the games crashed, while others simply wouldn’t load.

4. Retro Games Online

Retro Games Online does not categorize its library of playable games as well as the other sites on this list. You can search by system, new additions, most played and top rated. Unfortunately, the titles in each category are not listed in alphabetical order, making browsing the games a bit tedious. Luckily, there is a manual search bar you can use to find specific games that you want to play.

retro-game-retrogamesonline

Like Retrogames.cc, Retro Games Online has quite a few ads peppered throughout the site. In addition, you’ll have to sit through an ad or two before you can start the emulation of your chosen game. One unique feature of Retro Games Online is that it gives users the option to emulate the games using Flash or HTML5. Most of the other sites require the use of Flash, so it’s nice to have the option.

Do you know of any other websites that allow you to play your favourite games of yesteryear directly in the browser? Let us know in the comments!

Image credit: Super Mario Wallpaper

How to Install RetroPie as an App in Raspbian on Raspberry Pi

Source: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/install-re…ie-app-raspberry-pi/
Capture Date: 08.06.2018 00:27:01

Want to install RetroPie but don’t want to lose your existing Raspbian projects and environment? Not keen on the idea of dual booting? The answer is to install RetroPie as an application in Raspbian. In fact, it’s so simple, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do this way befor

You Don’t Always Need a Dedicated Disk Image

Raspberry Pi users have been sold the idea of having a single function for their computer. This single function is typically the Raspbian distro, which users are encouraged to reinstall for each major project. Not only does this reduce the lifespan of your SD card, it’s unnecessary.

The Raspberry Pi can support booting from USB devices, and it’s even possible to install multiple operating systems on a HDD via BerryBoot.

How to Dual Boot a Raspberry Pi Using BerryBoot How to Dual Boot a Raspberry Pi Using BerryBoot Want to install multiple operating systems on your Raspberry Pi? Dual booting is the answer, and BerryBoot is one of the best tools for that. Read More

In short, things have moved on since the Raspberry Pi first appeared in 2012. Dedicated disk images might be useful for Pi-based retro gaming projects, but if you want more of a versatile experience, Raspbian Stretch is more than adequate. We’ve already looked at how to install Kodi in Raspbian, so let’s find out how to install and configure RetroPie.

What You’ll Need

As ever for a Raspberry Pi project, you’ll need a reliable power supply, a microSD card (at least 8GB, with Raspbian Stretch pre-installed), and a HDMI cable (unless you’re using a touchscreen display).

Manually install RetroPie on a Raspberry Pi

You’ll also need an Ethernet cable connection to your router (or Wi-Fi connectivity), a keyboard and mouse, and a game controller. Whether you keep these connected or not will depend on the type of games you intend to play.

Indeed, if you’re interested in a very particular type of game (such as those released for the Commodore 64), then a keyboard and two-button joystick will be all you need.

Configure Raspbian to Install RetroPie

To get started, boot up your Raspberry Pi, and change the locale options. This can be done in the command line using:

sudo raspi-config

Here, go to Localisation Options > Change Locale and scroll through the menu to select the en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8 option. Select OK to confirm, and wait while the change is made.

Manually install RetroPie on a Raspberry Pi

Then, reboot the Raspberry Pi with:

sudo reboot

You might prefer to use the desktop Raspberry Pi Configuration Tool, available in the Preferences menu. In this case, go to the Localization tab, select Set Locale, and choose the en_US.UTF-8 character set. You’ll be prompted to reboot, so click OK.

With the computer restarted, open a new terminal window and enter the command:

locale

Check that each parameter has the en_US.UTF-8 value assigned.

Install RetroPie on Raspbian

Before you install RetroPie, you’ll need to ensure that git is installed in Raspbian:

sudo apt install git

With this done, you’re ready to install RetroPie:

git clone https://github.com/RetroPie/RetroPie-Setup.git

Manually install RetroPie on a Raspberry Pi

The RetroPie-Setup folder will download, so change directory, and make the retropie_setup.sh script executable:

cd RetroPie-Setup chmod +x retropie_setup.sh

You can now install RetroPie using the setup script:

sudo ./retropie_setup.sh

Wait while this runs. Some additional packages may be installed. Once this is done, the RetroPie-Setup Script menu will appear. Select OK to close the intro screen, then choose 1. Basic install.

Manually install RetroPie on a Raspberry Pi

This installs all packages from the core and main RetroPie projects; select Yes to proceed, and wait as the emulation suite is installed.

This will take a while, and once done, you’ll be returned to the setup menu. Select R Perform Reboot, and select Yes to confirm.

Log In and Configure RetroPie

When the computer restarts, you’ll see the desktop at first; then this will close and display the command line interface. Login with the usual Raspberry Pi credentials. Once you’ve done that, run EmulationStation:

emulationstation

The user interface to RetroPie will load up, and you’ll be prompted to configure your controller. If you prefer to skip this and navigate via your keyboard, you can deal with the controller later.

Next, if you’re using wireless networking, rather than Ethernet, you’ll need to connect to your wireless network. Go to the RetroPie menu, then choose WiFi. Select 1 Connect to WiFi network and select the correct network name. Click OK, then enter the passkey, confirming with OK.

When this is done, wait for the menu to appear again; if successful, it should display the IP address for the wireless connection. Select Exit to close the menu.

Manually install RetroPie on a Raspberry Pi

As things stand, you’re ready to install BIOS files and game ROMs on your Raspberry Pi. But you might need some emulators first. You’ll find these via RetroPie > RetroPie Setup > M Manage packages. Here, select opt Manage optional packages, and find the one that suits the platform you wish to emulate.

Along with recognizable gaming platforms like the Nintendo 64 and Sega Dreamcast, you’ll find old 8-bit systems and even arcade games (always labelled “MAME”). Meanwhile, classic games ported to the Raspberry Pi can be found in the list (such as Doom and Quake), as can the ScummVM program, which enables you to run certain point-and-click graphic adventure games.

10+ Classic Games You Can Run on Raspberry Pi Without Emulators 10+ Classic Games You Can Run on Raspberry Pi Without Emulators Want to play some classic games on your Raspberry Pi? These ten titles are available without using emulation. Grab them and you’ll be playing in minutes! Read More

When you find the emulator(s) you want to add, select them one at a time, using Install from source. This can take a while depending on how many (and which) emulators you have chosen. Click Back when you’re done until you return to the main RetroPie-Setup Script menu, then select R Perform reboot again.

BIOS and Game Files

In order to play games on RetroPie, you need a BIOS file for the emulator concerned, and ROM files for the games you want to play. Due to copyright law, we cannot link to these, but you should find what you need via Google. Note that if you’re using ROM files, you should already own a copy of the physical media.

Manually install RetroPie on a Raspberry Pi

When you have the files (ROM files should be saved to the appropriate emulator folder, BIOS files to the BIOS directory), you’ll be able to run the games in EmulationStation.

Usually, we would instruct you to do this via SSH or FTP from a second computer. However, this isn’t necessary if you can easily drop out of RetroPie and back to the PIXEL desktop in Raspbian. This way, you can use the Chromium browser to find and download your BIOS and ROM files, and save them to your Raspberry Pi.

Exiting RetroPie

To exit RetroPie, click the Start button (which you will have configured earlier) and select Quit > Quit EmulationStation, then when the command line appears, enter:

sudo systemctl start lightdm

This will restart the Pixel desktop on Raspbian, and you can continue using your Raspberry Pi as normal. Perhaps you have a project you’re developing? If not, there are many other great uses for a Raspberry Pi.

Whenever you want to launch RetroPie again, simply use the emulationstation command.

Remember, RetroPie isn’t the only retro gaming option for the Raspberry Pi. Other retro gaming methods for Raspberry Pi exist, although they may not support manual installation like RetroPie does.

Retro Gaming on the Raspberry Pi: Everything You Need to Know Retro Gaming on the Raspberry Pi: Everything You Need to Know The Raspberry Pi has plenty of uses, but perhaps the most fun is playing classic video games. Here’s everything you need to know about retro gaming on your Raspberry Pi. Read More

The 10 Best Programming Games to Test and Build Your Coding Skills

Source: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/best-programming-games/
Capture Date: 18.05.2018 00:08:14

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Programming is fun once you’re confident and know what you’re doing, but getting to that point can be a grueling experience.

Which is why, in between classes and lectures and tutorials, you should set aside time to play these programming games and challenges. Not only do they serve as fun breaks, but you’ll learn faster and retain more info thanks to the hands-on practice and experience.

1. Robocode

programming games - robocode

Robocode is a complex programming game where you code robot tanks that fight against each other. Your job is to write the artificial intelligence that drives your robots to success—using real languages like Java, Scala, C#, and more. To get started, check out the Robocode Basics and Tutorials.

The Robocode installer comes with a development environment, built-in robot editor, and Java compiler. You’re actually writing real code! Despite launching back in 2000, Robocode is still regularly updated and maintained, helped along by the fact that it’s open source and extremely addictive.

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2. Codingame

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Codingame is a game-like web app where you solve puzzles and challenges by writing real code. Over 25 programming languages are supported, including Java, C#, Python, JavaScript, Lua, Go, Rust, and more. Each puzzle/challenge has a theme (e.g. program the turret to shoot down airships that come too close), which kicks up the fun factor.

3. Codecombat

programming games - codecombat

Codecombat is another web app for game-like puzzles and challenges that can only be solved by writing code. But whereas Codingame is more entertaining, Codecombat has a significant educational bent with a “Classroom Edition” that teachers can use to help their students learn how to code. As of this writing, three course paths are available: Computer Science, Web Development, and Game Development.

4. Codewars

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Codewars isn’t so much a game as it is a gamified way to practice coding and solving algorithmic challenges. You get points for completing puzzles and point values are determined by how efficient your solutions are. Codewars lets you view solutions submitted by others, which you can study and learn from. I believe it’s one of the best ways to learn a new programming language and its idioms.

7 Useful Tricks for Mastering a New Programming Language 7 Useful Tricks for Mastering a New Programming Language It’s okay to be overwhelmed when you are learning to code. You’ll probably forget things as quickly as you learn them. These tips can help you to better retain all that new information. Read More

5. Codehunt

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Codehunt is a game that can be played using either Java or C#. It’s designed to teach you the fundamentals of whichever language you pick, starting with Training, moving through topics like Loops and Strings, and ending with intermediate challenges like Sorting, Cyphers, and Puzzles. What’s interesting about Codehunt is that it doesn’t tell you how to win each challenge—figuring that out is part of the fun!

6. Vim Adventures

programming games - vim adventures

Vim Adventures is a fun game-like tutorial for learning how to use Vim, a highly unusual but extremely powerful text editor that many programming pros love to use. It has a huge learning curve though, which is why tutorials like this exist. So while Vim isn’t a programming language per se, mastering Vim can help you become a more efficient coder, hence why I’ve included it in this article.

The Top 7 Reasons To Give The Vim Text Editor A Chance The Top 7 Reasons To Give The Vim Text Editor A Chance For years, I’ve tried one text editor after another. You name it, I tried it. I used each and every one of these editors for over two months as my primary day-to-day editor. Somehow, I… Read More

7. TIS-100

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“It’s the assembly language programming game you never asked for!” It says so right there on the tin. TIS-100 is a video game like no other, forcing you to learn and use a mock version of low-level assembly coding to solve its puzzles. This game is not a joke—it’s difficult, it’s open-ended, and it has incredible replay value as long as you don’t become so frustrated and confused that you uninstall in a fit of rage.

Download: TIS-100 ($7)

8. Shenzhen I/O

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From the same studio behind TIS-100 comes Shenzhen I/O, a puzzle game where you’re tasked with creating simplified circuits and writing simplified assembly code that runs on said circuits. Between the two games, Shenzhen I/O is easier to get into and more enjoyable yet just as satisfyingly complex.

Download: Shenzhen I/O ($15)

9. Human Resource Machine

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In Human Resource Machine, you play as an office worker who completes tasks by combining various instructions together. In a sense, this game is all about puzzle solving through visual programming, even going as far to touch on concepts like logical flow and memory management—but presented in an easy-to-digest, office-themed way. It’s a great game for exercising your programmer’s brain.

Download: Human Resource Machine ($10)

10. Screeps

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Screeps (which stands for “scripted creeps”) is an MMO strategy game where you use JavaScript to code the behaviors of in-game entities and build an empire for yourself. The base game comes with a private server where you can play on your own, plus 30 days of full access to the official server. After that, you can keep playing on the official server in a limited capacity, which can be lifted with a monthly subscription.

Download: Screeps ($15, optional subscription for $9/mo)

Other Ways to Sharpen Your Coding Skills

Looking for yet more ways to hone your programming ability? I highly recommend exercising what you know with one of these programming project ideas, and you may benefit further by listening to some of these podcasts for coders and developers.

However, if after everything you’re still struggling and can’t seem to grasp the basics of programming, you may want to step back and consider whether programming may or may not be right for you. Let us know how it goes!

6 Signs That You Are Not Meant To Be A Programmer 6 Signs That You Are Not Meant To Be A Programmer Not everyone is cut out to be a programmer. If you aren’t completely sure that you’re meant to be a programmer, here are some signs that may point you in the right direction. Read More

Adventure Awaits! Play These 5 Free Indie Tabletop RPGs

Source: https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/adventure-…indie-tabletop-rpgs/
Capture Date: 06.05.2018 00:27:05

Want to play something new? We’ve brought you a great list of free tabletop RPGs before, but that first list was composed of games that benefited from promotion and financial success.

5 Tabletop RPGs You Can Download for Free 5 Tabletop RPGs You Can Download for Free Playing games on a computer or console is great fun, but these systems set the rules in code and often are designed to be played with just one person in a room. This makes the… Read More

This list aims to introduce you to the best indie RPGs you’ve never heard of. Whether you’re just looking for a one night change of pace, or you’d like to run an extended campaign, each of these free games has something fresh to stir your imagination. Break out your dice; it’s game time!

Lady Blackbird

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Lady Blackbird’s simple rules and pre-generated characters make for an awesome ready-to-play package that caters to groups comfortable with the idea of the players building the setting as the game is played. Each player takes charge of one of the five crew members of The Owl, a steampunk airship that sails a fast expanse of sky between exotic worlds. The included story starter has the characters attempting to break free of an imperial battleship to escort Lady Blackbird (played by one of the players) to her pirate lover at the far end of the Wild Blue, but from there, you’re encouraged to develop characters, worlds, and complications your group finds most interesting.

The biggest strength of Lady Blackbird is the way it weaves its pre-generated characters together in a powderkeg of interpersonal drama ready to explode. Each character comes with a personality, and predisposed attitudes and relationships to at least some of their fellow crew members. The game’s mechanics reward players each time they tap into their personal motivations, and encourage them to look toward and roleplay with one another instead of putting all eyes, and all pressure, on the GM. If you have a soft spot for Joss Whedon’s Firefly, you’ll find lots to love here.

Risus

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Weighing in at only six pages, Risus is a system designed for comedic games, but capable of running serious ones if you put your mind to it. You’ll describe your character with a series of flexible clichés and assign each one a number of dice. So, for example, your character sheet might include the cliché, “Savvy Netizen With Great Taste In Tech Blogs (3)”, whereas mine might have, “Self-Important Blogger With Delusions Of Grandeur (2)”. Anytime you come up against a task a character with that as one of their clichés might be able to solve, roll the appropriate number of six sided dice, and compare the total to the target number or opposition.

Risus’ niche is that it’s easy to play when you and your friends are up for an RPG, but are too tired or unfocused for a complex game like Dungeons & Dragons. Clichés immediately and clearly communicate character strengths, so there’s no need for a bunch of fixed skills or long lists of unique talents and spells. GMs can run the game with no preparation, since coming up with characters or monsters is as simple as describing them, and assigning numbers that fit. If play is the point, Risus gets you to it quickly.

Warrior, Rogue & Mage

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Want a game with the spirit of Dungeons & Dragons, but at a fraction of the size? Warrior, Rogue & Mage (WRM) is an incredibly complete game for its size and price point, and that’s before you add in the game’s five supplements (also free). Every character in the game is described by their proficiency in each of the title’s three archetypes. Add in a few skills, talents, and spells, and you’ve got a character ready for adventure.

WRM sits in a complexity sweet spot with its 41-page core rules. When rules are too light, conflict resolution can feel arbitrary, and some players struggle to get invested if there’s too much luck involved in overcoming challenges. Here, characters are detailed enough that you can make interesting tactical decisions, and players have a sense of control over how events play out. It also doesn’t suffer as much from D&D’s issue of physical characters being completely overshadowed by spellcasters, since even a character with even one point in the Mage stat can perform some amount of magic.

Anima Prime

Anima-Prime
Like watching cool anime? Can’t get enough Final Fantasy? Anima Prime takes clear inspiration from both with its innovative battle system that paces fights like the best of Japanese media. Characters open battles by building advantage with descriptive maneuvers, and then spend that advantage to cut loose flashy signature moves, combos, and finishing strikes. The game relegates all non-combat activity to freeform roleplay to keep you focused on big cinematic battles with legendary weapons and summoned monsters.

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The free version of Anima Prime may come without art, but the game’s rules do a great job of letting you play the character you want. Each special ability in the game has unique rules, but gets defined with enough flexibility that you can easily describe it how you want in the fiction. What’s your fiery strike like? Is it a blazing sword? An arm possessed by fire spirits? Do whatever sounds coolest to you!

Mythender

Mythender-RPG
What do you when fickle deities torment mankind with plague and disaster? You end them! Mythender lets you play superhuman heroes of myth and legend as they fight to kill divine beings. But your mythic powers come with great risks. Lose touch with humanity, and you might become one of the very creatures you set out to destroy. The game is rich with all the heavy metal badass attitude you’ll need to get you in the mood to slay a pantheon.

Mythender has a similar mechanical feel to Anima Prime, but with special reinforcement for playing grim, tragic heroes. Neither human nor god, the only other people who will understand your plight are your fellow Mythenders. You’ll find yourself stuck in battles for the sake of mankind that you know you can win if you just embrace your inner demigod a little bit more, but each time you do, you take on a little more corruption that will one day make you everything you despise. At its best, it isn’t a game of happy endings, but rather one of pressing on for one more fight in a battle you know you’ll one day lose.

Conclusion

All of these games are a blast. Make sure you download them, even if you’re not sure you’ll ever play them as written. If nothing else, they’re great inspiration for crafting new stories or house rules for your favorite existing games, and there’s certainly no arguing with the price.

Have a favorite free or small press RPG? Tell our community why it’s awesome and where to find it in the comments!

The Best Websites for Downloading and Playing Classic Games

Source: https://www.howtogeek.com/123338/the-bes…aying-classic-games/
Capture Date: 02.05.2018 00:37:55

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For the holiday weekend, we wanted to provide you with some more ways to have fun. The following sites allow you to play and download classic and retro games, such as DOS games, classic adventure games, and old console games.

Anonymous Game Developers (AGD) Interactive

AGD Interactive is a game development group that has committed to bringing back classic adventure gaming by remaking the classic Sierra On-Line adventure games, such as King’s Quest. They’ve remastered them with enhanced graphics, polished voice acting, and more, and now offer them as free downloads.

They also have a commercial adventure games company called Himalaya Studios.

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VirtualNES

VirtualNES offers hundreds of vintage Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) games you can play online. They also offer some special games, such as unlicensed games by enterprising developers, unreleased games that were left unfinished, and excellent homemade games by people who love video games and decided to make their own. The NES brought home console gaming back to life when it came out.

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Nintendo8.com

Nintendo8.com offers hundreds of classic 8-bit Nintendo games from the eighties and early nineties available for online play. It’s a link site that does not actually host any ROMs. All games linked to on the site are assumed to be “abandonware or copyleft.” The games use the vNES emulator from the VirtualNES site mentioned above.

They also have some sister sites that offer other classic console games you can play online.

  • Snessy (SNES games)
  • c64i (Commodore 64 games)
  • DOSDose (DOS games)
  • MasterSystem8 (SEGA games)
  • GBemul (Gameboy games)

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DOSBox

DOSBox offers a full DOS environment that runs ancient DOS apps on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and other UNIX-like operating systems. It emulates an Intel x86 PC, with sound, graphics, mouse, joystick, etc. necessary for running many old DOS games that can’t be run on modern operating systems.

They also offer frontends to DOSBox, such as D-Fend Reloaded (discussed below), to make it easier to use DOSBox.

See our article for more information on using DOSBox.

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D-Fend Reloaded

D-Fend Reloaded is a graphical environment, or frontend, for DOSBox. The installation and configuration of DOSBox can be complicated. The D-Fend Reloaded installation package includes DOSBox, so there is only one installation to be run. You do not have to install DOSBox manually first before installing D-Fend Reloaded.

The download page also has links to available games. You can also download PacPC, Ms. PacPC, and PC-Bert, which are clones of PacMan, Ms. PacMan, and Q-Bert.

For more information about installing and using D-Fend Reloaded, see our article about it.

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MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator)

MAME is a non-profit project whose purpose is to preserve many historical arcade games so they don’t disappear once the hardware on which they run stops working. In order to play games on MAME, you must provide the original ROMs, CDs, or hard disks from the arcade machines. There is no original game code inside the MAME executable.

There are also frontends to MAME (available at the link above) that make it easier to use, or you can use MAMEUI, which is a desktop-oriented GUI front-end for MAME. See our article about playing classic arcade games on your PC for more information about MAME and MAMEUI.

Some game developers have released some of their games for free, which you can download from the MAME developer site.

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Abandonia

Abandonia offers downloadable, classic abandonware games for DOS. Abandonware games are discontinued game programs for which no product support is available and whose copyright ownership has expired.

Most games on the site have a review, screenshots, an editor rating, and a user rating. Browse and download old PC games by name, year, rating, and category.

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Abandonware DOS

Abandonware Games offers a large selection of abandonware DOS games that are no longer supported by anyone. You can download games in categories such as action, racing, RPG, and strategy. Most games have a star rating, status (freeware, shareware, etc.), screenshots, and facts and trivia about the game.

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Classic Arcade Games

Classic Arcade Games offers free online arcade games you can play online or even add to your own website or blog. They have a lot of retro games such as Super Mario World, Galaga, PacMan, Donkey Kong Classic, and Sonic the Hedgehog.

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FreeClassicDosGames.com

Free Classic DOS Games offers about 200 free games, most of which are accompanied by a review, description, screenshots, and a download link. The types of games available include action, adventure, arcade, role playing, shoot-em’ up, and strategy. You can browse through each category one by one or use the search feature to find a specific game.

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RGB Classic Games

RGB Classic Games offers a large combination of classic games, previously unreleased games, and even a few “modern” DOS games. RGB Classic Games is “devoted to preserving classic games for defunct PC operating systems (DOS, CP/M-86, OS/2, Win16, Win9x) and making it easy to play them on modern computers.”

Almost all the games on RGB Classic Games were originally distributed commercially, except for a few shareware games that were extremely good. RGB Classic Games concentrate on quality, not quantity and they also attempt to include every version of each game listed on the site.

From the site: “The highest ideals of this site are to support the authors by providing links to their web sites and ordering information for the full versions of games that are still sold, and to encourage the authors of classic games to preserve their games for future generations by making them available for sale or as freeware. If you enjoy a shareware game, please consider buying it from the author.”

All the games on RGB Classic Games are “freely distributable because they are shareware, freeware, or because the copyright holder has officially and legally released all rights to the public domain (abandonware).”

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DOS Games Archive

DOS Games Archive offer an archive of 275 DOS games from the eighties and nineties that can be downloaded for free. They are shareware, freeware, playable demos, and full versions of games that are released as freeware or into the public domain.

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Free Game Empire

Free Game Empire offers classic games you play directly in your Firefox or Internet Explorer browser. The in-browser emulator is powered by DOSBox. They also have many forums dedicated to discussion of the games, a blog, and a My Games section, where you can log in and find all your active games. They also offer some old games for purchase that are still being sold for reasonable prices.

You do have to download each game to your computer, but game play takes place in your browser. Each game only has to be downloaded once. After that, you can return to the site and play it any time. The emulator can be uninstalled from within the Control Panel. The games on Free Game Empire can only be played in Windows.

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Play.vg

Play.vg offers classic DOS games you can play online, such as PacMan and Sonic the Hedgehog, without downloading anything to your computer. Simply use your arrow keys and spacebar to play games like Zork, Asteroids, and Tetris.

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Abandonware at Free Game Downloads

Free Game Downloads offers a large collection of free abandonware games. Their site is not very exciting to look at, but it’s easy to navigate through the categories and search for specific games. Their list of games also includes some remade versions of classic Atari games.

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Remain In Play

Remain in Play offers commercial DOS and non-DOS games that were deliberately released as freeware. They have plenty of new and old games for download. You can sort the games by name, genre, OS, and even game data type. If you want to search by rating, refer to their list of Top 10 Games in the left sidebar.

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Bgames.com

Bgames.com offers free classic games in Flash format, such as RetroMash, Warning Foregone, and Alley Fighter. They update their list of fresh, free games daily. You can also browse through other games you can play online, games available for download, massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) games, and Multiplayer games.

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Free Classic Games at Online Flash Games

Online Flash Games offers classic games for free in their classic/retro category, such as break-out games, Tetris games, Mario games, Sonic games, Arkanoid games, and Invader games. You can also find Flash remakes of old consoles, or platforms, such as Commodore 64.

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Online-Games-Zone

Online-Games-Zone offers free classic games, retro games, and old-school games for playing online, such as Tetris and PacMan. The thumbnails of the games in the middle of the page are not listed alphabetically. However, you can find an alphabetical list on the left side.

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All the Oldies

All the Oldies offers free classic games found all over the web that you can play online. All the games, except for multiplayer games, require no registration. They are of high quality and are always free.

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GamezArena

GamezArena offers a collection of free online classic games, such as Ludo, Connect 4, Solitaire, and Battleship. You can also license or purchase these games if you want to add them to your website.

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Free Classic 80’s Arcade Games

Free Classic 80’s Arcade Games offers classic 1980’s Atari 2600, Nintendo (NES), Intellivision, and Colecovision games and even the Pong Game Console game for playing online. They also have Shockwave, Flash, and Java games and classic DOS games.

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Pogo.com

Pogo.com offers a collection of classic games you can play online, such as Monopoly, Chess, and Cribbage. You can register for free so you can enter daily for chances to win prizes and earn tokens that you can keep and redeem for fun gifts. Join Club Pogo to gain access to premium classic games and to play games ad-free. Club Pogo also allows you to download more games on the download page. Until September 10, 2012, you can join Club Pogo for $29.99 per year, which is $10 off the normal price.

You can also browse their collection of free games.

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GOG.com

GOG.com offers 100% DRM-free games for sale, a lot of which are less than $20. Once you buy a game, you own it. There are no limits on how often you can download your games off the GOG.com cloud. You can also install them on as many PCs as you want and back them up without limits. They also bundle exclusive content as free bonus downloads.

When you sign up, you receive 9 PC classic games for free, including Beneath a Steel Sky and Ultima IV, so you can try GOG.com out before buying any games.

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Wikipedia’s List of Commercial Video Games Released as Freeware

Wikipedia has a list of commercial video games released as freeware. These games were not freeware when originally released, but were re-released at a later date with a freeware license, sometimes as publicity for a forthcoming sequel or compilation release. The list is kept fairly up-to-date.

There is also a list of games originally released as freeware. For a list of FOSS (free and open-source software) or FLOSS (free/libre/open source software) games, see the list of open source video games on Wikipedia.

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In addition to our article about playing classic arcade games on your PC, mentioned earlier, we’ve also covered how to play retro video games on your PC. You can also learn how to use your Nintendo DS to play old NES, Gameboy, and even arcade games.

Also, learn fun video game trivia at “Did You Know Gaming?”. For reviews of games, interviews, features, previews, cheats, and forums, see Adventure Classic Gaming. There’s even a site that allows you to play word search games online.

Have fun!

How to Introduce Your Kid to Dungeons & Dragons

Source: https://offspring.lifehacker.com/how-to-…s-dragons-1822920357
Capture Date: 24.03.2018 16:01:21
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Illustration by Angelica Alzona/GMG

Once upon a time, I was a wizard named Gandalf. It is an unimaginative moniker, admittedly, but it came from a tween who just finished reading the Lord of the Rings trilogy. As Gandalf, I knew a few common spells, for protection and attack, and could speak dwarvish. I declared my alignment to be Lawful Good, naturally, and went about my business seeking gold and magical treasure.

By the time I rolled ability scores for Gandalf—my first role-playing game character—Dungeons & Dragons had been out a couple years. My most geeky friends and I would get together on Saturdays or during sleepovers to pretend we were medieval fantasy heroes, battling Lizardmen and Beholders in search of the elusive +2 Vorpal Blade. Even as I stashed my 20-sided die into storage when I headed to college, I couldn’t wait for the day I could get it back out and role-play with my kids.

In 2010, I bought my two sons the Fourth Edition starter kit for D&D, which is made of a collection of nuanced rules. The game lost my kids’ interest before their first characters could swing an axe.

I could empathize. Arguing fine print is as much a signature of the game as the crazy dice. Many of my D&D sessions as a kid and an adult wasted lots of time trying to get an adventure started, or looking up specific rules as situations surfaced. To make my childhood pastime more accessible to my kids, I had to iterate.

Keep It Simple, Sorcerer

At the time, my solution was coming up with a stripped-down version of D&D (“DnDish”) that threw out all but the most essential parts of the experience. In doing so, I gutted the rules and only kept the crucial parts: Create a character, Roll the dice, Level up. The rest relied on our collective imagination.

With the release of the Fifth Edition of Dungeons & Dragons in 2014, the official rule set now addresses some of the obstacles my family encountered trying to learn the game. However, there are still some things you can do to simplify 5E and improve the experience for your kids.

The biggest threat to an enjoyable RPG session is attention span, so all of your house rules should be implemented with three goals in mind:

  • Quicken the pace to first action.
  • Minimize reference lookups.
  • Keep players engaged at session end.

These goals can be achieved with a combination of rules omissions and game preparation by the Dungeon Master, the person most responsible for moving the adventure forward.

Hide What You Don’t Use

Battling some easy monsters early will help a new player learn how their armor, weapons and magic work. That knowledge will last into future sessions, but the little-used bits will likely to force a DM to consult the books. While you thumb through one of the three main D&D guides or surf an online resource, your kids may find more interesting things to do. To avoid costly reference checks, don’t play with the parts that prompt research.

When you can’t eliminate reference checks, consider making the information you need easier to find. Create simple one-page cheat sheets that contain only the most useful information. Try to reduce all the books into four key pages—Character creation, Player actions, a Shopping list, and Leveling up. If something doesn’t fit on a sheet, don’t use it.

Decisions Are an Investment

In D&D, a lot of decisions are required to create your character. For new players or those attempting to use an unfamiliar character class or race, those options can delay the start of action for everyone. The quicker you can get to the first monster, the better.

There are 9 core races and 12 classes in 5E, though most are rarely used. You can reduce a lot of complexity by making everyone use a Human Fighter as a character template, but let them play as anything they can imagine. In my own kids’ adventures, we had Oracle Ducks, Toddler Plumbers, and Walking Goldfish Chef Wannabes. Under the hood, though, is a single D&D archetype.

Some boxes on the standard D&D character sheet are vital. You need a name, of course, and an alignment. (Kids usually choose Lawful Good, but play Chaotic Neutral.) Ability scores and their modifiers drive most of the game play. There are also a handful of derived stats—like initiative, passive wisdom, armor class, speed, and hit points—that are used regularly. The rest of the sheet looks open-ended but is actually backed by a lot of structure found in the Player’s Handbook. If you replace that structure with negotiation, kids’ imaginations will create their own constraints.

Don’t offer an option to play a pre-rolled character. While that will certainly get you to game action quickest, players tend to be less invested in characters they didn’t create. That makes it easier for them to disengage later or make reckless choices in game.

Let Weaknesses Become Strengths

When creating characters, it isn’t uncommon to see a bunch of low numbers and hear, “That didn’t count.” Re-rolling to get an acceptable set of high numbers guarantees your character will start strong, but playing with low scores inspires creativity.

In FATE, another RPG platform, character traits are treated as double-edged swords. Every strength can be a weakness, and vice versa. This is a valuable perspective to take when encouraging kids to play with bad rolls. The DM has the power to make use of ambiguity to reward weaker characters for embracing their faults, or to turn strengths against others. The smartest tactician can overthink a plan, and the dumbest tank can be insightful.

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Use Fewer Dice More Often

Rolling dice is the most enjoyable part of an RPG. It combines player control with destiny. Since the dice only come out when there is some challenge to overcome, there is always an anticipation that the story could take a dramatic turn. Players shouldn’t be rolling dice for every action, but asking a character to roll when player attention wanes will increase engagement for everyone without having to rely on endless monster battles.

In D&D, there are typically seven dice—d4, d6, d8, 2d10, d12 and d20—but most of the action can revolve around just two. A 20-sided die is used heavily in battle and in skills checks. Rolls of 20 (critical success) and 1 (critical failure) allow the DM to augment an outcome to cause extra joy or pain to a character. d20 is the signature die for D&D.

The rest of the dice are most often related to damage inflicted by different weapons or to facilitate larger lookup tables. By replacing these dice with the most familiar one—d6—you can reduce the frequency of the common question, “Which dice to I use?”

Clearly Separate the Context of Conversations

Bored kids get goofy and say funny things. There is a difference, however, between Susy insulting an Orc and her character Pickles the Bard doing it. Within a game, poor behavior can have deadly consequences. Out of the game, the DM and players can talk more freely without their characters picking an unwise fight.

Use of conventions like “In Game” and “Out of Game” help to delineate what is exploratory or offhand and what is a game decision that could impact the narrative.

End Before They Are Ready

The younger the kids, the less stamina they likely have for a long gaming session. I try to adhere to a Three Encounter rule, where the goal is to get three opportunities for experience in any gaming session before stopping. This means a 90 minute to 2 hour session is a reasonable duration, long enough to get players in a flow but not so long that we’ve overstayed the welcome.

It helps future game play to wrap things up while the players are all paying good attention. Gaming sessions are like episodes in a TV show. While I try to resolve the last encounter before closing the session, I like to leave with a hint of the next mystery or drop in surprise character at the end. Doing so generates conversation in between sessions and makes it easier to ramp up the next time we play.

Make Leveling Up Simple

Leveling up a character is an intermittent reward for continued play. The economics of experience points is such that it takes an increasing amount to reach the next level. In D&D, point values vary from one monster or action to the next. Rather than deal with those nuances, I award the same points for each encounter. Every character who participates earns those points. Forward movement in the story is still incentivized—the more encounters, the more points—but it de-emphasizes individual achievement.

Don’t delay gratification. Because my kid-focused games have unreliable attendance, we have to deal with characters who don’t progress at the same pace. The last thing I do in a gaming session is award experience points. This avoids an awkward situation in the next session where some players have to watch as others use previously-earned points to increase ability and power.

Manage All Character Sheets

Unless you enjoy rolling up new stats and backstory every week, it is a good idea to collect the character sheets at the end of each session. Not only does this lessen the chance of a player losing theirs, but it allows you to review the character abilities between sessions to cater the next chapter of the adventure.

Between doodling and injury, a character sheet can become overrun with pencil marks. If you keep a digital copy of the character sheets, you can update and reprint them to keep everything legible.

A DM should know how to play the full game, even if the players don’t. If you are brand new to D&D yourself but are interested in learning it, odds are good you already know someone who runs a game. An estimated 20 million people have played D&D since it was created, and the long public playtesting of 5E has resulted in a resurgence of interest in the RPG. Once you know the rules, it will be easier to find the places to break them and make the experience more enjoyable for your kids.

The Best Free Games You Can Play on Linux

Source: https://www.maketecheasier.com/open-source-linux-games/
Capture Date: 11.03.2018 15:11:54

“Free” and “Linux” go hand in hand beautifully, like chips and a milkshake, and even though Linux isn’t widely seen as a gaming platform, there is a veritable wealth of free games you can get for it if you look in the right places. That’s in large part thanks to unpaid, open-source developers, who collaborate to bring classics (and new games) all together in Linux.

So in tribute to those tireless devs, we’ve gathered the best free games you can play on Linux right now. Enjoy!

1. Dota 2

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So this one’s not an open-source offering but free and seismically popular nonetheless. Dota 2 is Valve’s free-to-play MOBA phenomenon, rubbing shoulders with League of Legends as the most popular game of its kind. Fun fact: the original Dota is in fact a mod for the RTS classic Warcraft III.

So what makes Dota 2 special? It’s actually a little deeper than League of Legends in some ways (though I’m sure LoL fans will disagree). You can pick from one of over 100 heroes to take into battle, fighting alongside your team and your army of minions to push those lanes and destroy the other team’s base. Units range from healing support types to charging, head-down attackers. Whatever your play style, there will be one in there to suit you.

Dota 2 has a few interesting features as well, such as the option to eat up your own minions in exchange for gold and numerous ways of kitting out and upgrading your character. Be warned: Dota 2 isn’t for the faint-hearted.

2. Brutal Doom

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A painstakingly elaborate project for one of the most loved PC games of all time, Brutal Doom is a beefed-up version of ZDoom, the open-source port of Doom, Doom 2, Final Doom and Master Levels. It features extra animations and gore and weapons, as well as redesigned maps, modernized controls and UIs. It’s vicious and immensely satisfying and arguably the best way to play Doom in this day and age.

Those who are nostalgic for N64 should check out Brutal Doom 64, which remasters and bloodies up the open-source port of the N64 version. (Alternatively, there’s also Doom 64: Retribution which focuses on visual improvements while not redesigning much of the original game.)

3. OpenRA (Red Alert, Tiberian Dawn, Dune 2000)

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Command & Conquer set the bar for real-time strategy games, and there are some who argue that it’s never quite been topped. OpenRA is an updated, up-resed and polished version of not just Red Alert but also Tiberian Dawn and Dune 2000, faithfully recreating these classic games with the interface and usability perks that we’d expect from a game made today. All the games are completely free and are without question the best way to play these classics. And yes, of course you can play LAN games with your pals.

4. 0 A.D.

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Despite still being in an Alpha stage after nearly ten years, 0 A.D. is one of the most impressive free games out there. Players take control of one of twelve ancient civilizations and are tasked with its survival and proliferation. In order to do this, you must engage in combat with other civilizations while managing your economy. Featuring a single-player campaign as well as multiplayer, 0 A.D. is perfect for those who are going through Age of Empires II withdrawals.

5. Super TuxKart

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It may have started as a Mario Kart clone, but Super TuxKart has come into its own over the years. This kart racer has a slew of game modes, offering lots of racing replayability. In addition to colorful graphics and well-designed tracks to race on, one of the best things about Super TuxKart is its collection of characters. Mascots from various open-source projects appear in the game. Keep your eyes peeled for the GNU wildebeest, the SUSE gecko and the Mozilla Thunderbird.

6. The Dark Mod

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Don’t let the name fool you – this isn’t just a mod of an existing game. Instead it is a standalone game born from an attempt to remake the game “Thief” in the Doom 3 engine. In The Dark Mod players control an agile thief who must use a variety of tools and equipment to avoid various threats. The software is bundled with a level editor which allows users to create their own missions. There are currently over one-hundred fan-made missions with various objectives. The Dark Mod has received significant attention from gamers and the press, even being crowned the “#2 best free PC game” by PC Gamer in 2016.

7. Hedgewars

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In this delightfully destructive game, players control hedgehogs who use anything and everything to kill, maim and obliterate each other. The turn-based action takes place on various destructive environments and features a dizzying amount of weapons. The collateral damage of the weapons can alter the landscape, restricting the movement of the hedgehogs. Luckily, the hedgehogs have various tools like ropes and parachutes at their disposal to help them navigate the land and get a clear shot at the enemy. If this sounds to you a lot like another turn-based war game featuring seemingly harmless animals, you wouldn’t be wrong. Hedgewars is heavily influenced by the long-running “Worms” series.

8. Voxelands

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Voxelands is a sandbox construction game in the same vein as Minecraft. It places players in a fully-destructible 3D world where they can build pretty much anything they want. Voxelands also boasts role-playing elements, requiring players to defend their structures from the elements and enemies. The game features a large number of tools and over 500 different types of blocks to aid in their construction. Whereas some players can experience some performance issues with heavyweights like Minecraft, Voxelands is feather-light. The game’s website claims that Voxelands can run on a Pentium 1 processor and be played online with a 14.4 KB connection!

9. Xonotic

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Xonotic is a fast-paced multiplayer game built on a heavily-modified version of the Quake engine. Xonotic features multiple game modes including staples like capture-the-flag and deathmatch and features a number of futuristic weapons. Gameplay emphasis is on speed and mastering level layout, making Xonotic similar to games like Unreal Tournament and Quake.

10. The Battle for Wesnoth

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Fancy fighting elves, trolls, orcs and dragons? The Battle for Wesnoth indulges all your Tolkien-esque impulses in a turn-based strategy game. Players fight for dominance in a high fantasy realm populated with colorful retro sprites. In addition to factoring in the strengths and weaknesses of units, players must also account for weather and types of terrain during their quest, all of which can have an effect on the outcome of a battle. The stable version of the game includes sixteen campaigns; however, there are many unofficial campaigns in the form of user-made add-ons.

11. OpenTTD

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A remake of 1995’s Transport Tycoon Deluxe, OpenTTD tasks players with managing a major metropolitan transit system. The goal of the game is to build a transportation network utilizing a variety of vehicles such as trains, boats, planes and trucks. In addition, players earn money for successful deliveries. The money can then be used to build a more efficient infrastructure. OpenTTD supports multiplayer games of up to 255 people split between fifteen different transport companies, all in direct competition with one another. The game also supports a large and active user-base, resulting in a wide variety of mods being available.

12. Secret Maryo Chronicles

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It’s no “secret” as to what classic game Secret Maryo Chronicles gets its inspiration from. Rest assured, this isn’t simply a half-baked rip-off. Secret Maryo Chronicles has been championed by many as a solid platform loaded with challenging puzzles. If you’ve been dying to take a trip down memory lane via a big green pipe, look no further.

13. AstroMenace

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It’s a plot that we’ve all heard before: Aliens are invading, and it’s up to you to annihilate them all. With impressive visuals, AstroMenace is an arcade-style shooter that really tests a player’s hand-eye coordination. Players will have to navigate the frontier of space while repelling hordes of enemy spaceships. Enemy units boast unique attacks and serious firepower, requiring players to be on their toes at all times. Weapon and ship upgrades become available throughout the game, and trust us when we say that you’ll need them to succeed in your mission.

What are your favorite free games to play on Linux? Let us know in the comments!

This article was first published in March 2017 and was updated in February 2018.