Based on the Quake 3 engine, Tremulous is a multi-player, open source (GPL), first person shooter and real time strategy game that runs on Linux and other platforms. Humans have to battle aliens in this game, with each team constructing and guarding a base, the most important of which is the spawn.
From Wikipedia, “during a match, most players engage in fighting the enemy, while others maintain the base and construct new structures. In order to destroy the enemy, humans utilize various weapons, armor and other upgrades, while aliens may evolve into more powerful classes, each of which possesses unique abilities.
The teams do not have access to all possible upgrades and buildings at the beginning of the game. Each team must reach a threshold of frags in order to advance to the next developmental stage. The point at which a stage change occurs varies dynamically depending on the number of players on each team. Each new stage brings more upgrades for the humans and more classes for the aliens.”
The humans in Tremulous use all forms of modern hi-tech weaponry and armor in their crusade against the aliens. The Reactor is the energy backbone of the humans, responsible for powering all their equipment.
Like the Na’vi in the Avatar who live on Pandora, the aliens in Tremulous live in a building called Overmind, the one building that rules all their other buildings. They need to kill in order to evolve into new forms and have a health upgrade.
As a player, you can choose which race you’d want to play for, either the humans or the aliens. Player advancement is different depending on which team you are on. As a human, players are rewarded with credits for each alien kill. These credits may be used to purchase new weapons and upgrades from the “Armoury”. The alien team advances quite differently.
Tremulous also boasts of the following features
- Flexible particle system – 99% of the in-game visual effects are configured using particle scripts.
- 16 buildable structures with in-game functions
- Play as several alien classes with unique abilities.
- Customize your setup as a human and buy new weapons, armour and items.
- Scale the walls and ceilings as an alien waiting for an unsuspecting human.
- Realistic physics and motion – no bunny hopping or quick back peddling.
- Flexible map system – animated mapobjects, triggering, light flares, etc.
- Large weapons system – don’t like the weapon you have? Sell it and buy a different one, dozens of options.
The last stable build of Tremulous is 1.1.0 as of December 2006. The latest version, 1.2, is in beta and available for testing on all platforms though Windows and Linux users would have to install 1.1 for the 1.2 installers to patch.This thread on the Trem forums shows how to get it running on Ubuntu, though the same applies to other Linux distros.
The game site does not seem to have any proper tutorials with regards to getting the game running save for the forums. It also seems to me that game development is also very slow, a testimony being the last stable build dating back to 2006.
My criticisms aside, Trem is a great game that run great on a very old lappy that I have Ubuntu installed on. If you are a Linux user or are thinking of switching but worried about the lack of games, then you definitely need to give Tremulous a try.