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Freedomware Gamefest FAQ

On this page we strive to clear up some potential misunderstandings about the Freedomware GameFest 2007 and answer some questions that may commonly be asked about it.

1. Is this a LAN party and where is it held?

It most certainly is not a LAN (Local Area Network) party. It is an international online event not limited to any locality. The location is simply "internet", wherever it may be. You can participate from the comfort of your home.

2. So what's the difference between participating in this gamefest and just playing a random multiplayer game online?

Technologically it is the same. We will use the same kinds of servers that you connect to every time you have fun playing a multiplayer game. The difference is that by playing as part of this gamefest you will have a chance of earning a title should you win a particular game slot or the whole game fest and for that receive a certain prize. You will also be playing in the name of Freedomware and its continued propagation.

You could think of it like this. You can run every day if you wish, but it wont be the same as joining a marathon run in the name of a certain cause, like fighting AIDS or protesting against war. In the latter case you are in it not just for the joy of the activity itself, but to promote the larger cause with it and also have a chance of winning a nice title (and a prize). Our cause is spreading Freedomware, and in this particular case we do it by showing that Free Software is not deprived of fun and good quality gaming as some people seemed to think. Eye

3. What is Freedomware?

It is a friendly and succinct brand for Free Software that has been proposed by Landy DeField of the The Tux Project. Free Software is what this site is all about, promoting it and supporting people's use of it. Check out the Nuxified FAQ for more on that.

4. Why is it called a "gamefest"?

At first we called it a tournament, or tourney for short, but as it might not be a classic type of a tournament considering that it includes a multitude of games (or rather a multitude of small tournaments) and has a specific cause, we promoted that to "festival" which implies a celebration based on common interests. In this case those are the games which are Free Software. By playing them as part of an organized event (which includes competitions) we "celebrate" their existence and promote public awareness of them and their quality.

Therefore "gamefest" is short of Games Festival. The official name is thus Freedomware Gamefest 2007.

5. When does it start?

That is always a bit tricky question because the actual date has not been set and it would be difficult to set it. The reason is simply that it depends on a variety of factors. First of all, our goal is to get a maximum possible number of players and for that we need to induce as much awareness about the gamefest as possible. Until we are sure that the public is sufficiently aware of the event we can't cease accepting registrations, especially if we don't have a large number of them. As community's awareness of the gamefest grows we are working with them together on the general and game-specific rules and guidelines. Internally we are also striving to gain some sponsors for the festival, that would sponsor our prizes.

Also, even after the registrations would close it would be hard to set a specific date, which would essentially have to be the date of the first match, because this date would largely depend on the availability and preferences of players involved, which is something that can only be determined once we know who exactly the players are, in consultation with them.

So, the current answer to this question is that there is no date set, but it is currently planned for early November.

6. I don't use Linux, can I play?

Yes, this is not about games that run on GNU/Linux as much as about games that are Free Software, of which most are in fact cross platform. Of course, we do want to draw attention to GNU/Linux as a complete Free Software platform, but let's start with games first and then with operating systems.

So basically, yes, if you use Windows or Mac OS X or BSD or any other OS and a game included runs on that platform (most do) you are welcome to join!

7. How is the gamefest organized?

The final number of players will be divided into game slots (or components) and then into teams (if applicable). Consequently the teams or players within these game slots will be divided into brackets which determine who will play with whom to determine the winner. Each game slot can be seen as a separate tournament, with two stages: qualifications and the actual final tournament.

One player can participate in as many game slots as (s)he wishes so there could be a player that is both playing Nexuiz and Tremulous at the same time, and categorized in the applying teams accordingly.

We will maintain a list of game slots, teams (if existent) and players within them, as well as brackets in which they are organized and matches that have been scheduled from them.

8. What are game slots exactly?

This is a term we use to refer to a game included in the festival, along with its accompanying "hierarchy" of teams, players, brackets and schedules of matches. One slot basically equals to one separate component of the festival, a separate tournament under this event.

9. How will matches be organized?

They will be organized in so called "brackets". As wikipedia says; "A bracket is the diagrammatic representation of the series of games played during a tournament, named as such because it appears to be a large number of interconnected (punctuational) brackets."

So in a Nexuiz game slot we could have three teams with 5 players where the first and second team will play in the first match and the winner of the two will play with a third team in the second match. That would be represented by a simple example bracket below:

3 Team Bracket

Matches will be schedules based on the preferences of players involved in each match. This largely depends on when are they all available for playing. It is expected that this would involve weekends and perhaps sometimes evenings of week days.

10. What servers will you be using?

Servers are being listed here. They are provided mainly by, but also by a few community sponsors, like Tremulous and HSK.HK.

11. What if I have a bad lag?

We aim to make most servers available as soon as possible so you can test them and see what is your lag. We can't guarantee anything as lag depends on a variety of factors, including the players' own connection.

If your lag is high on one game's server and most other players which want to play the same game are fine your option is to play another game slot instead where the lag may be more acceptable.

12. What modes of play will be used?

Modes of play, e.g. "Capture The Flag", "Classic Deathmatch", "Team Deathmatch" etc. depends on the game itself. For example Tremulous can only be played in teams so the mode in it is obvious. However for FPS games like Nexuiz and OpenArena this is something that should be decided by the players participating in that particular game slot. Nexuiz and OpenArena players, please post your preferences here and Tremulous players post here.

13. Which games are included?

So far it is most certain for Nexuiz, OpenArena and Tremulous to be included, but BZFlag, Battle For Wesnoth and Armagetron Advanced are possible as well. What games will finally be included depends on the amount of players who expressed their interest in playing them on their sign up post. So if you have a favorite game, the best thing you can do is sign up and say you would like to play it, therefore adding to the number of people who would play that game.

Considering the current and likely final results of this poll, all games included must be completely Free Software AKA "Open Source" (both game data and game engine).

14. Where do I sign up?

Over here!. Just follow the instructions provided in the original post.

If you'd like to sign up a clan do it here.

15. I'd like to play, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to.

Well, just let us know that you are are interested in our "maybe" thread. Eye

16. What's the role of as opposed to is a homepage of the gamefest with basic information or links to information about the festival. It is used as a central hook for leading people to this festival, but main community-oriented action goes on here on community forums. You could think of as a front-end and as a back-end of this festival. Eye

17. I need help installing a game!

One thing is here for, above all else, is to help you set up and run your Free Software, including games. If you don't know how to install and set up your game for this tournament just ask in our gaming forum. We have opened a special topic for it here with some instructions.

18. What prizes will I get if I win?

This is yet to be announced, but rest assured that there will be a prize. What exactly and how big will it be largely depends on the number and generosity of our sponsors, t-shirt sales and donations.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask in comments below or in our gaming forum. You can also contact me on an IRC channel #libervis at or via ICQ 221298635 or on an email address libervis [ a t ] libervis [dot] com with a reference to the gamefest in your title.

This FAQ may further be updated to either add a question/answer or improve clarity.

Thank you for reading.

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