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A new Open Source game

I wrote a game to illustrate peak oil and christened it "Oilsville". My hope is that people will now be able to grasp the phenomenon of peak oil - how any finite resource (or even a renewable resource stripped faster than it is being replenished) will peak with increased extraction and eventually start declining, no matter what improvements in technology are made.

The premise of the game is simple: There is a new oil field to be exploited. You got a rig (with configurable "size of the straw") which will start pumping out oil. Every well will start yielding lesser and lesser over time as the underlying geology dictates that the pressure must decrease. Larger sized rigs, as with reality, requires larger amounts of energy to operate and are also costly to operate. The only way to ramp up production is therefore to drill more. But the catch is... the more you drill, the closer you are to peaking production and you'd eventually reach a point where no matter how big your rig is, you cannot increase production! But given this is Oil Money, rest assured you'll be a millionaire oil tycoon!

Feel the frustration as you ramp up your fight against Entropy! :)

Here is a screenshot:

Oilsville Screenshot

I wrote this in perl ("sorta" Object Oriented Perl) using SDL for the graphics. This is available for free download as a source tarball as well as a deb. The deb is perhaps easiest to install (depends on libsdl-perl). I'm GPL'ing the source.

We needs your help!

I'm seeking volunteers, code contributors and hackers for the following things:
  • Port to Facebook - the core game is SDL agnostic so it should be quite easy to port, I believe. I'm specifically looking for hosting a Farmville contender (hence the name "Oilsville") :)

  • Port to windows - I'd ideally love to have a windows installer, much like what the Frozen Bubble folks have done.

  • Port to Flash - since I have peakoilgame.com registered, I'm looking for a flash version that can be played online - hosted on peakoilgame.com

  • ... of course, I'm willing to get surprised by new, creative applications of the code. The code is general enough to be used for any "peak anything" types game/simulation.


Anybody who helps with one of the three mentioned needs (Facebook, Flash, windows port) will get an (available) domain name of your choice along with hosting on NearlyFreeSpeech.net for one full year!


( 9 comments — Comment on this )
Apr. 18th, 2010 09:53 am (UTC)
Extending help
Well, i can help you with inserting ads into the game if you desire so ;)

- Parvesh
Apr. 18th, 2010 10:13 am (UTC)
Really nice idea Suraj. I have downloaded the game, but have a problem with sound at the moment. I am running it on Fedora, so couldn't just use the .deb package. I will sort it out another day.

I like the idea of making this accessible to people via Facebook. It is that demographic that REALLY need this information. I dumped Facebook a while back due to the supreme lack of interest of any of my friends in the issues that face our society and environment.

I would love to see Oilsville linked to Farmville: when the oil stops flowing your Farmville tractor stops working and you have to learn to plough using a horse ...

Perhaps it would be interesting to include some sort of simulation for petrol prices that tick along dependent upon your level of oil production?

Anyway, this little project has huge potential as an educational tool, so well done for putting it together!
Apr. 18th, 2010 10:34 am (UTC)
PS - This is LS again, I shall sign my comment in the future for ease of identification :-)
Apr. 18th, 2010 10:48 am (UTC)
Ah, I posted my earlier comment before seeing this comment of yours :)
Apr. 18th, 2010 10:46 am (UTC)
Hi, The game doesn't use any sound so that should be okay. Let me know what kind of problems you're facing and we can troubleshoot it.

I just made the source tar install the stuff for you. Just download the source tarball and read the "non-debian installs" section of the INSTALL file.

Let me know how it goes :)

Also, my idea was to not "link" farmville and oilsville. That would need co-operation from Farmville folk (which is Zynga). I was talking about a Farmville/Mafia Wars like game for facebook.

... and could you please identify yourself? :)
Apr. 19th, 2010 11:28 am (UTC)
Hi Suraj, I will have a look at the tarball and see if it works out.

Regarding Farmville, I was really just messing around :-) It would be highly amusing if by using Oilsville in FB as well as Farmville suddenly the former started impacting on the latter (just like real life!). As you say, I am sure that Zynga would not be amused

Apr. 18th, 2010 05:13 pm (UTC)
I haven't tried it out but the prospect of porting it alluring. Unfortunately for me, you are a week too late since work life seems like it is going to suck away all my time this week.
Apr. 20th, 2010 12:53 am (UTC)
Way to go!
Cool. Would love to help but am caught up with research and coursework ... Maybe over the summer. Will let you know. I haven't used Perl. Python would be right up my alley :)
Apr. 20th, 2010 01:09 am (UTC)
Re: Way to go!
Python programming - Like husband, like wife, eh? :)
( 9 comments — Comment on this )