Aquaria is a 2D sidescrolling action-adventure computer game designed by Alec Holowka, Derek Yu and Bit Blot. The game follows Naija, a mermaid-like woman, as she explores the underwater world of Aquaria. Along her journey, she learns about both the history of the world and her own past.
Gameplay combines battles, swimming and singing; the latter allows Naija to interact with the world. Her songs can move items, affect plants and animals, and change her physical appearance into other forms. These forms have different abilities, such as firing projectiles at hostile creatures or passing through barriers inaccessible to her in her natural shape.
The Aquaria game engine is licensed under GPL, the game content however, remains licensed under a range of licenses. This division between content and gaming engine has raised an intense debate as to whether Aquaria really is Open Source at all.
The view we take on this at OSL is that the definition of Open Source has had to evolve to keep up with cross-media developments on the Web, so that projects that aren’t entirely made up of source code such as films, music, photos and games etc, can still be included in the ‘spirit’ or ‘ethos’ of OSS. Aquaria fits into this expanding definition.
The Aquaria game engine source code can be found here.
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