The Humble Homebrew Collection

Finally, after almost 2 months of hard work, I’m proud and happy to announce the release of the Homebrew game I’ve been working on : SGT Puzzles. It’s a collection of portable puzzle games for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, PocketPC, Android, etc.. and I’ve ported it to the PS3 too!

The release of this homebrew game comes with the  release of The Humble Homebrew Collection which is inspired by the Humble Indie Bundle Initiative (but not endorsed by it). The difference here is that you don’t have to pay anything in order to enjoy the games, they are free to download by anyone, but you are also able to donate any amount to the developer of the puzzle games (Simon Tatham) as well as the PS3 port developer (me!) and the EFF. You decide who to send the money to just like with the Humble Bundle. I’ve also linked to the game’s Windows, Mac and Android ports if you want them (they are already available in most Linux distributions).

The addition here and probably the most important part is a petition where yo get to sign and send a message to Sony asking for a legitimate way of having homebrew games on the PS3. Every signature will send an email to SCEE, SCEA, SCE Australia, SCE New Zealand and Kazuo Hirai, the CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment.  This is done in the hopes that Sony will finally see the light, learn from the mistakes they’ve been doing these past few years, and finally give us a legitimate and officially supported way of developing homebrew applications for our PS3 Systems.

Sony would be stupid not to answer to that, considering that Apple complied, Microsoft complied and Google complied, and they are all generating huge revenues thanks to homebrewers, with zero investment from their part. I know that the Sony execs only understand when you talk about money, so I hope this is a good enough incentive for them. Clearly, they do not care about their customers, so I don’t think they’ll change anything only to do what is right.

The SGT Puzzles game includes 33 puzzles, which are excellent for the most part. My favorite is and always will be Pattern, as I’ve spent countless hours playing it. I’ve recently also discovered Rectangles and Net which are also very good (in higher difficulties). I suggest you give those puzzles a try. Above all, I hope everyone can enjoy these games.

This all started about 2 months ago when I found a copy of Pattern on my PC and started playing it again. I tweeted about it and asked if someone wanted to port it to the PS3. Clement Bouvet (@TeToNN) quickly made a proof of concept using cairo. That got me excited and I decided to help him. We ended up writing a PS3 application over Simon Tatham’s Portable Puzzle Collection which, I must say, is very well written and made porting it to the PS3 very easy. It took maybe a day or two and the first game was playable on the PS3. At that point, I discovered the Cairo Drawing API which I loved and and I decided to invest myself entirely in this. It took 3 more weeks of hard work to get the whole system working (choose your puzzle game, change difficulty (Select) and writing the whole menu system for the game). I’ve received various help, Surenix made the designs for the menu graphics and buttons, and BeGamer helped design the HHC website.

The game still lacks a few things, and I will continue to work on it and improve it so everyone can enjoy a quality homebrew game, that, I hope, will make the anti-homebrew purists jealous.

The funny thing is that since day one, the source code for this game was available on my github account, but no one noticed it. Only a few people who accidently ended up on my github page found it, but no news website author found it or reported on it. I’m glad, because it allowed me to make this happen the way I wanted it to and launch this HHC initiative when it became ready. I’d like to ask the various websites out there not to link directly to the games (even if you are allowed to) and instead link to so people can sign the petition while downloading.

Most of the code is licensed under the MIT license. Parts of the code (the cairo menu system) is licensed under the LGPL license and I plan on extracting that into its own library for other developers to use in their applications.

The website took about 3 weeks to code. I learned two valuable lessons.. first, HTML coding is crap… secondly, it’s much more complicated than it looks. I hope people will appreciate this effort and I hope the Humble Homebrew Collection will make a difference.

In the future, I hope to enhance it by adding new homebrew games whenever I find something of quality, and keep the website and this whole initiative going for a long time, for as long as necessary.


So.. go ahead, download the games, sign the petition, maybe donate if you’re feeling generous, and most importantly, have fun!

Thank you!


Second Humble Indie Bundle + Braid Linux release!

Hi all,

After the huge success of the Humble Indie Bundle from last May, which I absolutely loved, the group of Indie developers decided to release a second Humble Indie Bundle with five other games, one of which is Braid, my favorite Independent game.

I suggest everyone goes over to and buys those games, you name your price and you get five great games with no DRM and with Linux, Mac and Windows binaries available for you to install on any and all of your PCs. you can also decide how to share that money you just spent, how much you want to send to the developers, or to the EFF or Child’s Play charities. Don’t waste any time and go show your appreciation of good games and your support to the open spirit of writing multiplatofrm, non-DRM games. Maybe this time again, like in the first bundle, the developers will decide to release their games to an open source license (I wish:)).

In the last bundle, I was a bit sad that Braid wasn’t included, but it was because it wasn’t available for Linux yet. I had previously discussed with Jonathan Blow (the author of Braid) about Linux support and he said that it would eventually be available, and he indeed delivered! Although there has been no news about this and no release of Braid for Linux so far, the Humble Indie Bundle also marks the release of the Linux version of Braid. Get the bundle and you will be able to download a native version of Braid for Linux (although it’s been reported that the Windows version worked under Wine).

I’ve tried running Braid on my  Linux system and had the horrible issue of the ‘missing GL extension’ that so many people are having. I checked the game’s bugzilla on icculus and found the related bug report in which Scott Mansell found the solution : The missing extension is “GL_EXT_texture_compression_s3tc” which is disabled on the open source drivers because it is covered by a patent and requires a licence.
If you live in a country where the patent doesn’t apply, you can enable it using driconf. Simply install it (“sudo apt-get install driconf” or “sudo yum install driconf”) then run ‘driconf’ and enable the S3TC extension in the “Image quality” tab of driconf.

Thank you Scott Mansell! 🙂

I hope this helps a few of you, enjoy!


Humble Source


As some of you might have seen already, there’s this great great initiative called the Humble Indie Bundle. It’s basically a group of five independent developers who decided to make a ‘pay-what-you-want’ promotion for a bundle of five games, and the money can be distributed however you want between the developers and two charities (Child’s play and Electronic Frontier Foundation).

This whole idea is really awesome! The minimum donation requested is 0.01$ so for just one cent, you could be getting 6 very awesome games (World of Goo, Gish, Penumbra, Lugaru HD,  Aquaria and as a bonus Samorost 2) although I hope you will be more generous than that!

I think that the initiative is indeed humble, and by giving the power back to the consumer, you let him decide on the price and ask him for his generosity, you can get some really good results.  And the proof is here.. After only 10 days, they have raised over one million dollars! 30% of that went to charity and the rest went directly to the developers! What does this mean? It means that people thought that the developers deserved the money because of this brilliant idea. This also gives us some pretty awesome statistics.

As of the moment of writing this, the average donation was 9.05$ and The distribution is  : an average of $7.95 for Windows users, $10.18 for Mac users and $14.55 for Linux users! It looks like Linux users are more generous than Mac users who are more generous than Windows users! The developer seems to have noticed this and talks about it in his blog.

You can also see the distribution of the downloads, it looks like the Linux and Mac gamers are also a big part of the gaming market. As explained in the developper’s blog :

Our most recent promotion, the Humble Indie Bundle, shows even more dramatic statistics for Linux: 52% Windows, 24% Mac, and 24% Linux.

Finally, the most interesting thing for which I want to salute those developers is that, considering the success of the Humble Indie Bundle, they decided to open source 4 of the games from the bundle! This is great news for the open source community and for the gaming community as well.

The bundle has been extended for 3 more days, so I encourage everyone to go buy these games and help the developpers who had this brilliant idea!