Interview with Wormux lead developers

Posted 25 Jan 2005 at 13:03 UTC by yeupou Share This

Wormux is a libre software clone of the game named Worms. The goal of the game consists in winning a fight against an opponent team of "worms" (or else) by leading his own team.

It currently features 5 weapons (dynamite, bazooka, gun, baseball beater and teleportation), 4 worlds and two differents skys, 2 skins (Wougzy and a yelllow worm) and bonus boxes (munitions for weapons).

Wormux is leaded by Lawrence Azzoug, Victor Stinner and Laurent Defert.

This interview was made for Gna!'s hotspot #3.

The Interview:

Gna!: Hello, Can you give a two line description of Wormux your grandma(s) could understand? What is the intended audience of Wormux ?

Victor: Hum... not easy, my grandma don't understand what is a computer. But, Wormux is a free game in which two teams (or more) have to kill them, with a lot of weapons like bazooka, TNT, gun, etc.

Sounds violent, doesn't it?

Victor: Yes, it is, but it's just for fun.

Laurent: It's not so violent when playing, because it's based on humor. Character are originally worms, and you don't expect to see worms fighting with bazooka grenade...

Sure, I don't.

Laurent: I think worms/Wormux are more fun than violent.

I understand your game run under GNU/Linux. In my experience, drivers shipped with XFree/ for modern graphical cards are very poor, especially by comparison to their proprietary equivalent for MS Windows. Does that affect your software? Had you to take into account that problem and find workarounds or does your software work fine with old hardware?

Victor: Bad question :-)

Laurent: Victor, you have more experience than me for this.

Victor: Wormux 0.4 used ClanLib 0.6.5, I don't know which system is used (X11 ?). Wormux 0.5 use ClanLib 0.7 which is based on OpenGL. OpenGL is really fast because it can use hardware acceleration. But the problem is that we don't have good driver for GNU/Linux. I only know Nvidia who have very good video drivers. I tried to write an SDL wrapper for ClanLib, but it was too difficult and I never achieved it.

But non-free. On free only systems, is your game playable? What hardware does it requires?

Victor: eg. I have a laptop with a ATI IGP and I'm using Debian. With Xfree 4.3, I had 2 fps (frames per second) in Wormux. I had to install the last version of and DRM to play Wormux with 60 fps. But, my video driver is 100% free software.

X11 may be able to use hardware acceleration, but Wormux use sprite rotation, alpha blending, and other nice graphical effects, and the all in 32 bits/pixel. But Wormux does not need a very fast video drivers with all 3D newest effects, only a good 2D video driver!

Ok, so things are improving recently in this matter, in your experience, aren't they?

Laurent: I can't tell, I have a nvidia and have always be happy with their (non-free) drivers.

Victor: Yes, we can see more and more good video drivers under GNU/Linux.

You mentioned previously that your game was about two teams opposed in a fight. Is it possible to play against others humans? Is it ready for network games?

Laurent: Network support is in preparation.

Victor: Currently, we can only play with two humans (or more) on the same computer, but we're working on network (LAN and Internet) playing.

With shared keyboard?

Victor: Wormux is a turn based video game, so we just need one keyboard and one mouse.

Hum ok, now you know that I was not able to understand the rules of the game, being non familiar with worms in the first place. :) When will be the network game ready? What kind of network game model do you selected: client/server client/client?

Victor: We choose client/client so Wormux don't need three computer to play between two humans. I think that 90% of network playing is already done. The problem is that I don't have a lot of free time to care about Wormux

(ok we will discuss about that afterwards) On your webpage, you mention potential legal issues with team17, the people behind the proprietary game Worms. Do you think you owe them something? Are statement like "I cannot imagine we would ever take action [against you] - this is not a guarantee" positive ones, in your opinion?

Laurent: I owe them tons of hour of fun with their game. The concept behind worms was really cool when it came.

Victor: I'm not very qualified to comment that from a legal point of view. I just understand that unless Wormux is made available under MS Windows, then they will not care about us. But nobody is able to produce a Wormux Windows version, so there's no problem.

If someday someone propose you to work on MS Windows support for Wormux, what will you do?

Laurent: We will welcome him, as it is a real hard task.

Victor: We will answer him "ok, but binaries will not be available on our webpage (or server)".

I see. Who are you? How many developers contribute to Wormux regularly?

Laurent: Victor is the one working the most regularly on the project.

Victor: I'm the project maintainer. I'm first a programmer, but also care about Wormux promotion (website/news).

Laurent: And i do some programming and graphics.

Victor: I also apply patches/contributions that we received by emails. We're two people who regularly contribute to Wormux.

And where do you work? How old are you?

Victor: I'm 21, french and study in the UTBM ( But currently I'm in a training period for 6 month until the end of February.

Laurent: I'm also 21, I work at CIAT (air cooler manufacturer) in Savoie (France), it doesn't have anything to do with computers.

Victor: I'm working in 2LE ("Logiciels Libres pour l'Entreprise"), a web agency based in Mulhouse.

When was started the project and why?

Victor: The first author of Wormux is not here, it's Lawrence Azzoug. He wrote in that he wanted to program a Worms clone under GNU/Linux and, because no good clone did exist, he started it's project.

Do you know each others in "real" life?

Laurent: We are far from each other, but we met with Victor last month.

Victor: I meet Laurent last December for the first time. We organised a Wormux hacking party in my school. Lami (Lawrence Azzoug) couldn't come because it was to far for him.

What are your plans? How do you see the future of Wormux?

Victor: The future of Wormux ? Version 1.0 with ninja rope, random map generator, AI (artificial intelligence) and network playing. But first version 0.6 with network ;-)

Laurent: I would like Wormux to become as good as frozen bubble

Is there any business plan behind Wormux?

Victor: Business plan ? Good question. We don't care about money, We develop Wormux just for fun!

Wouldn't you interested in earning a living working on Wormux?

Victor: personally, no.

You neither, Laurent ?

Laurent: Not for Wormux. I do not think my work on Wormux is worth being paid.

How is licensed Wormux? How do you feel about it?

Victor: Wormux is written under GNU GPL. I'm not sure to understand the second question.

Laurent: I really like this license as I learn programming when I code for Wormux.

I assume it is Lawrence Azzoug that chose the license. Would you have made the same choice?

Laurent: Personally, yes.

Victor: Yes. I really love this license. I only written code under GNU GPL; we also write code under GPL in my company.

Laurent: In a way, we thank the GNU/Linux community for their work by adding our piece of work to the assembly (« en ajoutant notre pierre à l'édifice »).

I see. Another topic, more down-to-earth: is Wormux included in some distros? Which ones?

Victor: Historical including : SourceMage & Sorcerer, Mandrake, Gentoo & FreeBSD. I'm still waiting about Debian reactions.

Do you have any industrial or institutional support? Does the distros shipping Wormux working with you in any way?

Laurent: Not at all.

Victor: Hum... They help us for autotools things.

Are you looking for contributions? If so, what kind of contributions could be of use to the project?

Laurent: Code, sound, music, graphics... everything! It's a big task to build a game, everyone is welcome to help.

Victor: We already received a lot of contributions. I'm looking for: UTF-8 support, more sound effects, help for network and random map generator. But like Laurent said: we accept all (good) contributions.

Ok. Maybe a reader will provide you help in these areas, who nows. What tools do you use when working on Wormux? Why?

Laurent: for code: kate, for graphics: the gimp. Kate (part of KDE) is really simple to use, the gimp is powerful, and they are both free software.

Victor: I'm using emacs or gvim to write code, g++ to compile, gdb to debug. ClanLib is also a "tool" (toolbox), which is buggy but easy to use and have a good API. I only use free software.

Laurent: Except my nvidia drivers, me too.

Why did you choose Gna! as host?

Victor: First we used, but because of a *rude word* cracker, was down for long months. We couldn't wait "resurrection", so we looked at all free software project hosting. was the best : cvs, mailing list, etc. -> it covers all our needs. have some lacks: better download presentation, SVN support, download counter. But it's not really important.

We have mailing list from (with really nice archives: that's very important) and we have our own forum at (I don't think it is's job to provide this service, by the way).

Anything else you'd like to say?

Victor: Thank you to Gna! for hosting our project! Feel free to contact us if you are interested in contributing to Wormux.

Laurent: Thanks! Play Wormux, « mangez des pommes », and be happy!

Victor: And have a look to ClanLib, a really good game library.

Last question: what is the question that I did not asked you would have me to ask?

Victor: "why do you develop Wormux?"

And the answer would be?

Laurent: For fun, and to learn c++.

Victor: I'm working on Wormux during all my free time because I love Worms (not Wormux) game, I love programming, and I love free software... and because it's funny to develop a game!

original document (Gna! hotspot #3)

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