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210 comments

Old hardware (2)

Bradmont (513167) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991430)

Man, one thing I loved about open source software is that I could run any of it on my out of date hardware! Curse you Carmack!

Re:Old hardware (4, Insightful)

compro01 (777531) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991646)

How out of date is your hardware? Doom 3 was released 7 years ago.

Re:Old hardware (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36991720)

You have a point, but GP did make me chuckle. Doom 3 was the Crysis of it's day. In fact, Doom 3 is the reason I got into building gaming rigs. I would not be surprised to find lots of people still can't run it with their current equipment.

Re:Old hardware (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991728)

So old it is gerbil powered. Nibbles can't spin that wheel like he used to. I'll be here all week. Try the veal.

Re:Old hardware (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992784)

Hey leave poor Nibbles alone you bastard! can't you see he is trying his little heart out? Maybe if you bought the poor little fella some real food instead of giving him the wilted lettuce from your BLT maybe he wouldn't be huffing and puffing, ya cheap bastard!

As for TFA? Let me predict what will come of it...a shitload of bad PVP arena battle bullshit, ala Q3 Arena which seems to be the standard template for FOSS games. Does the world REALLY need another teabagging fragfest? would it REALLY kill ya to make a game with story, originality, or does capture the flag give you such a stiffie you can't think of nothing else?

Seriously guys if you want folks to take FOSS gaming seriously another DM/CTF fragger crap ain't gonna do it. Carmack is nice enough to hand you the engine for free, how about marrying it to some good ideas? Why not make a spoof that takes the piss out of the current "must have teh relism" bullshit? Like instead of your screen going bloody when you get hit it turns pink and you look like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz to other players so they can see what a big girl you are as you hide and wait for your health to regen? Or a weapon for the guys that you can't stand that throws dogshit and when they get hit enough the flies overwhelm them?

Use it for something original guys, don't just make another DM,kay? Surely there are enough FOSS guys with sick black senses of humor they could cook up something wicked. How about when your teammate does something stupid you can fill up your health and ammo for bitchslapping the stupid right off his dumb ass?

Re:Old hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36992898)

So old you can't buy a copy of it in stores. At least when Q3A was sourcedropped you could still buy it in stores. When was the last time anyone saw a copy of Doom 3 on store shelves?

Re:Old hardware (1)

atomicbutterfly (1979388) | more than 2 years ago | (#36993138)

So old you can't buy a copy of it in stores. At least when Q3A was sourcedropped you could still buy it in stores. When was the last time anyone saw a copy of Doom 3 on store shelves?

There is a reason why services such as Steam and Good Old Games are so popular - they allow you to buy games that retail stores don't stock anymore. Forget brick-and-mortar stores, it's all digital distribution nowadays. And for all their disadvantages, they do have the benefit of being able (in the case of Steam at least) to sell Doom 3 and even older games like X-COM.

Re:Old hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36991962)

How out of date is your hardware? Doom 3 was released 7 years ago.

How much upgrading will it take to run Doom 3 on my 8088?

Re:Old hardware (1)

Soul-Burn666 (574119) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991802)

Considering it can run on a Voodoo2 [3dfxzone.it] (which was released in 1998), I'd say you should stop trying to run games on a toaster...

Re:Old hardware (2, Insightful)

Nimey (114278) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992072)

It could run. It would not run well. It wouldn't run particularly well on my old Radeon 9600XT.

Not that I would have played it much anyway. Never could get into a game whose main selling point was how dark it was.

Re:Old hardware (1)

mrmeval (662166) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992972)

I never bought Doom3 for that reason among others. I'd never played the game. I just thought if they could not stick a light on a rifle and had to crank the light down it would suck. I had a friend buy it for me as a gift. It rocks.

Re:Old hardware (-1, Offtopic)

dvdwholesale2 (2428810) | more than 2 years ago | (#36993102)

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Re:Old hardware (5, Funny)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992008)

It works faster on a modern operating system, because of optimisations in the libc. For those who haven't taken a look at it yet, the main render routine looks like this:

memset(frame_buffer, 0, frame_buffer_size);

Re:Old hardware (2)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992096)

What are you trying to insinuate here??

That Carmack doesn't know about calloc? ~

Re:Old hardware (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36992674)

No, cumstain. It was a joke about the darkness of the game.

Re:Old hardware (3, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992744)

look at the line of code...

It zeros out the frame buffer. You know... so you get a completely black screen. And if that's the main render routine... lol... I thought it was quite clever.

Re:Old hardware (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#36993322)

I thought it was quite clever.

It was, and I've got it (why yes I did play Doom 3); but it seems that no-one has understood my ~ tongue-in-cheek reply (considering the number of clueless follow-ups).

Re:Old hardware (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#36993344)

... since it might still not be obvious, from man calloc [die.net]:

calloc() allocates memory for an array of nmemb elements of size bytes each and returns a pointer to the allocated memory. The memory is set to zero.

What's more important is that calloc is faster than malloc+memset for a number of reasons, most notably that OS can pre-zero free memory blocks while idling. So, given Carmack's love for micro-optimizations, it would be sacrilegious to suggest that he'd use something as comparatively inefficient as memset(0) in this context.

Re:Old hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36993386)

Your joke sucked, you worthless cumstain.

id Tech 5 (3, Informative)

bonch (38532) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991458)

I wonder if id Tech 5 will ever see a source release now that id is under Zenimax's wing. As for other developers releasing source, that's not always possible due to third-party technology licenses, ownership issues, and the source code flat-out missing (if I remember correctly, Rise of the Triad was missing for years until someone found it for 3D Realms).

Re:id Tech 5 (2)

PhrostyMcByte (589271) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991606)

As for other developers releasing source, that's not always possible due to third-party technology licenses, ownership issues...

id has those issues as well, though I'm told it was much less for Doom 3 than in the past. They have someone replace all the code and clean it up for public release.

Re:id Tech 5 (1)

mobets (101759) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992868)

Carmack mentioned using some Microsoft technology for the texture compression. That might give them some problems.

thanks but no thanks (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36991522)

Open Source is not a dumping ground for old and useless shit.

Re:thanks but no thanks (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36991546)

Since when?

Re:thanks but no thanks (3, Insightful)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991662)

Open Source is not a dumping ground for old and useless shit.

According to Wikipedia, [wikipedia.org] an id Tech 4 game was released this year and there's another one scheduled for next year.

Good for John Carmack. This code base is past the point where it offers serious competitive advantage. The value of an id Tech 4 game today is based on how good the game is, which is really as it should be. So there isn't really much reason why it shouldn't be open sourced -- except that most companies "just don't do that."

Even if the code was "old and useless shit" (which it obviously is not), how many companies actually throw away their old and useless shit? Most hoard it like it's diamonds. So kudos to Carmack and co. for sticking to their guns continuing to challenge the industry to move forward.

An attack on the Valve SOURCE engine? (-1)

j2asghar (879135) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991560)

Isn't this just a far fetched plan to try to eat into the Valve SOURCE engine developers? It's great and all, don't get me wrong, holding up the tradition of releasing the source of old Id games; but announcing the release at a Keynote seems a tad bit show-boating, and headline grabbing?

Showboating? (2)

dstyle5 (702493) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991712)

Showboating by announcing the release of code for one of their games at their conference about their games? What better place to announce it? This is an announcement for fans as they will be the only ones playing with this code most likely. Hopefully once its released someone can create an enjoyable version of the game... ;)

Re:An attack on the Valve SOURCE engine? (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991748)

Source is also based on id tech when you go back far enough. I'm sure the Source guys have a lot of respect for this. I don't care if this is "headline grabbing", it's the sort of thing that should be in headlines. It's the sort of thing that might get me interested in mucking around with OpenGL again.

Re:An attack on the Valve SOURCE engine? (3, Insightful)

gangien (151940) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992142)

Not everything is a conspiracy.

Not everything has an alterior motive.

Your life mgiht be improved if you realize this.

Re:An attack on the Valve SOURCE engine? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36992262)

just like everything else mentioned in a keynote? what's your point? why valve specifically? source was forked from quake 1 years ago... apples and oranges at this point.

Re:An attack on the Valve SOURCE engine? (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992716)

Isn't this just a far fetched plan to try to eat into the Valve SOURCE engine developers? It's great and all, don't get me wrong, holding up the tradition of releasing the source of old Id games; but announcing the release at a Keynote seems a tad bit show-boating, and headline grabbing?

I don't think anyone is expecting Source engine source to be released (again :P) seeing as Valve is still using Source in new games.

Maybe the Half Life 1 engine would be comparable. This is a bit of a poke in Valve's face since they're still running the same engine for the last 5 years with only minimal improvements.

for years... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36991580)

I have dreamt of carmageddon being released. I want to port it to Linux and update the graphics, everything. I want small kids to play this unsuitable, yet highly important game. The captcha I need to fill says it all very beautifully: overkill.

Re:for years... (1)

richlv (778496) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991704)

yes. just - yes. second carma. then it could be cleaned up from "fancy" things...

GOTCHA

Max is back. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992148)

I have dreamt of carmageddon being released. I want to port it to Linux and update the graphics, everything,

Then these are the people you need to talk to:

The Carmageddon brand has been reacquired by the team that developed the original PC titles Carmageddon and Carmageddon 2: Carpocalypse Now. Stainless Games today announced that a new title is in early development, called 'Carmageddon: Reincarnation'

Carmageddon [carmageddon.com]

Carmageddon Paper Crafts

These fantastic 3D paper cars have been created by long-time Carmageddon fan and modder extraordinaire Harm (Harmalarm). They were created using a neat bit of software called Pepakura. This program is able to unfold digital 3D models, turning them into foldable models.

Paper Cars [carmageddon.com] Pepakura [tamasoft.co.jp]

Re:Max is back. (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 2 years ago | (#36993150)

I've been yearning for another chance for a cunning stunt bonus for some time now. Is it wrong of me to be hoping to see the new Carmageddon released on Wii?

As much as people love to hate on the Wii, it has graphics that are easily significantly improved over the graphics of the last Carmageddon release for the PC...

Re:Max is back. (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 2 years ago | (#36993446)

Is it wrong of me to be hoping to see the new Carmageddon released on Wii?

No.

But this looks like an Indie start-up with no money to speak of.

What I would like to see is [the M-rated] Carmageddon 2 on Gog.com, with the soundtrack, PDF cars, etc, as extras. Its the perfect way to test the waters and raise some cash,

"Reincarnation" is a piss-poor title --- uncomfortably remeniscent of the late and unlamented "Duke Nukem Forever." I hope they can come up with something better.

Maintenance (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36991584)

This is exactly the behaviour we should be seeing. Publishers no longer sell some games yet they're classics and shouldn't fade into history; the only way to get them is to acquire them illegally via torrent sites or some such. Similar to the concept of .doc preventing people in the future from analysing our society as we do to those who lived before us and wrote on paper, it'd be a damn shame if future generations can't enjoy some of the awesome games I've been able to grow up with.

Also, as hardware and software move on, even if you do have a copy of an older game, getting it to run on a new system may be a challenge (esp. games that have 16-bit elements that no longer run on 64-bit Windows) so the only solution is to keep old (often large) boxes around and hope they don't die. With the source code the OSS community can maintain and update the codebase to ensure it runs on the latest kit.

Re:Maintenance (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991604)

Dosbox, scumnvm and all many other options are out there for this sort of thing.

Re:Maintenance (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991772)

Also I would expect they're just releasing the source code, and not all the models/maps/textures/sounds/whatever..?

Re:Maintenance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36992110)

Duh?

Re:Maintenance (1)

zget (2395308) | more than 2 years ago | (#36993332)

I don't think they are releasing the game assets (textures, music, sound etc), only the source code. This was the case with Quake 1 & 2 code at least. If you wanted to improve or change this code, you would still need to own the original game.

"other game developers" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36991610)

Too bad most developers have signed away the rights to their source code when they signed on with a publisher. Very few of the actual coders for popular video games have control over the source anymore.

Still waiting on Commander Keen Source (5, Interesting)

Emrikol (21551) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991630)

I emailed Carmack in '06 about releasing the source code to Commander Keen, and I got this reply:

We sort of lost the source code to most of the early games, or I would have released them long ago.

When I emailed Romero about it, he replied:

Yes, I have the source but have to figure out if all of it is complete and buildable. I think it is from the last time I checked it out a year ago or so. And it's 99% coded in C with a couple asm routines. :)

I emailed Carmack back saying Romero had the code, and I emailed Romero back saying Carmack wanted to release it.

Never heard back from either one :(

Re:Still waiting on Commander Keen Source (3, Funny)

pak9rabid (1011935) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991832)

I'm impressed you even got that far with them.

Might've hurt moonlit memories 'tween the Johns. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36992256)

So the parent got the two Johns trolled into a cross-discussion about releasing the Commander Keen source-code? What an idiot! That is movie material worth more than Brokeback Mountain! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot were you thinking, parent?

Bringing up a cross-discussion between the Johns about releasing source-code for Quake 1 material.... now that is something they will f*cking rightly do, like Country For Old Men. Damn straight, not gay!

*lights candle on the Cadelabruhhhhrrrr.

Re:Still waiting on Commander Keen Source (5, Interesting)

williamyf (227051) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992474)

Unlike most modern games, were you have a clear separation of the engine from the ".wads/maps/music/textures/game files/etc.", in those early games, the game itself was interewined in the code.

If you see all the FOSS releases idSW has made over the years, the ENGINE soruce code gets the FOSS treatment, but the copyright of the game files themselves remains in the hands of the company, therefore, you still need to buy a copy of the game to play it legaly, even if you use a FOSS engine, or a port (my case on a MacBook).

So, most likey, they will not release that older code, not because they lost the source, but because releasing it in that case is to give away the game for free...

Cheers

Re:Still waiting on Commander Keen Source (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36992644)

So, most likey, they will not release that older code, not because they lost the source, but because releasing it in that case is to give away the game for free...

Because ID are still making a mint out of Commander Keen and Spear of Destiny purchases, AMIRIGHT?

Re:Still waiting on Commander Keen Source (3, Funny)

whoop (194) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992812)

Commander Keen is still all the Rage, and releasing it for free would cause a Quake to their business strategy. Oh, and CK is on sale on Steam today for $3.74 (and included in some multi-game packs). Releasing it now would just Doom their bottom line...

Re:Still waiting on Commander Keen Source (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36992922)

Somehow I don't think there are many computer users out there still wanting to pay for Commander Keen.

Re:Still waiting on Commander Keen Source (1)

antdude (79039) | more than 2 years ago | (#36993170)

Did you ever follow up to both? Maybe CC to both at the same time?

What are the derivatives? (1)

3dr (169908) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991640)

I've not followed what has happened with previous id releases.
What have people done with them?

Re:What are the derivatives? (1)

Anonymous Cowar (1608865) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991698)

I've not followed what has happened with previous id releases. What have people done with them?

Mostly ported them to linux. Although there have been total conversions, such as tremulous, world of padman, and urban terror. I'm not aware of any non-game uses like medical imaging, 3d printer "print previews" or anything like that.

Re:What are the derivatives? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991730)

The games already have linux ports. I know I bought Doom and Quake 4 and many more before it for just that reason.

Re:What are the derivatives? (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991830)

Yes, but now you can have a native 64-bit build on Linux, Bsd, Windows, etc.

Re:What are the derivatives? (2, Interesting)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991884)

How much ram can darkness possibly need?

Re:What are the derivatives? (1)

IceNinjaNine (2026774) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992612)

How much ram can darkness possibly need?

Now that's just pure gold. :) Will you be here all week? And should I try the fish?

Re:What are the derivatives? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36991778)

http://icculus.org/twilight/darkplaces/

Re:What are the derivatives? (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991844)

Mostly ports and bugfixes/enhancements, but there's a decent number of fully-independent projects as well. OpenArena, Nexuiz, and Urban Terror, for instance.

Re:What are the derivatives? (1)

dbug78 (151961) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991856)

a few examples...

DarkPlaces
Tenebrae
ioquake3
World of Padman
OpenArena
Tremulous
Space trader
Smoking guns
Urban terror (used to be a Q3 mod but made standalone with the source release)

A huge thank-you ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36991656)

Businesses who release old source code deserve a big warm hug. Their gift is an enormous learning opportunity to budding programmers since it offers examples that are deeper and more practical than books and (most) schooling can provide. The only thing comparible is FLOSS, and they don't address certain markets (like games) very well

descent 3 (1)

d3matt (864260) | more than 2 years ago | (#36991758)

source code anyone?

Re:descent 3 (1)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 2 years ago | (#36993012)

Interplay has repeatedly refused to release the source. Same with the Freespace/Freespace 2 source until Volition started getting cranky then it came out. But I hold to hope that one day we'll see a Freespace 3 with volition doing it.

Thanks Id! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36991998)

I wished more vendors would consider following Id's lead. Releasing the code of older game engines makes it a lot more plausible for old games to continue to work on new platforms, so licenced software can continue to be useful on modern day computers because of people picking up the code and fixing bugs.

Eidos Holding 11-Year Old Thief 1 Source Code (1)

BrendaEM (871664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992004)

People have signed petitions for the Thief Dark Project code, which is eleven years old, and Eidos still has not helped Thief's community continue the legacy of their games.

Re:Eidos Holding 11-Year Old Thief 1 Source Code (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36992786)

... and the fans are wasting their time. The Thief code will likely never be released, and we have Dark Mod anyway now. It is a Thief-inspired game that isn't stuck in the 90s. There are already like 50 missions! I was (am) a Thief 1 fanatic, but since the developers couldn't even release the code to Dark Engine, I will actively avoid buying Thief 4.

This Doom 3 code should be a HUGE help for Dark Mod. Now we can have an optimized renderer and multicore support for stuff like AI, along with physics fixes. The fan-made stealth missions can live on forever now!

So, thanks Carmack for giving us Thief fans what the Thief creators never would have given us: the final piece for an open source stealth game!

He gets it, he is awesome (4, Insightful)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992062)

It's a shame that a lot of old games (including DOS games, circa 1995) have been consigned to the graveyard of dead software, where they can't be ported/maintained because they have no sources and need emulation, they can't be bought except for second/third/20th-hand, they can't be copied/preserved because of copyright. It's shameful, really. I feel quite angry about that tbh, and I'm delighted to see game creators make an effort to release their code.

I sometimes see people arguing that releasing the code is impossible because some parts are based on proprietary code they don't have the rights to. I wish they would just cut that code out and release the rest. There are a lot of eager fans out there who would be very happy to rewrite that code and even develop drop-in open-source replacements that can be reused for other ports (yes, even entire game engines). Let's not let old games end up like old films, rotting away in the archives of underfunded libraries without anyone knowing they ever existed.

Re:He gets it, he is awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36992510)

I agree... there are a lot of old code out there locked away, that people especially students could learn from. It's a real pitty to see companies hide old obsolete stuff like this. It also can spawn some good projects to get the old code running on modern computers :) lots of possibilities.

from the consumer side, its sad too, that games they grew up with have been lost into the nothingness, because the disks the game came on are corrupt, demagnetised or lost, and the games are unavailable. publishers seem unwilling to spend the money to allow them to be run on modern hardware, and at the same time unwilling to release their IP to the public domain...

Re:He gets it, he is awesome (2)

devent (1627873) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992900)

You are not the only one that gets angry about the whole issue. Tell me how so heck does a copyright term of 70 years is encouraging developers to write games? In the current market a game is old after 6 months and after 2 years you can buy the same game for 10$ or less and after 10 years nobody ever will buy the game. So how are developers benefit from a 70 years protection?

Tell me, what game makes the original developer money after 70 years?

In my opinion the current years (from 1980 to current) will be called the dark ages of digital culture, because no game, no movie, will survive. The code will be lost in some safe because nobody cares and if the future generations like to know what games we played, they can only go to the illegal sites like http://www.abandonia.com/ [abandonia.com]

It's like we wouldn't know anything about Shakespeare, Bach, Beethoven, because the code (words or notes) had the same stupid protection laws.

The only way the owner of the game is benefiting, is that nobody can take their game and port it and improve it. So they are benefiting because they hinder everybody else. You can call it greed and selfishness.

Re:He gets it, he is awesome (1)

24-bit Voxel (672674) | more than 2 years ago | (#36993498)

I thought the whole point of abandonia was that all the games were licensed or owned by companies that are now no longer in business, thus there is no copyright. I don't think it's illegal is it?

Re:He gets it, he is awesome (1)

Lando (9348) | more than 2 years ago | (#36993370)

Might want to check out GOG.com Recently found the site while researching something else, but seems to have a lot of older games that have been set up to run under windows at a decent price.

Who Does This help (1)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992070)

You always hear about games getting there source code officially released (with their art, etc remaining proprietary and the game still being a commercial product [which I assume is what this is]).
Who does this help? will anyone read through this code? Is it basically just for anyone enamoured enough with the original game to make mods/patches?

Re:Who Does This help (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992132)

Mostly it's for porting it to different platforms, and to improve the old engine with new features (like what Tenebrae did for Quake1).

Some people also make their own games (not just mods, but completely new games) with them. Mostly a hobbyist affair, of course, since the engines are usually quite outdated by the time source code is released.

Re:Who Does This help (4, Interesting)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992160)

> Who does this help?
People who are curious about "How Things Work", specifically, "How Games Work"

Perfect example:
quake 3 fast inverse square root
http://www.beyond3d.com/content/articles/8/ [beyond3d.com]

> will anyone read through this code?
Most definitely:
  Game Programmers - Sub-Topics: Rendering, Networking, Audio, Physics, AI,
  Future game programmers
  Hackers

I've shipped numerous games. It is always a pleasure reading other people's game code -- just to see how they did things, read the comments, etc.

--
"Necessity is the Mother of invention, but Curiosity is the Father"
    -- Michaelangel007

Re:Who Does This help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36992198)

It's always fun looking at the source code for a commercial game. Beyond the actual algorithms and libraries (which are probably a bit dated) you can see how they thought to organize the overall structure - what level of abstraction they thought was useful, stupid code tricks, and how they put on the polish that is absent from most open source games.

More productive people probably have a better idea of how to leverage it than me, but that's why I'll download it.

Re:Who Does This help (1)

Tacvek (948259) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992202)

Well if you wanted to write a Doom 3 like game, this would be an excellent place to start. You would need to develop graphics and levels, and make some changes for any unique features, but you would need to do that anyway even if starting from scratch, and at least here you already have a working engine. The communities that develop around these source drops often focus on making the code portable, and making minor changes here and there so that it can work well on modern hardware.

So you get to start with a portablized version of a proven game engine. The existing engines are designed with performance on relatively slow machines (by today's standards) in mind. That sounds like a reasonably good fit for something like a modern cell phone. Rewriting the graphics code to take advantage of a mobile's platform's limited 3d acceleration is often not nearly as much work as it sounds.

Re:Who Does This help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36992228)

Who does this help? Wow. How about anyone with more than a passing interest in game programming? I thought slashdot was a techie site...

Re:Who Does This help (1)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992392)

It helps the Linux community - I'd say at least 50% the AAA-level games on Linux got there because someone released the code, and the open-source community got the port done.

It helps the hardcore fans of the game, because obscure bugs can be fixed, and enhancements can be added. Doom has gotten quite a few engine enhancements that make the original game look a lot better, without needing art replacements.

It can help indie or starting-out developers, because a full engine is a tough thing to properly write. Getting one for free, even an old one, can speed up development.

Finally, helps the original game makers. By releasing the code while keeping the art assets proprietary, you get free maintenance of your product while still profiting from sales. I know of a lot of people who didn't buy Doom until years afterwards.

Re:Who Does This help (5, Informative)

adamofgreyskull (640712) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992590)

The reason for releasing source code as open source isn't so that you can download it for free, compile it, and have a working copy of Doom 3, it's so that people can look at the code, learn from it, port the game to new architectures or mod the source to add new features/take advantage of new technology. Several original games have been developed using previously released id source code: (Someone should really invent some kind of "Search" "Engine" for this internet thing...)
Nexuiz [alientrap.org]
Urban Terror [urbanterror.info]
Tremulous [tremulous.net]

Sadly, I suspect that you won't appreciate the value of any of that, having phrased your questions the way you did.

Re:Who Does This help (2)

jaxa (2429766) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992950)

This helps The Dark Mod [thedarkmod.com] team, among others. There are many bug fixes and improvements that can only be made once the source code is released.

Yes! (1)

eskild (21266) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992168)

I know, I know, it's years old, it's practically as old as what the egyptians built. I know, I know, I get my a** kicked by pre-teens when I go online for just about any FPS (including Solitaire. Oh, wait...) -- I'm just sooooo old and lousy.

But still, Carmack is (a) god! It's a kick-ass game, written by kick-ass, performance-aware (fanatic, even) professionals. It sure as h*ck has value, also today!

My tradition (1)

Aggrajag (716041) | more than 2 years ago | (#36992936)

I keep buying all of their games as long as they keep releasing the source, even if the games suck (Quake 4, Doom 3).

Re:My tradition (1)

mojo-raisin (223411) | more than 2 years ago | (#36993398)

Not a gamer and the last FPS I played was Doom3 in 2003/4. I will continue buying id games, though, just cuz.

Original Red Faction source (1)

Tekoneiric (590239) | more than 2 years ago | (#36993114)

I wish the source code for the original Red Faction would be released. The damage & map sizes could be increased for larger amounts of memory. Also the core of the game could be used for other types of games. I'd like to see it modded to allow portal jumps added to allow people to cross from server to server.

People will do things with it (1)

guacamole (24270) | more than 2 years ago | (#36993178)

For an analogy, you should take a look at idtech3 game engine users. Gametracker.com 2 months ago reported about 700 active Quake 3 servers (many empty of course). Lots of people still enjoy this game, and having access to source code engine is an advantage to them. Other games that use the free idtech3 engine are Urban Terror (up to version 4.2), Tremulous, Smokin Guns, and World of Padman. Granted, I think only UrbanTerror is a widely played game among these (game tracker reports over 1000 live servers) and the next version is switching to a fork of a closed source engine. There are also games based on idtech1 and idtech2 engines. Quite often the developers of the above games had been discussing switching their game engine to something else. Often those discussions ended with "let the idtech4 be released, and then we'll see"

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