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Dark Reign 2 Goes Open Source

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the shhhh-now dept.

Open Source 41

An anonymous reader writes "One of Activision's last RTS games, Dark Reign 2, has gone open source under the LGPL. Although the release by a former Pandemic Studios employee was some time ago, it had happened relatively silently. With the source code now available, it is hoped that online play that isn't dependent on WON servers will be implemented and possibly ports to other platforms."

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41 comments

dark rain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40904033)

it's as bright and dry as it gets here

I bought this game... (1)

Shaman (1148) | about a year and a half ago | (#40904081)

Years ago I picked it up in a bargain bin and found that it was quite playable. The graphics were cutting-edge for its time, too.

I'm not sure what OS developers can gain from it, but I'm all for being able to get an updated game to relive the experience, as i still have the CD. Remember CDs?

Re:I bought this game... (1)

Cyphax (262239) | about a year and a half ago | (#40904175)

Sure OS developers can gain something from it, even if it's outdated. Just recently, Warow 1.0 was released. This project was built around the Quake 2 engine. It was modernized some to look quite nice. :)
It's a good base to expand on. If you want to, of course.

Re:I bought this game... (1)

Fnord666 (889225) | about a year and a half ago | (#40904531)

Sure OS developers can gain something from it, even if it's outdated. Just recently, Warow 1.0 was released. This project was built around the Quake 2 engine. It was modernized some to look quite nice. :)

Did you mean Warsow [warsow.net] ?

Code AND Assets (4, Informative)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about a year and a half ago | (#40904105)

From the looks of things the assets are included. There's a 790MB rar file here

http://code.google.com/p/darkreign2/source/browse/#svn%2Ffull_game [google.com]

Re:Code AND Assets (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#40904571)

That's both unusual and awesome.

Getting the code is always nice, but you can't do anything fun with it until you have assets to attach. That whole tedious and often unsuccessful part is now not really necessary, so work on bending the code can begin already and it will have good output to test.

Re:Code AND Assets (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year and a half ago | (#40905177)

It's definitely unusual because it was most likely an unauthorized code leak. If this was really an "official" open sourcing of the game all the headers would have been properly updated and you wouldn't have code in there that said it is specifically not supposed to be publicly disclosed.

ESET not liking that source file - malware detecte (1)

DJRikki (646184) | about a year and a half ago | (#40904121)

In the ad system

Re:ESET not liking that source file - malware dete (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40904535)

Symantec complained about it being infected as well.

It just doesn't look as fun as the 2D original (1, Insightful)

wisty (1335733) | about a year and a half ago | (#40904137)

It just doesn't look as fun as the 2D original. Sure, the graphics are 3D (and can take advantage of a 3D card) but aren't pixel perfect like the 2D original. You can't pack as much information into the screen, as the 3D models are just not optimal.

3D RPGs and RTS games just seem fiddly to me. It's a gratuitous exercise in realism which doesn't add anything to the gameplay.

Look at the really successful RPG and RTS games - War/Starcraft, Diablo, Dark Reign (the original) ... very little gratuitous 3D design.

Then there's platform and adventure games ... they basically died once they started going 3D. Maybe multiplayer games (FPS / racing) had something to do with that (as they benefited from both faster internet connections, and better 3D graphics).

Re:It just doesn't look as fun as the 2D original (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40904239)

Agreed, I'd much prefer the original Dark Reign being open-sourced then Dark Reign 2. I still play Dark Reign (And Total Annihilation) to this day. Hurray for DirectX 3.

Re:It just doesn't look as fun as the 2D original (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year and a half ago | (#40904687)

I can't comment on the relative fun of those two specific games; but '3d' has certain advantages beyond graphical glitz that come in handy.

Unless the game ships a fairly massive number of sprites or goes full vector graphics(also unlikely to meet 'pixel perfect' standards), the resolution-independence of 2d engines leaves... something to be desired. You can get away with modest movements up or down, in the original aspect ratio; but things get ugly and illegible pretty fast if you go outside that. Even in games where the gameplay is fundamentally 2d(Civ 4, say, is played on pretty much the same gameboard as Civ1-3, with the rules and the pieces tweaked a bit each time), the ability to splash it across reasonably arbitrary resolutions(once the initial legwork is done) comes in pretty handy in today's world of cheap pixels and eccentric aspect ratios.

Re:It just doesn't look as fun as the 2D original (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year and a half ago | (#40904873)

3D RPGs and RTS games just seem fiddly to me. It's a gratuitous exercise in realism which doesn't add anything to the gameplay.

IMO, dungeon crawling is much more compelling in 3d. The first RPGs were first person for a good reason. Ultima, Wizardry, Might and Magic, The Bard's Tale, all 3d dungeon crawlers.

Re:It just doesn't look as fun as the 2D original (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40914773)

Dungeon Master FTW!

Re:It just doesn't look as fun as the 2D original (1)

Kremmy (793693) | about a year and a half ago | (#40907861)

I'm gonna recommend that you check out the Spring Engine [springrts.com] . It's a fully 3D real-time strategy engine originally developed with the intent of recreating the 1997 RTS "Total Annihilation". If you've played Supreme Commander (Spring predates Supreme Commander and influenced the design), you have something of an idea of what to expect from the Total Annihilation style mods. .

I wasn't a fan of 3D real time strategy games until I played Spring. Almost every time I go back to another RTS now, I find myself utterly spoiled by Spring's excellent zooming and command queueing. Give it a whirl and see how shoddy those old timer RTSes actually are. Did I mention that it's Free? It's Free. That's important.

Re:It just doesn't look as fun as the 2D original (1)

tibman (623933) | about a year and a half ago | (#40919723)

Some of the best RTSs are 3d though. Total Annihilation and Company of Heroes. The 3d part IS important to the gameplay. Height is an advantage. Line of sight weapons vs indirect is interesting.

Illegal (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40904333)

Contains files like source/graphics/IMESHUtil.cpp which state: /*
  * IMESHUtil.cpp
  *
  * INTEL CORPORATION PROPRIETARY INFORMATION
  * This software is supplied under the terms of a license agreement or
  * nondisclosure agreement with Intel Corporation and may not be copied
  * or disclosed except in accordance with the terms of that agreement.
  *
  * Copyright (c) 1998 Intel Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
  *
  *
  * PURPOSE:
  *
  * This file contains the implementation for the IMESH Utility
  * functions that manage IMESH memory, read and writing of IMESHes, etc.
  *
  *
  */

So it should not be on Google Code

Re:Illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40904371)

I was actually going to ask something similiar without even looking at the code. If it was released QUIETLY it would make me question it's legitimacy, There hasn't been a completely 'open source engine' release in 10+ years that hasn't been met with both scrutiny and fanfare.

Re:Illegal (4, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#40904587)

"Copyright (c) 1998"

In a just world, that would be fair game by now.

Re:Illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40905059)

Yeah, I've dated girls younger than that, it should definitely be fair game. If there's grass on the field...

Re:Illegal (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40906163)

Copyright protection lasts for a bit more than 14 years.

Re:Illegal (1)

X0563511 (793323) | about a year and a half ago | (#40908217)

Hence the whole content of my comment. Try reading it again, and you'll find:

1. I realize it's still in copyright.
2. I believe it should not be.

These are not mutually exclusive.

Re:Illegal (1)

ATMAvatar (648864) | about a year and a half ago | (#40914473)

There was a time when it didn't. That's the point.

Instead, we live in a reality where our great-great-grandchildren *might* be able to freely copy that file from their deathbeds

18.5 meg file only (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40904631)

that link to 700 meg file dont work

Be careful (2)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year and a half ago | (#40904767)

If it's LGPL why weren't the copyright headers updated? Most still just say things like:

Copyright 1997-1999 Pandemic Studios, Dark Reign

Seems a bit iffy at the moment.

Re:Be careful (4, Insightful)

jonwil (467024) | about a year and a half ago | (#40904895)

Judging by the amount of 3rd party code (a chunk of which I know for sure isn't open source in any way shape or form), I have strong doubts that this is legitimate.
My bet is that someone will get in trouble for posting this code, the code will be removed (from Google code and probably also from github and elsewhere that it might be uploaded to)

There is NO WAY that anyone connected with this would ever get permission to post the contents of e.g. 3rdparty\bink or 3rdparty\mss

Re:Be careful (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | about a year and a half ago | (#40905001)

This must have been flying under people's radar since this has been on Google Code since last September. But I'd imagine anyone really distributing this code is going to have hell to pay.

Re:Be careful (1)

Swistak (899225) | about a year and a half ago | (#40905291)

Even if software is released under open source license it still is copyrighted to author. Author just chooses license under which he distributes his works. Copyright dates do not need to be updated at all (this is just a formality and mostly for informational purposes), and in most cases are updated only if file under copyright is changed.

Re:Be careful (1)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#40905447)

It's highly unusual for none of the source code files to have an updated LGPL license header and the third party code has license text stating it can't be disclosed as it's under license. Any open sourcing of code done officially had headers properly updated and a license text stating that the company gas released it under the new license. Also there is no proof that this person even has authorization to have released this.

When.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40906203)

Is someone going to reboot the Eye of the Beholder series for current systems... I would totally play that again..

Re:When.... (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | about a year and a half ago | (#40909667)

Actually ScummVM is supposed to be able to run Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos. You can always run the games under DOSBox as well. You need to own an actual copy of the game however.

WON servers? (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about a year and a half ago | (#40906591)

With the source code now available, it is hoped that online play that isn't dependent on WON servers will be implemented

It's a shame WON no longer operates.

Oh wait, it does, it's just called Steam now. Unfortunately, it sounds like the network protocol used may have changed between WON and Steam.

Legal issues ahoy! (5, Informative)

Desler (1608317) | about a year and a half ago | (#40907373)

Hacker News user gets confirmation from repo owner that this was a leak not an official open sourcing. [ycombinator.com] Slashdot editors need to update the story to warn people.

Re:Legal issues ahoy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40911319)

Also, one of the 3rd-party software packages is Aureate, one of the first spyware packages, so you really should use caution when downloading/using the source.

One of the worst games ever made (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#40909335)

Units that block each other and the worst pathfinding AI ever written.

I even like micromanagement in RTS games, but playing DR2 isn't micromanagement, it's babysitting a bunch of 1 year old George W. Bushes. I actually felt a sense of achievement when my own units died, as if I was contributing to raise the average IQ of the universe by a small but significant amount.

I still have this game's box on a shelf in front of me and I look at it whenever I'm thinking about buying something. I wasted $50 on the game but it has probably saved me well over $10k in impulse purchases since.

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