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Torque Network Gaming Library Released Open Source

simoniker posted more than 9 years ago | from the ping-marvellous dept.

PC Games (Games) 183

An anonymous user writes "GarageGames launched the Torque Networking Library under the GPL today - this is the PC game networking technology behind Tribes and Tribes 2. It's also available under indie and commercial licenses for closed source projects, but OpenTNL.org is the home for the open source release, which also has an official FAQ online. Along with the library itself is a master server implementation for game tracking, a graphical test app, Zap and a retro-styled space shooter."

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183 comments

Awesome news! (5, Interesting)

TempusMagus (723668) | more than 9 years ago | (#8922946)

I've been using the Torque engine for sometime. And I gotta say, these guys are doing it right! People still play Tribes 2 and it can handle 60 (yes six-zero) players on a beefy box with little lag. Props out to them.

Re:Awesome news! (1)

WinterSolstice (223271) | more than 9 years ago | (#8922967)

That's pretty impressive. I haven't tried Tribes, but I think I will look into it.

-WS

John "Eff'ing" Kerry (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8922979)

After months of Dems haggling over President Bush's military records, the GOP now moves to demand full-disclosure from John Kerry!

The day after Kerry told MEET THE PRESS he would make all of his military records available for inspection at his campaign headquarters, a spokesman said the senator would not release any new documents, leaving undisclosed many of Kerry's evaluations by his Navy commanding officers, some medical records, and possibly other material.

Republican National Committee Chair Ed Gillespie is planning to deliver a speech later today calling on Kerry to make good on his promise to release all his records, the DRUDGE REPORT has learned.

[The Bush military records commotion intensified earlier this year after DNC Chair Terry McAuliffe challenged Bush to show records after Bush made a similar promise on MEET THE PRESS.]

Coming Gillespie in a speech to be delivered in Ohio:

"John Kerry's pattern of caveats, qualifications, disclaimers, policy reversals and vacillation are not the qualities voters are looking for in times of change that demand steady leadership.

"The Boston Globe reports today that when a reporter went to Kerry's headquarters yesterday to follow up on the pledge Kerry had made on Meet the Press Sunday that he would make all his military records available, 'the campaign staff declined' and said 'the only records available would be those already released to this newspaper.' The campaign is withholding formal evaluations from superior officers and other documents they have yet to release.

"Guess it depends on what your definition of the word 'all' is.

"When President Bush committed to release all his military records on the same program, he kept his word. John Kerry should do the same. Voters aren't stupid, and he shouldn't treat us as if we are."

ON HIS WIFE'S TAX RETURNS, HE HAS SAID 'NO'. ON HIS HEALTH RECORDS, HE HAS SAID 'NO'. ON HIS COMPREHENSIVE MILITARY RECORDS INCLUDING NAVAL RESERVE RECORDS, HE HAS SAID 'NO'...

BUSH FOUND THE WMD. RE-ELECTION GUARANTEED. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923091)

Weak Massachusetts Democrat

Re:John "Eff'ing" Kerry (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923151)

fuck that tax and spend liberal bastard. remember folks, according to kerry, people shouldn't be allowed to keep their own money that they work their ass off for. according to him, stupid bureaucrats in washington can do a much better job of spending your money for you! if that's not socialism, i don't know what is.

Re:John "Eff'ing" Kerry (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923311)

Your argument falsely assumes that there is something wrong with socialism. I'm not a socialist, but I do believe that socialist ideas have thier place.

Re:Awesome news! (1)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923165)

However, Torque is not the engine behind tribes as the article title says, that engine I believe would be shared with starsieg and is called the darkstar engine.

Re:Awesome news! (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923259)

Darkstar was the original engine; it later was used in Tribes 1, 2, and then became V12 and thence Torque.

Re:Awesome news! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923239)

Where can I download tribes2 for free?

Re:Awesome news! (4, Informative)

silentrob (115677) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923291)

Tribes and Tribes 2 will be available for free download on May 4th. Or will also be available bundled in Computer Gaming World on the same date.

IGN Article here [ign.com].

Re:Awesome news! (2, Informative)

BrookHarty (9119) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923563)

I'm hoping with the free release of Tribes1 and Tribes2, tribes1 will have more tribes1 servers online. I checked a few days ago, and there was only 5 normal Base servers with players, and 1 was password protected (But full 32 players). Tribes1 is mostly mods now, Renegade, Ultra, etc. Super weapons like mechs. Tribes2 at least has bots so you can always play on downloadable maps. And the Bots are rather good at Rabbit on higher levels.

Tribes3 (Vengence) should be pretty impressive using the Unreal2K(4?) engine.

So, now that the games are free, will we see an emergence of new servers and players? If you run a lan party, make it a tribes lan party, share the game. (Legally!)

Re:Awesome news! (2, Informative)

Cylix (55374) | more than 9 years ago | (#8924163)

There are still plenty of Tribes 2 servers.

I still play as no one has quite made a game that captures all the aspects of Tribes 2.

Onslaught mode on Unreal 2004 is as close as it comes now a days.

There is a mod in development which captures the original Tribes play style and this mod is currently in development on Unreal 2k engine (I suspect it will be moved to 2004 when the resources are availble (now maybe?).

If the mod is developed well enough it might be offered in an upgraded Tribes 3 package. Much like TFC and Half-Life were packaged after the initial release of Half-Life.

Still, nothing quite matches 64 player Tribes 2 matches.

Re:Awesome news! (4, Interesting)

Lux (49200) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923246)

That's certainly impressive, and it is related to the network, but in a kind of round-about way. The box being beefy helps, because processors scale so well. But the reason MMORPGs charge per month isn't processor consumption. Network bandwidth is much costlier, and doesn't scale as swiftly.

If you take the naive approach to implementing state synchronization in a real-time system (like a video game) your server consumes upstream bandwidth proportional to the number of updates per second, times the number of participants, times the number of items synchronized. In a game, you have to synchronize each player at least, so we're talking quadratic bandwidth in just the players. That's how I did it when I had to, and we scaled to at least six players with plenty of breathing room. (Our dev team had six players. I don't think we ever brought in more testers to push it harder. :)

If you take a less naive approach, you can get that from quadratic to n*log(n). And you can get a lot of constant-time and common-case improvements (the above is all worst-case.) You can find that approach somewhere in "Game Programming Gems," IIRC.

I don't know if that has been proven as a lower bound, but I'd squint hard at anything that claims to be faster.

Can it handle 60 players who all have line of site to each other? That's a tough stress test. :) I'd be blown away if they can do that over the Internet, and probably still impressed on a LAN. (I'm feeling too lazy to break out my calculation-envelopes. :)

Re:Awesome news! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923275)

Tribes and Tribes 2 were both focused around gameplay in large outdoor areas.

So indeed, 60 players all who have line of site with eachother (or who are constantly moving in and out of LOS).

Re:Awesome news! (5, Informative)

Mark Frohnmayer (691498) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923470)

Yes, TNL can easily handle 60 players who all have line of sight to each other. TNL takes a different approach - for most simulations the TNL server allots a fixed amount of bandwidth per client (Tribes 2 was 3K per second), regardless of how many objects are visible to that client. For each packet the server sends, it proritizes objects based on relevance to the client and then writes updates based on that priority. TNL performs a bunch of other tricks to reduce bandwidth usage as well. Take a look at the design fundamentals [sourceforge.net] for more in depth info.

Re:Awesome news! (3, Funny)

Lux (49200) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923603)

This stuff beats the everloving snot out of DirectX networking. Thanks for the link. :)

To think... if this package were out two years ago, I could have totally slacked off through, and hence missed out on, one of the best learning experiences of my college career.

"*Ahem* yeah... network stuff's coming along okay... you know... work smarter, not harder. Bob, I know you're pretty busy writing that graphics engine single-handed, but can you get me that scopeing stuff from your scene graph by Friday so I can decide what to send? About licensing... I'm thinking GPL..."

That would have been awful. :)

Re:Awesome news! (1)

Jagasian (129329) | more than 9 years ago | (#8925037)

Quake was doing 60+ people on a server back in 1997, and it has been GPL for years now!

Two thumbs Up (1)

Trillian_Angel (542729) | more than 9 years ago | (#8922960)

Cool. Maybe other gaming companies will follow suit and do similar things. Anything released by large companies under the company deserves a loud applause and two thumbs up.

Linux Games (1)

imbezol (588268) | more than 9 years ago | (#8922964)

I wish one of the more Linux friendly games (ahem Quake 3 or UT2004) would have its code opened! :)

Re:Linux Games (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923000)

It's quite likely ID Software is going to release the Quake 3 source under the GPL once Doom III is out, but only time will tell.

Re:Linux Games (4, Insightful)

wideBlueSkies (618979) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923109)

This is one of a couple of reasons why ID should be respected not only in the Gaming Industry, but in the Software Industry in general.

They create awesome games, awesome software. The technology rocks and is generally the cutting edge for their market.

Then a couple of years later they open up the whole thing and give it away. "Here community, take this and learn." Classy setup they have there.

Also, don't forget they started this with Wolfenstein. I think this was 1995. So they've been doing it for a while. They were one of the first commercial game houses to do so, if not THE first.

wbs.

id is not being generous (3, Insightful)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923287)

They create awesome games, awesome software. The technology rocks and is generally the cutting edge for their market. Then a couple of years later they open up the whole thing and give it away. "Here community, take this and learn." Classy setup they have there.

Id is not being selfless or altruistic, they are being self serving. They are doing the right thing for their business. That OSS advocates like this is a coincidence. You need to keep in mind id's business. It is not necessarily to sell games but to license their engine to other developers. That is why they can afford to be cutting edge. Their games don't have to run on typical systems, their games are in part proof of concepts and demos for the engines. By the time some other developer licenses the engine and has a game ready to release typical systems have caught up. They can afford to open the previous generation's source because they want a large body of programmers familiar with their engines. This puts pressure on developers to chose an id engine over someone else's.

Again, I am not saying id is doing anything wrong, quite the contrary. However don't have silly thoughts that they are doing this purely out of the kindness of their hearts.

Re:id is not being generous (4, Interesting)

king-manic (409855) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923357)

Carmac is a believer in OSS. although it's good business to ensure your engine has good penetration, by the time ID releases the code, the next generation looks nothing like the code GPL'ed. The benifit is much smaller then you imply.

Quake 2 c code looks nothing like Quake which both look incredibly different from Doom.

Re:id is not being generous (2, Insightful)

n.wegner (613340) | more than 9 years ago | (#8924429)

>Quake 2 c code looks nothing like Quake

That's not quite right. Some things, like the alias models, are identical*, either because there was no need for change, or because they were introduced while Quake 2 was still the same code base. Lots of other things, like the game dll/QuakeC, share very similar designs such that the differences are mostly just the changes from QuakeC to C dll, or those needed for the different monsters and maps.

*GLQuake read the MDL format and dumped it into something similar to MD2, I don't mean to say that MDL is similar to MD2.

Re:id is not being generous (2, Insightful)

GlassHeart (579618) | more than 9 years ago | (#8924487)

Carmac is a believer in OSS.

If so, his belief in open source is less than his belief that he should make money selling closed source software, because he's not open sourcing his newest stuff. If open source was his first priority, then the Doom III engine would be on sourceforge where a thousand eyes can help him debug.

This takes nothing away from id Software. They should be lauded for open sourcing code that they feel they can. I'm sure this benefits students of 3-D graphics and game design. However, based on his actions, Carmack believes in the closed source model of software development and sales.

Now, intentional or not, open sourcing old engines has the following effects:

  • It's good karma. People will know that id is a cool company, and all other things being equal, you'd buy from a cool company.
  • It brings people in the door. Think of it as a loss leader that retail stores use to bring you in, hoping you'd buy something else as well. If you've worked with one id engine (and liked it), you have some confidence that the one you have to buy will also be pretty good.
  • It kills competition. Nobody can survive as an engine developer if your product is at the level of older id engines. IOW, id is forcing competitors to keep up, which is a hard thing because id moves pretty quickly.
I think it's cynical to try to guess which effects are intentional. However, I also think it's pretty naive to think it's all charity.

Re:id is not being generous (4, Funny)

thryllkill (52874) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923393)

That doesn't make a whole lot of sense since Id wants you to license their new engine. Iirc they write a completely new one every time, not just incremental upgrades to previous engines. So having developers familiar with technology from 3-4 years ago does them no good.

It probably went more along the lines of:

Id employee 1: "Hey why don't we open the source from our last engine."
Id employee 2: shrugs "Sure, why not?"

No one is saying they are incremental upgrades (1)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923529)

That doesn't make a whole lot of sense since Id wants you to license their new engine. Iirc they write a completely new one every time, not just incremental upgrades to previous engines. So having developers familiar with technology from 3-4 years ago does them no good.

No one is saying they are incremental upgrades. Even when rearchitecting to take into account newer hardware capabilities and old lessons learned there will be some familiarity going from one generation to the next, the learning curve is better. Anything that saves time is important to a developer.

Re:id is not being generous (2, Insightful)

AugstWest (79042) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923484)

Read anything Carmack has had to say about the open source world and you'll see that your cynicism may be a bit misplaced here.

I'm not some fanboy, but I appreciate the fact that id will always release their games on Linux, despite the fact that it's not cost-effective to do so.

It isn't entirely "out of the kindness of their hearts," but more like "it's the right thing to do."

They know that, and act accordingly. Your points are valid, but they're not the entire picture.

I'm not trying to be cynical (2, Interesting)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923573)

I'm not trying to be cynical. The original post seemed to suggest that id was being completely altuistic, that was naive. That's all I wanted to say. As far as your suggestion of "it's the right thing to do" that is not quite right either. In an old Game Developer Magazine article id was quoted as saying that Linux versions make no sense from a business perspective, that they just do it "because it is cool". Well, they can afford to be cool. Other developers can't.

Re:id is not being generous (2, Insightful)

Simon Michelmore (762920) | more than 9 years ago | (#8924266)

They can afford to open the previous generation's source because they want a large body of programmers familiar with their engines. This puts pressure on developers to chose an id engine over someone else's.

Would be good in theory - if each different generation of theirs engines where similiar. For better or worse, they are often not. The obvious case here being the jump from Doom to Quake, but even each iteration of the Quake engine has had significant changes that would make a change over far from trivial.

Case in point would be Daikatana - if anybody was going to be "familiar" with id's engines, you'd think it would be a former co-owner and employee. Originally Daikatana was designed and written using the Quake engine, which John Romero had been working with while it was being develop. Then, when the Quake II engine made it's first appearances, Ion Storm decided to change over to it; afterall it would give them coloured lighting, hardware acceleration and it was based on the Quake engine, so it couldn't be that hard, right?

Unfortunately, as they found out, the differences between the two were enough so that large sections of Daikatana had to be thrown away (see this [gamespot.com], if you want to check that out). Admittedly there were many other issues with Daikatana's development, but even Romero himself said that basically 11 months of coding with the Quake engine were useless once they switched to Quake II.

Plus, id have done other things, outside of OSS, that have contributed to the community. Michael Abrash, who worked on the Quake engine, was also writing for Dr. Dobb's Sourcebook at the time. The subject of his articles? The tech that was going into the Quake engine - often with sourcecode. To put this in perspective, this was over 6 months before Quake was even released, yet there they were showing code on how to do BSP tree generation and rendering, descriptions of their lightmap system and so on and so forth. Stuff that, essentially, ended up in the game when it was released about half a year later. Hardly in their company's best interests if they want to be purely self-servicing.

Hmmmmm... that's starting to sound like a id fanboy rant, but there you go.... :)

DDJ articles more self-serving than old engines (2, Insightful)

AHumbleOpinion (546848) | more than 9 years ago | (#8924617)

Unfortunately, as they found out, the differences between the two were enough so that large sections of Daikatana had to be thrown away

No one is saying that the next engine is dropin replacement for the previous. The next engine is going to contain some re-engineering to take advantage of additional hardware support, to take into account lessons learned, etc. However there will be common concepts and ideas found in both engines. Picking a scenario where the develop changes engines midstream is not a very good example. My point is that a bunch of programmers familiar with the Q3 engine will aclimate themselves to the D3 engine more quickly. You have to understand an engine before you start writing code for it.

Michael Abrash, who worked on the Quake engine, was also writing for Dr. Dobb's Sourcebook at the time. The subject of his articles? The tech that was going into the Quake engine - often with sourcecode. ... Hardly in their company's best interests if they want to be purely self-servicing

Actually publishing conceptual and technical info with source for the current engine is more self-serving than releasing the old engine. It was absolutely in the companies financial interest. Again, you have to keep in mind that a large piece of id's business, maybe the larger piece, is to license their engines not to sell their own games.

To be clear I am not saying everything done by id is financially motivated, after all they admit to supporting Linux because it is cool not because it makes sense financially. I am merely trying to point out that their long history of sharing is not selfless and altruistic, both sides prosper.

Re:DDJ articles more self-serving than old engines (2, Insightful)

Simon Michelmore (762920) | more than 9 years ago | (#8925002)

My point is that a bunch of programmers familiar with the Q3 engine will aclimate themselves to the D3 engine more quickly. You have to understand an engine before you start writing code for it.

I agree with the latter part of this, but not so much the former. Largely because I believe, primarily through experience, that having intimate knowledge of a system (or, in this case, engine) can often lead to a slower understanding of a new system. Why? Because you'll go into working on the new system with a good deal of assumptions and beliefs regarding how it will work, only to have those beliefs made invalid. Thus, you not only have to learn a new system, but also actively undo all the assumptions that you had in equating it to the old system. This can sometimes be very hard - even (sometimes especially) if it was the same person/people who wrote the code for both iterations.

This was my point with the Daikatana example. They appeared to have the belief of "Well, they're essentially the same engine, so it shouldn't be hard to port our stuff over". As I said - a dangerous, but probably unconcious, assumption.

Now, if you have stated that people who are fimiliar with older id engines will be more likely to use them again because they have a relationship with id, or that there is something that they like about their design process, I would agree. However, I don't believe that they will necessarily be able to aclimiatise themselves to the new engine just because they used their last one.

Actually publishing conceptual and technical info with source for the current engine is more self-serving than releasing the old engine. It was absolutely in the companies financial interest. Again, you have to keep in mind that a large piece of id's business, maybe the larger piece, is to license their engines not to sell their own game.

Nah. If they had released technical info that had been along the lines of "Here is how you make a model for use with our engine" or "Here is the SDK for our engine so you can write mods for it" then I would agree with you. But they were giving away source for things that would already been known by people working in the industry (BSP trees, Z sorted spans, etc are hardly anything new - they've been around for decades). The people that this would have benefitted were those in the community at large - ie. individuals who want nothing but to learn, and probably couldn't afford an id engine if they saved every penny they had for 5 years.

Re:Linux Games (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923335)

idSoftware should definitely *NOT* be respected for giving away their intellectual property.

To put it nicely: only filthy communists GIVE PROPERTY AWAY. id Should have held onto it so they could have milked it a bit longer and kept the competition -- however little -- off their heels.

You Open Sores zealots are going to be a footnote in history when Trusted Computing and the Secure Internet is accepted by the mainstream. That's a fact.

Re:Linux Games (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923397)

yet another troll who didnt learn how to share as a kid.

Question (1)

bonch (38532) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923367)

Well, since we like them so much, how do Slashdotters feel about the fact that people pirate the fuck out of their games on eMule? Are they "sampling" those games? Or is it "free advertising?" And why does that philosophy apply to music in the minds of Slashdotters but somehow break down when it comes to software?

I wonder how many people will sample the free advertising of Doom 3. Enough to make a dent in sales, that's for sure.

Re:Question (1)

Saeger (456549) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923461)

These multiplayer games aren't copied near as much as singleplayer games though. The phone-home-keycheck makes that kind of difficult, and the hacked-versions aren't nearly as numerous and stick out like sore thumbs.

--

Re:Linux Games (1)

Joe5678 (135227) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923198)

They already did....

Either that or the guy who runs their ftp server is in REALLY big trouble.

Re:Linux Games (1)

aliens (90441) | more than 9 years ago | (#8924338)

I gotta just say though I think the Quake III engine might have some more steam left in it before they decide to open it up.

Call of Duty used Q3 as a base, then heavily modified it, but if one of the most recent Game of the Years used it I think they might want to get a few more licsences out of it before they open it all up.

I'm sure they will, but I think it'll be a bit later than the first couple.

Just my $0.02.

Re:Linux Games (2, Interesting)

TwistedSquare (650445) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923005)

Given that Doom, Quake and Quake II have all been GPLed, presumably it literally is a matter of time until Quake 3 goes the same way.

Re:Linux Games (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923009)

Tribes 2 was as Linux Friendly as Quake 3 and UT2004: I have the linux client and it works very nicely.

Nice try though

Re:Linux Games (2, Informative)

bman08 (239376) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923333)

That's just not true. The difference is that my windows copy of Tribes 2 was useless in linux, instead I had to buy the loki version for another 40 bucks. Both quake and ut have linux binaries for the windows game that are free. To me that amounts to a wallet-load less linux friendly.

Re:Linux Games (1)

cortana (588495) | more than 9 years ago | (#8925073)

Good luck trying to get the game to run on a modern system (glibc 2.3.2, kernel 2.6 with ALSA). The sound doesn't work, and the game will only run for a few minutes before segfaulting. :(

Re:Linux Games (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923152)

Torque is Linux friendly, and Mac OS X friendly as well. Most Torque Games have been released for all 3 platforms (with the exception of the old tribes series, which were made before the engine became publicly available). Just look at Marble Blast, Think Tanks and Orbz! All Torque games, all available multi-platform.

OSS MMORPG (4, Interesting)

7Ghent (115876) | more than 9 years ago | (#8922983)

Great! Now, who's gonna extend this and built a P2P open-source MMORPG?

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

Re:OSS MMORPG (2, Interesting)

ShadeARG (306487) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923057)

Actually, if it can handle high-speed gaming with an assload of players really well, I bet it would make a beefy P2P backend. (P2P + TNL) * Users * Bandwidth = Extremely beefy high-speed file distribution.

Re:OSS MMORPG (5, Funny)

QuasiCoLtd (727325) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923308)

Hey... lets combine the two! See, heres the idea, you want to download something but instead of the search bar you literally have to go out and search for what you want. Perhaps you can bribe the drunk at the bar for some information as to the wereabouts of that song you wanted. Sercheth thou for pr0n? You ust first complete the task given to you by the local flower girl and she will present you with many naughty pictures of her and her sister (who she claims is 18). Watch out though, along the way you must fight many foul creatures such as leechers, corrupt files, viruses, and RIAA lawyers.

Re:OSS MMORPG (1)

fcecin (733246) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923639)

I'm researching into P2P MMOG networking! You can get your fix at http://freemmg.sf.net :-) It even has a small RTS demo game (warning: the game SUCKS and requires Java run-time)

Re:OSS MMORPG (1)

Kiyooka (738862) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923857)

so people can change the code to give themselves whatever power they want? no thanks.

it's open source, so you can't accuse them of being hackers. you'll have to accuse them of being "OSS customizers", which doesn't quite have the same charge.

Re:OSS MMORPG (1)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 9 years ago | (#8924133)

Two out of three ain't bad. [planeshift.it] (Open-source, MMORPG) Doesn't use this Torque thing, but it looks impressive.

Re:OSS MMORPG (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8924976)

I am one of the authors of PlaneShift. We have tested it with upwards of 80 concurrent clients and consumed about 15% CPU during that time. We have been working for over a year on the next tech demo release (v0.3), which should be out in the next few weeks. I expect to support at least 500 concurrent players on a single box in that release.

Stay tuned for more info when 0.3 (aka "Crystal Blue) is released.

This great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8922996)

I think it is really great the games are getting GPLd. This is just another step in OSS becoming mainstream. Kudos to GarageGames.

Great that now you can't make a living coding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923015)

Fantastic.

Re:Great that now you can't make a living coding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923195)

Sex is free, yet hookers still make a living...

Re:Great that now you can't make a living coding? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923306)

Sex is free? LOL yeah right. All girls are prostitutes, they just have different TOS.

Now closed source coders are whores? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923309)

Typical zealot attitude

Re:Great that now you can't make a living coding? (1)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923640)


the majority of coding is in-house solutions not retail applications so your observation is invalid

Re:This great (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923024)

Games? This is a gamelibrary!

But yes, it's great :)

I've been working with Torque (5, Informative)

oskillator (670034) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923018)

I've been working with the Torque engine for a while, and my assessment is that it's very solid where it counts (assuming you want to make a tribes-like game), but surprisingly flimsy in areas like extensibility and documentation.

I imagine it's par for the course in the game industry, where code is written to be abandoned within a few years.

Re:I've been working with Torque (2, Insightful)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923173)

but surprisingly flimsy in areas like extensibility and documentation.

Well now that it's been released open source anyone can do that, right? :)

Re:I've been working with Torque (1)

schwaang (667808) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923273)

Well now that it's been released open source anyone can do that, right? :)
Not really -- only the networking code has been open sourced.

Re:I've been working with Torque (2, Interesting)

ImpTech (549794) | more than 9 years ago | (#8925127)

Also working with torque, and definitely second those comments. Its high-quality, fantastic code for FPS gaming, but if you try to extend it too far you run into all kinds of problems, presumably since the designers never had intentions of extending the engine for anything other than Tribes2. I, for instance, am trying to make a small, fps-ish MMORPG, and the hardcoding of their terrain management and rendering code is driving me around in circles because its only designed for the very small Tribes2 maps. That said, you won't find an engine for anywheres near the price thats half as good, and cross-platform to boot.

Concerning the network code, I haven't delved into it much, and don't expect to have to since its already well known that the Tribes2 netcode was superb.

I am releasing a game soon (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923019)

It's called 'Virus Hunter'. It's an FPS where clean cut nerd types hunt the software world for viruses and virus like things. I think my key is the 'virus like things' addition. I haven't seen it in any game before.

opensource games? (5, Funny)

apachetoolbox (456499) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923030)

Great! 100 sourceforge game project leaders just jumped for joy. Then went right back to not writing and linux games.

Re:opensource games? (1)

simonharvey (605068) | more than 9 years ago | (#8925176)

FYI:
an easy way of developing games on linux is to use the blender [blender3d.org] that is perhaps the best road to travel for people who just want to design a game and not get overwhelmed by the complexities of the game engine

this is good news since blender 2.33 is going to be released soon that has the 2.25 game engine enabled allowing (almost) anybody to create a game (the quality of it will be dependant on the creator though).

simon

Nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923036)

I wonder if there's any chance of getting them to release the complete original tribes 1 so we could port it to linux?

OTOH, I probably wouldn't graduate then. Nevermind ;-). Most addictive game I've ever enountered, including quake.

Re:Nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923200)

The original Tribes 1 and Tribes 2 are going to be available for free in June, either on File planet (blah) and on the CD of some gaming magazine-or-another (can't remember name).

Hear that? It's your productivity falling. ;)

this rocks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923046)

I spent aaages playing tribes in my younger days, the network code for it was awesome, i think it even won an award?

Other good network layers (4, Interesting)

ezavada (91752) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923078)

I've looked at the torque network layer while it was still part of the torque engine. It's well suited for developers who want a small scale (32 players or so) network game, particularly if its a first person shooter.

I wouldn't even consider it for a mid-size or larger multiplayer game, as it lacks important security features and IMO doesn't give enough control over the actual network protocol due to the emphasis on RMI.

Other network layers to look at are OpenPlay [sourceforge.net] and , both of which are also also free and OpenSource. [libsdl.org]

Disclaimer -- I contribute to OpenPlay.

Re:Other good network layers (5, Informative)

ezavada (91752) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923113)

Hmm... I guess I really should have hit preview.

I meant to say:

Other network layers to look at are OpenPlay [sourceforge.net] and SDL net [libsdl.org], both of which are also also free and OpenSource.

Re:Other good network layers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923138)

Yea, except I've seen this particular netcode run a 128 player server when Tribes 2 was first released. It ran flawlessly except for the problems with Tribes 2 itself.

I don't call that small or mid-size. Do you?

Re:Other good network layers (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923187)

Small to mid-sized??

I think not. T2 could handle 128 players, and I'm sure they've made even more improvements over the past 3 years.

And the part about weak security... maybe you haven't checked out their page yet, but from what I can see, it looks like they've put a lot of work into making it very secure. Check out the sections on encryption and client puzzles.

I'm impressed they'd actually GPL this. Cool stuff.

Re:Other good network layers (3, Interesting)

Elbeno (754684) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923601)

While 128 players is a great achievement, it's not all about the network model.

The reason why most FPSs do not have such large numbers of players is less to do with the network bandwidth and more to do with a) the CPU cycles devoted to rendering and/or running collision models for N detailed player characters in complex environments, and b) the content generation: maps are specifically designed to be good for a smallish range of players, and it's usually not worth it to design 128-player maps.

This is clearly a good network engine. But the other FPSs of the world aren't failing to support 128 players because the TNL programmers are technical geniuses by comparison. They are undoubtedly good, but they're solving a different problem.

As an FPS network programmer, you use the available bandwidth to provide the best experience for the player. You stop optimising when you don't need to optimise any more. If all your maps aim to provide a good experience for 4, 8, 16 players, you don't design the engine to go up to 128 just because you think it would be neat.

Re:Other good network layers (1)

alexandyr (773067) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923676)

But as a general-purpose engine (Torque) and general purpose network layer (TNL) wouldn't you say that is handy to be *able* to support lots of players if you need to? Developers can limit the number of players they allow on their maps, but at least they have the option of more if they need them.

Re:Other good network layers (2)

ezavada (91752) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923229)

After downloading the package and looking at their current feature set, it seems like they've addressed most of my security concerns since the last time I'd looked at it.

Overall I'd say the libray looks pretty good.

Volity? (1)

yack0 (2832) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923085)

But what about Volity? [volity.org]

Re:Volity? (4, Funny)

Bryan Ischo (893) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923612)

According to the front page of the site you linked to, Volity:

* "Leverages XML technology"
* Has a reference server "written in Perl"

This is not a serious development platform.

Step in the right direction (3, Insightful)

gringo_john (680811) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923150)

This is definately a step in the right direction.

This, along with the recent announcement [slashdot.org] that Tribes 1 and Tribes 2 will be given away for free, I wonder what kind of cool mods / enhanced will be possible?

Donald Dcuk (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923179)

OMG OMG OMG. Donald Duck is going to have a SCREAMING SQUIRMING ORGASM when he gets a hold of tihs system. He's going to cum wiht Daisy Dcuk all fscking day long screaming OMG OMG OMG fawafg2t23trf

cool (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923255)

wheres a nigger ta get his porn on, phoenix-torrents has been down. any other torrent forums with a good set of titty flicx?

Strange licensing fees? Anyone undestand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923288)

They charge $295 for an indy license, or $995 for a commerical license. But the torque engine's indy is only $100 and includes this? Is that strange or am I missing something important?

Re:Strange licensing fees? Anyone undestand? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923318)

That does seem kind of strange, but oh well. Just get the $100 Torque. :) I don't know if Torque networking has all of the features of this library, but the core functionality has to be there. I guess it's a question of whether it's worth the $195 or whatever to rip out the networking code.

Me, I'd rather get all the added gaming stuff. For $100, that is awesome.

Re:Strange licensing fees? Anyone undestand? (3, Interesting)

alexandyr (773067) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923386)

A number of new features have gone into TNL. But more importantly, it would take a lot of work to rip the networking out of Torque and abstract it for general use. By getting TNL, all this is done for you, and documented. The added cost is largely for the time and effort all of this will save you. If you just want to start a game from scratch rather than adding networking to an existing project, the full Torque engine is probably a better option. Of course if you are doing an open source project, there is no added cost :) Disclaimer: I am a GarageGames employee

Multi-platform, what about languages? (1)

AndroidCat (229562) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923349)

Anyone know how easy it would be to use their API from another language? (Assuming some header translation and an IDE that can make compatable calls.)

Re:Multi-platform, what about languages? (3, Interesting)

Vaevictis666 (680137) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923414)

I was actually thinking about this very thing - how hard would it be to write a wrapper for this using Ruby?

With a cursory look at the docs, it looks like it wouldn't be too bad - it looks to be fairly OO at the moment, so you're just looking at a translation layer implementation. OTOH, it might be tricky to get all the efficiency on it, since it will do ints and floats to *bit* precision, and I don't know how well Ruby would interface with that...

Re:Multi-platform, what about languages? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8924622)

And then who would care? I don't know of any completed games that use Ruby.

Re:Multi-platform, what about languages? (2, Informative)

Mark Frohnmayer (691498) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923582)

The only tricky part of getting TNL to work with other languages would be the RPC framework, which does all kinds of macro trickery, inline assembly and worse in order to get clean-looking, high performance RPC out of C++. But then, if you're using TNL from another language, you don't need the C++ RPC functionality - you could implement RPC for that language using the NetEvent code, which is the base for the C++ RPC as well.

Will the for sale version differ from the gpl (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923517)

I hope the for sale version is just based of the initial release and not the community contributions. Otherwise it would be in violation of the gpl. I am pleasantly suprised they didn't release it under a noncomercial licence.

Re:Will the for sale version differ from the gpl (2, Informative)

Mark Frohnmayer (691498) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923567)

The for sale version will be the same as the GPL version. Anyone who wants to contribute back to the official version of the TNL will have to be willing to assign a shared copyright to GarageGames for code they submit.

Game based on torque (2, Informative)

zerocool^ (112121) | more than 9 years ago | (#8923586)

The entire torque engine is doing very well for it's self, and I just wanted to chime in and say:

Legends: The Comming of a New Age is comming along nicely. It's free, and can be downloaded from here [tribalwar.com]. It's made with torque's entire engine, and is enjoying a moderately good following so far.

Good game, but, I've been too distracted by UT2004 to play. I need to make a point to play legends more.

~Will

Serious question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8923998)

You'll have to forgive me for not reading the article, but:

Is it possible to develop in-house using the GPL libraries and purchase an 'indie' license before publishing a game? (By in-house, I mean literally, in my house, or with a small handful of friends... nothing corporate)

I am interested in developing a game on a 'spare-time' basis and cannot afford to pay $295 for something that may never go public.

Re:Serious question... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8924215)

Yes, this would probably be possible.

Awesome (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8924534)

... great! Somebody finally implemented TCP over TCP. Jackasses.

Smart move... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#8925111)

It's also available under indie and commercial licenses for closed source projects..
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