Archive for the ‘torque3d’ Category

Torque3D seems to finally get a Linux port!

Friday, December 27th, 2013

Following the release of the Torque3D engine under the MIT license (latest release 3.5 here), there was a lot of back and forth regarding a port to Linux (the engine actually used to have a good Linux port, but that one was dropped a few years back). At some point there was even an official Kickstarter crowed-funding attempt, which however failed to reach the estimated funds (but nether the less more than US$10k were pledged). After that things quited down, but several people continued developing a OpenGL renderer and Linux port.

Now it seems like all these efforts seem to be near a somewhat usable Linux port or at least that’s what I understand by following this forum thread.

Torque3D running on Xubuntu 12.10

In the short term the most interesting application of this Linux port is probably that the creator of RotC has announced on his currently running indigogo campaign to liberate (and update) the game, that now there will also be a Linux port.

Great news if you ask me, so don’t forget to pledge some of that Christmas money you got towards reaching the funding goal (currently $388 out of $1500, with 36 days left). Let’s make this happen!

Edit (nearly forgot): these two projects related to Torque3D might be interesting to follow: Project GREED and Zentense.

Help to ROTC:Ethernet to become fully open-source

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

The creator of the nice, but pretty niche, freeware game (but with Creative Commons licensed assets) Revenge of the Cats: Ethernet has just informed us that he started a Indiegogo campaign (target US$ 1500) to liberate the game.

The current version still runs on an old closed source build of the Torque3D engine, but with the somewhat recent move to MIT licensing, it has now become possible to go fully open-source.
According to the author:
All I need is about a month’s time and some cash to make it happen.

So lets give him the help he needs ;)

The only not so great part of it is that the Linux port of the Torque3D MIT engine is not yet available. Several people are slowly working on it, but after a failed attempt to crowd-fund it, there seems to have been some setbacks.
But optimistically speaking, this could give it the needed push to also motivate the finalization of a working Linux port.

DevCorner: Underapprechiated game engines

Monday, June 17th, 2013

In my never ending search for a FOSS game engine that is usable for game modding with out having to reinvent the wheel (nor requiring to be a C++ code master) & having decent tools for content creation (because I am spoiled and think that is a minimum requirement for a game engine) I have become quite disillusioned lately. That is because *spoiler alert* sadly there is none so far… but a few are close luckily.

The usual contenders for 3D action games are your mixed assortment of idTech based engines, most notably ioQuake3. There are a few upcoming contenders like Unvanquished’s Daemon engine (which is a mix of ET:Wolf, ioQuake3 and Xreal) and a yet to emerge idTech4 based champion (my uninformed guess is that it will be dhewm3). But all of them lack a decent game-play scripting function.
On the other side of the idTech spectrum, there is the idTech1 based granddaddy DarkPlaces, which while having advanced to an quite impressive feature set, suffers a quite a bit from its nut-bolted & mostly undocumented client side add-on on the already a bit arcane script language QuakeC.

Interestingly the idTech2 based engines get little attention though. I have highlighted a few nice game projects based in it in the past, but it is probably due to the fact that each project is hacking on their own engine fork, that none has gained prominence as a game engine on it’s own. But feature wise the engines behind AlienArena, Overdose and Warsow are probably the most advanced.
The last one of these, has been probably the most overlooked, with the game itself not exactly open-source friendly and the engine being developed more or less behind closed doors. It seems however that this has changed now, although given recent project news it is unclear what made them change their approach. But an all new version of it is now on Github with the main developer mentioning a few really nice changes here. Let’s hope it isn’t just a “source-drop” of a dying project, as after digging into it a bit (the documentation is really fragmented and lacking) I have to say that it includes a few really awesome features not commonly seen in other FOSS engines:
Besides being really performant, it is fully scriptable and has some quite unique multiplayer features like awards, friendlists and persistent game statistics. It also seems to make good process in having easy to edit GLSL shaders, which I have realized is a much rarer feature than I originally thought. Last but not least it has a really modern looking and fully scriptable menu and HUD.

Ah and before I move on to non-idTech based engines I should mention Engoo for those looking for a modernized software rendering engine based on idTech1 (there was some controversy over it, so I am trying to show some support for its further development here).

Ok, that covered, what are some maybe under appreciated non-idTech 3D engines?
First of all I should probably mention the well known ones for the sake of completeness: Cube2, Ogre3D and the new big player Torque3D. All of which are IMHO still failing to provide a good platform for easy game creation (mainly due, following the same order: in-fexibility & lack of scripting; huge mess of independent parts & bad toolchain; lack of Linux port & buggy and overly complicated toolchain).

One of the shining but lesser known examples of trying to improve the status quo is the jMoneky3 engine. Even though it is still a bit bare-bone (e.g. lacking game frameworks) the nicely integrated SDK and the great new node based GLSL shader editor keeps on attracting my attention. Similary the BlenderGameEngine sure has a few great advantages due to its tight integration. Sadly it seems to be the unliked stepchild of the Blender3D project though, which some quite serious limitations and awesome additions like the candy branch never reaching the the main release.

Then there are the still very much alive big names of the past: Irrlicht and Crystal Space. I am not exactly sure why those never quite reached the required mass to become the engines of choice, but I guess the license mess around Irrklang (and other non free but more or less required addons) and the CS Yo Frankie disaster might have to do with it. But at least Crystal Space was accepted as a hosting organization for this year’s GSoC again, so they must be doing something right.

Last but not least, I would like to give a mention to a relatively new contender: Octaforge, which has supplied a steady stream of updated betas lately. The interesting things about Octaforge is that it takes all the good things from Cube2 and combines it with a much updated renderer (Tesseract) and full lua script support. But sadly it isn’t quite there yet, and the move to a scripting language required the removal of all the nice game-code that it inherited from Cube2.

As closing remarks I have to admit that this article was rather lopsided towards FPS game engines (and more general purpose ones). Of course there are many great other game engines in the FOSS sphere that focus on RTS or (MMO)RPG games etc. I do however feel that many of the grievances voiced here probably apply there too, but maybe it isn’t quite as frustrating there as in the FPS genre.
But if you have some better insights into those type of engines feel free to comment below!

tl;dr: the author (as an old school modder) is frustrated that after all these years there still isn’t an FOSS FPS engine that can be modded as comfortably as the Half-Life2 engine or UDK. Don’t miss the new qfusion stuff though.

0 A.D. Alpha 13 and other less fanboyish updates

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

Ok I admit it… I am a bit of a 0 A.D. fanboy! But the new Alpha 13 release is also great again, and deserved an update post:

Also pretty cool is the new OpenMW 0.22 release, that finally features player and NPC animations, and thus starts to look more like a functioning game:

Other unrelated news:

Julius out!

Various follow-ups

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

First off as a rather fast follow up on the last post:

Otherwise, as previously mentioned, Garage Games has now also released their 2D game framework under the MIT license:

Their 3D game engine also saw some nice updates lately, however sadly their crowd funding push to port Torque3D to Linux fell (not totally unsurprisingly) short of their 30,000$ mark (with about 10,000$ pledged).

Some upcoming releases

Sunday, December 16th, 2012

Looks like we will get some nice x-mas presents this year:

A bit delayed but probably right on time for the Mayan end of the world, we will see a long awaited new release of Cube2:Sauerbraten. Read about the release announcement here. Hmm, I wonder if it has already Occulus Rift support…

Also on the FPS front, AlienArena is having a major engine update, with a claimed massive 3-4 times speed increase in BSP rendering and more VBO improvements.

Mars meets CounterStrike?

Furthermore they announce a new game-mode to be added soon, which tries to slow down the game-play of AlienArena a bit and add a more tactical appeal. Sounds a bit like selling out to the CounterStrike/ModernWarefare crowd to me, but lets see how it will play ;)

Last but not least, GarageGames has announced that after the recent FOSS licensed release of their 3D engine Torque3D (see latest updates here, sadly no working Linux port yet), they will also open-source their 2D engine!

And in fact it will not only be a source-drop, but rather a significant update including a merger of their iOS code with the rest of the Torque2D one.

Also no Linux port yet, but just as for the 3D engine one will hopefully show up sooner or later.

P.S.: In case someone has missed it: SuperTuxKart had a very nice new release recently, bumping it up to version 0.8. See a video of it in action here.

Torque 3D engine liberated

Friday, September 21st, 2012

The people behind the always very indi friendly and well renowned commercial Torque 3D engine announced a fews weeks ago that they will release the quite fully featured engine and tool-box under the very liberal and FOSS MIT license.


Well, and today they made an release announcement and opened up their repositories!

Some of you might remember the engine from the good old days of Tribes 2, but as you can see it has advanced quite a bit since then. Sadly it also lost its Linux and MacOS ports along the way, which is something the creators hope to have restored more quickly in the open-source version. Other show-stoppers on non-Windows platforms are a few remaining to be removed propitiatory qt-lib in the editor framework and so on. So if you think you can help them with either or those problems, have a look at their git repo here (click on “zip” to download you local copy).

Hmm… what does that mean for the FOSS gamer (besides some commercial game ports to Linux probably soon)? Well Torque is a really good tool-set to create new FOSS games, and they really tried to keep the entry barrier low, which is something that sadly can not be said for most other FOSS 3D engines. So in the longer run there might be some cool new games utilizing it. But for now I hope to see a fully FOSS version of this little gem soon ;)

As always… we will keep you updated with our irregular posts ;)