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Apricot Team Selected For Fully Open Source 3D Game 214

Posted by timothy
from the tux-pits-cure-cancer dept.
crush writes "The Linux Game Tome notes that the final team to produce a fully Open Source 3D game using the CrystalSpace engine and Blender has been chosen. The project (known as Apricot) aims to produce a cross-platform, 3D game with completely Free (CCA) graphics, music and code. An important side-effect of the project is to improve open source tools for the professional game development industry."
I look forward to more 3D games on my desktop, even if this one won't be the first. (And where is the open-source bus-driving counterpart to the under-rated FlightGear?)
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Apricot Team Selected For Fully Open Source 3D Game

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  • by Realistic_Dragon (655151) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @03:36PM (#21876502) Homepage
    A couple of interesting games with Linux support I have only found recently:

    - Warzone 2100. Not as shiny as Supreme Commander, but much more involved. Great fun.
    - NWN 1. Thanks to the fact that NWN2 bombed there is still a large online community.
    • by richlv (778496)
      well, regarding 3d games, a pretty nice one is UFO: Alien Invasion http://ufoai.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net].
      based on quake 2 engine, but created for old xcom fans :)

      non-3d, there are some other nice games - liquidwar and koules are two simplistic, but quite innovative and addictive games. too bad koules has not been updated in a while and its network support is very, very limited.
      openttd is very great and replayable, though i never managed to fully understand semaphores ;)

      there are also some commercial games, notably
  • The problem (Score:2, Insightful)

    by nawcom (941663)
    I think the problem with decent open source game development (assuming the developers aren't getting bi-weekly checks) is the amount of programmers and artists needed and the amount of time needed to spend on it. FPSs can be the exception if they use an existing 3d engine and layout similar to a game already out. but something like an open source spore or perhaps a 3d rendered RTS like warcraft 3.. slashcraft: penguins versus macboys. or maybe 4 races, penguins, daemons, macboys, and a microsoft borg-like r
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Eravnrekaree (467752)
      One interesting concept, if the game is 3D multi-user, allow users to perhaps contribute graphics or expand the terrain of game, by uploading new graphics and terrain to the server. The sort of project I find interesting would be something involving a persistant, dynamic always running 3D world running on a server, which can also change, for instance, trees might blow in simulated winds for instance. People could move their "avatar" or whatever you want to call it and perhaps even manipulate objects in the
    • Read through Ubuntuforums.org and see all the people having trouble with cards that are supposed to do 3D but aren't for some reason. There are a large amount of posts.

      My 1-month old new system has a VIA Chrome 9 HC IGP card. I've spent the last 2 days trying to get it to work on Ubuntu with something other than a generic VESA driver. I finally noticed VIA actually released a new driver on Dec 2007. I downloaded it and installed it. Still no 3D. After the second day of this, I said screw it and ordered an o
      • by Ash-Fox (726320)

        But how many people would rather spend those two days just playing the game they wanted to play?
        If people were buying Linux [system76.com] systems [dell.com], I don't think there would be a problem.
        • > If people were buying Linux systems, I don't think there would be a problem.

          Actually, I purchased an Everex gc3502, which is basically identical to the 199.00 Linux computer they are selling at Wal-Mart, only mine had a gig of RAM and Windows Vista on it, instead of 512MB and gOS (Linux), otherwise it is identical. And I specifically purchased it because I wanted the extra RAM, to make a dual-boot system out of it (for the experience), and because I figured it shouldn't be too hard to find drivers for
          • by Rix (54095)
            You don't get to bitch when it doesn't work very well. You get what you pay for. Those $200 ultra cheap systems aren't intended for gaming, regardless of OS.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by 88NoSoup4U88 (721233)
      if you want a good open source game, you need full time developers who can work full time on it.

      Or good management, and a team consisting of members that are aware that he/she has to take full responsibility for their expertise.

      This would mean that everyone has a perfect grasp of the goals for the game, and each member's individual input is used to slowly clean up and refine the initial idea(s).
      This also means that each member does its own research (based on some rough layouts in the gamedesign docume
  • by smchris (464899) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @04:05PM (#21876738)
    I say we build up the airports ala Second Life and party in the lounges! And, yes, you would have to actually fly to each airport and deplane in my vision.

    The airports could become hubs into the cities. FlightGear has great potential to become a parallel earth so why not start populating it?

    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      I say we build up the airports ala Second Life and party in the lounges! And, yes, you would have to actually fly to each airport and deplane in my vision.

      The airports could become hubs into the cities. FlightGear has great potential to become a parallel earth so why not start populating it?
      My only problem with it is:
      • Flight simulation sucks in SL
      • Sim borders are hell
  • by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @04:07PM (#21876754)
    Too much stuff from the past gets neglected.

    The Pros:

    There have been alot of innovative, beautiful games to come out of F/OSS:
    Vega Strike
    Pingus
    FreeDroid RPG
    TrackBalls
    Nexuiz
    Open Arena
    Tremulous
    Torcs
    Scorched Earth 3D
    AssaultCube
    Lincity NG

    Also, many DOS games have found new life as Linux games:

    Quake 1, 2, and 3
    Doom I, II, and Final
    Descent I and II (D2X-XL)
    Warcraft II *
    Duke Nukem 3D

    Problems:

    Some games get neglected that really should not have been:
    Heretic and Hexen - These are Doom Engine games, technically, there is one Engine that plays them, Vavoom, supposedly DoomsDay plays them, but in many cases their performance is really buggy.
    Strife - Only Vavoom plays this.
    I'd like to note that you can play Strife, Heretic, and Hexen under Wine with Randy Heit's ZDoom Engine for Windows. But thats not the same as a Native Linux Port. There used to be a Linux port of the massive multiplayer engine ZDaemon for Doom based games, but that guy announced that he hated Linux and closed off his source. He even put code in his program to prevent people using Wine to play the game, anmd said that Linux Users were responsible for DoS attacks against his servers.

    Blood - This is a big one. Blood was one of the greatest games of all time. Yet there is no Engine replacement for it and it runs awful under DosEmu and DosBox. There exists a Total Remake of the Bloodbath levels called "Transfusion" but it is Quake based and is nothing like the original Blood.
    Star Command: Revolution - A game So obscure I found it for 3.95 in a Wal-Mart Bargain bin
    Mechwarrior 2: This game predates Direct 3D, You can't run this under Wine.

    * Recently, Warcraft II support under Stratagus has suffered. Stratagus 2.1 was superior to Stratagus 2.2. Stratagus 2.1 had support for 16 players instead of the usual 8, and could do dual race computer forces. It had a level editor, and could read the native Warcraft II PUD Format.

    There exists Linux Engines for:

    Quake 4
    Doom 3

    I really think a great deal more effort should be pushed into making Windows and older Dos games accessible and updated under Linux, such as One Must Fall, and producing more original games, as it seems some Linux games that used to be full steam ahead are dying out. I'm shifting my focus in University towards programming just so I will have the technical programming knowledge to contribute to Open Source projects more than I am now. So many of the problems are things like bugs in network code, deprecated syntax, added support for additional games.

    Games are where the Computer Industry goes. It was Doom that gave us the Windows Ecosystem, so it will have to be a killer Linux game that gives us the Linux ecosystem.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by andy314159pi (787550)

      Too much stuff from the past gets neglected. The Pros: There have been alot of innovative, beautiful games to come out of F/OSS: Vega Strike Pingus FreeDroid RPG TrackBalls Nexuiz Open Arena Tremulous Torcs Scorched Earth 3D AssaultCube Lincity NG

      Don't forget BZFlag [bzflag.org].
    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @04:47PM (#21877000) Journal
      I'd like to add Battle for Wesnoth to the good FOSS games list. It and Vega Strike are the only two games that I've been playing recently. The only non-Free game I've seen recently that I've wanted to play is Portal, but the fact that it's not available without DRM, nor on any platform I own has meant that I haven't bought it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by MrNiceguy_KS (800771)
        I'll also add Frets On Fire, an open-source Guitar Hero clone. I've gotten a lot of enjoyment out of it myself.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by AlXtreme (223728)

      It was Doom that gave us the Windows Ecosystem, so it will have to be a killer Linux game that gives us the Linux ecosystem.

      You had me nodding all the way, and you have to end your post with such a misinformed line. Doom came out way before Win '95 and didn't do zit in creating any ecosystem; Microsoft's marketing was immensely more important than any DOS/Windows game. And why should people switch to Linux merely for a game that will probably be ported to Windows if it's successful by any rate?

      Don't get me

  • by sopwith (5659) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @04:19PM (#21876822) Homepage
    I know that last part of the story was meant as a joke, but... http://virtualbus.info/ [virtualbus.info]

    (some English info at http://vbus.wikia.com/ [wikia.com] , and the Subversion repository is at svn://prv.ilan.pl/virtualbus )
  • Apricot, eh? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by VValdo (10446) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @04:20PM (#21876832)
    Wait a second! Isn't the next Elephant's Dream [elephantsdream.org]-like open animated short (originally called "orange") going to be called "Peach"?

    Orange? Peach? Apricot?

    I call nepotism! ;)

    W

    Seriously tho-- is the game related to the short?
  • I am glad to see that there is work underway to show what Linux, X/ OpenGL can do in the area of gaming. There are too few games avialable for Linux.

    I do think it would be a good idea for the developers to make this is a server based multiple user game ( a virtual world), the sort where you can login and logoff but the world remains persistant. Perhaps that does not fit with the plot they have for the game, I dont know. But I do think that having more open source multi-user games is a fantastic idea can be
    • by Ash-Fox (726320)

      I also see value in 3D chat environments based on rendered 3D landscapes and scenes, a visual 3D version of chat rooms. There was a similar system called WorldsAway on compuserve years ago, but was quite limited by the technology of the time. With todays hardware, the level of realness could be much more developed. An open source system could start an IRC-like community of visual environments.

      Try Second life [secondlife.com]. The client is opensource.

  • by LetterRip (30937) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @04:31PM (#21876902)
    If you go to http://peach.blender.org/ [blender.org] one of the recent stories is a request for feedback of what you want added or changed about Blender to improve it for game content creation.

    LetterRip
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by LetterRip (30937)
      Doh! So used to typing peach that I typed the wrong project. I meant that if you go to http://apricot.blender.org/ [blender.org] [blender.org] one of the recent stories is a request for feedback of what you want added or changed about Blender to improve it for game content creation.

      LetterRip
  • This is a game designed by committee. If there isn't a game designer at the lead of the team with a passion for their design, then this might as well be another cookie cutter grist mill EA waste of shelf space. (Except, of course, this also isn't likely to hit the shelves.) It's nice that open source is putting together the effort to show that they can do something like this, and that it can all be free, but games aren't like other engineering projects. They require passion, and I don't see that here.

    No
  • by GaryPatterson (852699) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @05:24PM (#21877204)
    The project site makes it pretty clear there's no design document for the game, no central vision of what it will be. They're going to design it once they've got the people together, so it's going to be one of those designed-by-committee games.

    That way lies adequacy and weak gameplay.

    Still, I wish them well and since they're off to a bad start it can only improve from here.
    • by LetterRip (30937)

      The project site makes it pretty clear there's no design document for the game, no central vision of what it will be. They're going to design it once they've got the people together, so it's going to be one of those designed-by-committee games.

      The team has been in discussion for a month or two and have another month they can use for discussion before they come together in Amsterdam. Project Peach isn't 'design by committee' so I sse no reason why Apricot would be. Also both the artwork, and the snippets of story that have come thus far from Peach have been excellent, so I don't have any fears that it will be low quality. Also since Apricot is going to be based on the Peach assets it will have a built in characters and back story which will co

  • The comment about the Bus Driver game? Why not just download ...
    Desert Bus! [wikipedia.org]
  • Technology Demo (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Jekler (626699) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @05:28PM (#21877242)
    I don't see this becoming a "game" so much as it'll be a technology demo. The same way Elephants Dream was just masturbation material for artists. There wasn't anything in the way of real story being told, unless you really reach for some meaning in it. It's 11 minutes of "That's neat", but I'm never going to watch it again like Lord of the Rings or X-Men. I foresee roughly the same thing here, a bunch of people get together to show how deeply functional each of their subsystems is. Most of the "game" won't even have a purpose other than to show you how great Programmer X did collision detection, particle physics, etc. You'll be able to spend 5 minutes shooting cannon balls at a stack of barrels and watching them smash but otherwise there won't be much to do. Maybe it's pessimistic of me, but that's been my opinion of most games over the last decade. Everyone seems to be more proud of the intricacy of their work and doesn't understand why you think the game sucks, they think you just don't "get it". It's like they spend 3 years hand-crafting a #2 pencil and when I write a sentence then throw it away they're like "Hey, that thing was a work of art! I spent 13 months renting equipment at NASA to insert the lead using a bleeding-edge particle injector!" and I'm like "Yeah, but it still had one of those hard erasers that just smears what you're trying to erase so it's no good." I really subscribe to the idea that you need a single visionary to design a game. Otherwise it just becomes a pile of interesting components but it has no gestalt form.
    • The guys who made Half Life 2 and its subsequent games got so many things right. Each episode highlighted a "deeply functional subsystem," yet down at the core was an engrossing game with great play.

      They constructed the arenas to highlight each system, but usually it was for cinematic or atmospheric effect. The play, as the saying goes, is the thing. Still, a really good level designer can make you happy to drool over a new feature for a minute or two in between reloads.
    • by westlake (615356)
      I don't see this becoming a "game" so much as it'll be a technology demo.

      This is why everyone quotes from The Incredibles and Rararouille and no one remembers Robots five minutes after they've left the theater. You need a director with a strong creative vision, a story worth telling, someone who knows exactly where he wants to go and how to use the tech to get there.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jorrit (19549)
      Six months is a short time to make a full game. However since everything is Open Source we are counting on the community to continue on this game after the project has finished. Once the six months are over and the team is back home there is no reason why we have to stop there.

      Also one of the other important goals of this project is to improve the game pipeline for Blender and Crystal Space and to serve as a tutorial for game developers who want to use that pipeline.

      Greetings,
      • by Jekler (626699)
        The game pipeline isn't the weak link in the chain. Blender, Crystal Space, Irrlicht, Ogre3D, et al. They're all mature products that can produce content at least as good as 95% of the triple A titles that hit shelves every year. Compared to their commercial counterparts (Unreal, Quake, Lithtech, etc.), they stack up very well. The technology works.

        Honestly, I don't even know at what point OSS has failed to attract game developers. Maybe it's that the available learning resources aren't well maintained
        • by Jorrit (19549)
          That's not 100% true. At this moment we still don't have very good ways to edit particles (from within blender) or to edit terrain. So tools do need some work.

          Greetings,
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by grumbel (592662)
      ### I don't see this becoming a "game" so much as it'll be a technology demo.

      That might very well be, but that really isn't a problem. The goal here isn't to make the best game ever, but to make a game, to demonstrate that the toolchain is usable and to improve it where needed, so that you or somebody else can use it to maybe one day make the best game ever with it.

      Blender got a lot of improvements over the course of Elephants Dream and I bet it will be the same with this game.
  • Uh, Quake has been fully open source for quite a while, and still has quite a few people playing it too. Pick your flavor (1,Quakeworld,2,3...) and you can probably find one of the new clients that has shaders, bloom, environmental effects, etc. for it. Plus, Quakeworld (with CustomTF, but I'm biased) is a lot of fun.
  • The team has been chosen? By who? What for? When you read the summary only, you get the feeling that some team is going to make some game, and that a mysterious group of unmentioned persons (let's call them "they") chose them to do it, (as we can suppose) from a bunch of other competing teams who probably wanted to make that game too, but weren't good enough. And that the newsworthy part of it is that it's all going to be free and open source.

    From what I read I can only suppose..

  • Not only is the library good, but the support team is excellent. I would have never got as far as I did in my game without them. It is almost a shame that I gave up on my game. CS is just awesome.
  • A big problem with nearly every open game project I've followed is that their designed as open source projects, not games. Gameplay seems to take a back seat in the design process, getting tacked on at the end. Gameplay really should be the nucleus around which the project is designed and built, even the guys/girls you get involved should (ideally) be chosen based on their compatibility and commitment to the vision of the game, not just their commitment to "open source".

    From the Apricot website it's rather
  • I'd really like a good Command and Conquer/Dune, and also a SimCity type game for Linux.
    I've played Battle for Wesnoth, and Xlincity - Wesnoth, it's OK, but Xlincity just isn't quite there :)

    Anyone suggest me any?
  • than elephant's dream.. or pretentious circle jerk or whatever it was called. In all seriousness, I can only hope that there are some truly good writers and designers on the team. You can make it so bright it outshines the sun, but if any of the story of the game reads like it was written by a child, and you're not making a children's game, it is going to suffer for it.
  • Blender absolutely sucks. If you aren't familiar with how to use it, it is confusing as hell. I do a ton of work in 3DS Max and Maya and have tried Blender several times, and it's just plain weird. Instead of trying to do it "better" or "different", why not make a 3DS Max or Maya clone the way Open Office just cloned Microsoft Office? The truth is, 3DS Max and Maya for all their quirks are really quite good, and it's what the majority of professionals use.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      2 years ago I was in the same boat as you - very proficient with 3DSMax and Maya, doing high quality work for mods, and hating blender for the UI. Then as a result of my work on mods I got hired by a small game company to create models for their game. The agreement was that I bring my own tools as an independent contractor, but what I didn't tell them was that I don't own professional licenses for Max or Maya (I was just pumped about even getting the job). To avoid legal trouble, I gave Blender another shot
  • So, which existing closed-source game are they going to duplicate in painstaking detail?

    Games should start with a design document, not a list of technologies they plan to use.
  • Imagine if Kennedy, in his 1961 State of the Union address, said he was going to invest billions in forming a massive group of scientists and engineers, and get them to do "I dunno, something cool." You think it would have resulted in a moon landing?

    Imagine if an entrepreneur went to an investor asking for startup funding, with a beautiful Powerpoint showing innovative new organizational charts, an efficient supply chain, and a great advertising theme. "What are you going to make?" "I dunno, something co

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