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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 Jorrit (19549) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @05:04PM (#21876724) Homepage
    The type of game hasn't been decided yet. So where did you get the idea that it will be an FPS?

    Greetings,
  • by Zombie Ryushu (803103) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @05:07PM (#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.
  • by sopwith (5659) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @05:19PM (#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 )
  • by LetterRip (30937) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @05:31PM (#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
  • by Shade of Pyrrhus (992978) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @05:41PM (#21876964)
    From the website:
    "At the end of July 2008 the game will be launched. The team members will get a great studio facility and housing in Amsterdam, all travel costs reimbursed, and a fee sufficient to cover all expenses during the period."

    Obviously, this requires funding. The funding's coming from sponsors (see web site) and profits from the DVD sales. The DVD, as noted in the forums/site, will include all sorts of great documentation and information about what went on and stuff.

    And from the forum:
    "The plan is to have 6 people for 6 months in Amsterdam working full time on a game."
  • by LetterRip (30937) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @05:56PM (#21877044)

    The one thing that needs to come of all of this is that the tools made have to be usable in a commercial setting.
    The game content and logic are planned to be released under Creative Commons Attribution I believe (as were the Elephants Dream assets) - improvements to Blender will be under GPL, and improvements to CrystalSpace will be under LGPL.

    LetterRip
  • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @06:16PM (#21877166) Journal

    Well, attempts by Open Source developers to borrow from BBC Elite to produce a comprehensive open-ended gaming environment have so far not achieved a whole lot
    Really? [aegidian.org] I think they've done very well indeed [sourceforge.net] and has been about the only game I've played recently.
  • Re:The problem (Score:3, Informative)

    by 88NoSoup4U88 (721233) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @06:17PM (#21877172)
    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 document), does its own QA (the feedback is directly returned to the appropriate person), and everyone has its own small gamedesign document which clearly states the progress of the assets list assigned to that person.

    As you mentioned, it really depends on what type of game is being created, but I still think your Slashcraft is a doable project with a team of about 6 to 7 members.

    For myself, I've just completed a gamedesign document I've been working on for 1.5 years, and started active development on a game which will partly be sponsored by non-obtrusive in-game advertisements; and will be free for people to download and play. I'm currently working four days a week, so I have that extra day to put in both managing the whole project, as well as creating the different maps and character models.

    To get all our heads pointing the right way, we're currently using a modified MediaWiki [mediawiki.org], which suits us perfect in streamlining the development and content: It's very easy to make corrections, add valuable information, or otherwise make suggestions. It can also be used to store individual files, and has great structure to list all the available/completed media assets in ways so the team has a clear oversight.
    The simple creation of extra sections, or tagging of pages is a perfect tool for everyone to make their own sections that they can watch over: So it sort of the same as someone on Wikipedia 'protecting' his or her content by watching over it: But on top of the checking actual correctness of the data, each teammember also overlooks the progress that is made on his or her side of the development.

    Btw, for the game we're using the cleaned up Quake 3 engine (IOQuake3 [ioquake3.org]), and instead of creating 'yet another FPS where you can either deathmatch or capture the flag', we're working on something where the nearest similarities come from a game like Mario Party; Just small mini-like games, playable with 1 to 4 players, where each map features completely different gametypes/environments/weapons/models etc.
    Some of these gametype-concepts have already been proven; I created some mappacks for fortress-mods before, where the same concept of different gametypes on each map was the main objective: For some screenshots have a look at the maps-section of my site [nosoup.net], and in particular the maps that start with Q3F_MG and ETF_MG.

    Current estimate is to get an Alpha release out within three months (which we'll be pitching to various advertisers/in-game advertising companies), so once it's out, be sure to download this game [downloadthisgame.com]! :)
  • by LetterRip (30937) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @06:58PM (#21877450)
    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
  • by Jorrit (19549) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @01:49AM (#21879712) Homepage
    One of the goals of the Apricot project is to modernize the Crystal Space engine. This includes probably the following features that we will implement or improve:

    • New render system with better support for render to texture (allowing things like HDR, Bloom) and shadowing techniques.
    • New skeletal animation system with support for vertex weights.
    • Support for tree generation and imposters to allow for big outdoor levels.
    • Continue working on the Bullet physics plugin.


    I'm of course biased as I'm the project manager but I believe that the strongest point of Crystal Space is it's modularity and extensibility. It is because of that that we will be able to move into the future and we will do so with the Apricot project.

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

    by Jorrit (19549) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @01:51AM (#21879726) Homepage
    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,
  • Re:Technology Demo (Score:3, Informative)

    by grumbel (592662) <grumbel@gmx.de> on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @03:53AM (#21880204) Homepage
    ### 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.

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