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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 @04:36PM (#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 timothy (36799) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @05:42PM (#21876970) Homepage Journal
    No, not a joke -- thanks for that link! I have never played the actual game, but from screenshots and descriptions, I know that I *want* to play TBG :) Awesome!

    timothy

  • Re:The problem (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Eravnrekaree (467752) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @05:45PM (#21876990)
    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 world with it. There are design challenges involved with this, since it could be one very large continuous 3D space, millions or more pixels large, a way would need to be found to only feed the data closest to a user down to the user at full resolution and uses less detail the farther away an object is, or it would use massive amounts of bandwidth. Having a horizon where simply anything beyond the horizon is not rendered probably would not be sufficient, since you may want items which are far, far away rendered, such as a distant mountain, but without the detail, such as individual trees, is not needed. If you moved closer, then those details would need to be fed to the user.
  • by LetterRip (30937) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @05:50PM (#21877010)

    If everything is going to be open source, why exactly does this project need funding? Are the developers going to be working on this full-time?
    Full time artists and full time developers are going to be funded for both Blender and for CrystalSpace. These projects (Orange, Peach, Apricot) serve a few purposes - to prove the quality of these particular open source tools for professional usage (ie pulling together very high quality art work, game assets, game design and logic, and game environment in a very short period of time) and as a major side benefit provides excellent functionality for the current and future users of both projects (ie Blender has had huge leaps in functionality improvement during both Elephants Dream (Orange) and during Rabbits Revenge (Peach) as the artists wishlists were met by both the developers paid to work for the project and the rest of the Blender volunteer team).

    LetterRip
  • by Daengbo (523424) <daengbo@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @10:49PM (#21878794) Homepage Journal
    Ultimately, I think it's because the Free sofware movement works best with an agile-type of development. Release early; release often. That doesn't work for games. So much time is spent below the ground floor that there's nothing to release for ages, and there's no buzz developed.

    How can you solve this problem? The answer is revolutionary.
  • by m50d (797211) on Tuesday January 01, 2008 @11:23PM (#21879004) Homepage Journal
    To use your example, Spore has been in development for like seven years and has undoubtedly cost tens of millions of dollars, mostly in man-hours of work. Do you think a free-source project could get a solid core of designers, coders, and artists to donate their time and money regularly for over half a decade with NO product to show for it, on the hope that one day it might be released and... look good on their resumes?

    Yes. Because there are people growing up for whom OSS has always been around, and is something they really believe in, and they're willing to put the work in. People die for idealism all the time.

    /it's 3:20AM here, I'm working on an open source game.

  • by boomfart (823737) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @02:44AM (#21879960)
    not totally bus oriented but has several busses in it http://rigsofrods.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]
  • by Arnonymous Coward (1208208) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @03:02AM (#21880012)
    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.

    At that point I said "what the hell", and then spent about 4 days times 12 hours per day just memorizing hotkeys and practicing using the interface for various standard tasks until everything was in my mind and the hotkeys were all at my fingertips. (repitition of simple tasks, analogous to the basketball player practicing free throws) It got to the point where if I even had the slightest inlking to perform an operation, magically the appropriate tool and mode was already right there on the screen, my left hand had typed the commands without even consiously thinking about it.

    Now that I put in the time and did the memorization, I am actually far more proficient in Blender than any other 3d program for low to mid poly range. The Blender interface just gets the hell out of the way and lets you connect directly to what you are modeling. The right hand on the mouse is reserved for spatial tasks, while the left hand on the keyboard is controlling the tools and modifiers that are used - the mouse is never used for scrolling through menus or clicking on icons.

    So, the conclusion I draw is that Blender's UI is excellent for the expert and horrible for the newbie. It's not the sort of program you would want to _learn_ 3D on, and even if you already know 3D, it will take approx 48 hours of hard work before the advantages really shine.
  • Re:Genre? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by aichpvee (631243) on Wednesday January 02, 2008 @04:19AM (#21880308) Journal
    So you think a 3DS Max shop like Blizzard has to sit down and think if they're going to use 3DS Max for their next game or they just decide that they're going to do Starcraft 2 and that OF COURSE they're going to use the tools that they're comfortable with and already trained on?

    How about any big 3D feature studio? Sure they might need to identify some supplemental tools (or some custom plugs/scripts) to work with Maya, but it's not like they're going to even think about throwing out all their existing tools for a new project.

    And, as someone already said, OF COURSE you're going to use a specific tool if the whole point of doing your project is to promote a specific tool or tool chain. These guys are out to prove the viability of open source tools in fields that are dominated by closed source, proprietary tools and their 3D modeling and animation software of choice is Blender.

    I finally sat down to really learn Blender this week and it's actually really, really nice. A little bit weird (coming from a background in Maya), but I absolutely LOVE it compared to something like 3DS. It's got a great range of tools (video editor, audio editor, etc) in addition to the core modeling and animation stuff and if you're looking to do any 3D work for cheap (or you just love open source) I see no reason for it not to figure prominently in your pipeline.

Mathemeticians stand on each other's shoulders while computer scientists stand on each other's toes. -- Richard Hamming

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