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Huh, id Tech 5 Engine To Be Open-Source?

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  • Huh, id Tech 5 Engine To Be Open-Source?

    Phoronix: Huh, id Tech 5 Engine To Be Open-Source?

    id Software has a long history of being friendly towards the Linux and open-source communities. id Software was an early game company to support the Linux platform and they have ported many titles to Linux, including their popular Enemy Territory: Quake Wars, Quake 4, and Doom 3 titles. Their in-house id Tech game engines have been compatible with Linux and provide an OpenGL renderer. After the game engines have reached the end of their market life, id Software has also open-sourced these engines for use by the free software community. But with id Tech 5 could id Software possibly be open-source to begin with? The web-site for the Rage game seems to imply that id Tech 5 is in fact open-source...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=OTA3MA

  • #2
    Probably a marketing error.

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    • #3
      Bet someone mixed up "open source" and "cross-platform".
      Microsoft and Sony tags on the page, that doesn't scream open source to me.
      On the bright side, there no half-eaten, silvery fruit either.

      If it's no blunder though, that would be like... The biggest gaming news since Pong

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      • #4
        It would indeed be nice if it actually were open source. I was quite amazed when I found this.

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        • #5
          That simply MUST be a mistake. Firstly because bethesda has stated that only games it publishes will be able to use the engine and secondly: it's just waaaay too good to be true! But that thing would be a dream come true for indie devs.

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          • #6
            Open-Source does not mean free! It probably means that there is a private closed group where all licensees ($$$) have access to source and can contribute fixes and features back to id.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kiwi_kid_aka_bod View Post
              Open-Source does not mean free! It probably means that there is a private closed group where all licensees ($$$) have access to source and can contribute fixes and features back to id.
              that's some weird dictionary you've got there It's probably a typo / marketing error.

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              • #8
                Don't be so quick to dismiss those news. Id Tech-5 could be open-sourced and free to indie and small developers and have tiered licensing requirements for bigger developers. (e.g. more than $100000 in revenue or so).

                This is going to be huge, should it come to pass. It would single-handedly destroy Unity3d (probably the best low-cost engine available today) and it would forever change the 3d engine marketplace.

                The real question is, "what would Id gain from such a move?" The answer is simple: it would be able to enter a market that's pretty well-saturated right now. If you've followed the gaming scene these past few years, Id Tech has been totally eclipsed by the Unreal Engine (and a few smaller ones - recall that the UnrealSDK is free). What was the last third-party game that licensed Tech-4?

                This move would help them re-enter the market with a bang. Great publicity, good-will and the ability to gain market share faster than it would be possible otherwise.

                And let me tell you, if Id Tech-5 was open-source and approachable cost-wise, we'd be using it right now for some pretty big "serious game" projects. We have opted for Unity3d instead, due to its simplicity, support and low licensing requirements but if Id Tech-5 was an option, I don't think we would think twice before going there.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by kiwi_kid_aka_bod View Post
                  Open-Source does not mean free! It probably means that there is a private closed group where all licensees ($$$) have access to source and can contribute fixes and features back to id.

                  Wikipedia:
                  "A main principle and practice of open source software development is peer production by bartering and collaboration, with the end-product, source-material, "blueprints", and documentation available at no cost to the public."

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Open_source

                  But I do agree that they only have to give the source to their customers, but if the customers sells software with that included to the public they would have to release the source to them too, at least on real opensource lisences like gpl. So in this case this customers which want to make produkts like games and sell them to the public had to give the source to them.

                  But clearly some people miss-use the terms opensource for stuff thats not opensource and they call their licenses opensource lisence which are not. So maybe its such pseudo opensource lisence.

                  But I can also think it could be true, maybe the important tools that helps to create games easier are closed source so you buy this and maybe some support. Why would they wanna do that, the last id tech engine was not that successful like the previos engines in lisencing and they could gain much help from other developers to improve the engine in bugfixing and even make some new features. I think here like what apple did (ok they had to do this because the lisence), they released the sourcecode of their underlying os but dont released the code for the ui. So maybe some bugfixes get fixed like that from 3rd party developers or at least they found the bugs with some feedback more quickly.

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                  • #10
                    Well since EPIC(one of IDs biggest competitors) is also giving their engine for free to indy devs i wouldn't be all that surprised if this was true.

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                    • #11
                      Well, I can't really see why not. License the engine and provide support to commercial projects and let the community have it for free. In the end, you get free marketing from it, because anyone can pick it up and run with it. Many of the big game engines/games have SDKs anyway, which allow a lot of customization... this is just the next step and it makes total sense.

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                      • #12
                        It wouldn't shock me if they did this. It would be what I consider the ideal future model for gaming development, open source engine, pay for the game assets.

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                        • #13
                          In terms of the engine itself, it's not as ridiculous as it seems at first glance. However, it does seem quite unlikely to be true in light of the announcement in August that it would only be used for Bethesda-published games. I guess it's possible to reconcile those positions by having proprietary licensing exclusive to Bethesda, but that still seems like a stretch.

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                          • #14
                            It absolutely definitely beyond any doubt will be NOT Open Source in terms of the OSI definition.

                            It's become pretty standard these days to give developers the complete source code to an engine. It's impossible to make a noteworthy game on top of a generic set of tools. The difference between "open source" and "Open Source" is that the latter does not allow discrimination against a field of endeavor, which basically means that you can't have non-profit or indie-only clauses in the license.

                            It's just like how there's a huge difference between "free software" (proprietary game demos are free and are software, after all) and "Free Software" (four essential freedoms and all that jazz).

                            The licensing of the engine even to indie developers is not surprising. The moddability of Oblivion and Fallout 3 were huge selling points of the games. Even if id/Bethesda has no intention of licensing to other commercial developers (which seems silly, that's a huge revenue stream in itself) it still is not far-fetched to just release the code to the engine.

                            It's not like games make heavy use of patents or secret IP. Just about every neat game engine trick you could want to know you can learn about at GDC or similar places. Games aren't about the tech. They're about the _game_. Which is 95% content.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ex-Cyber View Post
                              In terms of the engine itself, it's not as ridiculous as it seems at first glance. However, it does seem quite unlikely to be true in light of the announcement in August that it would only be used for Bethesda-published games. I guess it's possible to reconcile those positions by having proprietary licensing exclusive to Bethesda, but that still seems like a stretch.
                              It's not in fact very hard. The engine is id's, so they own the copyright, so they can licence it both under an open-source license, and a normal license.

                              The problem then becomes what their model for accepting contributions will be -- maybe they don't, and the engine is just a dump of what id does (but you can fork it of course), maybe they accept contributions, but you have to give your copyright to them (as seen in some other dual-licensed projects), or maybe it'll be the more common "you keep your own copyright", but that would make proprietary licensing harder.

                              Finally, to those who point out some other FREE engines, remember that FREE != open source, for example you can have your free unreal engine, but you can't really take the code and port it to linux.

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