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Thread: Xoreos: An Open-Source Engine Of BioWare's Aurora

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    Default Xoreos: An Open-Source Engine Of BioWare's Aurora

    Phoronix: Xoreos: An Open-Source Engine Of BioWare's Aurora

    When writing a few days ago about the GemRB project as an open-source re-implementation of the Infinity Engine for Baldur's Gate and then OpenMW as an open-source re-implementation of the engine used by Morrowind, a Phoronix reader pointed out Xoreos...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTI1ODc

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    Neverwinter Nights 2, Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic, and The Witcher.
    It was used in Neverwinter Nights 1 and its expansions, Neverwinter Nights 2 was developed by Obsidian and used the Electron Engine they developed in house for the game.

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    Phoronix already mentioned this project, though at the time it was called Eos. I don't think it's been moving very quickly lately.

    Found the link: http://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pag...tem&px=MTAzNjg

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    Hmm, interesting. I am replaying SWKotOR2 with TSLRCM atm. Would be awesome to be able to play it under Linux.

    Such complex projects scream for a community to recruit contributors imho (glancing across at openmw).

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    Quote Originally Posted by zanny View Post
    Neverwinter Nights 2 was developed by Obsidian and used the Electron Engine they developed in house for the game.
    Not quite. The Electron engine is not a complete new in-house development; it's an extension of BioWare's Aurora engine.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCycoONE View Post
    Phoronix already mentioned this project, though at the time it was called Eos
    Yes, "eos" was just too widely used by everyone else and their dog. In hindsight, I should have thought about that beforehand.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheCycoONE View Post
    I don't think it's been moving very quickly lately
    Unfortunately, that's true as well. RL interfered. Plus I have a lot (read: too many) of other projects going on; I keep hopping between them.

    Quote Originally Posted by log0 View Post
    Such complex projects scream for a community to recruit contributors
    I'd welcome any help.

    A general overview about what works can be found here: https://github.com/DrMcCoy/xoreos/wiki (the NWN screenshots are a bit outdated though, since NPC models and animations work a bit now)
    A long (non-exhaustive) TODO is here: https://github.com/DrMcCoy/xoreos/wiki/TODO

    But the big thing holding back further development is a complete overhaul of the graphics subsystem. Frankly, my OpenGL knowledge is very basic, and xoreos' graphics code is something I hacked together without much experience in how to do a proper 3D engine. It works, kinda, but not really efficient and without many of the features needed.
    Someone with knowledge in 3D graphics, and willingness and time to completely rewrite the whole subsystem would be very much appreciated.

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    The open-source game engine recreation scene is just begging for an article or three. Exposure to existing projects can only be a good thing for any platform, especially with the Steam appliance coming. For example, Heroes of Might and Magic III has the VCMI project which at one point had an active N900 port as well. And there is also the XLEngine which supports Star Wars: Dark Forces, TES3: Daggerfall and a couple others.

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    Been following this for a while. Especially in the light of NWN's multiplayer services being pulled offline (the online find-a-friend feature, not the self hosted servers, obviously), stuff like this is more and more important.

    Saddens me also that every single AAA developer I've had a conversation about this with has been on the opposite side of the line. My argument is that games are art, art must be preserved, and online services and closed-source software eliminates that from being possible. Their arguments boil down to the (incredibly flawed) set of arguments that (a) it's unfair to require companies to pay the costs to continually host or relicense their code, (b) you can buy old hardware and play games that way, (c) the community can recreate the code if they really cared, and (d) nobody cares. Obviously the first response is silly because even just dumping the code 5 years after release with all licensed code stripped out is a huge step in the right direction, the second response is silly because old hardware slowly disappears and emulating it is near impossible (we can't even accurately emulate the SNES today; emulating the modern PC or even current-gen consoles is essentially unfeasible), the third option is the one relevant to this thread (more below), and the fourth option is historically false by just looking at how much the loss of all early films (many of which were intentionally destroyed because filmmakers didn't think they had commercial value, and it was cheaper to recycle film stock or even to get the tax write-off for loss of assets) and the impact that has on the modern art and research communities.

    I still hold that FOSS is a horrible option for developing and releasing quality games, but I also still hold that all games should be required to be open sources ~5 years after initial commercial release. The tiny handful of properties/companies that continue making money off a game after that time span are vastly swamped by the numbers of abandoned games that are increasingly hard to play.

    Efforts like Xoreos -- both the fact that they exist, showing user interest, and the fact that they are so very far from usably complete, showing how untenable the "rely on the community" solution to abadoned games really is -- just highlight the problem. 50 years from now, everyone is going to agree on how stupid it was to keep game code in vaults and let them die out. 50 years from now, it'll be too late to fix anything. The game assets will have been lost, traded, or sold off so many times that even figuring out who has or who is responsible for releasing code will be too difficult. The foundation of so much of today's culture will be lost to commercial lack of foresight.

    ... that said, I'm proud of the Xoreous developers and hope they can get things up to a reasonably playable state, by getting some xtra exposure by articles like this and getting more developers.

    While we're on the topic, GemRB also coudl use some new blood.

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    Cool video of the engine: http://youtu.be/WaRfBsZVO3Y

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    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    emulating it is near impossible (we can't even accurately emulate the SNES today; emulating the modern PC or even current-gen consoles is essentially unfeasible),
    Hm, the SNES is not really a good example, since bsnes/higan offer pretty much 100% accurate emulation if you have a fast enough CPU, or 99.9% with a run-of-the-mill Core 2.

    Also I thought that VirtualBox emulated a modern PC, but I guess I was wrong Still, it lets me install Planescape: Torment and Fallout 2, so I'm happy. Yeah, I'd love a modern open-source version of the underlying engines, but the amount of work involved is quite intimidating.

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    Quote Originally Posted by elanthis View Post
    to get the tax write-off for loss of assets) and the impact that has on the modern art and research communities.

    I still hold that FOSS is a horrible option for developing and releasing quality games, but I also still hold that all games should be required to be open sources ~5 years after initial commercial release. The tiny handful of properties/companies that continue making money off a game after that time span are vastly swamped by the numbers of abandoned games that are increasingly hard to play.

    Copyright must be reduced to 5-10 years.Companies get a lot of money of projects in this period and never open source the code and art.

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