While not commonly mentioned at Phoronix, Alien Arena is an open-source sci-fi first-person shooter that has been around since 2004 and uses the CRX engine, which is a derivative of the Id's GPL source-code. Version 7.20 of Alien Arena 2008 was released this week and a few features had caught our attention. In addition to a number of game-play improvements, Alien Arena 2008 has received a number of improvements to its graphics renderer with GLSL program management, parallax mapping, new lighting, new shaders, and other work.
Alien Arena 2008 is an Icculus-hosted project with the development efforts of the game and CRX engine being led by COR Entertainment. The change-log for Alien Arena 2008 7.20 is made-up of 50 items. This game was previously known as CodeRED: Alien Arena. Other editions of this free software game include CodeRED: Battle for Earth, CodeRED: Martian Chronicles, Alien Arena 2006, and Alien Arena 2007.
The graphics improvements in this game update include tangent light space vector normalization for per-pixel mesh rendering, GLSL program management, GLSL normal/specular mapping for dynamic lighting, GLSL specular lighting, new water shaders, distortion shaders to basic water, faster image filtering, and new glass effects with a semi-true reflection. There are also performance increases in this release through calculating bounding boxes at load file along, occlusion culling of entities, and moving the vertex lerping inside of a texture-mapping loop.