A Popular Open-Source Game Still Years From Beta
There's an interesting and very promising open-source first person shooter game that does offer impressive graphics but is still a couple years from reaching a beta state.
The game that's still a ways out from being in beta is Unvanquished. Back in July was the first time I looked at it when it appeared to be a very promising open-source game that was derived from the Tremulous first person shooter and using the id Tech 3 game engine but with integrating the XreaL renderer enhancements.
The game looks impressive and even boasts an OpenGL 3.0 renderer while most open-source games continue to be using OpenGL 2.1. The game is quite interesting and has shown lots of potential.
New alpha releases of Unvanquished are released monthly with the most recent release being Unvanquished Alpha 9. While things are moving along quickly, it looks like it will still be a while before Unvanquished is up to a beta stage.
In a new posting on the project site, the goals for doing a beta release are shared. The key requirements for a beta come down to Unvanquished having its own set of around a half-dozen maps, replacing all of the Tremulous assets with their own game assets, and a stabilization of the game engine and its features.
In terms of the engine work, "Beyond maps and artwork, we also have to work on the engine. While it's already in a stable state in the sense that you can play it without any major issues, there are many features that we plan on adding, and as they're progressively implemented, they might cause some breakage or temporary incompatibility. Being in the alpha state, we're also free to remove things on a whim, or change the libraries needed to compile the game with. Over the course of alpha, we can make wide, sweeping changes to the codebase where necessary. During beta, that may still happen if we'd really like to implement something, but it will be much less frequent."
In the end, the developers think it will not be until 2015 when Unvanquished sees a beta. The 2015 target is only tentative with the beta possibly landing much sooner or later than currently anticipated. However, with not a beta possibly for three years, it will be interesting to see how far it will advance in this time since id Tech 3 already is quite old technology compared to modern commercial game engines.
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