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Open Source Role Playing (Games) Games Linux

Open Source Morrowind Version 0.16.0 Released 98

Posted by Soulskill
from the with-many-eyes-even-that-many-bugs-are-shallow dept.
An anonymous reader writes "The OpenMW team recently released a new version of their open source engine. While the project is not fully playable yet, the goal is to preserve Morrowind, provide modders a better engine and tool kit for creating their works, and make it cross-platform. Like most open source projects, they are always seeking new contributors. So, what do you think; what's the state of FLOSS games that are not first-person shooters?"
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Open Source Morrowind Version 0.16.0 Released

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  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by masternerdguy (2468142) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @10:14PM (#40537559)
    FOSS games tend to be coded very well but they lack polished art and game assets. It's like building V8 engine and putting it in an ugly car. It runs great but scares people away.
    • by ZosX (517789)

      Best comment I've read in a while. I played a demo of arkham city the other day. I almost whipped out the credit card on the spot. Just the graphics alone made want to play it. Games like that cost 1000000x to produce versus what you can get out of some engine and a bunch of modders. It would take a dedicated small team years of hours putting together something on the level of what I played. Even linux owes a lot to significant corporate investment.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by iosq (1084989)
        Graphics wise, I'd express my doubts that even with years, a small team would even be able to produce something that is considered graphically amazing for the time of release. This is simply due to the fact that new hardware renders old techniques obsolete (pun intended). For a great example of how protracted development time and constant upgrading can actually make a game look _worse_ at release, take a look at DNF or daikatana.
        • by ZosX (517789)

          This is true, but the art requirements for a game like arkham city are insane. Sure there are some really awesome indy games, but nothing quite like that. Fallout 3 also comes to mind. No way could a small team accomplish that. I'm not trying to diminish what people do with less, but more is always better.

          • Re:No (Score:5, Insightful)

            by kdemetter (965669) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @12:03AM (#40538297)

            This is true, but the art requirements for a game like arkham city are insane. Sure there are some really awesome indy games, but nothing quite like that. Fallout 3 also comes to mind. No way could a small team accomplish that. I'm not trying to diminish what people do with less, but more is always better.

            Depends on what you need. Neat graphics usually means heavy system requirements.
            A lot of people may be fine with a game that isn't as beautiful, but can be run smoothly on their systems.

            I think there's a market for both.

            • by Cryacin (657549)
              Pong death showdown anyone?
            • by Rich0 (548339)

              True, but you still need content. I tend to play single-player games. What makes those interesting are mainly:

              1. World content, story, complexity.
              2. Half-decent engine including AI.
              3. Graphics

              If your world is interesting but you're the only thing moving in it, then that isn't useful. If the enemies are interesting but the extent of gameplay is to circle each other in the middle of a desert, that isn't interesting.

              I want places to go, people to talk to, things to accomplish. All of that requires artwo

            • by westlake (615356)

              Neat graphics usually means heavy system requirements.
              A lot of people may be fine with a game that isn't as beautiful, but can be run smoothly on their systems.

              I am not sure I agree.

              Think of the Flash based game Mechanarium.

              The hardware requirements were trivial --- the art design and execution extraordinary:

              It won the Excellence in Visual Art award at the 12th Annual Independent Games Festivaland the Best Soundtrack award from PC Gamer in 2009. It was nominated for an Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction award by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences and a Milthon award in the 'Best Indie Game' category at the Paris Game Festival.

              [wikipedia]

          • but more is always better.

            What about more Nazis? Or more Godwins?

          • by BenoitRen (998927)

            I'm not trying to diminish what people do with less, but more is always better.

            What happened to "Less is more."?

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          see "wing commander saga: darkest dawn" and "freespace open". if no one makes the games you want the fans will ultimately find a way. FOSS's problem is they are saturated with projects for quake style scifi arena shoots if they tapped dead genres instead they would have polished games out the wazzoo

          • by iosq (1084989)
            I definitely agree with you there. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't trying to imply that graphics should be the focal point of game creation. At the same time though, I'm not sure whether there would be "polished games out the wazoo". The thing is, the environment for fan made sequels/clones already exists. The tools already exist for FOSS game creation, and the communities/fanbases are there - apart from legal threats, there really isn't much stopping anyone skilled, with enough free time from making niche ga
          • by DMJC (682799)
            I definately agree with this, just look at Mechwarrior: Living Legends. Noone was making a modern Mechwarrior game so the fans made it. FOSS really needs to start targetting tools and dead genres. Linux already runs about 90% of the flight games out there, they just need to really polish/support force feedback/input configuration. I've been trialing things like thurstmaster HOTAS Cougar gear, and Microsoft Sidewinder force feedback sticks for years now and it's definately close to being a superior experienc
        • Graphics wise, I'd express my doubts that even with years, a small team would even be able to produce something that is considered graphically amazing for the time of release.

          Who said anything about a small team? And in what way is this [youtube.com] not already amazing?

          • by iosq (1084989)

            It would take a dedicated small team years of hours putting together something on the level of what I played.

            The parent of my post did.

            Yes, what you posted does look amazing, but it is a pre-rendered movie, not a game. So it's really apples and oranges. I don't mean to demean anyone making FOSS games, I just meant to point out that making a game that looks as good as new AAA games generally takes a sizeable, professional team working full time to accomplish.

            • what you posted does look amazing, but it is a pre-rendered movie, not a game. So it's really apples and oranges.

              No it isn't. One is the flip side of the other. The toolchains involved are nearly identical. So is the project organization, number and quality of artists involved, social structure, etc etc etc. It's actually easier to enumerate the differences. 1) A game needs a game engine. 2) eh... it's really hard to find a second difference.

              Look, it is already proven that AAA content can be created by the open community. Delivered according to a plan and on a schedule even. You just saw it with your own eyes. The onl

              • by iosq (1084989)
                Look, as some of that ACs have already pointed out, you are wrong. However pretty it may look, a 5 minute video is not some kind of proof that a AAA game that is competitive with mainstream titles while being OSS is viable.

                As for the toolchain? No - an interactive game requires far more tools, and more specialists to create. While animators and texture artists alone can create movies, you need high skill programmers in order to create a game. It is not as simple as just "putting an engine in". An engine i

        • http://dear-esther.com/ [dear-esther.com] ?

          • by iosq (1084989)
            A nice looking game in its own right, and I love the fact that it's story driven - something very rare in modern gaming. It may be the way that I worded my post, but I was more talking about graphics technology then the art behind it. While yes - it is a good looking game, it won't be winning any awards for it's rendering. Again, I don't mean to imply that needing a industrial heater of a graphics card makes a game inherently better, was just pointing out to the parent that it's hard for small teams to hit
      • by morcego (260031)

        It is the old paradigm of time vs money. With enough money, it can be done in a reasonable time frame. Otherwise, you will get a great work that take years/decades to develop, like http://ifhgame.ru/main/ [ifhgame.ru].

      • by FlyveHest (105693)

        What about Hawken? (http://www.playhawken.com/)

        Small team, indy game, graphics are mindblowingly fantastic, even for today, and its scheduled for release Q4 '12

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by bughunter (10093)

      While it is common to find unpolished (or more accurately, unfinished) games, there are a few that are up to par with commercial games, or nearly so.

      Battle for Wesnoth especially. Also UFO: Alien Invasion, Freeciv... and I want to list Nethack and roguelikes, but that niche is intentionally unpolished.

      • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

        by polymeris (902231) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @10:50PM (#40537787)

        Some games that have, IMO, succeeded in the polish department, have done so because they by design don't require many assets or they can "borrow" from another game (commercial or not), to get them started while new content is generated . If I was to start an amateur OSS game project, I'd try to keep that in mind. A good example of the former is naev [naev.org], and of the latter, openTTD [openttd.org].

      • Battle for Wesnoth is only polished if you are illiterate. Almost all of the text contains painful spelling mistakes. It's a shame, because it's otherwise a good game.
        • Well, if you can "see" spelling errors a mail to the developers with the error and the correction would be helpfull.

          Calling people who can not see spelling errors illiterate is a bit exagerating, don't you think so?

          I for my part have to type this on a system where you can not activate spelling correction (no idea why), so if there is nothing red underlined I don't see errors. (My brain assembles the meaning of a word or sentence without the need to parse every single letter and without the need to know how

    • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Elbereth (58257) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @10:40PM (#40537719) Journal

      According to the project FAQ, Open Morrowind uses the original game assets. They have not created any of their own art. You need to have Morrowind installed on your computer, because this is just the engine. It will natively run on Windows, MacOS X, and Linux, and they're looking to fix longstanding bugs in the MW engine, as well as extend it. Some of the proposed extensions to the engine sound ridiculously complex and/or like they'd break the game, but it's definitely interesting. I'd be curious to see what it looks like in a few more revisions, when it's finally playable.

      There are incredibly replacement textures for Morrowind and Oblivion that make even these older games look beautiful and semi-modern. I wouldn't put down the efforts of modders, though I agree that sometimes open source games have rather lackluster graphics. Part of the problem is that modders are more interested in playing polished, commercial games, which they can touch up, rather than contributing to an incomplete, open source game that has no assets at all. It's quite understandable, really, because one is a hobby, and the other is a full-time job.

      • you should be able to run tamriel rebuilt on the open morrowind. http://tamriel-rebuilt.org/?p=faq&section=0

    • by Meditato (1613545)

      Cutsy sardonic title with no correct assertions made. Please try to familiarize yourself with the project before being a useless contrarian.

      This is not a "FOSS" game. It is a reimplementation of the game engine that does not change any of the original visual resources. And it already looks better than the original.

      Your comment is therefore irrelevant.

    • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Charliemopps (1157495) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @10:54PM (#40537821)
      V8 engines belong in ugly cars. It's kind of the point. Nothing like blowing the doors off a brand new corvette with a rusty Oldsmobile.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It runs great but scares people away.

      So what? It isn't a business. They do it because they like it. Some people spend their free time watching TV, others coding games.

      And graphics aren't everything. There are some weirdos that have this ridiculous idea that a good game is a fun game, good looking or not. If all I cared for were graphics I'd see a movie or go outside.

    • Re:No. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Black Parrot (19622) on Wednesday July 04, 2012 @12:01AM (#40538291)

      FOSS games tend to be coded very well but they lack polished art and game assets. It's like building V8 engine and putting it in an ugly car. It runs great but scares people away.

      That's why no one plays Dwarf Fortress and the Roguelike games.

      I'd rather have an interesting game with amateur assets than a dull game with slick presentation.

      • Dwarf Fortress isn't open source. Picking out a few extreme examples of graphically inferior games that have a great hook that doesn't need graphics doesn't really discredit the GPs statement. It is not an unfair generalization to make that FOSS games generally lack polish and suffer as a result, either graphically or technically. This is of course mostly because they are a labor of love and not profit, but that fact doesn't change anything in the end.

    • Is this [phunq.net] polished? Because it's coming to an open source game engine near you pretty soon. And its just part of a flood of amazing, free and open tools that are coming online right now. The time was never better to jump into Indie/open game development. If you want to help out. [phunq.net]

      • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

        How can we tell if it's polished? What the hell is it even supposed to be? There's a mailing list subscription link - to what?

        I went to the main page, or what I thought it might be, and got:

        Welcome to phunq.net!

        Please stay tuned for more exciting developments.

        Google has no info on phunq that I could find before giving up, so I decided to ask you - WTF are you even talking about? Should I have modded you +1 ZOMBOCOM?

    • That sort of describes the original retail release as well, lol. It had amazing storytelling and history and quests but the pathfinding abilities and maps and dungeon design were pretty awful. Also, the artwork was pretty bad. It was so-so for the era but by today's standards, it's terrible. Since the construction kit to mod the map that was included with the game itself originally is one of the best I've ever seen, it is definitely worth it to save. It's really efficient, fast, easy to navigate, etc.
    • One thing I've always wondered: FOSS games don't have to be community developed at least by the definition, but that seems to be the norm in discussion. Why is that?
      seems like any game that was developed under normal time lines/conditions could be FOSS as long as the code came with it....in which case it could be community maintained at that point, but was developed behind closed doors.
      Most games (and a lot of software, but not all) have to have a definite goal and have to come out under a specific time-
  • by LionKimbro (200000) on Tuesday July 03, 2012 @10:17PM (#40537593) Homepage

    I am very curious about the rational for why OpenMW switched from D to C++.
    The FAQ [openmw.org] points to this page for an explanation, [google.com] which, at 2012-07-03 8:16 PM Pacific Time, I, an outsider to the effort, do not have access to.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    >So, what do you think; what's the state of FLOSS games that are not first-person shooters?

    What, both of them? I looked them up; Frozen Bubble and Tux Racer are doing just fine.

  • I love Morrowind, and am actually playing it now in a bid to put off buying Skyrim till it drops a bit (plus run quests I've never actually found before, because 'Why not'), but . . . I just don't see the need for this project.

    The brilliance in Morrowind was in the writing and the plot. The engine is 'stable enough' and runs fine, they're neither improving nor planning to improve the graphics . . . I'm just not seeing the return on this.

    Pug

There is no royal road to geometry. -- Euclid

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