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First Person Shooters (Games) Open Source Linux Games

Doom 3 Source Code To Be Released This Year 210

An anonymous reader writes "John Carmack just confirmed during his QuakeCon 2011 keynote that the source code to Doom 3 will be released this year. The source drop will follow the release of their Rage game in October. Carmack has also challenged other game developers to release their old source code."
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Doom 3 Source Code To Be Released This Year

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  • Man, one thing I loved about open source software is that I could run any of it on my out of date hardware! Curse you Carmack!
    • Re:Old hardware (Score:5, Insightful)

      by compro01 ( 777531 ) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @06:22PM (#36991646)

      How out of date is your hardware? Doom 3 was released 7 years ago.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        You have a point, but GP did make me chuckle. Doom 3 was the Crysis of it's day. In fact, Doom 3 is the reason I got into building gaming rigs. I would not be surprised to find lots of people still can't run it with their current equipment.

        • Yes, Doom 3 was both the bee's knees AND the cat's pajamas, in its day. But that was a long time ago when you speak to gamers about gaming rigs. 7 years may not seem like a long time, but think about it like this: how many video cards has a serious game addict been through since then, and how many games have surpassed Doom 3 in key ways? It was a fantastic game, and still is, but releasing the source code now, while a nice gesture, is not likely to spur any dramtic advances, since all legitimate developers
          • by ifrag ( 984323 )

            how many video cards has a serious game addict been through since then

            6 cards by my count, if SLI is counted discretely.

            DooM 3 : Radeon 9700 Pro

            Post DooM 3 : GeForce 7950 GT, GeForce 8800 Ultra, 2x GeForce GTX 280, 2x GeForce GTX 470

      • So old it is gerbil powered. Nibbles can't spin that wheel like he used to. I'll be here all week. Try the veal.
        • Hey leave poor Nibbles alone you bastard! can't you see he is trying his little heart out? Maybe if you bought the poor little fella some real food instead of giving him the wilted lettuce from your BLT maybe he wouldn't be huffing and puffing, ya cheap bastard!

          As for TFA? Let me predict what will come of it...a shitload of bad PVP arena battle bullshit, ala Q3 Arena which seems to be the standard template for FOSS games. Does the world REALLY need another teabagging fragfest? would it REALLY kill ya to mak

          • Do it yourself.

            What is stopping you? Or do you just talk though on a nerd forum? You do know that isn't very hard do you? We run scared of guys who dare to run with scissors and have pens in their shirt pockets with NO pocket protector!

          • There's world of padman. Open arena and urban terror have way different themes, warsow is a cell-shaded, cartoon-like beast... seriously, have you never looked at any free shooters?

    • Considering it can run on a Voodoo2 [] (which was released in 1998), I'd say you should stop trying to run games on a toaster...

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Nimey ( 114278 )

        It could run. It would not run well. It wouldn't run particularly well on my old Radeon 9600XT.

        Not that I would have played it much anyway. Never could get into a game whose main selling point was how dark it was.

        • by mrmeval ( 662166 )

          I never bought Doom3 for that reason among others. I'd never played the game. I just thought if they could not stick a light on a rifle and had to crank the light down it would suck. I had a friend buy it for me as a gift. It rocks.

        • Part of your problem is that the Doom 3 engine ran much better of nvidia hardware, the ultimate BftB card for doom 3 back then was the 6600GT, stepping up to the 6800GT/U if you wanted high res.

          Granted, a 6600GT is about twice as powerfull as the good old 9600XT (i had a 9600pro for a while, nice card that was), but a buddy of mine ran doom 3 quite well on a geforce 4 Ti, without Dx9 offcourse.

          Man, this takes me back to playing BF2 on my unlocked 6800LE, that was just awesome.

        • The gaming rig I first played Doom 3 on had a 9600XT and it ran fine on medium-ish settings.

    • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @07:02PM (#36992008) Journal
      It works faster on a modern operating system, because of optimisations in the libc. For those who haven't taken a look at it yet, the main render routine looks like this:

      memset(frame_buffer, 0, frame_buffer_size);

      • What are you trying to insinuate here??

        That Carmack doesn't know about calloc? ~

        • Re:Old hardware (Score:4, Informative)

          by vux984 ( 928602 ) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @08:34PM (#36992744)

          look at the line of code...

          It zeros out the frame buffer. You know... so you get a completely black screen. And if that's the main render routine... lol... I thought it was quite clever.

          • I thought it was quite clever.

            It was, and I've got it (why yes I did play Doom 3); but it seems that no-one has understood my ~ tongue-in-cheek reply (considering the number of clueless follow-ups).

            • by vux984 ( 928602 )

              Lol, thanks for hitting me with the clue-stick.

              Still, it would have been good if you'd acknowledged the joke before launching into the optimization. :p

            • by Xest ( 935314 )

              That's what you get for being too smart for Slashdot.

              Although nowadays that's becoming much less of an achievement.

            • by Tim C ( 15259 )
              That'll probably be because no one uses that ~ mark - you are literally the first person I've seen use it, apart from one or two people who reference it in their sigs.
          • ... since it might still not be obvious, from man calloc []:

            calloc() allocates memory for an array of nmemb elements of size bytes each and returns a pointer to the allocated memory. The memory is set to zero.

            What's more important is that calloc is faster than malloc+memset for a number of reasons, most notably that OS can pre-zero free memory blocks while idling. So, given Carmack's love for micro-optimizations, it would be sacrilegious to suggest that he'd use something as comparatively inefficient as memset(0) in this context.

            • The reason it's not funny is that the frame buffer is a static memory allocation. It is in VRAM and is not allocated with malloc().
          • NFSU2 actually did something a little like this. They made the game take place entirely at night so they could minimize the number of objects that would have to be drawn on screen, allowing it to run on the wimpy consoles.

      • by mikael ( 484 )

        These days, you'd have a custom shaders to do that ... in autostereoscopic HDR with ambient occlusion no less.

  • id Tech 5 (Score:4, Informative)

    by bonch ( 38532 ) * on Thursday August 04, 2011 @06:05PM (#36991458)

    I wonder if id Tech 5 will ever see a source release now that id is under Zenimax's wing. As for other developers releasing source, that's not always possible due to third-party technology licenses, ownership issues, and the source code flat-out missing (if I remember correctly, Rise of the Triad was missing for years until someone found it for 3D Realms).

    • As for other developers releasing source, that's not always possible due to third-party technology licenses, ownership issues...

      id has those issues as well, though I'm told it was much less for Doom 3 than in the past. They have someone replace all the code and clean it up for public release.

  • by Emrikol ( 21551 ) <emrikol.decarbonated@org> on Thursday August 04, 2011 @06:20PM (#36991630) Homepage

    I emailed Carmack in '06 about releasing the source code to Commander Keen, and I got this reply:

    We sort of lost the source code to most of the early games, or I would have released them long ago.

    When I emailed Romero about it, he replied:

    Yes, I have the source but have to figure out if all of it is complete and buildable. I think it is from the last time I checked it out a year ago or so. And it's 99% coded in C with a couple asm routines. :)

    I emailed Carmack back saying Romero had the code, and I emailed Romero back saying Carmack wanted to release it.

    Never heard back from either one :(

  • I've not followed what has happened with previous id releases.
    What have people done with them?

  • by airfoobar ( 1853132 ) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @07:07PM (#36992062)

    It's a shame that a lot of old games (including DOS games, circa 1995) have been consigned to the graveyard of dead software, where they can't be ported/maintained because they have no sources and need emulation, they can't be bought except for second/third/20th-hand, they can't be copied/preserved because of copyright. It's shameful, really. I feel quite angry about that tbh, and I'm delighted to see game creators make an effort to release their code.

    I sometimes see people arguing that releasing the code is impossible because some parts are based on proprietary code they don't have the rights to. I wish they would just cut that code out and release the rest. There are a lot of eager fans out there who would be very happy to rewrite that code and even develop drop-in open-source replacements that can be reused for other ports (yes, even entire game engines). Let's not let old games end up like old films, rotting away in the archives of underfunded libraries without anyone knowing they ever existed.

    • by devent ( 1627873 )

      You are not the only one that gets angry about the whole issue. Tell me how so heck does a copyright term of 70 years is encouraging developers to write games? In the current market a game is old after 6 months and after 2 years you can buy the same game for 10$ or less and after 10 years nobody ever will buy the game. So how are developers benefit from a 70 years protection?

      Tell me, what game makes the original developer money after 70 years?

      In my opinion the current years (from 1980 to current) will be ca

      • I thought the whole point of abandonia was that all the games were licensed or owned by companies that are now no longer in business, thus there is no copyright. I don't think it's illegal is it?

        • Technically, it (usually) still is illegal. Some of the games have either been legitimately or semi-legitimately approved by the original license owner for distribution, but in most cases such sites are still breaking copyright law. For instance, a few years ago I was able to get Commander Keen on one of those sites, but as you may know it's now available for sale again on Steam. Generally, someone still owns the copyright.

          Now, very few of the actual owners will care. In most cases, the game will never be

      • by Trixter ( 9555 )

        Tell me, what game makes the original developer money after 70 years?


    • by Lando ( 9348 )

      Might want to check out Recently found the site while researching something else, but seems to have a lot of older games that have been set up to run under windows at a decent price.

    • It's a shame that a lot of old games (including DOS games, circa 1995) have been consigned to the graveyard of dead software, where they can't be ported/maintained because they have no sources and need emulation, they can't be bought except for second/third/20th-hand, they can't be copied/preserved because of copyright. lists about 400 MSDOS and Windows games, almost all of which will run without a hassle under 64 bit Windows 7. But you have to be realistic.

      Gog sells desktop games to the hard-core PC gamer willing to invest a substantial amount of time in a classic adventure, RPG, simulation or strategy game.

      The problem is that even the enthusiast finds it hard to warm up to a game with five to twenty-five year old graphics, gameplay and sound --- and that is not an easy problem to fix.

      The Black Mesa total conv

      • lists about 400 MSDOS and Windows games, almost all of which will run without a hassle under 64 bit Windows 7.

        Gog is great, but their catalog is limited -- there are literally thousands of Good Old Games missing, most of which they'll never offer because of licensing issues or because they don't run in Dosbox or because they don't think they can sell them. Those are the sorts of problems I'm referring to, which can lead to many of those games being lost.

        The problem is that even the enthusiast finds it hard to warm up to a game with five to twenty-five year old graphics, gameplay and sound --- and that is not an easy problem to fix.

        Your "enthusiast" is entirely irrelevant to my argument. I'm talking about preserving these games for posterity, regardless of whether they choose to enjoy them or

    • Almost all games ever made are playable in emulators, including DOS games. What exactly is your point?

    • It's really not a shame that old games die and new games have to be written. That's progress, baby. That's how it works with people, too.

      The really great games are preserved. The others fall by the wayside. This is as it should be.

    • Matrix has been re-releasing the games at full pop ($49!) with minor-to-moderate bug fixes and a few enhancements. I can see how that can fly with newer games in expansion packs (with arguably more work in creating new assets, campaigns, etc.), but 10-15 year old games? They should just release the source code and stop milking cash out of an ancient game series.
  • You always hear about games getting there source code officially released (with their art, etc remaining proprietary and the game still being a commercial product [which I assume is what this is]).
    Who does this help? will anyone read through this code? Is it basically just for anyone enamoured enough with the original game to make mods/patches?

    • Mostly it's for porting it to different platforms, and to improve the old engine with new features (like what Tenebrae did for Quake1).

      Some people also make their own games (not just mods, but completely new games) with them. Mostly a hobbyist affair, of course, since the engines are usually quite outdated by the time source code is released.

    • by UnknownSoldier ( 67820 ) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @07:17PM (#36992160)

      > Who does this help?
      People who are curious about "How Things Work", specifically, "How Games Work"

      Perfect example:
      quake 3 fast inverse square root []

      > will anyone read through this code?
      Most definitely:
        Game Programmers - Sub-Topics: Rendering, Networking, Audio, Physics, AI,
        Future game programmers

      I've shipped numerous games. It is always a pleasure reading other people's game code -- just to see how they did things, read the comments, etc.

      "Necessity is the Mother of invention, but Curiosity is the Father"
          -- Michaelangel007

    • by Tacvek ( 948259 )

      Well if you wanted to write a Doom 3 like game, this would be an excellent place to start. You would need to develop graphics and levels, and make some changes for any unique features, but you would need to do that anyway even if starting from scratch, and at least here you already have a working engine. The communities that develop around these source drops often focus on making the code portable, and making minor changes here and there so that it can work well on modern hardware.

      So you get to start with a

    • It helps the Linux community - I'd say at least 50% the AAA-level games on Linux got there because someone released the code, and the open-source community got the port done.

      It helps the hardcore fans of the game, because obscure bugs can be fixed, and enhancements can be added. Doom has gotten quite a few engine enhancements that make the original game look a lot better, without needing art replacements.

      It can help indie or starting-out developers, because a full engine is a tough thing to properly write.

    • by adamofgreyskull ( 640712 ) on Thursday August 04, 2011 @08:14PM (#36992590)
      The reason for releasing source code as open source isn't so that you can download it for free, compile it, and have a working copy of Doom 3, it's so that people can look at the code, learn from it, port the game to new architectures or mod the source to add new features/take advantage of new technology. Several original games have been developed using previously released id source code: (Someone should really invent some kind of "Search" "Engine" for this internet thing...)
      Nexuiz []
      Urban Terror []
      Tremulous []

      Sadly, I suspect that you won't appreciate the value of any of that, having phrased your questions the way you did.
    • by jaxa ( 2429766 )
      This helps The Dark Mod [] team, among others. There are many bug fixes and improvements that can only be made once the source code is released.
    • When do you "always hear" about games getting their source code released? I rarely hear anyone other than id doing that. As for who it helps- see earlier commenters.

  • I keep buying all of their games as long as they keep releasing the source, even if the games suck (Quake 4, Doom 3).
    • Not a gamer and the last FPS I played was Doom3 in 2003/4. I will continue buying id games, though, just cuz.

  • I haven't gotten around to playing (or even buying) Doom3 yet, and it's already about to go open source.
    • Afaict if you want to actually play the game you still have to buy (or pirate....) a copy to get the game content. The source releases only tend to include the code.

  • I wish the source code for the original Red Faction would be released. The damage & map sizes could be increased for larger amounts of memory. Also the core of the game could be used for other types of games. I'd like to see it modded to allow portal jumps added to allow people to cross from server to server.
  • For an analogy, you should take a look at idtech3 game engine users. 2 months ago reported about 700 active Quake 3 servers (many empty of course). Lots of people still enjoy this game, and having access to source code engine is an advantage to them. Other games that use the free idtech3 engine are Urban Terror (up to version 4.2), Tremulous, Smokin Guns, and World of Padman. Granted, I think only UrbanTerror is a widely played game among these (game tracker reports over 1000 live servers) a

  • I fired up Doom3 on my current rig recently and was pretty damn impressed with how good it looked for a game released 7 years ago. It honestly looks pretty good next to modern games. Widescreen wasn't supported out of the box, but wasn't too hard to set up.

    I think when it was launched no one was really able to play it on highest graphical setting due to video cards not having enough video ram. My R9700 pro only had 128mb, I think D3 needed 512mb?

  • a general rule would be awesome. Not only for games but for everything. Artwork etc would still be an issue, but at least the code could be used/updated/improved...

    I would love to have Master of Orion _1_ released. TCP/IP and larger integers for the global account. Larger universes, more tech levels to get to, maybe moving stars, improved mass updates to resource management....

    I would _pay_ for that.

    (MoO2 & 3 can die in a fire)

  • I'm meeting with the kids at my old high school in November to talk to them about software development and IT. Being able to show them some code behind a fairly recent video game will give them a good idea of what they're getting into. All the kids want to "do video games" in some way or another, but none really know what that means.

    Speaking of which, anybody have example test cases and/or design docs for a video game? I want to show parts of the entire process.

Logic is a pretty flower that smells bad.