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First Person Shooters (Games) Entertainment Games

Open Source FPS Game Alien Arena 2009 Released 142

Posted by Soulskill
from the new-bells-new-whistles dept.
Alienkillerrace writes "The open sourced, freeware FPS game Alien Arena 2009 has been released (Windows and Linux). The improvements to the game engine are very significant, and have surely raised the bar for free games of this genre. All surfaces in the game are now rendered using GLSL, not only improving the visual quality, but the performance as well. Interesting new effects like post-process distortions using GLSL have been implemented, as well as light volumes, better per-pixel lighting (reminiscent of UT3), and shaded water. Equally notable is that the sound system has been completely rewritten using OpenAL, allowing for effects such as Doppler, and adding Ogg Vorbis support. The game is free to play and available for download on its official website. It has a stats system and a built-in IRC client in its front-end game browser."
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Open Source FPS Game Alien Arena 2009 Released

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  • by snotclot (836055) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @10:50AM (#28410701)
    I am a casual gamer and tech-average slashdotter, but what the heck is GLSL ???
  • Nexuiz clone? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 21, 2009 @10:57AM (#28410757)
    It looks, plays and feels just like Nexuiz! [alientrap.org]
  • Slashdotted (Score:5, Informative)

    by KermodeBear (738243) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @10:57AM (#28410767) Homepage

    The main site seems to be slashdotted out of existence, but I was able to find a download link [gamershell.com] as GamersHell.

  • by Chelloveck (14643) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @10:59AM (#28410777) Homepage
    But is it fun?
    • Since it's open source, the answer is: probably not.
    • by mariushm (1022195) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @11:56AM (#28411181)

      I'm not stupid but I couldn't join any game... just can't figure out, each time I join a game it shows the console and stays there.

      The interface is horrible and inconsistent, in a hundred colors, with basic things anyone would expect missing. But it does have matrix style text in the console... meh.

      For example, there's no 1920x1080 or 1920x1200 setting in the video options but you have two boxes where apparently you have to enter manually the resolution.... but the first time you click on it you just type and overwrite the numbers in the box, the second time you click you actually have to press Backspace to clear the numbers...

      Instead of just going to game they had to bother with the ugly irc application that's pointless because nobody bothers chatting when they want to play...

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 21, 2009 @12:29PM (#28411391)

      But is it fun?

      I'll bite.

      Yes, it is fun. It is not "I'll log in every day and join a clan and become a regular" fun, but more like "I'll log in when I'm bored and chase people around and waste the day" fun. I've installed and uninstalled this game dozens of times. There is no backstory single player mode. Mostly just running around shooting people

      It's free. Why would you even ask if it is fun? It's like having a chef try to hand you a free sample to taste and saying "but is it yummy?".

    • by KermodeBear (738243) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @12:31PM (#28411399) Homepage

      I played for 15-20 minutes and, for me, it isn't all that fun for one simple reason: All of the weapons take only a few shots to kill someone, at most. Usually just one or two. So, it ends up being a twitch-fest. There's enough twitch games out there already.

      Half-life, now there is a game that had deathmatch down. It took a while to kill someone. There weren't a lot of insta-kill weapons. A little slower paced. The "thinking man's deathmatch" if you will.

      Graphically, it is pretty nice. For an open source game, it is fantastic.

      • by MaxToTheMax (1389399) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @07:35PM (#28414621)
        I remember Half-Life. It was nice, but it was a little boring. I was always falling asleep at the keyboard, waiting for the guy I was shooting at to finally die. I remember having the same problem with Halo. I don't play either game anymore.
      • by 4D6963 (933028) on Monday June 22, 2009 @03:13AM (#28417875)

        All of the weapons take only a few shots to kill someone, at most. Usually just one or two. So, it ends up being a twitch-fest. There's enough twitch games out there already.

        That's true that a lot of multiplayer FPSes these days give you less than a second from the time you see your enemy to kill or get killed, but making it so you have to empty a whole clip and a half into your opponent doesn't fix it. The solution isn't necessarily in a trade-off.

        Which reminds me of a very fun mod for CoD4 I've played lately. It's a paintball mod, a Simpsons mod (you play in 3D Springfield) and you can jump very high, there are few buildings you can't leap over in one bound. So basically, it's a huge bunny hopping map, but here's the fun thing : if you pick a grenade launcher, you can kill an enemy on the ground easily (takes lots of luck to hit a flying enemy with that), and you have a poor firing rate (one shot every 2-3 seconds).

        So what happens is you spot an enemy, let's say you're on the ground, not jumping. At first you don't shoot, because grenade launchers don't fire straight, and because you need to make the projectile hit the ground not the enemy to have a chance to kill the enemy on the ground. Your enemy is bunny hopping, all over the place. So what you do is start hopping too, but carefully you only start hopping when your target is about to reach the apex of his jump. Because what you want to do is be at a high point and be relatively stable while your enemy is near the ground to shoot him. So you jump, keep track of your enemy, and hopefully if it worked out well you get him in one shot while you're quite steady in the air by shooting at the point on the ground where you predict he's about to land. Optionally another quite fun option is to stand on land while your target is in the air, run to the point where you think he's going to land, and punch him dead when he lands right next to you.

        For short, it's fun because you first have to track down your enemy, you don't have to start aim and shooting mindlessly but rather carefully calculate your time of jumping, your time of shooting and where to shoot (which is not where your enemy appears to be but where you think he'll be, which makes it more fun), and if you're against a skilled bunny-hopper it can lead to an exciting jump-dogfight which outcome can be quite interesting, like for example the two jumping towards each other and punching or shooting each other at close range in mid-air. Alternatively it's also quite fun to pick out guys that are high perched and staying there by jumping high and shooting a paint grenade from a distance straight into them or their immediate surroundings.

        A shame these days we're sticking to a guy who runs all over the place and shoots supersonic bullets straight into his enemy when there's much room for trying alternatives that have wildly different gameplay results.

      • All of the weapons take only [one or two] shots to kill someone.

        You might like Nexuiz (more), then. If you play just a little defensively and you don't overcrowd the map, you can typically survive quite a few shots from most weapons. Even with just the default 100 HP, you can survive a few shots from almost half the weapons.

        What's great: if you're close enough, you can hear what other players pick up, so you can gain an advantage by figuring out where on the map they are and where they're going (so you can ambush them).

    • by V!NCENT (1105021) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @12:42PM (#28411461)

      Well, it's the 12329429th online shooter incarnation. So uhm... nothing new there.

      The game is really polished. The quality of the graphics and the sound is really good. It isn't surround sound, but who the hell has a 5.1 surroundset for gaming anyway?

      The artwork is err... a bit outdated but good acceptable as in it doesn't feel like you are playing a 5 year old game.

      The entire feel and setting to this game is, well, a bit kiddy. No hardcore übergamer-style here. It is more targetted for 15 year old players and below. For these people the game is probably a blast, but for older people I would redirect you to Warsow.

    • by kalirion (728907) on Monday June 22, 2009 @11:54AM (#28423369)

      I played the previous version a couple years back, mainly because it could run on my Pentium 3 w/ TNT2. IIRC it was basically a Quake 3 clone using a heavily upgraded Quake 2 engine. Yes, it was fun.

  • Sorry, had to ask. The Linux world always bitches when something ignores them. Just seemed right.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 21, 2009 @11:11AM (#28410847)

      i believe it is on the mac as well... the linux client is listed as linux/unix, still downloading and waiting to test it for sure though

      for everyone else, here's another download link:
      http://games.on.net/file/27574/Alien_Arena_2009_7.30_for_LinuxUnix

    • by wicks0r (982807) <jmwicks@noSPam.gmail.com> on Sunday June 21, 2009 @11:23AM (#28410951)
      There is a "unofficial" mac patch here [110mb.com], but I can't get it working on 10.5.7. Anyone else get it working?

      From the Alien Arena site:

      The official MacOS port has been indefinitely postponed. However, apparently someone has indeed ported Alien Arena to the Mac, and released a patch. Download the linux version above, then apply this patch. We cannot guarantee this will work.

    • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday June 22, 2009 @11:21AM (#28422797) Journal
      Most PCs come with Windows. Linux is free. Therefore, pretty much anyone can work on a Linux or Windows port. OS X is not available for third-party hardware, so if someone wants to work on the Mac port, they have to buy a new machine, which typically means that you only get a Mac port if someone actively wants to work on it. Combine this with the pain of building things like SDL on OS X, and irritating limitations of the Darwin linker / loader (e.g. no support for __thread variables) and you end up with something that is nontrivial and requires an investment in hardware. The code is there, and will probably build on OS X with only a little tweaking, so feel free to port it yourself...
  • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @12:04PM (#28411237)

    Just fair warning, if you let their crap-ass installer do its think it'll put the game on the root level of your C: drive. I don't know whether it's 32 or 64-bit, and since the installer's busted, I have absolutely no clue where to install it on my 64-bit Vista machine.

    Quality work, as always, from the open source game front.

    • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @12:20PM (#28411321)

      Not only does the installer pick the wrong folder to install in, it tries to install a spyware toolbar for IE. (What is this, 2001? Seriously, guys.)

      Then when you run the game, it presents a poorly-designed dialog in which you're forced to type a username. Well, fair enough-- then you end up in something called "Galaxy." Is this the game? I thought it was an FPS! All I get is unreadable green-on-blue gibberish. (I tried to copy and paste some of the gibberish, but of course copy and paste doesn't work.)

      I refresh servers, it's impossible to sort by number of players. Oh and every time you click in the window, it beeps for some reason. Now my screen blanked and I'm looking at some kind of green-screen CLI or something? I have absolutely no clue what to do here.

      I've yet to see any way of changing the screen resolution, putting the game in windowed mode, setting the controls-- hell I've been at this a few minutes and I've yet to see a single 3D model!

      I tried typing "Run" into the green-screen CLI-ish thing, "unknown command." So I tried typing "play", and got "use STOPSOUND". WTF!

      And now I give up. Congratulations, you've made Battlefield: 2142 look like a paragon of video game quality. Hell, America's Army 3 has a better user experience, and I've yet to successfully log on to it.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 21, 2009 @12:24PM (#28411347)

        Clearly, Windows is not ready for gaming.

      • by GimpAlien (1581901) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @07:27PM (#28414569)
        Tries to install toolbar, wow, I found a way around it! I unchecked the friggin box!! Woohoo! And let me say, if you are having Galaxy issues, look to your router\firewall or your settings. OR even read why some issues may occur. All this crap over a free game, FREE, that you are whining about just shows immature reactions and impatience. And if you'd simply hit esc, you would have gotten into the game very easily. That's why SOME have enough sense to read before jumping into something. Well, most can take some time and have the intelligence to figure things out. Had you played with shape blocks as a toddler, you may have better luck and patience now. For others who read this, trust me, the game is great, especially for FREE. To complain about something that gives you what Alien Arena does, have no patience and make it sound SOOO bad is beyond ridiculous and while everyone has preferences, may not like the game which is fine but going off like you paid for it, lol, childish.
        • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Sunday June 21, 2009 @11:24PM (#28416103)

          [It] tries to install toolbar, wow, I found a way around it! I unchecked the friggin box!

          Yet more of this defense-of-authority attitude. Come on. Nobody wants this thing, and the default should be off.

          • by GimpAlien (1581901) on Monday June 22, 2009 @02:02PM (#28425647)
            Ok, let's then just talk about the toolbar, there are numerous PAID for software that DO THE SAME THING. Not to mention it's hard to find a freeware that doesn't, they do exist but not many. Norton was one of them that had this even though you pay an arm and a leg for their crap. Comodo has free security software and they are far more sneaky about their ask.com toolbar. So yeah, maybe no one wants it, so don't leave it CHECKED, lol. Did a hand come out of the screen and slap you when you tried to uncheck it, forcing you to leave it? lol.
            • by QuoteMstr (55051) <dan.colascione@gmail.com> on Monday June 22, 2009 @03:24PM (#28426969)

              So it's all right because others do it? That's a bullshit argument. It's still a tricky way of getting unwanted software onto unsuspecting people's computers. If people actually wanted this software, vendors wouldn't have to pay to have it piggybacked onto completely unrelated programs. It's deliberately deceptive, and just because you know enough to uncheck the box doesn't mean that everyone does, or should have to, know to do that.

              Why the hell do people like you continually advocate for the interests of faceless corporations over your own?

      • by necro2607 (771790) on Monday June 22, 2009 @02:54PM (#28426467)

        So, basically, what you're saying is... It's just as well that it's not succesfully ported to OS X? :P Sounds like usability epic failsauce, to me.

        Maybe if they hadn't ignored the Mac platform and checked out some of Apple's industry-leading guidelines on usability, UI and "UX", it wouldn't have turned out that horrible. Seriously, I believe strong adherence to good guidelines will make every aspect of your software of a higher quality.

        Then again, I wager this game was developed by coders, with graphics/audio and "design sense" (thus usablity/UI) taking a back-burner position.

        • by MaxToTheMax (1389399) on Monday June 22, 2009 @06:52PM (#28430667)
          Boils right down to this-- In order to get a Macintosh with enough power to run this game, you'd have to shell out at least a thousand dollars. None of the developers have that kind of money to throw around right now, as far as I know. And did you actually play the game? How can you judge the usability, graphics, audio, and whatever else without playing it, just because it doesn't support OS X? Obviously I'm not saying you should install another OS just to play the game, but don't judge.
          • by necro2607 (771790) on Monday June 22, 2009 @08:12PM (#28431927)

            What do you mean? Did they develop the game for Win/Linux on 500mhz Pentium IIIs? If they can't afford a $1000 Mac, they can't afford a $1000 Windows PC. Since you can run OS X on Intel x86 [osx86project.org], these guys could be theoretically running OS X on the very same machine they're developing in Windows on. There's just no longer the argument that "We can't afford Macs, so we can't make Mac software"...

    • by KermodeBear (738243) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @12:26PM (#28411367) Homepage

      I noticed that too. I also noticed that you can change the installation directory, as long as you have one of those input devices... What are they called now? Keyboards? Kids these days.

      That I didn't mind nearly as much as the search toolbar they try to get you to install after the game is installed. Can't blame the guys for trying to get some compensation for their work, but I, like everyone else I'm sure, avoid those toolbars like the plague. (o:

      • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @12:30PM (#28411395)

        I noticed that too. I also noticed that you can change the installation directory, as long as you have one of those input devices... What are they called now? Keyboards? Kids these days.

        The point is that I don't know what to change it to, because I have no idea if it's a 32-bit or 64-bit application. You know, the thing that non-retarded installers, knowing which type of application it is, normally does automatically.

        • by KermodeBear (738243) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @12:34PM (#28411413) Homepage

          Would it kill you to try one, and if that doesn't work, then try the other, and then file a bug report?

          • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @12:39PM (#28411441)

            Would it kill me? No.

            Do I feel any compulsion to help them fix bugs in a game that I'll never play, or even look at, again? No.

            Do I have any confidence that they give even the slightest shit about fixing bugs, since I saw approximately 50 of them in the first 5 minutes of running (or failing to run) the game? No.

            Look, the "Galaxy" dialog beeps every time you click on anything. Copy and paste doesn't work. The text is an unreadable color-combination. The actual game presents you with a mysterious prompt (using a different unreadable color-combination) with absolutely no instructions how to play. For God's sake, it tries to install spyware. Obviously the people making this game don't give a shit. So neither do I.

            • by MaxToTheMax (1389399) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @07:30PM (#28414583)
              "Galaxy" is an IRC client/server browser. I do agree that it sucks, but you don't have to use it. As for the "CLI" you got, that's the ingame console, which basically all games (Quake 1-4, Doom 3, ET:QW, UT 1-3, etc) have. You should have been able to get out by hitting "escape." If you didn't think to use "esc" you obviously haven't been using computers long enough to know that button's universally understood and respected function. If you want to skip galaxy, try the "quickplay" icon which should also have been installed.
              • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @11:13PM (#28415997)

                "Galaxy" is an IRC client/server browser. I do agree that it sucks, but you don't have to use it.

                If it sucks, why is it the default option? The thing most users are likely to see first? "Hey, I know! Let's make sure users see the crummiest thing we have first, before entering the graphically intense, super-fun, awesome video game!"

                Is it some kind of test you're supposed to pass? "You are not geeky enough to play this game! You have not passed the Galaxy test!" Fuck that.

                As for the "CLI" you got, that's the ingame console, which basically all games (Quake 1-4, Doom 3, ET:QW, UT 1-3, etc) have.

                I understand that, but how come it shows up when I'm trying to enter a game? And not, for example, when I'm already in a game and hit ~? And apparently there was some secret formula I had to type in there to join, and hell if I know what it is, so.

                You should have been able to get out by hitting "escape." If you didn't think to use "esc" you obviously haven't been using computers long enough to know that button's universally understood and respected function.

                And if I hit escape, what happens? Jack shit. It just sits there, doing nothing. I gave it at least a full minute before giving up.

                Look, the game has awful usability, terrible quality, and obviously the makers of it simply do not give a shit. If this is the *best* user experience they can offer, I'm saying no thanks.

                • by MaxToTheMax (1389399) on Monday June 22, 2009 @12:17AM (#28416619)

                  If it sucks, why is it the default option? The thing most users are likely to see first? "Hey, I know! Let's make sure users see the crummiest thing we have first, before entering the graphically intense, super-fun, awesome video game!"

                  How am I supposed to know? I didn't make the game, I have in the past suggested that galaxy be removed from the game, and to be honest your experiences with it are a very good argument that I could use in favor of its removal-- but the way you phrased it really doesn't come off as convincing or helpful.

                  I understand that, but how come it shows up when I'm trying to enter a game? And not, for example, when I'm already in a game and hit ~? And apparently there was some secret formula I had to type in there to join, and hell if I know what it is, so.

                  And if I hit escape, what happens? Jack shit. It just sits there, doing nothing. I gave it at least a full minute before giving up.

                  Okay, that really ought not to have happened and could have been a bug. I never ran into something like this. Then again, I haven't used galaxy in about a year. My experience with it is outdated. But once again, there's really no way anyone with your attitude is going to be taken seriously, especially by the developers.

                  Look, the game has awful usability, terrible quality, and obviously the makers of it simply do not give a shit. If this is the *best* user experience they can offer, I'm saying no thanks.

                  Some of your complaints are actually valid, but since you are so rude about them, it really nullifies any chance of anyone really being willing to resolve them. You seem to ignore, out of hand, any possibility that the developers might actually be open to suggestions (which in my experience they are.) You could have described what your experience was WITHOUT going off on that whole rant. It would have taken less typing on your part. Instead of writing this, right now I'd probably be helping you to get the game working. Instead, you chose to bash the game and flame. You've decided that the entire game is defined by a few things you don't like, AND THAT THE GAME WILL ALWAYS BE THAT WAY, thus the game will always suck. Keep in mind that you did this without even actually playing.

                  To be honest, I'm glad you decided not to play. Last thing we need is someone like you bitching over every last thing, during online play, in the IRC channel, or on the forums, and generally pissing everyone off.

                  • by Blakey Rat (99501) on Monday June 22, 2009 @09:14AM (#28420579)

                    Some of your complaints are actually valid, but since you are so rude about them, it really nullifies any chance of anyone really being willing to resolve them. You seem to ignore, out of hand, any possibility that the developers might actually be open to suggestions (which in my experience they are.)

                    It pisses me off when they waste my time releasing something that sucks, that they *know* must suck (I don't believe for an instant that nobody on the entire Alien Arena team hasn't ever seen a decent game UI before), and yet there's this post on Slashdot saying, "hey it's awesome! Try it out! It doesn't suck!"

                    If the developers gave half a shit, they wouldn't have dropped that turd on the computer-using public. Showing this to a single person (outside the project) and asking them to do some basic testing would have caught the vast majority of the bugs I hit. They just don't care.

                    Make the fucking thing work, *then* ask me to try it out. I'd be a lot more receptive to it then.

                    (And that's ignoring the whole "every time I submit a bug to a open source project nobody ever reads them so I don't even bother anymore" factor.)

                    Keep in mind that you did this without even actually playing.

                    Yah, that would be because it does not fucking work. Maybe you missed that point.

                    • by MaxToTheMax (1389399) on Monday June 22, 2009 @12:12PM (#28423723)
                      Don't know what to say, I have never personally encountered any of your problems, nor have I ever heard of anyone encountering those problems. Could have something to do with the Slashdot effect (I know whenever Icculus goes down, Galaxy starts up slower because it can't get the newsfeed from that server.) To be honest though, pretty much everyone else has gotten the game to work. Maybe it has usability issues, but its a fun game, and myself and thousands of others just manage to get by... somehow.
                  • by Endo13 (1000782) on Monday June 22, 2009 @03:02PM (#28426581)

                    Normally I'd be more inclined to agree with you, but I think the main problem here for Blakey is that he didn't sign up to help test a beta and report bugs. He downloaded something that was supposed to be a complete working package, ready for anyone to use. Whether it is free or open source or not is really irrelevant. If it's still a beta (and it sounds like it is) then it should be posted as such.

              • by Vohar (1344259) on Monday June 22, 2009 @12:42PM (#28424247)

                You should have been able to get out by hitting "escape." If you didn't think to use "esc" you obviously haven't been using computers long enough to know that button's universally understood and respected function.

                Escape generally is used to cancel or exit something. I wouldn't have thought to use it as a method of progression either. Same boat as this other guy--I'd be thinking that I had to enter the right command to run or search for servers or something in order to play the game, not exit out of what it was giving me.

    • by Kiffer (206134) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @12:27PM (#28411383)

      It also wants to Enhance My Browsing Experience by installing a browser tool bar... yippy

  • by Mishotaki (957104) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @01:38PM (#28411937)
    I just watched the video, and all i saw was a Quake clone... so they worked so hard to make us play their own version of Quake arena?
    • by 4D6963 (933028) on Monday June 22, 2009 @03:19AM (#28417927)

      But hey, at least it's free!

      Yes, people who can take all the design risks they want would rather give up that freedom of trying something new to make yet another fucking Quake-clone. I'll blame it on people doing it for the "I did it, and it's free!" factor rather for trying a cool new idea they imagined.

      Strangely enough, not so many people have any good new ideas that they want to follow.

  • by unifyingtheory (1357069) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @01:45PM (#28412001) Homepage
    Unfortunately pulseaudio has significant problems rendering sound from OpenAL apps such as the RTS game Glest. Sound is very choppy and maxes the processor making the game unplayable. Hopefully either pulseaudio gets its shit together or "mainstream" Linux distributions dump it altogether.
  • by mnemonic_ (164550) <jamec AT umich DOT edu> on Sunday June 21, 2009 @01:49PM (#28412023) Homepage Journal

    I just tried running it on Ubuntu 9.04 and it segfaults on sound initialization. Meanwhile, my sound works perfectly well in anything else I try. It's stupid problems like this why linux isn't ready for the desktop. Don't give me excuses about searching for howto's or configuring it right. If I run a mainstream distro, on extremely common hardware (Dell Inspiron laptop), everything should be fucking flawless.

  • by smartin (942) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @01:58PM (#28412103)

    when I try to run it, all I get is command not found stangely enough even though the executable is there

    % ./crx
    ./crx: Command not found.
    Exit 1

  • OpenAL (Score:4, Interesting)

    by arQon (447508) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @02:27PM (#28412367) Homepage

    Ignoring for a moment that doppler has been supported in Q3 engines since 2000 anyway, it really makes me cringe to see uninformed people touting OAL as an "upgrade" to ANYTHING, just because of its name. Pasting from a post of mine from our engine forum about a year ago:

    (apologies for Wall Of Text if it comes out that way: /. seems to want to use HTML whitespace consolidation even in POT mode)

    >>>

    As some of you have noticed, over the years we've gone from "openal is off by default" to "openal is excluded from builds" to, finally, "openal is removed completely".

    In many ways, this irritates me a lot. I like the CONCEPT of openal, and I especially like the idea that we could have HRTF etc in hardware someday "for free", and ideally I'd like to make oal the ONLY sound backend we supported and get rid of the "ugly" direct-DMA stuff.

    There's just one tiny problem: openal simply isn't very good.

    As I mentioned in the 1.43 notes, we've made some very significant speedups in the last year or so, and sound is one of the key contributors to that (aside from actually, yknow, WORKING properly now too :P). With my standard config, there's now NO difference in timedemo rates between having full sound and disabling it completely. If you've been around Q3 for a while, that's pretty staggering. Even if I drop to a quarter of that resolution and essentially take the graphics card out of the equation, the numbers are 478 fps with sound disabled, and ... 474 with it on.
    That's 96 channels, and they're ALL used when timedemoing "four".

    I tried one of the openal test programs, and clocked it at ~6% CPU, which I'd probably just about be willing to accept, except that it was only mixing 64 channels, and the entire thing was static (i.e. this is an absolute "best possible case", where it could potentially pre-mix to an absurd degree because it wasn't doing any dynamic spatialisation).

    6% CPU vs 0% CPU, for 64 channels rather than 96, puts it *at a minimum* at ~10% CPU overhead when you're talking apples to apples, and that's not very encouraging. I don't expect it to MATCH cnq3's sound code by any stretch, but that's a pretty big difference and it's even worse if it IS using lazy spatialisation.

    There are also questions about how "timely" it is. If positioning etc only updates 30 times a second, or sounds don't actually start playing until 50-100ms after they're added, that's fine for WoW but absolutely shit for Q3. There's no guarantees in the oal spec, or even ANY documented indication of what the "reference" implementation's behavior is, which means we'd have to wade through a bunch of (frankly, pretty sloppy and mediocre) code to actually find out. I have no intention of moving to oal just to end up spending weeks fixing it for Creative.

    There are several other issues too: the bug that Q4 has with looped sounds is a direct result of bad design that would have to be worked around at the app level; likewise, oal requires app-level culling of sounds despite the fact that the app CANNOT do so correctly because only the oal implementation actually knows what the 0-volume falloff distance for any given sound is. That's just utterly incompetent design/implementation.

    [snip]

    Happily, Timbo (ioq3's developer) was kind enough to run the tests for me, and the numbers very nicely match the observations I've made here:
    131.6 fps 2.0/7.6/35.0/3.6 ms no sound
    113.5 fps 3.0/8.8/82.0/5.4 ms dma
    104.1 fps 3.0/9.6/72.0/5.7 ms openal

    So, "normal" Q3 sound (with some of our fixes from 141/142) is about 16% slower than no sound, which is historically what you'd expect; and oal is another 9% slower than that (while mixing only 2/3 as many channels, so the truth is more like 14%, for a total of ~30% slower than cnq3).

    And that's why we no longer support oal at all.

    I MAY someday revisit this. I doubt there are too many cases where the "missing" 32 channels are actually going to matter, simply beca

  • by ZeroNullVoid (886675) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @03:01PM (#28412615)

    This works perfect on Ubuntu for me after...

    I had a seg fault on boot until I installed libopenal-dev as found on their forum.
    http://corent.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=crarena&action=display&thread=4026 [proboards.com]

    I also found on some resolutions I would always look up.
    Another forum post also fixed that issue.
    http://corent.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=crarena&action=display&thread=4025 [proboards.com]

    Everyone having issues look at forums.

    Plays great on my Dell Inspiron e1505 and looks great for FOSS/x-platform

  • by Scot Seese (137975) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @06:23PM (#28414131)

    Does this game have multiplayer cheats available for it?

    I was excited when I installed Urban Terror for the first time a few weeks ago, and enjoyed it for a day or so.. before noticing that some guys were pulling off unbelievable sniper rifle kills, suspiciously high head-shot percentages and the like. Five minutes with Google confirmed the worst- There is a wallhack + aimbot available for both Windows & Linux, it's absurdly easy to find and operate, and works like nobody's business. It just sucked the enjoyment out of the game.

    Part of the problem with all these multi-platform games built on the id software open-sourced engines is that.. bots have been available for those engines for years, and the bot coders have very little updating to do in order to make new bots for the latest X, Y and Z mods running on those id engines. The people making the new games or mods have limited time or resources to put into staying ahead of the bot coders. Sad panda.

  • by SEWilco (27983) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @07:19PM (#28414515) Journal
    Someone forgot to include instructions. There's no listing of keys/commands. At least they remembered to classify it as a game. (I saw an object at WalMart recently whose box didn't give any hint what it was used for...)
  • by arnodf (1310501) on Sunday June 21, 2009 @07:47PM (#28414689)
    lol: added new player model slashbot
  • by Sam Douglas (1106539) <sam.douglas32@gmail.com> on Monday June 22, 2009 @07:18AM (#28419535) Homepage
    Come on, can we get our terminology straight. Is it freeware or free software (open source)? There is a big fucking difference. In my view so many of these 'free' games have shot themselves in the foot by licensing the engine under a free software license (i.e. GPL) but not also licensing the game artwork under a similarly free license. Tremulous is an example of this, as is Warsow (perhaps they have fixed this by now). If you choose to be loose with your licensing, you will find it quite hard to get included in most GNU/Linux distributions' official, (free software) repositories. You are costing yourself potential users, many of which are short on choice when it comes to easily accessible games, thus are likely to increase the user community, and possibly introduce others to the game who would otherwise not know about it.

No hardware designer should be allowed to produce any piece of hardware until three software guys have signed off for it. -- Andy Tanenbaum

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