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Penumbra: Overture Goes Open Source 74

Posted by Soulskill
from the seeing-the-code-won't-dry-your-pants dept.
As promised when the Humble Indie Bundle hit $1 million in donations the other day, indie developer Frictional Games has released Penumbra: Overture's source code. "The code for Penumbra: Overture is a continuation of the one used for the tech demo + some addition for the not so long lived Robo Hatch project. It also contains some code from Unbirth, giving it quite some history." The release also includes the HPL1 engine. "This is engine that has powered all of the Penumbra games and it even includes the stuff used to create the 2D platformer Energetic. The engine code was started in December 2004 and was actively developed until early 2008." The repositories are available at github.
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Penumbra: Overture Goes Open Source

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  • First of all it's great that they have done this, any contribution to open source is a nice thing to have.

    With that said I question their motives it seems to me like they're using this release as an excuse to not have to provide support for their old games. Also it's not even the whole game code that is open source..

    AI for the infected, GUI elements, etc are all missing, but all needed to implement them is present in the engine code (in case anybody is up for the challenge).

    That seems to me like a big chunk

    • by Sir_Lewk (967686) <sirlewk@gmai l . com> on Saturday May 15, 2010 @12:48PM (#32220862)

      Nice job selectively quoting to be misleading. Here is the entirety of that quote:

      "It is also important to note that Penumbra: Oveture source will not run Black Plague or Requiem. AI for the infected, GUI elements, etc are all missing, but all needed to implement them is present in the engine code (in case anybody is up for the challenge)."

      In other words, this is the entirety of the source code for Penumbra: Oveture. AI, GUI, etc are all present. What it isn't is the sourcecode for the next two games in the series, Black Plague and Requiem.

      *Note that the art resources have not been open sourced. You should still purchase the game if you want to play it, but now you can build your own binary. This is basically what iD has done in the past with their old Quake engines.

      • by evJeremy (1721378)
        The physics engine (Newton) is also missing since it's non-free software. One of the devs says that implementing bullet shouldn't be too hard, though.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by LingNoi (1066278)

        I didn't selectively quote. It states three facts.

        It won't run on their later games and the AI for infected plus GUI elements are missing.

        You're failing to see the full stop at the end of the sentence.

        Either way I checked the source code..

        GameEnemy_Worm.h
        GameEnemy_Spider.h
        GameEnemy_Dog.h

        No AI for the human infected.

        Thinking about it the author could mean that Human AI and GUI elements that are attached to mesh objects aren't included because they were specific to the later games, but then I can't really rem

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Penumbra:Overture had no human infected. It only had dogs, spiders and worms. Humans come in during Black Plague.

        • by SharpFang (651121) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @03:56PM (#32221984) Homepage Journal

          It won't run on their later games because the AI for infected plus GUI elements are missing.

          there, fixed.

          It lacks GUI elements added in later games. It also adds AI for creatures found in later games - all three enemies found in Overture are included. (one of the humans in the Overture is never seen, the other is strictly scripted, no AI)

        • Why don't you go download and build the source? Works just fine for me.
      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Note: you only have to pay 1 cent for a bundleof games including Overture.

      • AI, GUI, etc are all present.

        What part of

        AI for the infected, GUI elements, etc are all missing,

        don’t you understand?

        It being possible to implement them, does not mean they are present. The interface that the AI needs to control the infected, plus the inner functions that the UI triggers, are there. But the whole UI layer itself and the actual AI scripts that use the interfaces are missing.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Sir_Lewk (967686)

          From the article, as a paragraph all to itself:

          It is also important to note that Penumbra: Oveture source will not run Black Plague or Requiem. AI for the infected, GUI elements, etc are all missing, but all needed to implement them is present in the engine code (in case anybody is up for the challenge).

          These two sentences comprise the entire paragraph. Thus, logically, hey are related. If you were not previously familar with the games, then you should understand that there are 3 separate games, Overture

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      First of all it's great that they have done this, any contribution to open source is a nice thing to have.

      With that said I question their motives it seems to me like they're using this release as an excuse to not have to provide support for their old games. Also it's not even the whole game code that is open source..

      AI for the infected, GUI elements, etc are all missing, but all needed to implement them is present in the engine code (in case anybody is up for the challenge).

      That seems to me like a big chunk of the game is missing, no AI, no GUI.. pretty much most of the "game" part.

      That is grossly unfair to say. They released the engine, which would constitute a great deal of the game logic. I'd say that's pretty significant. Especially given how unique their games are.
      Given an example, if let's say Windows kernel was opened without the Windowing system, GUI elements, etc. Would you consider that without most of the "OS" part?
      Other examples: Unreal engine, Quake engine, FreeCiv, ScummVM
      And it's not just one, but for 4 games, with possibly more planned. http://www.wolfire.com/humb

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Saturday May 15, 2010 @03:49PM (#32221954) Homepage Journal

      With that said I question their motives it seems to me like they're using this release as an excuse to not have to provide support for their old games.

      sounds like a fair trade to me. They get to stop supporting it, we get the source. Everyone wins. Who cares if we don't get game assets, or the engine to the new games? Maybe if those games run their course, we'll get the new code, and the best parts of it can be merged in, or the best mods can be merged to the new tree.

      • by hedwards (940851)
        I thought the point of this was that now other developers have a new toy to play with. Perhaps create their own games using the engine or mod and extend it into something that's hardly recognizable at all. By any measure what they've provided is indeed very generous.
    • by Urkki (668283)

      With that said I question their motives it seems to me like they're using this release as an excuse to not have to provide support for their old games.

      I think their motive is to increase their businesses revenues (which is just fine of course, they are a business after all, and that's what businesses are supposed to do). Cheap (not free, because open sourcing requires a bit of extra work, which isn't free) PR is probably the main motive.

  • These games from the Humble Indy Bundle have not been released under a free license, nor does it appear they will be. All that is being released are their engines. There are already dozens of free software game engines available with no free software games which use them.

    While this is a nice gesture, and does raise some awareness for software freedom, its important to point out that the games themselves are still very much proprietary.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by satoshi1 (794000)
      That's the point. Now go do something with the engine. If they released everything, including art assets, then they lose their entire money stream. You download the engine for your own projects, but you still buy the game to play their game. You're just as bad as pirates who expect games to be completely free.
      • by tsm_sf (545316)
        You're just as bad as pirates who expect games to be completely free.

        I think you'll find that their expectations are generally met.
    • by MrCopilot (871878) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @03:37PM (#32221898) Homepage Journal

      These games from the Humble Indy Bundle have not been released under a free license, nor does it appear they will be. All that is being released are their engines.

      Following the ID tradition.

      There are already dozens of free software game engines available with no free software games which use them.

      And because of Engine only releases Open Source developers have been able to produce a host of new games. From the Quake engines alone we have Tremulous, Warsow, Alien Arena just to name a few. [associatedcontent.com]

      Having a proven Engine under your Project allows developers to focus on Assets and Level Design and tweaking the gameplay to a much larger degree than is possible if developing the engine as well.

      There is another benefit to the original developers and users in that their games survive onto the next era of computing and gaming devices.(iPhones, Androids and insert your favorite tablet device here)

      • Exactly! I would also like to point out that like the iD engines the Penumbra engine is already multi-platform and runs on osx/linux/win.

        I don't know how anyone can see this release as anything other than a good thing. /shrug

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by mrmeval (662166)

      iD set the standard for this and it's worked very well for us all. They released the code base for doom minus the lousy proprietary sound system and I can now play doom or freedoom with several engines. They're release the quake series of engines as open source and there are several very good games made with them.

  • Has anyone looked at the source to figure out what algorithm they use to get the depth-of-field effect?
    • Check this [youtube.com] vid, it's explained here:

      • by Prune (557140)
        They're just gaussian blurring in the distance though; that doesn't give realistic DOF which quite different from a blur and creates bokeh effect. The video also doesn't describe how they deal with artifacts due to pixel bleeding and depth discontinuities that are the pitfalls of blurring.
      • by soppsa (1797376)
        That is from the furry weirdos over at Wolfire games, who make some very very ugly games. (At least in the 90s, 3d games had some artistic flare...) I'd be much more curious to see how the Frictional guys do it...
  • Got my Humble Indy Bundle just the other day... it was off my radar for some reason, but a fellow game developer pointed it out to me. I was impressed with not just the collection of games, but the pay-what-you-want system that allows you to split your contribution between the developers and a couple of charities in whatever ratio you wish. On top of that, the games are pretty fun. I am really enjoying World of Goo! Glad to see that the developers are open-sourcing their code, and hopefully inspiring som

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