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Bungie's Marathon Infinity on Linux 114

Derek Moeller writes "Remember those late nights playing through Bungie's Marathon series? It looks as if right before Microsoft acquired one of the top gaming companies of the time, Bungie shot off an escape module in the form of the Marathon source, under the full GPL. Now, with the help of Christian Bauer and the SDL libraries, it is running with full OpenGL beauty under Linux! Play Bungie's extensive classic game under our favorite operating system--check out the screenshots here. Mark one up for great 3D gaming on Linux. Download the binary, or grab the source."
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Bungie's Marathon Infinity on Linux

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    I tend to agree. Coders are often thoughful and intelligent people (at least, the good ones are). Artists are greedy and stupid... particularly the talented ones.

    We can forget about free contributions from that particular group of people.

  • As someone else noted (with relevant examples, even), it is fairly common today to have to reload.

    Today, yes. It wasn't common at the time, which was the point.

    Not sure if it predates Marathon, but ROTT had dual pistols mode...

    Been a long time since I played either, but I think Marathon was first. Might be wrong.

    I was playing on 6100s at the time and I thought it was sluggish.

    Were you using a PowerPC-native version? If you were playing a 68k version of Marathon on a 6100, it would have been running entirely in emulation, which would have been considerably slower than a 40MHz Quadra.


  • Ahem. As one of the core developers of the QuakeForge [] project, I take deep insult at the suggestion that Quake will be forgotten. I've been working on the Quake source since shortly after it was released GPL Christmas '99. It's been a package in contrib in debian since last January. We're releasing a new stable version as soon as we have win32 bins. I don't think Quake will be forgotten "long before Marathon". I'm not dissing Marathon's GPL release (I think it's great), just your lack of research :P.

    Bill - aka taniwha

  • Diablo, Planescape, those "Whatever his name is" Gate games are all nothing but cute graphical interfaces to a tiny subset of Nethack's gameplay.

    As a Nethack fan of many years, and as someone currently heavily embroiled in Baldur's Gate II, I think you're off target. Diablo might be "lame Nethack ripoff + graphics" (I don't know, I haven't played it), but BG2 is all about NPC interaction, which there is truly bugger-all of in Nethack. How much conversation is there in Nethack? You talk to the guy that sends you on your class quest, and that's about it.

    BG2 put you in charge of up to 5 NPCs who are constantly talking amongst themselves, some get on well together, others fight. Having different people in your party will lead you into different quests. And so on.

    The gameplay is the ONLY thing. Yes, the interface is ASCII, but it's still around, still being enhanced and still more complex and detailed than any of the pretenders with glitz and glamor.

    I wouldn't dare flat-out say that one was superior and one was a pretender. They're both excellent games, trying to do very different things. To me, Nethack is like chess. Even if you've been reading the newsgroups for years and know EVERY little trick and spoiler - it's still a real challenge (I've only ascended 4 or 5 times). No matter how careful you are, there can always be some damn gnome early in the game who stumbles onto a polymorph trap and turns into a black dragon. It has this real feeling of every game being different, despite the board having the same pieces set up on it.

    But this is nothing to do with Marathon, so I'll click the "No Score +1 Bonus" button, and hope the moderators don't hit me with the Staff of Offtopic -1.

  • You believe OSS will work for games

    Nothing to really counter here...

    You consider HL-CS to be the most popular action game on the net

    You offer no data to bolster your belief of a certain game's popularity

    It is, check Gamespys' stats:

    Half Life was made by Sierra

    Sierra has a long history of selling proprietary software

    A group of individuals decided to make a mod/mission pack to Half Life

    Sierra gave these individuals permissionto do so

    The whole point was that lone, non-corporate groups could make engines, but not gameplay, which Counter-Strike obviously proves is false, since the only thing in it that's Sierras' is the engine.

    The individuals sold their creation for profit

    Sierra also profited from the sales

    Actually it's Sierra who sell the retail version of Counterstrike. So, well, yeah they sold their creation for money, but not until Sierra looked at it and said "woah, this is good, we can sell it". And if the poor volunteers get money, that's fine by me.
  • The point was, as I understand it, not that counter-strike is OSS, but that it is apparently written by a small, ragtag group of programmers rather than the main Valve team. OSS programmers tend to be small, ragtag groups as well. :-)
  • It's offtopic but I misread the title and I thought of people doing reliability test throwing IBM's Infinity servers running Linux int bungee jumping just to see if they went on running.
  • I got really freaked when playing a downloaded Descent level - there was a big cave with a tunnel running right through it (according to the map) but there was no tunnel there. I think it stores the tunnels as a kind of linked list of explicitly joined-up sections.
  • As no money changes hands with a GPL licence grant, it can be revoked by the copyright holder. That would be interesting.
  • the GPL specifically protects against the license being revoked
    Are you sure? Bear in mind that the law always takes precedence over a contract, no matter what the contract may say.
  • It's a conversion of the original Marathon demo to Aleph One [] - great if you want to find out how it all started, and want to do so in glorious OpenGL.

    Ford Prefect

  • AFAIK, there are few engine differences between Marathons Two and Infinity - and what few there were were reimplemented by the Aleph One coders. So, you can play Marathon Infinity as much as you like...

    Ford Prefect
  • There are many 3D engines in the world created by a bunch of hackers who eventually start a company which is then bought by a larger company and which then releases the game. So I don't think you can say that a large organization is needed to create a good game, but it certainly helps.

    The kind of people who create games probably don't have anything against open source. It is probably just that they can't afford to release their source until after the game has been released.

    The question is, do you think artists and designers are less likely to enjoy giving their work away? I doubt it. They probably just don't see how it could be profitable for them. It's hard for them to take someone elses graphics and then improve on that, the way a coder can take someone elses code and improve it to suit his own needs.

    The risk is just to large that someone would take it and release a game based on your engine that has a larger success.

    And this is slashdot. It is not a place where editors write long articles (except on rare occasions). They just point you to the real piece of information, ignore the comments if you don't like it. I don't think any of the editers ever pretended to be unbiased.
  • 1: It's "modern" not "madern". And BTW, Halflife's plot is about as plausible as Jurassic Park 3.
    2: Quake 2, Quake 3, Unreal and Unreal Tournament spring to mind
    3: He said "first" not "only"
    4: It shows, mac-ers at least make a logical argument instead of misspelled gibberish.
    5: See #3. This was BLOODY AGES before Halflife.
    6: DOOM was 256 color
    7: Do you have any idea what Q2-lithium was? hint: It has nothing to do with hardware.
    8: Learn how to use a break tag
  • but is it ethical? I mean, is it moral to dump your valuable IP just before being bought up? If the purchasing company values your IP, and you give it away, aren't you cheating your investors?

    On the other hand, if you are a little gaming company, and you want to maintain your independence, but don't stand a chance, then this is a very good "escape pod," if you want, if nothing else, to make sure that your products remain available to people who respect the concepts behind them, rather than allowing them to be hidden away by a Goliath who sees only monetary potential.

    It could also be a good poison pill. A poison pill (in market talk) is when a company has a plan to do something to make it more difficult for them to be bought up, even though it (usually) results in some harm coming to the company. If nobody has exclusive right to the rights to Marathon, that makes bungie look that much less attractive as a buyout opportunity, and could perhaps be viewed as an attempt to maintain independence.

    In either case, it is very cool that they did this, ethics be damned.

  • This is really nice to see, for multiple reasons.

    One, because it is tres gnarly to observe Linux folks yet again benefitting from a Mac-based innovation. ;-)

    Two, because Marathon shaped the direction of first person shoot-em-ups through the Quake and Unreal years. There were true FPS's before Marathon (anybody remember Ultima Underground?), but this game upped the bar considerably.

    What would truly make me happy would be a first-person D&D game. I know that Neverwinter Nights will have all the rules of 3rd edition AD&D, but it's a top-down game. Give me a virtual reality, what I see is what I get D&D game, wearing a headphone/mike to chat with my co-players and - whoa, baby. That game will rule the world.

  • Bungie released the source a little over a year ago, and they were purchased by Microsoft last summer. They had been planning the source release since fall 1999 at the latest, most likely before the Microsoft deal even started to take shape. Also, the Marathon series is dead dead dead (although look for Halo to be possibly a return to that universe), so it's not really valuable property in the monetary sense. They also still have all the rights to the art and data.
  • Actually, a good game seems to be more like hit or miss. Granted, most modern games are several orders of magnitude prettier than games used to be, but they're not really any better than they used to be.

    You occasionally get a really good game that comes out, but in general modern games are no better than older games.

    What's needed for a game to be good is for there to be a core game which is fun to play. having nice graphics on top of that is very, very good, but when you get down to it, a good game is still fun no matter what the graphics are.

    Look at how many people enjoy card games.

    The real question is will someone come up with a good game and give it away. Take spellcast, for example. It's quite fun but the graphics are utterly pathetic. And gltron is an example of open source with nice graphics.

    Oh, there is a difference between being unbaised and absurd. To talk about microsoft as being something other than bad is absurd. It's a known (legal) fact that they are anti-competetive, and anyone who's worked in the computer industry can testify as to how much damage they've wreaked on the world. Out of curiosity, do you call a reporter being less-than-glowing about Charles Manson adopting a child being baised?
  • "You completely disregard any good Microsoft may have done, in your zealotry. Like it or not, Microsoft has made positive contributions to computing."

    Some examples, please?

    Is it there anti-standards drive or are you talking about things like their keyboard?

    Well, let me take a step back, here. Yes, IE5 is actually a reasonably decent product in that it actually complies with some relevant standards. However, this isn't to say that IE is a good product in the sense that the world is better for its existence.

    So what actions have microsoft have actually resulted in a world that is better off for microsoft having done them?

    "Out of curiosity, do you call someone being less-than-glowing about Linux being biased"

    That entirely depends on their reasons. If their reasons have little to do with the (relative?) quality of linux, then yes, they're biased. If their reasons are technical or germane to the topic, then no, they're not biased.

    My point was that to come to a conclusion and then use that as a presupposition for further discussion is not to be biased when your conclusions were rationally and validly concluded.

    CNN doesn't talk about the "aleged president".

    Essentially, to be biased is to disregard facts in an argument for reasons of personal gain or benefit (or emotional admiration). Now, a fact is (among other definitions) any statement to which a reasonable person would agree. My claim is essentially that any reasonable person would agree to the statement that Microsoft is bad.

    Now, to prove the contrary, you have to demonstrate that Microsoft has provided more benefit to the world than it has damage. I'm not planning to hold my breath until I see you accomplish that.
  • Hmmm, according to the source of the page I got, "This Web site only works in browsers that support frames. It's about time you ditch Lynx and upgrade." This is with Netscape 4.x, not lynx, of course.

    Seems to me that their webmaster (see above) should spend less time on the amusing answers to letters, and more time getting their screenshots page to work.

  • Games work fine as free software. Coders is is no problem. Graphics? No big deal - first version is done by coders, and looks ugly. Looks don't matter that much if the game is good. If the game is good someone with a talent figures "Hey - I can get sort of famous by painting some prettier sprites. The same goes for music. First version may be without sound, as that isn't important if the game is good otherwise.

    Only marketing types believes that looks are important for a game. Remember 2D video games around 1980? They were fun too! So fun that there are numerous emulators for those old machines. And consider the free game nethack. The main reason it isn't GPL'ed is because it is older than the GPL. It isn't going away either, like those commercial pretty looking games that get boring after a few weeks.
  • Games just don't fit in with the open development, because their whole appeal is suprise.

    That's what game manufacturers want you to believe, so they can sell you a new surprise when you tire of the previous game.

    The statement isn't true in general. People still play chess after a thousand years. Good strategy (computer) games tend to have a long life too.

  • The reasons that Diablo and Diablo 2 are more popular than Nethack is not just because Diablo has flashy graphics and sound. It is because it is an easy game to learn and the game has a coherent world design.

    I've played a lot of Nethack, and the randomness of the gameplay is way too frustrating -- your hero can die through random events that are no indication of your lack of skill as a play. For example, it is too easy to get down to the lower levels and run out of food, and there are no places to buy food anywhere within the last 15 levels and no monsters that drop food. The worst part of this is that if you carry enough food to feed yourself you are too slow to fight.

    The other main gripe about NetHack is that the controls are very badly designed. Diablo makes it fairly easy to manage your inventory and cast spells and use items. In NetHack I have to remember that there are different keys to use items in different ways, even though a generic "use" key would suffice for all of them. Because it is limited to text, it can also be difficult to see all of the information you need to see on one screen. (like inventory for example).
  • Awesome! I remember there was a Mac resource file hack for Marathon which made the aliens sound like Beavis and Butthead. I wonder if that can be made to work with the Linux version?!
  • Age is not inversely proportional to quality, or fun. Marathon was FAR better than DOOM. I enjoyed it even more than Quake, even though the latter did have superior eye candy. Not until Half Life was there a FUN shooter with a good plot, and Marathon had both in spades in 1993.
  • IMHO, ANY system that can play Marathon is a good game system. The game just flat rocks. Sorry if you disagree or haven't played it.
  • It looks as if right before Microsoft acquired one of the top gaming companies of the time, Bungie ...

    Well, if Microsoft bought out Bungie (and why? they don't normally buy games companies, unless they had a technology that M$ wanted) then what's the status of Oni []? An exceptionally cool looking Anime game ... We'll never see a linux version.

    Although it was developed in conjunction of Gathering of Developers, we'll just wait and see.

  • When Linux got started, it was a cheesy hacked-up version of Minix, an already feature-complete operating system. But look at linux now!

    Linux was not based on Minix source code. It was totally new code, it was created because of dissatisfaction with Minix. My favorite discussion of Minix vs. Linux is here. []

    Not really important, just a nit-pick I guess.
  • Long after Descent and Quake have been forgotten, Marathon will live on via its source code. That's the future I'd like to see.

    You do realize that both Descent and Quake have had their source code released?
  • Linux used the Minix filesystem, but not Minix source code. As for whether if Linux would have happened without Minix, I doubt the case is so simplistic. You should probably go ask some of the interested parties rather than making these broad, sweeping, naive assumptions.
  • Planescape,

    Ok, Diablo is Nethack+graphics (and networking) but Planetscape?! You've never played it, have you? If you'd spent 15 minutes with it, you'd realize that Planetscape is not a dungeon crawl at all- it's an interactive novel. The vast majority of your time is spent talking to people: it's possible to go hours without drawing a weapon.

  • I disagree and agree at the same time. Not everyone is involved in the coding of every open-source project. I would be happy to try a game of someone's home brewed Marathon 4, and it's surprises would still be intact for me.
    On the other hand, I wouldn't want to play internet Marathon with a bunch of strangers - the potential for hacking in cheats is just too high.
  • I don't think that a particular license can not work when making a game. A great game doesn't cease to be create if it is released under the GPL.

    Perhaps you meant to say that the classic Open Source development model doesn't really shine in game development. This, I think, is mostly true, because iteration and peer review doesn't really improve a work of art after, say, one iteration. Not everything can be succesfully designed in a committee.

    On the other hand, I strongly disagree with the idea that the greatest games will always be developed commercially. If the merits of a game are reviewed based on the production value alone, then sure, we probably won't be seeing Lucasfilm-level cut scenes in a free game for a while.

    But many great non-commercial games rival the commercial offerings in other areas. Just take a look at nethack and Planetarion, for instance. I'm sure others can come up with more examples of great, non-commercial games.
  • last time i checked marathon sucked ass, and diablo 2 / broodwar is still much more fun.

    you'll never get blizzard to port anyway because they are waaay to ignorant.
  • OK, I can say marathon was the best way to waste a Friday night, plus I had an 8-track player with George Carlin next to my iMac blaring. Ahhhh the memories....

    Oh yeah, my question. I was really happy when they GPLed it, because I lost my Marathon CD that came with the iMac. But I gotta say its been less than easy to get it to work on a mac. Didn't you need some of the libraries found in the For Sale version of the game? Plus, they didn't GPL the levels of the original game, did they?

    --Never trust a tech who tattoes his IP onto his arm, especially if it's DHCP.
  • What this game really needs is reverse mouse functionality. I remember learning Quake with reverse mouse (which was natural) and then playing Marathon on the Mac in normal mouse mode. Took me weeks to get used to it. And then I switched back to another game which required reverse mouse.... ugh...
    ahh, all those memories, they seem so long ago, but every memory I have occurred in 1995.

  • If anyone has read the story how Unreal was made, they would see the why OSS doesn't work well for game development. (They were scattered all across the country, before they were moved together in Canada)

    There are a few things standing in the way of OSS games before they will match the quality (art/content/code) of commerical games:

    o) You need programmers, artists, designers, managers in face to face communication. Virtual whiteboards, remote mouse control are ad hoc solutions. You need to literally be able to point specificaly what needs to be changed in the game.

    o) Money. How many OSS games have cinematics? Granted you don't cinematics to have a game, but this leads me into my next point.

    o) Time. It takes 2 years of a TEAM of people, working day in, day out, to produce a game. OSS is done "after hours" when people come home. At that rate, it would take the same number of people YEARS to have the same quality ! Artists spend weeks 9-5 working on just ONE model/texture. How is an OSS artist going to support himself for that month? (See point above)

    o) Dedication/Boredom. Games are, for the most part, one-time play throughs. Compare that to something to an OS, editor, daemon, etc, that gets used over and over again. Ask any QA department after a game is "gold" (shipped to the public.) They never want to see the game again. It takes a LOT of dedication to "finish" making game.

    Remeber, the subject is "doesn't work well". I disagree with the assertion that games under OSS will *never* rival the commerical offerings, but I do agree that OSS games will be far and few that even come close to commercial quality.

    Sure we have games like FreeCiv, RPGs, but any games like Grim Fandago, or Monkey Island ?

    OSS for *SOME* games sort of works, but for the majority, unfortunaly OSS just isn't a viable solution.


    But what do I know, I'm just a 3D game developer...

    Tired of RTS and Sim games? How about a new genre []!
  • Majesty [] - a new twist on the old RTS & Sim genre.
  • What i think would be great, as this essay [](anyone else in here using Allegro []?) talks about, was to split up the actual game and all the different engines, so the engines were developed as open source but the game it self could be closed and sold.

    Since the engines are just technologies and the identity of the game lies in the way these technologies are put to use, everyting that could be made into an engine/library should, so it can be shared and improved upon. But the actual game code could be closed and sold along with the data as a game (or it could, ofcourse, all be open). The game code is probaly not even interesting if you got all the suporting libraries. If you wanted to know how to use one the libraries you could look at the library code or perhaps they'd even have good documentation (Allegro is a good example). And all that was left to look at in the game code was the actual game and then you'd just be making a copy of the game instead of some original content. Well maybe I'm just rambling off again. I can't stay focused, I'm tired, good night.

  • waldo world arena....ahhh the memories. the day m$oft grabbed bungie was one of the worst days in my gaming life.
  • I see lots of people are putting down the Marathon trilogy in response to this post. They obviously haven't played it, or just prefer (for reasons God only knows) pure shoot-em-up games. I think the most important thing these folks need to remember was that, at that time (ca. 1995), the WinPC competition was DOOM. Frankly, DOOM sucked. No plot, bad graphics, no realism.

    Marathon was a great game, and still is. M2 was so-so (lack of plot hurt, despite an improved game engine), and then M was a strong comeback. I'm not a hard-core gamer by any stretch, so let me say that I'm still working on M and having fun with it. I've seldom ever played on a network...the storyline of the solo game is fun enough for me.

    As a sidenote, I played virtually the whole series on a 25 MHz Mac, just fine. I installed it on a 20 MHz Mac too, and it was acceptable after turning off some of the video options.

  • granted CS is not Open Source

    valve's sdk license for halflife doesn't allow you to release mod source code. Binary code only.
  • Moria, Nethack, Rogue, those "Whatever his name is" Gate games are all nothing but ugly ascii cores to a tiny subset of Diablo II's interface. The interface is the ONLY thing. Yes, the core is NETHACK 0.1b, but a new version will come out soon, more enhanced and still more complex and detailed than any of the pretenders with seductive hackerish characters.

    Diablo II is proof positive that proprietary workes for the game interface. Sadly, the same has yet to be proven true for gameplay and core concepts.....

    Besides, you gotta love a game with instructions written by a professional who got paid for it.

    - Steeltoe
  • People create art. People enjoy art in their home and see the value of contributing to its development. They don't use program languages that much (except in Silicon Valley, which follows completely different rules altogether).

    It's also a lot harder to convince programmers to work for free; the "incremental improvements to existing paradigm" model behind art development doesn't apply as much in code as in art.

    - Steeltoe
  • Heh, I won one third of my games (3 games played ;-). I bet it should be trivial to create a robot planning more ahead, but I'm all for AI-learning programs.

    - Steeltoe
  • I don't know about anyone else, but I have spent more sleepless nights playing nethack then any other 3d rendered, first person shooter.

    What?! Has someone realized my dream of a 3d first person nethack? Imagine the thrill of encountering a fully raytraced @, or &, or x while traversing the tunnels.

  • A lot of news these days is what I'd call social porn. Lots of the worst kind just portray horrible events, without explaining the world behind these activities.

    Is it just me, or do other people loath to see people drowning in tv. It is nice to have cameras, but do you have to shoot everything with them?

    And when people have the horrible events on tapes, they are just shown in telly, with no background information (history) of what-so-ever.

    when everyone gives everything,

  • Well, how do programmers eat?

    Programmers create code. Businesses run code on servers and see the value of contributing to its development. They don't use art that much (except in Hollywood, which follows completely different rules altogether).

    It's also a lot harder to convince artists to work for free; the "incremental improvements to existing product" model behind free software development doesn't apply as much in art as in code.

    Like Tetris? Like drugs? Ever try combining them? []
  • Well, how do programmers eat? With a fork, spoon and knife I guess...


  • Marathon is a 6-year-old game; of course its engine is not going to compete with Q3 or Unreal Tournament. Bungie GPL'd it largely because they aren't going to sell many more copies anyway (and those that they will sell will probably still be sold even though the source code is available freely); they'll probably benefit more from the promotion of the franchise via stories like this one. After all, Halo is based on the Marathon universe; if Marathon starts getting back in the news and is ported to more platforms, that's great free marketing for Bungie.

    That said, I also like to think that Bungie was just a really cool company (now a fairly cool studio in Redmond) that GPL'd Marathon because they really want to see the game take on a new life.

  • Ultima 7 in Linux/Win9x/WinNT/MacOS


  • Ok, as if the maps and binaries weren't already slow to download sans Slashdotting, this far too out of hand.

    Here's a mirror on a fat pipe. Internet2 users rejoice, it's also on that.

    Here's the files to DL, Win32. []
  • Actually in those days I really didn't use macs very much at all. One of my friends happened to be a VMS BOFH, at a school with a mac based campus. At the time I was mostly a DOS user. I also had acesss on the HP frame for internet access at another college near there where I was actually attending. However I was never really impressed with Doom. I dunno, I was just not that impressed. I suppose that the graphics (I thought the monsters looked rather lame IMHO) turned me off. I did like the Warcraft series as well as Moral Decay [] a MUD that I used to play on via DOS machines hooked up to the HP frame via lanman or some shit like that (if I remember correctly).

    To me, (and BTW I am writing this from Konquerer on FreeBSD which connects to the net through a Slackware Linux box running NAT) Marathon was more real to me as a game than anythinng else I played until that point and for years afterwards. BTW here [] is a link to the Marathon Story.

    Firing 199 shots from a pistol without reloading hurts what could be called "the suspension of disbelief". Adding reload to a game is not an amazing thing as far as how hard it is, but the important part is that it adds a level of realism. Having Aliens in a game that are neat and insectoid is cool, but having them have political parties/factions that are fighting/warring with each other is awesome.

    Now obviously I have not played every game ever made, but I have played a few, and some of them were FPS. Halflife looks great, the aliens/other dimensional creatures look kinda bleah to me. I like how flexibly you can move and interact, but on the same token I got annoyed at the 15 or so keyboard keys to move/jump/whatever and quit playing before really getting used to it. I also have yet to see it on Linux or MacOS or BSD.

    In my apartment is: my k6-2 500 Win98SE/FreeBSD, my powermac 8500 MacOS 9.1/YellowDog, my roomate's iMac MacOS 9.1/MacOS X PB/Win2000 on VPC/Win ME on VPC/Slack 7.2(2.4 kernal) on VPC, my roomate's pent 233 Slackware, and a Powermac 7100 DOS MacOS 8.6/Win95. On our VPN there are a few more windows boxes and a few more slackware boxes. I like playing my friends. Generally I don't like playing single player. (Exception Baldur's Gate II rocked ass) So, I really like games like Quake II. Quake II runs on nearly everything here. So does Warcraft II, Starcraft, etc.

    So here is what it all boils down to:
    1)It is open source now, who cares what it was before.
    2)It runs on the MacOS, Windows, Linux, and BeOS (and since FreeBSD has Linux compat mode maybe even FreeBSD).
    3)This can give people who program better than I, and are game enthusiasts perhaps a platform to build a new game (as in moded all to hell, or just built onto existing code). It should be possible to make this thing capable of doing a Larger scale online FPS. Perhaps nothing approaching Everquest, but like say 50 players?? *shrug*
    4)If you don't like it, prefer windows only games, are afraid of running more than one platform, whatever YOU DON'T HAVE TO DOWNLOAD/PLAY IT.
    5)The Aleph One team has been working very hard on this for a while and they deserve some respect for their efforts. If you have not created/developed on a GPL or open source project for the community at large, then you have no room to trash these guys.
  • Mark one up for great 3D gaming on Linux.

    Yup. Nothing better than playing a five-year old game way after its prime. Let's go search Freshmeat for Tron too!


    Carmack is an elitist, pseudonerd bastard.

  • My favourite games are still the Doom family.
    Those are 7 years old now. I don't have (spare) PCs powerful enough for the more modern games anyway, so old games suit me just fine.

    Anyway, heading off topic - can anyone recommend _cheap_ video cards with OpenGL support in Linux?
    I've borrowed some cards in the past of mates, and the Linux support has been flakey or non-existant.

    -- Real Men Don't Use Porn. -- Morality In Media Billboards
  • I've played a lot of Nethack, and the randomness of the gameplay is way too frustrating -- your hero can die through random events that are no indication of your lack of skill as a play. For example, it is too easy to get down to the lower levels and run out of food, and there are no places to buy food anywhere within the last 15 levels and no monsters that drop food. The worst part of this is that if you carry enough food to feed yourself you are too slow to fight. 110K of good examples are here []. I especially like "Welcome to NetHack. --Zap--. The death ray hits you. You die...". Also, play this [] under Aleph One (open-source marathon2). Them try to tell me it's bad (as a matter of fact, you can tell the rest of the devteam too [mailto] .
  • I wouldn't like to meet an &(demon) unless it's a succubus. I also wouldn't like a D(dragon) or c(cockatrice, turns you to stone,hitting people with its corpse stones them).
  • And if your lucky you may find the rare copy of Marathon 2 for PC, I did.
  • Who needs contemporary PC games ported to a stable platform like Linux?

    I'm running Tic-Tac-'Doh! [] on a sweet linux box with the 2.4 kernel. Be careful, it learns from every game- and pretty soon, even it will be unstoppable. Watch out Gary Kasperov [sic] or your Tic-Tac-Toe equivalent! Content-O-Matic is comin' to throw down!

    Content-O-Matic sez: "Props to my dead homiez. []"

  • Hi all,

    I thought I'd share my experiences.

    I compiled this beast on a Debian unstable machine.
    Had to install xlibmesa-dev and make sure that libsdl-image1.1, libsdl1.1 and libsdl1.1-dev are installed.
    As the configure that is being talked about in INSTALL.Unix is missing (doh !), you have to run something like

    aclocal; autoheader; automake; autoconf

    And to top it, I got a gluSomething() linking error in Source_Files/Misc/.
    Add a -lGLU to the LIBS statement in that Makefile.

    Compilation could really have been much easier.
    Nothing for bloody newbies, it seems...
  • Bungie merely GPL'd the game engine. They still retain the copyrights to all game art
    And, as they (and now Microsoft) still own the copyright on the game engine, they could revoke the GPL licence.
  • Discover the true story behind the Microsoft takeover, thanks to the Bungie Webmaster [].


    "So," I began, "not to display a sudden collapse of faith in your business acumen or anything, but is there any particular reason we've hopped in bed with a company that might as well use "Squeal like a pig" as their corporate motto?"

    "I figured you would be skeptical," said The Man, "and I have prepared a short educational video which explains what we hope to achieve with this decision." He pushed a button on his desk and the office lights dimmed while a projection screen descended from the ceiling.

    We watched the video. It was both entertaining and spiritually fulfilling. Afterwards I had only one question.

    "So are we represented by the Alien, or by John Hurt?"

    "Oh, we're definitely the Alien."


    Microsoft haven't assimilated Bungie - Bungie have assimilated Microsoft. Just remember that... ;-)

    Ford Prefect
  • While Counter-Strike isn't open source, it is pretty open. For example, if you want to design a map for it, just download the relevant .FGD for WorldCraft, look at the mapping specs, and get mapping. Use existing textures and ambient sounds, or add your own. Modify existing textures if you like - but remember to give credit to the original creators.

    If the map's considered good enough, and you're lucky, there's a chance that the completed map will be included in the next official version of Counter-Strike. If it isn't, then there's absolutely nothing stopping you playing it with friends, or putting it up for download.

    Every single map in Counter-Strike (apart from the debatable exception of the two Barking Dog ones) is a third-party map, designed by someone who enjoyed the game.

    You can make other modifications as well - there's a thriving community making replacement player and weapon models. I think some of the official detail models (helicopters, wine bottles, etc) were made by third parties too.

    For a closed source game based on a commercial engine, it's remarkably open, and a real testament to what people can create in their free time.

    Ford Prefect
  • The tru7h behind Bungie's real plans was revealed last year - on a t-shirt []...

    Bungie's 7 []-Step World Domination Plan

    [X] Start independent gaming company [].

    [X] Dominate Mac platform; launch assault on Windows platform.

    [X] Announce killer gaming title [].

    [X] Acquire strangely addictive Chinese food company.

    [X] Recover Ling-ling's head [].

    [ ] Stage bloody coup of new parent company [].

    [ ] Take over world, shoot enemies into the sun with giant slingshot.

    Ford Prefect

  • While the technology behind the Marathon games is strictly in the "Slightly better than Doom" department, I have played all 3 on the Mac, and think they kick total ass because of the depth of the storyline.
    That alone is reason to play them. Heck, it's gotta be more interesting than regular ol' Quake. OK, at least to me because I prefer games like Deus Ex and Marathon for the single player experience. The net-play in Marathon is also fast and furious. Enjoy!


    Freedom is Slavery! Ignorance is Strength! Monopolies offer Choice!
  • I don't think there's much value to MS in the marathon engine, being about 2 generations out of date now. There may still be value in the Marathon franchise (artwork, plot, etc. etc.), but they still retain copyright on that.

  • *ring ring* clue phone...Marathon was released six years before all the games you mentioned (with the exception of System Shock 1). Since you stay away from Macs, you obviously don't have the vaguest clue what you're talking about. Or what your missing.

    Multiplayer Marathon is a thing of beauty. Playing King of the Hill in the big open arena where the hill was a strip down the middle...holy frag fest. That game was AWESOME. I've never had a more immersive 1 player game, or more fun in a LAN game. I can't put my finger on it, but the entire series just flat owned. Bungie was the coolest company EVER (until they started sucking hind teat at Microsoft, for which I'm never going to forgive them...)
  • I've never even heard of bungie's Marathon before this. What I do remember was staying up really late and playing Ultima's. Ah, was there anything better than exploring lord british's castle that first time you played an Ultima? (U6 for me). Anything better than making up all these complex robbery schemes to rob the bank in Britain, and then running from the guards (you'd think the avatar could get away with anything, but no, damn holier-than-thou guards). Battling Batlin in U7 Pt1 and 2 was awesome, and although 8 was really strange, and 9 kinda crappy, I'm sorry to see them go. You out there Origin? Release the engines under the GPL! You certainly won't be releasing anymore Ultima's without Lord British himself, but let us see the source!
  • I don't know about anyone else, but I have spent more sleepless nights playing nethack then any other 3d rendered, first person shooter. A close runner up would be TinyMush.

    Games under OSS will never rival the commercial offerings

    As my Logic and Rhetoric prof used to say, always beware of encompassing statements where the restrictions are implied.

    Implied premises (as I read it):

    Games: defined as a subset limited to high artwork games, such as first person shooters, rather then high concept games such as Civilization, Nethack, ethier one of which I'd give higher replayability scores then 99% of games to come on the market in the last 5 years. Both of which (Nethack was) could have easily come out of a small programming group in an OSS environment.

    Never: Well I won't even bother here. Unbound timeframes are obvious hyperbole.

    Commercial: Defined as games released by big names, such as EA? No, many of these 'commercial quality' games are produced by small shops which are aquired by large companies when they produce something promising looking. Companies that charge for their software? No, that would include all shareware companies, obviously leading to refutment of your argument...

    Hrm. Argument seems to have broken down.

    Could it be that the observations you cite could be explained by another premise?

    Let's try one:

    "99% of games are initially produced by small software houses. Of that 98% fail to produce something exciting enough to attract the attention of a distributor and therefore fail to make the shelves of EB. The lack of 'Comercial quality' OSS games is due to statistical factors rather then failure of the development model, as there are simply fewer OSS game projects."

    Seems to cover the observed evidence. Of course the whole argument is specious, as 'work' is basicly defined as "appearing on the shelves of EB" which of course an OSS game is unlikely to do, not being distributed by EA or the like.

    Remove the rocks to send email
  • In addition, why is the editorial on this topic so biased? 'Escape module'? This leads me to suspect that the AC's who flame the editors may be right after all. I find it very disappointing. One would not find that phrase in a professional publication. I suspect the integrity of the editors, when their words appear a few centimetres below an ad for Red Hat.
    I'm risking sounding like a troll, but I'm going to say this anyway. Did you, Urban Existentialist, bother to examine what was being said and by whom? Let's break it down for you:

    1. "'Escape module'?" ... "One would not find that phrase in a professional publication"

    Except in the letters section written by people who read the publication. God forbid someone be bound with a little emotion by Microsoft's purchase of Bungie. In case you haven't figured it out yet, Slashdot is made up almost entirely of other peoples submissions and comments. If you'd pay attention to the post, you'd see that the entire thing is quoted from something that Derek Moeller submitted. No Slashdot editors made any comments after the post. When you submit a story that makes it to the front page, then you can say what you damn well please in as professional a manner as you'd like.

    2. I suspect the integrity of the editors, when their words appear a few centimetres below an ad for Red Hat.
    Just in case you missed this too, there aren't ANY words from any editors anywhere in the article.

    Slashdot has had an editorial policy since day one of posting whatever is submitted to them. You want to see more accurate articles? Then submit something that you've researched and that is interesting. Slashdot isn't CNET. It's isn't ZDNet or CNN, either. Slashdot is Slashdot. If you don't like it, you don't have to be here.

  • True, Counter-Strike is not OSS, but it was created by hobbiests, and is completely free (as in beer). Currently, it is *the* most-played game on the net. Yes, it is dependent on Half-Life, but that could easily change if a good open source 3D engine were written.

  • I see your point there. To be honest, I can't remember why I put up with learning NetHack. But it came fairly quickly - I think maybe it was becuase I was really curious about how to play and win. And you know what? I don't know if I can go back. I love the complexity.

    As to a use key... yeah, when I was toying with writing my own roguelike, I thought, "Damn, I'll make life easier for myself and the user if I have a generic use key." Although, strictly speaking, I'd have to write code to identify what kind of object it was and how to use it... but I digress.

    Anyway, I guess Nethack is for some and not for others. Though it seems to be for less than it is not for. Wow, that's a complicated and poorly constructed sentence. You know what I mean.

  • Yes, the interface is ASCII, but it's still around

    Good news for you: there is now a very pretty GUI version of Nethack called GnomeHack []. If you love Nethack, you will want this!

    This has been folded [] into the official Nethack [] distribution, so it no longer exists as a separate project.

    If you use RPMs, do a Google search for "GnomeHack" and you will find lots of sites that have them. If you are a Debian user, you can get this with apt-get.

    Here's a review [] of GnomeHack.


  • Perhaps your memory is a bit foggy...Dark Forces wasn't nearly the tour-de-force that Marathon was. Marathon did in fact, run full screen on the original powermac, the 6100/60. There was a console that was non-retractable, but it had the inventory screen, and more importantly, the motion radar. Besides, Dark Forces had crap for plot, and didn't spawn a pair of now-fully-cross-platform, sequels.

    Long Live Marathon.

  • Please dude, you're making me ill. Marathon was far and away one of the BEST shooters in the early days. It had a plot, it had AMAZING network play, it had good sequels (M2:Durandal I think was the first game to do jumping and swimming, IIRC) and was just a damn fine series. Your just jealous because only M2 was ported to the PC.
  • Wow. That really is hard. I lost all the games I played. :(

    Although to be honest, I think the computer cheats. He has a more sensitive keyboard than me. :)

    Carmack is an elitist, pseudonerd bastard.

  • However, stating that Linux is a good game machine because it plays games of more than 5 years ago, instead of today, is a faulty statement.

    Carmack is an elitist, pseudonerd bastard.

  • Funny how a bunch of "rag tagle programmers" can make the most popular online action game on the net ( Counter-Strike for Half-Life). granted CS is not Open Source, but it does show just what a group of motivated amateur game developers can do.
  • Marathon was cool because the maps could be "4D." Eg, two hallways could pass through the same point without intersecting. So using the radar it would appear that you were right on top of someone else, yet in reality you were just at the same point in the XYZ plane, but your origins were different (you were actually in different hallways).

    Cool stuff, I think my explanation was a bit lacking however.
  • actually we have had this working for months now. its become a very mature branch of the marathon source tree, and with some of the sdl networking code, may even beat the native mac version to having real tcp/ip networking working.
  • Interesting point. I played Origin games for quite a while, because I loved the Ultima series, and I trusted that other games would be interesting. I didn't know about Looking Glass Studios until they were gone, and now I seek them out. Why can't Sid Meyer make a bad game?

    At the same time, my current favorite is CounterStrike. No plot to speak of, just pure action, strategy, and teamplay. It's a free add-on to Half-Life, which you can pick up for fairly cheap. If there was a open-source engine as good as Half-Life's (the Quake II engine, perhaps with some extras), then we may see a truly excellent open-source game.

    One problem is that all the clients and servers have to be on the same page. Even though it would be open-source, it would follow the example of the Linux Kernel and some open-source games - one main effort, possibly a few variations, but all development focused on the kernel. Maybe there would be faster fixes to eliminate f**king cheaters, as a side benefit.

    Bottom line? For an experience you remember for years, you almost can't beat closed source, billion dollar development games. But there is space out there for some kick-ass, no suprise plot open source games. You listening, Gooseman?

  • You'll likely need to download more than what's linked to above.

    Try here instead (unless it gets slashdotted): []


  • Just because it's old doesn't mean it's obsolete.

    Even in games!

    When Linux got started, it was a cheesy hacked-up version of Minix, an already feature-complete operating system. But look at linux now! Everyone's heard of it, and companies are bending over backwards to bring new software to it like never before.

    Now we see Marathon Infinity running on Linux. This is great news, not just because Marathon was one of the greatest series of its time for its game play, but specifically because Marathon had one of the best story lines of any first-person shooter ever released. Whereas Carmack kept pushing Quake3's release month after month, cramming in those extra framerates and goofy graphics, Bungie developed an elaborate story of the kind you rarely see in most movies these days.

    And now it's been GPLed. This is perfect, because games are one of the most successful implementations of the Gnu philosophy: anyone can now redesign the storyline, inserting new endings where only old ones previously existed. Developers can now freely incorporate graphics from even closed-source software, under the GPL: its viralness is precisely what gives it its power.

    Long after Descent and Quake have been forgotten, Marathon will live on via its source code. That's the future I'd like to see.
  • by derf77 ( 265283 )
    In reference to the prior comment: The Hardest Game of Tron You'll Ever See []
  • I suspect the integrity of the editors, when their words appear a few centimetres below an ad for Red Hat.

    I have proof that the editors have been getting Red Hat's distributions for FREE!.

    I think the escape pod analogy is right on track. Did you ever stop to think that maybe they planned on releasing the marathon engine later on under the gpl anyways because they believed in the open source movement? And would you think for one second that microsoft would have allowed that?

    Games under OSS will never rival the commercial offerings

    Does the word DUH mean anything to you? <SARCASM>I thought for sure I'd be better than Carmack at programming a 3D engine, but you just broke all of my hopes.</SARCASM>

    It is evident that people that are paid to do something and have all the time they need to do it will be better than others that do it on their spare time for free. That doesn't mean that the games can't be good. And why do you assume that artists and designers are ignorant of the whole open source movement? Is it so improbable that someone with artistic talent would contribute to a project just because they're interested?
  • The issue with making a good game does have a lot to do with the music and graphics etc. Musicians and graphic artists however are not ignorant to the OSS philosophy, and you will probably find plenty may be willing to contribute towards good open source games. But there is still a major hurdle to be overcome.

    Coders have ready access to high quality tools for coding (compilers etc). Also coders don't necessarily need high end systems to actually do the coding. The costs are therefore not too excessive for a coder to get started and contribute to a GPL game.

    Now I don't know about graphics but as a musician there is a lot more involved in getting started than a computer and a linux distro.

    First - If a musician is going to record music with all live instruments (real drums etc) and produce high quality sound you are going to have to buy high quality microphones. A couple of SM58's might be great for a live gig, but for high quality recorded music you are going to be paying AUD$1000 plus per microphone easily.

    Two - If the musician is going to record all live musicians then realistically you need a room to set up as a recording room. While this need not be expensive, it is going to take up a lot more space than the kind of room a coder can set up for programming in. If you want good accoustics in that room - that's going to be more time, effort and probably money.

    Three - a musician needs a good computer. I know coders do too, though I presume you can code on a low end machine and get some work done. Doing any serious music recording on a low end machine is going to be a lot harder.
    Four- If the musician is not going to record all live instrumentation, then there is going to be some MIDI sequencing involved. The costs involved in getting MIDI equipment will depend on the individual muso. It is possible to use some of the better soundcards - but there is a catch.

    Five - TOOLS
    Yes there are multitrack recorders, midi sequencers available for free, for Linux. While these tools are very powerful the products don't (yet) compare to the commercial offerings. The main areas that need work are user interfaces - a bad interface really does get in the way of productive work - and interoperability. I haven't yet found a package that integrates multi-track audio recording with MIDI sequencing in the same way some commercial products do. If you know of one please tell me about it!

    Linux provides all the software development tools a coder could hope for. It doesn't however provide all the development tools a musician could hope for. When this is addressed (and I do mean when not if) the entry barrier will be reduced significantly for musicians and there are many I am sure that will be more than happy to compose and record music for use in GPL games. Get some good music, then you are part of the way towards creating that immersive experience of a commercial offering.

    You need to remember that many of the principles that motivate open source programmers motivate various artists. As a musician I am happy to make music for the pleasure of making music just like coders are happy to code for the pleasure of coding.
  • by Ravagin ( 100668 ) on Sunday February 11, 2001 @06:05PM (#439329)
    I don't know about anyone else, but I have spent more sleepless nights playing nethack then any other 3d rendered, first person shooter
    Heh, me too. What a great game that is. I still haven't ascended (not even when i cheat!), but I'm working on it.

    You're definitely right that NetHack is an example of OSS succeeding. On the other hand... Diablo seems to be much more popular, even though it's basically "shiny nethack" with animations and such, and even though Nethack is free. I'm not sure I could enjoy Diablo nearly as much as I enjoy NetHack, but that's just me. Now, why is Diablo more popular? I'm not sure. Maye it's that it's simpler; some people I try to introduce to nethack complain that they have to learn too many keys (uh...). Maybe it's the graphics; I geuss text mode or tile mode just isn't enough for the average short attention span. Maybe it's the advertising campaign. But do you think it's possible that whatever it is, it's a result of the big company behind the game?

    I'm honestly not sure. I personally think that Nethack is a lot better than may other games out there. But it's clearly not as popular.

    PS: yeah, "popular" is defined loosely here. sorry.

  • by Ravagin ( 100668 ) on Sunday February 11, 2001 @03:09PM (#439330)
    under our favorite operating system

    Palm OS ports?! Where? Excellent, lead me to 'em!


  • by fosh ( 106184 ) on Sunday February 11, 2001 @02:55PM (#439331) Journal
    The RPM posted won't work without this RPM:
    [] minf-demo-1.0-1.noarch.rpm

    Geez I am Karma Whore.

    --ALex the FIshman
  • by doublem ( 118724 ) on Sunday February 11, 2001 @04:31PM (#439332) Homepage Journal
    Diablo, Planescape, those "Whatever his name is" Gate games are all nothing but cute graphical interfaces to a tiny subset of Nethack's gamely. The gameplay is the ONLY thing. Yes, the interface is ASCII, but it's still around, still being enhanced and still more complex and detailed than any of the pretenders with glitz and glamor.

    Nethack is proof positive that Open Source workes for the game core. Sadly, the same has yet to be proven true for graphics and 3D engines.....

    Besides, you gotta love a game with instructions written by Eric S. Raymond. [] [] []
  • by yerricde ( 125198 ) on Sunday February 11, 2001 @03:50PM (#439333) Homepage Journal

    Long after Descent and Quake have been forgotten, Marathon will live on via its source code.

    Except a quick Google search tells me that Quake is released under GNU GPL [] and so are Descent [], Descent 2 [], and a Tetris clone that gives you motion sickness like Descent []. But the mission pack in many games (required for the game to run) is written by artists and level designers and is not GPL'd. This is why open source is thought not to be able to produce professional quality games: how do the artists and level designers eat?

    Like Tetris? Like drugs? Ever try combining them? []
  • by arnald ( 201434 ) on Sunday February 11, 2001 @03:11PM (#439334)
    The thing I used to love about these games was the depth and quality of the story that you pieced together as you played the game. It really felt like it was worth playing on, something that can't be said for today's crop of blast-em-ups.

    For more on the story in the Marathon games, look here [].

    On a vaguely-related matter, have a look at this []... some lunatic is porting Bungie's Marathon to the HalfLife engine! Now if only I had that sort of free time... I might get that Linux MIDI sequencer finished... :-)
  • by Maldivian ( 264175 ) on Sunday February 11, 2001 @03:02PM (#439335)
    You can also get Aleph One from the Author's mainsite []. There are some screenshots there as well. Also included are datafiles that are necessary to get the game running.


  • by derf77 ( 265283 ) on Sunday February 11, 2001 @05:55PM (#439336) Homepage
    All though the mission of Aleph One is a noble one, I find that it is slightly misguided. Sure, Marathon IS a great game, but the engine does have limitations.

    The 2D format in which levels are designed is very limiting. Bridges ARE impossible (believe me, I've tried). Personally I think that the Marathon: Resurrection [] project will have a more fruitful outcome.

    As a former member of the M:R team (I hate you, school) I've seen the goods, and Aleph One, though exciting, pales in comparison.

    I love Marathon as much as the next Bugie acoly.. erm fan, but at some point, it needs to become clear that the engine does have its limitations.

    Hopefully we can port the content of Marathon to HALO (without getting sued) when it launches.

  • by snoop_chili_dog ( 314897 ) on Sunday February 11, 2001 @04:30PM (#439337)

    Ok this is my first post to slashdot. Be tender, be gentle, be rough.

    Games just don't fit in with the open development, because their whole appeal is suprise. How interested would you have been in the plot of American Pie if everyone had sat around for 6 months discussing how it should end. The key point of entertainment is to be original. GPL is about taking someone elses ideas and improving them. No one would watch Armageddon again just to see the really cool new ending someone thought up. (Guess I forgot Meteor, or was it Asteroid) The point is that games, like all forms of entertainment are about creative flashes. Their not about a plot that everyone knows five weeks in advance. Unfounded rumors are part of the excitement about a new game.

    I'm not against the GPL as far as the core game engine goes. A GPLed game engine with encryption for the data sets would be a great thing because it would allow for game programmers to build their games in secret, hiding those cool little easter eggs. A few people might hack the data sets, but it would stop the vast majority from having the plots, levels, secret codes, etc. from being spoiled for them.

  • by Xzzy ( 111297 ) <sether@tru 7 h .org> on Sunday February 11, 2001 @03:02PM (#439338) Homepage
    Bungie merely GPL'd the game engine. They still retain the copyrights to all game art, content, yadda yadda yadda. I think to legally play the full version of Marathon, you have to actually own a copy of the game.

    I believe it works like Quake does; you pull the content files off your CD and dump them in a relevent directory. Do Bungie a favor and plop down the fifteen bucks it costs to get Marathon.. let 'em know we still love the game. :)

    AlephOne is tres cool. They've completely updated the engine, and have been hacking at it for over a year now.. the source was released last January. I believe they distribute "demo" data files, so you can still play the game while not owning a full copy.

    I'd verify the info, if wasn't already hosed beyond accessibility. ;)
  • clarify a few points in your post:

    1. Bungie no longer owns Oni. Oni is owned by Take 2/GoD. This was part of the deal of the MS buyout. In exchange for Take 2's shares of Bungie, they got Oni and the Myth games. Take 2 is currently developing Myth 3.

    2. Microsoft bought Bungie because they (MS) needed a killer app for the xBox when it comes out. That killer app is Halo, which IMNSHO will be one of the best games ever created, and will probably ship with the xBox. However, it will be followed later by the Mac/PC version(after the initial xBox sales)...sorry, a linux version if HIGHLY unlikely to come out of MS. :(

    BTW, the opening of the source of Marathon 2 is pretty old news, but still very good news. The aptly named Aleph One project is awesome and doing a great job keeping the Marathon universe alive. Here's a few sites of interest: [] - Tons of Marathon info including links to the story page, the Aleph One project, and many many user created maps and scenarios.

    HBO [] - Lots of Halo information. This game is going to ROCK!!! [] - A Bungie community site that primarily focuses on Halo but covers all things Bungie.

    Hope this info is useful to some of you. :) I hold Bungie in very high esteem because they have always made quality games with excellent plots (well, since PiD at least...)


  • by Urban Existentialist ( 307726 ) on Sunday February 11, 2001 @02:54PM (#439340) Homepage
    This is something I really doubt. Games require a lot more than just a bunch of raggle taggle coders these days - they need graphics artists, musicians, actors. It is akin to a Hollywood production. The OSS model may be good for the core code of the game - the 3D engine and such (even then I am not sure, there are not any OSS 3D engines to rivals Id's latest work) - but it cannot compete when it comse to the actual gameplay, and all the elements of a game that impress themselves on peoples minds whilst playing them. The atmosphere of the game, if you will, is not produced by programmers, but by artists and designers, who are ignorant of the OSS philosophy and unlikely to contribute to it.

    Games under OSS will never rival the commercial offerings.

    In addition, why is the editorial on this topic so biased? 'Escape module'? This leads me to suspect that the AC's who flame the editors may be right after all. I find it very disappointing. One would not find that phrase in a professional publication. I suspect the integrity of the editors, when their words appear a few centimetres below an ad for Red Hat.

    You know exactly what to do-
    Your kiss, your fingers on my thigh-

  • by MagnusDredd ( 160488 ) on Sunday February 11, 2001 @03:08PM (#439341)
    I remember playing Marathon 1 and 2 in an all Mac computer lab in the early 90s. I still prefer some things about it to any of th new shooters.

    #1)It actually had a plot. And not only did it have a plot, it ws one worthy of a great SF novel. Also unlike the Highlander series the followups to the first one actually built apon the plot instead of going off in an alien direction.

    #2)When you emptied your clip, you had to reload which took a bit of time depending on what you were firing. Not too common in the FPS of today. Also reloading the rocket launcher took longer than reloading a pistol.

    #3)This is the first FPS I ever saw that seemed to realize hey 2 hands means that I can hold two pistols... or for that matter two combat shotguns, a personal favorite.

    #4)The Marathon Infinity (not Open GL of course) would run on a 40 Mhz 68040 and not suck.

    #5)The audio system was awesome for it's time, the closer you were to water the louder it was. There were many things that were like this. Also incorporated into the game was stereo panning of sound.

    #6)First FPS I ever saw to do 16 bit color.

    #7)It also had many other the type of things for multiplayer that Quake II needed a lithium server for. Example ring of shadows, invicibility, etc.

    All in all I am glad to see a resurgence in it. Was a great game and am very much looking into dl and compiling it on the various linux boxen I have.

"The number of Unix installations has grown to 10, with more expected." -- The Unix Programmer's Manual, 2nd Edition, June, 1972