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Penumbra: Overture Goes Open Source 74

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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  • Re:git (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sopssa ( 1498795 ) * <> on Saturday May 15, 2010 @01:32PM (#32220762) Journal

    FREE software shouldn't be like that. FREE sfotware is about giving back your changes to the community, to the centralized repository. Git is dangerous for free software.

    Where is it defined that free software is about giving back your changes?

    If you want truly free software, then you have to take the both worlds and accept that people aren't required to contribute back. Even less so if they just keep those modifications private and to themself, which even GPL allows. It isn't really any better than proprietary software if you also want to make restrictions and demands on how you can use free and/or open source software.

  • Re:Useless summary (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Ephemeriis ( 315124 ) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @01:36PM (#32220790)

    I've never heard of this game and neither the summary nor TFA actually told me anything about it. According to Wikipedia, it's a first-person adventure game with a focus on Newtonian physics, improvised weapons, and no firearms. Is it really too much effort for the person writing the summary to bother saying that?

    The story isn't really about what kind of game Penumbra is... It's about the fact that the source code was opened up. With the source code now available, the content of the original game is somewhat irrelevant as people will (hopefully) use the code to develop their own games.

    Additionally, this is not the first mention of Penumbra or the Indie Bundle here on Slashdot. One of the previous stories is mentioned (and linked-to) right in the summary.

    I mean... Sure, they could have included a description of the game... And they could have provided a description of the Indie Bundle as well... And defined what Open Source means... And what github is... And maybe some of that stuff might have been useful... But at some point it just seems kind of excessive.

    The story is about the code, and they provided a description of the code.

  • Re:git (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Beelzebud ( 1361137 ) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @01:49PM (#32220880)
    I love people who rant about freedom as they try to tell other people what to do.
  • Where Freedom Is. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by headkase ( 533448 ) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @02:02PM (#32220958)
    There are different places for the Freedoms. The GPL squarely puts the Freedom with the end-user. That person will always be free to receive distributed updates to their software as long as interest and activity for it exists. Another place for Freedom is in contrast with a BSD'ish license putting the Freedom with the software itself. That software is free to use anywhere without guaranteeing the end-user receive free updates. A consequence of the software itself having the Freedom is that the end-user is not guaranteed improvements.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 15, 2010 @02:04PM (#32220974)

    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.

    And besides, this way of opening the code is very much in the "heart of the GPL". Producing software that is open, and selling your own content on top of it.

    And then there are the other factors, like the for charity part, and etc.
    All in all, I don't see where you get off detracting from their contribution like that. Even if it's just a little.

  • Re:git (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EvanED ( 569694 ) <[moc.liamg] [ta] [denave]> on Saturday May 15, 2010 @03:02PM (#32221334)

    People are gaga over git. You shouldn't be. Git is a decentralized vcs... Use bzr or mercury if you like FREE software.

    Let me translate: "Don't use git. Git is bad because it's a decentralized VCS. Use one of these other decentralized VCSs instead."


  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 15, 2010 @03:40PM (#32221554)
    Boy, nothing is ever good enough for you fucking people is it? I think if they hand delivered it to you, source, docs, and all, and said, "we give it to you, your highness, free and clear. do whatever you will with it", you would STILL find something to bitch about. "Oh, great. Yeah it's free and all, but they wrote it in a language my feeble brain can't understand. Why didn't they write it in Java, the official language of dudes and dorks?"
  • by satoshi1 ( 794000 ) <satoshi.sugardeath@net> on Saturday May 15, 2010 @04:13PM (#32221748) Homepage Journal
    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.
  • Re:git (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Jurily ( 900488 ) <jurily@g m a i l . com> on Saturday May 15, 2010 @04:15PM (#32221764)

    People are egotistic, as always. You ask them if they're qualified to pick a president and they respond with what they're entitled to.

    I guess it's a natural consequence of allowing everyone to think they're special.

  • by MrCopilot ( 871878 ) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @04:37PM (#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. []

    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)

  • by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <> on Saturday May 15, 2010 @04:49PM (#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 SharpFang ( 651121 ) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @04:56PM (#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)

  • Re:Useless summary (Score:3, Insightful)

    by linzeal ( 197905 ) on Saturday May 15, 2010 @05:08PM (#32222080) Homepage Journal
    This is Slashdot, not the AP. Editors should assume a familiarity with a wide swath of technological, scientific and gaming elements for the large majority of their readers. For the rest, seriously just read the article, ask a question or Google it. There is no reason to complain on a forum that the description of something is vague, you are on the frigging Internet.
  • Re:git (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 15, 2010 @07:43PM (#32223028)

    This is complete and utter bullshit. Centralised VCS also encourages people to keep their modifications private, because most of them won't have commit privileges anyway.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan