GemRB, a fine example of an open source game engine reimplementation for the Infinity Engine that powered the classic RPGs including Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment games celebrates two big things.
The first, is that they have put up a new official release with GemRB 0.8.7 which is technically minor but still brings in some fun sounding goodies including:
- New features:
- new smarter pathfinder with bumping support
- animal taming, iwd2 hardcoded saving throw bonuses
- vcpkg and out-of-the box msvc support
- non-ascii data filename support
- Improved features:
- disk reading speedups, ease of setup
- iwd chargen, pst spell timing, hardcoded overlays, iwd2 casting ai
- better actor speeds & walk sounds
- audio, pst ini handling, savegame compatibility, morale handling
- effects, projectiles, actions, range calculations
Additionally, they mentioned work is ongoing on their rewrite of "drawing and GUI handling" which is currently their main priority.
The second major thing is that they're celebrating a huge milestone. As a free and open source project, it's now been going for 20 years which is pretty incredible.
Work on GemRB was originally started on August 21st, 20 years ago, as project creator Daniele Colantoni went to SourceForge to try and gather a team to work on it, "I missed playing D&D with my friends so much /…/ I wanted to create my game to play via internet. So I started my personal reverse engineering process on the base files from Baldur’s Gate.". Many years later, it's now capable of playing through the full Baldur’s Gate saga, the first Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment (still needs polishing) and with Icewind Dale 2 having the first two chapters playable. Note: GemRB appears to not support the Enhanced Editions of the classics.
As GemRB marks its 20th anniversary, Jaka Kranjc, the current maintainer, is optimistic about the project’s future. "Our work is not finished, but this sort of thing is like an ultramarathon — for most of the run the goal is not within reach. Companies come and go, but FLOSS persists!"
You can grab GemRB from the official site.