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Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs go open source

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Frictional Games have announced that they've now open source the game engine behind Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs as open source under the GPL.

It's worth noting, that like a lot of open source releases this is only the code and not all the other media assets. A great way to do it, as the original developer earns their monies as people need to buy it to run it but it can be kept alive for generations to come, ported to new platforms and more. Frictional are no strangers to open source, as they also put up the HPL1 game engine that powered the Penumbra Series in the same way many years ago.

With the announcement, they mentioned they had been wanting to do this for some time but things kept coming up, so with The Dark Descent recently turning 10 (yes, 10 years!) it was time. They do this to help the modding community, and help others to learn from it too - they noted how it's "a testament that it is possible to do this sort of thing, even with a very limited team".

Some of the interesting features the HPL2 game engine supports are:

  • Shadow mapping with soft edges.
  • Realtime visibility culling system that also works for dynamic objects.
  • Automatic render batch system of static objects.
  • Deferred shading system.
  • A full editor with lots of interesting feature that such as picking algorithms and view fitting.
  • Very simple state machine AI that still gives rise to fairly interesting and intelligent agents.
  • Fairly advanced system for physics sounds.
  • Physics based interaction system.
  • Own sound system implemented using OpenAL
  • Lots of other basic rendering and gameplay tech all implemented in an a coherent engine structure

A lot of it is pretty old tech, however it's still great to see more open source game engines that have all of it together. I think this is how it should be done anyway. Once a developer is properly finished with a game and moved on, having it open like this has so many benefits.

Source code links:

Links to buy copies for the assets / to play them:

If you missed it their next game Amnesia: Rebirth releases on October 20.

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jordicoma 23 Sep
This is what I call a good company. Releasing the source code when they can.
Now we will have "amnesia" running on the microwave and everywhere like doom.
Nanobang 23 Sep
All the proof I need that the Open Source movement has, at its core, people who are gregarious and community focused by nature, who want to share what they have with others for no other reason than they feel that it's the right thing to do.
Ehvis 23 Sep
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It might be old, but a quick scan makes it look pretty compact and clean. So it should be easy to use for those without a degree in graphics programming. I also only see OpenGL stuff. Were these engines OpenGL only?
Flabb 23 Sep
Quoting: EhvisIt might be old, but a quick scan makes it look pretty compact and clean. So it should be easy to use for those without a degree in graphics programming. I also only see OpenGL stuff. Were these engines OpenGL only?
Yes, HPL engine has always used OpenGL on all platforms.
Frictional Games have always aimed at cross-platform development from the ground up, so it makes sense to only use cross-platform APIs like OpenGL and OpenAL.
Samsai 23 Sep
It doesn't matter much if the tech isn't really that cutting edge. I recall Amnesia looking pretty good, so you could still use this to make aesthetically pleasing things. The most important thing I can see, however, is that as long as someone is holding onto that source code and the data files can be gotten somewhere, Amnesia can be played far into the distant future regardless of how our computers, operating systems, graphics APIs and whatnot change.
raneon 23 Sep
What a great move to keep this game alive :-) I'm sure somebody will extend this soon...
mos 23 Sep
<departs to amnesia 2 order page>
DrMcCoy 23 Sep
Oooh, this is very nice! :D
ertuqueque 23 Sep
They also released the first Penumbra game as open source ( )... I hope they do the same with the other two (Penumbra: Black Plague and Penumbra Requiem).
I have one word for to describe Frictional Games: Honorable.
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