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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.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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18 comments
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Amnesia . . . huh, I can't seem to remember what this is.

But, jolly nice of them.
PopeRigby 23 Sep
Quoting: Flabb
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.

I wonder if they're using Vulkan for Rebirth's engine.
Grabby 24 Sep
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How long before someone recompiles the game for ARM and plays it on a Pinebook ?
Aeder 24 Sep
There's at least 2 improvements I think could be added: a Vulkan renderer and ray-tracing support. The later one should actually run well even when using a vendor neutral implementation (like Crysis remastered did) considering it's all narrow spaces.
appetrosyan 24 Sep
Quoting: Flabb
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.

I'd be up to tinker with it, and patch Vulkan support. This should give them a reason to use HPL2's evolution in the next iteration games.
appetrosyan 24 Sep
Quoting: GrabbyHow long before someone recompiles the game for ARM and plays it on a Pinebook ?

I think it would be playable on even the cinematic 12 fps. It's not a twitch-reaction game, but an atmospheric masterpiece.... It shouldn't be too hard, as long as all of the libraries exist for Linux/ARM.
Hori 24 Sep
I hope that they will update the Steam repos with the updates the people bring to the project.

For example, if someone makes it ARM-compatible (if it is feasable) and Steam comes gets an ARM version, they should make it available there.

And of course, other stores, not just Steam.
I am thinking of Macs, who will go ARM-only in the near future, and there won't be a way to play older games (even new ones tbh) unless the devs/community port the code to ARM.
(And hopefully we'll one day have ARM Linux laptops too)


Last edited by Hori on 24 September 2020 at 1:08 pm UTC
BielFPs 24 Sep
Now we wait for a Vulkan version :)
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