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OpenMW, the open source game engine for Morrowind sees great progress

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The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind is a true classic for many reasons, and it continues living on with the OpenMW free and open source game engine. It's been a while since the 0.46 release of OpenMW back in June 2020 but plenty of work has been going on since.

In a new blog post they did a round-up of work done during September-October and it all sounds pretty awesome. Here's a quick run over what's been going on:

  • A modern 3rd-person camera view is coming, along with optional first-person head bobbing and a smooth movement feature to make animations look better.
  • OpenMW is going to get Async Physics, which moved the game's physics from the main thread to one or more other threads, making OpenMW even better at using multiple cores.
  • Work has continued on supporting groundcover with better performance, which adds grass and all sorts.
  • The LZ4 format is now supported by OpenMW, which is used in later Bethesda games like Skyrim Special Edition. Supporting that game is a long way off, right now it might just help modders.
  • Levelled items in untouched containers are now randomly generated from their respective lists when the game is loaded, mimicking the original engine.
  • Automatic builds for Windows, Linux, Mac, and even Android on GitLab for every merge request that is opened.
  • Work is ongoing to support the COLLADA 3D model format to work in OpenMW's rendering engine (OpenSceneGraph)

Amazing to see how much effort goes into open source game engine reimplementations. It's a very complicated job but one appreciated by thousands of players, as it keeps games alive on modern platforms and enables them to run better.

See more and download OpenMW from the official site. As you do need the Morrowind data files to play it, you do need a copy. You can pick up a copy of Morrowind easily from GOG.com.

If you didn't see it, here's the trailer for the last release of OpenMW:

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12 comments
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Desperalaw 18 Nov
It's really astonishing to realize the amount of work done when you play the game with OpenMW.

Among the various fixes made to the game's engine, they added so much small features that you feel a lack of them when you play the vanilla game.

And, on top of all, it's cross-platform and works extremely well (I use flatpak for this, no problem whatsoever).

I highly recommend you to test the latest stable version of OpenMW (0.46) if you already played the game before.
rafagars 18 Nov
Wow, all thoses features make me want to play it again. Morrowind is an amazing game and Openmw fix some of its problem making it even better


Last edited by rafagars on 18 November 2020 at 1:43 pm UTC
grigi 18 Nov
OpenMW 0.46 really was the point where it was very mature. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and for the second time, got stuck in the world of Morrowind.

It's strangely immersive for a place where nobody talks and people look like badly painted dolls. It just has a real nice charm.

I also ran many, many, mods at once, and delighted in how it containerizes them so that you can resolve conflicts easily. And then I just enjoyed it for 100+ hours with no crashes or game breaking bugs.
Ananace 18 Nov
There's been a whole lot of work put into OpenMW by now, always great to see the project continue to steadily plod along.
I've been the Windows maintainer since around version 0.9 now, and the team just continue to perform wonders with features and improvements, year out and year in. It's quite honestly a great project to be part of - even if my contribution of actual code has been rather minor.
Julius 18 Nov
Does anyone know if the multiplayer and VR forks are planned to be included in the main version?
Dunc 18 Nov
Heh. I like the optimism in the suggestion that Skyrim SE is “a long way off” rather than not on the cards at all.
kodkuce 18 Nov
i played openMW like year ago, added just grass Mod was greate xp, i like it more then skyrim at least story wise
oldrocker99 19 Nov
A lot of people aver Morrowind as the best TES game. The world is weirder, enemies don't scale, and the story is fantastic.

OpenMW just asks where your Morrowind installation folder is, and takes it from there.
razing32 20 Nov
Quoting: grigiOpenMW 0.46 really was the point where it was very mature. I enjoyed it thoroughly, and for the second time, got stuck in the world of Morrowind.

It's strangely immersive for a place where nobody talks and people look like badly painted dolls. It just has a real nice charm.

I also ran many, many, mods at once, and delighted in how it containerizes them so that you can resolve conflicts easily. And then I just enjoyed it for 100+ hours with no crashes or game breaking bugs.

What mods do you recommend ? Have not really gotten into Morrowind that much.
razing32 20 Nov
Quoting: oldrocker99enemies don't scale,

You can paint that in neon bright Hollywood-sign-sized letters on the cover :D
I absolutely hate enemy scaling in later games.
Bandits in daedric armor or glass armor. Getting killed by wolves or rats after tens of hours of gameplay , etc.
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