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Descent 3 has been made open source

By - | Views: 44,654

Update #2, 21/04/24 18:06: the code is now licensed under the GPL!

Update 18/04/24 15:11: there seems to be an issue with the licensing at the moment. The MIT license was not meant to be up on it, as this was apparently the default GitHub put on it. That license has now been removed, and so there's now no license on it. Hopefully this will be sorted soon so it can be clear for anyone who wishes to contribute.


Original article below:

Another classic has been given the open source treatment, with Descent 3 from Outrage Entertainment now available under the MIT license. This release was put up on GitHub by Kevin Bentley, one of the original developers.

It has a bit of an interesting history as it was originally ported to Linux way back in 2000 from Loki Entertainment, which didn't age particularly well. Then much later in 2020 developer Ryan "Icculus" Gordon did a re-port with various upgrades.

From the GitHub:

This is the latest version of the Descent 3 source code. This includes the '1.5' patch that Jeff Slutter and Kevin Bentley wrote several years ago. At the time, it worked for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Some proprietary sound and video libraries from Interplay have been stripped out (the ACM and MVE format). I have that code if someone wants to help make a converter so the old cutscenes work. It'll take some effort to stub out that code so it compiles.

The first thing I want to do is get everything compiling again, and ideally some CI/CD actions. After that, the code needs to be cleaned up some, to remove old version control comments, etc. A lot of this code was written by a really great team, but keep in mind we were much younger and less experienced back then.

If you're interested in helping maintain it, please send me a message. Otherwise, I'm happy to take pull requests.

This is the last update I put out there showing different architectures playing along. Yikes, that was a long time ago, sorry we never released a 1.5 patch. Some logistics got in the way!

Thanks to Jeff Slutter, who did most of the work modernizing the code from the 90's. I'm looking forward to seeing what the community does with it!

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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30 comments
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Hamish Apr 16
I have been meaning to get to the Descent games for my Retro Linux Gaming Computer articles one of these years.

I guess this will make covering the Loki port even less special, but in the best way possible.
Geppeto35 Apr 16
Nice news and game! Part of my gaming as a teenager

I'm also looking forward to seeing what the community does with it!
If I have some time left this week, I will read deep into the code.
Don't mean to be rude, but only Decent3? What about 2 and 1!?! I can't play them out of order!!!

Honestly, though, the best way for old games to survive is to open source them, and that's great! No one is going to reuse the code for anything, at least I don't think so, but It'll help the games come back alive.


Last edited by NathanaelKStottlemyer on 16 April 2024 at 12:43 pm UTC
Gamall Apr 16
Quoting: NathanaelKStottlemyerDon't mean to be rude, but only Decent3? What about 2 and 1!?! I can't play them out of order!!!

They already have fantastic open-source ports.

https://www.descent2.de/
https://www.dxx-rebirth.com/
elmapul Apr 16
this was like, my first PC game ever!
im not even kidding, it was not my first gaming system since i had an n64, but when i saw the graphics i was stunned.

anyway i never finished it =p
Quoting: Gamall
Quoting: NathanaelKStottlemyerDon't mean to be rude, but only Decent3? What about 2 and 1!?! I can't play them out of order!!!

They already have fantastic open-source ports.

https://www.descent2.de/
https://www.dxx-rebirth.com/

I think those are game engine remasters, while this one is the actual game. I could be mistaken though.
d10sfan Apr 16
Very nice! I'll look into the possibility of integrating it with luxtorpeda - https://github.com/luxtorpeda-dev/packages/issues/1188
melkemind Apr 16
Quoting: elmapulthis was like, my first PC game ever!
im not even kidding, it was not my first gaming system since i had an n64, but when i saw the graphics i was stunned.

anyway i never finished it =p

Yeah, this game came free with my Voodoo graphics card, and I loved it.
whizse Apr 16
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Quoting: NathanaelKStottlemyerI think those are game engine remasters, while this one is the actual game. I could be mistaken though.
They are based on the original source code release (not FLOSS sadly):
https://www.gamespot.com/articles/descent-source-code-released/1100-2462520/
Gamall Apr 16
Quoting: NathanaelKStottlemyerI think those are game engine remasters, while this one is the actual game. I could be mistaken though.
They're remasters in the sense that they are based on the actual, original source code for D1 and D2, which were released long ago (1997 for D1).

So now all Descent games are open-source.
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