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Star Wars Dark Forces lives on again with The Force Engine

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A dedicated Star Wars fan and code hacker has created something awesome: The Force Engine. A brand new free and open source modern game engine for Star Wars Dark Forces.

Their plan for it was to rebuild the old Jedi Engine for modern systems, so people don't have to keep using things like DOSBox, plus add in plenty of modern enhancements just to make it feel that little bit nicer. There's many open source projects like it for other games and now after 3 years of development The Force Engine 1.0 is out. Before getting too excited, the Native Linux version is due later.

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Features:

  • Full Dark Forces support, including mods. Outlaws support is coming in version 2.0.
  • Mod Loader - simply place your mods in the Mods/ directory as zip files or directories.
  • High Resolution and Widescreen support - when using 320x200 you get the original software renderer. TFE also includes a floating-point software renderer which supports widescreen, including ultrawide, and much higher resolutions.
  • GPU Renderer with perspective correct pitch - play at much higher resolutions with improved performance.
  • Extended Limits - TFE, by default, will support much higher limits than the original game which removes most of the HOM (Hall of Mirrors) issues in advanced mods.
  • Full input binding, mouse sensitivity adjustment, and controller support. Note, however, that menus currently require the mouse.
  • Optional Quality of Life improvements, such as full mouselook, aiming reticle, improved Boba Fett AI, autorun, and more.
  • A new save system that works seamlessly with the exiting checkpoint and lives system. You can ignore it entirely, use it just as an exit save so you don't have to play long user levels in one sitting, or full save and load with quicksaves like Doom or Duke Nukem 3D.
  • Optional and quality of life features, even mouselook, can be disabled if you want the original experience. Play in 320x200, turn the mouse mode (Input menu) to Menus only or horizontal, and enable the Classic (software) renderer - and it will look and play just like DOS, but with a higher framerate and without needing to adjust cycles in DosBox.
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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9 comments

denyasis Dec 20, 2022
Dark forces was my first FPS. It's a great game. I think it was one of the first FPS's to have functional balconies and bridges; something they showed off a bunch in the level design.

The Dark Troopers.... Dudes were tough.
slaapliedje Dec 20, 2022
But... does it support the excellent MIDI music? I have a Roland SC88 Pro connected to my Linux system, so that through Steam and Boxtron, it'll output the music via a USB Roland UM-ONE (I think that's the device). Funny thing is, I have tried a few times to get the same thing working through Windows, and have failed. It's easier to get it going in Linux.
RC2225 Dec 21, 2022
Quoting: slaapliedjeBut... does it support the excellent MIDI music? I have a Roland SC88 Pro connected to my Linux system, so that through Steam and Boxtron, it'll output the music via a USB Roland UM-ONE (I think that's the device). Funny thing is, I have tried a few times to get the same thing working through Windows, and have failed. It's easier to get it going in Linux.

Better MIDI support is coming. Currently it only uses the Windows default. I think the idea currently is to have a dropdown to select the device.
Oet_ Dec 21, 2022
Been waiting a long time for this. I remember XL Engine had some things missing. The Force Engine however supports ultrawide, high FPS, etc. Using cross hair instead of aim assist is also a nice feature.

Played though the first level. It satisfies all the needs to finally play it on a modern system. Well, it will soon anyway with the upcoming Mac en Linux support.

I'll wait a little longer...
slaapliedje Dec 22, 2022
There was also a DaggerfallXL in the works, wasn't there? Though that has now been replaced by the Unity remake.
rcrit Dec 22, 2022
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Dug out my CD copy of the game in anticipation.
ssj17vegeta Dec 30, 2022
Just tested it with Proton-GE (7.41) on Steam. It was THIS close to working properly.

Tweaked it a bit with placing this as command arguments :

 
eval $(echo "%command%" | sed "s/DosBox\/\/dosbox.exe'.*/Game\/TheForceEngine\.exe'/")


- The game launches and you see a menu. A crash dialog appears "SEH exception" yada yada yada.
- You can ignore this dialog by clicking in the menu again (if you click "OK" the game closes).
- If you ignored the dialog, the game seems to work, but alas without sound (Kubuntu 22.04 here, lemme know if you got it working).


Last edited by ssj17vegeta on 30 December 2022 at 12:57 am UTC
rcrit Jan 14, 2023
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A PR for Linux is in the works. I built from the branch, https://github.com/mlauss/TheForceEngine/tree/linux3, and played through the first level.

On Fedora 37 the build missing dependencies I had were: rtaudio-devel, rtmidi-devel, DevIL-devel
and glew-devel
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