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FLOSS Reimplementation For BioWare Aurora Engine 'Xoreos' Updated

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xoreos is a FLOSS project aiming to reimplement BioWare's Aurora engine (and derivatives), covering their games starting with Neverwinter Nights and potentially up to Dragon Age II. This post gives a short update on the current progress.

Note: This is a cross-post of a news item on the xoreos website.

To keep things moving following the previous 0.0.2 release, we're proud to announce the release of version 0.0.3, nicknamed "Bastila", of xoreos and xoreos-tools.

This release features a working script system for all targeted games, with game scripts being fired for the start of a campaign or module, when entering and leaving areas, and when clicking on in-game object. The singular exception is the Nintendo DS game Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood, which doesn't seem to feature any scripts at all.

The vast majority of engine functions, the functions that are called by the scripts and that do the actual work of tracking and changing the game state, are still missing, though. Per game there are about 850 functions (with some overlap) that need to be implemented. We currently have about 90, per game, of these written and working within xoreos. Moreover, many of the functions still missing depend on features not yet implemented.

Apart from the script system changes, 0.0.3 also comes with support for reflective environment mapping in Neverwinter Nights and the two Knights of the Old Republic games. The "metallic" armor and area parts that were rendered rendered transparent in xoreos are now properly reflective. This can be seen, for example, in the Sith troopers in Knights of the Old Republic, in various plate armor worn by NPC in Neverwinter Nights, as well as the metallic floors on the planet of Taris and the icy wastes of Cania. For Neverwinter Nights, xoreos now also correctly smoothes the vertex normals of (binary) models, so that the metallic effect is not broken by sharp polygon edges.

Transparency mask + reflections = correctly rendered Sith trooper:
image image image
Without environment map, without smooth normals, correctly rendered armor part:
image image image
On the xoreos-tools side of things, there's now a new xml2tlk tool that can convert XML files created by the tlk2xml tool back into a talk table TLK file. Please note that, at the moment, only non-GFF'd TLK files can be written, as used by the two Neverwinter Nights games, the two Knights of the Old Republic games, Jade Empire and The Witcher. TLK files as used by Sonic Chronicles: The Dark Brotherhood and the two Dragon Age games can not be written (they can, however, be read with the tlk2xml tool).

Additionally, the convert2da tool gained the ability to write binary 2DA files, as used by the two Knights of the Old Republic games; and xoreostex2tga can now correctly read TPC cube maps.

Binaries for Windows, GNU/Linux and Mac OS X are attached to the GitHub release, here for xoreos and here for xoreos-tools. Additionally, packages for various GNU/Linux distributions can be found on the OpenSuSE Build Service (here for xoreos, here for xoreos-tools) and in Arch Linux's AUR (here for xoreos, here for xoreos-tools).

Alternatively, the repository and the source tarballs contain PKGBUILD files in dists/arch/ and a debian build directory in dists/debian/, which can be used to build Arch Linux and Debian/Ubuntu packages, respectively.

And as always, we're looking for more developers to join us in our efforts to reimplement those 3D BioWare RPGs. If you would like to help, please feel free to contact us. :)
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The comments on this article are closed.
Beamboom 1 October 2015 at 11:12 am UTC
... But what does it mean? Will we get "new"/better versions of the BioWare games built on this engine? Will it be a drop-in replacement for those of us who own those games?

Or.. What?
DrMcCoy 1 October 2015 at 11:20 am UTC
BeamboomWill it be a drop-in replacement for those of us who own those games?

Yes. Similar to how ScummVM, ResidualVM or GemRB function, it will be a drop-in replacement for the game's binary. You still need to own the game on original media / official legal download. It basically increases portability of the games and hopefully helps in prolonging their life.

And while accurate original gameplay is the primary goal, there's no reason to not have (optional) enhancements. Increases moddability, if you will. From what I see, NWN and NWN2 communities that still run persistent game worlds and similar would find that interesting.
mirv 1 October 2015 at 12:03 pm UTC
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I have a private branch which has started to restructuring the rendering backend for NWN, but it's slow going. There's a bit of a hill to get over before I can switch to full shader rendering - the slow going is my motivation to get it done. I've been trying to find time for weeks now, but I really do intend to get going again as soon as I'm able.
Maquis196 1 October 2015 at 12:41 pm UTC
I do look forward to playing Kotor on the pyra! Joys of cross-platform fun. Great update.
DrMcCoy 1 October 2015 at 12:57 pm UTC
Keep in mind that full game support of any kind, on any platform, is still a long way off. This could be helped by more contributors *hint* *hint*.
xyzzos 1 October 2015 at 1:16 pm UTC
Bug: "rendered rendered transparent". Maybe: "previously rendered transparent".
DrMcCoy 1 October 2015 at 1:37 pm UTC
Ah, yes, I missed that second copy of the word "rendered". My bad.

That mistake is also in the NEWS.md file in every single release package now. I should probably give that to someone else for proof-reading next time.
STiAT 1 October 2015 at 11:06 pm UTC
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Good job Doc... keep going :-). Very nice progress you make there.
Shaolu 5 October 2015 at 3:59 am UTC
It would be nice if this project got helped out by something like Google Summer of Code. It sure seems like there was massive improvement to Super Tux Kart after the interns with SoC got involved.
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