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The open source recreation of Daggerfall hits an important milestone

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Another classic game is getting closer to being fully playable natively on Linux. The project to recreate The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall in the Unity engine has hit an important milestone and now the the main quest is completely playable.

Daggerfall is the second entry in Bethesda’s long-running Elder Scrolls series of role-playing games and was originally released way back in 1996. It was an ambitious game, with thousands upon thousands of locations to explore in an virtual game area the size of a small real-world nation. It’s a game that I personally lost a lot of time to way back in the day and I’m happy to see that a project that allows me to play it natively on Linux is coming along swimmingly.

Daggerfall Unity hit the important milestone of having the main quest line be playable from beginning to end. In the post announcing this milestone, the main developer behind the project details how it’s taken nearly a year of development time to reach this point and it was probably the biggest hurdle to clear in the project. There’s still a lot left on the project roadmap including the magic system, important bits of the UI and things like vampirism that have yet to be implemented. Hopefully won’t be too long before everything else falls into place.

Currently the quest system is only available in the unstable builds, with further testing needed before a stable build is put out. Bethesda made Daggerfall free a few years ago to celebrate 15 years of the Elder Scrolls series, so you can download a copy directly from them.

You can try out Daggerfall Unity by grabbing a build here. There are also links there to acquire the game and see the code repository for the project.

Thanks for the tip Sasa.

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Shmerl 17 October 2017 at 6:22 pm UTC
Since it's using Unity, I won't call it open source really. Their own part is open, but the engine is not. In contrast, OpenMW is actually using a FOSS engine - Open Scene Graph.


Last edited by Shmerl at 17 October 2017 at 6:24 pm UTC. Edited 3 times.
Sslaxx 17 October 2017 at 6:27 pm UTC
It's as open source as it can be considering the base engine. It'd be interesting to see it transplanted to an OSS engine like Godot ala OpenMW (OGRE->OSG), but I am well aware that's probably not exactly realistic to expect (and not that it matters all that much anyway).

Giving Daggerfall the graphical fidelity of the later games would be fantastic, along with certain gameplay improvements. Nice to see this progressing!


Last edited by Sslaxx at 17 October 2017 at 6:29 pm UTC
MayeulC 17 October 2017 at 6:33 pm UTC
I am just curious to know the answer: why didn't they use OpenMW's engine? Is this game really that different?
Is it a total recreation of the game (assets and everything), or just the game engine?
Shmerl 17 October 2017 at 6:36 pm UTC
MayeulCI am just curious to know the answer: why didn't they use OpenMW's engine? Is this game really that different?
Is it a total recreation of the game (assets and everything), or just the game engine?

I suspect the answer would be something like "developer knew Unity and had no time to invest in other engines". Which is OK, it's their time, but makes their project non open really, since others can't just go and build it from source to get a playable game even if they have game assets.


Last edited by Shmerl at 17 October 2017 at 6:47 pm UTC. Edited 3 times.
TheSHEEEP 17 October 2017 at 8:13 pm UTC
Shmerl
MayeulCI am just curious to know the answer: why didn't they use OpenMW's engine? Is this game really that different?
Is it a total recreation of the game (assets and everything), or just the game engine?

I suspect the answer would be something like "developer knew Unity and had no time to invest in other engines". Which is OK, it's their time, but makes their project non open really, since others can't just go and build it from source to get a playable game even if they have game assets.
Unity is free to use afaik. I sure didn't have to pay anything to download it a year back or so.
Everyone can download Unity, load the Daggerfall project and build it.
Sounds open source enough to me.
Shmerl 17 October 2017 at 8:17 pm UTC
TheSHEEEPEveryone can download Unity, load the Daggerfall project and build it.
Sounds open source enough to me.

I think Unity doesn't fit several freedoms from the expected list. I.e. run it as you wish (for example can you just build it for Android, or they require special license?), and freedoms of modification and re-distribution. Otherwise it would have been a FOSS engine.


Last edited by Shmerl at 17 October 2017 at 10:21 pm UTC. Edited 3 times.
Apopas 18 October 2017 at 1:07 am UTC
TheSHEEEPUnity is free to use afaik. I sure didn't have to pay anything to download it a year back or so.
Everyone can download Unity, load the Daggerfall project and build it.
Sounds open source enough to me.
Freeware and opensource are two diiferent things.
TobiSGD 18 October 2017 at 4:29 am UTC
Shmerl
TheSHEEEPEveryone can download Unity, load the Daggerfall project and build it.
Sounds open source enough to me.

I think Unity doesn't fit several freedoms from the expected list. I.e. run it as you wish (for example can you just build it for Android, or they require special license?), and freedoms of modification and re-distribution. Otherwise it would have been a FOSS engine.
You need a special license for source code access, but other than that, Unity Free can be used for all supported platforms (including Android), unless the project makes more than $100.000 a year in gross revenues: http://download.unity3d.com/company/legal/eula
Shmerl 18 October 2017 at 4:30 am UTC
TobiSGDYou need a special license for source code access, but other than that, Unity Free can be used for all supported platforms (including Android), unless the project makes more than $100.000 a year in gross revenues: http://download.unity3d.com/company/legal/eula

It's still not FOSS.
BTRE 18 October 2017 at 4:53 am UTC
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The article does not argue that the Unity Engine is F(L)OSS. It's pointless to go back and forth on that point. The Daggerfall Unity project is MIT-licensed and the code available on an online repository. It is, therefore, open source. What matters is that anyone could take these files and do their own thing, even writing an FLOSS engine around their usage. This is why I stand by the article's title as well as the "open source" tag applied to it.

We could otherwise be here all day arguing definitions of open source but this is a discussion that has been around since the 90s and we're not going to resolve this in the comment sections of an article for a fan recreation of an old game.
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