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Default Xoreos - New Update

September 3rd, 2018, 21:32
rjshae noticed that Xoreos has received an update. Xoreos is an open-source reimplementation of the BioWare Aurora Engine which includes games like Neverwinter Nights, Dragon Age and Knights of the Old Republic.

xoreos 0.0.5 “Dawn Star” Released

Fashionably (?) late, but still finally there, a new release of xoreos arrives! xoreos 0.0.5, nicknamed “Dawn Star”, coming with xoreos, xoreos-tools and for the first time, Phaethon, an in-progress graphical resource explorer.

A lot has happened in the last two years. A busy real life unfortunately made me miss the yearly “Not-Thanksgiving” progress report last year…so this here will be a kind of combination release post and progress report. Buckle up, this will be a long one. If you’re only interested in the short release notes, move on to the GitHub release pages linked above and again at the bottom of the post. Cool? Cool.

So, continuing from the last progress report in 2016, what exactly has happened?

[…]

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September 3rd, 2018, 21:32
Judging from the vids, graphics-wise it looks about as good as the original and it seems to be functional to the point where one could almost play it. There's still glitchiness to be worked out though. It will get interesting once it reaches the point where one can play a full game in its entirety using this engine.
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September 3rd, 2018, 21:40
Completely forgot about this. Thanks for sharing it rjshae.

One question though will it allow the games to play with updated graphics?
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September 3rd, 2018, 22:07
What is the advantage of this engine over the originals ?
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September 3rd, 2018, 22:52
I think the main advantage would be that it gives total freedom to make modifications and additions, plus the fact that they now have an engine they could use for making other RPGs.
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September 3rd, 2018, 23:05
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
I think the main advantage would be that it gives total freedom to make modifications and additions, plus the fact that they now have an engine they could use for making other RPGs.
Yes but would EA, Bio-ware , and whoever made the other RPG's let them?

Just remember the Aurora Engine is owned by BioWare, and this Xoreos engine seeks to reverse engineer that to build a new opensource engine. I may be wrong though.
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September 3rd, 2018, 23:06
Well technically Witcher 1 was using a heavily modified version of the nwn1 engine. Probably too modified to work for Xoreus but you never know.
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September 3rd, 2018, 23:21
Originally Posted by Silver View Post
Well technically Witcher 1 was using a heavily modified version of the nwn1 engine. Probably too modified to work for Xoreus but you never know.
Yeah it's amazing how CD Projekt modded the Aurora Engine. Though they had to pay for it and it was not free to use. Shame not many mods are available or never finished.

Update and Off-topic: Does anyone remember the Witcher prototype?

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Last edited by Couchpotato; September 3rd, 2018 at 23:46.
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September 3rd, 2018, 23:31
Witcher and Jade Empire are both being worked on with this it looks like.

Same with Dragon Age and Dragon Age 2. I had no idea those engines were to Aurora that they could be modified into it. I do know that a lot of the Infinity Engine went into the original Aurora which is why a lot of the graphics got twisted up.

One problem of course is people want to do the opposite to NWN - make it look better, not port the graphics into another engine which was doable since before its inception.

The real benefit would be to use options not even available in NWN:EE like default audio and graphics. A lot of the base game is still not open.

Also, you wonder if its possible that Witcher and Dragon Age could be modified to work with multiplayer.
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September 3rd, 2018, 23:43
Originally Posted by you View Post
What is the advantage of this engine over the originals ?
It's a FLOSS software intended for Linux/MacOS, so playable on other platforms besides WindowsOS. Plus the source is completely open, so perhaps the performance and graphics can be made better than the original?

Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
One question though will it allow the games to play with updated graphics?
Somebody would need to write the enhancements.
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September 3rd, 2018, 23:47
Originally Posted by Couchpotato View Post
Yes but would EA, Bio-ware , and whoever made the other RPG's let them?

Just remember the Aurora Engine is owned by BioWare, and this Xoreos engine seeks to reverse engineer that to build a new opensource engine. I may be wrong though.
I think they'd be OK if it was a reimplementation using entirely their own code, and stayed away from tradenames and so forth.

I think there'd be more chance of problems with the Star Wars IP if they started making mods and so forth. I think they'd legally be OK under fair use, if they're not charging money, but who could face Disney in court? If I wanted to do something that might attract litigious bullying, I'd put the project on something like Zeronet, where they couldn't get to me or shut the site down.
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September 3rd, 2018, 23:55
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
I think they'd be OK if it was a reimplementation using entirely their own code, and stayed away from tradenames and so forth.

I think there'd be more chance of problems with the Star Wars IP if they started making mods and so forth. I think they'd legally be OK under fair use, if they're not charging money, but who could face Disney in court? If I wanted to do something that might attract litigious bullying, I'd put the project on something like Zeronet, where they couldn't get to me or shut the site down.
Yeah it's widely known that you never touch Disney or Bethesda IP's. As someday down the line a lawyer will contact you with threats, and a cease and desist letter.
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September 3rd, 2018, 23:59
EA tends to wait pretty late before they lower the hammer.

Mods tend to be okay with them, but whole rebuilds they don't like.
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September 4th, 2018, 09:32
EA may send the letter but this one might be easy enough to win in court. The open foundation will defend projects like this one as long as it is strictly not using copyright material. The issue might come if they support the scripting language. Not sure what language nwn used (home grown or something in the public domain)

Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
EA tends to wait pretty late before they lower the hammer.

Mods tend to be okay with them, but whole rebuilds they don't like.
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September 4th, 2018, 15:23
So anybody noticed, if you take away the X we get OREOs???!!! The One Cookie that controls them all..
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September 4th, 2018, 19:52
xoreos lead here, here to clear up a few things. Feel free to throw questions my way, too . (Yes, I've got a Google Alert on "xoreos" )

Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
Judging from the vids, graphics-wise it looks about as good as the original
No, not really. It's missing lighting, for once. We're currently, still, in the process of rewriting the renderer, to use more modern GL code (ripping out my old naive OpenGL 1.2-era code). That will still take a while, though.

Originally Posted by rjshae View Post
and it seems to be functional to the point where one could almost play it.
Depends on the game. KotOR and NWN are the two games we've implemented the furthest, so far, allowing for some limited play. NWN2, Jade Empire, The Witcher and the Dragon Age games only allow you to fly around in the areas spectator-style.

The screenshots on the xoreos website show the state of the individual games a bit: https://xoreos.org/screenshots/index.html (click on each image to pull up a bigger version).

Originally Posted by you View Post
What is the advantage of this engine over the originals ?
Short answer: portability, moddability, openness.

Originally Posted by Silver View Post
Well technically Witcher 1 was using a heavily modified version of the nwn1 engine. Probably too modified to work for Xoreus but you never know.
The first Witcher game is indeed a target for xoreos.

Originally Posted by Lucky Day View Post
I had no idea those engines were to Aurora that they could be modified into it.
There were a lot of changes, and a lot of new middleware added, but at the core, they're still very Aurora-y.

Dragon Age: Inquisition isn't anymore. BioWare/EA is finished with this engine, it seems.

Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
I think they'd be OK if it was a reimplementation using entirely their own code
It is entirely our own code. Most of the information was gleemed by spelunking, looking at files in an hex editor, work done by others, educated guesses, etc. I personally only looked in the disassembly to find out a few information. There's no straight-up disassembly->C++-code transformation in there.

Mostly, that's because newer games (and I do count Neverwinter Nights as a "newer game" ) are way more complex, and stuck in their way, so to speak. If you want to do what we're doing, you can't lift up the code as is.

That's different in, say, ScummVM, another project I have (well, had, it's been a while) my fingers in. There, it was more feasible to reimplement directly from the disassembly in a lot of cases.

Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
and stayed away from tradenames
We don't misuse any trademarked material. Despite popular wisdom, you can freely reference trademarked concepts. What you can't do is trying to look like the original article. Remember: the point of a trademark was to protect the customer from confusing counterfeits. xoreos is completely safe in that respect.

However, I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
I think they'd legally be OK under fair use, if they're not charging money
First of all, IANAL, but from my understanding, the "not charging any money" bit is overstated. That's one point among many if you want to determine if something is fair use. Not charging any money doesn't make something automatically fair use, and charging money doesn't automatically make it not fair use. It's one factor that weights into the decision.

But, also, I'm not in the US. This definition of fair use doesn't really apply to me, for better or for worse, because I'm in a different jurisdiction. And yes, it does work differently in the EU.

Originally Posted by you View Post
The issue might come if they support the scripting language.
No. The scripting language is has nothing to do with any of this, one way or another.

If what you're eluding to is the Oracle vs Google case with Java, that's a completely different situation. Entirely.

Heck, in the case of NWScript (the main scripting language used in the Aurora engine games), BioWare even explictely opened it. They released specs. It was one of the main draws of NWN, back in the day.

There has been a FLOSS NWScript compiler for decades now (by a group of people calling themselves the OpenKnights Consortium). There's a JIT compiler used by the NWN2 persistent world community (that's still alive, to this day!).

And yes, of course xoreos interprets NWScript. It kind of has to. Just like GemRB interprets the Infinity Engine scripts, just like all the ScummVM engines interpret their scripts. That's a given.

(Additionally, The Witcher uses Lua in combination with NWScript. Very weird )

Originally Posted by mercy View Post
So anybody noticed, if you take away the X we get OREOs???!!! The One Cookie that controls them all..
Yes, xoreos is kind of a pun on a few things:

It used to be called "Eos", which is the Greek equivalent to the Roman dawn goddess Aurora. However, everyone and their dog uses Eos as a name, so I had to look for something more easily googleable. I'm not really all that creative with names, though.

So yes, I saw that the plural of the popular brand of cookies does contain eos. If you remove "or" as a prefix, and read it as a boolean operator, the logical or, and then transform it into a "xor" (exclusive or), put it back on, you've got xoreos.

Yes, it's only kind of a pun, and bouncing off several corners, but it stuck.

Aaanyway, I'm happy to answer any questions about the project you might have. We're also always looking for more contributors (and the relative lack of contributors (though I do of course appreciate every single person, every single commit, every single issue) is why the project is only going so slowly). If any of you want to contribute or know people who would, feel free to ping me. Here, on IRC, by mail, wherever. You'll find contact information on the xoreos website (I don't want to spam too many links in my first post, lest I might anger a spam filter).
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September 4th, 2018, 20:55
Welcome at the Watch, DrMcCoy!
Originally Posted by DrMcCoy View Post
If any of you want to contribute or know people who would, feel free to ping me. Here, on IRC, by mail, wherever. You'll find contact information on the xoreos website (I don't want to spam too many links in my first post, lest I might anger a spam filter).
Please, put them in your second post, if you like. No spam filter here, just not-easily-irritated me.
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September 4th, 2018, 20:56
Thanks for taking the time to post. I think you're right about the legal status, fair use, etc. My concern is not so much that you wouldn't have a valid case, it's more about how to avoid waking the bear. It's the litigious bullying that large corporations can use, where they may not have a strong case, but can grind you down through attrition, and kill a perfectly reasonable project.
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September 4th, 2018, 21:23
Originally Posted by Eye View Post
Please, put them in your second post. No spam filter here, just not-easily-irritated me.
*Sad trombone*
Post rejected because of a score of: 375 Rejection set to: 100.

Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
My concern is not so much that you wouldn't have a valid case, it's more about how to avoid waking the bear.
Sure, but there's really nothing I can do in that respect, short of not doing xoreos in the first place. I'm in the same boat as OpenMW, ScummVM, GemRB, CorsixTH, and hundreds of similar projects there. Worrying about the prematurely doesn't get me anywhere.
Originally Posted by Ripper View Post
where they may not have a strong case, but can grind you down through attrition, and kill a perfectly reasonable project.
That risk is always there. It could hit the Neverwinter Vault, it could hit Mix'n'Mojo, it could hit Deadly Stream. Heck, it could hit this site too.

The small news site TechDirt was hit by a libel suit from the person who claims to have invented email, and they had to scrounge for support.
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September 4th, 2018, 21:57
Oh, and btw, I'm…not a fan of your spam filtering when registering either. It took me literally more tries than I cared to count. The Google CAPTCHA stuff is already bad (is that a store front? I DON'T KNOW.), but then your added questions are…something else. "How many numbers are in eleven", what does that even mean? The number of digits? It rejected "two", though.

</rant>, sorry.

Oh, nice, this post went through without having to wait for the moderator. My other one is still in the queue. "No filtering", yes
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