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Open source Quake 2 port emerges

Published: 13th Jan 2007, 23:07:55 | Permalink | Printable

Big Freaking Gun meets XScale-powered Iyonix

Quake 2 logoA free port of 3D death match game Quake 2 is on the cards after a programmer married the game's source code with the Iyonix's graphics acceleration. The alpha-quality RISC OS port, produced by Dave Brown, uses the OpenGL-compatible IyonixMesa library - which employs the 3D features in the Castle Iyonix's PCI GeForce graphics cards. Dave uploaded his efforts to the Internet earlier today, complete with source code and a pre-built version using the GCCSDK.

Published in December 1997, Quake 2 was made open source in 2001 by developers id, although you need to buy the game to get the official level designs, textures and other data to play. Dave admitted that the software needs speeding up to be playable, but suggested a number of ways in which this could be achieved - such as including DMA support in IyonixMesa and tackling the library's use of floating point math.

IyonixMesa developer Simon Wilson has said he will look into the DMA issue, and added that a fixed point OpenGL ES driver is possible and would be sufficiently quick on the 600MHz Iyonix. Simon also reported a show stopping problem with the newer GeForce FX cards used in the Iyonix and his IyonixMesa software, although he believes DMA support will address this.

According to Dave, the game currently "crashes a fair bit and is pretty slow", requires RISC OS 5.10 and a GeForce2 MX card, doesn't support sound, leaves dynamic areas behind, and has yet to be documented. The port was first started on Dave's RiscPC, but was shelved until he bought and Iyonix and made the software 32bit-compatible. An A9home and RiscPC version may also be possible using a software OpenGL driver. Development of the port was first discussed on the Iconbar forums.

Dave said: "It's very difficult to say how long it will be until it's fast enough to be properly playable. It also needs a fair bit of tidying up to make it 'consumer grade'. I guess the best thing to do is just watch this space. As they say, in Duke Nukem Forever style, it'll be done when it's done.

"Personally, I've no interest in attempting to make any money out of it. THe port is for my own and hopefully others' entertainment. As Quake 2 was released under the GPL, this port will be under the same licence."

• According to Jeffrey Lee, punters need to download a PC demo installer, set its type to &DDC (Archive), open it, and copy Install.Data.baseq2 to somewhere on your hard disc. Then edit !GLQuake2.!Run so that the Dir command is set to the directory containing your baseq2 file. Then at the game's console, type 'map demo1' to start a new game. The same can be done with the official game CD, and the Install.Data directory on it.

Quake 2 on RISC OS screenshot
A screenshot of the Quake 2 RISC OS port from Dave Brown


Read the original thread here, or download the pre-built game. For programmers, the pre-built libraries and the source code (all downloads are zip files) What is Quake 2?

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 is a RISC OS Userhighlandcattle on 14/1/07 2:02PM
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wow, very exciting news. This could be the most graphicaly adanced game the RISC OS platform has ever seen.... BTW what happened to the Duke Nukem Port?

 is a RISC OS Userleeshep on 14/1/07 3:37PM
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Great effort guys! I know it'll sound crazy but I almost wish it was a commercial release as it would be facinating to see what sort of sales you could get.

It's good to see this pushing/helping development of IyonixMesa - especially as I have a FX5200 ^_^ I can't assist with the coding but I'll certainly give it a test drive when I'm able!

 is a RISC OS UserJohnB on 14/1/07 4:45PM
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The Duke port is sitting on David's/my hard drive - it never quite got finished as I recall. We had it in demo form at one of the SW shows I think. It basically worked, but I think there were some occasional crash bugs and maybe something audio-wise as well. I'd like to support a commercial release of Quake2 (we have our updated quake1-32bit source etc) but sourcing the Q2 data in any retail form is likely to be tricky these days. Iyonix game sales have been pitiful, (as in under 20 sales total) but it has been said (rightly) that we don't do much promotion on them. Quake, Descent and Descent2 are all 32bit safe right now.

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 14/1/07 7:01PM
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As a side note, I think it is brilliant that Mesa is usable for real OpenGL games. I wasn't sure how comprehensive Mesa was, but this is proof that it is pretty solid - granted Quake2 only used a small subset of stuff, but it is very nice to see hardware accelerated stuff on the Iyonix. I guess the next step is for Mesa to become something akin to a system resource, preferably shipped on every Iyonix. That way the Iyonix can claim to be shipped with GL-based hardware accelerated 3D, which is rather nice!

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 14/1/07 7:05PM
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Ohhh now I'm remembering that GLquake1 source is also available... (begins to fantasise about moving some of the 300? quake boxes still stuck in the loft).

 is a RISC OS Userarawnsley on 14/1/07 7:09PM
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Well if the Iyonix could have GL 3D does anyone know if the A9 graphics processor is also an area that could benefit as well. After all RISCOS, what ever flavour, shipped with GL hardware acceleration sounds even better.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 14/1/07 8:09PM
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Would the Q1 GL source facilitate a RPC conversion of Quake 2?

 is a RISC OS UserAW on 14/1/07 8:53PM
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The A9's graphics processor does 2D only to the best of my knowledge. The original Mesa will run on any RISC OS machine using software rendering only. However, it is extremely slow and thus unusable for games. IyonixMesa shows a lot of promise with Quake - it renders at approx 3-6 frames per second making extensive use of floating point, so a fixed point (integer) version will run a great deal quicker. The slow frame rate is only due to the rate at which the ARM can calculate each frame and send the data to the grpahics card - the NVidia GPU itself is not the bottleneck here.

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 14/1/07 11:40PM
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I must confess myself disappointed to see Drobe use the bowdlerisation "Big Freaking Gun". Whilst this weapon is apparently described as "Big, uh, freakin' gun" in the Quake 2 game manual, Tom Hall's original design document for Doom leaves no doubt as to the true meaning of 'BFG': [link]

 is a RISC OS Userthesnark on 16/1/07 1:31AM
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