Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby Julius » 22 Jan 2013, 22:34

Well except for maybe Lips of Suna (and a few not so well progressing MMORPG projects)? Ahh, and there is OpenMorrowind's open content suite... but they are still far away from having a working RPG engine with editing tools and they also seem to be uninterested in anything not cloning Morrowind it seems.

Personally I don't really like the genre (Skyrim etc.), but we have good enough FOSS engines and just with the 3D models available on OGA (and some animations borrowed from other projects) one could easily make a prototype looking at least as good as The Witcher (maybe not The Witcher 2 ;) ) with plenty of content.

Really a pity to see so much really high quality RPG content not being used on OGA.
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby Arthur » 22 Jan 2013, 22:53

Because you didn't make it.
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby Sauer2 » 22 Jan 2013, 23:46

Because it's the biggest pile of work compared to most other kind of games, since lots and lots of content is required. For instance, integrating a good 3D artist into the team seems to be a hard task as they don't come in douzens.
Now scale that up to, let's say, twenty 3D artists working together using the same art style. Not gonna happen.
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby amuzen » 23 Jan 2013, 00:47

Few projects are able to attract enough people to be theoretically able to develop such a demanding game. Some succeed to attract a lot of either artists or developers, but it's necessary to find both, and few succeed in that. Those who get that far run out of patience just before the game is minimally playable because development taking a long time is a hard fact. They will hurry to bury the project really deep even if it was still trembling and kicking a bit. Finally, each developer who gets over the failure will start a new project from scratch because they do not want to join another, potentially failing project. Rinse and repeat. :p
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby leilei » 23 Jan 2013, 00:50

Sauer2 {l Wrote}:since lots and lots of content is required.

Not necessarily. Amulets & Armor, one of my favorite FPRPGs (and certainly way funner than Daggerfall and it even has coop multiplayer support), had color remaps of the same shortsword/longsword/dagger/staff/axe/mace sprites to work with. Same for armor, and it was fun finding them.

The hard part is the avatar system. A&A just had a 'default poser guy' :)

Also getting an artist to work with you is hard. I have to hit myself to make art for my own projects now since i'm not motivated from people without desire for it (i.e. ' or 'why art for so old 3d engine why not use some modernengineyouneednormalmapsfor')
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby Evropi » 23 Jan 2013, 00:55

I think these games are overrated and have many weaknesses, not the least of all the development model which requires a massive sink of financial resources and time - which is something only ZeniMax Media can only really pull off.

I think the OSS community actually surpasses these efforts with roguelikes, which are far more complicated and deep than such linear RPGs. I think the next great innovation in the field will be a roguelike that is able to combine great story with the freedom [Hack-like] roguelikes offer. That could very much be an open source game, as long as it's... more approachable than your average roguelike.

ToME4 is the closest we currently have to this but traditional RPG fans I've spoken too about it actually think it is very light on story - which really surprised me as a roguelike fan! It is considered the 'War and Peace' of roguelikes if you will due to its many quests. You can contribute your own by the way if you fancy yourself a writer, DarkGod take a very laissez-faire approach to development (though oh boy does he work hard on it) and when one person sent him 30 pages of storyline out of the blue he actually put them into the game.

Make no mistake; roguelikes have a lot of content in them, but they usually lack artists. I think the open source community can replicate the content. As for the art assets, especially on the level of The Witcher? I very much doubt that, sorry, especially when we're talking about thousands of assets required.
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby qubodup » 23 Jan 2013, 04:31

"classic"? http://javacrpg.sourceforge.net/ ?

Why does Lips of Suna not count?

Dungeonhack (DH) was fun when I was able to run an old demo, but it was also very basic.

youtu.be/S139FuLhTzI

My guess is that one of the reasons that prevent DH from reaching playability is aiming too high. I think the same was true for PARPG.
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby Julius » 23 Jan 2013, 07:18

@q : not as classic as javacrpg (why did that die btw? Legends of Grimrock is such a great game, even though frustratingly hard at the end), but yes DH was one of the few projects that attempted it.

LoS is not really contender since it seems to me to be based too much on dungeon mining and exploring (after all that is the key feature of the engine). However if the GUI system was enhanced and outdoor rendering focused on, it might be a good engine to start such a project.

About the comments that it is too much work... well that applies to single-player games in general. One could go the Never Winters Nights approach though and make it very easy to do custom story-lines to "crowd source" the story content.
About the too much content comments... well yes, but surprisingly enough there is A LOT of high quality stuff done already. I recently browsed through the OGA database while thinking about what could be used for the content pack of OpenMW, and it struck me that for such kind of RPGs there is really almost everything there already (great high quality 3D fantasy characters, an almost unlimited amount of medival style weapons and furniture, great plants and other vegetation, some good enemy creatures, and last but not least really great 2D menu/GUI artworks for inventory graphics and spells etc.).
It's a pity really that those are hardly used it seems... and for the existing top down RPGs or for other game genres those assets seem to be mostly not suitable.

Edit: Well a quick idea... maybe one could do a fantasy Left 4 Dead kind of game with light RPG elements. One dwarf, one elf, one barbarian and a wizard (e.g. the archetypical D&D group) band together to co-op explore dungeons. Would be more FPS like, most likely, but that would a game I would enjoy playing (as opposed to Skyrim or Morrowind) ;)
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby leilei » 23 Jan 2013, 13:47

So a first person Gauntlet?
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby Julius » 23 Jan 2013, 14:21

Yes (ahh the memories ;) ), although currently I think Gears of Wars style third person would be even cooler.
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby charlie » 23 Jan 2013, 14:25

qubodup {l Wrote}:My guess is that one of the reasons that prevent DH from reaching playability is aiming too high. I think the same was true for PARPG.

I disagree.

Technical mismanagement was the reason behind their failure. You can't just restart over and over. Even fully funded companies go under trying to do this (3D Realms). They had a somewhat playable demo and needed to refine/refactor it. IIRC they had 4 attempts to create something before I lambasted the suggestion of a 5th attempt which seemed to kill the enthusiasm of the developer. (Boo me!)
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby Myckel » 23 Jan 2013, 20:26

I think good world editing tools are also important and often missing. It should be easy for the artist to get his stuff in the world. From what I've seen, often you need to hack into text files to get something loaded.
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby qubodup » 23 Jan 2013, 20:31

@q : not as classic as javacrpg (why did that die btw?)

I think that timong switched hobbies to making music. :)

leilei {l Wrote}:So a first person Gauntlet?

My thoughts exactly, when reading Julius' words.

Dedication, time and skill are needed for any project. Skill at bringing (existing) mechanics, code and art together, finding writers, managing text strings and visual and audio files of various formats and licenses, skill at maintaining build systems and/or releasing playable versions for three operating systems.

charlie {l Wrote}:Technical mismanagement was the reason behind their failure. You can't just restart over and over. Even fully funded companies go under trying to do this (3D Realms). They had a somewhat playable demo and needed to refine/refactor it. IIRC they had 4 attempts to create something before I lambasted the suggestion of a 5th attempt which seemed to kill the enthusiasm of the developer. (Boo me!)

Aiming too high might have been the reason why the programmer(s) felt that their code so far was not adequate and aiming too high was what probably made the team agree (in silence?) not stop the programmer(s).

I'm not interested in blaming people by the way. Analyzing team/project dynamics: maybe. :)
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby Julius » 23 Jan 2013, 21:14

Hmm further refining the "Gauntlet" idea... should be definitely 3rd person to allow for good melee fighting (Mount and blade like, or maybe like Savage2?). Variable zoom to over the shoulder to allow for easy bow aiming etc.
Could include tower defense elements like "All Orcs must die", with wave like monster attacks (Killing floor like).
RPG elements could be MOBA (or Killing floor) like, e.g. you start a new character every (multi level) mission (L4D like) and get points for killing enemies, which can be invested into weapon upgrades and additional spells etc.

Suitable engine? A tessaract enabled Cube2 (Red Eclipse/Octaforge), or Lips of Suna (given development start up again and performance issues get sorted). Both have build in-game editors, so that would be great for crowdsourcing levels/missions. Looking just at what it can do already in regards to RPGs, LoS is probably the better choice, but I foresee more issues than with cube2 (which is much more production proven). Maybe this would be a good implementation project for Octaforge?

Anyone up for that? I could probably help out with graphics quite significantly but my attention span is sadly really low ;) But I already have some good assets in mind, and will probably work on a animation set and updated rig soon (need to test that new Blender IK system). In the case of LoS engine or Octaforge, I could probably also help with low skill level LUA scripting.

Ahh well... probably a pipe dream ;)


Edit: some art example that could be used:
http://opengameart.org/content/3d-sword-sorcery (collection with most of the stuff already... for outdoor maps in includes everything needed already)
My character proposals would be those nice meshes:
http://opengameart.org/content/rigged-textured-mage
http://opengameart.org/content/rigged-t ... ven-archer
http://opengameart.org/content/rigged-t ... xecutioner
http://opengameart.org/content/rigged-t ... -barbarian
http://opengameart.org/content/dwarf-fixed
(polycount around 10k, with normalmaps etc. perfectly usable for modern 3rd person games, but high quality animations would be needed).
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby leilei » 24 Jan 2013, 02:36

I'd also think Cube2 is suitable for the modular level design capability. Any id Tech would be too overwhelming for such a project due to the BSP mapping pipeline, even if we have procedural generation tools like Oblige.

Technical direction? Something like this + normal maps?
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby Evropi » 24 Jan 2013, 02:52

Knights is probably the closest thing to the gauntlet experience. We play every Sunday at 16:00 British Standard Time, please join us for a fun dungeon crawling experience.

Now the only thing left to do is to take the game into the 3D realm. :) Which allows for a lot more freedom in how players can interact with the environment - now that would make for an interesting game.
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby Julius » 24 Jan 2013, 22:05

Hmm... I guess Cube2 is the way to go. I might try to get one of the characters linked above into Red Eclipse just for the sake of it ;)
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby Evropi » 24 Jan 2013, 23:20

I disagree. Firstly, the Cube 2 Engine is a bit outdated at this point and it is undergoing major changes that will hopefully modernise it a little (unfortunately, the effort is very fragmented).

Secondly, generating a random map - what makes Knights so great, is extremely difficult. A Gauntlet-like MP game just wouldn't work very well without that aspect, in my opinion.

Anyway, I've seen loads of topics from you Julius saying 'hey let's clone this' and so on... wherein you provide little more than suggestions! How about you take some initiative and start a project, eh? ;) (and don't say about me, I'm simply not a good enough programmer to architect a complex game right)
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby Julius » 25 Jan 2013, 06:40

Evropi {l Wrote}:I disagree. Firstly, the Cube 2 Engine is a bit outdated at this point and it is undergoing major changes that will hopefully modernise it a little (unfortunately, the effort is very fragmented).

Secondly, generating a random map - what makes Knights so great, is extremely difficult. A Gauntlet-like MP game just wouldn't work very well without that aspect, in my opinion.

Anyway, I've seen loads of topics from you Julius saying 'hey let's clone this' and so on... wherein you provide little more than suggestions! How about you take some initiative and start a project, eh? ;) (and don't say about me, I'm simply not a good enough programmer to architect a complex game right)


Well obviously one would use a Tesseract enabled Cube2, so that really isn't a problem. Random maps in 3D games (that are not pseudo 2D, e.g. tile based)? Forget about that notion... simply not technically feasible. EDIT: e.g. impossible to make look good

About the starting a project... well quite simply put... I am painfully aware but I also lack the programming skills to do it all myself. Besides that... well attention span and motivation issues play a role :( So stay tuned for my next grand idea ;)
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby cdxbow » 25 Jan 2013, 16:47

I am interested in this thread b/c we have considered adding RPG elements to RE/MekArcade. One day we need an RPG engine to do rebel mars -> http://rebelmars.org

I am sure the main reason the lack of FOSS RPGs is the amount of content, a bucket load of models and scripting. I shudder with fear when I think about the model and script work, it's hard enough for a MP game, worse for a SP game and for an RPG I don't think it is feasible without a number of 3D artists.

I think people have done mods to the cube engine to produce random maps on the fly. I am pretty sure it's not impossible.

Evropi is right when he says the cube2 engine is getting a bit outdated, but I take offence at the 'fragmented effort'. Our effort is not fragmented ie player classes, destructibles, beefed up scripting, dynamic lighting, robust SP modes are all ticketed for 2013 for RE/MekArcade. About the only large area not getting worked on is the physics and this may get looked at later in the year.

As for which Cube2 variant? Someone suggested Octaforge, with Lua it may be a good choice for a RPG, (I haven't checked their progress for a while), most of the game would be written mainly in script, Eisenstern remains dead and buried. We may look at adding some RPG elements to RE/MekArcade in the future but it would depend on getting a coder to work on it, I don't think Quin would have time for it himself, and it wouldn't be until late 2013.
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby mdwh » 25 Jan 2013, 21:17

I think one problem may be animations - not only having them, but for an rpg it's more important to have a consistent set for different actions like hit, fire bow etc. Also ideally it should be possible to equip different weapons and armour, and have the model change, where as for things like fpss it's fine to have this built into the model, unchangeable.

Of course this problem applies to 2d too, but I think partly explains why many open source rpgs use simple gfx with no animation at all (as in rogue likes). Perhaps it's easier to find ppl able to create a consistent set of 2d gfx? Also with small 2d gfx, it's easier to hide details like if a player doesn't show quite the right weapon or armour.

Plus there's all the content for the world, things like the dungeon levels, walls etc themselves, which is easier in 2d, plus it's easier to write tools, or make use of existing tools.
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby BioHazardX » 28 Jan 2013, 15:34

There's Planeshift http://www.planeshift.it/
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby Julius » 28 Jan 2013, 19:18

Doesn't count as it is an MMORPG, and it btw has horrible gameplay too (in my opinion... arg I hate adding that disclamer ;) ).
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby Myckel » 28 Jan 2013, 20:07

And art is not free.
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Re: Why is there no 1st or 3rd person classic FOSS RPG?

Postby mdwh » 30 Jan 2013, 02:31

I recently came across http://sourceforge.net/projects/scourge/ , which is a 3rd person 3D RPG.
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