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Thread: XreaL: The Most Advanced Open-Source Game Engine?

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  1. #1
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    Default XreaL: The Most Advanced Open-Source Game Engine?

    Phoronix: XreaL: The Most Advanced Open-Source Game Engine?

    Last week Nexuiz 2.5 was released and we said it raised the bar for open-source gaming as it already offered impressive graphics and this new release was greeted by various engine improvements, new models, and over 3,000 other changes. Well, Nexuiz is not the only open-source first person shooter striving for perfection even without the backing of a major game studio. A relatively unheard of game engine is XreaL, which has not had a stable release yet but its lead developer claims that it is definitely the most advanced open-source game engine.

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=13687

  2. #2
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    That sounds pretty interesting, although the Sauerbraten engine and the Darkplaces Engine (minus the performance) are really good, too. Will definitly keep an eye on this project!

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    I have to say that it looks like it has some neat graphical features, but the heavy GLSL dependency worries me about code clarity. Taking a quick look in the SVN repos, this fear seems to be partially justified. Worse, they've put binaries in the svn repo, which is generally seen as bad practice. I'm afraid this project will fade away like many others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tulcod View Post
    I have to say that it looks like it has some neat graphical features, but the heavy GLSL dependency worries me about code clarity. Taking a quick look in the SVN repos, this fear seems to be partially justified. Worse, they've put binaries in the svn repo, which is generally seen as bad practice. I'm afraid this project will fade away like many others.
    I don't really know how you get from glsl and binaries in svn to "this project will fade away".
    It's pretty normal for smaller projects for you to keep some binary stuff around that you haven't gotten around to integrate fully in the build system and that rarely changes.

    Also the glsl code seems to be organized and nicely commented, might even be a good place for a newbie to get a feel for GLSL.

    Anyway, good luck to the XreaL developers, I hope we can see a playable release soon

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    Quote Originally Posted by [Knuckles] View Post
    I don't really know how you get from glsl and binaries in svn to "this project will fade away".
    It's pretty normal for smaller projects for you to keep some binary stuff around that you haven't gotten around to integrate fully in the build system and that rarely changes.

    Also the glsl code seems to be organized and nicely commented, might even be a good place for a newbie to get a feel for GLSL.

    Anyway, good luck to the XreaL developers, I hope we can see a playable release soon
    (no prior judgement intended) well, it is clear that the codebase is a mess, and raw GLSL code is scattered all over the place, resulting in badly maintainable code.

    And with only a bit of copy-paste-and-fill-in knowledge, it takes only 5 minutes to get a build system working for any project. The hard part is what comes next: automating unit tests, package installation, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tulcod View Post
    (no prior judgement intended) well, it is clear that the codebase is a mess, and raw GLSL code is scattered all over the place, resulting in badly maintainable code.
    Take a look at the originally released quake3 source code, hey this is loads better.

    Quote Originally Posted by tulcod View Post
    And with only a bit of copy-paste-and-fill-in knowledge, it takes only 5 minutes to get a build system working for any project. The hard part is what comes next: automating unit tests, package installation, etc.
    Unit tests would be a nice thing, but I've not seen them used in many other game engines either.

    Quote Originally Posted by curaga
    That was my point. There's no better in open stable drivers available, with Intel maybe an exception, but you can't play using those cards anyway.
    Theoretically Intel cards could work, but they suffer from some bugs which cause the xorg server to crash when running XreaL.

    With Mesa 7.2, it was possible to run the menu from XreaL, and hang when going in game.

    With Mesa 7.4, the menu hangs.

    As far as we (#xreal dwellers) know the software render path of Mesa works, but Intel drivers have bugs still.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlord
    I donno. The screens don't blow off my socks to be honest and this has nothing to do with the artwork. But maybe this is indeed a bit an unfortunate map to showcase who knows.
    Artwork is definitely the problem - details in terms of higher-poly models, better diffuse/normal/specular maps all contribute to the scene. People gape when they see massively reflective scenes, and think its cool - xreal supports that, but having a map do that looks pretty silly :P.

    The engine is in development still, but is nearing feature-completion. However, its main problem is that the XreaL project currently has no artists. It has been an almost solo effort - so this is quite an achievement.

    P.S. Hint, If you are an artist, and need something to do, head over to #xreal, and Tr3B will have his mile-long scroll art TODO list.

    EDIT: Noticed the article missed that XreaL supports skeletal animation, something that none of the popular opensource FPS games implement (there's MD4 support in ioquake3, but I do not believe its been utilised much). This would be crucial if one wanted to implement ragdoll physics. However, realistic physics hasn't been a goal of the engine, as XreaL has a tendency towards Quake3 style gameplay. However, I'm sure modders would be welcome to add support for it.

    EDIT2: Binaries are included in the SVN only for Windows. Linux binaries are not included and the chief development environment is on Linux. The sole reason is that there are a lot of windows gamers/modders/mappers who want to get started quickly, and setting up a build environment on Windows is darn difficult for non-programmers (and can be quite annoying for programmers too!). On linux is pretty much runnning scons builds the project, so its no problem.

    EDIT3:
    Quote Originally Posted by curaga
    I wasn't really complaining, merely stating the fact, and asking why an OSS game would use features you can't use on OSS drivers.
    To me that defeats the point of being an OSS game.
    That is a very strange question. First of all, XreaL is meant to use the latest capabilities of graphics cards. Some open-source drivers do not support the latest features, and in your case, features that were present 3-4 years ago. XreaL is OpenGL 3.x compatible, which means it is NOT OpenGL 2.x, 1.x backwards compatible. I repeat XreaL is designed for new architectures. Its bit like saying, "Why can't I install Ubuntu x86-64 on my 386 computer?" Granted, these are drivers, but the drivers have features pertaining to an older generation of graphics card.

    You can't fault an opensource game that faithfully implements the newest OpenGL spec because opensource drivers do not support the spec fully, or only provide partial support. In fact, you should be encouraged that an opensource game has managed it and before commercial games!
    Last edited by Raedwulf; 04-09-2009 at 02:35 PM.

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    GLSL + Binary = Fail. The idea behind GLSL is that you _don't_ need a compiler like CGC to get things done. The only thing that makes sense is to use a shader tree to generate the GLSL code but this is another problem. That said what's so advanced on this? I don't want to down-call on this project but looking at the screenshots I ask myself what is exactly so next-gen on it? ( because I ought to claim that this is not the most advanced engine... but I guess this depends on what part of the engine you look at )

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    Get urban terror running on this engine and I will be happy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlord View Post
    GLSL + Binary = Fail. The idea behind GLSL is that you _don't_ need a compiler like CGC to get things done. The only thing that makes sense is to use a shader tree to generate the GLSL code but this is another problem. That said what's so advanced on this? I don't want to down-call on this project but looking at the screenshots I ask myself what is exactly so next-gen on it? ( because I ought to claim that this is not the most advanced engine... but I guess this depends on what part of the engine you look at )
    Heh... You beat me to the same sort of remarks. I'm intrigued by the HDR support and a few other things, but the GLSL + Binary issue has me thinking similar thoughst to yours, Dragonlord.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonlord View Post
    GLSL + Binary = Fail. The idea behind GLSL is that you _don't_ need a compiler like CGC to get things done. The only thing that makes sense is to use a shader tree to generate the GLSL code but this is another problem. That said what's so advanced on this? I don't want to down-call on this project but looking at the screenshots I ask myself what is exactly so next-gen on it? ( because I ought to claim that this is not the most advanced engine... but I guess this depends on what part of the engine you look at )
    Well, I've talked with tr3b, the main developer (the only one too) of Xreal, and from what he told me, Xreal has native support for md5 model format, has superior graphical quality than doom3 had, and has much less overhead than quake4-doom3 had, among its features. One of their biggest problems with showing off Xreal's features is precisely because they need good quality art assets to be able to display their engine's awesomeness.

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