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2003 Nov 10 20:14

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Re: [vox] open sourcing lucas arts' outlaws
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Re: [vox] open sourcing lucas arts' outlaws

That's cool~.  I'm not much of a gaming person but for the sake of open
source community I hope this happens.  Good luck!!


On Mon, 10 Nov 2003 p@dirac.org wrote:

> hi all,
> i sent the following email to the person in charge of lucas arts' game,
> outlaws.  outlaws is a FPS released about 7 years ago, and was a truly
> spectacular game.  one of the best in the genre, and as AFAIK, the only
> western based FPS.  my letter basically asked if there was any way
> possible for lucas arts to open source the outlaws engine, which would
> enable us to play that game on any platform that supports SDL (assuming
> it was ported to SDL):
>    Dear Mr. Stinnett,
>    My name is Peter Jay Salzman, and I'm an avid Linux user, programmer and
>    advocate.  John Romero told me that you might be the one to contact
>    about an interesting proposal.
>    LucasArts doesn't do anything small; anything they do, they do extremely
>    well, and Outlaws is no exception.   Outlaws is one of the best first
>    person shooters (FPS) I've ever played.  Its music score IS the best, to
>    date, of any FPS.  The cutscenes were works of art in their own right.
>    With the arguable exception of Half-Life, the story line, characters and
>    atmosphere blow all other FPS away.
>    Outlaws is now almost 7 years old.  The Dark Forces engine is nearly a
>    decade old.  Is it at all possible to open source the Outlaws engine?
>    There's certainly a precedence for this.  id Software open sourced Doom,
>    Doom2, Quake, and Quake 2.  Raven Software open sourced Hexen and Hexen
>    2.  3D-Realms released Duke Nukem 3D.
>    The game itself: the wad and pak files remained closed.  People who
>    want to play the game would download the open source engine, and
>    purchase the game CD's to use the wad or pak files.
>    There would be a number of benefits to LucasArts for this:
>    1. Make more money
>    Allowing the Open Source community to develop the engine would increase
>    sales of Outlaws and Dark Forces -- very old games which probably aren't
>    making much money anymore.  Simply put, it would make money for
>    LucasArts by opening up new markets.  By porting the game to SDL, people
>    on platforms supported by SDL: Apple, Linux, BSD, AIX, Solaris, HP-UX,
>    and much more, will be potential customers of Outlaws and Dark Forces.
>    2. Keep your work alive; turn it into a legacy.
>    As a developer, I'm sure you lived and breathed Outlaws for a long time.
>    It did well, made money, and is now becoming a memory.  I found my copy
>    in the bargain bin at CompUSA for $1.99.  Allowing the Open Source
>    community to take over development would breathe new life into the game.
>    You'll see amazing and spectacular things done with your work.  For
>    instances, the Doom engine is nothing like it used to be.  There are
>    Doom ports with OpenGL graphics, TCP multiplayer, jumping, free mouse
>    look, companion dogs, and much more.  It must be very gratifying to the
>    developers to see where the engine goes.
>    3. Goodwill to the Open Source community
>    Lastly, it would be a great gift to the Open Source community.  It would
>    ingratiate LucasArts with many people and cause a stir in a dynamic and
>    rapidly growing close-knit community, as well as other communities that
>    benefit from Open Source, like Apple and Sun Microsystems.  You would
>    help support the snowballing Open Source movement, which was very small
>    7 years ago, but is quite large and rapidly growing now.
>    The Open Source community loves LucasArts.  Between SCUMM interpreters
>    like scumvm and direct-X implementors like Transgaming's winex, we try
>    very hard to play LucasArts games.  Open sourcing the Outlaws / Dark
>    Forces engine would be a gesture of extreme goodwill to a large number
>    of your fans.
>    Please let me know what you think, and please don't hesitate to write
>    back or ask questions if this proposal sounds viable to you.
>    Sincerely,
>    Pete
> i received the following reply a few minutes after sending my request:
>    Hi Pete,
>    That is an interesting proposal.  LucasArts is traditionally very
>    protective of it's properties, so I think this is a long shot.  But if
>    you could tell me what would be required of LucasArts to put Outlaws
>    into open source, I can check into it.
>    Thanks for the compliments on Outlaws.  Someday, I hope to get a chance
>    to make another.
>    Daron Stinnett
> i've sent an email to john romero, author of doom, doom2, and quake
> since he came from a company that has made this exact same decision, and
> probably asked this exact same question.
> but to be honest, i'm not exactly sure of the answer myself, other than
> to make sure all the engine code belongs to lucasarts, relicense the
> engine code by including a copy of the GPL, tarball it, put it on an FTP
> server, and announce it to linuxgames.com and/or slashdot.
> obviously, his interest is there, so the answer is certainly not "no".
> can anything think of some things that would go into my reply that i
> didn't cover?
> thanks!
> pete

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