30 Aug 2000 DrCode   » (Journeyer)

Open-Source Coolness

For two years, I worked on Exult pretty much by myself. At first, it was just a simple Ultima7 map browser; later, the ability to simply walk around as the Avatar was added. Finally, with the addition of the Usecode virtual machine, it became an actual game engine. But it was still fairly primitive; and, as a one-person project, it was doubtful that it could ever be a complete game.

But it was enough to get some attention, especially after the move to SourceForge. Willem joined to do a Win32 port, and has continued on doing other work. Dancer wrote the Linux and Timidity audio code, an area where I have no experience whatsoever. Tristan implemented the entire intro. screen with menus and opening animation, and has also written a Gimp plugin for editing U7 graphics. A developer named CoderInfidel did lots more decoding of the U7 data files, and also added the weapon animations. And 'Colourless Dragon' has figured out and implemented the NPC flags, fixed the movement code, and is working on support for Serpent Isle.

And finally, out of the blue, 'Kreed', who wrote the advanced 2XSal scaler for Snes, has contributed the same algorithm implemented in C++ for Exult.

This is all incredibly cool, allowing me to concentrate on the game engine itself. Anyway, excuse me if I'm starting to sound like one of the NPC's at an Ultima7 Fellowship Meeting.

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