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GNU is Not Unix

Verge2 GPLed 116

Mandoric writes "Verge2, a fairly popular 'Create-your-own-RPG' system, was GPLed today. Basically, this system allows one to create a console/Japanese style RPG with routines for graphics, audio, etc. already in place. Source is available here"
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Verge2 GPLed

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  • Hopefully this will spawn some RPGs for Linux now that there is a GPL'd engine out their for people to use. It sure can't hurt :)

  • Licencing this type or any type of software is good for the community....

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Not the GPL again. One more notch in Stallman's keyboard.
  • by cbraescu ( 59168 ) on Sunday January 02, 2000 @06:05AM (#1417759) Homepage
    "Well, here it is guys. The V2 source under the GPL. It's the old DJGPP engine that may not even work. Deal with it. "

    I don't like this; GPL (or any other way to Open-Source) should not be used to hide a real throw-away.
  • From the article: Well, here it is guys. The V2 source under the GPL. It's the old DJGPP engine that may not even work. Deal with it. This is the beginning of more updates to come that will bring with them the newer V2 source trees (which actually work! *gasp*), so that you can watch as progress is being made, or possibly even chip in and help out.

    Hopefully those future updates come along quickly since it doesn't sound like this version is very usable. Also, it doesn't sound like they're all too supporting of Linux development/porting, but since it's GPL we shouldn't have any problems porting it over:

    Also, lore made an archive for anyone who wants to port to Linux (though I wouldn't know why you'd want to port this old crap)

    It might be better to wait for future updates depending on how quickly they come out though considering how bad/old this codebase is, still wouldn't hurt to check it out though.

  • by Rupert ( 28001 ) on Sunday January 02, 2000 @06:23AM (#1417761) Homepage Journal
    I actually like this trend of freeing old software. While it would undoubtedly make us all feel better if all software was free, there are good reasons to keep a program closed-source. If the environment changes (and it does) then the advantages of closed-source can evaporate, leaving it in the best interests of everyone to open-source it. If it works, or contains worthwhile code, people will use it. If not, it will die. Either way, it's all upside.

    I think one of the best points in this model is that you no longer have to support clients that are ridiculously back-level. Publish the source code and have them fix it themselves or pay some random hacker to do so.

    ESR wrote an interesting essay [] on this subject.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Porting to linux should be easy if they release something that compiles with DJGPP. As I understand it, they use the Allegro library for graphics and that has been ported to linux already.
  • There is an archive for anyone that wants to help with a linux port at r.gz . It would be cool to see a bunch of RPGs for linux.
  • Think Final Fantasy or Dragon Quest.
    As opposed to Bard's Tale or Wizardry or something
    It's hard to describe, but there's 'feel' differences. ^_^
  • by Robotech_Master ( 14247 ) on Sunday January 02, 2000 @06:53AM (#1417770) Homepage Journal
    As I mentioned in an "Ask Slashdot" I submitted the other day but was never posted, there are other old games that a lot of people would love to see open-sourced. For example, Darklands [], the 1992 Microprose/SSI RPG of medieval Germany. It was originally supposed to be part of a larger set of games, but Microprose never got around to doing the sequels. It was buggy at first, but in many respects was far ahead of its time; people are still playing it today.

    But even though the game itself is no longer sold, and even shows up on abandonware sites [] for people to download, its source is still locked away in Microprose's vaults, doing no conceivable good to anyone. Writing to [mailto] hasn't done any good, though people have been trying for eight years.

    Any thoughts?
  • by Leonel ( 52396 ) on Sunday January 02, 2000 @06:58AM (#1417771) Homepage
    If you actually read further on the page, you would see in the previous day post:

    I'm open-sourcing the V2 codebase either today or tomorrow. What I'm going to do first however, is release the old DJGPP trees from the public work-in-progress release of V2 (or maybe it was a version or so after that, I forget). It will have a few things missing, such as the CD audio code, and perhaps the FLI code, I'm not sure yet--this is all due to the fact that the source will be released under the GPL license.

    That means what was released today is an old version, and the new one - "(which actually work! *gasp*)," - will come in a few days. Well, I guess we should wait and see.

    In a similar topic, Jet3D [] has recently released its source (its the 2.0 version of the open-source Genesis 3D [] engine. A CVS tree is being set up, and a linux port of this breathtaking engine would be great!

  • an open source flight sim engine.

    unfortunately the sort of maths involved for the 3d and aircraft modelling is a bit beyond me..

    i just think that linux, being the geek OS it is, would have a lot of flight sim players out there :)

  • You can have American-made Japanese-style RPGs, and Japanese-made American-style RPGs. It basically comes down to whether the developer values their d20 or their anime cels more. ^_~

    Plus, at least one of the workers at Crave had worked for Square in the past, so that was probably a bit of an influence...
  • Still is better than not getting the code at all, right? Theese people deserve the same credit as John Carmac gets when releasing Quake under the GPL...

    One area where I'd really like to see more things GPL'd is among the device drivers. Having the source for those, I believe, would probably speed up hardware compability for Linux/*BSD significantly, even if it is windows drivers.

    // Simon
  • This thing isn't even meant for Linux. Seriously, I have nothing against people GPL'ing old software (better than just trashing it, I guess), but if you're going to write a new RPG you'd really be better off starting from itch on this one. Of course, that's just my opinion; I could be wrong.


    "You can't shake the Devil's hand and say you're only kidding."

  • I've been following Verge since it's inception and that kid has done wonderful work and has a HUGE following of game programming wannabe's. Verge1-2 is a great piece of software and I was wondering when he was going to GPL it.

    This is good news!
  • Ah, but there is one. [] is an open source flight sim project that has been in development for some time now. I don't know what the latest status is, but if it's ever finished it should be quite something (as opposed to quite nothing, which of course nobody wants).
  • Has the good sir considered trying to port the code? I may be wrong, but it shouldn't be too hard, considering. A little svgalib hacking-in, and such.. of course, its just MY opinion, but I could be wrong. Anyway.
  • by Tom Christiansen ( 54829 ) <> on Sunday January 02, 2000 @08:02AM (#1417783) Homepage
    Is this an RPG is the sense of a `rôle-playing game', that is, a shared experience with coöperative story-telling drawing upon the skills and imagination of the players to pretend to be something they're not? Is this a mere video `game' masquerading as an RPG--you know, just a pseudo-random `roll-playing game' involving rolls of the dice rather than a `rôle-playing game' involving play-acting using alternate personæ?

    This is probably revealing of my complete naïveté in these matters, but so be it. It's a real question, and I'd like to know the answer. I honestly don't know which kind of RPG (roll or rôle) it is, and would like to.

    I believe I can attribute much of my early interest in computing to gaming experiences during my tender years. I was employee number nineteen or so working for the notorious Gary Gygax back in Lake Geneva at TSR Hobbies during junior and senior high school. I hated the tedious mechanics of die rolls, although delighted in inventing new formulæ for various gaming systems. I wanted some kind of mathematical basis for all the endless systems (combat, magic, etc), but didn't want to think about it once it got running.

    That way everyone could really get into their assumed rôles. Group story-telling was always what RPGs were really about, and where they were at their best. It didn't matter whether you were playing Dungeons and Dragons, Boot Hill, Empire of the Petal Throne, Gamma World, Metamorphosis Alpha, In the Labyrinth, Rune Quest, Chivalry and Sorcery, Space Opera, or any of the other classic RPGs. It was the childlike wonder of dynamically invented worlds that made these games truly excellent. It's like the `make believe' games children have always played, and which adults sometimes play as well.

    I was also wondering whether someone might have a regular tarball of this stuff that actually comes with files that aren't SCREAMING AT YOU, Makefiles that actually work, source code that isn't polluted with spurious carriage returns all over it, READMEs that bother describe what the thing is for or how to build it? A Configure script and and patches that let it compile under standard C would be nice, too.

    I guess I'm spoiled by begin used to:

    $ tar zxf foopack-1.00.tar.gz
    $ cd foopack-1.00
    $ sh configure
    $ make all test && sudo make install

    I've always wondered why programs that get autoconfed don't come with a makefile that knows to automatically run configure the first time if it hasn't been run before. That way you can "just type make".

    (PS: I am fully aware that my spelling in this posting has the air of Wardour Street about it. I was trying to exaggerate the visual distinction between rolls and rôles, so decided to go with the flow. :-)
  • by Anonymous Coward
    There's already a GPLd project that's not thrown-away, very much like Verge, and still under development. It's called MegaZeux (MZX for short, megazeux on SourceForge), and it doesn't get hyped because, like V2, the codebase sucked. So it got released, but it's getting rewritten (and will remain free). Check out mWorld [] for some basic info, or SourceForge for development stuff.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    What's this? No ranting about the inherent evils of the GPL in an article with GPL in the title? This is impossible.

    What have you done with the real Tom Christiansen? :-)

  • It's only a matter of time now before there's a Final Fantasy where hemos subverts the world with his nacho-cheese like energy source and 4 kernel hackers from a small villiage rise up to contest him.
  • True, while MegaZeux is a bit more campy than Verge, it has a wider range. There have been RPGs, Platform Games, Puzzle Games, Adventure Games, etc... for MZX.

    MegaZeux started out as a shareware game taking after Epic Megagames ZZT. It is still ASCII-based, yet allows you to edit the characters & the color tiles. It has also benefited greatly from being open sourced, as you can imagine, from being an old EMS-based DOS game.

    It has been a lot of fun to work on development (mainly, new features that will be implemented once the new codebase comes out), almost as much fun as making games for it.

    Dr w.

  • I believe it outputs it's own data file in a similar manner as the QuakeC compiler did for the original Quake.
  • a linux port of this breathtaking engine would be great!

    Even better would be a UNIX port, so everyone could use it.
  • Hmm, screaming tarballs, doesn't play like Metamorphosis Alpha... sounds like you got ripped off. Why don't you ask for your money back?

  • If it was written using Allegro, one wouldn't have to do very much at all in the way of porting, since the Linux port of Allegro is nearly perfect...
  • No, Linux is just the 0.0001%, not a fluke. Remember, one in a million chances happen 9 times out of 10.
  • I should take this opportunity to point out that Megazeux, another game creation system, has also been released under the GPL a while ago. Megazeux has quite a large following despite its dated technology. more information -- _grp=35 [] [] []
  • It's difficult to take screenshots in mzx because it edits the ascii fonts to make its graphics. I don't know of any screen capture programs that can grok this. Fortunately, some screen capture code was added into the new version, so we should start seeing some screenshots on the sites soon.
  • mWorld has quite a few screenshots. Click on 'Games' up at the top, and then, on the list, click on the little smileys for a review of the game, many of them have screenshots. (Look for happy smileys, as those are probably the nicer games.) Dr W.
  • There may be several disadvantages, but it could prove an excellent place to hunt for "prior art" it you want to challenge one of the numerous silly patents that are increasingly clogging the noosphere. (Hope that's the correct word! The area where things are known.)
  • Woah, calm down. Where did I force anyone to port anything?? I am a game programmer, and I am working with this great engine right now. I just thought I could let you know about this great free engine so others could benefit from it as much as I did, and quite possibly contribute to it.

  • Personally, I think Ultima 7 is the best CRPG available in terms of story, gameplay, graphics (they still aren't BAD) etc... The only problem was the lame memory issue. I've been wanting to play similar games for such a long time, except it seems that no other company, for ONCE, bothered to copy such a great game. I know there are some map editors availbable for the game and there is Exult, [] which allows you to move around the Ultima 7 world in Linux. I am wondering if anyone at /. knows of further information on the hoped Ultima 7 (Not Serpent Isle) source code release or of any other development on Ultima-like games.
  • Why do you want to wait until Cmdrtaco resigns? The code which mentains this site runs under GPL, so why don't you do it yourself?!?

  • One of the reasons that the source may not have been released is that the source may no longer exist. Hard to believe, but computer game companies are pretty unorganized when it comes to keeping source around, especially source from 1992.
  • a little perusing on [] lead to this utility:

    screen thief []

    it can captuer images to gif format
  • Yes, but who metametamoderates the metamoderators?

    Your Working Boy,
  • Pokemon and Magic the Gathering are both RPGs in today's world.

    And THAT STATEMENT has really killed my good millennium mood.. I really hate what MtG, Pokemon, and all those other annoying CCGs have done to true gaming (AD&D, Shadowrun, Vampire to pick a few of my faves from a hat)..

    Old gaming pals tell me to check out online versions (mud-style mostly) but it just isn't the same.. How many of you actually drew your MUD characters, or painted pewter models of them? (Did I just show a fanatic bit here? ;)

    I guess it's like a thing I used to have in my life that I can only look back on, like a good friend from college who doesn't have email...
    Your Working Boy,
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I have recently sent emails to many game companies and politelity asked them if they could release the source code to my old favorite games from 1989+ that they no longer are selling. Most of my emails didn't even get a reply and those who replied didn't write anything sensible. I think that this is a thing we should deal with. We should start a campaign so that we might possibly get the source code to some of the old classics like Ultima Underworld, Darklands and so on.
  • Why not post a article addressing the fallacies of 'Cathedral'? Or are you just some idiot troll with no balls?
  • Legendes [] is an interesting thing I recently stumbled on. The author says, "Legendes is a complicated story, which can be summarized as follows: stagnation, restart from scratch, one month's development, repeat ad lib. Currently, Legendes is in the ``stagnation'' phase. Duration of this phase is unknown."

    It looks like an older version of Ultima. The first version is written in Pascal, but the sequel is written in C. The ftp directory [] does show some signs of life. They also have something that looks like a client. After trying Ultima Online (and being annoyed by its amazing slowness on 128mb/266Mhz/Cable Modem setup, as well as the Win32 requirements), I think it'd be interesting if we had an OpenSource RPG that worked similar to Ultima, but wthout all the slowness :-)
  • On Role/Roll:
    I poked around for games created using the Verge engine that might be role-playing, but didn't see anything. Mostly, I just saw FF and Zelda-type games.

    I then poked around the code and dev docs and I think it's possible to create a role-playing game with some modicum of role-playing involved. And I think that it's possible--but it'd take a lot of effort. Even as such, I don't think we'll ever going to see a one-player computer game that will ever reach the levels that gaming around a kitchen table until the wee hours of tomorrow afternoon whilst snacking on leftover pizza, nilla wafers, and A&W Root Beer. MUDs and online gaming communities sometimes come close though.

    On presentation kinds of things (README file, install/config scripts...):
    I'm glad they GPL'd whatever they did actually GPL because it's neat to see people making the leap of faith to GPL the product of their toil and sweat. Though I kind of think that folks would look at other GPL'd software for guidance to make some adjustments to their distrobution before GPL'ing their software.

  • Maybe I'm just ignorant, but I don't understand that comment.
    I take it the comment was intended to be negative in nature, and I don't understand that either. IMHO, only commercial software should be closed-source. If you're not going to sell it, GPL it!
  • We can spell correctly, and use correct grammar.

    Good lord, I'm annoyed by the lack of proper spelling and grammatical structure these days (though I myself tend to overparenthesize and fly off on tangents: must be the effect of hypertext on human discourse ;)..

    Man, I've forgotten so much Latin.. (And what a promising student I was, before I discovered USENET, Netrek and mast^H^H^H^H (not necessarily in order ;) )..

    "Romanus Eunt Domus? The Roman they go to the house???"

    Your Working Boy,
  • Look who slipped through the moderation net.

    Since you obviously feel there are fallacies in The Cathedral and the Bazaar [], why don't you post the article? I was actually referring to The Magic Cauldron [], which you'd have known had you followed the link.

    Not that there aren't flaws in The Cathedral and the Bazaar [], I just didn't think they were relevant to this discussion.
  • The difference is Megazuex is a piece of crap.

Loose bits sink chips.