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Journal FortKnox's Journal: The Porting Angle... 9

Those that know me know that I have, since the day I decided "Computer Engineering" my major (instead of teaching, physics, or music), I've always wanted to be a video game programmer. When I graduated, I only had a couple leads (Loki, and Verant), and, instead, became a J2EE consultant.
After reading this thread, I've come across a kind of enlightenment. Maybe I can start a group of people that port older games that have released code to Linux. With volunteer projects like this, I could get my foot in the door at video game studios.

Any ideas on this whole schpeel? Anyone else interested in joining in?
I've also thought about making a halflife or unreal tournament mod, maybe even making it open source.

Any experience/ideas/contributions to my ideas here?

Addendum: I'm starting to lean towards an "Unreal Tournament" mod. Maybe open source, maybe not. UT is available for linux (and has a big backing with open source tools and stuff).
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The Porting Angle...

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  • Do I get a cut? ;-)
    • Yeah, we'll be raking in a whole $0, and you can take 100% of it ;-)

      If I can get an interesting game or two out, I can always put up a paypal link for the developers...

      I'm more interested in play system shock 2 on my linux box...
  • I've always wished I worked in the game development arena too, to a degree. I wouldn't want to be a part of all of the politics that can go into 'making money', but I certainly wish just a simple, no 3D frills port of Civ2 existed in Linux. Civ3 is cool and all, but I think each game had its merits, and personally, I kinda like Civ2 better after a couple months of getting used to Civ3. I've never played System Shock 1 or 2, but I've heard of what wonderfully innovative games they were for their time.

    My skills decidedly DO NOT involve hacking code together, but rather testing the software. I have this knack for making stuff go haywire when no one else can. ;) Which is also why I am employed as a Software Quality Engineer. This idea certainly deserves merit, we just need to sell companies on the free publicity they would get by allowing free ports of their now out-of-print games.

    So please, please, let me know any further developments we can make on this idea. I'd even be willing to take on some initial 'get-it-off-the-ground' tasks to start the whole process. I could test Civ2 until that sucker is rock solid stable under Linux! :)

    P.S. NO, Freeciv IS NOT good enough for my taste! ;)

  • I am very much in the same boat as you. When I graduated from college I was interested in game programming, but couldn't find much in the way of leads and ended up doing web consulting. I would be interested in doing this for the fun of it as well as gaining game programming experience.

    So I guess the question is, what are the first steps for getting this going? We need to get some level of project organization, a communications channel(sourceforge?), and of course we need to pick a game to port. After that we can start discussing strategies for actually doing the port.

    What are your thoughts on how to get started?
    • I've worked with sourceforge before, and they have a great setup.

      Questions are, what game to port (getting the source, which I'm finding frustrating. Either the source is out and the ports already done, or the source isn't going to get released), or another project (open source mod? Honestly, I think an Unreal Tournament Mod might be interesting. Even make it open source...), and settling down on an idea.

      Next we need a team for the project.

      Then design, code, test, debug.
      • The other thing is to do a mod to show that you are capable and serious. This might offer a little more bargaining room when trying to get engine code.

        And don't be too interested in talking to sourceforge. I imagine any engine code you get will be replete with NDAs and other things that prevent a sourceforge hosting.
      • I am not a big UT guy, but I would be willing to give a mod a try. I think it would be a good way to get started and I am all for doing it open source.

        So putting all the logistical issues aside for the momement, did you have any ideas for mods rolling around in your head?
  • I tried to run SS2 on a windows partition I had a long time ago.. it crashed every time.. I loved System Shock 1.

    At the age of 9, I started programming.. goal was to write a great game. I gave up on that long long time ago, because it didn't lead anywhere. Now (age 22) I've got a job as developer, my company's writing web based software (bah, how ugly), and I feel badly unchallenged.

    I can't say for sure now, but maybe I'd join such a project.

It is difficult to soar with the eagles when you work with turkeys.