Let's pick some old classic game, reverse engineer the data formats and game rules and write an open source engine for it from scratch. Some games from 1990s are simple enough that we could have a playable prototype by the end of the week.

Write which games you'd like to hack on in the comments. Don't forget to check e.g. on Github and SourceForge whether the game is ported already.

Hack Week 20 - Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares

Master of Orion II is one of the greatest turn-based 4X games of the 1990s. Explore the galaxy, colonize planets, research new technologies, fight space monsters and alien empires and in the end, become the ruler of the galaxy one way or another.

Hack Week 19 - Signus: The Artifact Wars

Signus is a Czech turn-based strategy game similar to Panzer General or Battle Isle series. Originally published in 1998 and open-sourced by the original developers in 2003.

How to install & play:

  • Clone the Git repository
  • Run ./bootstrap; ./configure; make && make install in both signus and signus-data directories.
  • Run signus

Further work needed:

  • Create openSUSE package
  • Implement full support for original game data (the open source version uses slightly different data file contents but original game data can be converted using a script).

Looking for hackers with the skills:

sdl reverseengineering c++ games

This project is part of:

Hack Week 19 Hack Week 20


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  • All Activity


    • jkohoutek
      almost 2 years ago by jkohoutek | Reply

      It would be hard to find a game with expired copyright. But I have some recommendations: Hungry Horace Colony

      • MDoucha
        almost 2 years ago by MDoucha | Reply

        Copyright status of the original game doesn't matter. We just can't bundle the original game data with the open source engine and if we need to disassemble the original EXE files, we'll need to do a "clean room" implementation of that part of the code. (One person analyzes the disassembled code and writes a spec, another person implements the spec without looking at the disassembled code.)

        The games I had in mind were something like Jagged Alliance, Battle Isle 3, Polda, etc.

    • lpato
      almost 2 years ago by lpato | Reply

      X-COM: Ufo defense https://www.gog.com/game/xcomufodefense

    • MDoucha
      11 months ago by MDoucha | Reply

      My top pick this year: Petroglyph has released the original sources of Command & Conquer and Red Alert as mod SDK under GPLv3. Let's write an SDL front-end for it and make the classic C&C games fully playable again. (Yes, I know OpenRA exists but I'm not installing the Mono bloatware to play it. The original game used to run smoothly on Pentium 90 with 16MB of RAM dammit!)

    • MDoucha
      11 months ago by MDoucha | Reply

      My second pick: Jagged Alliance 1. No sources are available AFAIK, we'll have to reverse engineer it from scratch. We might find some reused AI and game mechanics code in Jagged Alliance 2 sources though.

    • MDoucha
      11 months ago by MDoucha | Reply

      My third pick: Master of Orion 2. Two of our colleagues have tried to remake the engine in Python a while ago but I'd prefer to start from scratch in C++.

    • tdz
      11 months ago by tdz | Reply

      Maybe Lemmings? It should be doable in a week. Any it turns 30 this year; just like Linux. :)

    • mlnoga
      11 months ago by mlnoga | Reply

      Nice one. I would love to see Battle of Britain - Their Finest Hour resurrected from 286 days, especially the campaign mode. Or the Wing Commander series. But these graphically oriented games are probably not doable.

      Strategy games might be more within reach. I made a start on the logic of Capitalism in Golang several years ago. Basis was observed game behavior. I might still have the code lying around somewhere. Paired with a web UI, it might make a nice multiplayer (e.g. the Rancher stack with vue.js).

      • MDoucha
        11 months ago by MDoucha | Reply

        Thanks for the tip, I'll definitely keep Capitalism in mind for the next year. There already is a fan remake of one of the Wing Commander games: Privateer: Wing Commander Universe. Though I don't know whether it's playable and how closely it resembles the original Privateer.

    • mlnoga
      11 months ago by mlnoga | Reply

      Also check out these gaming-themed ideas: Game for SUSECon, Workadventu.re.

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