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5 ways to resurrect classic video games with cross-platform support

The video game, like cinema, lived for a long time immersed in a lack of ideas. There has been relatively little evolution in terms of gameplay since the 128-bit console generation that came out 20 years ago. That means we’ve been playing essentially the same game for two decades, with innovations focused on graphical quality, effects of dubious utility, and making the games themselves bigger, even if that means leaving them a little empty in some cases.

To be honest, it’s not just that video games haven’t evolved much in terms of gameplay over the past twenty years, it’s that even today there are many titles from the 90s that have stood the test of time very well, until to the extent that some, like Resident Evil 2, have been rebuilt and modernized from the ground up to adapt to the new era, but largely retain the original essence.

While remakes and remasters can be great, sometimes you just want to resurrect that classic from the past that you still have a copy of, most likely in a physical format. However, Windows doesn’t always make it easy to run old games or even worse, the user has switched to a different operating system and he has no choice but to risk it with Wine, one of the greatest works of engineering that exists in the spectrum of free software, but also a technology that is difficult for someone without the necessary knowledge to master.

Want to play a game you liked in the past without spending money? Here we mention five projects or developments that may be of interest to nostalgics. We warn you that Id Software will be of great importance here, and not least because the developer has had a tendency in the past to release the source codes of graphics engines and some video games that were out of date as free software. . It’s a shame he lost that habit, as the last things he released were Id Tech 4, Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, and the Return to Castle Wolfenstein graphics engine (which is ultimately an implementation of Id Tech 3).

Yamagi Quake II

Yamagi Quake II is a Quake II client built from the engine’s source code, which was released on December 22, 2022 under the GPLv2 license. Since then, and like the Doom engine, anyone who wants to can take it, modify it and redistribute it at will.

It is important to note that this is not a full game, so your content must be supplied from a copy of Quake II. It is true that the version published on GOG is patched to work on the latest versions of Windows, but Yamagi Quake offers some interesting things.

Firstly, Yamagi is cross-platform and has builds for Windows, Linux, FreeBSD and OpenBSD, with one for macOS maintained unofficially, so if you still have a working copy of the CD or have backed it up, you have the ability to resurrect I play on all three major desktop systems. Second, it has Vulkan support along with OpenGL versions 1.4 and 3.2, which opens the door for it to work properly even on the Rapsberry Pi mini-PC.

It has surround sound support up to Dolby Surround 7.1, although game music must be converted to OGG and renamed to work.

Earthquake Epsilon

And we go back a little further in time to mention Earthquake Epsilon, which we repeated ten years ago. While this project offers the early stages of the original game, all content must once again be supplied externally via a copy of Quake.

Basically what Quake Epsilon does is take the DarkPlaces engine and add mods made by Quake One forum members rebuild and improve the classic Id Software experience.

The curious thing about DarkPlaces, which is also used by the multiplayer shooter Xonotic and other projects, is that it is a greatly improved derivative of the original Quake engine, the source code of which was released under the GPLv2 license in 1999.

Quake Epsilon offers support for Linux, Windows and macOS, so there’s no excuse not to reach for that old Id Software essences CD.



DevilutionX

And we will change the third to the shape of rResurrect the original Diablo and its Hellfire expansionas DevilutionX it is a reconstruction of the engine used in those games with cross-platform support.

Those responsible claim to make the engine easier to run while providing various improvements, bug fixes and some other features. As with the other examples, these are not complete video games, but must be delivered via CD or other copy purchased from, for example, GOG.

DevilutionX not only supports Windows, Linux and macOS, but also Android, iOS, Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation 4. Although its source code is publicly available, it is licensed under the Sustainable Use License, which is apparently closer to the concept of Shared Source than the concepts of Open Source and Free Software.

DevilutionX

Educate32

Educate32 is a port published as open source Duke Nukem 3D engine. It officially offers support for Linux, Windows, macOS, and FreeBSD, though porting it to other platforms shouldn’t be difficult at this point.

This project, like the previous ones, is responsible for fixing a large number of program bugs that have become more and more serious over the years, supports resolution up to 3072 × 2304 pixels, exposes two OpenGL renderers and has full command line support like what can be found in Quake.

Eduke32 can be used to play Duke Nukem 3D, although configuring it, at least on Windows, can be a bit cumbersome.

Educate32

GZDoom

GZDoom it is a highly improved and improved version of the original Doom engine, the one from 1993. Id Software released a Linux version of the graphics engine under the GPLv2 license in 1999, although it was already available under a proprietary license two years earlier. However, changing the license to GPLv2 was an important step because it guaranteed freedom on the part of those who wanted to pick it up and modify it.

GZDoom brings OpenGL support and advanced software rendering capabilities. In addition to the 1993 classic and its sequel, which appeared in 1995, it also supports other titles such as Heretic, Hexen, Strife and Chex Quest. As in previous cases, video games must be supplied externally.

It officially offers support for Windows, macOS and Linux, which adds value compared to the versions that can still be found in stores, but in most cases only the Windows version.

conclusion

These are just five examples, but there are actually more ways and means to revive old video games and not only that, but in many cases to give them cross-platform support thanks to free software and cross-platform APIs like OpenGL.

The good thing about this project is that due to the availability of the source code, they will live as long as there are volunteers willing to continue development, so it opens the door to support future versions of operating systems or other new ones that aspire to expand in the future, such as Fuchsia from Google.

Source: Muy Computer

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