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Friday, August 25, 2000

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Aleph One Moves to Linux
6:00 AM | Andy Largent | Comment on this story

Ever since Bungie released the source code to Marathon 2, this has resulted a huge list of improvements and expansions upon the original game. Mac users can now use OpenGL, InputSprockets, and much more when playing Marathon 2 or Infinity. Now the source code has been to bring this game to another platform. While Marathon 2 was released for Windows, users of that other operating system, Linux, never got their chance.

The official Aleph One page has been updated to say that the first public Linux build of the game is now available for download. It's a bit crippled at this point, but an impressive feat nonetheless. Here's a clip from the page explaining more:

Christian Bauer has released Aleph One for Linux! Visit his very cool new Web site and download it! This initial release, version 0.1, is missing a few features, such as the overhead map and networking, but it is basically a strait port of Bungie's original release of Marathon 2, with Infinity support. Features new to the Mac version, such as OpenGL rendering and Pfhortran are not present, but as you'll read below, Loren is working hard to make the Mac version more portable. Christian has implemented the Simple DirectMedia Layer (SDL), which is a cross-platform multimedia library designed to provide easy and consistant access to graphics, sound, and user input. According to Christian, SDL is used by many popular games, most notably by many of the Linux games published by Loki Entertainment.
The inclusion of SDL is an interesting development for the project. Loren Petrich, the man behind most of the Mac Aleph One improvements, notes that his work on abstracting the code so it is more portable continues:
My file-format abstraction efforts are getting closer to completion. I've created a simple framework for resource files, involving an opened resource-fork abstraction and resource wrapper objects that contain the read-in resources. The main thing I have to do now is the directory-walking; the MacOS filesystem code is a nightmare, and POSIX opendir(), readdir(), etc. looks much simpler. My next challenge is to think of some suitable abstraction that can encompass both the MacOS and POSIX.
Pats on the back go out to both Christian and Loren for all of their work so far on the project. It's great to see that other minority OS's will get a chance to share in the Marathon series we all know and love.

Aleph One Linux Web Site
Marathon Open Source Web Site

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