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Thursday, October 24, 2002

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'Cube' Mac Port Progress Report
9:54 AM | Jean-Luc Dinsdale | Comment on this story

In an email sent to IMG news staff Wednesday, Jeremy Bell, project co-ordinator for the University of Michigan's gaming resource center WolverineSoft, reported on his progress on the Mac port of Wouter van Oortmerssen's Linux game engine Cube. In his email, Jeremy reported on his progress so far:

It is going well. There are very few Operating System dependencies ([the code] just uses SDL, SDL_image, fmod, and zlib). The code is also very gcc and unix friendly, since it was ported to linux. At this point, the project compiles, and the game runs quite well on a few maps.
Jeremy also gave a detailed description of some of the roadblocks he's encountered:
Some maps, however, will not load... I suspect that the problem with map loading is due to #ifdef's specific to Linux. The engine uses these to detect what OS it is being run on. It is not yet aware of OS X, though it IS aware of the PPC processor, since the engine was ported to linuxppc as well (It handles big-endian correctly). This may mean that some code, especially the map loading code, is not configured properly for OSX. The process of fixing this issue will be somewhat slower, since I need to go through the code to see where these dependancies are located, and to fix them.
Jeremy also describes the problems he's having porting the game's networking code:
...other than some issues with map loading, only the networking code is not working... networking code, well, that's not really my area of expertise at the moment. Perhaps after I post the project as it is now, someone with more unix networking experience may be able to fix the networking code for OSX.
For those who may not have heard of this OpenGL-based engine, Cube is an open-source Linux first person shooter game engine developped by 30-year old Dutch programmer Wouter van Oortmerssen. The game is a compact and elegantly written, yet fully-featured FPS game, complete with single-player action, multiplayer capabilities, and even a built-in game editor.

The game engine also incorporates gaming technologies not normally seen in fps- and multiplayer-type games, such as automatic Level Of Detail scalability, and "client-fat, server-thin" networking code. The game has already garnered popularity within the open-source Linux community, with fan sites and even a few Cube clans popping up around the Web.

If you've got experience with unix networking code and would love to see this open-source project make it to Mac OS X, please feel free to post a message here or on IMG's forums. A little elbow grease may be all that's required to bring this exciting little project to our favorite platform.

IMG: Possible Mac Port of New Game Engine 'Cube'
IMG Forum: New Game Engine 'Cube'
Cube Web Page

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