VOGONS


First post, by Stiletto

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The Force Engine is a project to reverse engineer and rebuild the Jedi Engine for modern systems and the games that used that engine - Dark Forces and Outlaws. The project includes modern, built-in tools, such as a level editor and makes it easy to play Dark Forces and Outlaws on modern systems as well as the many community mods designed to work with the original games.

Playing Dark Forces or Outlaws using the Force Engine adds ease of use and modern features such as higher resolutions and modern control schemes such as mouse-look. Using the built-in tools allows for easier modding with more modern UI, greater flexibility and the ability to use enhancements made to the Jedi Engine for Outlaws in custom Dark Forces levels - such as slopes, stacked sectors, per-sector color maps and more.

From Lucius, the guy who originally created DarkXL.

Web Site: https://theforceengine.github.io/

Forum: https://the-force-engine.freeforums.net/

Discord: https://discord.gg/hpsJnY9

Github Project: https://github.com/luciusDXL/TheForceEngine

Downloads: https://theforceengine.github.io/downloads.html

There's a pre-release download already, but it's just for testing and nowhere near complete.

"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen

Stiletto

Reply 1 of 7, by xjas

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Neat, I was just messing with DarkXL and was wondering what happened to it. It looked good, but the lack of real perspective look up/down still irritated me and the "final" release from 2016ish was littered with bugs. I wonder which one prompted him to do a complete re-write? Hopefully this one doesn't fall into development hell and get abandoned again.

Dark Forces had a really impressive engine for its time.

twitch.tv/oldskooljay - playing the obscure, forgotten & weird - most Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 6 PM PDT. Bonus streams elsewhen!

Reply 2 of 7, by piatd

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I was impressed and excited by the work he was doing on DarkXL.

This time around, his approach seems even better suited to preserving the actual experience of this DOS game on modern systems:

The project is focused on accuracy - by using reverse engineering techniques to reconstruct the original code and algorithms - the Force Engine is designed to be extremely accurate, a complete replacement for the original executables.

That said, I must consider myself cautious about a full release. Far be it from me to demand anything from something freely given, DarkXL still had two problems:
1) Feature creep, as Dark Forces / Outlaws were eventually joined by Blood and Daggerfall
2) To the best of my knowledge, he never announced that he was actually canceling the project. He just kind of stopped. We were all left to wonder for years if he was finished, or if he was even okay.

I'll be rooting for him, but--and I say this with the utmost respect for someone who labors freely for others--I'll believe it when I see it in completed form.

Reply 3 of 7, by xjas

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I tried it out. Not much there yet: software renderer only, no AI, no redefinable controls, only two weapons work, no fancy lighting effects or eye candy implemented yet (DarkXL had those), but it looked good at 1600x1200 and ran at a smooth 60FPS on my modest machine. Moving & looking around the maps was fun and responsive. For some reason I absolutely couldn't get a screenshot out of it, even using external tools like Irfanview - they only grabbed the menu 'underneath' the game window. The editor doesn't do much yet either, but it looks pretty good so far. I'd say it's a promising (re)start & really hope this gets fleshed out. I would love to see mods & user maps start appearing based on a GZDoom-ish version of this engine.

twitch.tv/oldskooljay - playing the obscure, forgotten & weird - most Tuesdays & Thursdays @ 6 PM PDT. Bonus streams elsewhen!

Reply 4 of 7, by Stiletto

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piatd wrote on 2020-05-20, 05:11:
That said, I must consider myself cautious about a full release. Far be it from me to demand anything from something freely giv […]
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That said, I must consider myself cautious about a full release. Far be it from me to demand anything from something freely given, DarkXL still had two problems:
1) Feature creep, as Dark Forces / Outlaws were eventually joined by Blood and Daggerfall
2) To the best of my knowledge, he never announced that he was actually canceling the project. He just kind of stopped. We were all left to wonder for years if he was finished, or if he was even okay.

I'll be rooting for him, but--and I say this with the utmost respect for someone who labors freely for others--I'll believe it when I see it in completed form.

Couldn't have said it better myself! I remember that it just kinda stalled, and he announced the project stop years later.

Fingers crossed he can keep progress moving forward this time 😀

"I see a little silhouette-o of a man, Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you
do the Fandango!" - Queen

Stiletto

Reply 5 of 7, by leileilol

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Not liking the settings-stored-in-the-documents thing already... but apart from that there's some levels faithfully enough rendered at least. Still got a loong ways to go, and I can only hope that hard lessons from DarkXL were very learned this time around.

by the way, DOSBox is not for running Windows 9x

Reply 6 of 7, by Garrett W

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Looking good, wish them all the best on their endeavors. I remember getting excited back in ~2003-2004 when someone was porting Dark Forces levels to Jedi Academy, remember daydreaming just how awesome it would be. Then, after a couple of levels or so, they stopped and that was the end of that. Funny, I'd never find anything like this of any personal value nowadays, I'd much rather have something like this that preserves and adds QoL features.

Did the DarkXL Daggerfall work also halt?