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First post, by MrFlibble

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Being generally interested in open source software, I started to wonder how many DOS games were or became open source. There are of course those well-known releases like Doom, however many other games also went open source (and some were open source from the start). Having found no list specifically dealing with DOS games (with additional confusion coming from people who for some reason treat the terms "open source", "public domain" and "freeware" as synonyms), I decided to try and list those that I know or could find information about.

The games on the list are freeware unless noted otherwise. Also the fact that a game is open source doesn't mean there is a DOS executable compiled from the source that is available for download.

Abuse
Angband*
Antiquity
Beyond the Titanic
Beneath a Steel Sky
Blake Stone: Planet Strike [commercial]
Classic Empire*
Chopper Commando
Clonk
Clonk 2 Debackel
Clonk 3 Radical

Cylindrix
Descent [shareware]
Descent II [commercial]
Doom [shareware]
Duke Nukem 3D [shareware]
Hack* [source]
Heretic [shareware]
HeXen: Beyond Heretic [commercial]
Hyperoid
In Pursuit of Greed
Iron Seed
Jump 'n Bump
Jumpman Lives!
Ken's Labyrinth
Kentris
Kiloblaster
Kroz
Larn*
Linley's Dungeon Crawl
Mario clone
Micropolis*
Mike's Adventure Game (MAG)
Mines
Moria*
Multiplex
NetHack*
Omega*
Paku Paku
Quake [shareware]
Rise of the Triad [shareware]
Rogue*
Shadow Warrior [shareware] [Steam free version]
SLASH [source]
Slash'EM*
Snarf
Sopwith
Speed Haste
Stellar Conquest III
Supernova
Tyrian**
Wolfenstein 3-D [shareware]
Word Whiz
Xargon

*Originally not a DOS game.

** The publicly available version of the source code is a translation of the original code from TurboPascal to C.

There's also a fair deal of open source games listed here, some of which are for DOS but at present I can't be bothered to investigate.

I'm pretty certain that there are more open source DOS games out there, and probably not only some obscure titles but also more or less well known ones, which I missed. Anyway, if someone knows more games that should be on this list, please tell! 😀

Last edited by MrFlibble on 2018-03-17, 15:47. Edited 3 times in total.

DOS Games Archive | Free open source games | RGB Classic Games

Reply 1 of 48, by leileilol

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NOTE: Quake's source does not compile for DOS out of the zip. It's 1.09 source, which never had a DOS release and the DOS platform was slightly regressed in the code...

ALSO NOTE: Doom's source release wasn't for DOS either. People had to reimplement it using libraries such as Allegro.

apsosig.png

Reply 2 of 48, by Jorpho

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The source code for Micropolis almost certainly will not be usable for a DOS executable.

MrFlibble wrote:
Beyond the Titanic Beneath a Steel Sky Jump 'n Bump Jumpman Lives! Kroz […]
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Beyond the Titanic
Beneath a Steel Sky
Jump 'n Bump
Jumpman Lives!
Kroz

I don't think there's actual source code generally available for these.

Reply 3 of 48, by NitroX infinity

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I'd like to note that a source code is not a game in itself. It's the code for the game without the visual and audio stuff like textures, sprites, sound effects and music. Oh, and levels/maps aren't a part of that either.

NitroX infinity's 3D Accelerators Arena | Yamaha RPA YGV611 & RPA2 YGV612 Info

Reply 4 of 48, by Gemini000

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Jorpho wrote:
MrFlibble wrote:
Beyond the Titanic Beneath a Steel Sky Jump 'n Bump Jumpman Lives! Kroz […]
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Beyond the Titanic
Beneath a Steel Sky
Jump 'n Bump
Jumpman Lives!
Kroz

I don't think there's actual source code generally available for these.

Dunno about the first four, but Kroz source code is DEFINITELY available since I have the source code on hand for all of the Kroz games on my computer right this minute. It was even available for money back in the day, though I guess that wouldn't technically make it "open" source back then. In any case, it's all written in Pascal. Here's a snippet from Kingdom of Kroz which I think is almost identical in every other Kroz game:

Display_PlayField;
I_Score := Score; { SAVE/RESTORE VARIABLES }
I_Gems := Gems;
I_Whips := Whips;
I_Teleports := Teleports;
I_Keys := Keys;
I_WhipPower := WhipPower;
I_Difficulty:= Difficulty;
I_PX := PX;
I_PY := PY;
I_FoundSet := FoundSet;
for x:=1 to 800 do
begin
gotoxy(PX,PY);
col(random(16),random(16));bak(random(8),0);
write(Player);sound(x div 2);
end;
gotoxy(PX,PY);col(14,15);bak(0,0);write(Player);nosound;bak(0,0);
ClearKeys;
Flash(17,25,'Press any key to begin this level.');

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 5 of 48, by Jorpho

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Jorpho wrote:

I don't think there's actual source code generally available for these.

Ack! I was at work earlier and couldn't check the links until just now, and of course the source code is right there. I must stop doing that. 😒

Of course, just because the source is there doesn't mean you're welcome to do whatever you want with it. What was the name of that colossal idiot who started stealing open source software left and right (including the aforementioned Mario clone) and slapping his name on it?

...Ahh, yes, Michael Hardy. A spectacularly sordid tale.

Reply 6 of 48, by Gemini000

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Jorpho wrote:

Of course, just because the source is there doesn't mean you're welcome to do whatever you want with it.

Yeah... every once in awhile I get eMails from people who confuse "Freeware" with "Public Domain". "Open Source" is another one where people fail to remember that there's license agreements attached to all of those things which dictate what you can and cannot do with something. :P

This is why I only posted a tiny snippet of the Kroz source from a section that I think speaks for itself in terms of what it does in the game, since I was too lazy to look up the present licensing details for the source and figured a few lines of code without context or definitions of the functions used wasn't going to hurt anything. ;)

--- Kris Asick (Gemini)
--- Pixelmusement Website: www.pixelships.com
--- Ancient DOS Games Webshow: www.pixelships.com/adg

Reply 7 of 48, by Jorpho

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I guess Digger counts, come to think of it, at least in the sense that the original source is there. Sytx (a Qix clone) is also there.
http://www.digger.org/download.html

And here's Sopwith:
http://www.sopwith.org/

Reply 8 of 48, by MrFlibble

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Jorpho wrote:

Of course, just because the source is there doesn't mean you're welcome to do whatever you want with it. What was the name of that colossal idiot who started stealing open source software left and right (including the aforementioned Mario clone) and slapping his name on it?

...Ahh, yes, Michael Hardy. A spectacularly sordid tale.

Wow, I've never hard about that guy before 😮

DOS Games Archive | Free open source games | RGB Classic Games

Reply 10 of 48, by MrFlibble

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On a second thought, that whole story is really creepy.

Back on topic, I appreciate the links for Digger and Sopwith (I guess I linked straight to SDL-Sopwith at SF).

I understand that in many instances the source code, as released, does not directly correlate with the DOS version (and cannot be compiled into a DOS executable without modifications), especially if that game was ported over to other platforms since the original release. Also I have included some games on the list that were not originally released on or developed for the DOS platform (those are mostly roguelikes though; perhaps I should have included Prince of Persia but it says "Apple II" right in the URL so I didn't; I'm sure someone could more or less easily write a DOS port though).

Neither did I limit the list to games that have all assets freely available in addition to the source code. The only criteria I used were a) the game must have an original DOS release (not a third-party port created after the release of the source code) and b) the source code of the game is available to the public under whatever license that permits that. I understand that "open source" may have a more strict meaning if it's GNU GPL, but actually there's a variety of licences (with possible additional complications if some parts of the code and/or some specific assets are excluded from the free and open licensing).

DOS Games Archive | Free open source games | RGB Classic Games

Reply 11 of 48, by MrFlibble

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Totally forgot to mention Ronny Wester's Cyberdogs and its sequel C-Dogs. The author also had several other games for download alongside their source code packages, but the Wayback Machine has apparently not preserved them.

Game developer Markus Mück has released free full versions of some of his old DOS shareware games, along with source code. The files are available from his site (you'll need to scroll down that page a lot). The problem is that the source code files have wrong path in the links and will thus not download. The working links are: cannon-ful.zip, miner-src.zip, strat-src.ZIP.

Also, some time ago Robert W. Morgan III released the full source code of In Pursuit of Greed.

DOS Games Archive | Free open source games | RGB Classic Games

Reply 12 of 48, by MrFlibble

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I decided to put together a separate list of DOS games which have source ports. I guess I'll leave roguelikes out as most of these games are open source and cross-platform from the very start. As usual, suggestions to expand this list are welcome!

Abuse

Beneath a Steel Sky

Blake Stone: Aliens of Gold & Planet Strike

Buzz Aldrin's Race Into Space

C-Dogs

Descent

Descent II

Doom & Doom engine games

Duke Nukem 3D

Gladiator

Jump 'n Bump

Ken's Labyrinth

Quake

Rise of the Triad

Shadow Warrior

Sopwith

Star Control 2

Triplane Turmoil

Tyrian/Tyrian 2000

Wolfenstein 3-D

Xargon

It just so happens that I have also found several engine recreations (some of non-open source games) which are based on disassembly of the original DOS executables (Wikipedia suggests that this is called the bottom up approach). The result should be closer to proper source ports compared to engine recreations made by external observation of game behaviour.

Cannon Fodder

Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty

Dungeon Keeper

Frontier: Elite II

  • GLFrontier (based on the disassembled Atari version)

Prince of Persia

Syndicate Wars

Transport Tycoon Deluxe

Last edited by MrFlibble on 2017-01-10, 19:57. Edited 1 time in total.

DOS Games Archive | Free open source games | RGB Classic Games

Reply 16 of 48, by Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman

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Hmmm... too bad there's no Fighters Anthology. I'd really love to see Jane's Fighters Anthology being re-coded into OpenGL or Direct3D.

Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman.

Reply 17 of 48, by Kerr Avon

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The fantastic Alien vs. Predator (PC only, by Rebellion, 1999) was made open source:

http://www.avpunknown.com/gallery/games/avp99/overview.htm

and there is a fan-made update to the game's code, at:

http://homepage.eircom.net/~duncandsl/avp/

If you haven't played it, it's really good, and is the best of the several AvP games (though AvP 2 is good too). It has three single player campaigns, one where you play as a human (a marine), one where you play as a predator, and one where you play as an alien. Each campaign involves you (whatever species you play as) pitted against the other two factions, and it's really atmospheric, does a great job of portraying the aliens, predators, and humans (and their weaknesses and strengths) and it's just really good. It's also one of the very few games that can be scary, when you play as a human, who is very weak and vulnerable compared to the other two species. The human has by far the best weapons, but you have to find them, plus of course a weapon is useless if you're not actually shooting at the enemy, so the game's often dark locations don't do much to help you, plus the aliens and the predators know how to use darkness to their advantage. The human does have night-view, flares, and a motion detector, but if you let your guard down for a second then you can hear the horrible raps as an alien drops down from the ceiling and bites your face off!

On the minus side, it's fairly short, difficult , and it does get repetitive (it's a survival game, so there's not too much gameplay or enemy variation), but it is still really good, it doesn't hold your hand (unlike so many modern games), and if you like first person shooters then you really should play it. And if you like it, then get Alien vs Predator 2 (which isn't open source), as that's worth playing too. Don't bother with the 2010 game, also called Alien vs Predator, as (graphics aside) it's massively inferior in every way. And don't bother with Alien: Colonial Marines (2013), either, which is even worse.

And yes, this is not a DOS game, thanks to the following two posters for pointing that out!

Last edited by Kerr Avon on 2017-06-08, 13:54. Edited 1 time in total.