OpenDeadlock Alpha 1 Announcement

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OpenDeadlock Alpha 1 Announcement

Post by Tggtt »

Dear GalliusIV members and OpenDeadlock fans.

This long awaited moment will soon to become reality.

After two years receiving poll answers complaining about when is it going to be released, I hereby declare that we are now recruiting alpha testers.
(I really appreciate the answers in any case, thank you.)

Therefore, we are going to open a board specifically for alpha testing where you can apply and discuss about OpenDeadlock Alpha.

I am also here to post a few other details about OpenDeadlock, including selected features, that are either finished or just planned.
Hopefully, it is going to be clear enough to point how large the project is.

First of all, there are lots of details we have not published yet.
This means there are several things that could e completely new for you.

Regarding the details of OpenDeadlock, there are three main reasons why it takes so long to develop, besides the fact that we do not have as much time we wish to work on it.
  1. IP Issues;
  2. Modding;
  3. Size.
IP Issues: While we can talk to the original developers everyone knows in this community, they are not the "holders".
Therefore, in simple terms, OpenDeadlock is not a clone. It is more like an engine to "support a spiritual successor".
Direct references to the original games are forbidden inside code.
This means OpenDeadlock can still exist without predating the IP of original games. (Though it could need a name change.)
It has no dependency on the original games either, however...

OpenDeadlock itself is more like an engine.
It cannot run without a mod.
Of course, we are already creating a basic mod along with it, which supports Humans and several units and buildings so the basic versions would have something to do and to test.
The modding support is very comprehensive. It allows to change races, units, buildings, worlds types, territory types, several game rules, etc.

Readers could ask, why humans and why is it so comprehensive (and complicated to make)?
Human is the basic race of OpenDeadlock because it is the only race that is free to write about. (I hope this is obvious.)
Maybe we could have started it without modding and then added it later. But it was encouraged by the various requests of the community and specially the IP issues.
Some members asked for faithful clones of specific versions while others begged for improvements.
We are trying to cope with all of these at once, and by supporting modding is the way we are doing it.
Therefore, in simpler terms, OpenDeadlock can be easily adapted to be a completely new game or to act similarly to original games (any of them) without coding or recompiling.

Size: How large is OpenDeadlock (currently)?
It currently has, at least:
  • 94 code headers;
  • 87 code files;
  • 180 classes;
  • 3 build scripts;
  • 1 resource descriptor;
  • 1 translation index file;
  • 6 translation files;
  • 3 icons;
  • 28 graphics.

About other features, we hope that OpenDeadlock is different than other games.

For instance, most planning considers the input of the community.
But, besides that, we have an extremely modular architecture.
This means that OpenDeadlock is not a single code page, it is not a single executable either.

OpenDeadlock's code is separated into libraries that can be compiled independently.
This also allows only to replace (update) the affected libraries when necessary.
From our perpective (developers), it also provides many more advantages I am not going to describe now.

For the sake of illustration, this is a preview of the binaries in Win32 and Linux 4, making it simpler to understand how it's separated.
OpenDeadlock: Win32 version.
OpenDeadlock: Win32 version.
1odl_Win32.png (29.8 KiB) Viewed 13748 times
Linux 4 version.
Linux 4 version.
1odl_Lin4-KDE4.png (25.19 KiB) Viewed 13748 times

Also, we also try to apply state-of-art development and techniques on OpenDeadlock.
Then, it is not even written as a normal game. It uses technologies meant for enterprise software, which are famous for being stable and efficient.

The biggest advantage for the players/users is that OpenDeadlock to connect using internet connection even in cases that the originals would surely fail.
It is also going to work behind firewall and proxy and without needing virtual machines.

With built-in compression support, it is going to be really fast to receive the map from the server during a multiplayer game. There are dozens of good news about the multiplayer support and save file format that I could write later.

If you do not like to play a game written in English, it also comes with translation support.
Translation and Documentation of OpenDeadlock are Wiki-based. They are updated constantly to ensure the best text quality.
By the way... I have described this earlier when we started recruiting translators. We still have much room for more translator applications!

Another important feature that it is mostly a native application when compiled. This means it is meant to run fast without using much memory. It also only uses free libraries, which is going to make it easy to redistribute.

Since OpenDeadlock is modular and moddable, it will be possible to change the Graphics User Interface (GUI) and theme depending on player/user's preference, as there are so many different preferences in the community.
However, the basic GUI of the alpha versions is a slightly improved native-looking GUI inspired by first game with improvements found in the second one.
That is going to allow you to play at any resolution you wish (though there is a minimum setting, obviously).
You will be able to run it even in some small windows so you can "multitask".

We hope it is enough to appease most wishes including the developers' (because it is impossible to do everything).

Yes, we already have a GUI, but I am waiting for our graphics designer before posting it.

The first alpha version would have restricted features to focus the testing on specific details. It is confirmed that it is at least going to allow human city building, with resource gathering and production.

I must point that there are many other features, that are going to be locked for these builds. For instance, multiple races, world types, world generation and original game map importing are already available in the source code, but they will not be the focus of the first alpha version. I hope you understand.

I am going to finish this by answering two common questions:
"When is it going to be finished?"
We do not know. The code will be available as long as possible, so anyone could improve it later.
Alpha 1 version should be released in a few weeks from now.

"Mobile Version?"
A lot of members asked for mobile version. We plan to port at least a client to mobile but it is only going to happen after alpha versions.
(Client means that the game can only join another game but cannot host or play single player).
Translating: it is going to take a while.
Even if someone wants to port by themselves, many things could change soon. Porting the game at this stage is not really recommended. There are lots of other ways to help if you wish!
The main targets are Win32, Linux and MacOSX. I hope this is enough for now. In fact, it's more than the originals had supported.

We sincerely hope this was clarifying and encouraging for the future players.

Thank you very much.

If you would like to comment on Alpha Testing, please see this topic.