A short introduction to the current status quo of this Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory thing¶
by merethan, 05/10/12
Alright, for those who are new or a bit confused about this Enemy Territory GPL stuff, here’s what I’ve found out in the last one and a half days investigating the current status quo of W:ET.
It’s October 4’th 2012 at the time of writing, and here’s the deal: Enemy Territory and Quake 3 are two very similar codebases as both of them are id Tech 3. A crucial difference between them though, has nothing to do with its code. This difference is the license they have been released under. Quake 3 has been released with a GPLv2 license, but Enemy Territory was released with GPLv3 (thank ZeniMax for that). Code-wise there’s a lot of work already done for ioquake3 (and possibly others) that could be easily integrated into iowolfet, but this would create the very quirky situation of possibly having two licenses onto one codebase (or parts thereof). All of this might be coming with nasty legal situations and what not. This is a risk Icculus did not want to take.
So, because practically nobody likes doing the same thing twice (taking work from ioquake3 would create a license mess) nobody cared about fixing up iowolfet.
At Icculus at least. At numerous other places around the web, projects sprung up. The major ones were wolfet-merge, raedwulf-et, ETXreaL, openterritory, OpenWolf and ET: Legacy (this project). Most (if not all) of them didn’t really care about mixing GPLv2 and GPLv3 code. Nobody would care anyway and legally it’s most likely fine, too. Most likely. Icculus however wants 100% certainty, that’s why work is now done elsewhere.
- wolfet-merge was an attempt to move the Enemy Territory specific stuff into ioquake3, as ioquake3 had a much cleaner codebase already. This proved to be easier said than done. Which led to the next project.
- raedwulf-et tried to patch up whatever problem showed up and occasionally borrowed something from ioquake3. This project ran for a while and was forked a few times too, so it was fairly successful. It is now dead, however, and has a few lose ends that need to be tied up.
- ETXreaL is a significant overhaul of Enemy Territory. The engine internals have become a whole lot like id Tech 4 and bits of the game content have been modified, too (think of sharper textures and shiny gimmicks in maps to show off the engine). It’s not very active and kind of kills the nostalgia, but looks nice.
- Open Territory was a fork of ETXreaL and was meant to become what Open Arena is to ioquake3. This project was short lived however as no artists could be found.
- OpenWolf tries to be like ETXreaL and raedwulf-et at the same time. And it goes in extreme lengths. OpenWolf both has the original OpenGL 1.3 renderer and the OpenGL 3.2 renderer found in XreaL. Yes, that’s right, OpenWolf has two renderpaths. Both supporting the old and the new mesh and animation formats.
- ET: Legacy is a fork of raedwulf-et. At some point in raedwulf-et’s development, Ralph "Raedwulf" Eastwood began replacing SDL in favor of GLFW. Not everybody liked this so the codebase was forked and began an another life. ET: Legacy has been under constant development since and is still an active project. In fact, it is the most active Enemy Territory project I have come across so far.
To wrap this whole thing up for you: if you want the smoothest but authentic Enemy Territory experience or if you’re eager to join an active project and development team, you are here most likely in the best place.
A good resource for understanding the id Tech 3 engine can be found here: http://fabiensanglard.net/quake3/index.php (It is about Quake 3 but gives a good idea of the inner workings of W:ET and RtCW too.)