Version 1.0 Released Dec 19, 2022 18:07:31 GMT
Post by lucius on Dec 19, 2022 18:07:31 GMT
After 3 years of development, I am ready to announce the Version 1.0 Release of The Force Engine (TFE). The Force Engine is a project with the goal to reverse engineer and rebuild the Jedi Engine for modern systems and the games that used that engine - Dark Forces and Outlaws. For version 1.0, Dark Forces support is complete but Outlaws is not yet playable. Full Outlaws support is planned in the future, for version 2.0.
For Dark Forces, the goal is for TFE to act as a viable replacement for DosBox and the original executable for most players, to be used to not only play the vanilla levels but also the many user mods developed for the original game - and I believe that goal has finally been met with the release of version 1.0. The Force Engine provides modern conveniences and control methods and removes the need to set up DosBox and deal with cycles-based bugs such as getting stuck on ice or having the missiles that the final boss fires move too fast or not move at all. While TFE supports modern GPU and high-resolution software rendering - the original 320x200 fixed-pointe renderer has been preserved - keeping the DOS experience for those who want it.
Like a traditional source port, you need the original game to play. TFE replaces the executable, not the game.
- Full Dark Forces support, including mods. Outlaws support is coming in version 2.0.
- Mod Loader - simply place your mods in the Mods/ directory as zip files or directories.
- High Resolution and Widescreen support - when using 320x200 you get the original software renderer. TFE also includes a floating-point software renderer that supports widescreen, including ultrawide, and much higher resolutions.
- GPU Renderer with perspective correct pitch - play at much higher resolutions with improved performance.
- Extended Limits - TFE, by default, will support much higher limits than the original game which removes most of the HOM (Hall of Mirrors) issues in advanced mods.
- Full input binding, mouse sensitivity adjustment, and controller support. Note, however, that menus currently require the mouse.
- Optional Quality of Life improvements, such as full mouselook, aiming reticle, improved Boba Fett AI, autorun, and more.
- A new save system that works seamlessly with the existing checkpoint and lives system. You can ignore it entirely, use it just as an exit save so you don't have to play long user levels in one sitting, or full save and load with quicksaves like Doom or Duke Nukem 3D.
- Optional and quality-of-life features, even mouselook, can be disabled if you want the original experience. Play in 320x200, turn the mouse mode (Input menu) to Menus only or horizontal, and enable the Classic (software) renderer - and it will look and play just like DOS, but with a higher framerate and without needing to adjust cycles in DosBox.
The website has additional links to the forums, Discord channel, and GitHub repository.
In early 2023, TFE will gain official cross platform support - both Linux and Mac. Until then Windows is required.
- Windows 7, 64-bit
- GPU with OpenGL 3.3 or better compatibility
Note that there are plans to lower the requirements for using the classic software renderer in the future. However, the minimum requirements for GPU Renderer support are here to stay. For now only OpenGL is supported, which might limit the use of some older Intel-integrated GPUs that would otherwise be capable. There are near-term plans to add DirectX 10/11, Vulkan, and maybe Metal render backends which should enable more GPUs to run the engine efficiently.
Bugs and Issues
Like any project of this nature and any new release - there will still be bugs. Some of these bugs will be DOS bugs that can be reproduced in the original game - these bugs are unlikely to be changed anytime soon. Other bugs will be TFE related. For those, please report them on the forums or GitHub.