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The XL Engine is and will remain free, donations are purely optional but greatly appreciated.

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I have not updated this site and blog in quite some time. However, despite appearances, the project is not dead. For a variety of reasons the project had to be put on hold until the beginning of next year. Despite this, there has been some progress made – which I will discuss in detail in the next few months.

Next I would like to clarify some things. Interkarma has made large strides in his own Daggerfall work (see http://www.dfworkshop.net/) which begs the question – what about DaggerXL? Is there any point? And what about Dark Forces or Blood – have they been forgotten?

 

I will start by being as clear as possible:


*The XL Engine is not dead and will resume with regular work, updates and builds within the next few months – by the start of the new year.

*DaggerXL will continue, in no way reduced or affected negatively by Interkarma’s excellent work. There are still several reasons for DaggerXL to exist – improved Modding support, including support for existing mods; source-port accurate to the original game, with optional extended features while properly supporting modern systems – including support for software rendering; custom engine designed for high performance even on low-end systems; enhanced features such as extreme view distances (hundreds of km), enhanced texture filtering, enhanced lighting and shadows, etc.

*I have been building tools and other work that will allow me to release source-port accurate support for Dark Forces and Blood at the same time as Daggerfall early in the new year. They too will support software rendering as well as enhanced features. Outlaws has not been forgotten but has been put on hold until a later time. The XL Engine will even allow you to play with your existing save games.

*The XL Engine will be easier to use and setup, automatically setting up the supported games that you have on your system in most cases – easily supporting Steam and GoG versions of the games. It will feature a streamlined interface for adjusting features that the original games did not support (such as adjusting resolution, rendering quality, etc.), rather then implementing game specific interfaces as seen in previous releases of DarkXL or DaggerXL.

*There will be a single entry point – xlengine.exe – with the supported games being implemented as dynamic libraries, allowing for easy addition of new projects in the future. Of course you will be able to make shortcuts to specific games if you want. No launcher, no separate executables.

*Linux and OS X support is still planned but will not be available for the first Beta release.


 

The first Beta build, coming early in the new year, will feature support for Daggerfall, Dark Forces and Blood. However the initial release will be limited to the software renderer with only limited enhanced features (although basic stuff like higher resolutions will be supported). The XL Engine will still require a GPU with at least OpenGL 1.5 support for compositing and UI (any cards released within the last decade should work, assuming it supports any other games). GPU rendering support will follow shortly, with all the basic features you would expect. However the hardware renderer will require a GPU that supports at least OpenGL 2.0 , though higher end GPUs will be required for some extended features such as extreme view distance support (which will not be available in the initial releases). If you do not have a good enough GPU, you will always be able to fallback to the software renderer – assuming you have the aforementioned OpenGL 1.5 or better GPU.

What about source code access? I plan on releasing a few builds before I release the source code – unfortunately I’m too picky about the code for my own good – but I do plan on opening up read-only access to the repository (with the option to submit patches of course, if you are so inclined) within the first quarter of the year.

 

30 Responses to “XL Engine – State of the Project”

  • Yann:

    Hi,

    I’m glad to read that! Keep up the good work!

    Yann.

  • Nicholas:

    Very nice. I’m glad to see that you haven’t abandoned the project. Keep up the good work.

  • Matt:

    Especially happy to hear that Blood support is coming!

  • Mike:

    Just wanted to echo what others have already said. I’m glad to hear the project isn’t dead, and that you’ll soon have more free time to work on it. :)

  • Adam:

    I had a really crummy morning dealing with some incredibly frustrating crap – so I can’t tell you how much this has cheered me up to read. :)

    Glad to know you’re still alive, and looking forward to the coming months!

  • tannim:

    Welcome back and looking forward to see what happens next.

  • Dagganticipation:

    Wow, I’m surprised! I had thought the project was dead! Great to hear that you’re still committed to the project. We greatly appreciate the update!

  • Dagganticipation:

    Wow! I honestly thought this project was dead! Great to hear that you’re still working on it, and I look forward to your next update!

  • Chris:

    Really happy to see that you’re choosing to continue with the project! Looking forward to the Beta. :)

  • Paco:

    Finally the XL Engine rises from the dead for the hundredth time! Seriously though, I’m glad to hear you’re still working on it.

  • Alec:

    You’re doing some terrific work, Lucius! Your project is _the_ only hope to play such classics as Blood or Dark Forces without much fuzz. Thanks for everything that you’ve done so far and for what will come in the future!

  • Alec:

    Thanks for all your work, Lucius! Thanks for everything that you already done and for things that you will. It’s hard to put in words my appreciation of your work. Cheers!

  • JP:

    Great to hear! Keep up the good work.

  • Keiya:

    “What about source code access? I plan on releasing a few builds before I release the source code – unfortunately I’m too picky about the code for my own good – but I do plan on opening up read-only access to the repository (with the option to submit patches of course, if you are so inclined) within the first quarter of the year.”

    So it’s never happening.

  • Jordi:

    I’m very happy that this awesome project isn’t going to stop! :D
    Take care and take the time you need, I will be patiently waiting for this as I know many will ;)

    Good luck. :)

  • Toby:

    I’ll admit I looked at what Interkarma was doing but had always hoped (dreamed?) that Dagger XL would continue, although I’ll also admit that I thought the project was dead.

    Glad to be proven wrong and now very much looking forward to early next year. I’ve belayed my desire for a Daggerfall playthrough for a number of years now, waiting for an enhanced experience. Hopefully next year I can finally satisfy that itch.

    Looking forwards to hearing more from you Lucius, in the meanwhile is there anything that we (the keen followers) can do to assist? I donated some cash a couple of years back, I’m probably due for another.

  • This is awesome, I’m used to being patient…heck knows my projects go dark for long periods of time too. But I never abandon them…just have for RL to ease off (and then my motivation to return). Holding on to a pipe dream of an ArenaXL one day ;)

  • Volatile:

    I thought the project was dead. This is great news!! I’ve always hoped you’d come back to us, and this is why I’ve been checking the site every now and then.

    Glad to hear we’re getting close to a stable Beta! Thank you so much for not letting everybody down. We’re all counting on you (and very grateful, too).

  • Kevin:

    And then you will add support for EarthSiege 2 to the XL engine… *waves hands and makes mystic noises with mouth*

  • Kamikave:

    Great news, just as I was looking for blood source ports ! I’m impatient to finally play Dark forces too. Glad to see you’re still on it.

  • Rekrul:

    There are only four options that I consider truly important for a modern Dark Forces engine, with everything else being icing on the cake. In order of importance, they are;

    1. Mouselook (pretty much a given with a modern port)

    2. Auto-aim being optional. Honestly when I recently played through the game using the Daum SVN DOSBox (save states), OverlayXHair (crosshair) and GlovePIE (simulated mouselook), the biggest source of frustration for me was not being able to aim where I wanted. The concussion rifle was useless for enemies above you and explosive barrels were largely useless since you couldn’t target them until every single enemy was dead. ARGH!!!

    3. Save anywhere. I hate games that only allow saving at the end of missions. It’s too easy to screw up and die.

    4. Crosshairs on the screen.

    • luciusDXL:

      Mouselook, optional auto-aim and optional crosshairs are a given. Save anywhere will probably be available as an option (though not immediately) and will default to ‘off’ to preserve the challenge curve caused by the checkpoint/lives system. Some people, like yourself, find the system needlessly frustrating but for others it adds tension and challenge [both are equally valid points of view]. :)

  • Kim:

    These are great news. This project is one of those, that really inspires me and I think, there is a lot of people, that appretiate your efford. Few years ago, Daggerfall was definitelly my favourite game, and I spend uncountable evenings living another life. I can’t wait to enjoy that game again!
    Using original (buggy, slow and hardly controled) game with DOSBOX is really not satisfying…

  • zebulon759:

    HE’S!… NOT!… DEAD!

    • MrWhatsisname:

      Unless, of course, the unlikely event that he is in fact zombified and his hiatus was due to the time required to dig out of his
      own grave with rotted and barely functioning limbs.
      But, you know, not very likely.

      • luciusDXL:

        Alas my secret has been uncovered…

        (or at least that’s how I feel today, I should be less zombified tomorrow)

        • MrWhatsisname:

          At least it seems you’re only a part-time zombie, full-time literally stinks.
          I’m sure a lot of people can relate, I sure can and I blame it on my poor sleeping habits and the coffee which likely fuels those habits.

  • TFB:

    “Interkarma has made large strides in his own Daggerfall work (see http://www.dfworkshop.net/) which begs the question”

    It doesn’t beg the question, it raises it.

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The XL Engine is and will remain free, donations are purely optional but greatly appreciated.