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 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.