Bioware’s Infinity Engine Now Open-Source, With Cross-Platform Support

BioWare first made their mark with the release of Baldur’s Gate over a decade ago. The game, powered by the Infinity Engine which they developed in-house, heralded the rebirth of the RPG genre, which had been on the wane in the mid to late 1990s.

The Infinity Engine went on to serve as the backbone for Black Isle Studios’ Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment, and also Baldur’s Gate II.

The engine itself was remarkable for its ability to use painted backdrops as an environment in which characters—viewed from a ‘god’s eye view’ perspective—walked through.

While the engine was officially put to rest by its developers, modders from GemRB have been hard at work in creating an open source version of the Infinity Engine, which they’ve currently succeeded in using to run BioWare’s and Black Isle Studios’ titles on platforms from the Linux to the iPad and the Android.

The GemRB developers say that the engine can even be used to build a new Infinity Engine game entirely from scratch, opening development possibilities for interested RPG makers.

While it would be great to focus development on one game at a time, ideas often occur for other games that are just too good to let go. This section is for those ideas, so that they can be recorded and not lost. If you’re submitting a completely new idea, it might be good to see if your idea can eventually be incorporated with an existing project in some way, in effect bringing to bear the best traits of both. If you’re going to hassle about licensing issues, please license your content under the GPL 2 to allow the greatest utility to the GemRB project… If indeed, you want GemRB to use it.

New game development should be modeled off the game template, this gives you an outline and a couple questions directing you where to start creating an entire world, it’s inhabitants, and major events. Other, more realistically ambitious templates include: Plots, Characters, Locations, Items, and Capabilities.

If you’re filling out a template, you should fill out the sections relating to the idea you’re adding and then provide appropriate links to the ideas in the other sections (if you’re making a character, fill out the character information, but just provide a link and short description to the town the character lives in – fill out the town’s information on the town’s own page).

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