Descent 3 Source Code Released

The source code for the 1999 Interplay/Outrage Entertainment game Descent 3 was just open sourced on GitHub under the MIT license. The person responsible for opening the project made the following statement on Reddit /r/gamedev:

I was one of the developers for Descent 3 back in the late 90’s/early 2000’s. Jeff Slutter and I worked on a patch in 2008/2009 to modernize it, but we never released it for reasons I don’t completely remember. I got permission to release it and I’m looking forward to resurrecting the game for modern computers.

Some more details of the release on the GitHub repository:

This is the latest version of the Descent 3 source code. This includes the ‘1.5’ patch that Jeff Slutter and Kevin Bentley wrote several years ago. At the time, it worked for Windows, Linux, and Mac.

Some proprietary sound and video libraries from Interplay have been stripped out (the ACM and MVE format). I have that code if someone wants to help make a converter so the old cutscenes work. It’ll take some effort to stub out that code so it compiles.

The first thing I want to do is get everything compiling again, and ideally some CI/CD actions. After that, the code needs to be cleaned up some, to remove old version control comments, etc. A lot of this code was written by a really great team, but keep in mind we were much younger and less experienced back then.

If you’re interested in helping maintain it, please send me a message. Otherwise, I’m happy to take pull requests.

This is the last update I put out there showing different architectures playing along. Yikes, that was a long time ago, sorry we never released a 1.5 patch. Some logistics got in the way!

Key Links

Descent 3 Source Code on GitHub

Reddit /r/gamedev Thread

Descent 3 on GoG

Descent 3 on Steam

You can learn more about the Descent 3 source code release and the basics of where to start if you want to jump into the C++ code yourself in the video below.

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