OpenMW is a new game engine for the role playing game Morrowind. It is open source, written in pure C++, and cross platform; currently supporting OS X, Linux, and Windows. No art assets owned by Bethesda Softworks are distributed with OpenMW. Therefore you must own Morrowind to use it.
Primary Goal: To create a fully functioning engine for playing Morrowind, Tribunal, Bloodmoon, and all user created mods. That is open source and endlessly modifiable. Version 1.0 will meet that criteria. This goal is the current goal for our team.
Please do not demand we make major modifications to either the user interface or gameplay as we are not at that stage in development. OpenMW is the result of years of work by volunteers, so be respectful. You aren't owed anything by us. That said, we are very open to suggestions for post 1.0.
Future Goals (post 1.0):
Allow much greater modability: change game rules, create new spell effects, etc through scripting.
Fix system design bugs, like the “dirty” GMST entries in mods, and the savegame “doubling” problem.
Improve the interface and journal systems.
(Possibly) Improve game mechanics, physics, combat and AI.
(Possibly) Support multiplayer at some point.
(Possibly) Improve graphics to use more modern hardware.
Do I need Morrowind? Yes and no.
You must legally own and install Morrowind before you can use OpenMW as it is intended – to play Morrowind. OpenMW is a reimplementation of the technical aspects of the game only. It does not come with any “content” – namely the art, game data, and other copyrighted material that you need to play the game as designed by Bethesda Softworks. You have to provide this content yourself by installing Morrowind and then configuring OpenMW to use the existing installation.
If you don’t own currently Morrowind, consider buying it. It’s worth every penny even if it’s no longer a “new” game. At the time of the last update of this FAQ, Morrowind was available from Steam for a mere $5.
The above withstanding, OpenMW is an game engine in itself. It is possible for other projects to use OpenMW as a base for a total conversion of the game. At the moment there is no TC that do not require morrowind data files, though.
OpenMW is in early stages. There is terrain, cell, and water render as well as collision and animations. Some work have been done on playable elements and currently character creation requires some manual console input and you can’t load saved game. We are at the point where we can now begin implementing many skills, attributes, and abilities.
What Technologies Does OpenMW Use?
OpenMW is built with various open source tools and libraries:
Programming language: C++
Sound: OpenAL and Audiere
Scripting: Homebrew implementation of morrowind scripts.
The ESM/ESP and BSA loading code was written from scratch, but with much help from available community-generated documentation.
Likewise, the NIF (proprietary 3D mesh) loading code was written with the help of available online information. Special thanks to the NIFLA / NifTools gang!
How Do I Help?
If you want to join in developing the project by contributing code or bug hunting, or if have suggestions, ideas, comments you are very welcome to join the official OpenMW forum, and visit our #openmw IRC channel at FreeNode. We always need experienced programmers!
You can also check out our Issue Tracker!
The major news for this update comes via Mark (creator of the Crystal Scrolls) : he nearly finished multiple esp/esm support! There are numerous problems, but things are progressing : you'll soon be able to travel to Solstheim!
garvek, our new developer who is also part of the dugeonhack project, started working on cmake fixes and making OpenMW compile with MSVC. The DungeonHack team is in the process of deciding whether to help OpenMW reach basic functionality and then base DungeonHack off our engine. Sounds good to me!
zini after last week of bugfixes and checking if features from merged branches were working, he has returned to working on the script implementation. Excellent!
jhooks1 is continuing work on the physics system. He fixed a bug that allowed players to run up the walls if their speed was high enough. Unfortunately his work on enabling animations through Ogr3d's system still can't handle robes and some creatures. If someone is an expert in animations then you're help is welcomed on our forums.
Gentoo overlay for OpenMW has reached alpha status and awaits testing. Big thanks (if it's working correctly) to edmondo.
Gus added the setangle and setscale instructions but there is still much to be done before his branch is merged into the master.
Scrawl has been working his wonders (namely by finishing the Spell window and alchemy windows). He also changed the color of the water to look less tropical and more like in vanilla Morrowind.
Lurkers of the irc channel are reporting that he said the following:
I have started rewriting the shader system to allow GLSL. I am a making sort of a library out of it, it will be similar to ogre RTShaderSystem but much better. Then the user can put in a settings file which shader language he wants :P
Ho, and two more developers pvdk and k1ll are active again
Finally, we are looking for someone who knows QT to start work on developing a replacement to Bethesda's Construction Kit for OpenMW. If you fit the bill it would be a huge help to the project. Any computer science or game design students out there with free time this summer?