Rewrite of the Dark Engine by Looking Glass
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This is a readme file for the openDarkEngine project.

openDarkEngine (OPDE) was created as an effort to build a multiplatform engine supporting the LookingGlass'es (TM) data files from the original DarkEngine(TM) games. So far, a basic display of the levels work, including objects and (broken) lighting.

Efforts were previously started to bring in simulation code and scripting support, but after a long hiatus this project is now undergoing a refactoring/cleanup phase, that will continue with removal of Ogre3d library and dependencies, to be replaced with a thin, rendering only library (f.ex. bgfx). This means resource/scene management will have to be written. Bulky python script bindings will probably get replaced with a more manageable Squirrel language bindings.

The plan is to clean up the project, and bring it up-to-date before continuing with efforts to develop things further. Main limitation right now is usage of Ogre3d, which is more designed towards new content creation than to bring an existing game engine with different design to life. With coming time, this disparity will only grow.


All the files, if not specified otherwise, are released under the GNU/GPL license.


There is some partially obsolete info with build instructions in the doc/DEVELOPERS file. This will be updated after the project cleanup is finished, which includes a transition to another rendering library.

Help needed

This project would obviously benefit from more developers. Anyone willing to participate is welcome, please start by diving in the project, look at some issues that are in the tracker, maybe try fixing something or improving something.


Thanks go to:

  • TomNHarris (telliamed) - for the all the work he has done understanding the Dark Engine and its data formats. Also for the irreplaceable help in the past.
  • ShadowSpawn - For the BIN mesh format and Movement database format descriptions.
  • ataricom - For helping out with the (now defunct) sourceforge Wiki
  • TTLG community
  • ...and others not mentioned