Red Eclipse

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Red Eclipse
Red Eclipse logo
The Red Eclipse logo
Developer(s) Quinton Reeves, Lee Salzman
Engine Cube Engine 2
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, FreeBSD
Release date(s) March 15, 2011
Genre(s) First-person shooter
Mode(s) Multiplayer, Single-player
Distribution Download

Red Eclipse is a multi-platform, free, and open source first-person arena shooter that runs on the Cube Engine 2. The game is predicated around multiplayer based action, but can also be played offline against bots.[1]

Gameplay[edit]

Red Eclipse screenshot (Elara 1.4.1)

Red Eclipse is a multiplayer first-person shooter with a style of play often compared to Quake III Arena or Unreal Tournament,[2][3] though the lead developer claims it is intended as a subversion of common mechanics in the arena FPS sub-genre.[4]

The game consists of a variety of modes, which can be extended with any of fourteen "mutators". For example, the "Capture the Flag" mode can be used in conjunction with the "Instagib" and "Jetpack" mutators, changing how the game is played. This allows players to experience more flexibility and variety when playing the same mode. There are also seven mode-exclusive mutators, which can only be played in certain modes.

Aside from the more traditional modes of its genre - among them "Deathmatch", "Capture the Flag", and "Defend the Flag" (akin to King of the Hill), Red Eclipse offers two more modes of play. "Bomber-Ball" pits two teams against one another with the objective of throwing the bomb into the enemy team's goal before it explodes, and "Time-Trial", in which players race through a level to compete for the best times.

Bots are also available for all modes and mutators when teams are short of human players, as well as for offline practice matches.

Red Eclipse's weapon arsenal consists of a pistol, sword, shotgun, submachine gun, flamethrower, plasma gun, rifle, grenade, mine and rocket launcher,[2] each with primary and alternate methods of attack. Each weapon also has variables that the player can alter to change their behavior, such as particle size, accuracy, the reload and fire rates, and damage.

Movement and physics[edit]

The game's "Impulse" and parkour systems allow the player a variety of ways to move about a level via wall-kicking, wall-running, dashing on the ground and mid-air, and double-jumping.[2] Similarly to the weapon variables, there is also a list of environmental variables, allowing players to easily create their own modes. Variables pertaining to physics, such as jump height or distance, movement speed, and gravity, are all changeable in-game to allow for different gameplay.

Game modes and mutators[edit]

Red Eclipse has six different game modes excluding the in-game editor and demo: Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Defend the Flag, Bomber-ball, Time-Trial and Gauntlet.

By default, the game is on team play (Alpha team vs. Omega team) unless the player selects FFA or Multi mutators

In addition to the game modes, there are fourteen mutators which extend the game modes:

  1. FFA – All vs. all
  2. Multi – 4 teams battle
  3. Coop – Humans are put on one team to fight against high skilled bots.
  4. Instagib – One shot kills and rifles only. The rifle can be changed to sword or grenades and mines using Medieval or Kaboom mutators respectively.
  5. Onslaught – Adds neutral waves of zombies to fight.
  6. Vampire – Hurting other people increases the attacker's health.
  7. Medieval – Swords only.
  8. Kaboom – Grenades and mines only.
  9. Classic – Weapons must be collected from spawns in the arena
  10. Expert – Only headshots deal damage.
  11. Duel – Two people at a time; other players on a server observe and wait. (With Multi mutator there are 4 players at a time)
  12. Survivor – Everyone spawns at once then the last man standing wins.
  13. Jetpack – Player can fly using impulse power.
  14. Resize – Everyone changes size depending on their health

Furthermore, Red Eclipse's game modes could have multiple mutators to extend the mode, such as having Capture the Flag with the Instagib, Teamplay, and jetpack mutators, which enables one-shot-one-kill styled gameplay, and players to fly around.

It also has some support for Sauerbraten maps, allowing players to play their favourite Sauerbraten maps.

Development[edit]

Red Eclipse is built upon the Cube Engine 2.[2][3] The first version (1.0) was released on the 15th of March, 2011. The game code is under the permissive Free zlib License, and the game data assets are mainly under the Copyleft License CC-BY-SA-3.0.[5]

Technical details[edit]

Red Eclipse retains the Cube 2 engine's lighting and shadow effects

Red Eclipse utilizes the Cube 2 engine, which uses a 6-directional heightfield (or octree) world model. An octree in Red Eclipse is a cube that can be split into eight smaller cubes that can then be done the same to. This allows for complex level geometry and easier editing which can be accomplished through the game's built in editor.

Rendering engine[edit]

The original Cube engine's rendering engine assumed that overdraw (where polygons that do not appear in the final scene are occluded via the z-buffer) was more processor-intensive than sending new streams of triangles to the graphics processing every frame, which limited its performance on more modern hardware where memory bandwidth is a greater limiting factor. Instead, Red Eclipse uses the rendering engine in Cube 2, which is designed around modern graphics processing units, which perform best with huge batches of geometry already stored in video memory. Lighting is precomputed into lightmaps—image files that correspond to geometry as textures—for efficient batching, with an additional stored directional component, that allows for efficient shader-based lighting effects.

Map editor[edit]

Red Eclipse uses the Cube 2 engine's map editor, which allows for maps to be easily made in-game

Red Eclipse retains the Cube engine's built-in map editor,[6] in which the player is able to fly around the game world manipulating and deforming volumes referred to as cubes. This, as well as weapon and other entity placement is achieved in real-time, and can be done cooperatively online with other players as well. AI "waypoints" can also be generated dynamically as the level is played. Lighting is accomplished through precomputed lightmaps. Each cube-shaped node in the octree represents a renderable volume, simply referred to as a cube. Each edge of this cube can be lengthened or shortened to deform the cube into a variety of other shapes. Corners of cubes can also be "pushed" or "pulled" to create crude curves.

The what you see is what you get realtime editing ability has enabled level designers to add a plethora of detail to maps, while reducing the time spent on actual creation. This is in contrast to traditional modern polygon soup 3D engines which take a model generated as an essentially random batch of triangles from an external modelling program, and attempt to spatially subdivide the model's triangles after the fact by splitting them to fit into tree structures, such as a BSP tree or even an octree, that require costly pre-processing to build.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Lewis Denby (March 31, 2011). "March's best free PC games". pcgamer.com. PC Gamer. Retrieved Nov 28, 2011. 
  2. ^ a b c d Michael Brune (January 24, 2012). "Red Eclipse - An open source fast-paced classic shooter". indiegamereviewer.com. Indie Game Reviewer. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Mike Schramm (March 18, 2011). "Free, open source FPS 'Red Eclipse' hits version 1.0". joystiq.com. Joystiq. Retrieved April 17, 2011. 
  4. ^ Reeves, Quinton (2011-09-09). "Re: Xonotic vs Red Eclipse". FreeGameDev Forum. Retrieved 2014-03-23. 
  5. ^ Red Eclipse Team (January 24, 2012). "Red Eclipse license". sourceforge.net. Red Eclipse Team. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 
  6. ^ Julian Horsey (March 18, 2011). "Red Eclipse Version 1.0 Open Source FPS Game Released (video)". geeky-gadgets.com. Geeky Gadgets. Retrieved April 17, 2011. 

External links[edit]