Game engine recreation

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Game engine recreations are remade engine interpreters for video games that replace the original engine binary that came with the original game. A notable example of game engine recreation is ScummVM which successfully recreated the SCUMM engine of classical LucasArts' point and click adventures. For further examples, refer to the list of game engine recreations.


Game engine recreations are made to allow the usage of classical games with newer operating system versions, recent hardware or even completely different operating systems than originally intended. Another motivation is the ability to fix engine bugs which is often hard or impossible with the original engines (with notable exceptions, see community patch) once a software has become unsupported Abandonware, with the source code not available.


In many cases, these engine are created based on reverse engineering the original binary executable. A good example is OpenTTD. Occasionally, as was the case with some of the engines in ScummVM, the original developers have helped the projects by supplying the original source code—those can be then called source ports. Other cases such as OpenRA are clean-room re-implementations based on specifications contributed by the community[1] which result in game engines whose behavior differs from the original.[2]

List of game engine recreations[edit]


Emulation of classical systems or operating systems is an alternative to an engine recreation; for instance DOSBox is a notable emulator of the PC/MS-DOS environment.

Static recompilation is another approach based on the original binary, potentially leading to better performance than emulation; an example is the 2014 ARM architecture version of StarCraft for the Pandora.[3][4][5]

Another alternative are source ports for the seldom cases that the source code is available; examples are Jagged Alliance 2[6] or Homeworld[7][8][9] (more examples under List of commercial video games with available source code).


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  2. ^
  3. ^ Steinlechner, Peter (2014-03-10). "Starcraft für ARM-Handheld kompiliert" (in German). Retrieved 2014-03-25. 
  4. ^ notaz (2014-03-04). "StarCraft". Retrieved 2014-03-26. 
  5. ^ notaz (2014-03-04). "Starcraft". Retrieved 2014-03-29. The "no source, no port" rule is not completely true, you can get something similar (but not the same) as a port through static recompilation. Similar stuff was done several times by M-HT for some DOS games. The game was also converted for Android with somewhat similar approach. 
  6. ^ Burnes, Andrew (2004-02-25). "Jagged Alliance 2 Source Code To Be Bundled With Wildfire". Retrieved 2012-12-23. 
  7. ^ Largent, Andy (2003-10-08). "Homeworld Source Code Released". Inside Mac Games. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ pandorapress staff (2011-06-23). "Game of the Week #3 – Homeworld SDL". Retrieved 2013-04-24. [...] released port of HomeworldSDL. [...]enables your Pandora to experience the excellent work done by the guys at HomeworldSDL. 

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