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Tux Racer to be closed source- GPL Project Continues

Aug 02, 2001, 21:36 (42 Talkback[s])

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J. Nathan Matias writes:

Sunspire Studios is going to release Tux Racer 1.0 as a closed source, commercial product. Tux Racer is the Free Software community's premier 3d game, and I only found out about the future closed source release in emails from Sunspire. They are following the procedures of relicensing allowed from the GPL, so everything is legal.

In response to this, I have started a project called Open Racer whose purpose is to continue development of the GPL Tux Racer. Sunspire is ok (and, I believe, happy) with everything so long as the project doesn't go into direct competition with Tux Racer 1.0. It's my goal to develop the project in a different direction in accordance with Sunspire's wishes, but I'm still looking for ideas at this point.

It is my wish to only be the interim maintainer of this project until I can pass the maintainership to someone more competent and interested in the project than I. However, I hate to see the GPL version die, so here I am.

For now, you can get basic information as well as a few screenshots of some very simple data file hacks I have done at the temporary Open Racer site. I hope to have a SourceForge account within a few days, with working CVS, mailinglists, etc. I will periodically post news to the temporary site as I get it.

If anyone is interested in contributing, please email me using the contact information on the Open Racer site.I need all the help I can get from people with ideas, coders, and artists.

This game is a jewel on the crown Free Software/Open Source gaming; don't let it fall out only to be trampled and lost.

The Tux Racer site does not mention that the 1.0 is not going to be open source. However, I have receieved emails from Sunspire and Jasmin Patry, an employee of sunspire and original author of Tux Racer indicating that it will be closed source. I have not put those emails online, because Sunspire has been good to me and I don't want it to seem like I'm fighting them. In fact, the opposite is true. I want the codebase to continue, but I don't want to go into confrontation with them. I don't intend to put those emails online unless #1 sunspire decides to oppose me or #2 nobody believes me.

If my word isn't enough, and to be honest, nobody knows me form adam, so it's probably not worth much at all, check out the tux racer CVS at

The most recent code updates are from the 0.61 release about 6 months ago. However, news comments on the and pages announce huge feature additions and heavy coding by multiple sunspire developers.

I'm sad that Tux Racer has stagnated; the Open Racer project I started hopefully will be able to organize people toward continuing the great tradition of this marvelous game.

J. Nathan Matias