Difference between revisions of "Eternity Engine"
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Revision as of 07:52, 3 November 2005
The Eternity Engine began in 1998 as a simple modification of Boom meant to power Eternity TC, which was at that time a new and active project. When Lee Killough began the MBF project, James "Quasar" Haley became a beta tester after emailing Lee with questions about the early Doom alpha versions. The Eternity project moved to an MBF code base after that port's first release.
In late 1999, Fraggle released v3.10 of his MBF-based source port SMMU, which contained support for the new FraggleScript scripting language. Although activity in the Eternity TC project by editors had steadily dropped to almost nothing, Quasar was still interested in developing the code associated with it. Needing features such as scripting and the console, he then moved the Eternity project's code into SMMU.
Despite this long history of jumping between Boom-based ports, no public release of Eternity based on any port other than SMMU was ever made. The first private alpha, released to a select few beta testers, was derived from SMMU 3.21 with selected modifications from 3.30. Because of this, Eternity began at version 3.29.
After the release of the Caverns of Darkness project, which used a customized version of Eternity Engine v3.29 Development Beta 5, the project began to attract more attention. A second programmer, Steven "SoM" McGranahan, joined the project and immediately set to work porting the code to use SDL, making it capable of running on many operating systems, including Windows.
Immediately after version 3.31 Public Beta 1 was launched, Eternity suffered a major setback which manifested as a severe case of random memory corruption. This problem, which stemmed from previously masked buffer overflows that had been introduced in SMMU, was repaired after two solid weeks of efforts by numerous community members, but it caused development delays which lasted for half a year. Since that time, however, Eternity has ranked amongst the most stable source ports.
EDF, which stands for Eternity Definition Files, is a textual input language that allows specification of almost all the static game data which was once contained inside the executable. This includes thing types, frames, sprites, terrain definitions, and more. EDF has a relaxed C-like syntax and can be used from both files and WAD lumps.
ExtraData is another EDF-like data specification language that allows the Doom map format to be extended with any kind of data. Use of special thing, line, and sector types within a map allows the editor to attach ExtraData records to those objects. Special data for the objects is then given inside the script.
Eternity expands SMMU's level info system significantly, allowing dozens of new properties to be specified, and allowing cascading global EMAPINFO lumps as an alternative to inserting MapInfo data into level headers. Among other things, MapInfo is used to tie ExtraData and Small scripts to the maps that use them.
The Small scripting language is Eternity's new replacement for FraggleScript. It is general and extremely powerful, and has not yet been used to its fullest potential within the engine due to the amount of work needed to write native function wrappers and alter internal systems for interfacing with scripts.
A complete listing of Eternity's release history follows.
- 3.29 Private Alpha - September 14, 2000
- 3.29 Public Beta 1 - January 8, 2001
- 3.29 Public Beta 2 - January 9, 2001
- 3.29 Public Beta 3 - May 10, 2001
- 3.29 Public Beta 4 - June 30, 2001
- 3.29 Development Beta 5 - October 2, 2001
- 3.29 "Gamma" - July 4, 2002
- 3.31 Public Beta 1 - September 11, 2002
- 3.31 Public Beta 2 - March 5, 2003
- 3.31 Public Beta 3 - August 8, 2003
- 3.31 Public Beta 4 - November 29, 2003
- 3.31 Public Beta 5 - December 17, 2003
- 3.31 Public Beta 6 - February 29, 2004
- 3.31 Public Beta 7 - April 11, 2004
- 3.31 "Delta" Pre-Release Alpha 1 - August 23, 2004
- 3.31 "Delta" Pre-Release Alpha 2 - November 11, 2004
- 3.31.10 "Delta" - January 19, 2005
- 3.33.00 "Genesis" - May 26, 2005
- 3.33.01 "Outcast" - June 24, 2005
- 4.00.00 "Warrior" - October 1, 2005