Recently, John Carmack of id Software (http://www.idsoftware.com)
announced that the source code for the famous id game Quake 2 has been
released under the GNU Public License (GPL).
Just like the sources for Doom previously, you can now get the sources
for this game, compile away, and make your own version. Or, more
realistically, you should soon be able to download a version for a
number of different platforms, including Linux.
The sources are available at
ftp://ftp.idsoftware.com/idstuff/source/quake2.zip. You can also
download the Quake 2 sources from the QuakeForge project site at
http://www.quakeforge.net or the Quake standards group at
http://www.quakesrc.org. The quake standards group site has Linux
makefiles that allow you to compile on Linux.
Releasing the game sources enables non-mainstream operating systems to
run this game. While you can already purchase Quake 2 for Linux, you
cannot get Quake 2 for all chip architectures that Linux supports. If
you run such a version of Linux, then getting access to the sources
just opened up another application. Other operating systems, such as
FreeBSD or the near-dead BeOS (alas), can get access to the game as
Note that this release includes the sources for the Quake 2 game. In
real terms, this package includes the sources to the Quake 2 engine.
The game data files are not part of the release. The data files that
actually describe the game, including the media files for sounds and
graphics, remain proprietary.
As with Doom, though, you can purchase a Windows version of the game to
get legal copies of the game files and then run the game on Linux. In
addition, you may decide just to use the Quake 2 engine and create your
own game. Not an easy task, but you'll probably have a lot of fun.