Hexen and Heretic Code Opened Under GPL

Hexen and Heretic Code Opened Under GPL


Twelve years since Hexen's release, Raven Software has unleashed the classic shooters' code under the GNU GPL software license, fixing confusion over the legality of various Doom ports.

After a decade-long effort to convince Raven Software to open the source for its classic first-person shooters Hexen and Heretic, Raven's James Monroe contacted Doom World with word that the code could be downloaded from SourceForge under the free GNU General Public License.

The team effort to force Raven to unlock Heretic and Hexen included "an online petition, an open letter, snail mail campaigns, e-mail, an international action item on GNU.org, insider efforts by Chris Rhinehart of Human Head Studios and Doom's own John Romero, and other activities carried on individually by countless community members."

Allowing Hexen to be downloaded with the GNU GPL solves a number of legal issues related to numerous Doom modifications made since the game's launch in 1993. Hexen was famous for being one of the first FPS games to offer mouse look, allowing for manual aiming. Future Doom edits, such as personal favorite ZDoom, combined code with Hexen's in a violation of the latter's private, Activision-approved license. Now both Raven games can be freely redeveloped for new software packages to be played on any hardware platform.

Programmers from the 1990s PC era can revisit the Doom days by downloading Activision and Raven's source from its SourceForge page.

Source: DOOM World via Slashdot


Ive never heard of Hexen but Heretic was awesome!

Hexen was "the sequel to Heretic", using a similar modified Doom engine.
Then came Hexen 2, which made the numbering awkward (modded Quake engine).
Finally came Heretic 2, more of a sequel to the original storywise from what I understand, and the numbering made sense again (modded Quake engine alsom, third person game).

I loved Heretic, the Crossbow that shot triple arrows goes down as one of the greatest weapons ever, wasn't too keen on Hexen.

I was always more of a 'Rise Of The Triad' man myself. DOUBLE PISTOLS!

About time. Every bit of ex-commercial code released under the GPL is one step away from the absurdities of the likes of EA and their "limited installs" policy. We need more freedom with our computers and with our software.

Sweet! I remember reading the Doomworld thread on how users were trying to get this to happen, glad it did! ^_^

I loved playing these games. Some of the many from that era that would make me physically ill after a playing for a while, but somehow I'd still come back to it.

Good thing, let's hope we'll have a good source port in the future, along the lines of ZDoom and eDuke32.


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