Sergorn Dragon and Hexxxer both alerted me to this…so thanks, gents.
Here’s RPGWatch‘s report on it. The long and short: Arkane Studios have released what is probably going to be the final patch for their Ultima Underworld-inspired game (which, indeed, they tried to license as the third entry in that series), Arx Fatalis.
They have also released the source code for the game. That’s right…the complete source of Arx Fatalis is available for download. The complete list of changes in this patch confirms this to be the case (because the wording on the patch download page is a bit vague):
Arx Fatalis English v1.21
- Improved overall game stability under Microsoft© Windows Vista© & Windows 7©.
- Fixed blinking effect that may happen when starting a new game.
- Fixed HUD scaling when display resolution is higher than 1024×960.
- Fixed EAX option: value is now saved when leaving the option menu.
- Fixed an issue with the game locking-up when opening player inventory.
- Fixed length of cinemascope bars displayed during cinematics.
- Fixed some performance issues with a few Nvidia GPU (see Notes).
- If you experience in game framerate drops or stuttering, please give a try to the “Enable Rendering Fix” option in the Video settings.
- This patch will remain the very last Arx Fatalis update released by Arkane Studios. However, the whole source code of the game is now available for download, which means that numerous fan made updates/mods may be found around the Internet. Arkane Studios won’t provide any kind of answer or support regarding community developed content.
The last time I can think of a company doing this to one of their defining games, it was Bungie, who released the source code for their Marathon series of games. The result of that decision was the creation of the Aleph One project and community, which continues to enhance the experience of playing Bungie’s answer to Doom to this day.
And, of course, there’s Ultima 4, which stands out as another — and particularly relevant — example. Freespace also comes to mind.
So…what will become of Arx Fatalis, now that its source is openly available? Who can say…but I, for one, intend to keep an eye on it.
At any rate, you can grab the latest patch in a variety of languages, as well as the source code, at the Arx Fatalis project entry.