Here are some advices of good practices to apply for your OpenArena contributions.

Things which should be avoided or are forbidden are already mentioned in NOTTODO, so check that page as well.


The OpenArena Team has chosen GPLv2 for mainstream distributions. As an author, you are free to choose your license for distribution (even dual-license), however GPLv2-compatible licenses are preferred for obvious reasons:

  • The OpenArena engine is based on the IdTech3 engine, which is GPLv2+.
  • Immediate compatibility for artwork should be GPLv2 too. This allows:
    • The inclusion in Debian GNU/Linux without any restriction, as it respects the DFSG from the start, hence a wider distribution and adoption, even in derivative (Ubuntu, knoppix, live-CD for games...)
    • Maintenance. By having the source at hand, it's possible to fix what's wrong with the assets or the code without the need to wait for the original author to do so.
    • Avoids us the need to separate packages by license, which makes maintenance difficult.
  • GPLv2 mostly require to provide the "preferred form for modification", hence providing high resolution assets is a plus and enables us to create better derived artwork.
    • For graphics models, use Blender and *always* provide .blend sources confirming your license choice. See Making a player model and DeveloperFAQ.
    • For music, OGG is used in the end, but the preferable method of working is to choose MOD (tracker format) as to have an identified "source", see Music.
  • Before asking to include your creation into the SVN, provide credentials: i.e., state that you are the author or forward mails providing authorization to distribute under GPLv2+.
    Also, understand what this means: GPL has few restrictions on distribution, be it non-commercial or commercial, no country or project restriction: once it's in the "wild" you won't be able to retrieve it easily, make your choice from the start, do not be unhappy afterwards as you'll have been warned.

Artistic approach[]

  • OpenArena is somewhat anime/manga-INFLUENCED but not necessarily styled as so. This is more for the sake of distinguishing between characters and items rather than 'japan japan lol'. A bit gothic or even manga' oriented may be accepted, but remember that we don't want to exactly replicate the whole "serious/dark/grim/brown" trend seen in almost the entirety of FPS. Anyway, just suggest good design and see how it is welcome.
  • Check Roadmap for priorities and orientations (feel free to discuss)
  • The engine only supports vertex animation in the MD3 format, so you're free to run wild with vertex weights and program dependent softbody physics and the like, as long as it can 'bake' into the md3 file.

See also[]