As any project out there, OpenArena has a series of "do"s and "don't"s, things which fall inside of the project, and things which fall outside of it. This page lists the stuff that isn't allowed into OA. It's subjected to changes, but the list applies to every version of OA.
Stuff we possibly can't do, due to limitations of the engine
- Adding per-pixel lighting. This is not guaranteed compatible with custom maps as it relies on light entities - and radiant texture surfaces can't do this properly.
- Translation support. cgame.qvm and ui.qvm can be translated, though they won't be so compatible with most pure servers that run on English, and vice versa.
- Skeletal models. Sure the engine has support for it, but our Blender tools don't, and also vanilla q3 doesn't either. NOTE: OA3 will use MDR format for player models to save memory, but not add skeletal functions.
- Related to the above, Ragdoll physics.
Stuff we won't include in the main package
It should be noted that this stuff may be available in separated packages.
- Stuff which makes OA resemble Quake III Arena or any Quake game content-wise. The reason is that OA replicates (and tries to preserve as much as possible) the gameplay, yet the game itself would turn completely redundant if the same thematic of those games is copied as well.
Also, there are tons of FPS out there with that thematic, so there's no reason/need to turn OA into one more game of that bunch. Although there are some weapons, maps and models resembling the Quake games, future versions of OA (such as OA3) will get rid of these knockoffs, at least in the main package.
- Frontal nudity in the releases. This includes exposed erogenous zones like genitalia, anus, and female nipples. There's some suggestive stuff in the characters up to 0.8.X, (and OA3 will have even less suggestivity, because models will be more clothed) but going completely porn-nude is a no-no.
Stuff we won't do and never will
- Changing the core gameplay of the original game. This includes the physics, weapons, and anything that's the default gameplay. That's stuff for a mod, not for the original gameplay. The only exception to this rule are the TA weapons and the Grapple, because they were already in the Q3/TA code.
- Related to the above, ditching the IdTech3 engine and moving to another engine. OpenArena was created in the IdTech3 for a reason. As an example, IdTech 4 is a completely different animal for a completely different game; it's not evolutionary, and it certainly has no real benefits. And, if history is anything to go by, engine switching rarely has worked, and even in those cases where it did, it wasn't good at all (see: Duke Nukem Forever). Also, one of the project's objective is to have low requirements, and moving to a "newer" engine will kill both this and the next point.
- Also, removing third-party mod compatibility or adding or changing stuff which will further break it. Mod compatibility IS a main objective of OA. It's also related with switching to another engine.
- Designing/developing OA as an elite-only game where only seasoned players can enjoy the game. Even the original Quake III Arena was enjoyable without the need of knowing advanced techniques. And, in the long run, this will kill OA because of the high entry barrier. If anything, we want to cater to all audiences as we can inside of the limits of the project, not just the seasoned players. This includes:
- Adding tweaks for personal advantage, as in, no brightskins, no cg_enemymodels. Again, that's stuff for a mod, since vanilla Q3 didn't included that kind of stuff.
- Adding political propaganda. This includes stealth "Take That!"s to real life people, in the form of characters or character quotes.
- GPLv2-clashing licensed files such as most Creative Commons (such as CC-BY and CC-BY-SA, while CC0 is allowed instead) and GPLv3. Aside of the license compatibility reasons, there's the matter of maintenance. If we can't maintain a bad CC/GPLv3 asset because there's no source provided with it, then it's as good as being removed. There's also the requirement of having a text file per asset to describe the license in case there is a license mix. It would also lead to multiple PK3 files, separated by the licensed involved, which would complicate building and make maintenance messy. This ESPECIALLY includes:
- Adding content from commercial copyrighted games. It's copyright and EULA violation, which is followed by lawsuits and C&D letters. And you shouldn't do that as well. No matter the reason, don't insist.
- Related to the above, adding support for maps from other commercial idTech 3 games. They often contain new modifications to the BSP format that would require tearing through the engine to support, which would mean unhealthy feature creep and potential compatibility regressions. Even if the changes are trivial there are still potential legal issues. This especially includes loading maps from Quake Live.
- Sponsor/get sponsored.
- Set autodownload activated by default. It's a no-no for security (some custom PK3 have been known to use custom QVMs to exploit bugs or change stuff from the game itself), freedom (the players themselves should be the ones to decide if they want to download extra stuff from OA servers), and GPL compliance (third-party packages may include content taken from other non-Free/copyrighted games, so it's up to each server admin/player to enable autodownload at his own risk) reasons.
- PNG format. Sure, it's "open" and "natively supported by operating systems", but compared to Targas compressed in a zip, it doesn't really bring in the size benefits; in fact, it would make things worse, such as libpng dependencies varying across distros, compatibilty clashes, and much longer loading times.
- Punkbuster support. It's propietary and closed source.
- MP3 support. They're patented (patents are evil, aren't they) and have a lossiness that grates everyone's ears. We'll know quality loss when we hear it.
- Removing AI support. Botplay is an important part of the game. Without it, the game loses its offline playability, something we don't want.
- SourceForge. It was unfeasible for the project in 2007, and in 2014, it's even worse. OA dodged a bullet avoiding this service for so long.
- Removing Q3 texture/shader/sound replacements. Map compatibility IS a big part of OA.
- Replacing everyone and every powerup with fat anthropomorphic lizards and adding the Wilhelm scream and letting SoundIdeas rippers in unscathed.
- Steam integration. Mainly for reputation and pressure reasons, from both Steam's denizens and the GNU community.