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What is the OpenArcanum project?

"Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura is a 2001 role-playing video game developed by Troika Games and published by Sierra Entertainment. It was released in North America and Europe in August 2001 for Microsoft Windows. Debuting at fourth position on NPD Intelect's best-seller list, it was Troika's first game and also their best-selling title with over 234,000 copies sold and with revenues of US$8.8 million."

What is the OpenArcanum project? Imagine, that you have a favorite computer game that is ages old and you would like to play it again, but you have troubles running the game on newer computers.

And even if you manage to run the game, there is nothing new to the game. Now, what if you want to add something new to the game? Like new quests, weapons or spells? You must use outdated and incomplete tools that are hard to use and does not offer you creation of the things you want. Also, what if you want to play the game in coop-mode or even as multiplayer, but the game does not offer you the options to play it over the internet.

So what are your options? If you're nerd enough, you would write your own game engine that would replace the old one.

And that's exactly what OpenArcanum is - A game engine reimplementation for game Arcanum: Of Steamworks and Magick Obscura -

Yes, that forgotten RPG game from creators of Fallout 2.

Please, if you want to support the development of the OpenArcanum, consider becoming a patron of this project or making a small donation to the project. (You will get something in reward afterall :)

Become a Patron!

This new engine would not simply replace the old engine, it would enchance the game with new features and options for its players.

Multiplatform - Not only, that the new engine would allow us to run the game on new operating systems without problems, but you would be able to run it on other platforms too, such as Linux, Mac and mobile platforms as well.

New and enchanced visual effects - dynamic lighting, shadows, weather effects etc.

Physics - bouncing bullets and new physics-based quests.

A new and better battle system - the original engine was quite buggy.

Coop and multiplayer modes - The engine is build on client-server architecture.

Heavily modding-friendly. You could literally edit anything by hand, no need for fancy and hard-to-use tools. Add your own UI widgets, edit scripts and game logic whenever you want.

A new in-game map and object editor - No more WorldEd.

And much more...

Don't worry, this is not a some kind of enthusiastic nonsense.  Everything was planned almost a decade ago. The project originally started back in 2009. However, due lack of support, the project was stopped in 2012. At that time, the OpenArcanum was already in development for 3 years and I had a robust and working engine written in C++.

Now, the whole game engine was rewritten to JavaScript to speed up the development progress, all the game assets were converted to modder and web friendly formats. And now it's time to finish the game.

With your support, I would be able to finish the missing features and release first version of the new engine within a few months, i.e. before Q3 2018. Then we can all happily play Arcanum again and add new quests, maps and anything we wish.

Debug mode enabling...

This debug feature which I found in Arcanum executable while researching it a year and half ago, allows you to see debug messages generated by Arcanum engine.

These messages will be very helpful for somebody who wants to know how Arcanum works or who wants to make some engine patches…

All messages will be printed into console which will be created by Arcanum after startup, it will also write all messages into external file called ”debug.txt” which will be create in main Arcanum directory.

To enable this mod, double click on file ”enabledebug.reg” and import registry, to disable double click on file ”disabledebug.reg”, and confirm import as well.





Posted by Crypton | Posted on 2009-09-17 00:46:41 | Posted in: Research
Lagging in multiplayer? Found why!

Have you experienced lagging in Arcanum multiplayer? I think that Arcanum is very famous for this unpleasant feature :) but I’ve found out why that happens and also I’ve found a solution how to avoid that.

So why is Arcanum multiplayer so lagging? Its simly because of that multiplayer was designed for LAN only, where speed of data transfer is at least 10Mbit/s, so they used TCP protocol to transfer data from server to client and back…

Whats bad about TCP in Arcanum? simply, TCP waits till data are tranfered, so it freezes whole application when data tranfer is not running in own thread (In Arcanum, threads are used, but game still waits for reply from player) .

What that all means? It means that speed of server is not depending only on server internet speed, but it also heavily depends on speed of connected players.

For example, if your server will be running on 10Mbit connection, and somebody who has 56KBit modem connects to your server(will have a very low ping), will slow down your server to 56KBit as well…  and of course this will make game completely unplayable.

How to avoid lagging? Simply, let play only players who has a low ping, less than 100msec, this will decrease amount of lagging significantly.

Also I’m going to fix few things in Arcanum multiplayer, so if I succeed, I’ll release small multiplayer patch, that will include this bug fix as well.

Posted by Crypton | Posted on 2009-07-16 16:24:28 | Posted in: Research
Multiplayer packets - Server info

There has been done some research on Arcanum’s packets, a complete structure and info about them can be seen here.

Any research contributions are welcomed!

Posted by Crypton | Posted on 2009-07-16 02:36:08 | Posted in: Research
Missing female art for non-human races

When I was researching prototypes, I’ve found out that they contains AID, when you decode this AID, you get art filename and other stuff. In prototypes, there is prove that female version of non-human races was available in game while development.

These art files has been deleted before release, and game uses simple hack that loads a human female arts for every race.

Now the question is why they needed to delete them… because of CD size limits?

Posted by Crypton | Posted on 2009-07-08 07:26:07 | Posted in: Research
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