Carmack confirms Doom 3 source release

John Carmack, id Software founder and creator of the popular Doom and Quake series of first-person shooters, has confirmed that the source code for Doom 3 is due for release in the very near future.

Founded on principles of ‘shareware’ – where large chunks of id’s early games were released for free, in the hopes that users would register in order to unlock more levels – id recently adopted an open source ethos, releasing the code to its last-generation titles as new games are launched.

Carmack had promised the community that the code for Doom 3, which is based on the idTech4 engine, would be released under an open source licence when Rage, the company’s latest game, hit shops – but id’s acquisition by Zenimax left people wondering if Carmack would be allowed to fulfil his promise.

Thankfully, it looks like everything’s go: in a post to Twitter, Carmack announced that the source code is ready for release. “Doom 3 source is packaged and tested,” he writes, “we are waiting on final lawyer clearance for release.”

While the source code releases don’t include right to in-game assets such as audio, texture or models, they provide a handy leg-up for hackers looking to get into game development.

BeagleBone ARM development kit announced

The creators of the BeagleBoard low-cost ARM-based computer have come up with a new device which drives down both the size and the cost, while providing an interesting stop-gap solution to those waiting for the Raspberry Pi: the BeagleBone.

Built around a Texas Instruments AM335x ARM Cortex-A8 microprocessor running at up to 720MHz, the BeagleBone promises over 1,400 Dhrystone MIPS and the ability to run a fully-featured GNU/Linux distribution.

The tiny package also includes an OpenGL ES 2.0 compatible 3D graphics accelerator, a USB 2.0 host port, microSD connector for storage, gigabit Ethernet, a multipurpose USB device connection featuring on-board hub, USB-to-serial and JTAG conversion with software reset, and a reprogrammable high-speed USB device interface, along with two 46-pin two-row 0.1-inch spaced female expansion headers using 3.3V IO.

Despite all these impressive features, the BeagleBone fits in the palm of your hand – and in doing so takes up little more room than an Arduino microcontroller at an impressively compact 3.4″ x 2.1″. In addition, the BeagleBone will support ‘capes’ – equivalent to Arduino ‘shields,’ minus the awkward pin spacing – to easily add more hardware to the platform.

As standard, the BeagleBone will come with a pre-installed copy of the Maemo-based Angstrom Distribution, node.js and the Cloud9 IDE on a 2GB microSD card, which will combine to allow developers to quickly and easily upload new code to the board using a single USB connection for data and power.

“We’re big fans of embedded systems at our office and think Cloud9 IDE for BeagleBone is an amazing use case. It makes writing code for your device as easy as plugging in and connecting to a port with a browser,” claims Rik Arends, chief technology officer at Cloud9 IDE. “We’re looking towards supporting embedded development from the cloud in the future. This way, our users will have all the benefits of keeping code safely online, with the ability to easily distribute to multiple devices.”

The BeagleBone is due to hit the usual suspects in the US before the end of the month, priced at $89, with UK stockists yet to be confirmed. To whet your appetite, there’s an introductory video below, and more information is available on the BeagleBoard site.