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What is xoreos?

xoreos is an ongoing FLOSS project to reimplement BioWare’s Aurora engine (and derivatives) as used in their 3D games, beginning with Neverwinter Nights. The goal is to have a portable program to play those games even on operating systems those games were never meant to be played on, such as GNU/Linux and Mac OS X.

How is it licensed?

xoreos is free software and licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License version 3 or later (GPLv3+).

A note about piracy

To use xoreos to run the games, you have own the original game media. We do not endorse piracy in any way, shape or form.

What does currently work?

Currently, the “foundation” work of managing resources, reading many basic file formats, displaying graphics and playing sounds has been done. All targeted games show partial ingame graphics, such as the area geometry and objects, letting you fly around in a “spectator mode”. Some games show partial menus, and something resembling a starting point for a script system is there.

No actual “normal” gameplay is implemented yet, though.

What is left to do?

A lot of work is still left to do. We are actively looking for developers interested in joining our efforts in taking apart BioWare games and reimplementing them. If that sounds something you would find exciting and feel capable of, please contact us. We are always happy to see new faces. :)

Need more detailed information?

You can find the project here on github and here is a repository containing assorted tools. The project wiki has further information: a more detailed description of the current status, more screenshots and a long TODO list. If you’d like to see some moving pictures, this youtube playlist has some (slightly outdated) videos to showcase the project. And if you’d like to contact us for any reason, please do so using the project mailing list.

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Note: This is a cross-post of a news item on the xoreos website.

A new year, a new release: we are proud to announce the release of version 0.0.4, nicknamed “Chodo”, of xoreos and xoreos-tools.

In this release, Neverwinter Nights now shows speech bubbles for conversation one-liners, as used for cutscenes, bark strings and short NPC dialogues. Additionally, the premium modules BioWare sold for Neverwinter Nights, including the three that come with the Diamond Edition, can now be properly loaded and started.

Speech bubbles

An oversight in the handling of the texture fonts used in Neverwinter Nights and the two Knights of the Old Republic games has been fixed. This oversight broke rendering of certain characters, most prominently of those used in eastern European languages and the “smart” single quotation mark that’s used instead of an apostrophe in some strings found in the French versions.

For xoreos-tools, there’s two new tools: fixpremiumgff and ncsdis.

The first tool, fixpremiumgff, can restore the deliberately broken GFF files found in the BioWare premium modules for Neverwinter Nights. The resulting GFF files can then be edited as normal.

The second tool, ncsdis, is a disassembler for the stack-based bytecode of BioWare’s NWScript scripting language. It supports the scripts of all games targeted by xoreos and can disassemble them into a full assembly listing. It can also produce a control flow graph in the DOT description language, which can then be plotted into an image by using the dot tools from the GraphViz suite.

Moreover, this release includes a lot of user-invisible code documentation and quality fixes, in both xoreos and xoreos-tools.

Binaries for Windows, GNU/Linux and Mac OS X are attached to the GitHub release, here for xoreos and here for xoreos-tools. Additionally, packages for various GNU/Linux distributions can be found on the OpenSuSE Build Service (here for xoreos, here for xoreos-tools) and in Arch Linux’s AUR (here for xoreos, here for xoreos-tools).

Alternatively, the repository and the source tarballs contain PKGBUILD files in dists/arch/ and a debian build directory in dists/debian/, which can be used to build Arch Linux and Debian/Ubuntu packages, respectively.

And as always, we’re looking for more developers to join us in our efforts to reimplement those 3D BioWare RPGs. If you would like to help, please feel free to contact us. :)

2015 Retrospective

2015 Retrospective


A glance back on what the year 2015 meant for the xoreos project

Disassembling NWScript Bytecode

Disassembling NWScript Bytecode


A technical look at the scripting language NWScript, used by BioWare in their games starting with Neverwinter Nights. Specifically, how the compiled bytecode...

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