The best sort of source code is available source code. So it’s splendid news to hear that the developers behind Miner Wars 2081, Keen Software House, have made the code for both the full game and the engine available for all purchasers of the game – although for modding only. So that’s all 360,000 lines of code for you to stare at in bewilderment. Or if you’re not me, to start fiddling with.
However, this isn’t a free software licensing of the code, sadly. Instead the accompanying license asks that you own a Steam copy of Miner Wars, and that you only use their code for the purposes of creating new mods for the game. Keen maintain all copyrights over the code, basically.
It’s an interesting move, and while the license states emphatically that this access cannot be used to create standalone projects, nor can the code be used for other work, they’re clearly opening themselves up to the possibility. Although naughty rubbish code nickers do tend to get rumbled by communities. They conclude,
“Miner Wars 2081 still pays our monthly bills and without this income we wouldn’t be able to finish our next project. We’re trying to be open and honest, and we hope people treat us the same way back. Basically, don’t be ridiculous and we won’t.”
This accompanies the second big update to the game, that also includes improvements to stability (they’ve rewritten their rendering engine to DirectX, so alt-tabbing should work properly), and balanced the difficulty to be a bit more fair.