Amnesia is now open source!

Modding has been a huge part of Amnesia. For instance, over the years The Dark Descent has accumulated over a thousand mods and addons on ModDB. This flood of user content has been amazing to see and we are extremely grateful for the whole community surrounding it all.

It is time we gave something back!

So today we are releasing the full source code for Amnesia: The Dark Descent under GPL v3:

The code release contains all the game code for both The Dark Descent and A Machine For Pigs. It also contains all editor code.

Very important note: This doesn’t mean that the game is suddenly free. It just means that people are free to use the source however they want as long as they adhere to the GPL3 licence. The game and all of its content is still owned by Frictional Games. Just like before.

Think of the release as “free speech”, not “free beer”.

It feels like we could have released this source code a long time ago. Unfortunately there has always been something else we had to attend to instead. But now that Amnesia: The Dark Descent has had its 10th anniversary and Amnesia: Rebirth is less than a month away, we just couldn’t wait any longer!

We are all really excited to see what comes out of it! The modding community has been incredibly creative over the years and it will be fun to see what it can do with the full source code at its disposal.

I also hope this release can be of help to anyone wanting to create their own engine or just wanting to learn more about game programming. While the code is not the greatest in places and the tech used is not the latest, it is a fully contained game engine in a fairly easy-to-understand package. It is also a testament that it is possible to do this sort of thing, even with a very limited team.

Noteworthy features include:

  • Shadow mapping with soft edges.
  • Realtime visibility culling system that also works for dynamic objects.
  • Automatic render batch system of static objects.
  • Deferred shading system.
  • A full editor with lots of interesting feature that such as picking algorithms and view fitting.
  • Very simple state machine AI that still gives rise to fairly interesting and intelligent agents.
  • Fairly advanced system for physics sounds.
  • Physics based interaction system.
  • Own sound system implemented using OpenAL
  • Lots of other basic rendering and gameplay tech all implemented in an a coherent engine structure

Obviously, all these things are decade old and nothing new. But I think they can all be quite interesting for anyone learning gamedev, or that are just curious how Amnesia worked under the hood.

Again, thanks to everyone who has created Amnesia-related stuff over the years, it has been a blast to witness!

21 Replies to “Amnesia is now open source!”

  1. Thank you for finally releasing this! Will be interesting to look at the code and see how it’s made!

  2. Th! Thanks, for sure people are fond of mod development or experimentation. Freedom code will give more possibilities

    As a support, I will definitely buy Amnesia: Rebirth (although I would have bought it without it =))

  3. Is there going to be a stand-alone repository of the HPL2 release, like you did for HPL1?

    Furthermore, is AMP canonically a newer branch of HPL2 than TDD?


  4. I wonder if this will allow us to create a Cooperative/Multiplayer component. Seems much more plausible now, unless the engine limits it.

  5. Now i miss old ID Software…

    Thanks for open spirit. Waiting for Rebirth and 2nd secret project reveal.


  6. Oh man, I loved modding AtDD back in the days of high-school.

    And its been for the past year a personal hobby/goal of mine to learn more about OpenGL / Game Engine stuff.
    I really look forward to dissecting what you guys have!

  7. This doesn’t mean that the game is suddenly free. It just means that people are free to use the source however they want as long as they adhere to the GPL3 licence.

    I think you just contradicted yourselves there. If you release the source code under a free license, such as the GNU GPL, then by definition it becomes free software. Unless you were talking about price, in which case you used the term very confusingly. One might even say intentionally so, given your insistence on using the term “open source” when in fact you’re talking about free software instead.

    1. Hey! Open source is not the same as free, even if they are easy to confuse some times. The game and all it’s content is NOT free. But the software, eg the exe, is free under open source as described in the blog post 🙂

    2. To be honest, the game’s already almost free, selling at ridiculously low prices especially in bundle offers. A masterpiece like this deserves nothing below 40$, at least. Much larger companies put out excrement that is nothing but disgrace at triple AAA game prices, not to mention DLCs. Everything is wrong in the world, those who deserve most profit are getting nowhere near what they deserve. Frictional is definitely one of those companies. But oh well.

  8. Much appreciated! I got it to run and look forward to play the old Amnesia again before the release of the new one. Hope it helps for even more mods and bringing the game to other and future platforms.

  9. I just want to thank you for making this amazing game. I’m so looking forward to October 20th so I can play the next Amnesia game. Dark Descent was by far the scariest game I ever played. I could only play it in 20 minute session but damn I loved it and it felt so good to finish it.

    Also thank you for sharing your game code. I don’t think I can personally do much better than RPG Maker but maybe some other talented guys will make great games thanks to you.

    You guys are amazing and I hope you will keep up the good work!

  10. Hey Frictional,

    I am super excited to see what comes from this! I have my fingers crossed for a nice VR mod…

    Any chances of doing the same thing with SOMA? That game was a masterpiece the likes of which I’ve never seen before, and would make an even more fitting VR experience (especially due to the nature of the plot).

  11. Maybe a dumb question, but, does this mean it’s easier to make a VR version of the game?

  12. Thanks guys, you’re the best. I have question tho, in theory can someone update all libs and add some new features like support for Vulkan, right??

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