How To Play a “Sexy” FPS with Open Arena

Seems like every time I turn around a new Quake-mod-turned-open-source-project. Well here’s another: Open Arena.

Open Arena aims to be the open source FPS and is still under active development toward that end. Game play is exactly the same as old Quake III, but the some of the models in the game are, shall we say, risque. Like old QIII, Open Arena is not for children. The primary draw of Open Arena is the broad array of new models and maps that provide eye-candy for those who are tired of the way QIII looks, but not tired of the way it plays.

On top of the traditional Death Match, Capture the Flag, and Domination modes two new modes have been added: Harvester and Overlord. All the old weapons are still there.

Open Arena installs like a dream on almost every distro:

1. Just use your package manager:

Ubuntu: sudo apt-get install openarena openarena-server

Fedora: sudo yum install openarena

Debian: sudo aptitude install openarena

Mandriva: sudo urpmi openarena

Basically, it’ll be listed under “openarena” in your package manager.

2. To play the game just look into the “Games” section of your system menu.

Gracious! I’m almost getting tired of Quake mods!

"Open Arena" doesn't mean "Original Arena"-- that machine gun looks suspiciously like...


Q: If I’m not using a mainstream package manager how would I get this to run?

A: First install the proper libraries: SDL, openal, libcurl, and libvorbis. If you’re not using a mainstream package manager then you’re probably on Arch, Gentoo, or a tarball based distro. In any case, you should already know how to install packages on your system. So, for Open Arena you’ll need to:

  1. After installing the libraries listed above download the Open Arena client using Bittorrent here. If you’re not interested in saving the nice Open Arena folks some bandwidth (or you don’t have a Bittorrent client) then get it from an FTP mirror here.
  2. You can simply extract the contents to some directory and run it, or you can install it to your system by doing this as root: unzip -d ~/openarena
  3. You might want to delete the .zip file after extraction (unless you have more hard drive space than you know what to do with): rm -f
  4. Now just execute the binary that fits your machine architecture. For example, if you’re on a 32-bit Intel machine you’d want to run the *.i386 file. You can find out what binaries are available by: ls -l /usr/local/openarena/openrena*/ioq*
  5. If you want a shortcut on your desktop or startbar then you can do that the usual way for your desktop environment of choice.

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