Descent 3
Image: Interplay

Kevin Bentley, one of the original programmers on the Interplay and Outrage Entertainment first-person shooter Descent 3, has recently released the game's source code online for free.

This even includes a previously never-before-released '1.5' patch that Bentley worked on several years ago with a fellow programmer on the project named Jeff Slutter.

Descent 3, in case you've never heard of it, is a "six-degrees of freedom shooter" that came out back in 1999 for PC and Mac (a version for Linux also launched one year later). Like the previous titles in the series (Descent and Descent II), it saw players get behind the controls of a Pyro-GX ship, with the goal this time being to help an organization stop a bunch of robots affected by an alien virus. It was released on Steam back in 2014 and is also available on GOG but doesn't exactly get on well with modern Windows PCs, with some fans having previously called out for the source code to be released so that further improvements could be made.

According to Bentley, "some proprietary sound and video libraries" have been stripped out of the source code release, but he still has that code if someone wants to step up and help him make a converter so that the old cutscenes work.

His ultimate goal with releasing the source code seems to be to "get everything compiling again" and to implement some CI/CD actions. He also plans to get everything cleaned up, too, as according to him "a lot of this code was written by a really great team, but keep in mind we were much younger and less experienced back then".

Since posting the code, Bentley has issued an update to fans announcing that they can "expect some big commits coming soon" and that he will also be merging in some code that other developers "did in parallel and/or after this code was archived". You can join the Descent Discord here if you want to keep up to date with any happenings in the game's community.