BeOS 5.0, OpenGL acceleration and Unreal Tournament

The Unreal Tournament port surfaced again last summer after years of being nowhere to be found, on reddit of all places, and it has problems.
I tried it with a 3dfx Voodoo 3 card, which works fine in the latest leaked OpenGL drivers included GLteapot and in Quake II under BeOS 4.5.2.

Weirdly accelerated OpenGL doesn’t work when running Quake II or III in BeOS 5.0, the games revert to software mode…

Anyway, back to Unreal Tournament, here are a few screenshots with the display behaviour and error messages:

It requires Bone so it’s definetely not compatible with 4.5.2, it doesn’t work on any versions of Zeta either as far I could tryn (did Zeta ever supported accelerated OpenGL?)

It’s based on UT 4.05 I believe, all the game data files are identical to the latest 4.36 available on GoG, except for a couple of maps that got a different md5 hash, Intro-city (or something similar) and Credits if I remember right.
Anyone wants to play around with it?


Beos R4.5 had HW accelerated OpenGL, but the performance wasn’t fantastic. I actually played Quake 2 on a Voodoo 3/3000 card.

The next version of BeOS was suppossed to have a rewritten OpenGL stack and newer driver framework, and people with early beta access reported better framerates than what Windows had in mid 2000. There was an article in BeNews or OsNews showing benchmarks.

BONE and OpenGL rewrite were not ready in Mar 2000 when the R5 release happenned (March 2000). The promise was that it would come out in a subsequent patch R5.1. The R4.5 drivers were incompatible wiith R5, so BeInc removed (temporarily) HW opengl stack in R5.

BeInc had the focus shift in late 1999, half the developers packed up and left. Apparently, R5 was a “throw it over the fence” ordeal. R5Pe was free, Pro had licensed codecs. BeInc weren’t even publishers of R5, they outsourced that (got my copy from Gobe).

The devs that remained were purely focussed on BeIA, very little effort went into finishing Bone/OpenGL. At one stage, one of the devs leaked the news that BeInc didn’t even have a person on staff able to build a production version of the OS, with both Bone/OpenGL, when both were “ready” for a wider Beta. Nov 2021 came, BeInc closed doors. This is why the leaked R5.1d (and Zeta) had an earlier version of Bone and no OpenGL stack.

Anyhow, that was the story of OpenGL hw acceleration. Imagine my delight in 1999 buying R4.5 off the shelf (literally, in a bookstore) in a retail box, also bought a couple of BeOS books. Installed the OS on Saturday, download Quake2 BeOS version (dialup), inserted my original Windows Quake2 CD, and was playing HW accelerated game with sound from SB Live! on the very same day. This was in the era of Win98. The experience blew Win98 out into the trash. I had BeOS as primary OS (boot order) for years after that.


Do you know who the author of the port is? Both Next Generation Entertainment and Wildcard Design wanted to port the game, but no further developments were made public after the initial talks regarding the port’s possibility.

Do you plan to try launching it under R5.1d0?

The HW GL stuff for R5 that is knocking around worked acceptably well on my Radeon 7500 - which was probably the newest chip it supported.

Never really used it for much more than the Teapot and Quake - choice of using it with 3D or using it with the newer drivers that did dual-head (the 7500 I think is the only RV100 card with dual-head); and dual-head won; this being the days of 1280x1024

1 Like

I didn’t find any clue as to who made the port.
Tried it under 5.1d0, same thing.

@Zenja I knew most of the story, but thanks for typing it out. You forgot the leaked OpenGL drivers from March/April 2001 for R5.

@cian hmm, I’ll give it a try with an old Radeon.

Has these early builds ever leaked? Was this the BeOS (or BeIA) 6.0 that is mentioned in the various beia pdfs and leaks?

This is not a BeOS screenshot, right?

So sad. I think Be could have survived with maybe 5 engineers, since development on BeOS was so powerful.

1 Like

BeOS was the dev platform for BeIA. They were still releasing BeOS versions post R5.03 to allow BeIA dev. I have a build somewhere which is after R5 and before R5.1. It was a patch on top of R5.

The Dano R5.1 build was basically what you end up with if you patch R5 with all the latest patches for BeIA dev.

BeIA was still BeOS under the hood also. A lot of the kit changes could be used on BeOS (hence all the BMessage changes.)

All this effort put into opengl and only two accelerated games? Did other non-game applications see benefits from hardware accelerated opengl? Which ones?

Where can I download unreal tournament for beos? Afaik you can still run an open source UT server.

Well, no. This was relatively early in 3D acceleration historically. It was still pretty niche. It was years before OS had accelerated UI built on top of the power of the card’s renderer too. Like, no MacOS X, no Wayland, no tel asked Windows XP even when this was being developed.

There were almost definitely more games on the way - notably Simcity 3000 had been announced by Maxis.

Announcement doesn’t mean it had actually been ported of course. There’s announcements for various Netscape server products and, most weirdly, Internet Explorer ports that were probably not even started. (Microsoft wanted Internet Explorer to run on everything; there were Solaris and HPUX ports)

Sorry, I meant were there other opengl applications released (lightwave, softimage, etc…).

Netscape actually released their server product for BeOS: Netscape FastTrack Server BeOS : Be : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive ! But I have not seen it in any of the archives.

I’ve been reading Scot Hacker’s BeOS bible, it’s a great intro to the technology that has come over to haiku -
(Discussion thread over here

It has many interviews with Be Inc employees. In it, I think Jean Louis Gassee calls BeOS “the poor man’s SGI” :laughing:. Does anyone remember the “quotable JLG” website? It would display a random quote by Jean Louis Gassee.

Edit: I found the quotable JLG signature file:

They were announced (Cinema 4D, Bryce, etc.), but never released because of Be‘s focus shift.

It was also never released.

Where does this info comes from? BeDope?

No, there was a press release in ~1996/7 by a company that had a commercial relationship to port Microsoft products; but as far as I can tell never actually released them for any platform. It wasn’t Mainwin who did the Solaris/HPUX ports of IE4/5.

Sim City 3000 was ported to x86 R4, been told by the person who did the port.

That is so cool where do you find it ?, also never heard about opengl hardware acceleration in beos.
Googled for all of this but can’t find any files :frowning:

In the sands of time most likely… there was an Intergraph port of Windows NT to Sparc… that had similar rumors but that too is completely lost. Lots of stuff from that period of the 90s was developed and never saw the light of day.

1 Like

I just uploaded UT 409 to bebytes repository, more games being processed as I locate them. I have also uploaded a package for BeOS 5 MAX that contains the mentioned 3d accelerated OpenGL and drivers, BONE, and an enhanced media kit.