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Frequently Asked Questions
FAQ? What's a FAQ?

FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions. It is a document that try to answers most questions that people ask when they first come across a project or run into problems.

The NeL FAQ tries to answer the most pertinent questions that come across the NeL mailing list.

What is NeL exactly?

What does the acronym NeL means?

NeL stands for Nevrax Library. It is a set of routines aimed at the development of multi-user virtual environments in an IP network. It is used as the core for client and server software to create various forms of Internet entertainment.

Is this for a game?

Yes and no. NeL is technically available for all forms of Internet virtual environments, but is clearly aimed toward making a Massively MultiPlayer Online Role Playing Game (or MMORPG) as its first commercial application. The associated client and server software, which are distributed along NeL are for that type of game.

Details on the game itself are not available right now, for commercial strategy reasons. However, a sample game will be available along with the code base.

Any other games?

Nevrax, as a commercial entity, does not have other games scheduled right now. However, nothing stops anybody else from using the NeL platform and making a strategy wargame, or a virtual city, or anything else.

NeL and Free Software

Have you checked WorldForge/Crystalspace/QuakeForge/others...?

We have looked carefully at the other Free Software projects available, before reinventing the wheel. They're all more or less compatible with ours, on a purely license level, thanks to the GPL, but that does not mean they can fit in our development. We (the NeL maintainers) are a commercial entity with a specific product to be delivered on time.

We want to keep a tight focus on the game we are doing right now, and thus did not want to get involved in political struggles to get the code we would need in, and did not want to create resentment by "taking over" and steering other projects toward our goals, or creating a code fork for our own purpose. Our timetable requires us to be more or less in control of things.

How can you make money if you're writing Free Software?

That's the catch. Free Software doesn't mean free content, or free service. While the software will be free, we retain property of our game data and game servers. Free Software and OnLine games are a perfect match, as these games are not really just code, but rather a service provided to subscribers which will pay a monthly fee to access our servers to play our game.

We believe that we have everything to gain, and nothing to lose by opening the source code.

I have found this bug...

The site has a bug report section devoted to this. The easiest thing is to report the bug using the appropriate tool, which ensures that your bug will get attention and you will be notified of the bug's progress and eventual eradication.

NeL Architecture

I have a question on NeL architecture...

Woah. First, have a look at the various NeL documentations available. In theory, most of the things you want to ask about NeL's architecture and technical choices are explained there.

What kind of APIs do you support?

NeL uses an abstraction layer to separate the engine workings from the API use. In theory, any API can be supported. Right now, NeL uses OpenGL to get more portability across operating systems. Any card with an OpenGL driver will thus work fine.

Other divers can be added, including a software mode for those who really want one. But performance without a 3D accelerated card will probably be abysmal.