Yes, this will be made much prettier, too, once I squeeze that 28th hour out of the day :-)
The Open Engine is in some ways an old project of mine. Over the last few weeks, it has changed radically, but the original work started all the way back in November of 2011, when I got frustrated with Minecraft. I loved that game, but I was taking a greater and greater interest in mods, and I found out quickly how, with every new minor version of the game, all mods would suddenly stop working. When mods I really liked died, I started trying to understand why mods died with every new version, and I realized that it had nothing to do with Minecraft; that's just how mods die.
My first decision seems silly now. I wanted to make an open-source Minecraft clone that "would not change", at least not in a way that made mods obsolete. I managed some lesser clone versions until I realized that I was adding nothing of real value to anything. So I started experimenting with variations on the concept, and over the years learned a ton about programming, about the modding community (and map creators, whom I typically regard as being an integral part of the modding community), and about games in general. See, I grew up loving computer games, but at some point in the 90s, they started to become bland and repetitive. So in some ways, Minecraft was the reason I returned to games, although not the reason I stayed.
The Open Engine as it looks now was born early August, 2014. I have piles of code designed for doing a ton of interesting things, but none of it really looked like a 'game', in the mainstream sense. So I decided to put it together and actually make something playable. That became Phase 1 of The Open Engine.
But what is it?
The Open Engine is a game engine. For those who have no idea what that means, it's basically a tool that lets you create games more easily. There are many out there, and they are all more fancy and powerful than mine; Unreal Engine, CryEngine, Unity and so forth are excellent engines, that allow some really impressive games to be made! But they lack something. They are cool, controlled, commercialized tools (even though I think they all have cheap or free versions). What I love about the modding community is that it embodies utter creative chaos. Which is why I want something to exist that is not cool and controlled, but more... chaotic. Enter The Open Engine.
Also, I want games to be even easier to make. The above engines all make amazing games, but you're still very much programming them, writing all sorts of code to make them work. 'Code' should be what the engine does. The user should provide nothing but raw creativity, and should not be slowed down by the sudden need for some coding just to get things done. At the moment, anyone can make a complex 3D landscape and instantly turn it into a game of sorts in The Open Engine. There are few other functions than running around (or at least, few that work well), and there are still some dumb little tasks that are annoying when using it, but that will change.
And finally, one youtuber (by the name of GenericB) summed up one of my major problems with modding in a simple response to a parkour map in Minecraft: "People should make money doing this". Yes, people should be able to make money when creating cool maps and mods. The modding community has to stop being viewed as just a bunch of hobbyists, and start being seen as full-scale creators. The Open Engine is forever free, but I want it, when it has grown far better, to allow people to be rewarded for their creativity, even if not on the level of high-pay game developers. If someone feels truly rewarded for their creativity, more creativity will grow from that.
I like creativity. Let's create some!