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Developer(s) Dark Legion Development
Publisher(s) Dark Legion Development


Release date March 31, 2006
Genre First-person shooter, Real-time strategy
Mode(s) Multiplayer
Age rating(s)
Platform(s) Linux, Mac OS X & Windows

Template:Infobox/media Template:Infobox/input

Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

Tremulous is a free, open source game that blends a team based FPS with elements of an RTS. Players can choose from 2 unique races, aliens and humans. Players on both teams are able to build working structures in-game like an RTS. These structures provide many functions, the most important being spawning. The designated builders must ensure there are spawn structures or other players will not be able to rejoin the game after death. Other structures provide automated base defense (to some degree), healing functions and much more...

Player advancement is different depending on which team you are on. As a human, players are rewarded with credits for each alien kill. These credits may be used to purchase new weapons and upgrades from the "Armoury". The alien team advances quite differently. Upon killing a human foe, the alien is able to evolve into a new class. The more kills gained the more powerful the classes available.

The overall objective behind Tremulous is to eliminate the opposing team. This is achieved by not only killing the opposing players but also removing their ability to respawn by destroying their spawn structures.

Features[edit | edit source]

   *  Flexible particle system - 99% of the in-game visual effects are configured using particle scripts.
   * 16 buildable structures with in-game functions.
   * Play as several alien classes with unique abilities.
   * Customize your setup as a human and buy new weapons, armour and items.
   * Scale the walls and ceilings as an alien waiting for an unsuspecting human.
   * Realistic physics and motion - no bunny hopping or quick back peddling.
   * Flexible map system - animated mapobjects, triggering, light flares, etc.
   * Large weapons system - don't like the weapon you have? Sell it and buy a different one, dozens of options.

Gameplay[edit | edit source]

Tremulous is a first-person shooter featuring opposing humans and alien teams, with some elements of real time strategy. Players must build and protect a base which is essential for their survival. The base is used primarily to allow them to respawn and as a secure location to heal. Builders access a build menu and select the building they wish to construct. The desired structure then appears as a translucent, colored version of itself which slides along the ground in front of the builder to allow placement. Each building takes up a certain number of build points available to each team. The total build points available is determined by server settings and puts limits on how large the bases can become, causing a point of difference in gameplay from server to server. In addition, most games enter a "sudden death" or "SD" mode ten to fifteen minutes before the draw/tie time limit. This is a period when all build points are taken away, effectively disabling the ability to build all buildings except the overmind/reactor and some server-specific structures.

The teams do not have access to all possible upgrades at the beginning of the game. Each team must accrue a number of kills in order to advance to the next developmental stage, of which there are three (commonly referred to as S1, S2, and S3, or Stage 1, 2, and 3). The point at which a stage change occurs varies dynamically depending on the number of players on each team. Each new stage brings more upgrades for the humans and more classes for the aliens. Both teams acquire new buildings at each new stage. In addition to requiring a certain stage, each human item or alien class must be purchased using currency earned in game. Players earn currency by killing enemies, after which the player will earn an amount of currency relative to how much damage he did, and how upgraded his opponent was.

A match ends when all players of a team have been killed and all of their spawn points have been destroyed.

The two sides have different strengths and weaknesses:

  • Humans utilize various weapons, armors and other high-tech equipment (such as the jet pack) as a means to upgrade their combat abilities. They are primarily suited for ranged fighting and need a strong, defensible base in order to survive. They can save up to 2000 "credits" for purchasing upgrades at the armory, which range from 70 to 600 credits in price.
  • Aliens evolve into a new form in order to upgrade their abilities, most of which only have melee attacks. Not only do all alien forms have the ability to regenerate hit points over time, aliens also can evolve anywhere as long as there is an overmind. This allows them to function largely independent of their base, which is often weaker than human base and is usually spread out as a defense mechanism. In order to hit with their melee attacks, aliens use their mobility, smaller classes having the ability to crawl on walls or jump off walls, larger classes having the ability to pounce or charge. To evolve, aliens earn "evolution"or"evo" points in the same way as humans earn credits, for a maximum of 9 evo points. From the wall-crawling Dretch to the charging Tyrant, each successively larger class costs 1 additional evo point, with advanced forms (which are available for all classes except for Dretches and Tyrants) costing one additional evo and having slightly more hit points and an additional attack. Also, while an evolve from a standard Marauder (2 evolve points) to a Dragoon (3 evolve points) only costs 1 evo, evolving from an advanced Marauder to a Dragoon costs 2 evos.

History[edit | edit source]

Tremulous's development commenced in early 2000 as a modification for the commercial computer game Quake III Arena. The gameplay is generally inspired by the popular Quake II modification Gloom, although they share no content. Version 1.0.0 was released on August 11th 2005. The complexity of the game led to a relatively long development period, and it was released after most other Quake III Arena mods. As a result it was unfortunately broadly overlooked, initially.

Following the release of the id Tech 3 source code under the GPL on August 19th 2005, the developers decided to rework Tremulous into a stand alone, free and open source game. This version, 1.1.0, was released on March 31st, 2006. This version was received much more positively that those previous and attracted a considerable following in comparison to its peers.

Tremulous is licensed under the GPL, although it includes code from other projects that was released under other GPL-compatible licenses. The game media is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.5 License. The textures were previously licensed for non-commercial and no-derivative use only; the latest release removed the texture restrictions.

Reception[edit | edit source]

The release of the game as free and open source software allowed programmers to easily modify the game and game engine. A growing number of players are releasing patches/modifications for the game in order to remove bugs, add features to the game or modify the game play itself. Tony J. White (tjw), a key developer of the ETPub mod for Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, released a widely used modification for Tremulous. The mod removes some bugs, and adds many commands for the benefit of server admins. The mod is highly regarded among the server admin community, and some consider it mandatory for running a server. The majority of his modifications are slated to appear in the next official release. tjw is also the developer of the unofficial Mac OS X version of the game.

During the game's time as a Quake III mod, it had a relatively small community. Since the release of 1.1.0 as a standalone game, it has grown such that there has been an average of around 300 players playing at any one time, up to a maximum of about 600. 1.1.0 has now been downloaded over 600,000 times from Tremulous' official download port, ( and over several hundred thousand games have been played. Moreover, multiple websites mentioned or reviewed the game[1][2] which further increased Tremulous's publicity and its number of players.

Tremulous later came in first in a "Best free game based on GPL Quake source?" poll on the PlanetQuake website.[3] At the beginning of 2007, Tremulous also took first place in the Mod Database "Mod of the Year" 2006 competition under the category of "Player's Choice Standalone Game of the Year" as well as honorable mentions in "Genre Award: Action" and "Editor's Choice Standalone Game of the Year".[4] Tremulous was also mentioned in Games for Windows: 101 Free Games Issue for 2007, Games for Windows formerly being Computer Gaming World.

Awards[edit | edit source]

  • ModDB's 2006 Player's Choice Standalone Game Of The Year

References[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]