I'm the project manager of Crystal Space (http://www.crystalspace3d.org) which is a free and Open Source 3D engine that has been around for a while already (meaning it is pretty mature right now). So I decided to start an ambitious free and Open Source game project based on that engine.
The project is called Project Ares and you can find a link (including a video blog) here: http://code.google.com/p/ares/
Story and Game
Let's give a short summary of the story first. It is the year 2053. 6 years ago (in 2047) earth was attacked by surprise by a big alien surprise attack. Most big cities were (partially) destroyed but it did not take long for humankind to recover and enable their big defense grid. From that point on the alien attack was no longer very successful so a big and complicated war started. In 2053 the situation was that of an effective stalemate. Earth technology by that time was sufficient to effectively defend all remaining cities but not sufficient to mount a succesful counterattack against the invaders. In addition any attempt of the aliens to mount ground-based attacks were met with heavy resistance. Usually in favor of the humans. You (the player) are a soldier who is training in a military camp in Belgium near the coast. In 2053 you are ready to start on a real mission and this is where the game starts.
This game will be more then 'just another shooter'. I want to incorportate role playing elements and a very rich story. You will have quests to solve and interact with lots of NPCs in order to achieve your goal. So what is your goal? Basically there are three ways to win this game: first you can help the humans be victorious. In that scenario the aliens are defeated and the surviving aliens return to their homeplanet. The second scenario is where you decide to side with the aliens. Perhaps you were offered a big reward and a nice position in the new alien controlled earth and you think the humans eventually have no chance to win this. Here you will have to help the aliens; perhaps by disabling the earth defense grid. The last scenario is where you help to achieve a diplomatic solution.
I'm not starting from nothing here. I already have a good 3D engine working and on the game logic side I would say roughly 80-90% of the coding work is done. One of the goals of this project is also to make a rich game editor so that (most of) the game can be made from within that editor. This editor is roughly 5-10% complete but it is not 100% essential to get the game operational as we can also work on the game logic the old-fashioned way (using a text editor). The video blog which you can find at http://code.google.com/p/ares/wiki/VideoBlog can give you some idea about what we already can do right now.
Don't get me wrong. This *is* an amibitious project. But I am very motivated and I have experience getting big projects off the ground. Also I'm not alone. I'm already being helped by others. One warning! This is an Open Source and free project. So unfortunatelly I cannot pay you. However, *if* this turns out to work well then there would be no reason that a future commercial project would also be possible using the same technology.
I have a number of artists in my team already so at this moment I'm looking for C++ programmers. As you can see from the incomplete todo at http://code.google.com/p/ares/wiki/Todo the work is very varied. You can (if you wish) come into contact with 3D rendering, game logic programming, scripting, UI programming (WXwidgets), event handling and much more.
Contact me at jorrit dot tyberghein at gmail dot com if you are interested in this.
With kind regards