It’s the remote control racer that was pushed out by Acclaim’s Cheltenham studio — in 1999. The fans have been keeping the game alive through hell or high water since 2004, working through the wilderness and the hazards of having a mobile developer pick up the IP in 2010.
But they’re not just pushing the ball up the hill; the game’s still being patched — even as recently as yesterday.
The patch is for RVGL, a project between the two main coders behind the 1.2 fan patch for Re-Volt that added, among other things, full support for modern operating systems, multi-monitor and widescreen support, anisotropic filtering, silent loading, extended customisations and a whole lot more.
Version 1.2 works just fine with Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows 10, and Linux users using Wine should have no problems either. But here’s where the problems begin.
The rights to Re-Volt were acquired by WeGo Interactive in 2010, a Korean company that has since ported the game to iOS and Android (the former happened in collaboration with BigBit). WeGo has butted heads with the community before, which perhaps best culminated when the Good Old Games re-release of Re-Volt was pulled from sale after it was found that the game was shipping with the community’s 1.2 fan patch — something that the community was never consulted on.
So in August last year, work more or less stopped on version 1.2 and RVGL began. Apart from reducing the community’s dependence on code that’s under the ownership of WeGo, it’s also an attempt to move to more open, modern technologies including OpenGL, ENet and SDL. “It would give us much better control over the code to bring new features quickly and efficiently – especially in multiplayer, eliminate the online issues (including the need to open ports!), bring full compatibility with Win8 and native Linux release,” one of the coders wrote at the time.
The first playable build of RVGL was released at the start of May this year and the most recent version popped out yesterday. It’s not totally feature complete, but it works natively in Linux and Windows. (Note that you will need a working installation of Re-Volt to play.)
There’s a long way to go on this project, and one imagines the functionality of programs like RV House — a third-party program to organise multiplayer matches — will eventually be coded directly into RVGL. Nevertheless, it’s incredibly heartwarming to see something as good as Re-Volt to be supported, not only for so long, but so competently as well.