OpenMW FAQ #1

Uploaded by MrOpenMW on 15.09.2012

Hello everyone.
This video will be the first in a series of videos attempting to answer some of
the more common questions and comments we receive about our project.
What exactly is OpenMW?
OpenMW is an open source game engine the features loading code for The Elder
Scrolls III: Morrowind's art assets and game data.
Our engine is written in C++ and is using Ogre3D for graphics
rendering and the Bullet physics library for collision.
OpenMW is cross-platform and we maintain packages for Windows, Mac OS
X, and Linux.
The goal of OpenMW isn't to improve the game assets or add
additional features but to provide an open and modernized platform to play
Morrowind with
and to provide the community with additional modding capabilities.
On that note, OpenMW is not a mod, although it's commonly referred to as
It's understandable that some people might refer to it is a mod rather than
an engine replacer for convenience's sake.
But, there seem to be many who might not actually understand the distinction.
Remember, OpenMW is a stand-alone piece of software has no dependency on
the original engine or construction set.
Why is OpenMW needed? What's the point of it?
Morrowind's engine is old and it wasn't exactly a godsend when the game was
Even after Bethesda's patches and community efforts to make the game
stable there's still some significant bugs in the game.
Keep in mind that Morrowind was released before Windows XP had its first service
pack and before Vista and 7 had even been thought of. Never mind the other systems that OpenMW
It was assigned to run on single core processors and graphics hardware that
would belong in the museum today. OpenMW is a much more modern engine
designed to take advantage of some of the advancements in computing hardware
that we've seen since Morrowind was released
and perform much better on newer systems.
If you're not improving the artwork or gameplay, what's the advantage of using
Again, OpenMW allows you to play Morrowind natively on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
It does bring several graphical enhancements such as dynamic shadow
casting, support for widescreen resolutions, texture filtering, and better
looking water complete with reflections just to name a few.
There are also several improvements to the game's user interface such as a
better journal and alchemy window.
The real advantage to OpenMW is its modern engine designed the extra
modding capabilities our new editor will bring,
and the open-source nature of the project.
What will OpenMW allow modders to do?
Pretty much anything in the game that you could think of to mod, you'll be
able to mod. A few mundane examples would be adding completely new
attributes and skills, altering the formula that define various game mechanics,
and a clean way to define scripted spells.
All of which are not currently possible in Morrowind,
or at least not without ugly hacks in the case of scripted starts.
Will OpenMW support existing mods?
OpenMW will support Morrowind, its expansions Tribunal and Bloodmoon,
and all existing mods official and unofficial.
Please be aware that this compatibility only extends to standard mods,
meaning those the come as a .esp or .esm with whatever
additional textures, meshes, and sounds they require.
Attempting to use something that is actually a separate program like
Morrowind Code Patch or Morrowind Graphics Extender will not work.
Of course, part of the advantage of OpenMW, is that you won't need them.
What are the system requirements for running OpenMW?
Your graphics hardware must be at least Shader Model 3 compliant.
It is recommended that you have up-to-date drivers installed for
your system.
Most reasonably modern systems will run OpenMW without a hitch.
As of the making of this video, the engine is still very much a work in
progress will be more optimized in the future.
OpenMW will be more demanding than the original engine, to be sure. But
because of its modern design, it quite possibly might run faster,
and certainly more stable than a heavily modded Morrowind does today.
Do I need to own Morrowind to use OpenMW?
You do need to own Morrowind to play Morrowind using our engine.
OpenMW looks for a directory on your system containing the 'Data Files' section
of an existing installation of Morrowind.
That data files folder contains all of the art assets in game data for Morrowind
and it is the only thing OpenMW needs to be playable.
It has become difficult to find a retail copy of Morrowind, but it's currently
available on Steam and that version works equally as well.
Is OpenMW legal?
Copyright laws vary by country, but to our knowledge OpenMW is legal
Any code in our engine the replicates the functionality of the original has
been written as a product of clean reverse engineering.
OpenMW does not distribute any content whatsoever belonging to
Bethesda Softworks or Zenimax Media.
In any case, OpenMW doesn't give anyone a way to play the game without
having first purchased it.
What a truly amazing project! How can I help?
Well, there's still plenty to do.
We have sections on our forums for people interested in joining the effort.
If you're a programmer with experience in C++, post on the "New Developer Applications" section
of our forums
and we can get you started on a job that fits your skills and the amount of time
you are able to commit to
the project.
If you aren't a programmer, but still want to help, there's plenty of important things you can do.
Have a look at the "Join The Team" section of our forums for information on
non-coding jobs.
These tasks include raising awareness of the project, reverse engineering
game mechanics,
testing the latest builds, and reporting bugs.
To report a bug,
either make a post on our forums describing it
or register on our issue tracker at
Please remember to provide detailed information about the bug including how to
reproduce it
and a description of your computer hardware, operating system, and drivers.