Ok, this page needs cleaning up, sorry about that!


ReCaged is a Free Software, Futuristic, Racing Game. It features high speeds, realistic physics, demolishable buildings and big explosions. The cars are indestructible, capable of driving on walls and ceilings (at high enough speeds), and armed with a wide variety of weapons. It is inspired by the classic Rollcage games, but is completely independent and not proprietary. It was originally called "RollCageX" but the name was changed to "ReCaged" in 2011 to avoid legal issues.

The game engine is written from scratch, flexible and easily extended. It is not limited to specific types of vehicles, tracks or even gameplay, and it supports many different operating systems: it runs on most Unix-like operating systems with OpenGL/Mesa3D support (such as GNU/Linux, GNU/kFreeBSD, other GNU variants, BSD, ...), Windows and OS X. There are plans for more platforms and operating systems.

The entire ReCaged project is Free Software and Free Culture: The engine is licensed under the GPLv3, and all other assets complies with The Debian Free Software Guidlines (mainly GPLv3, All-permissive and CC-BY-SA).

It is currently under development and only features basic sandbox gamplay. Many planned features are not implemented yet, but some notable current features are:

  • High precision simulation with high performance:
    • Uses Open Dynamics Engine with custom additions (air/liquid drag, damage, etc)
    • Uses custom tyre friction simulation (inspired by Pacejka's Magic Formula)
  • All content classified+tracked as "objects". Including track, cars, weapons, buildings...
  • All "objects" can be loaded, spawned and removed dynamically (including during race)
  • Support for large 3D models (large triangle count) for both rendering and collision detection (including tracks):
    • Supports ".obj" (wavefront) files
    • Supports custom ".road" files ("road" generator: for quickly building "scramble-like" tracks)
    • Easily extendable to other file formats
    • Rendering using OpenGL/Mesa3D (using interleaved VBOs for fast rendering)
    • Supports "per-material" properties (for example: different friction and collision force for grass versus roads)

The following features are implemented but not jet part of an official release (but they are available using GIT):

  • Building using GNU Autoconf, Automake
  • Can be installed, complies with XDG directory specifications
  • Windows installer (working on support for package building for common gnu/linux distros, but unfortunately not implemented yet)
  • Support for OS X.
  • LUA scripting. But it is likely to change to a different language (turned out insufficient for several reasons)
  • Texture support (currently png, jpeg and bmp files)
  • Antialiasing
  • Experimental volumetric shadows (as a proof-of-concept)
  • Gamepad/joystick support


Future features that are planned:

  • An open world (either as its own thing or containing all the tracks). (Objects can be loaded during race, so transition between ares is possible without loading screens)
  • replace LUA. There are more powerfull and complete languages out there...
  • proper explosions and weapons (duh...)
  • scripting for everything possible: everything from cars, buildings (and their events/reactions), HUDs and menus, to low level stuff like threads, networking, and management of gameplay and object instances.
  • More vehicle types, like normal cars and Wipeout-like howercrafts (when scripting is implemented)
  • Program icon
  • a proper GUI: main menu, HUD, with completely scriptable widgets
  • replace current "Box" track with something more suitable
  • time and weather support (just need support for particle effects, friction is easy to modify)
  • remove conf files completely in favour of scripting and in-game configuration
  • proper skybox and backgrounds, with layered rendering (for instance; a low polygon earth and a solar system could be rendered in 3D visible "behind" the sky)
  • Rear view mirror (and perhaps view from inside the cockpit...)
  • more modern opengl, possibly vulkan support
  • improved lighting:
    • Light-mapping, parallax mapping, etc
    • Semi-static (on/off/varying brightness) light-sources for virtually infinite number of lights (for streetlights and simple pre-determined patterns/movements)
  • reflections
  • shadows (using shadowmapping instead of volumetric shadows)
  • music/sound (wav, vorbis, opus, and maybe flac) with sound effects (Doppler shift, maybe echoes)
  • motion blur
  • android support (possibly more platforms as well)
  • networking
  • developer terminal
  • water and transparency
  • support for more 3d formats
  • particle effects
  • better debug rendering, showing joints

Possible future features:

  • loading assets from the original games (but note that ReCaged will never require
  • Consider switching to Bullet Physics (more modern than ODE, solves the lacking cylinder-cylinder collisions)
  • package manager for downloading new tracks, cars, etc (packages hosted on either TuxFamily or distributed with bittorrent)
  • HDR rendering
  • online scoreboards
  • Possibly try adding some mechs...

A brief history of ReCaged

ReCaged has a long history, but read on if you're interested! Most people are referred to by forum nicknames (which stems from the traditionally forum-base communication in the project).

ReCaged was born early 2007 under the name RollCageX on the "Planet Rollcage" forum. Amazingly the moment got preserved on the internet archive. To tell the story of the project, it is best to tell the story of some of those whose lives it affected...

First of all, some background: in 1999 Psygnosis and ATD released a game called “Rollcage”. The game featured fast tempo racing with unique driving possibilities (cars being indistructible, double-sided and could drive on walls and ceilings, on tracks full of demolish able buildings) and impressive 3D graphics for the time. In 2000 it was followed by “Rollcage Stage II”, featuring new vehicles, weapons, tracks and gameplay. But no further games were ever released. Despite the absence of new games, the Rollcage series had an active community. "Planet Rollcage" was perhaps the most active fansite, another being the French website "Rollcage Passion". Among the many (both on and off-topic) discussions on "Planet Rollcage", a wish for a sequel started to grow. And a couple of people (including myself, back then using the nickname "1311219", now "Slinger") began to talk about making a fan-made sequel.

"NosstaZenith" (later "MeAkaJon") took the initiative to get things rolling, registering the project on sourceforge and creating a new website, "gorcx" with a forum. It was going pick up where "Stage II" left us, be Free and Open Source, and be made by the community, for the community. Eventually its forum also took over the role after "Planet Rollcage" went offline. After considering possible legal issues, a new name for the project, "ReCaged", was somewhat decided in 2011 and I registered the project on Savannah (which is where the current Git repository and downloads are hosted). Eventually Jon left and I also took over managing the project, after previously only focusing on development of the game and its engine. In 2012 “Spontificus” registered the current domain name (recaged.net) and started hosting a new webpage after the old "gorcx" website went down (which had until then been the home for the RollCageX and ReCaged development). In 2013 I started managing the domain name with hosting of the website and forum provided by TuxFamily.

Over the years different people have joined the forums, and we have occasionally been visited by developers of the original games. Many members on the forum(s) were/are part of the project, exchanging ideas and helping: I ("Slinger") originally only worked on the game engine (mainly coding and some simple 3D models), "CodieMorgan" developed 3D models for the game (which will be to be included in future versions). "Spontificus" created several interesting hacks, helped fixing bugs and was responsible for the project eventually moving from C to C++ (and the new domain name). And many others have helped testing and provided ideas - "K.Mac" definitely deserves mentioning here: he has spent a lot of time both testing, brainstorming and hacking. I should probably also mention Endoman123, who was around from early days and stopped by recently (check out his animated menu concept on the "Media" page!) and orgyia, who joined quite recently and have made some interesting posts and a new test road for the game.