It feels like Duelyst spent several years trying to find a business model that worked, before it finally shut down for good back in 2020. Well now the whole thing – code and art – is open source and available for use in others projects, royalty-free.
Counterplay Games announced the move in this video, although the actual repository was made available via GitHub a few months ago:
The project is made available under a Creative Commons Zero license, which means all the assets are free to use for commercial and private use. You could take Duelyst’s lovely sprite art and use it in your own game, or you could build something entirely new on top of the existinv codebase.
The video above says that several teams are already working with the project to make new things. That’s interesting. It’s also all perhaps a little confusing if you saw the news a few weeks ago that Duelyst 2 is now out on Steam. Duelyst 2, developed by a separate company called Dream Sloth Games, is effectively a re-release of the original Duelyst with plans to add and revise the game. It’s the kind of project this open sourcing enables – although whether Dream Sloth got a separate license from Counterplay to develop it, I have no idea.
We liked Duelyst a lot for its canny mixture of card play and turn-based tactics, and it deserved better than its stumbling demise. Open sourcing the project offers the opportunity for parts of it to live on – even if just as a way for other developers to learn how it was made. (Counterplay already went on to make action RPG Godfall, which Alice liked for very different reasons.)