Unvanquished (several positions available!)



I’m kharnov, one of the heads of the Unvanquished project. We’re involved in the production of a free, open source game that has been seeing regular monthly alpha releases for nearly a year now. The game itself can best be described as a strategy-based shooter, pitting technologically advanced humans against grotesquely biological aliens. Either team can be played during the course of the game, providing a fresh experience on both sides.

Our game has been regularly covered on Phoronix, where we have been praised for the quality of our finished artwork and the regularity of our releases. Additionally, we maintain a presence on Mod DB and SourceForge, and in the case of the latter, we frequently top lists as one of the most downloaded games of the week. We have also been featured elewhere, with numerous reviews on open source gaming blogs, and we have also been included in several Linux repositories, such as PlayDeb.

The team behind Unvanquished is diverse, with fully online development allowing us to have individuals from all over the world work in conjunction to produce each release. Beyond North America, we have developers across Europe, and more than a handful in Oceania, ensuring that something is going on during every hour of the day. We come from all walks of life, whether college students or seasoned professionals. All of us volunteer our free time, and we are united in the hopes of making something truly great.

So, why join us? While our positions are unpaid, there are benefits at all levels of experience. For instance, hobbyists can further their skills in a structured development environment, learning through direct participation the process of getting things into a game. Professionals can produce more work to add to their portfolios, as several of our developers have already done with success. It can also be an opportunity to try something new, to hone one’s skills between phases of employment.

If our project interests you, we are seeking developers with one or more of the skills listed below. For modelers, an important point to note is that our engine is derived from Quake 3 and ET:XreaL. Thus, our supported model formats are .md3 and .md5, the latter of which supports skeletal animation. However, as long as the modeling program you use is capable of exporting to the Wavefront .obj format, you should be perfectly fine.


Whether you have a passion for modeling monstrous alien beings or futuristic human soldiers, there’s a position for you! Depending on your interests, you can create anything from alternative player models for the human team, to new forms, and even new structures for the alien team. Living map props could also be created, such as eerie organic mats and tentacled barriers. If you excel at creating expressive, lively models, we’d love to have you on our team.

Key points:

  • Player models can be made for the human team, for either gender. Ideally, we would like to have a female trooper in the near future.
  • In addition, alien player models can also be made. We have support for adding claws and other attacking parts to the first-person view.
  • Structures for the alien team are desirable, as well as organic map objects.


Weapons, mechanical structures, pieces of equipment, and other inorganic objects fall under this category. For instance, one could design a suit of powered armor for the human team, or create new base structures for them. New weapons can also be designed. Alternatively, one could create map props ranging from industrial crates and factory components to elaborate computer displays. This position would allow you to express yourself through the creation of detailed, futuristic objects for our game’s universe.

Key points:

  • The human team primarily uses these models, both for equipment and buildings found in the base. Pieces of armor show up on the third person model.
  • Those skilled at producing futuristic weaponry can produce new guns for the human team. Being able to create firing effects is a desirable skill.
  • A wide range of map props can be designed, for a variety of futuristic settings.


A skilled animator can make a creatively designed model come alive, bringing its potential past the limits. If you have a passion for 3D animation, we’d love to have you on board! You could animate your own models, or the models produced by others. A variety of things can be animated, from player models, to weapons, and even structures. In addition, things can be animated for the first-person view, such as claws for the various alien forms.

Key points:

  • Work can be done on your own models, or the models produced by others.
  • A variety of animations can be done, including those for the first-person view.
  • We use the .md5 model format, which supports skeletal animation.


Concept art can be done for a variety of purposes, including design sketches for player models or weapons, and even scenery to inspire level designers. Skilled artists can bring life to the futuristic setting of Unvanquished, and drawn material could also be used for promotional purposes. Whether you’d like to sketch out a rampaging alien or a weapon straight out of science fiction, this is the position for you! Your artwork may very well end up as a model in our game.

Key points:

  • One could design futuristic scenery, which can be used as an aid in map design.
  • Alternatively, one could create new alien player forms, or new equipment for the human team.
  • Artwork can be used for a variety of promotional purposes.


Well-designed maps are a key feature of any FPS game, and Unvanquished is no exception. We aim to have a truly diverse set of maps for players to experience, and the futuristic setting of the game ensures that a wide variety of styles can be employed. From space stations to high-tech cities or mining facilities, there is a great abundance of scenery and potential layouts to design. Maps for the game are made in Radiant, and we will provide the appropriate support files.

Key points:

  • Knowledge of Radiant or a closely similar editor is required.
  • Our engine supports normal mapping, along with other texture maps.
  • The futuristic setting allows for broad freedom in level design.


Beyond the domain of concept art, general 2D artwork can be used for many things, including the creation of assets for HUD design, and the making of textures for maps and models. For those interested in the user interface, our upcoming integration of libRocket into the engine will allow for some advanced HUD features, which a skilled designer can take advantage of. In addition, our engine allows for a variety of texture maps, including normal, spec, diffuse, and glow mapping.

Key points:

  • Both UI design and texture artwork fall under this domain.
  • UI designers simply need to export their assets into a compatible format, the implementation is done code-side by one of our programmers.
  • Texture artists have a wide variety of things to work with, including touching up existing textures on models and creating new ones for maps.


To apply for a position on our development team, please contact me at [email protected] with a description of what you’re skilled at, and some examples of your previous work, if possible. For example, you could include a link to your personal gallery, or attach an image of something you’ve created. Even if your skill set does not fall under one of the listed domains, there are other, more specialized methods of contributing to the project, so do not hesitate to apply!

Note: as we are an open source development team, this is not a paid project, but you will be fully credited for your work.