It was in September, 1997 – over 19 years ago (we’ll round that out to 20, for marketing reasons) – when us humble folk from Running With Scissors unleashed our Robotron-inspired isometric shooter POSTAL to the unsuspecting public at large. It was an instant hit, grabbing the attention of gamers, parents and politicians across the country, and we’ve been supporting and updating it ever since. But now, (almost) 20 years later, we are entrusting our fans with the future of our game, by releasing its source code to the public. Consider it a belated Christmas present!
It’s hard to digest how long ago POSTAL was released. Feels like it was only yesterday that our new fans were sending us wonderful e-mail to praise our work, and we received our very first lawsuit notice… ah, those were the days.
But it’s true – (nearly) 20 years have passed us by. So much has happened in that time, that it’s hard to even keep track of it all – an entire generation has grown into legal adults, while video games have evolved to levels of near-photorealism; plus we’re finally getting that VR tech that we’ve been dreaming of since before we released POSTAL. It’s been a long and eventful couple of decades, full of change and advancement, but there is one thing that has always remained constant – our continued support and updates for our baby. Thanks to the dedicated hard-workers in our team, the loving support of our fans and even the efforts by our detractors, POSTAL has seen a lot of activity during these many years – an expansion pack, a lawsuit by the Postal Service, an exclusive Japanese edition, bans in 14 countries across the world, re-released special editions, sequels, digital re-releases, an Android port, new updates with twin-stick controls, a novelization and even an enhanced modern remake. Not too shabby for one of the worst things in American society, wouldn’t you agree?
The remake – POSTAL Redux – was an especially big step for us; a passion project to make the original POSTAL again, but do it better this time, rebuilding it from scratch and focusing on making the most fun and exhilarating twin-stick shooter that we could by patching up the unfortunately outdated design decisions, and improve the game where we could. We even used the opportunity to bring old content, which was exclusive to the Japanese release of the game, to the west for the first time! For anyone who really wants to see how far POSTAL has come in the last two decades, there is no better way than by comparing the original to Redux.
It’s definitely been a wild ride for us all, and POSTAL means a lot to us – it’s our baby… But now we’re ready to hand the future of ‘the little shooter that could’ to the public at large. People have been asking, and we have been promising this for years now, but today we are proud to announce that the source code for POSTAL is officially released to the public on GitHub, under the GPL2 license. Everyone now has ‘under the hood’ access, to see what makes POSTAL tick, and anyone with the time and skills can now tweak/change/update/modify anything in the game at all! And hey, if anyone feels the urge to port the game to other platforms (The Dreamcast, for example *wink* *wink*), then they absolutely can!
This has been a long time coming, and we are tickled pink to see what the community will be able to put together from this (no seriously, someone get on that Dreamcast port. We’re not joking.).
- POSTAL Open Source on GitHub
Note: Article has been updated on 29/02/2024. The official source code is now hosted on GitHub.