Jump to content
AdeptRapier

Battlesphere Instructions?

Recommended Posts

20 hours ago, PeterG said:

Thinking of source code for the Jaguar there is already quite some source code out there but aside from Doom it doesn't look like anyone really did anything with what is there so I wonder if it would have been any different with Battlesphere

According to my experience, it can take almost as long time to understand someone else's code, as it would take write the code from scratch. Especially if there is no design document available, which is usually the case with game code.

20 hours ago, PeterG said:

Well I guess technically it's not lost as the coder, I remember a post by Scott LeGrand, made it very clear that he took measures to preserve the code

Yes, the best option is of course that author takes responsibility to maintain his/her own work. Because of the reason mentioned above.

 

Unfortunately I have seen so many cases when the authors completely loose interest in maintaining their products (at least when there is no big money involved) They just seem to dissapear from the surface of thd earth...

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, phoboz said:

.... I have seen so many cases when the authors completely loose interest in maintaining their products (at least when there is no big money involved) They just seem to disappear from the surface of thd earth...

This seems only half a sentence ... I feel I have to ask ... and?

 

Let's assume the code is lost forever, never to be magically unbackupped from nirvana, given the other source code released amounted to ... not much ... why would this be different, aside from the fact that it is not available and that in an on itself seems sometimes the main reason to be wanting it.

 

I mean we're so keen on preserving X, Y and Z most of the time just because and we completely ignore that there's no inherent right to do so against the will of the current sole proprietor, the author has decided to do what he pleases with his own source code including having it lost to the sands of time, why can't we let it be?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, phoenixdownita said:

the author has decided to do what he pleases with his own source code including having it lost to the sands of time, why can't we let it be?

Just for the sake of being able to play around with it, perhaps to learn a few things, or make something else based on it. The same arguments as with open source...

When you get assets, like game graphics you are usually free to edit them. For a program, it's much easier to do that if you have the code.

Edited by phoboz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
29 minutes ago, phoboz said:

Just for the sake of being able to play around with it, perhaps to learn a few things, or make something else based on it. The same arguments as with open source...

When you get assets, like game graphics you are usually free to edit them. For a program, it's much easier to do that if you have the code.

But most of the time games are not open source, never meant to be, so why the expectation?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, phoenixdownita said:

But most of the time games are not open source, never meant to be, so why the expectation?

I would release a lot more source if the possibility of things being reskinned and re-sold wasn't so high.

  • Like 4
  • Sad 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, CyranoJ said:

I would release a lot more source if the possibility of things being reskinned and re-sold wasn't so high.

But once open source whether GPL2 or MIT it's pretty much guaranteed than anyone would try to exploit it if they can.

GPL3 seems a better fit but unless you want to go around and sue it's ineffective especially for one-man-band dev studio or alike.

 

It's really what it is, I'm grateful you release the binaries, the patches, etc.... unfortunately releasing the source seems to generate a different kind of entitlement on the receiver if you will.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, phoenixdownita said:

But once open source whether GPL2 or MIT it's pretty much guaranteed than anyone would try to exploit it if they can.

GPL3 seems a better fit but unless you want to go around and sue it's ineffective especially for one-man-band dev studio or alike.

 

It's really what it is, I'm grateful you release the binaries, the patches, etc.... unfortunately releasing the source seems to generate a different kind of entitlement on the receiver if you will.

This is what the FSF is for.  They will enforce GPL violatolions, because if they don't,  the license becomes invalid.

 

7 hours ago, CyranoJ said:

I would release a lot more source if the possibility of things being reskinned and re-sold wasn't so high.

Guess it depends on how you feel about that.  Like if it is a game engine and you say "don't distribute assets" like most of the open source games out there, the literal idea is to re-skin it.  But you can always make sure the source is redistributed (the whole point of the GPL), so even if sold, improvements to the engine can be made by anyone, and must be shared around.

The problem (and I am sure this happens outside of the Jag community, but seems to me to happen a lot here) is peiple blatantly just taking the work of others and selling it as their own.  Which I could see as being something that just makes you give up.

 

Like there have been a few hardware mods out there that were open sourced, but others took the design, wiped out any credit that it was made by someone else. And sold it.  Open Source doesn't mean you can do that, it usually means you can modify stuff fir your own use, not steal it and make it your own product (unless it is BSD licensed, which basically is "use and abuse me, I don't care".

 

Ha. I have thought a few times I should learn how to do some ports to the Jag to help out, but I have too many "I should learn this..." things on my list... but I would for sure open source anything to get advice / help on code!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, phoenixdownita said:

It's really what it is, I'm grateful you release the binaries, the patches

Free binaries is like 'free' in 'free beer', something that is consumed instantly for pleasure.

 

Open source is like 'free' in 'freedom'. E.g. you are free to know what the code does to your computer, it allows you to tailor it to your own needs, you share something that others can learn from, and to derive new things from (something that might give more instant pleasure to others)

Edited by phoboz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I currently have source code for the following official games:

  • Breakout 2000
  • Checkered Flag
  • Cybermorph
  • Aliens vs Predator
  • Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy
  • Fight for Life
  • Tempest 2000

Some of this has been available since 2008.  With the exception of the steering patch for Checkered Flag, can someone please tell me what awesome new games we have seen from having all this code available for well over a decade because I am having trouble remembering.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, Stephen said:

can someone please tell me what awesome new games we have seen from having all this code available for well over a decade

The Doom source code is also available. I have seen that someone is working on adding music to the levels (which the original Jaguar Doom lacks)

I belive this version of Doom has some additional levels from the expansion packs.

I also saw a video showing some work on Heretic (the sequel to Doom). So definately good things can come out of it, if someone is really dedicated.

 

 

 

Edited by phoboz
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/1/2021 at 7:23 AM, phoboz said:

Free binaries is like 'free' in 'free beer', something that is consumed instantly for pleasure.

 

Open source is like 'free' in 'freedom'. E.g. you are free to know what the code does to your computer, it allows you to tailor it to your own needs, you share something that others can learn from, and to derive new things from (something that might give more instant pleasure to others)

I know what open source is, I am asking why one would expect game source code to be open source.

Authors/companies can for sure decide to release it as it's been done in the past, I am trying to understand the expectation that it MUST happen on some moral ground.

 

In the end that very source code is what made the game what it was (tricks and all) and if the game was developed for economic reasons (and not as a teaching device for example), expecting the code to one day become open-source just because is not something I understand aside from us wanting to see it. I don't hear the same passionate standpoint wrt to the source code of the microcontroller of those digital anal thermometers (I know I'm pushing it ;-) but there really is something of a double standard ... and I am sure you can make them play Doom if you are really dedicated and whoop some ass).

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, phoenixdownita said:

I am trying to understand the expectation that it MUST happen on some moral ground.

No ones expects that it MUST be made available, I am just explaining why I personally think it would be great if that happened.

I opened up the source code for several of my Vectrex games I made in the past.

https://github.com/phoboz

 

The reason that happened in the first place was because I had some bad experiences with loosing source code (due to computer problems in the past). So when I started to develop my first game for the Vectrex, I put it on GitHub (so I could access the repository from any place when I had to opportunity to work on it)

For the second game I started the same way, but then GitHub started allowing private repositories for non-paid memberships. So I made the source code for my second game a private repository. When I released the second game, some people had noted that I "removed" the source code from GitHub, and they were very disappointed. When I had sold approximately the same number of copies of the second game, as for the first. In addition to people telling me: "Now that you sold a few copies, will you make the source code available?" So I did that.

 

The point that I am trying to make here is that I saw the same amount of copies being sold at a similar rate for both games, regardless if the source code was made open or not. So opening up the source code does not necessarily mean financial loss. Why, because not everyone is ready to set up a tool chain just to save a few bucks on not buying the game. Some people also want to support the developers financially, so they can continue making games.

 

Not all open source code is free of charge, there are commercial products which are delivered with source code, and even hardware. For example the ARM CPU is a licensable product, where you get the RTL code when buy the product. You can make it whatever you want, for example the Tegra CPU in Nintendo Switch is a system-on-chip GPU with ARM cores.

 

 

Edited by phoboz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, phoboz said:

...

 

The point that I am trying to make here is that I saw the same amount of copies being sold at a similar rate for both games, regardless if the source code was made open or not. So opening up the source code does not necessarily mean financial loss. Why, because not everyone is ready to set up a tool chain just to save a few bucks on not buying the game. Some people also want to support the developers financially, so they can continue making games.

 

....

I am sure if a major video game company would release its current gen games on current gen consoles in source format and let anyone build it we would see people pitching in to fill the gap about tool-chains, and builds and everything in between just because they can, and I wouldn't blame them (look at the instant hacks of the mini-consoles, granted the companies were making money out of the HW they sold so ...).

 

As to single authors making games for dead-and-buried consoles it is their choice wrt open source it or not, as it is their time and investment, well obviously if they want to give away the source of a current gen game they made (assets and all) it's their choice too.

My point is about the choice to open-source the code or not and that it stays with the author/owner, we already know that the binaries will be dumped and cracked and adapted to run on flash carts eventually [that's the trend we have seen so far at least and aside Nintendo shutting down the various rom-site or occasional fan-made game there's not much IP enforcement for better or for worse].

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
39 minutes ago, phoenixdownita said:

As to single authors making games for dead-and-buried consoles it is their choice wrt open source it or not

I think it's the choice of the author regardless of the platform, the company (if aligned with the board), the moral grounds etc.

There are very many big commercial companies that do not fear "open source" and think it is equal to "PirateBay"

 

For example, Sony Imageworks released parts of their rendering software as open source.

(I even contributed to that code myself, just for fun)

https://github.com/AcademySoftwareFoundation/OpenShadingLanguage

 

Most of the big commercial software companies regularly contributes to the Linux kernel (e.g. Microsoft, Oracle, Intel, Huawei) without being afraid. The open source community have given them so much in return the latest 2 decades. Without this evolution, you would still run something that looks, and feels like Windows 95 on your PC.

 

Former SUN Microsystems (later acquired by Oracle) was a big contributor, and the whole OpenOffice suite, (probably a lot of the newer versions of MS. Office) are based on the code base for StarOffice. I worked as a partner with them long ago, and they were really listening to suggestions to make open source contributions.

Edited by phoboz

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/1/2021 at 2:17 PM, phoboz said:

I think it's the choice of the author regardless of the platform, the company (if aligned with the board), the moral grounds etc.

There are very many big commercial companies that do not fear "open source" and think it is equal to "PirateBay"

 

For example, Sony Imageworks released parts of their rendering software as open source.

(I even contributed to that code myself, just for fun)

https://github.com/AcademySoftwareFoundation/OpenShadingLanguage

 

Most of the big commercial software companies regularly contributes to the Linux kernel (e.g. Microsoft, Oracle, Intel, Huawei) without being afraid. The open source community have given them so much in return the latest 2 decades. Without this evolution, you would still run something that looks, and feels like Windows 95 on your PC.

 

Former SUN Microsystems (later acquired by Oracle) was a big contributor, and the whole OpenOffice suite, (probably a lot of the newer versions of MS. Office) are based on the code base for StarOffice. I worked as a partner with them long ago, and they were really listening to suggestions to make open source contributions.

I know of no commercial entity (aka in on it to make money) that does open source without very obvious self-serving reasons.

 

Sony ... really ... the company that removed "OtherOS" from the PS3.

 

SUN made it a point to commoditize the SW as they banked on selling you the HW (those workstations were expensive) look at where they are now ...right, your claims on MS office are just out there (as some of your speculative ties would expose MS to the lawsuit from hell with billions at stakes) although anything under more liberal GPLv2, MIT, 3clause BSD is par for the course in any commercial software stack. Which company would not want to cut dev costs using a permissive piece of existing code, especially if said piece is not its bread and butter.

Every commercial company contributing to open source does it so so it has some return. Business is business is business, there's no free launch, if your boss shoves money down an open source project he better have a plan to make it back at market return rate one way or another.

Check out what happened to Docker, once they agreed to splinter the layers (runc/contaierd/dockerd) their business model of trying to make money on the swarm (their multi-box manager) got peed on by Google K8, which now is ditching and replacing the top layer and everyone is happy ... well for sure everyone else.

Facebook for example releases quite interesting open source projects and given SW is not their business they do it so they can attract talent into the company, this assuming the load of money they pile on programmers covers for the kind of business they actually do (newsflash, if you do not pay for the product, you are the product) ... yeah money and morals are at odds, not blaming the developers that work for Facebook here, I have not any higher moral ground.

 

<rant>

It's been quite the recurring theme, company X invents tech Y but shares it assuming it can make money charging for advanced feature Z, big company K gives away for free their version of advanced feature Z, called Z-prime, as they're gonna charge you some other way, they also release Z-prime free because, which big company J packages neatly with tech Y and sells some other way, and on and on the wheel goes making everyone believe that the SW itself (the one at the bottom of all of this) is worthless shit 'cause everyone is attempting to charge for something else.

</rant>

 

In specific wrt games imho it is suicidal to think of releasing all the sources/assets of a new game (say one week after release) that has costed tens if not hundreds of millions to produce.

 

Now if we were to live in a different society based on sharing from the get go with no intent to "make money" per se but based on satisfying needs (primaries like food, shelter, health, but also secondaries like entertainment), then of course the mere ideas of private property (physical or intellectual) and copyright would be simply silly and everything open the natural way things would be, but where we stand now I really do not see a company with commercial ambitions being able to make a business by open sourcing 100% of all that they do. I hope one day that is the case as it would mean we would be in a very different society.

 

PS: for the specific title in the OP even the instructions cannot be reproduced and freely shared btw. Right or wrong I believe according to laws in some countries it's in their rights to limit its circulation. maybe they would relent on that in say another decade or so.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, phoenixdownita said:

In specific wrt games imho it is suicidal to think of releasing all the sources/assets

For current consoles i tend to belive that  because they are all PCs (except Switch). The sole reason to buy such console is that there are exclusive games. If you got the source code you could just remove the locks, and run it at much better specs on your gaming PC.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Not to play the devil's advocate but there are good reasons why game companies do not release the code source of their games, even years after their release.

- First and foremost, AAA games today are never built from scratch. There are an evolution of a previous game, built on the same engine, or an iteration of the same engine. This means that opening the code for game X from 3 years ago could compromise game X+1 just release 2 months ago. Especially because...

- Most games today offers online game. Opening the source would also mean revealing the network protocol as well as the IP of the servers. There are ways to obfuscate that obviously, but this would be a massive effort and still the games would still be at risk.

 

Now just to be clear, I'm quite familiar with AAA studios, and none of them is against open source, quite the contrary. They use open source projects and contribute back to these projects. But actual engine and game code are considered the most valuable assets of a company, and with all the hackers around the globe, it's way too sensitive to release them. I wish we could, but to have been working on these issue in one of my previous company, this is really NOT easy.

 

A last word about Doom. There is a very simple reason why it was open-sourced. Because the engine and the tech were considered completely obsolete! Doom was alreay 5 years old but most importantly John Carmack had already released Quake and was already working on Quake 2 tech. (also while he's very likely very supportive of open-source, I doubt he can release anything he's working on at Oculus today ^^).

 

Edited by LordKraken
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 hours ago, Stephen said:

I currently have source code for the following official games:

  • Breakout 2000
  • Checkered Flag
  • Cybermorph
  • Aliens vs Predator
  • Trevor McFur in the Crescent Galaxy
  • Fight for Life
  • Tempest 2000

Some of this has been available since 2008.  With the exception of the steering patch for Checkered Flag, can someone please tell me what awesome new games we have seen from having all this code available for well over a decade because I am having trouble remembering.

The questiin becomes, is that souelrce code open though?  Was it released as a livlcense for others to use in their games?  Or just found on some old disks you can buy off ebay?  I saw Fight For Life's code there and was considering ordering it to poke around in. 

But let's face it some of the people capable of doing awesome things with it are either stopped by bugs in the hardware, or too busy trying to squeeze just that tiny bit more performance out of the system, so always chasing something that will never happen.

It is like several book ideas I would like to right, but end up playing video games instead!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 5/1/2021 at 2:17 PM, phoboz said:

I think it's the choice of the author regardless of the platform, the company (if aligned with the board), the moral grounds etc.

...

Also I am not sure what you mean here.

If you intend to say that because the authors (that can be many hundreds or even thousands) while working under paid time on a project should be entitled to have a choice about it, then we'll agree to disagree. Anything performed while paid by an employer (I really mean while at work) belongs to the employer period, I even agree that usage of any facilities made available by the employer (be it buildings, computers, HVAC etc....) and used for non work related purpose (a personal side project for example) needs explicit language (I am pretty sure anyone that works for cloud computing corps cannot simply start bitcoin mining on "test" hardware).

Even more, if the company decides to release SW as open-source there should be no employee opinion involved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would seem that the obstacle of proceeds of a new production of Battlesphere going to charity would be surmountable. And charity would be off better having the proceeds, especially given the low cost of distribution a new market for downloadable content for the JagGD would offer. Overall it remains frustrating that while nearly everything ever produced for older consoles is available somewhere and companies seem to care less the older the stuff available for download is, that one game which reportedly is one of the better Jag titles remains excluded. I somehow can't shed the feeling that this has something to do with the protection of the pricing of the few circulating copies (but even that could be solved by limiting a new release to digital downloads, thus preserving the collectors' value of the physical copies).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the equation is:

(Ego * Bullshit) / 101-%asshole

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

We are probably drifting away from the original topic, which is Battlesphere, and instructions for it.

Personally I am also responsible from steering the discussion in another direction, but I wanted to express a few of my opinions.

Here is a short summary:

1. I really like this game, it's one of the best for the Jaguar.

2. A manual with instructions would be great, since it's very hard to get a complete-in-box copy of this game.

3. If the source code would be open, it would be even more great (I am not sure from the discussion if other people than me agree, or not?)

4. I think that the game could have been even better with a mission style gameplay mode, e.g. similar to Star Wars: TIE Fighter.

(if the source code was open, the chances for this to happen would not be equal to completely impossible)

Edited by phoboz
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, phoenixdownita said:

If you intend to say that because the authors (that can be many hundreds or even thousands) while working under paid time

That's why I prefer to work alone, or with with a small group of people that can trust each other :) 

(I guess this makes me a little bit ego, but I am open about that)

Edited by phoboz
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...