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Thread: Petition CA for MTW source code?

  1. #91
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    I'd be curious to know if a software guy at CA/Sega has actually looked into the nVidia problem. The company may not be willing to pay to rework the code/QA/patch, especially if the problem is with nVidia's implementation, but I wonder if they have identified the culprit calls. That knowledge might be useful for a community-led workaround, and wouldn't require the drastic step of source code release.
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  2. #92
    Banned ELITEofWARMANGINGERYBREADMEN88's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Sure, why should they not release it?

  3. #93
    Member Member Gaiseric's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    I voted yes, though I doubt a petition will have any effect.

    I am a big time pc gamer. I have been playing pc games for over 15 years and I have hundreds of pc games. I am just getting into modding some games, although I find it very tedious. I dont know any programming languages and the source code would be useless to me.

    Regarding editing the source code: I dont know why it would be illegal to change or modify something that I own. A law like this seems absurd and infringes on my freedoms as a United States Citizen. Furthermore if I buy something and improve it, I should have the right to distribute and even sell this product along with the improvements I made. This is actually the model for many American businesses. I suspect any jury would agree to this should someone decide to change a law or circumvent it.

    I do not know what the penalties for breaking this technology law are. Surely there are much more heinous crimes. If I could modify the source code to improve any of my games I would do it and would gladly share my improvements to the community. In my opinion, CA and Sega should be more concerned with pirate torrents, where people can get their games without paying, then of people editing some file on a 5 year old game.

  4. #94

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaiseric View Post
    Regarding editing the source code: I dont know why it would be illegal to change or modify something that I own. A law like this seems absurd and infringes on my freedoms as a United States Citizen. Furthermore if I buy something and improve it, I should have the right to distribute and even sell this product along with the improvements I made. This is actually the model for many American businesses. I suspect any jury would agree to this should someone decide to change a law or circumvent it.

    I do not know what the penalties for breaking this technology law are. Surely there are much more heinous crimes. If I could modify the source code to improve any of my games I would do it and would gladly share my improvements to the community. In my opinion, CA and Sega should be more concerned with pirate torrents, where people can get their games without paying, then of people editing some file on a 5 year old game.
    Except you don't actually own the code when you buy the game. You just own one license to play the game. Copyright is pretty complicated and, heck, there's a reason why we have so many specialized copyright lawyers.

    EDIT: And in light of copyright laws, you aren't free to edit certain things, or at least edit and distribute the new versions as long as you don't own the rights to whatever is in question. I know I might go into law in a couple of years, but whatever it is, it certainly will NOT be copyright law. Sheesh, some complicated stuff for me! And btw, you're completely right about the law. The only way this can be avoided (this whole copyright entanglement), is if the laws were changed to make certain things possible that are impossible today. But as we all know, changing the law takes time and effort. Not an overnight, easy task. Definitely worth it most of the time, if it means better life for citizens.
    Last edited by vartan; 09-30-2010 at 23:21.
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  5. #95
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaiseric View Post
    Regarding editing the source code: I dont know why it would be illegal to change or modify something that I own. A law like this seems absurd and infringes on my freedoms as a United States Citizen. Furthermore if I buy something and improve it, I should have the right to distribute and even sell this product along with the improvements I made. This is actually the model for many American businesses. I suspect any jury would agree to this should someone decide to change a law or circumvent it.

    I do not know what the penalties for breaking this technology law are. Surely there are much more heinous crimes. If I could modify the source code to improve any of my games I would do it and would gladly share my improvements to the community. In my opinion, CA and Sega should be more concerned with pirate torrents, where people can get their games without paying, then of people editing some file on a 5 year old game.
    Without a public release of the source code, the source falls under copyright. The object code (compiled and linked executable) is what is sold on the disk, along with the artwork/music/configuration files. The source remains the property of CA/Sega.

    If for some reason CA did release the source code, I imagine it would be covered under some form of license which would restrict how it could be distributed. Something along the lines of the GPL, you wouldn't be allowed to sell it, even if you modified it extensively.
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  6. #96
    Member Member Gaiseric's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Quote Originally Posted by vartan View Post
    Except you don't actually own the code when you buy the game. You just own one license to play the game. Copyright is pretty complicated and, heck, there's a reason why we have so many specialized copyright lawyers.
    Is that what the liscense agreements say when you click agree to install the game? I never read them, but I have to accept them to install the game. I guess if you get the game illegaly and bypass the agreement, you are free to modify the files?

    If its on my computer, its my property!!!

    I wonder how well these laws are enforced? I think it would be easy to realease a mod via a torrent, that edits the source code. With all the illegal torrents out there, they would never find the host.

  7. #97

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaiseric View Post
    Is that what the liscense agreements say when you click agree to install the game? I never read them, but I have to accept them to install the game. I guess if you get the game illegaly and bypass the agreement, you are free to modify the files?

    If its on my computer, its my property!!!

    I wonder how well these laws are enforced? I think it would be easy to realease a mod via a torrent, that edits the source code. With all the illegal torrents out there, they would never find the host.
    Piracy is easier committed than prevented. Hence why we still have piracy in some seas today. And where we don't have it or have reduced it greatly, we have actually spent (and still spend) lots of money to keep it that way.

    And yeah, you pretty much have to pay to play. I think it's what they call an End User License. And you own that license, correct. You don't own the code that eventuated that game, or anything of that sort. You just own one license. Just like I don't own Microsoft Windows, but own the license that lets me RUN that software on this computer (that allows me to reply to your posts, get online, and so on and so forth).
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  8. #98
    Member Member Gaiseric's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    Without a public release of the source code, the source falls under copyright. The object code (compiled and linked executable) is what is sold on the disk, along with the artwork/music/configuration files. The source remains the property of CA/Sega.

    If for some reason CA did release the source code, I imagine it would be covered under some form of license which would restrict how it could be distributed. Something along the lines of the GPL, you wouldn't be allowed to sell it, even if you modified it extensively.
    Since CA is doing nothing, there must be a way to bypass the liscence agreement. For instance what does the agreement\copywright allow you to do with the .exe? Does it specify what files can and can not be edited?

    A workaround would be to not install MTW and get access to the .exe through your CD drive. Without having agreed to the liscense agreement, you would have no knowledge about what is and what is not your property. A person like me could even plead ignorance in court. I know very little programming and learned more about the source code today then I have my whole life.

    The thought is someone who modifies the .exe through their CD drive, without installing the game and agreeing to the terms, could then host the changes. Every person who would download and use those changes would not edit their own .exe, but simply move it out of the MTW folder and move the modified version in.

    There has got to be something that the gaming comunity can do instead of waiting around and signing petitions.

  9. #99
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    [geek]
    The .exe on the CD is the result of the compiler/linker converting the human readable source code files (C code and include files in this case) to a machine readable format (x86 Windows compatible). Not much can be done with the .exe without converting that back to a human readable format, and the conversion would not contain developer comments or useful symbol names (functions and variables). Basically worthless for the purposes of fixing these bugs or improving the game. The source code (.c and .h files, along with Makefiles) is what is necessary to do actual work, and these files remain on CA's servers (and hopefully backups ) and remain CA's property unless they decide to release them to the public.
    [/geek]

    The EULA does not really have anything to do with basic copyright on a piece of software. It adds additional restrictions on the use of the files on the disk. The EULA does not cover source, since the source is not part of the product delivered on the CD and is already covered under copyright.

    Anyhoo, discussion of torrents, EULA evading, DRM evading, piracy, and disassembling is not allowed at the Org. So let's get back to discussing the petition, shall we?
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    If I werent playing games Id be killing small animals at a higher rate than I am now - SFTS
    Si je n'étais pas jouer à des jeux que je serais mort de petits animaux à un taux plus élevé que je suis maintenant - Louis VI The Fat

    "Why do you hate the extremely limited Spartan version of freedom?" - Lemur

  10. #100

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    You could always do the nice thing and create a brand new indie battle engine.
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  11. #101
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    If there is someone geeky enough with time to spare and cracks the source code + edits the bugs and makes the game the way we want it and then releases it on the torrents, CA has the right to sue the guy for infringement.

    Hypothetically speaking. But in this world, anything can happen.
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  12. #102
    Member Member Gaiseric's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    All this source stuff is beyond me. Some other game companies have games that are more modifiable, but their game engines are still off limits. I think at least with MTW we get a very solid game that is not as bug-ridden as some of CAs newer releases. Even though these games were released with new features and have more mods, the mods can not cover up the core games flaws.

    I think that instead of signing petitions the community should propose a deal to CA. Maybe they would be willing to make some changes to the source code and release it as a very, very late patch to MTW, if we provide them payment for the manhours. If I saw a list of what needed to be changed to MTW and felt that these changes would really alter gameplay, I would be willing to put some of my money in the MTW patch pool.

  13. #103

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaiseric View Post
    Some other game companies have games that are more modifiable, but their game engines are still off limits.
    I wholeheartedly agree with this primarily because it allows people an outlet through which to express their creativity. You could think about any game, from a 3D Maze to a Battle Engine. And all of those could be made to be modifiable. From the walls along the maze to the skins on the soldiers. If you have a 'data' folder with the right tools or even open formats (or widely available formats), then the game is decently modifiable without the need to open-source your game.
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  14. #104
    Member Member Gaiseric's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Do any of you guys play games made by Paradox? That is one of the few game companies that continues to support their games well after release. Their customer service is outstanding!!! They offer beta patches to the public and take note of ideas and suggestions for improvements from their forums. They then will give the customers the many of the improvements they want in the next patch. You can sometimes even talk directly to Johan, their lead programmer, who will make changes to the source. In addition to that, Paradox games are very modifiable and what cant be modified, can be suggested as an improvement for the next patch.

    If more game companies were run like this it would be a lot easier on the fans and modders, and make for a much more enjoyable game experience.

  15. #105

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    As has been discussed at length earlier in this thread, doing what other developers do in making games more open and easier to mod is a good thing, but it doesn't address the problems, bugs and incompatibilities in STW/MTW. To address problems like units disappearing in battle, graphical glitches causing CTD's on the MTW campaign map, slow fps on the campaign map, flickering menus and slow campaign/battle loading times in MTW - basically the game breaker problems that are stopping many of us, including myself from playing - the only real solution is a new patch (which won't happen) or release of the source code (that won't happen either - but it's probably more likely than a new patch).

    The only hope for STW/MTW players is if the source code is released privately under licence to someone like Good old Games: http://www.gog.com/ . The downside of that is that you will end up paying all over again for a game that you've already bought. It's also far less preferable in my view to an all out release of the source code. Releasing the source will allow for porting to other platforms and some extensive modding (adding new features, writing a new AI, etc).

    Theoretically an engine (in STW/MTW's case engines) could be built to make use of the existing MTW game media. This has been done for other games such as the Monkey Island series, the Bioware Infinity engined games (BG, PST, IWD etc) and Transport Tycoon. This hasn't happened for MTW because no one with the interest, the knowledge or expertise has stepped forward and STW/MTW is far more complex than those games.

    Last edited by caravel; 10-04-2010 at 14:42.

  16. #106
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caravel View Post
    The only hope for STW/MTW players is if the source code is released privately under licence to someone like Good old Games: http://www.gog.com/ . The downside of that is that you will end up paying all over again for a game that you've already bought. It's also far less preferable in my view to an all out release of the source code. Releasing the source will allow for porting to other platforms and some extensive modding (adding new features, writing a new AI, etc).
    Probably our best bet, I don't see a source release or an unpaid patch. Having GOG do the debugging work and paying $5-$10 bucks for the updated game would be reasonable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Caravel View Post
    Theoretically an engine (in STW/MTW's case engines) could be built to make use of the existing MTW game media. This has been done for other games such as the Monkey Island series, the Bioware Infinity engined games (BG, PST, IWD etc) and Transport Tycoon. This hasn't happened for MTW because no one with the interest, the knowledge or expertise has stepped forward and STW/MTW is far more complex than those games.
    How are these efforts received by the developers/publishers? Are there issues with "unauthorized" use of the copyrighted artwork/music?
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  17. #107

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    As far as I know there's nothing developers/publishers can do so long as the author of the ported game engine does not distribute their original content or infringe on any copyright. This is how openTTD and scummVM work. You can only download the engine to run the game, not the games themselves nor any of the original material. OpenTTD has advanced to the stage that it has open game media, so it's essentially just a complete open source clone now.
    Last edited by caravel; 10-04-2010 at 16:52.

  18. #108

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caravel View Post
    Theoretically an engine (in STW/MTW's case engines) could be built to make use of the existing MTW game media. This has been done for other games such as the Monkey Island series, the Bioware Infinity engined games (BG, PST, IWD etc) and Transport Tycoon. This hasn't happened for MTW because no one with the interest, the knowledge or expertise has stepped forward and STW/MTW is far more complex than those games.
    The only problem would be if a person or persons made an engine that could accept the data folder of MTW (or at least most of it), he/she/they would not be able to make any money by doing so. It'd have to be purely voluntary, legally speaking, correct?
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  19. #109

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    It would be free and open source software as with ScummVM and OpenTTD, yes.

  20. #110
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Generally, people who do this sort of thing do it for the love of a game, or as a challenge. The rest of us have jobs or family.
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  21. #111
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Quote Originally Posted by drone View Post
    Generally, people who do this sort of thing do it for the love of a game, or as a challenge. The rest of us have jobs or family.
    And yet, there is Europa Barbarorum who created a completely new game just based on an engine and managed to get past the obstacles.

    So yes, it is possible.
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  22. #112

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Quote Originally Posted by edyzmedieval View Post
    And yet, there is Europa Barbarorum who created a completely new game just based on an engine and managed to get past the obstacles.

    So yes, it is possible.
    No, EB is a mod not a "completely new game". It does not involve any real coding/programming, only scripting. RTW is also much more versatile in terms of modding - which is why something as epic as EB was possible.

    I'm not sure what it's going to take to convince people in this thread that modding a game != programming.

    In my view, if the release of the source code is desirable, a petition is your only option. CA may not have changed their position on this, but a petition may be the only outlet for your efforts here. Bumping this thread every few months for another few years won't achieve much. You will need maximum exposure, so I'm not sure how you'd go about this. Perhaps something based on a popular social networking site? Then post links to it on all the major total war sites - but be careful at the .com - ask permission first. A joint Shogun/Medieval source code release would be the best objective to go for. I can't imagine CA would release the MTW code before the STW code and at least this will cover it.


  23. #113

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Quote Originally Posted by Caravel View Post
    No, EB is a mod not a "completely new game". It does not involve any real coding/programming, only scripting. RTW is also much more versatile in terms of modding - which is why something as epic as EB was possible.
    Simple differences in the realities of two people. For edyzmedieval, EB is a completely new game in that it offers a completely new experience, whatever he may have that mean. You have it mean a new game from scratch, including coding. I think it's nice that everyone has different perceptions; it'd be boring otherwise!
    I'm not sure what it's going to take to convince people in this thread that modding a game != programming.
    Let's be more lenient. Ed's idea is not that modding a game is programming. The idea is that modding a game gives you a "new" game. That is, a new game in your virtual reality of gaming.
    In my view, if the release of the source code is desirable, a petition is your only option. CA may not have changed their position on this, but a petition may be the only outlet for your efforts here. Bumping this thread every few months for another few years won't achieve much. You will need maximum exposure, so I'm not sure how you'd go about this. Perhaps something based on a popular social networking site? Then post links to it on all the major total war sites - but be careful at the .com - ask permission first. A joint Shogun/Medieval source code release would be the best objective to go for. I can't imagine CA would release the MTW code before the STW code and at least this will cover it.
    Facebook is the most popular of the social networking sites if I'm not mistaken. Who's up for an activist group rallying around the release of the code? Hah, just playing. I'm no STW or MTW player. Good luck y'all (I'll be following this, though, it's interesting; I'll share links on my sites if it gets anywhere!)
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  24. #114

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Despite the fruitlesness - in my view - of the thread, the discussion is really inetersting. In any case, MTW is an unrepeatable classic, much in line with oldschool boardgames. Its a pitty for it to be left to drown in the sands of time. I am sure that CA won't do anything to sort the problems the remaining community has in playing it (and that community would be far larger if new pcs and video cards etc could play the game), however i sincerely hope it does.
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  25. #115
    Boondock Saint Senior Member The Blind King of Bohemia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    It does make a nice 'what if' discussion but there is little point to it. I love the game as much as anyone but nothing will happen regarding the source code.

    Caravel is right regarding EB. Outstanding mod, with hours of time and effort gone in, but it is not a completely new game. It changes the game so much for the better but that is due to it being a historical accurate, well researched and balanced modification with great design and gorgeous skins, not being a new game.

  26. #116

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Quote Originally Posted by The Blind King of Bohemia View Post
    It does make a nice 'what if' discussion but there is little point to it. I love the game as much as anyone but nothing will happen regarding the source code.

    Caravel is right regarding EB. Outstanding mod, with hours of time and effort gone in, but it is not a completely new game. It changes the game so much for the better but that is due to it being a historical accurate, well researched and balanced modification with great design and gorgeous skins, not being a new game.
    Depends on what constitutes "new game", and hence no right answer.
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  27. #117

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Yeah, he means new game as new mechanics that come about by hardcoded means. You mean new gameplay.
    The Caravel Mod: a (very much) improvedvanilla MTW/VI v2.1 early campaign

    Please make sure you have the latest version (v3.3)
    Since v3.3 the Caravel Mod includes customised campaigns for huge and default unit settings

    Download v3.3
    Info & Discussion Thread

  28. #118

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Nice to see you BKB.

    A "new game" is quite easy to define. For what it's worth I know what edyz was getting at, but a modification is still not a "new game". Besides, RTW could be modded extensively, MTW could not. We can add new factions, maps, provinces, units etc - MTW can be turned into something like the SW mod or Ancient TW, but when it comes to something advanced like adding an opengl renderer, porting to another platform, or something as seemingly simple as adding/changing vices and virtues or hardcoded events like the arrival of the mongols there's nothing modders can do (not to mention fixing bugs).

    A petition is the best (only?) option. They can only say "no" after all.

    Last edited by caravel; 10-26-2010 at 15:54.

  29. #119

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    How about a new game? i.e. an MTW clone? These can only be done if for non-profit?
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  30. #120

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Nice of you to offer - do you have a release date?

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