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Thread: Petition CA for MTW source code?

  1. #1
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Exclamation Question to CA: Will you do this?

    Hello CA.

    If any of you guys are still around here, maybe you can answer my question:

    Would you release the source code for Medieval:Total War for us fans and modders? Or would it be possible for someone to buy it?

    MTW is a very old game (6 years old), you cannot get any more profit out of it, so maybe you would do something for the people which still play it like hell?

    Thank you.
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    Member Member Alexander the Pretty Good's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question to CA: Will you do this?

    Asking for Shogun's code might be more reasonable, but I imagine there are still a few trade secrets even in that code that they might not want released...

  3. #3

    Default Re: Question to CA: Will you do this?

    Since I just bought the Eras package a few months ago I pretty much disprove the 'no profit left' theory. If normal game marketing holds its course expect a 'series' package with M1 and M2, and a 'compendium' package with S,M1,R and M2, one right before Empires and one right after.

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    Camel Lord Senior Member Capture The Flag Champion Martok's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question to CA: Will you do this?

    I honestly doubt CA will release the source code on either STW or MTW anytime soon, and Alexander and Timsup2nothin have highlighted the two main reasons why: Even if sales of these two games were to drop to a negligible level -- which I have a feeling hasn't happened yet, despite all the time that's passed since they were both released -- I suspect it'll still be a very long time before CA would be willing to divulge the (relatively) sensitive contents of their intellectual property. I agree it's unfortunate in a way, but it's also understandable.


    @Timsup2nothin: Welcome to the Org, btw!
    "MTW is not a game, it's a way of life." -- drone

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    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question to CA: Will you do this?

    It doesn't stand up Martok.
    Why would they still keep a 2000-2001 game engine (MTW was built over the Shogun engine), updated a bit in 2002? There's no more support for MTW. The sales are negligible. What intellectual property is still there?

    They are releasing ETW, the 5th game in the series. At least give us something to work on!

    And if not to the general public, at least to some people and under NDA contract.
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    Beauty hunter Senior Member Raz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question to CA: Will you do this?

    Heh, I doubt it Edyz (First Post). I asked Bethesda Softworks to release Daggerfall as Freeware (like TES - Arena) as they no longer sell nor produce it, thus not creating any revenue from it. They turned the idea down quickly and without remorse.

    I was really getting ready to sink my teeth into some nice juicy Daggerfall...
    Edit: And The Elder Scrolls: Daggerfall is much older than MTW.
    Last edited by Raz; 04-29-2008 at 10:17.
    Quote Originally Posted by drone
    I imagine an open-source project to recreate [Medieval: Total War] would be faced with an army of high-valour lawyers.

    Live your life out on Earth; I'm going to join the Sun.

  7. #7
    Camel Lord Senior Member Capture The Flag Champion Martok's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question to CA: Will you do this?

    Quote Originally Posted by edyzmedieval
    It doesn't stand up Martok.
    Why would they still keep a 2000-2001 game engine (MTW was built over the Shogun engine), updated a bit in 2002? There's no more support for MTW. The sales are negligible. What intellectual property is still there?
    I won't claim it necessarily makes a lot of sense per se, but companies do tend to be very protective of their IP....no matter how old it is, and I'm sure CA is no exception. Not to mention which, there's the added wrinkle that they're now owned by Sega, who are probably even more likely to hold onto their IP. So even if CA were willing to release MTW's source code (which is still extremely unlikely), I very strongly doubt that Sega would ever allow it regardless. Like it or not, you and I will probably be old men (if not in the grave) before that would ever happen.
    "MTW is not a game, it's a way of life." -- drone

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    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question to CA: Will you do this?

    Yes, but the thing is, if they don't want for free, can they let us BUY it?

    Can someone from CA comment on this please?
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  9. #9
    " Hammer of the East" Member King Kurt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question to CA: Will you do this?

    I can understand why CA would be reluctant to release source code, but could they release it in a controlled way to say a group of moders so they could see if the problem with newer graphics cards could be sorted?

    I am sure that it is not worth their while to create a patch to sort it out, but it would be of use to them if somebody else did it. Perhaps it could be done through somebody like Caravel who seems to have a wide knowledge of these things - just a thought - from somebody with a new PC with a good graphic card!!!
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    Member Member dimitrios the samian's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question to CA: Will you do this?

    Just create a new source code !! ...
    Im sure the people who have made mods in the past and tweaked & balanced them for a better game could improve the AI immensely on all apects .

  11. #11
    Evil Overlord Member Kaidonni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question to CA: Will you do this?

    I don't think it'd hurt for CA to let some of the top modders see if they can fix the graphics drivers issues. There has been a lot of disappointment in CA when it comes to patches for their games. They were going to stop at 1.2 for Rome, and to my knowledge, they haven't released any more patches for M2TW beyond the 1.3, which only allows multiplayer (Kingdoms is the 1.4, I assume...and I thought I saw something about a 1.5 in the M2TW section, but I did read the threads on patches and such where people shared their disappointment in the lack of any more planned patches). I think, to allow modders to at least create a solution for the graphics drivers problem would partly redeem them in the eyes of their fans - and it might be for an older game, but it is the first step in a long journey. They need to take better care of their players (that save-load bug on RTW was once called a feature by CA...then they changed their tune at some point and decided to finally fix it).
    I believe in a society without rules, laws and regulations. A society where there are only ideas - strict ideas that must be followed to by the letter - and any failure to comply is punishable by death. This would be no dictatorship or police state, no one would be living in terror. It would merely be a 'reassessment of one's preferences,' people living in 'not-so-optimistic security.' So, welcome, those who are 'longing to be blindly obedient and loyal, unbeknownst to them.'

  12. #12
    " Hammer of the East" Member King Kurt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question to CA: Will you do this?

    Followers of this thread should see the thread with the new fix for CTD for MTW - if that is all that is required then it should be easy to do a simple patch - perhaps we could host it??
    "Some people say MTW is a matter of life or death - but you have to realise it is more important than that"
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  13. #13
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question to CA: Will you do this?

    Quote Originally Posted by dimitrios the samian
    Just create a new source code !! ...
    Im sure the people who have made mods in the past and tweaked & balanced them for a better game could improve the AI immensely on all apects .
    Well this is the thing.

    We want CA to release the code to MTW so we will just work MTW. To create a better game graphics wise and other stuff its impossible to do it with the MTW code because the engine is old, and no-one would ever spend an entire life working from this code.

    IMHO, I think what everyone wants is better AI and diplomacy. Graphics cannot be fixed but there is no need. Content and other things have been added by great mods. Diplomacy and AI can only be resolved by the source code, by editing it. Same thing goes for bugs.
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  14. #14

    Default Re: Question to CA: Will you do this?

    CA will never ever ever ever ever do that!!

  15. #15
    Beauty hunter Senior Member Raz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question to CA: Will you do this?

    But I don't think anybody on the Org, that still plays MTW, that could be bothered to put effort into anything, and that has the time and patience, even has the skills to work with coding for games so mechanically complex, such as Medieval: Total War's engine, is around and willing to edit some code just to make MTW that tiny fraction better.

    I could be wrong however... Someone out there, that enjoys playing MTW, that has plenty of time and patience, that can be determined enough, and has the skill requirements for coding a game so mechanically complex might rock up here at the Org tomorrow... But what are the chances of that, eh?
    Quote Originally Posted by drone
    I imagine an open-source project to recreate [Medieval: Total War] would be faced with an army of high-valour lawyers.

    Live your life out on Earth; I'm going to join the Sun.

  16. #16
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question to CA: Will you do this?

    I think you would be surprised. There are quite a few people here that I believe are more than capable. With access to the source, it would probably be fairly straightforward to find out the video driver issues.

    As for improving the game, I would say the best changes to make would be moving many of the hardcoded settings into new text game files. Doing this would open balance and playability testing to a greater number of people.

    All wishful thinking though.
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  17. #17
    Evil Overlord Member Kaidonni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question to CA: Will you do this?

    I believe that it is against the rules to even discuss it, yet alone do it.

    [Indeed it is. -- Martok]


    We need to be constructive, also, about CA's current and future Total War games - calling them (yes, I just censored that word myself) isn't very constuctive, it's just venting anger at the shortcomings of their games.

    I think there could be a way to 'butter-up' CA, to encourage them to trust us with this issue, and fixing the game code (NOT cracking, though) so that video driver issues are solved. I'd go as far as saying that CA should trust us, seeing as how they are selling MTW:VI in those special bundles with the other TW games, knowing full well the issues that newer computers will have running the game. They're even selling Shogun in those bundles. Heck knows what issues RTW will have one day. I don't think it is moral to sell games under such false pretenses. Not everyone will be aware of any of the problems or solutions, the people who visit these forums are likely in the minority - so, how do CA think people will feel if two of the games in those special bundles don't work at all? These bundles people have spent their hard-earned money on? And what if RTW ends up suffering the same issues? It is selling games under the false pretenses they still work just fine - not everyone is akin to understanding the world of computing, and the various issues newer computers have with older software, and CA's current path could be construed as exploiting that.

    Now, I think it is only fair to let us see if we could fix the video driver issues. Remember, it looks like the campaign map issues have been fixed in the other thread, and that is because of just two files - TWO files, who would have guessed they'd screw an entire game up? Well...I suppose anyone could have guessed...LOL...Murphy's Law (or Sod's Law) - if something is going to go wrong, it will, and it will be one ever so simple thing no one has thought of, and no one will think of for a long time. What if the battlemap could be fixed in an instant? Maybe it couldn't, but we'd be doing CA a favour. People are already angry at them because of their track record in recent times for releasing unfinished products, and their patches not fixing nearly enough (I mean, seriously, it isn't easy to make games, I understand that - but it is NO excuse to make them half-hearted).

    What else can they do with the game engine anyway? Isn't it obsolete? I know they might want to hang on to it, but none of us here are intending to make any profit from it. We just want to fix a classical game, and it might restore our faith in CA. They do owe us, really - we've been loyal to them, we've parted with our money for them, we haven't tossed this game out of the window. They need more help from the community, because games aren't about what the company wants, they are about what the people want - and if the people want it, they will buy it. If the community is allowed to input, even on these old games, it encourages good community relations with the company, and encourages the company to be more open-minded.

    MTW is a classical game, and I think it would be a shame - and an injustice - if CA were to totally ignore us on this issue. I already uninstalled M2TW in anger, and can't reinstall it because the DVD drive speed is insufficient (or so I am led to believe - the DVD's won't read, not the first nor the second). I liked RTW, and it still bustles to this day. However, I will not be buying Empire because CA is focusing too much on graphics and not substance. MTW had substance. RTW had some also. M2TW did not. CA have disillusioned the people on these forums, and I think it is our voice that matters the most, not the voices of the unseen and unheard buyer who will never log on to these forums (face it, CA have to look at forums, and do they really want to see people upset at them? In a constructive manner? That's far worse than some of the rants out there - to know someone has a reason for not liking you, and isn't just angry).

    If anyone working at CA is reading this, we implore you to reconsider. What threat is there in letting us fix the video driver issues? Heck, we'd be doing you a favour because then, you'd be able to sell the Eras pack, and more, with STW and MTW bundled in them, with the fixes. Not everyone likes cool graphics - you might be surprised how many people might jump at the chance to play MTW or STW. Many issues factor into it. Some people love cool graphics, but also like the 'old school' games (STW and MTW). We all remember Digger and Space Invaders - and Pong - after all these years. They were ever so simple, but they made for great, fun games. You can't really go on selling games in bundles if they suffer severe graphics driver issues, it isn't right. People are paying money for broken games.

    I hope I have made a point here, and I think there can be a way for this to work out, both for CA and the community. Just because it might be hard is no excuse at all not to at least try. I think we could do something really great here. Blizzard constantly updates their games, and I'm not advocating releasing hundreds of updates, but there should be better support for the TW games. There is no rival, currently, but if there were to be one, that rival would be a great threat if they ever considered the problems CA has been overlooking. This idea of tweaking the code can benefit CA greatly, and we really would greatly appreciate any help they have to offer. We do not want to do anything untowards or illegal, nor do we want to fleece CA out of profits.

    Yeah, a bit long-winded, I know. Er...DISMISSED!
    Last edited by Martok; 05-22-2008 at 09:14.
    I believe in a society without rules, laws and regulations. A society where there are only ideas - strict ideas that must be followed to by the letter - and any failure to comply is punishable by death. This would be no dictatorship or police state, no one would be living in terror. It would merely be a 'reassessment of one's preferences,' people living in 'not-so-optimistic security.' So, welcome, those who are 'longing to be blindly obedient and loyal, unbeknownst to them.'

  18. #18
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question to CA: Will you do this?

    Kaidonni, well said.

    Who is up for a petition? And if so, what variants would you consider?

    1. Source code for existing MTW players present here in order to improve the game - forbidden to sell except if someone buys the source code.
    2. Source code only for selected people such as modders
    3. Just fix the video issue

    I want 1.


    [Sorry edyz, but the mention of game cracks had to be removed. -- Martok ]
    Last edited by Martok; 05-22-2008 at 09:16.
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    Camel Lord Senior Member Capture The Flag Champion Martok's Avatar
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    Default Re: Question to CA: Will you do this?

    I realize that most of you don't need reminding (and my thanks to Kaidonni and edyz for their restraint ), but I'll say it anyway: Discussion about -- and especially advocacy of -- game cracks is strictly forbidden. Even when well-intentioned, the Org does not allow it. Period.


    Now that having been said....

    Poll added.
    Last edited by Martok; 05-22-2008 at 09:33.
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  20. #20
    The Scourge of Rome Member Spartan198's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Sure, I'll give a yes vote and help out my MTW-faithful compatriots.
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  21. #21
    Beauty hunter Senior Member Raz's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Well put, Kaidonni. But:
    -> Paying for a broken game isn't quite their fault, it's a hardware fault, it's like paying for a game that only just came out, and finding out it won't work on your Comadore 64.
    -> Whilst it's true that probably none of us are planning anything malicious against CA, if they were to place up the source code freely available to the public, who knows who'd come along, snatch it up, and redistribute it thus making profit from a game they didn't make.
    -> Remember they'd be releasing it to total strangers, we may seem cute and fuzzy on the outside, but they've never met us in person, who's to say that we aren't not planning to warez MTW?
    -> Whilst I do agree that we should try it, you've got to remember the risks that CA would be gambling here. If it fails miserably there'd never trust us again, who knows, the company itself might fall. There are plenty of "What if's..." involved - as I've said, the company is risking plenty, MTW might be end up being freely distributed across this org as a pirated version.

    I'm simply pointing out the "What if's..." here. As for the poll, it's a "Yes" but a significant part of me says "No".
    Quote Originally Posted by drone
    I imagine an open-source project to recreate [Medieval: Total War] would be faced with an army of high-valour lawyers.

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  22. #22
    Evil Overlord Member Kaidonni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Actually, on the broken game part, it is kind of CA's fault. This is specifically a PC game, and no one is dumb enough (er...yeah, I remember that advert about the clever-dumb balance...LOL...) to try it on their Commodore64. People are expecting it to work on their PC, still, especially seeing as how my version of MTW Gold is on a PC DVD-rom. Is Eras on a PC DVD-rom too? It might mislead some people to think this game, which is suffering hardware issues (that they are not aware of) is fitted out to work on more recent computers. PC-DVD roms are pretty recent, and to release a game on one, or continue it's sale over to that medium... It might be an old game (LOL...well, not old OLD), but there is something about the continual sale of it that seems misleading.

    Something really does need to be done. They don't need to trust us with the code, it could be something entirely differing that's mucking the battlefield up. We might be able to find a few files that, just like the ones NTW replaced, need tweaking to work fine. But, something still needs to be done.

    When it comes down to it, sure it's a hardware issue, but I will repeat that CA are at least partly to blame for continuing to sell the game, especially on PC-DVD roms (either like MTW Gold or part of the Eras bundle), to PC owners (not Commodore64 or Amiga owners). There is, again, an air about the way the game is sold that makes it seem recent. One day it may break entirely, and we may not ever be able to get it to work after that day. However, I feel that CA is misleading people to an extent, even if not intentional. There should be a warning that comes with the game about the hardware issues, slapped right on the front (or as part of the blurb on the back). It isn't every day you expect a PC game on a PC-DVD rom to not work.

    So, even if it isn't to gain access to the code, we should still petition CA for something. I'm certain we can make some convincing argument.

    Besides, it's only the actual battlefield that doesn't work properly now. The buttons on that screen match up, and the radar map also matches up and works properly (save for not letting you move so well or change the rank depth of your troops). So, why doesn't the battlefield itself work? Why are there mouse-over problems? Perhaps a few files need tweaking, and that is all, to fix the issue. Just seems rather odd that just one element of the battlemap doesn't work, yet the others do.

    Yeah, repeated myself a bit, but hope I made my point. CA can't simply shift the blame on to anyone else. Many modern computers will be having issues, and they are still selling the game knowing it probably won't work. And, like I said, we aren't on about Commodore64's here (for the third time...LOL)...
    Last edited by Kaidonni; 05-22-2008 at 15:16.
    I believe in a society without rules, laws and regulations. A society where there are only ideas - strict ideas that must be followed to by the letter - and any failure to comply is punishable by death. This would be no dictatorship or police state, no one would be living in terror. It would merely be a 'reassessment of one's preferences,' people living in 'not-so-optimistic security.' So, welcome, those who are 'longing to be blindly obedient and loyal, unbeknownst to them.'

  23. #23
    Needs more flowers Moderator drone's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    I said yes to the poll, but I still don't think it's going to happen. They may allow it 10-15 years after release, but unlikely at this point.

    The only workable solution I see would be for them to allow a small company (under heavy NDA contracts) to see and fix the code for new drivers and new OS versions (when Windows 7 comes out in a few). A port to Linux would be nice as well, but we can't really get greedy. The problem (which is the same problem CA has with patches) is that the regression testing/QA process would be prohibitively expensive, and unless the modders take on that responsibility CA/Sega is not going to go through with it.

    So, to sum up, an official patch would be too expensive, but an unofficial patch would compromise intellectual property.
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  24. #24
    Evil Overlord Member Kaidonni's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    We could always nag Nvidia instead...

    http://forums.nvidia.com/index.php?showtopic=40869&st=0

    Heck, there is concern that problems are even emerging for RTW on Nvidia's drivers. That isn't good at all. What the heck is going on? The latest drivers, the 8800 series, totally screwed up the computer - interface lock-ups from all angles, extremely recent games like Half Life 2 Episode 2 not launching, and crashing (turns out forcing it to load in windowed mode just about bypassed the problem, but it only came out last October...if games, especially good ones with substance, are going obsolete at that rate, why bother at all with them?). Heck, on Nvidia's latest drivers, Maya 8.0, 8.5 and 2008 don't work properly unless you find the thread on CG Society where you sift through for the setting you need the graphics card/drivers at...and those are major 3D animation/modelling packages...
    I believe in a society without rules, laws and regulations. A society where there are only ideas - strict ideas that must be followed to by the letter - and any failure to comply is punishable by death. This would be no dictatorship or police state, no one would be living in terror. It would merely be a 'reassessment of one's preferences,' people living in 'not-so-optimistic security.' So, welcome, those who are 'longing to be blindly obedient and loyal, unbeknownst to them.'

  25. #25

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    They could divulge the source code without releasing the games into the public domain. Wouldn´t be the first who have done that. The "Call to Power" makers did, for instance, allow a certain game modders domain to use the source code for improvements. The makers of the game "Comanche vs Hokum" did likewise: the source is public, but the games are not (and you have to purchase them to use the mods).

    In fact, one could argue that it might bolster sales of old games.

    Possible reasons for them not to do so: I´ll use my last example: Comanche vs Hokum was improved in pretty much every single way by the modders, whereas the developers released a rather crude "CvsH 2" with little improvement over the modded first game.
    Iä Cthulhu!

  26. #26

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    I'd gladly contribute a small sum towards being able to purchase the source code off CA,so that the graphics problems could be fixed.Maybe we could start up a thread for this purpose,that is if CA are willing to let us try.

  27. #27

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    TW never really changed. From STW to MTW2 the game really didnt evolve much (/or at all actually many argue that the game devolved asides from graphics) moreover to this day still TW doesnt face any competition in the market... so it is crazy to believe that CA might release the source code of MTW or even STW...

  28. #28
    Ja mata, TosaInu Forum Administrator edyzmedieval's Avatar
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    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    Still wondering if people think the same...

    My option:

    Somebody buys the source code, retaining the property rights of the whole game. However, a deal is made with CA. The profits of the new game are shared equally between the buyer and CA, but at the same time, the game is completely reworked on the AI/Diplomacy side and in some aspects, the campaign map has more features, more factions, more units... The game is repackaged, sold as Medieval: Total War (new & improved), including a bundle of the ORIGINAL game, and everyone is happy.

    Any takers? I seriously want to do this.
    Ja mata, TosaInu. You will forever be remembered.

    Proud

    Been to: :

    Swords Made of Letters - 1938. The war is looming - and Alexandre Reythier does not have much time left to protect his country.

  29. #29

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    In the odd chance we got the source code for MTW, we'd need someone skilled in C++ who also has an awful lot of time and motivation to invest.

    And fixing the "bug" with newer video cards is not straightforward, it takes figuring out what the problem is, which could be anything. Not a simple line of code that says "don't work on new cards"... Then of course, fixing one bug creates another, and the cycle goes on.


    However, Paradox released their source code for the Europa engine, privately to volunteering modders, which is the code for EU1, EU2, CK, HOI1, HOI2, and Victoria. Those games they are still making a lot of money on, they released this code within a year of releasing one or more expansions for the games built on it. They didn't even wait until the game was dead.
    Last edited by Garnier; 04-20-2009 at 14:00.

  30. #30

    Default Re: Petition CA for MTW source code?

    ID Software released the source code for most of their earlier games, including Q1, Q2 and Q3 : http://www.idsoftware.com/business/techdownloads/

    Rebellion software released the source code for the first AvP game.

    All of these are games that made huge profits, have huge and very real modding communities and in the case of the Quake series, spawned hundreds of other titles many of them free: http://www.urbanterror.net/news.php

    The reason that the CA won't release the source code to STW (and MTW - but first things first) is anyone's guess. IMHO it's because we're dealing with a company that cares little for it's fans, especially those long term fans that bought the games and put CA where it is today.

    When the source code is released, it does not mean that the game becomes free. In the case of the Quake games you have the necessary code to build the binaries and libs that the game needs. You then need the game media (the pak files containing the textures, models, weapons etc) in order to get the game running. To get to this point you need to buy the game OR download it illegally. But people still download it illegally anyway - so this would be no different to them releasing a patch.

    It would work exactly the same for CA:

    1) They would release the source code for the binaries.

    2) The open source community would immediately sieze on this and:

    a) Fix the problems in the existing game engine, port it to other platforms (GNU/Linux, MacOS, etc)

    b) Start improving AI, adding functionality etc.

    3) Joe public wants to download and run (let's call it) Open Medieval - Total War (for now). He gets either the win32, Mac or Linux build from sourceforge - installs runs and.... nothing

    4) The user then reads the manual and realises that he needs the original game. He doesn't need the original windows binaries but he does need the game media files (images, sounds, scripts etc) and the licence.

    5) Once he has these, which he pays for, he's up and running. He may be a Mac user or a Linux user, therefore he's a customer CA would otherwise not have had.

    Tried, tested, works. Now tell me why CA won't release the source code for a 9 year old game?
    Last edited by caravel; 04-20-2009 at 14:55.

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