Wolfenstein 3D and the Pirates of Cydia.

wolf3d-cydiaOne of the problems with releasing your source code with your data is when people stab you in the back for doing so.

Soon, my next set of iPhone game reviews will go up on AtomicGamer, including Wolfenstein 3D Classic. While investigating the game for review, I came across a version on the Jailbroken iPhone app store called Cydia.

This is all fine and dandy, since the source code was released under the GPL (v2). but the problem is that the scum of the earth who put the game out on the Cydia store (again, a store for Jailbroken iPhones only) disobeyed the license text included with the Wolf 3D source release. Specifically, as summarized by John Carmack himself:

You are on-your-honor to buy a copy at the App Store before using the data. 🙂  The source code is under the GPL, but the data is still strictly copyright Id Software with no license given to distribute outside this code release package or to use for any commercial purpose.  You are certainly free to replace all the data and make commercial applications, as long as the code is made available under the GPL.

What did these asshats do? Well, they put ads and a nag screen on the loading screen of the application so they can make money, which turns it into a commercial project. This is not cool, and I will try to contact these folks and see if they didn’t read the license text.

Update 1:

To be clear for people who didn’t read the text of what I’ve said and probably won’t read this list:

  • The game DATA is not GPL.
  • The game DATA is not to be used in any commercial sense outside of id software’s control
  • This is “ZODTTD” distributing and using the same data from the source zip file provided by id software and slapping his logo and ads on there which makes it commercial usage and thus violates the contract to my understanding.

Update 2:

To give you another example from the past of someone who screwed up this badly, if not worse, and the reaction he received which was (I think) extremely appropriate to the “crime.” Though the two issues were different, they both involve GPL code, and both will hopefully get a reaction from id software. I think most of us old die-hard Quake and id fans remember Slade. Here is how John Carmack dealt with him:

The idea isn’t to punish anyone, it is to have them comply with the license
and continue to contribute. QuakeLives has quite a few happy users, and it
is in everyone’s best interest to have development continue. It just has to
be by the rules.

That was a rather good statement and it holds up to this day. Though it is sad that in this case “ZODTTD” contributes nothing to the Wolf 3D Classic GPL release. I think there is something to be said for people playing a game who otherwise wouldn’t, but it isn’t like Wolf 3D Classic for free on Jailbroken iPhones and iPod touches (no matter how much I love the game itself) is a good argument for piracy. People know what Wolf 3D is, or I’d like to hope that they do, and have many options for playing it at various reasonable price levels.

One person (who I later found out has his site linked from ZODTTD) has posted a ridiculous troll comment here. He made the argument that putting advertisements on a program doesn’t make the distributon of the program commercial. I suspect he might feel differently about that if were to create a popular domain which embedded his site and put advertisements all over it. I suppose these types of arguments are inevitable when you attempt to make people aware of any kind of possibly controversial subject.

At the end of the day, what is really wrong here is that regardless of ZODTTD’s original intentions, he has spelled out some (intentions) with his actions, which are to release and profit off of Wolf 3D Classic via advertisements inserted into the loading screen. That isn’t cool.

Update on Call of Duty: World at War PC Patch/DLC

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While Call of Duty: World at War’s DLC on the 360 may have set new sales records and surpassed some ambiguous high water mark, it isn’t available yet on the PC. Why? JD_2020 explains on the CoD forums:

Hi all,

The Patch (and DLC) is not releasing for the PC this week. By now you’ve realized the patch did not come yesterday as the rumor claimed. I am not sure exactly where the rumor started, but as always if you didn’t hear it from me, and I am not confirming it, you should take it with a grain of salt.

We have not yet posted an ETA for the patch or the DLC – we are still working some things out behind-the-scenes and do not have further information at this time.

When we do have more information, I will be sure to provide it. There have been requests regarding which “Phase” of the patching process we’re at, but we are in a different process this time around where DLC is releasing hand-in-hand with Patch 1.4. As such, there are additional steps that are unique to this update and therefore override the standard delivery timelines. I will not respond to requests for specific dates — there are many factors outside of the control of the development team, and I can only speak to those parts of the process that are within the control of the development team.

Regards,
-JD

Basically what JD_2020 is saying is that it’ll be done when it is done and your tears will only cause his cold metal heart to rust and release the content slower. I’m not sure how we can complain as we’ll probably be getting it for free.

Finally, a Burn Zombie Burn! Review

Everyone is a fan of Zombies, and some people are in the Scott Sharkey fan club. What you get when you combine the two?

A review of Burn Zombie Burn! over at 1up:

Burn Zombie Burn gets straight to the damn point. There are zombies. You burn the holy screaming hell out of them. Then, if you’re so inclined, you run into the burning mess of deadguys holding a lawnmower out in front of you. You can share this experience with your peers, if you’re so inclined.

Nice to know if the game is any good, I just wish things had worked out so the review would have gone up before the game.

GDC 09: 1up Meetup

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Just a few pictures from the 1UP meetup today at the Metreon’s ailing Food Court. A good time was had by all and I enjoyed meeting the 1up Supercrew. Highlights were meeting the Sports Anomoly’s David “The Funisher” Ellis, Ray “I don’t have a funny nickname” Barnholt”, Nick “Fellow Beardo” Suttner, and more of those awesome folks.

Many thanks to Intern Chris for putting it together! After the break witness the special surprise in the Muni station.

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Space Combat Sims for fans of X-Wing v Tie Fighter Part 2: Software

In some ways, this is the best of times for space sim aficionados. FreeSpace 2, the last great commercial space combat sim is open-source and there are a lot of games based on that codebase which are freely available, or will be released shortly.

Personally I would recommend starting out with Freespace 2, picking an updated engine for it so it runs well on your system, and going to town. Then, if you’re interested, move on to all the other cool projects around the Freespace community.

Good Old Games also sells both Freespace 1 and Freespace 2 for $5.99 per game. They also sell a number of other fine space combat games. The game itself is excellent, it features the best capital ships in this kind of game that I’ve ever seen.

The biggest Freespace modding community appears to be at Hard Light Productions. They host a number of projects, though one of the most popular project out there is the Battlestar Galactica Total Conversion called Beyond the Red Line which has a demo available.

Hard Light does host a Babylon 5 Total Conversion called The Babylon Project, which seems like a good idea, but I haven’t tried it yet.

Unfortunately, no mod really seems to bring the graphics in the Freespace 2 Engine up to modern standards. Though it is certainly nicer looking than the wireframe graphics from the X-Wing games.

Older games can even be played through emulators if they don’t work natively. Ben Armstrong at Microsoft even made X-Wing run under Virtual PC. Unfortunately that solution won’t allow joysticks to work, so most people recommend using DosBox instead.

There is even a patch for the Win95 version of X-Wing to make it work on modern machines.

Newer games include the X series of space sims which are a bit more like Wing Commander Privateer and have you in a more open-space kind of profiteering game. Trading goods and ships for wealth and power respectively. These games are more like Elite and there are six in the series plus a stand-alone expansion here and there:

COD:MW2 Ships November 10 and this is the first teaser

Do your bolt-action rifles suck?

Are you having trouble respawning in the morning?

Well, fret no longer modern-warfare fan, after the break you can see what is going on in the lives of your heroes from franchises past…

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GDC 09: TimeDoctor Wins Resistance Retribution!

muniThanks to Sony for hosting the excellent Playstation Blog meetup at GDC 2009!

The evening started out with a journey via the strange public transportation system known only to denizens of San Francisco’s knowledge underground as “The Muni“!

After many stops and about 45 minutes worth of insane ramblings from the drunken creatures who inhabit this above-ground septic system our “N-Line” “train” moved underground.

Some time later I was able to find an exit from this disturbing cacophony of subterranean lost souls onto Montgomery Street in downtown SF whereupon I journed into the hipster grotto of the W Hotel.

Continue reading “GDC 09: TimeDoctor Wins Resistance Retribution!”

Left 4 Dead Updates

Boom!

Valve updated Left 4 Dead today with some great gameplay changes. One of which corrects my personal pet-peeve with the Boomer; his vomit will sometimes be deflected by normal infected who get in the way. Full list of changes:

Game and client changes

  • Introduced fatigue to the melee attack in versus mode. You will see a HUD display when your melee swing is cooling down
  • Boomer vomit will now pass through common infected
  • Addressed some surround sound detection issues
  • Fixed a rare crash when exiting Left4Dead on Windows Vista
  • Fixed a case where the complete all expert campaigns achievement was not being rewarded

Dedicated server changes

  • Corrected an issue where Windows based dedicated were sending spurious shutdown notifications to the master causing them to delist temporarily
  • Fixed dedicated servers not resetting the versus team swap correctly–you could join a dedicated server that had a previous game that was swapped and arrive on the other team than what was selected in the lobby
  • Renamed the tags for sv_search_key to use “key:” in the server tags instead of “sv_search_key.” This should help with issues of the 63 character limit of server tags
  • Fixed an occasional server crash related to voting