Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Early Work on Homebrew StarCraft for the DS

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the excellent-craft dept.

Portables (Games) 78

Via Buttonmashing, news of early work on a homebrew project to port Blizzard's StarCraft to the Nintendo DS. "Since no official plans were ever announced from Blizzard, two French homebrew developers have taken it upon themselves to create a port of the popular PC game, StarCraft, for the Nintendo DS, calling it StarLite. Because they've only been working for three weeks, the game is a bit limited right now and still needs a lot of work."

cancel ×

78 comments

Is this legal? (4, Insightful)

Mongoose Disciple (722373) | more than 6 years ago | (#21937790)

Not that I don't love Starcraft and wouldn't love to see it find new life on other platforms, but isn't this a cease and desist waiting to happen?

Re:Is this legal? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21937832)

Real hackers don't care [sf.net] .

Re:Is this legal? (0, Troll)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938352)

That is one of the nastiest looking websites... Why do sites insist on having such annoying backgrounds?

And yes, I fully expect these guys will be crushed like bugs by March.

Re:Is this legal? (3, Informative)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938376)

Wanna bet?

1. they're not in the US
2. they're not actually doing anything illegal

"Blizzard won't like it" != "that's illegal!!!!"

At least, not in countries that still respect the rule of law.

Re:Is this legal? (3, Insightful)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938466)

Yes. After all America didn't go after DVD Jon... America wasn't behind The Pirate Bay being raided... That must have been my imagination.

When will people wake up and realise that what is ACTUALLY illegal is irrelevant, it's who has the most money that gets "justice." because they know they can bankrupt the individual, whether they're right or wrong. Not to mention the fact they're not in the US is also irrelevant as Vivendi, the owners of Blizzard and all their lovely trademarks, are a FRENCH COMPANY, and the people doing this are FRENCH.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938502)

Funny but DeCSS is still available all over the place, and The Pirate Bay is going strong. Particularly for sites willing to release anonymously, there's often just nothing that can be done about "illegal" projects. Witness all the XBMC stuff floating around. Released as source only (but the only way to compile it is with an illegal tool), but there are binaries all around for those willing to look.

Re:Is this legal? (0, Troll)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938808)

The Bnetd project was snuffed by Blizzard. Plus they've snuffed other projects over the years that you most certainly won't be able to find executables for anymore.

Plus, again, these are French people violating the copyright of a product OWNED BY A FRENCH COMPANY.

The project may very well survive, but I'd bet dollars to donuts it won't be using the Starcraft name. Or the look of the units. (Of course Blizzard stole a lot of their ideas for Starcraft anyway, but that's beside the point...)

Re:Is this legal? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21939082)

And again, no they are not violating copyright. And when it comes to copyright infringement allegations, being in France is a good thing.

Re:Is this legal? (0, Troll)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21939190)

They are making a game that, within the limitations of the platform, looks like Starcraft, acts like Starcraft... It clearly IS a copy of Starcraft. They are using Blizzard's intellectual property without permission.

(For the record, I wish them the best of luck. I have no time for software companies like Blizzard who wield their power like a scimitar. I hope the software come to fruition and doesn't get spanked. I am just utterly jaded and cynical about any homebrew that infringes, even if only slightly, on a large software companies IP. Especially one so lawyer happy as Blizzard.)

Re:Is this legal? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21939230)

heh, there are perfectly legal ways to make a clone. They probably are not doing these things, but it seems that whenever the notion of cloning comes up people seem to think there's a law against it.

Re:Is this legal? (0, Troll)

Goldberg's Pants (139800) | more than 6 years ago | (#21939496)

Oh there probably ISN'T an actual honest to god law against it. But as I said, I am endlessly jaded and cynical these days, and fully expect the mere THREAT of a threat (if you see what I mean) to get them to fold if push comes to shove, and we know Blizz love to shove. (Used to be my favourite dev house. Notice I say USED to be.) Corporations know they don't have to have a legal leg to stand on in many cases. If Vivendi came knocking on your door and said "You've illegally used blah and we're taking you to court", you (unless you're very rich) probably can't afford legal counsel. You may be 110% in the right, you may know this, but you don't have the finances to follow through and have this legally proven in a court of law, because Vivendi will drag things out as long as possible to force you into a corner until you're left with only one option. Capitulation.

As I said, I hope I'm wrong and the project flourishes. I just don't see it happening sadly.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941522)

Depends on how it's done. They could make an engine that runs Starcraft-like games and can read Starcraft data files and they would be clean since the user would have to supply his own data files (like SCUMMVM). If they include any part of Starcraft with their engine they get sued.

Fixed (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942720)

In the mid-1980s, you might have written:

Compaq are making a BIOS that, within the limitations of the platform, looks like IBM PC BIOS, acts like IBM PC BIOS... It clearly IS a copy of IBM PC BIOS. They are using IBM's intellectual property without permission.
Show me what you see that is copied and copyrightable and I might agree with you.

Re:Fixed (1)

Orange Crush (934731) | more than 6 years ago | (#21943580)

The difference is that Compaq's reengineering of the IBM BIOS didn't make unauthorized use of IBM created trademarks, artwork, characters, plotlines etc.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938690)

Wanna bet? ...
2. they're not actually doing anything illegal ...
The screengrabs pretty clearly show them using graphics from the original game. That actually is wrong. If Blizzard has a copyright to the game in France, then yes, I'd like to take that bet.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938918)

Huh? How so? What part of copyright law, exactly, do you think stops them from writing a program to use Blizzard's graphics files?

Re:Is this legal? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938982)

Huh? How so? What part of copyright law, exactly, do you think stops them from writing a program to use Blizzard's graphics files?
Heh. Are you seriously asking me what part of Copyright Law prohibits distribution of protected works?

Re:Is this legal? (2, Insightful)

aeschenkarnos (517917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21939018)

No, he's not. What they'll do is re-write the underlying program, and the user will have to load the graphic files from a StarCraft CD, theoretically a genuine one. Thus nothing copyright to Blizzard is actually distributed by these guys.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21939048)

Which is so blindly obvious that MobileTatsu-NJG is clearly a troll.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21939164)

Which is so blindly obvious that MobileTatsu-NJG is clearly a troll.
The demo they're sending out now has the artwork packaged into it. That is wrong and they could easily be C&D'd for it. (Not necessarily to the point of cancelling the game.)

But I'll grant you that I hadn't considered the 'grab it from the CD' option when I originally posted. You've got me there, and I accept your point. So, yeah, when they start doing that, you'll eventually be right. In the mean time, they're sticking their necks out.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 6 years ago | (#21939176)

"So, yeah, when they start doing that, you'll eventually be right. In the mean time, they're sticking their necks out."

Sorry to reply to my own post here, but I wanted to point out that I do not know the specifics of French Copyright Law. I may be wrong on my last point, there. If I am, I'd appreciate it if anybody'd be willing to cure my ignorance on that matter.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

Moonpie Madness (764217) | more than 6 years ago | (#21996668)

You think this only amounts ot "blizzard doesn't like it"?

Isn't this more like, Blizzard made the freaking game, and they might want to make a handheld version at some point, and these people are stealing their ideas?

These coders are talented. They can make something similar, but with their own ideas. It's actually pretty hard to do, but that's exactly why it's wrong to copy. That's the rule of law. there are places that do not respect the rule of law. And that's why we have region coding, etc. I sure don't appreciate it.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21997072)

Dude, there's no law against making a clone.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#21937848)

Yes. Next question?

Re:Is this legal? (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 6 years ago | (#21950624)

No, I think we need to go back to this question. Because the answer is: no. Not as long as they're distributing graphics files lifted directly from the game. That's not going to fly under anybody's copyright laws anywheres. Somebody elsewhere stated the plan is at some point to not distribute those files and have people to use the graphics files from Starcraft CDs they own legally. I'm not sure if that'll be legal or not, but that's not what they're doing now. What they're doing now is clearly distributing copyrighted material, and it's not legal.

Chris Mattern

Re:Is this legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21939268)

If they aren't selling it, I hope they are allowed to make it

Re:Is this legal? (3, Informative)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21939540)

Well, to clarify...

1 - As long as they are not distributing Blizzard artwork, or using Starcraft's trademarked name in their own product, they should legally be in the clear. Note that they must also avoid mentioning any trademarked properties directly also (Aiur? Tarsonis? Vespene Gas? Any one of those things may or may not be trademarked)

2 - It *will* be shut down (unless the authors are clever enough to obey #1, but they don't seem like it). Back in the day when I did mods for HL1, we had a term in the community: "foxed". It came from Fox being very zealous in shutting down mods of their properties. EVERYone making a licensed mod, whether it's Stargate, Star Wars, or just Dragonball Z, was foxed. This has NO chance.

I personally have zero sympathy for people who develop their own products on top of the work of others, whether intending to profit or not. Why waste your time and effort on something that will eventually be shut down, and will never see the light of day? (or if it DOES, will result in your ass sued from here to Norway?) Why not take your coding chops and make a Starcraft-inspired RTS of your own?

Re:Is this legal? (1)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 6 years ago | (#21940128)

Your latter point is extremely valid, still the sentimental part of me wishes them the best of luck. They are trying to recreate a classic work of art in a new medium, and I believe similar to Warhol and Campbells soup that they should be allowed to do just that. My head agrees with you, my heart wishes this to happen. If the world was a different place this effort should have earned them employment at Blizzard.

Re:Is this legal? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21941288)

Yeah that's what people said about sampling in the 80s. We should all remember that kids don't own the culture they are in and have no right to mimic it.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

runderwo (609077) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941784)

Copyright power was established to "promote the progress of the sciences and useful arts". Building on top of the work of others is essential to that progress. If copyright laws are used to stifle people building on top of the work of others, then those laws are not serving the intended ends of copyright and thus should be abolished.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21945654)

This is one of those cases where I agree with copyright in its current state. Allowing these guys to build their game is downright dangerous for Blizzard. If their work is sub-par, but uses the Starcraft name and artwork, it can contribute to consumer confusion in the marketplace, and affect Blizzard's own reputation negatively for no good reason.

Building on top of the work of others is creating your *OWN* RTS, but taking the mechanics that make Starcraft so much fun and making them your own. It is *NOT* stealing artwork, music, and storyline that somebody else has spent the time crafting.

And copyright law in its current state doesn't prevent anyone from doing that. These guys can make a game that *plays* exactly like Starcraft and be legally in the clear.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

runderwo (609077) | more than 6 years ago | (#21989452)

If their work is sub-par, but uses the Starcraft name and artwork, it can contribute to consumer confusion in the marketplace, and affect Blizzard's own reputation negatively for no good reason.

You have jumbled trademark and copyright law. No one is suggesting that someone be able to legally pass off something under Blizzard's brand. (However, the idea that Blizzard can claim a trademark on the entire *Craft name space [slashdot.org] is equally absurd.)

Building on top of the work of others is creating your *OWN* RTS, but taking the mechanics that make Starcraft so much fun and making them your own. It is *NOT* stealing artwork, music, and storyline that somebody else has spent the time crafting.

Who is "stealing" anything, when it's a game engine that simply REUSES the game data from your purchased version of Starcraft? Totally absurd.

I would have to assume, based on this misunderstanding, that you considered it "stealing" for the bnetd project to provide a non-Blizzard server for playing presumably legally-purchased Blizzard games over the Internet in private.

Re:Is this legal? (1)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#21989716)

(However, the idea that Blizzard can claim a trademark on the entire *Craft name space is equally absurd.)

Yes, but in this case the project has clearly used the "Starcraft" name, as opposed to coming up with a clever derivative name.

Who is "stealing" anything, when it's a game engine that simply REUSES the game data from your purchased version of Starcraft? Totally absurd.

Except... the project is distributing art files WITH the download (as opposed to converting them from your existing SC disc), so yes, it is stealing (or infringement, if you want to be anal about it). Further than that, though, as an amateur game developer I consider it poor form to use someone else's fame to attempt to elevate your own. While certainly not illegal in any sense, IMHO any real game designer will take what makes Starcraft fun and create their own, independent game with it. Let the game stand for itself and be judged for it, not because you're some silly ripoff of the original Starcraft.

FWIW, I've already seen consumer confusion stem from this whole business. I was shocked when I returned to campus this week and found that some of my college friends now erroneously believe that Blizzard is working on a DS port of Starcraft, and that the screenshots shown were just leaks. Blizzard has already tangibly been harmed by this whole business, which leads again to my wholehearted opposition to creating derivative works, for profit or otherwise. Get some originality or don't make games at all.

bad idea (0, Offtopic)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 6 years ago | (#21937800)

Your only chance of beating me and like 95% of other online players is using a mouse and even then you damn well better be fast with it! I even have lost games because of using a ball mouse. You gotta play so fast, it just wouldn't work on the PSP. Even the offline stuff is kinda difficult to do if you're not able to move troops quickly.

Re:bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21937834)

this is the required post pointing out the parent's lack of reading skills, as the summary clearly states "Nintendo DS", which, in all fairness, if you squint real hard and turn your head completely sideways STILL looks nothing like "Sony PSP".

Re:bad idea (2, Insightful)

dunezone (899268) | more than 6 years ago | (#21937890)

Yeah, but you would be playing against other people on the DS. This would be really cool to play against a friend on a long plane or car trip.

Re:bad idea (1)

leehwtsohg (618675) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938518)

sadly, playing on a plane isn't so "safe", because it'd require wireless.

Apart from takeoff and landing (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942792)

sadly, playing on a plane isn't so "safe", because it'd require wireless.
Do airliners use frequencies in the unlicensed 2.4 GHz band while cruising?

Re:bad idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21937994)

The DS has stylus input, which is just as fast (or arguably faster because moving the stylus with you hand is more intuitive than moving a mouse causing a pointer on screen to move). Only if they made you use the D-pad would this argument hold water.

Re:bad idea (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21938010)

not too bright are you? I'm guessing your mom took a few shots at you with a coat hangar before you were born.

Re:bad idea (1)

aeschenkarnos (517917) | more than 6 years ago | (#21939056)

Only if you play at the faster speeds. If you play on Normal, micro is less of an issue. Still important, but not the only important thing.

Why this won't work (1)

brendanoconnor (584099) | more than 6 years ago | (#21937814)

http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2002/03/04 [penny-arcade.com] Those who failure to learn from the past are doomed to repeat it. Brendan

That should never keep people from what they love (1)

ludomancer (921940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21939524)

Fuck that. Fight that shit. Correct me if I'm wrong, but there are no legal grounds that prevent them from constructing code to emulate a PC on the DS system, or "port" the Starcraft executables to another system.

But even if I am wrong, fuck them anyway. I love Blizzard, they make wonderful games, but this corporate overruling of people's hobbies/freedoms to create has GOT. TO. STOP. Fight it, even if it is "illegal", the system of laws is just a man-made constriction on reality anyway. Fight it, you can change it.

On a more rational note, Blizzard is just getting a free wider audience and awareness for their products. If they want to be pansies about it, they should suck it up because it will only benefit them in the end anyway.

Vigilante copythieves (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21937838)

Good job reporting them as some kind of heroes.

Learned before? (1)

AlphaDrake (1104357) | more than 6 years ago | (#21937856)

Perhaps blizzard learned with their N64 port that RTS ports generally don't work on consoles/handhelds. Especially when the game is already so cheap, has great online play/community, and is playable on almost any computer today.

Re:Learned before? (1)

4D6963 (933028) | more than 6 years ago | (#21937954)

Perhaps blizzard learned with their N64 port that RTS ports generally don't work on consoles/handhelds.

Yeah, but did the N64 have a touchscreen?

Re:Learned before? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938098)

But the DS has an extremely small screen. So either there's going to be major problems selecting individual units, or you're not going to get as wide of a view as you did on the PC. Unless there was some functionality for zooming in and out. I could see it working ok, but it wouldn't be quite as good as it would be on the computer.

Re:Learned before? (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938484)

The DS screens are small, but there are two of them. The bottom 1/4 - 1/3 of the screen in Starcraft was mainly status information, which can be handled on the 2nd screen. This port seems to be using popup overlays to handle the parts of it that you need to interact with.

If they scaled the art by 50% in each dimension, the DS screen would show approximately the same area as the original game did. I only briefly played Starcraft, and at that back when it was fairly new, so I don't know if the original art is large enough to make that a feasible option.

Re:Learned before? (1)

Lord_Breetai (66113) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938968)

If they scaled the art by 50% in each dimension, the DS screen would show approximately the same area as the original game did. I only briefly played Starcraft, and at that back when it was fairly new, so I don't know if the original art is large enough to make that a feasible option.


Starcraft wasn't exactly hi-res to begin with. It ran at a resolution of 640 x 480, the ds has 2 screens at 256 x 192. I'm sure it's doable.

Re:Learned before? (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941468)

The number of pixels has nothing to do with it. My IPod Nano has the same resolution as a standard TV. That doesn't mean it's as well suited to watching movies on as my 30 inch TV. I still watch movies and TV shows on it, because it's a lot easier to carry on the bus, but I'm not going to kid myself and think that it's just as good as watching on the TV. When the zergs are only 2 mm wide, it would be quite hard to select the ones you want to.

Warcraft 1 ran in mode 13h (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942832)

But the DS has an extremely small screen.
So did Warcraft 1 and other RTS games from that era. Compare the 320x200 pixels of Mode 13h to the 256x192 pixels of each DS screen.

Re:Warcraft 1 ran in mode 13h (1)

gauauu (649169) | more than 6 years ago | (#21943358)

But unfortunately, Warcraft 1 looked like poop compared to Starcraft.

Re:Warcraft 1 ran in mode 13h (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 6 years ago | (#21943862)

There's a difference between low resoltion, and small physical size. It's hard to select units when they are only 1 mm across.

Re:Learned before? (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#21946568)

I gotta admit, I've played the port/rewrite of Age of Empires for Windows Mobile, and it runs fine. If that can be converted, and it uses virtually the same resolution and object size as Starcraft, I can see a Starcraft port/rewrite working fine on a slightly larger screen.

Re:Learned before? (1)

T-ice (1069420) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938282)

It doesn't work with a console/handheld eh? Well, I personally don't think snake worked on my first cell phone. But, ever picked up someone at the airport and they're flight got delayed. Maybe played tetris on the ol' cell phone then? Same concept, take a game people like and try to make it more convenient. If I had a ds, I would play it. Oh, and the touchscreen might help, but everyone already mentioned that.

Re:Learned before? (1)

Xinef Jyinaer (1044268) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938516)

I loved SC on the N64

Re:Learned before? (1)

trdrstv (986999) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938548)

Perhaps blizzard learned with their N64 port that RTS ports generally don't work on consoles/handhelds. Especially when the game is already so cheap, has great online play/community...

Starcraft64, for what it was, wasn't bad. The graphics were fine, the controls were streamlined so they made sence for a console, and the balancing was still "Starcraft". The primary issue was the fact that it wasn't online. There were no new maps, no mods, and it was limited to splitscreen (same screen) multiplayer for 2, something that's easily resolved with today's systems.

and is playable on almost any computer today.

Almost? Stracraft runs 640x480 (locked) with 8 bit color on a pentium 90, and 16 megs of ram. It was low tech when it came out. Hell, we're getting to the point where most cell phones could run it.

Re:Learned before? (1)

Purity Of Essence (1007601) | more than 6 years ago | (#21939204)

Almost?


I suspect GP was just hedging his bets, but the fact remains, a large number of old games designed for old computers will not run correctly on modern machines that are 20-40 times faster.

Re:Learned before? (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941604)

"Almost" because this is Slashdot and pretty much everyone here has 1-2 working but ancient computers that would have no chance of ever running Starcraft, like my little 386 laptop "skullcracker"...

Limited feature set (2, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#21937906)

Currently, the only thing that works is the ability to spawn more overlords. It's a good thing that's the most important part of the game.

Re:Limited feature set (2, Funny)

kpansky (577361) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938222)

Not if we require additional pylons.

Re:Limited feature set (1)

FreeRadicalX (899322) | more than 6 years ago | (#21939428)

Listen guys, we can deal with both of those problems after we deal with the real issue at hand:

YOU REQUIRE MORE VESPINE GAS

Re:Limited feature set (1)

douji (959987) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942378)

but you don't need vespine gas for either pylons OR overlords!!!1!11

Re:Limited feature set (1)

Kalriath (849904) | more than 6 years ago | (#21946652)

But, uh, what about the other issue:

YOU HAVE NOT ENOUGH MINERALS.

Re:Limited feature set (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21949960)

Luckily no vespene is needed.

Re:Limited feature set (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 6 years ago | (#21939680)

I heard that in order to stay out of litigation and make the game different enough, you need to order beans from within the game to produce more vespene gas.

Only Because (1)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938710)

Because they've only been working on it three weeks, they haven't gotten their cease and desist yet. I remember at least one group making a SC mod of Warcraft3, and they got theirs.

Re:Only Because (1)

JimboFBX (1097277) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938870)

Someone did that for Zero Hour as well and got very far on it before being forced to shut down.

Is it a port or rewrite? (1)

ljaguar (245365) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938756)

from wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porting):

The term is not generally applied [...] to the rewriting of source code in a different language (i.e. language conversion or translation).

This is not porting. This is reimplementation.

Like the remake of TA called TA3D (http://ta3d.darkstars.co.uk/home-en.php) and someone already mentioned FreeSynd (http://freesynd.sourceforge.net/about.php)

Re:Is it a port or rewrite? (1)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 6 years ago | (#21939296)

Indeed. There was some guys who were doing a port of Syndicate Wars (sequel to Syndicate) from a disassembly. All they were "rewriting" was the video and sound systems to use SDL. They seem to have disappeared though and taken their code with them. It's an interesting hybrid. A number of these old DOS games use DOS4GW and other extenders so the executable of interest is actually a COFF file with 32 bit instructions in it.. so running the bits as they are in the exe as-is can be done on modern 32 bit operating systems. You just run into problems when the program tries to do an interrupt to call extended DOS apis like the DPMI set. Or, worse yet, when it tries to access hardware registers. So if you can trap those few, you can wrap an emulator around it. You get native code execution and compatible hardware emulation. This is basically what DosBox does in a less direct way. Unfortunately, all this does not help with the problem of understanding the program so you can extend it. For that you need a full rewrite. Of course, reverse engineering is still a must.

First real RTS for consoles (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 6 years ago | (#21938920)

After I modded my original Xbox I put as many party games on it as I could, I played only on my PC but I tried to cater to guests.

It had an RTS [gamespot.com] and it was horrible, not horrible like FPS on a console but pretty bad...

Now I'm a long time FPSer, I played back before you needed a mouse (Wolf3D etc) and the mouse is the best controller for a first person perspective yet, others may pshaw fps games as simplistic but they are the closest thing to a human perspective, that being said their simplicity has been caused by complex controller systems fragmenting the market (see Deus Ex, Rainbow Six, Hitman, Descent for examples of this complexity).

Now I'm not sure that the DS will be able to bring the RTS to consoles, but I know it will improve on the Xbox RTS experience. My first time playing Metroid DS I thought it might have as good a controller set up as a PC, later I found some flaws but the DS is a remarkably flexible platform.

Hopefully this mod will bring RTS and Baldurs gate style RPG to consoles.

Starcraft is dead (1)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 6 years ago | (#21941070)

I played it before they started their "get tough" policies and general copyright bullshit.It was a breaking point when
  they started to ban players for hacks(even harmless third party hacks),
Ruined the game with buggy patches(practically everything after 1.09)(damaged maps and third party software compatibility),removing useful glitches (the Death counter memory overwrite which allowed map manipulation on many levels,in real-time),they added spyware which downloads and executes stuff from blizzards servers,banned every chatbot and harmed binary bots compatibilities,
added a new chat flood detection which banned alot of people typing 3 lines too fast. real hacks are never patched, they are simply evolving faster then blizzards patch processes.
The exclusive WC3 clan system was designed to add value to Warcraft(and excluding any SC players from them) and annoy Starcrafters.

No it's not (1)

Cornflake917 (515940) | more than 6 years ago | (#21943322)

You have yet to give a valid point about how or why Starcraft is dead. You just complained how Blizzard patched the ability to use hacks in multiplayer games and bnet. None of the Blizzard patches ever really annoyed me, but that's probably because I don't hack.

Considering Starcraft is a decade old, and I can still hop online and easily find plenty of different games to play, it's amazing that it isn't dead yet. Starcraft is still going strong, and it's one of the most popular games for professional gaming in the world.

Re:No it's not (1)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 6 years ago | (#21946442)

Blizzard doesn't care about it anymore.
Its like software project where everyone stopped contributing after major source revisions

Re:Starcraft is dead (1)

brkello (642429) | more than 6 years ago | (#21947658)

So Starcraft is dead since you can't grief people with your hacks anymore? Plenty of people are still playing it. It boasts more players than a lot of games that came out a few years ago. How is that dead?

I've actually played it... (0, Offtopic)

sykopomp (1133507) | more than 6 years ago | (#21942518)

Love my R4. I downloaded this thing last night before I saw it on slashdot. It's pretty amazing. All they have ready so far is the GUI and basic gameplay. You only have two buildings (terran command center and a barracks) and you can only build SCVs and marines. There's a few enemy marines on the map to kill, and that's about it...

But it works amazingly well. The controls are more smooth and precise than so many other official DS games I've played. Basically, you tap on a unit to select it, and tap on something else to make it do an action. It automatically selects the right action. Selecting the units is really accurate, I never actually had to tap them more than once to get them to select. You can also do a drag-select, and that works too. The GUI, even in its early stage, is also very nice and responsive. When you select a unit, you get a little menu on the right hand of the screen with some icons for the actions you can do. The game even runs at full speed, with good sound output (with sounds from the actual gome... give me somethin' to shoot) and everything. I imagine the resolution is lower, but I certainly can't tell. They're doing an amazing job with this, I'm really impressed. I hope they carry on with it, and if Blizzard gets involved, that they hire them to do an official version, because this is going to be commercial quality if they keep it up.

fan projects like this (1)

sentientbrendan (316150) | more than 6 years ago | (#21944930)

are a dime a dozen, and rarely go anywhere. Projects that do go far, are often taken down with cease and desists.

From screenshots it looks like they've accomplished a lot though. I hope they don't run out of steam before the job is finished like 90% of the fan projects out there (remember freecraft?). A lot of developers become happy when a game is "playable" but still contains major bugs that insure that no one will actually bother playing it.

As a side note, one of the cooler fan projects I've seen is a rom hack for Chrono Trigger, that takes the original game engine makes it into a sequel (the chrono trigger rom format has been investigated pretty deeply, and it's possible to change pretty much everything in the game).

http://www.chronocompendium.com/Term/Fan_Projects.html#Chrono_Trigger:_Crimson_Echoes [chronocompendium.com]

that project also seems to have halted, but there's already a lot of playable game.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...