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Acorn Arcade forums: Games: Advertising
 
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Message #85015, posted by chrisbazley at 13:21, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85014
Member
Posts: 58
Come now, what about the "Christmas Spirit"? smile
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Nathan Message #85016, posted by Wrath at 13:23, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85015
Member
Posts: 154
Went out the window two years ago.

To get me back into the "Christmas Spirit", someone write me a decent 3D engine.

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Message #85017, posted by chrisbazley at 13:34, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85016
Member
Posts: 58
We don't want "A decent 3D engine", we want THE decent 3D API. What happens when the person who writes your decent 3D engine wanders off, and forgets to tell you how it works?

You take life too seriously. If I took life seriously I wouldn't survive.

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Nathan Message #85018, posted by Wrath at 13:39, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85017
Member
Posts: 154
I think we just need a 3D engine. We will be waiting longer for a decent 3D API. Anyways, it's pretty much pointless for any current machines.

What we need is a decent hi-res, 2D car game....

I only take life seriously where the RO market is concerned, you can't fart around in it otherwise projects would hit the wall right, left and centre.

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Andrew Message #85019, posted by andreww at 15:02, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85018
AA refugee
Posts: 555
I began looking into 3d in the summer and consulted with Lee as he'd begun to write general purpose 3d routines for an abandoned games intiative. I'd like to be able to use 3d routines perhaps even in a car game which are very often good-sellers, but only as part of a games project I was working on. I wouldn't want to write just a 3d engine for general use.
therefore, any 3d development would be slowed by this and also the fact that it would represent a learning curve. If i managed to do something effective though I can be pretty confident in saying that I'd fully comment and document the code so that it could be generally used not least by myself in the event i have to take leave of programing for any period of time!
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Tim Fountain Message #85020, posted by tfountain at 15:38, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85019
AA refugee
Posts: 59
If review copies aren't been given out simply because companies don't trust the reviewers, then the RISC OS community is in a much worse state than I thought. I take it that this is an answer to the email I sent you a few days ago Nathan?
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Nathan Message #85021, posted by Wrath at 15:53, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85020
Member
Posts: 154
If review copies aren't been given out simply because companies don't trust the reviewers, then the RISC OS community is in a much worse state than I thought. I take it that this is an answer to the email I sent you a few days ago Nathan?

I haven't had time to reply to my emails yet.

As a reply to your suggestion that the RISC OS market is in a worse situation than you thought then it must be. It isn't just me, numerous people have been scuppered by review copies being copied.
I can't help it and since the market is so small, even 1 unit is worth a lot. As I said before, I know who has illegal copies of SunBurst and they were/are reviewers and SunBurst wasn't passed around willy-nilly, I was selective. Maybe the time has come to reissue Gordian Lock....thought so.

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Dave Sloan Message #85022, posted by Dave at 17:37, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85021
Member
Posts: 58
Myself and Tim reviewed Sunburst for Acorn Arcade. My copy came, I installed, played through the game, reviewed it and since I had completed it anyway, removed it from my system. I've still got the disks here somewhere I think...Anyway, the point is, my copy has gone nowhere, and I'm pretty sure that Tim's hasn't either. In fact, I think I was actually sent Tim's copy once he had finished with it. What are you implying? I trust all the Acorn Arcade staff - they all have ftp access to the server and could do a lot of damage if they weren't honest, but if you know differently please tell me (preferably privately). OK, you may not mean the AA reviewers, but that's the way your message comes across, and so I feel that I have to stand up for my staff. If you can prove that any of our staff have pirated or aided in the pirating of Sunburst, or for that matter any other VOTI software, I hope you will inform me. Please be assured that this is not an issue which I take lightly and if such proof exists then I don't believe that I could continue as editor, and will offer my resignation.
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Message #85023, posted by chrisbazley at 22:26, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85022
Member
Posts: 58
Maybe the time has come to reissue Gordian Lock....thought so.

Not on your life, or I'll go and spend my evenings in the pub with my friends, rather than sat in front of StrongED...
>unhappy
There, I thought it was about time someone used one of them. Maybe it will make Tim notice that they don't actually work!
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Andrew Message #85024, posted by andreww at 23:09, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85023
AA refugee
Posts: 555
The point is though isn't it, why would anybody other than people like yourself Chris who are attempting to update a game with permission, be bothered whether some kind of protection device works or not unless they were trying something forbidden?
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Message #85025, posted by chrisbazley at 23:43, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85024
Member
Posts: 58
Copy protection systems invariably show a contempt for both the users of the program, and the rules of sensible programming practice.

The Gordian Lock protection system is particularly notorious for causing problems with different machines, and crippling programs which would otherwise have worked on modern computers.
Bringing back copy protection systems would be the final act of insanity in a market that is desperately small and can ill-afford more compatibility fiascos and ill-will.

Incidentally, I spent several years before I could even get into Star Fighter 3000, trying to break the copy protection. I resent this waste of my time.

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Nathan Message #85026, posted by Wrath at 23:55, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85025
Member
Posts: 154
Dave quote

Sorry if my message comes across as appearing to blame AA. My message is so strong because of the fear that dodgy activities still exist and the fact that I am not alone.
When EMD is ready I may cut chunks out of it and make a promo demo for review but I've had my fingers burnt many times before and I ain't taking no chances and I don't want a war of words along the lines of, "You gave AA a full version for review, why do we get a demo?"

Would this be okay?

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Nathan Message #85027, posted by Wrath at 23:59, 15/12/2000, in reply to message #85026
Member
Posts: 154
Just to put minds at rest, I was making a point, I'm not going to use Gordian Lock.

You have two sides to copy prot, 1) It's there to be hacked or 2) If it isn't there it's easier to copy.

But we already know this. Anyways, we'll be putting EMD on a DVD so it's a bit more difficult to copy grin

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Dave Sloan Message #85028, posted by Dave at 01:27, 16/12/2000, in reply to message #85027
Member
Posts: 58
Fully understand the problem Nathan, and any kind of preview that we can get would be great before the actual release, just to back up Tim's earlier points smile. I hope you realise that I have to stand up when things even seem to imply AA writers although it may not have been meant that way, you have to understand that I can't let people read this the wrong way.

Why do review versions have to have no copy protection? If you use the same protection with review copies that you do with the final version, surely that will ensure that no piracy goes on, since it's got to be as likely that a commercially sold copy is pirated as a review copy if they have the same protection!

A fully version of a game would obviously allow us to get a far greater insight into what the game is like - a demo would be nice for previews etc, I agree, but you can't really rate a game until you've played the shipping version - a demo with only a few levels might not demonstrate the variety of play necessary.

Otherwise, do make judgement calls on who gets review copies. If a site or magazine isn't big enough or well known/trusted to warrant a copy tell them that. It could lead to an awkward war of words as you say, in some cases, and I know that you need as much exposure for a game as is possible, but once it's been on a couple of the more well read websites and in Acorn User and any other of the popular off-line magazines most Acorn fanatics will have heard enough about a game to decide whether or not they want to buy it, and if some sites/magazines don't review the game, yet it has been in the others, you'll have to judge to whom to send review copies. Hell, you can even send a full version with the condition that it be returned within 3 weeks or something.

Basically, piracy will happen, unfortunately, but I don't think that reviewers are more likely to pirate software than anyone who buys the game. The review copy of destiny for example, came with a key disk and the full version's protection so no reviewer could copy the game any more than someone who had bought it. Would a system like this work for EMD etc?

Oh, and the DVD is a joke, yeah? monkey

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Andrew Message #85029, posted by andreww at 09:51, 16/12/2000, in reply to message #85028
AA refugee
Posts: 555
In principle though, protection is surely a good idea. In this market, it would prevent copying which restrict sales wouldn't it?
I can see that it's not practical though for current developers though and it would prevent further development of the game should the publishers decide to quit the scene.
Also in a small market, it probably is insulting to the vast majority but surely it protects all the time somebody has put into a product, a least in principle?
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Mark Quint Message #85030, posted by ToiletDuck at 10:35, 16/12/2000, in reply to message #85029
Ooh ducky!Quack Quack
Posts: 1016
if EMD or any other game is going to have a multiplayer option then copy-protection would be "fairly" easy to employ, if, when someone bought the game they then had to register it to get access to parts of the gmae, then they could be given a user id, & p/w & reg. no. matching whats on the game box.
Whenever the player logs on to play the multiplayer, then perhaps the game has to authenticate with a remote server? - that woudl stop people usign other copys smile
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Message #85031, posted by chrisbazley at 11:25, 16/12/2000, in reply to message #85030
Member
Posts: 58
In principle though, protection is surely a good idea. In this market, it would prevent copying which restrict sales wouldn't it?

If I was reviewing a game, then I would immediately drop it a few marks for any kind of 'key disc' copy protection, simply because it is so f**king annoying. If publishers want to implement this, then it is of course up to them.

It is quite simple. Software only survives beyond the lifespan of storage hardware, because it is copyable. Once it ceases to be copyable, it deteriorates and dies fairly quickly. I have hordes of Beeb discs with unrecoverable software on them. The publishers don't care anymore; they made their money and ran years ago.

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Mark Quint Message #85032, posted by ToiletDuck at 12:40, 16/12/2000, in reply to message #85031
Ooh ducky!Quack Quack
Posts: 1016
noawadays this is now longer a problem - with CDs they are unlikey to get damaged and cease to work, although with all media this is possible.
Basically, when you buy your game, and you load it up you are agreeing to the licience too, therefore if that licience is broken (e.g. by copying/distrubuting the game then any forms of support etc are void. Which is fair enough, as on the box of the game it doesnt say "this game is everlasting" therefore why should we expect it to?
You spend you £1000 on a computer, but you dont expect it to last for ever do you? no, because you expect to replace that computer in a few years. So, isnt it the same with software (except its MUCH cheaper tongue)
If copy protection can be run in the background, and not affect the computer then I think that this is a very good idea, as it does stop wasted sales from piracy, which in this small market is very important.
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Dave Sloan Message #85033, posted by Dave at 14:52, 16/12/2000, in reply to message #85032
Member
Posts: 58
Whenever the player logs on to play the multiplayer, then perhaps the game has to authenticate with a remote server? - that woudl stop people usign other copys smile

Don't even start me on the WON authentication trouble I've had with Half-Life. It's a joke, doesn't work and is damned annoying (and the subject of a class action lawsuit, I think?). If someone could make a working version, yeah, in principle it's a good idea, but putting it into practice has given the big boys a bit of a knock, so I think it might be a bit hard to manage.

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Lee Johnston Message #85034, posted by johnstlr at 17:27, 16/12/2000, in reply to message #85033
Member
Posts: 193
Whenever the player logs on to play the multiplayer, then perhaps the game has to authenticate with a remote server? - that woudl stop people usign other copys smile

Don't even start me on the WON authentication trouble I've had with Half-Life. It's a joke, doesn't work and is damned annoying (and the subject of a class action lawsuit, I think?). If someone could make a working version, yeah, in principle it's a good idea, but putting it into practice has given the big boys a bit of a knock, so I think it might be a bit hard to manage.

Besides which it's completely impractical for a homegrown RISC OS game. We don't have the resources to create a proper infrastructure of game servers. Network code is always likely to be peer to peer so there is no chance of authenticating the software (unless you have one central, authentication server but that's a bad idea - trust me)

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Mark Quint Message #85035, posted by ToiletDuck at 18:40, 16/12/2000, in reply to message #85034
Ooh ducky!Quack Quack
Posts: 1016
it depends on what market your targetting - if our looking to sell for Pace's NetTVs & Set-Top Boxes then the central auth. server would be easier to set up.
Or you could encode an ID code onto the CD like most modern day PC Games.
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Richard Goodwin Message #85036, posted by rich at 10:25, 18/12/2000, in reply to message #85035
Rich
Dictator for life
Posts: 6819
Besides which it's completely impractical for a homegrown RISC OS game. We don't have the resources to create a proper infrastructure of game servers. Network code is always likely to be peer to peer so there is no chance of authenticating the software (unless you have one central, authentication server but that's a bad idea - trust me)

I'm not so sure - you wouldn't need a lot of infrastructure as you'd be tailoring it to a smaler audience. The computer AA is hosted on runs quite a few domains, and thanks to a clash between Linux and the all-in-one motherboard I used to build the machine appears to be only using 64MB of the 256 MB memory available. After modifying the Apache configuration to take this into account the server is doing it's job quite well. Once I scrap it and use something better I expect not to have to do much upgrading for some time after that.

I've had a brief look into this area - I'm not sure if I should mention this, but when I used to work for ArgoNet Andrew at R-Comp 'phoned me about running a quake server for RISC OS users only. There's a couple of projects I've wanted to get around to as well, such as a server for players of Doom etc. to find each other's machines (either via a fluid DNS server, or just uploading the IP address of the user's machine to a server, bearing in mind most ISPs use dynamic IP addresses). Another is an upgrades server so that programs can check if there's an upgrade available and download it automatically. None of this is brain surgery, although obviously I haven't had time to implement them.

The point being that if you want to go for a complete Quake server, it's possible but obviously will take more resources; so peer to peer reduces the need for server hardware, but you still need something just to list available servers, and preferably find friends. If you're not running a dedicated quake server on the meeting point, the meeting point would take up no more resources than another website (although you might use something other than a web browser to use it - ala Gamespy), and authentication could be bolted in without too much effort. It'd only be serving content in small chunks infrequently, not (necessarily) large web pages with lots of graphics.

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Lee Johnston Message #85037, posted by johnstlr at 11:14, 18/12/2000, in reply to message #85036
Member
Posts: 193
I'm not so sure - you wouldn't need a lot of infrastructure as you'd be tailoring it to a smaler audience. The computer AA is hosted on runs quite a few domains, and thanks to a clash between Linux and the all-in-one motherboard I used to build the machine appears to be only using 64MB of the 256 MB memory available. After modifying the Apache configuration to take this into account the server is doing it's job quite well. Once I scrap it and use something better I expect not to have to do much upgrading for some time after that.

Admittedly it's not just a question of infrastructure. Games like Quake work because the code has been ported to run on a server and thus can act as an arbitrator. Given that a homegrown game is likely to include copious amounts of ARM code this would mean either porting the game logic to another OS or using something like a RISC PC as a server.

I've had a brief look into this area - I'm not sure if I should mention this, but when I used to work for ArgoNet Andrew at R-Comp 'phoned me about running a quake server for RISC OS users only. There's a couple of projects I've wanted to get around to as well, such as a server for players of Doom etc. to find each other's machines (either via a fluid DNS server, or just uploading the IP address of the user's machine to a server, bearing in mind most ISPs use dynamic IP addresses). Another is an upgrades server so that programs can check if there's an upgrade available and download it automatically. None of this is brain surgery, although obviously I haven't had time to implement them.

As you say finding other IP addresses is a problem although this could be done through ICQ, email or some other medium. Not elegant but possible.

Regarding my points above concerning the game server and peer to peer, perhaps true peer-to-peer is overkill. One of the players machines could be chosen as a game server. This would make synchronisation of game state easier but you'd have to keep network traffic to a minimum. IIRC this is how X-Wing Vs Tie Fighter worked. Of course if the Internet was fully multicast capable then it'd be a doddle.

The point being that if you want to go for a complete Quake server, it's possible but obviously will take more resources; so peer to peer reduces the need for server hardware, but you still need something just to list available servers, and preferably find friends. If you're not running a dedicated quake server on the meeting point, the meeting point would take up no more resources than another website (although you might use something other than a web browser to use it - ala Gamespy), and authentication could be bolted in without too much effort. It'd only be serving content in small chunks infrequently, not (necessarily) large web pages with lots of graphics.

Fantastic - when can we expect it?

Just kidding cool

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Richard Goodwin Message #85038, posted by rich at 13:20, 18/12/2000, in reply to message #85037
Rich
Dictator for life
Posts: 6819
If you can get someone to release a RISC OS laptop so I can write some of this stuff in my favourite programming environment while travelling to and from work (4 hours of trains a day), then sooner rather than later.

If RiscStation don't hurry up, then those AMD-based laptops in Dixons are looking pretty nice for the price, and I guess I could make do with Linux instead unhappy

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Shane Message #85039, posted by Ramuh at 13:31, 18/12/2000, in reply to message #85038
AA refugee
Posts: 35
Well, I'm using currently using a PIII 750 laptop running RedSquirrel and RISC OS 3.1 for my work at the moment, and it actually works remarkably well, for the RISCOS stuff that I need to do (although at the moment none of that involves coding at the moment, admittedly). It runs, at a rough guess, at about the speed of an ARM250, although without a real machine to test it by, I couldn't say for certain. It certainly doesn't feel sluggish, and I'm sure it will improve.

I suspect the RISCOS laptop will arrive later, rather than sooner.

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Mark Quint Message #85040, posted by ToiletDuck at 16:21, 18/12/2000, in reply to message #85039
Ooh ducky!Quack Quack
Posts: 1016
?? Whats Red Squirrel?? / Are you using RiscOS 3.1 on your Laptop at the moment???
if not, what other ways are there that would get RiscOS on either a PC running Windows or Linux (im in the progress on Dloading CorelLinux now -YAY 26% done smile --> only 253megs left unhappy )
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Shane Message #85041, posted by Ramuh at 16:57, 18/12/2000, in reply to message #85040
AA refugee
Posts: 35
RedSquirrel and Archie are Acorn emulators. RedSquirrel emulates a slow A5000, Archie emulates an A400ish. Both emulate the VIDC1, both can access the PCs HD as the Acorn's HD, and both have dual MEMC emulation to handle 16MB RAM. However, RedSquirrel has better sound emulation, and runs (IMHO) a lot faster. It certainly seems more responsive anyhow. Archie can read 800k ADFS discs directly though, RedSquirrel can't (it can only use disc images).

Yes, I'm using RISCOS 3.1 on my Windows laptop, although I only use it for RISCOS specific work (mainly Mode 13 graphics and ChangeFSI at the moment). Although I do indulge in the occasional game of Lemmings....smile

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Richard Goodwin Message #85042, posted by rich at 09:48, 19/12/2000, in reply to message #85041
Rich
Dictator for life
Posts: 6819
Well, I'm using currently using a PIII 750 laptop running RedSquirrel and RISC OS 3.1 for my work at the moment, and it actually works remarkably well, for the RISCOS stuff that I need to do (although at the moment none of that involves coding at the moment, admittedly). It runs, at a rough guess, at about the speed of an ARM250, although without a real machine to test it by, I couldn't say for certain. It certainly doesn't feel sluggish, and I'm sure it will improve.

I suspect the RISCOS laptop will arrive later, rather than sooner.

Unfortunately neither appear to work on NT4, so I've never been able to test them - the machines at my last two jobs have both had NT4 installed. Even though I'd be unlikely to have that flavour of Windows on a laptop, it's a big investment to make without knowing I can actually use the emulators! I'd rather have a proper RISC OS one anyway, partly for loyalty reasons, but partly because the emulators will be slower and only run RISC OS 3 (albeit with a quad-MEMC 16MB available)

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Shane Message #85043, posted by Ramuh at 11:23, 19/12/2000, in reply to message #85042
AA refugee
Posts: 35
Well true, but it's quite flash to show off what looks like a colour Acorn laptop with an enormous screen and pots of hard drive space :-)

You never know, the authors might manage to get them up to ARM3 speeds, and PCs will only get faster - and there's nothing else available (short of an A4) if you need to use !Draw, Ovation Pro or any of the other Acorn packages on the move.

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Mark Quint Message #85044, posted by ToiletDuck at 21:23, 19/12/2000, in reply to message #85043
Ooh ducky!Quack Quack
Posts: 1016
yay RedSquirrel & Archie are pretty cool
Id say that Archie is faster, & handles Disk access (Floppy & HD) better, and opens up new screen resolutions, although RedSquirrel does have good suond emulation.
The only problem with Archie at the moment is the transfer of files where DOS/Windows get in the middle of it, as i've tried to install the newer Acorn !Boot Sequence but it doesnt want to keep the correct filenames unhappy
but hey, its a start, and it means the RiscOS is also accesible on Desktop PCs - now all we need is a RO 3.7/4 emulator which makes the most of an Athlon monkey
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