The Q3A test EULAGeezer
there have been some situations that have broken the Q3Test EULA,
forcing id to flex their muscles and put a stop to it. This has
caused some to get upset, claiming id is big brother and should
leave them alone. The purpose of this article is to explain what
the EULA is, and why id is enforcing it. I will also attempt to
explain the rationale of the users and why they are reacting the
way they are. .
this may be the first they have heard this term. EULA stands for
End User License Agreement. This is something practically all
companies have when they release software. For most of us, we
simply skip past it when installing - or don't bother reading
the printed version. Software companies create these agreements
to setup guidelines as to how their software should be used. Just
about every commercial software package you load on your computer
has an EULA.
The Big Deal Anyway?
This is the
question most users are asking right now. They finally get a cool
new "upgrade" to their favorite game and want to tweak it to their
liking. All versions of Quake allowed this, so why not Q3Test?
Before answering this, let's examine the reason Q3Test is even
out there for people to play.
of Q3Test is to get some real-world testing done on an early phase
of Q3Arena. It allows id to flush out a lot of bugs to, hopefully,
avoid numerous patches to the final product. Opening up a beta
test to millions of people is a huge undertaking. Having been
in the software development business for over a decade, I can't
imagine attempting something like this. The amount of mail and
feedback this can produce must be staggering. In order for id
to keep a handle on the testing, there needs to be some guidelines.
Hence the EULA. To prevent people from completely screwing up
Q3Test, the EULA states that you should not modify (in any way)
the files. Many ask, "Why shouldn't I change it the way I like?"
this, look at it from id's point of view. You have millions of
people out there playing this test. It's inevitable that people
will have problems, and will be submitting bug reports. If people
start modifying Q3Test, the bugs they may be seeing are self-induced
and not caused by the Q3Test code.
not familiar with software testing, the key to good testing is
the repeatability of defect. That is, you can easily reproduce
a bug on a known system setup. If you suddenly change the system,
the defect can not be easily reproduced and therefore will be
hard for the programmers to find and fix. Let's assume someone
has totally overhauled their Q3Test files, and are now experiencing
more crashes. If they report these bugs to id, the coders could
end up wasting their time trying to track down bugs that really
aren't id's fault.
some would say that the game should be able to handle these changes
to the files, which is true. The game should, but not necessarily
the test. Q3Arena is a ways off and this early test is
designed to flush out the major problems.
of the users out there, from what I've seen in email and on message
boards, are very upset with id putting the hammer down on these
"mods". Some say id should be proud people want to modify their
code. Others say they should be able to do whatever they want.
Still others say everyone at id is on crack and it's nothing but
a power trip.
While I can't
say I agree with these statements, I do understand the desire
to tweak Q3Test. Us Quake players are used to tweaking everything
to fit our styles. It's part of the Quake culture, and having
to stick to a "forced" setup is annoying.
the users need to keep in mind. Q3Test, despite it's limitations,
is a great way for us players to get a sneak peek at the latest
and greatest version of our favorite FPS game. They even encourage
feedback, so we can offer our opinions and possibly affect the
final outcome of the product. You have to realize that id is doing
this for us - the users. They want to create the best multi-player
FPS game ever. And the cool part is, they are allowing the users
to help them in achieving this goal.
several problem with hacking Q3Test. First off, as stated above,
you mess up the test environment which makes it more difficult
for id to flush out the bugs in their code.
is people start uncovering parts of the code that simply aren't
ready for "prime time". A good example of this is the recent discovery
and enabling of the bots. People are already complaining about
how weak they are, not to mention "stupid". This causes people
to form opinions about the final product, when this is far from
problem I see with all this hacking is it could cause id to change
the future of Q3Test (and possibly the demo). If they get upset
enough with all the hacking, there are several things they might
do. Perhaps they will decide to not release anymore versions of
the test. This is a no-win for everyone. They may also decide
to modify the code to prevent people from changing things at all
-- i.e. a permanent restricted mode. This is good for them, but
would definitely upset some users out there.
I know it's
tough for people to avoid mucking around with Q3Test. I think
it's important to keep things in perspective. The main goal of
all of this is to produce a kick-ass product that the masses will
enjoy. By providing reasonable, constructive feedback to id they
can achieve this. Producing and publishing hacks and cracks to
Q3Test does little to help the final product, and only diverts
id's attentions away from working on the product.
I'm in no position to go around telling everyone what they can
and can't do. Even though I may be old enough, I'm not your dad.
The purpose this article was to help you see the bigger picture
and not just assume id's a bunch of jerks. Be patient my son,
one day soon Q3Arena will be released and you can hack to your
heart's content. For now though, if you must hack keep it to yourself
and don't bother complaining or submitting any bugs.
I have no affiliation to id whatsoever. Having been in the software
development business for the past 11 years I am familiar with
some of this.
your responses to Feedback.