Demonwench: Okay all you woodchuck chuckers, iiittttt'ssss GROUNDHOG DAY!!! One of my more favored holidays as it marks the midpoint of winter. So while we're all inside nice and warm and away from that dastardly season here, we'll just have to keep ourselves warm with the Mail! Yehaw!
Pappy-R:I'm guessing that doesn't mean we can burn the mail does it? I've got some bills here that need to see heat.
Demonwench: So here we go, all you happy people, you. First off, we got a lot of people responding to that nice rant about mod authors. If you haven't read it yet, you are very naughty children. Here's what y'all wrote...
Quake 3 Team Arena and Game Piracy
Subject: Re: Rants N' Raves: Mod Authors
Just a few comments on the latest article, some have already been brought
up, but if they have, I feel fairly strongly about them.
If mod authors are worried about people ripping their code and making a
better version of their exact same mod
Well, the authors did put the time in when they wrote the thing. Why should
anyone get to copy the code and repackage it under a new name? Sometimes
coding something takes a lot of time and tears getting it to work they way
you want. Theres also the problem of dilution of the player base. There are
only so many players and most have just a few mods (if not one) that they
play. If I give you the code for a mod I've written and you make an almost
exact copy with just a couple of changes, I'll loose players. This is
especially true for the smaller mod groups.
I mean it sure beats holding back the code....besides that most code is
ripped off from other people's code anyways.
Sounds a bit like sour grapes here; Also seems like this is partially a self
defeating argument: I don't like the fact you hold code back. Most of your
code has been taken from someone else code. Solution: get the code from the
same place they did.
Anyway, yes people copy code. If you actually ask people how they did
something, they'll tell you most of the time. they may not send you the
code, but the code itself isn't the hard bit. Its the concepts behind the
code, the reasons it is coded the way it is; The basic algorithm.
Theres another reason for holding code back these days. One cheat thats been
going round is using the client game code in Q3 to send the fire command to
the server when you have someone in front of you. Its fairly easy to do, and
if you have released your code, someone can come along and add the cheat to
it, compile it and then ruin the game for everyone else on the server they
You send a suggestion to a mod team, and the ignore it:
Big deal. They don't owe you anything. If they like your idea, then they'll
use it. otherwise, it goes in the bin. Thats life.
Mod author are nice people:
If they wern't, they wouldn't make mods, and release them to the general
I'm not complaining about this because I'm a mod author. I'm not; I'm the
admin for a tutorial site. I don't do that for praise, I do it because it
give me a reason to mess around with the source. I get maybe one or two
thank yous a year, and they generally have a request tagged to them. I spend
time on the QDevels Boards. They have a good crowd on them, we only get the
occasional idiot who demands answers. They tend to get ignored, and banned
if they post too much, and only then after they have had it explained to
them that we owe them nothing. Civility will get you everywhere.
Demonwench: Well put. Good points brought up. Very well thought out and expressed. That's Authors:1, Stealthc:0. Next writer!
Pappy-R:This particular Rant got quite a load of feedback mail from the people behind mods and other projects. The theme seemed to be ask nice and you'll get heard. But if your ideas suck...they suck.
From: a madman
Subject: Ranting and raving about the rants n' raves
All right, I saw this one as two different rants and will then address them
in the order they were received. So here's a humble coder's perspective on
The first complaint is that mod authors are unwilling to accept new ideas.
This is in part true, though I've found that nearly everyone will respond
well if you speak courteously. But let's look at it from a different
viewpoint, shall we? The author has a very specific idea of what kind of
mod they want to make when they begin coding their creation. Since good
beta testers are hard to find, the mod tends to go through a series of
public beta stages to find problems the coder can't find on their own.
However, that original vision is still there and the coder is aiming for a
balanced mod that's as close to that as possible. They're following their
ideals, not yours.
Now, the next section I rather take offense to. Specifically, the line
"...besides that most code is ripped off from other people's code
anyways[sic]." I'm not entirely sure if his intention here was to insult
the entire mod community or if he was confusing recycled ideas with
recycled code (though that's a rant all its own). Try looking at it from
the author's perspective again. You've spent weeks and months learning the
SDK. You've struggled for hours with uncommented code trying to add a
feature no one else has, something no other team has even dreamed of. At
long last you add the final line, load it up, and it actually works
correctly. You now have two options: hold on the code and thus keep
creative control of your modification, or release it and watch it begin
popping up in the "cut and paste" mods Stealthc was referring to, usually
out of context and often badly implemented. Further problems include
"unofficial" patches for your mod if it's popular enough... look to MegaTF
for Q1 for just one example of this. The writer's last few comments were
just line noise attempting to justify his reasoning with emotion. "Should
[the coder] be making a contribution too..."? That's called the mod, my
friend, a game we make for YOU to play, for free, just because we love the
modding process. We certainly don't OWE you anything.
You may look at this view as simple greed, famemongering, stingyness, or
whatnot, but to me closed source is the only way to ensure the mod is
completed the way the author intended. Once the last version is done and
the mod is finished, then I'm all for releasing the source. Until then,
suggestions are welcome... but keep your hands off.
Demonwench: Hehehe. Another good point, presented in a manner that speaks right to mah heart... '-) Authors:2, Stealthc: 0. Batter up!
Pappy-R:When you put alot of work into something for free, then all you have is your name.
From: el sysop
Subject: Stealthc's Stingy Mod Authors
Well, I have written some things into PQ that lacked
certain info and experience, and I think Stealthc here
did the same thing. If he actually took the time to make
a small mod for Quake then he would relize that after you
spend so much time working on something, having someone
say "Hey, you REALLY f*cked this feature up... It should
be live dada....." Well, that's kinda like telling your
mom that you don't like the way she made dinner, and she
should remake it. Then, you take her recepie to a party,
and when everyone says it's good you say "I made it. My
mom told me the recepie though." Sounds like you did
most of the work, huh?
Demonwench: My word, Stealthc. It doesn't look too good for you.
Pappy-R:Hey man, if 'el sysop' clamps down on you calling your stuff wackier than his...you've got issues.
Subject: Mod authors RnR
As a mod author plus mod coder plus 3d game coder, I can give you the exact
reason why coders don't give away their code on the net: The code is always
atleast 5 times larger than the output file(exe, dll, etc.) even when the
output file has debug data in it(3 times the optimized size). That's one
hell of an upload. And considering that code changes on daily bases no one
wants to bother on giving the code, atleast not until it's 100% positively
Also, most of the things that are liable to be in many modes have already
been transformed into tutorials and put in coding sites(you know where to
find them), and sometimes when an author makes something really tricky he
explains how he did it.
However, I've seen copy and paste work, and it's better just to write the
whole thing from scratch, and not copy from others anyway. I, for instance,
downloaded lots of tutorials from qdevels, but in the end I did my own code
and it came out a whole lot better than the original qdevels code, like my
camera which has a bbox so it doesnt get too close to a wall(gets the pixels
to be huge) and has nice entry/leave animations to and from the head of the
player when you toggle it. Maybe one day I'll make it open source too ;) But
seriously, if you just copy other peoples work, it comes out crappy because
you can't put the code together quite as you can your own code.
Demonwench: Like I been sayin for some time, you want to do something, do it yerself! Not only will you be a lot better off, you will be way more proud of your work. I can feel the pride this guy has over this camera trick. That's another one for the authors! But fear not, Stealthc, there are people who agree with you.
Pappy-R:Oh man, here we go again!
Subject: Rants N' Raves: Mod Authors
I have a few comments to add to this discussion. While I am not a mod
author myself, I have dabbled a bit in coding. But, mostly, I just download
the mods and play them. In the midst of playing a mod I particularly like,
I sometimes wonder how the programmer did something (such as a particular
Rune effect in Rune Q3). But, I can't just go into the source code to find
out how to do it, since the source code isn't released to the public. So, I
think that one reason why code should be released for mods is so that
aspiring mod authors (and aspiring programmers, in general) can learn from
the best. (Hey, sometimes, flattery works ... :: Grins ::)
Also, I think that if mod authors were to release their code, we wouldn't
have to worry about the mod suddenly disappearing. What do I mean? Well,
if the mod team breaks up and no one wants to work on it, but no one wants
to post it either, that mod just died unless one of the team members decides
to take it up again. Well, if the code for that mod had been released and
that happened, *anyone* who had the code could take up the badge and
challenge and keep updating the mod (under the same name with *huge*
mentions of the original team, of course!)
As we have seen happen in the past, sometimes bad things happen to good mods
(or the source code to a good mod). Remember Super Quake for Quake 1? The
*only* computer which had the source code on it had it's hard drive crash.
There was no other copy of the current source code. This happened around
the time that people were paranoid of someone stealing their code from the
progs.dat, so they had protected the progs.dat from disassembling and
*boom!* no one could disassemble that mod to get the current code. OK, I
know that that is the only mod that we heard of that happening on and it was
mostly poor programming skills cause of not keeping back-ups, etc. but you
get the point, right? Right.
Last point, if ID were to tell mod authors that they had to release their
source code, wouldn't they have to then? I don't know if it was ever
brought up before, but I think that it should be required. But another big
part of the Quake community is *trust*. We should trust that mod authors
aren't going to do something malicious, so shouldn't mod authors trust that
players aren't going to just steal their code for their own mods?
Sorry this is so long, but I just had to get that out.
Demonwench: Hrm...more good points, but I just have one disagreement. That's the trust issue. I wish we could trust that authors aren't going to be malicious but I know that's not gonna happen. There will always be that jerkoff who ruins the game for everyone or for the authors themselves. I'm glad that there are people like Undrhil who still have faith in the human race. Me? I'm pessimistic. However, that's Authors:4, Stealthc:1.
Pappy-R:I stand by original comments in the RnR feature. The opinions for this particular Rant are not really based on the facts that have been present in the community and history of the games. Hold me back here DW...I'm gonna go Quad on these people!
Demonwench: Alright people, moving right along. Next up is our help column! You heard me right. It's a help column, straight from Pappy-R! Here we go!
Next: Just what the Doctor ordered.