A humble request for the source code

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A humble request for the source code

Post  hidralisco on Thu Jul 03, 2014 11:41 pm

It's been a while since SORR was first released, and despite Bomberlink claiming wouldn't release the source code, I would like to appeal to those still in contact with him to ask him to please reconsider. One reason was previously provided on why a source release won't likely happen, and I would like to discuss to explain why I find this to be not exactly valid, as well as argue my point on why a source release should happen.

1 - Releasing the source code would NOT go against any SEGA policies - as someone who understands quite a bit about software licensing, I can guarantee this in no way breaches any sort of SEGA copyright. SORR's only copyrighted material owned by SEGA is the graphics. The code for SORR is all original and contains nothing that belongs to SEGA. In fact, it would be possible to release the game with the exact same level structure, gameplay, etc, as long as the graphics and the characters were completely redone/renamed, as well as changing the name of the game itself. Code is naturally abstract and coded concepts or gameplay are unable to be copyrighted unless they're patented. Fortunately, only very few games in the world are patented, and SORR is not one of 'em.

2 - Releasing the source would allow more people to create their own games - kinda like Beats of Rage already does. SORMaker is a very powerful tool, in way, more easy to use than BOR itself, but if the source was released, developers would have both a great editor and the freedom to customize and release their own completely custom games without having the need for the SORR package (which is still technically illegal).

3 - Releasing the source would preserve the game for the future - if the source is released others can attempt at porting and preserving the engine, making sure it will always work on the most modern systems. The trick is to keep a core git repository and include any worthy requests in the main branch as they are released, this a core maintaining team can still call the shots of what goes or not in the main branch while allowing others to come up with their own custom branches. Think of the many systems to which the game could be ported to, both portable and non-portable. It would be very worthwhile methinks.

4 - Releasing the source would lead to integration of the engine on gnu/linux distro repos - this means you would get more people getting to know about SORR/SORR engine and thus, make their own creations based on it.

5 - Share-alike licensing can prevent no-crediting closed source clones - if originality and others ripping your work is still an issue, all you have to do is to release the code under a share-alike license such as the GNU GPL, which essentially means every modifications to the engine code would have to be released under a share-alike license. This ensures people will be forced share their own changes to the engine under penalty of law.

6 - SORR itself wouldn't be possible without open source - SORR is based on SDL and Benu, both of which are open source libraries. As others took time to create something that enabled you to create SORR a lot easier, it's just nice to do the same when it comes to engine code.

Feel free to debate any of these points, as I'm interesting in discussing the implications of a source releae as much as making my point heard. I've played SORR extensively, and now I would really like the opportunity to fiddle around with the engine in order to make my own creations and better understand how the game was made, as analyzing code is one of the best ways of learning how to do it. Please, keep in mind that keeping the source code closed is only ensuring the game will eventually become incompatible in years/decades as interest fades and developers part their ways. It's because of many lost video game source codes that, for instance, most games released by GOG have to rely on DosBOX emulation. I don't want the same to happen to an amazing game like this.

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Re: A humble request for the source code

Post  Don Vecta on Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:42 am

That. Won't. Happen.

And it's not because of SEGA, but because the effort that Bomberlink and his team took to program this game and don't think it's fair people would use this for profit or personal credit (as many people do in the modding community).

As a modder I'd love to see more extensions for SORmaker that allow more features to be added to the mods, but hey, we don't know how this could be controlled without being abused in the end.

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Re: A humble request for the source code

Post  hidralisco on Fri Jul 04, 2014 10:05 am

Don Vecta wrote:That. Won't. Happen.

And it's not because of SEGA, but because the effort that Bomberlink and his team took to program this game and don't think it's fair people would use this for profit or personal credit (as many people do in the modding community).

That is a poor reason. Technically there's nothing stopping others from hacking the game and replacing the credits. And again, this is why licensing is for. And refer to point six: SORR wouldn't have been possible if other didn't take their free time to create the open source game libraries that facilitated it's creation. If you become obsessed over the fact that someone might steal your work you're just harming your own project in the long run. Have you ever taken a look at any game made on BOR? I've yet to see one that fails to credit to original creators or be used for commercial purposes. There is simply nothing to lose, only to gain, by making a source release.

Don Vecta wrote:As a modder I'd love to see more extensions for SORmaker that allow more features to be added to the mods, but hey, we don't know how this could be controlled without being abused in the end.

Define "abuse". Removing credits? Already doable. Using the engine for commercial purposes? So what? Plenty of companies release the source codes of their games engines for free in order to empower game creators. What is the point in hoarding an engine for yourself for the whole eternity? If someone does fails to credit you for the engine you can pursue legal action. Simple as that.

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Re: A humble request for the source code

Post  Charco on Fri Jul 04, 2014 2:08 pm

Well Bomberlink was the sole programmer of SORR and is not a member of this forum. It was his wish not to release the source code, so I guess that's that.

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Re: A humble request for the source code

Post  iceweb38 on Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:22 pm

hidralisco wrote:

That is a poor reason. Technically there's nothing stopping others from hacking the game and replacing the credits. And again, this is why licensing is for. And refer to point six: SORR wouldn't have been possible if other didn't take their free time to create the open source game libraries that facilitated it's creation. If you become obsessed over the fact that someone might steal your work you're just harming your own project in the long run. Have you ever taken a look at any game made on BOR? I've yet to see one that fails to credit to original creators or be used for commercial purposes. There is simply nothing to lose, only to gain, by making a source release.

That is a very poor point. Creating a developement suite has nothing to do with elaborating a source code for the whole game, nobody is commited to release their source code because they used an open source SDK or libraries.
Should every developer release their source code when they relied on a SDK or libraries that's been provided to them?
I don't understand where you get that sense of entitlement but it's simply wrong.

Yes BoR might have done it, so what? It's their choice, not Bomberlink's.

Not to mention your point #3, distributing the game to other platforms is out of question as requested by SEGA.

Anyway, if Bomberlink ever changes his mind and releases the source code, then it'll happen.


Before I conclude, may I add that Bomberlink's work has contributed a lot to Bennu and Fenix, much more than you think, not only by making them a lot of words of mouth but also by providing improvements and bugfixes to the language and libraries.
So nope, Bomberlink hasn't kept his efforts all for himself, it benefited to a lot of people, outside of those that are enjoying the SORR fangame.

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Re: A humble request for the source code

Post  Xenovant on Fri Jul 04, 2014 5:42 pm

hidralisco wrote:1 - Releasing the source code would NOT go against any SEGA policies - as someone who understands quite a bit about software licensing, I can guarantee this in no way breaches any sort of SEGA copyright. SORR's only copyrighted material owned by SEGA is the graphics. The code for SORR is all original and contains nothing that belongs to SEGA. In fact, it would be possible to release the game with the exact same level structure, gameplay, etc, as long as the graphics and the characters were completely redone/renamed, as well as changing the name of the game itself. Code is naturally abstract and coded concepts or gameplay are unable to be copyrighted unless they're patented. Fortunately, only very few games in the world are patented, and SORR is not one of 'em.

2 - Releasing the source would allow more people to create their own games - kinda like Beats of Rage already does. SORMaker is a very powerful tool, in way, more easy to use than BOR itself, but if the source was released, developers would have both a great editor and the freedom to customize and release their own completely custom games without having the need for the SORR package (which is still technically illegal).

Yeah, Bomberlink could release the code, like the guy of a... Double Dragon? project did after he got a C&D, but please look at what happened to sorr v4 (there was even people that sold the game on ebay changing the credits), and then you'll understand why v5 is encrypted. You aren't the only one who "understands quite a bit about software licensing" or did you think that B., or someone else that knows him,  didn't know about that?

hidralisco wrote:
3 - Releasing the source would preserve the game for the future - if the source is released others can attempt at porting and preserving the engine, making sure it will always work on the most modern systems. The trick is to keep a core git repository and include any worthy requests in the main branch as they are released, this a core maintaining team can still call the shots of what goes or not in the main branch while allowing others to come up with their own custom branches. Think of the many systems to which the game could be ported to, both portable and non-portable. It would be very worthwhile methinks.

I don't see how releasing the source code could preserve the game (and like you said in #2, the game is illegal, so you CAN'T port the game). About preserving the engine... who says Bomberlink is interested on the preservation of the engine itself? If you want to make a beat'em up, please use openbor (it does the same things that sorr and even much more), sorr was NEVER meant to be customizable, IT'S A GAME, NOT AN ENGINE.

hidralisco wrote:
4 - Releasing the source would lead to integration of the engine on gnu/linux distro repos - this means you would get more people getting to know about SORR/SORR engine and thus, make their own creations based on it.

The game is already in some linux repos (please, check this forum), I don't see why the source code should be released for that, and again, check my answer to #3.

hidralisco wrote:
5 - Share-alike licensing can prevent no-crediting closed source clones - if originality and others ripping your work is still an issue, all you have to do is to release the code under a share-alike license such as the GNU GPL, which essentially means every modifications to the engine code would have to be released under a share-alike license. This ensures people will be forced share their own changes to the engine under penalty of law.

Penalty of law? Have you seen what happens, for example, to openbor from time to time with some projects (check for example the chinese "game" bare knuckle vi)? There is nothing they can do about it and they feel tempted of NOT releasing the source code anymore. I'd like to see what would do the laws with the engine of a banned game.

hidralisco wrote:
6 - SORR itself wouldn't be possible without open source - SORR is based on SDL and Benu, both of which are open source libraries. As others took time to create something that enabled you to create SORR a lot easier, it's just nice to do the same when it comes to engine code.

A)True, it's based on bennu, but please, again, check about what happened with sorr v4.

B)Taken from bennu's wiki:
Can I sell my games?
Sure! You don't even have to provide the source code for it (although that would be very nice from you!) and, if you make want to sell your games you're free to do it. Come to the forums and tell us, we'll be happy to know.
You don't need to give Bennu any credit, but you're encouraged to do so. You may use the following logo (scaled, if you wish)
You can even sell your games without releasing the source code.

C)I'll tell you something: SplinterGU (and some other bennu programmers) even helped Bomberlink with the protections of the game. So, if the LEAD PROGRAMMER of bennu is ok about it and he even helped him to protect the game... who are we for saying that it would be ethic to release the source code? And like Iceweb says... Bomberlink and his project helped A LOT, providing improvements and fixes to bennu.


hidralisco wrote:
That is a poor reason. Technically there's nothing stopping others from hacking the game and replacing the credits. And again, this is why licensing is for. And refer to point six: SORR wouldn't have been possible if other didn't take their free time to create the open source game libraries that facilitated it's creation. If you become obsessed over the fact that someone might steal your work you're just harming your own project in the long run. Have you ever taken a look at any game made on BOR? I've yet to see one that fails to credit to original creators or be used for commercial purposes. There is simply nothing to lose, only to gain, by making a source release.

Define "abuse". Removing credits? Already doable. Using the engine for commercial purposes? So what? Plenty of companies release the source codes of their games engines for free in order to empower game creators. What is the point in hoarding an engine for yourself for the whole eternity? If someone does fails to credit you for the engine you can pursue legal action. Simple as that.

There's nothing that stops others from hacking the game? Yeah, except the encryption of the code and a couple of other nasty protections. Again, check my answer to the point #6.

Removing the credits is already doable? I'd like to see that. As far as I know only a russian guy made a little progress with the protection of the fpg files.

About the commercial purposes... I'd love to see your face when you see that someone steals your work of 8 years and sells it changing/adding/removing/whatever a few sprites.

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Re: A humble request for the source code

Post  BigDarsh on Sat Jul 05, 2014 12:48 pm

Very interesting points here (I mean the whole discussion) and I would like to ask a question a bit "off topic" but which can help for a better understanding of the "ins and outs".

SoRRv5 is illegal
and
Not to mention your point #3, distributing the game to other platforms is out of question as requested by SEGA.

It's been a while I try to understand what happens between SEGA and Bomberlink and the aftermaths on SoRRV5 game.

Can someone explain/sum up what are the affordeance requested by the SEGA?
I even thought the game will not benefit of any patch, but it seems that a patch (v5.0a) was finally release from an "obscur source".

Is that patch was made against SEGA request?
Does playing/using the game SoRRV5/SoRRV5.0a is illegal?

Thank you for answering

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Re: A humble request for the source code

Post  iceweb38 on Sat Jul 05, 2014 2:53 pm

That would be a question only Bomberlink could answer. I don't know more than that.

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Re: A humble request for the source code

Post  WillyTheSquid on Tue Oct 21, 2014 10:28 pm

There is only one repo with a standalone SoRR package left as far as I can tell, and it's an Arch build from a portable linux apps website; no other way to get it anymore and I'm sure I can't be the only one kicking himself for switching distros and backing up every Sorrr file in triple redundancy -- and all the mods and WiP stuff too -- didn't think to back up the improved launcher which is the one thing keeping me from enjoying the game again. Damn. So it might be game over for LinuxOfRage sooner than we think Sad

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Re: A humble request for the source code

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