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Old 05-29-2013, 07:38 PM   #1
supreme kotor
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Source what exactly?

My first note: Please don't say "They're not going to release the source code"... I already know that. I'm just wondering....

Now for my question; Lets just say Bioware and Obsidian (EA whoever would actually be the ones to release it ) released the source code today what exactly does that change for kotor modding? What are some of the new things we would be able to do?

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Old 05-29-2013, 09:03 PM   #2
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I think people are more interested in them releasing the developer tools for the video game engine; most game engines are developed by 3rd parties and game developers lease the engine and tools made by the engine devs to build the game to sell.

With regards to what advancements in modding that would change, surprisingly very little really, I stopped doing work back in 2008/9 on this game and even back then most of the game was open to modification - the only problems we had were with the MDL/MDX format mainly to do with emitters, walkmeshes and area models; though I worked with magnusll and Quanon at the time and the only problems that couldn't be solved was with the camera passing through walls and lightmaps I believe.

But as it stands and with enough time spent and knowledge of the game engine you can pretty much change anything about these games already


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Old 05-29-2013, 09:13 PM   #3
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Level caps, feats, classes. probably more.




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Old 05-29-2013, 10:15 PM   #4
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In practice it probably wouldn't change anything. The vast majority of people crying out for access to the source code (for this or any game) couldn't do anything with it even if it was handed to them. I doubt there are many people left with enough interest in KOTOR to make proper use of it.
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Old 05-29-2013, 10:29 PM   #5
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There's a few of us left.




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Old 05-29-2013, 10:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by DarthParametric View Post
In practice it probably wouldn't change anything. The vast majority of people crying out for access to the source code (for this or any game) couldn't do anything with it even if it was handed to them. I doubt there are many people left with enough interest in KOTOR to make proper use of it.
Yeah I doubt anyone would put aside the time to make modifications to kotor if the engine was released open source, plus there's no guarantee the engine could be compiled anyway - I'm guessing it was written in C++ and its been a good 10 years so its probably very outdated


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Old 05-30-2013, 01:45 AM   #7
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There's a few of us left.
People with an interest in KOTOR, sure. People with an interest but also willing and actually competent enough to make fundamental code changes and recompile a working game? Not many of those still around.
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:16 AM   #8
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Again, a few of us haha.




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Old 05-30-2013, 11:15 AM   #9
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People with an interest in KOTOR, sure. People with an interest but also willing and actually competent enough to make fundamental code changes and recompile a working game? Not many of those still around.
as canderis said, a few of us, but whats to say that, hypothetically , if it was released the community could see some return to it, maybe even attract new people.

i suppose in the end we could make more use of the tools than the source, if either ever became public.



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Old 05-30-2013, 01:15 PM   #10
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Again, a few of us haha.
To be honest, I doubt it. The difference between modding the game and the kind of thing being discussed here is VAST.

I sincerely doubt there's anyone left in this community with the knowledge, skills and/or inclination needed.

That said, this community has done a LOT of things with KotOR that we previously thought couldn't be done, so...

Wouldn't make much of a difference if these hypothetical people were here anyway.




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Old 05-30-2013, 01:39 PM   #11
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There's a pretty huge difference between writting for the game's NWScript and writing in C; and as I said, I doubt the old source code will even compile on the latest C compilers as some of it will likely be depreciated and require manually updating - when companies have a load of employees writing different parts of the engine you'd have to hope they were generous with the documentation otherwise that's a lost cause

Also I'd imagine it's in Bioware's best interests to protect their property from modification because if they released the engine source there's nothing stopping another company taking the source, updating the engine to a more competitive version, and then building their own games on that platform at minimum effort


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Old 05-30-2013, 05:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
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Again, a few of us haha.
Even fewer.

If the source code was released, theoretically, there's nothing we couldn't do.

Keyword is theoretically. I'm sure that'll get some of the nubs excited :-P

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Old 05-31-2013, 05:21 AM   #13
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Just a quick question, if you haven't heard KotOR 1 has been released on iPad. Does anyone know if this still uses the Aurora engine or has it been ported to another engine? Also, was this released by BioWare?

As I'm sure you have realized, I'm wondering if someone was able to get their hands on the source code and modify it for iOS. If so, this could be an interesting development.


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Old 05-31-2013, 05:56 AM   #14
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It just reinforces the notion that the source will never be made publicly made available, not when they can still monetise it.

It's by Aspyr Media, which appear to make a living out of porting PC games to the Mac/iOS. It would have been done under licence.
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Old 05-31-2013, 07:57 AM   #15
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Quite interesting actually, presumably a modified version of the OSX Odyssey engine for iOS. The work I do now is for iOS hacks so I might look into it out of curiosity but to be honest even if there was something useful there, the architecture is completely different to Windows systems


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Old 05-31-2013, 08:48 AM   #16
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Quote:
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Quite interesting actually, presumably a modified version of the OSX Odyssey engine for iOS. The work I do now is for iOS hacks so I might look into it ou. of curiosity but to be honest even if there was something useful there, the architecture is completely different to Windows systems
So different indeed. iOS apps need to be compiled in objective c because ios apps work best when compiled natively. Likely they would have had to rewrite alot of the code in objective c, or it's possible that it was written in an IDE that can compile out to iOS, android, pc, xbox, etc.

That would make an android port very likely, but who knows for sure? Either way, no one is getting that source code.

I know that this renewed developer interest in kotor seems to be gauging interest in the franchise.... almost as if they're hyping up for a third installment for something....



EDIT: No Android version likely. Aspyr does only Mac.


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Old 05-31-2013, 01:56 PM   #17
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I doubt they'll do an android port since devices running android have a pretty big range of specs, you can compile C++ to run on iOS however. To be honest I think it's just EA trying to squeeze a bit more money out of it after Rockstar Games managed the same with GTA but you never know, they might be testing the market


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Old 05-31-2013, 05:21 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I doubt they'll do an android port sincne devices running android have a pretty big range of specs, you can compile C++ to run on ios however. To be honest I think it's just EA trying to squeeze a bit more money out of it after Rockstar Games managed the same with GTA but you never know, they might be testing the market
I would be inclined to think that, but the GTA ports were done by Rockstar themselves. Also, given that there was no real demand for KOTOR mobile, I think they might have something up their sleeves.

But no Android.... :-(

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Old 05-31-2013, 06:32 PM   #19
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I think it has more to do with Disney's takeover of LucasArts and turning over extra profit, I bet Bioware have more profitable projects themselves than porting a game they made over 10 years ago. That said it may well be Aspyr's proposal to port the game and LA have pushed the paperwork since why not?


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Old 05-31-2013, 06:53 PM   #20
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Quote:
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I think it has more to do with Disney's takeover of LucasArts and turning over extra profit, I bet Bioware have more profitable projects themselves than porting a game they made over 10 years ago. That said it may well be Aspyr's proposal to port the game and LA have pushed the paperwork since why not?
Right, I agree. Squeeze profit out of an old game by porting it to a popular medium. Either way though, this serves as both profit and analytics, whatever either Aspyr or Disney's intention.

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Old 06-08-2013, 10:18 PM   #21
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Hi everyone,

Long time lurker, I did a quick forum search and didn't find anything related so I thought I'd share about project Xoreos http://xoreos.org/

From the website:

"What is xoreos? xoreos is an ongoing FLOSS project to reimplement BioWare's Aurora engine (and derivatives) as used in their 3D games, beginning with Neverwinter Nights.
The goal is to have a portable program to play those games even on operating systems those games were never meant to be played on, such as GNU/Linux and Mac OS X."

Here's a couple of "slightly outdated" videos showcasing it partially running Neverwinter Nights
View page
YouTube Video

and Kotor
View page
YouTube Video


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Old 06-08-2013, 10:25 PM   #22
supreme kotor
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^Sounds cool although I'm a bit worried that in his most recent update he said motivation was low, that's never a good sign.

Ps. Welcome to the forums


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Old 06-08-2013, 11:12 PM   #23
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Thanks for the welcome.

I've been following this project for some time.
Even though DcMcCoy, the projects founder, said his motivation is waning, there's been many outside contributors who joined since the projects beginning and they've helped immensely.

The code was updated yesterday, just fyi https://github.com/DrMcCoy/xoreos/commits/master

In order to help, I've tried learning to program on my own, but it hasn't worked out so far.

This is brings me to why I posted. I'm looking for others who can help, even though I can't personally contribute.

In this thread, it was mentioned by Canderis that there's a "few" who might be code savvy and interested enough to help with the original source code should it ever be released.

Wouldn't a project like this be the next best thing?
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Old 06-08-2013, 11:26 PM   #24
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What exactly is the legality of this anyways?




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Old 06-09-2013, 12:01 AM   #25
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While there's great potential with regards to, say creating an editor for Kotor1/2. The fact that it can play game content while ignoring the original executable (and any DRM it might have) is its Achilles' heel.

However, I was hoping, with my very limited understanding of things, that it might be possible to use/develop it as an overall functionality extender. Along the lines of Morrowind Graphics Extender http://sourceforge.net/projects/morrgraphext/ thereby requiring the original exe.

Think of the (good) possibilities!!!
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Old 06-09-2013, 01:21 AM   #26
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That does not answer my question.




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Old 06-09-2013, 02:13 AM   #27
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Sorry,

I can't really say as to legalities of it. Maybe asking the author himself could help shed some light?

Considering that a lot of the data structure pertaining to the Aurora engine had , at one point, been released by Bioware themselves, I would think that the information could used freely.
But to what limits, I can't say. I'm not a copyright owner and their opinion is what ultimately matters.
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Old 06-09-2013, 04:16 AM   #28
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They are basically trying to build a whole new engine that just loads Aurora/Odyssey resources. As far as legality goes, as long as they don't distribute any propriety stuff, it should be fine. The end user would need to supply a copy of the original game (which has the assets). There's a similar project that has pretty much already made a multi-platform version of the Infinity engine (BG1/2, Icewind Dale 1/2, Torment).

Concerning the relatedness of this project to the current thread, there is none. They are making a new engine to load existing assets, not a toolset to create new assets. Assuming they succeeded tomorrow, the situation would be no different to what it is now (except presumably you could play KOTOR natively on Linux).
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Old 06-09-2013, 08:07 AM   #29
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Hi everyone,

Long time lurker, I did a quick forum search and didn't find anything related so I thought I'd share about project Xoreos http://xoreos.org/

From the website:

"What is xoreos? xoreos is an ongoing FLOSS project to reimplement BioWare's Aurora engine (and derivatives) as used in their 3D games, beginning with Neverwinter Nights.
The goal is to have a portable program to play those games even on operating systems those games were never meant to be played on, such as GNU/Linux and Mac OS X."
Haha that's cool, they're using some ancient documentation on the kotor MDL format though, they won't get it working properly off that; I think they should just redo it first person and shake it up a bit aha


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Old 06-10-2013, 01:15 AM   #30
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What exactly is the legality of this anyways?
The legality is the same as for projects using similar approaches (including ScummVM and GemRB, and some of the clones listed here: http://osgameclones.com/): Should be legal in Europe (interoperability), might be problematic in the US due to the DMCA. I am not a lawyer, though.

xoreos does adapt the same stance towards piracy ScummVM has: We don't support it.

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Concerning the relatedness of this project to the current thread, there is none.
Truth. A toolset would be a separate project. One that could potentially benefit from xoreos, but a separate project nonetheless.

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Haha that's cool, they're using some ancient documentation on the kotor MDL format though
If you know of more up-to-date and complete specs, I'd be happy to read them.
Or alternatively, sources of tools capable of reading in KotOR MDLs.




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Old 06-10-2013, 10:44 AM   #31
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If you know of more up-to-date and complete specs, I'd be happy to read them.
Or alternatively, sources of tools capable of reading in KotOR MDLs.
Not saying it's the most informative, but here.


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Old 06-10-2013, 11:05 AM   #32
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Not saying it's the most informative, but here.
Which is exactly the one I'm using: https://github.com/DrMcCoy/xoreos-to...kotor_mdl.html

As you can see, this has been added to the xoreos-tools repository 11 months ago, and was in the main xoreos repository before that for another while.

Code:
drmccoy@Tchibo:~$ wget "http://cchargin.home.comcast.net/~cchargin/kotor/mdl_info.html"
drmccoy@Tchibo:~$ diff -s mdl_info.html ~/projects/xoreos/tools/docs/specs/kotor_mdl.html 
Files mdl_info.html and /home/drmccoy/projects/xoreos/tools/docs/specs/kotor_mdl.html are identical




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Old 06-10-2013, 07:00 PM   #33
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Those mdl specs were published before I started modding in '07, unfortunately despite several advancements in understanding the kotor mdl and walk mesh format since then, I don't think anyone actually shared them - best guy to go to is magnusll on these forums, I believe he has limited Internet connection where he lives but he's the last guy I know of to have the most complete specs


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Old 06-10-2013, 07:06 PM   #34
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despite several advancements in understanding the kotor mdl and walk mesh format since then, I don't think anyone actually shared them
You know, this is why I'm a bit bitter about modding scenes. Barely anybody is willing to freely share what they found out, or even, goddess forbid, sources for their tools.

EDIT: Seriously, from my point of view, source releases should be required for all community-built modding tools.

EDIT2: In either case, thanks for the pointer. I'll go ask magnusll.




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Old 06-10-2013, 07:22 PM   #35
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In all honesty I can't hold it against magnusll as he didn't actually distribute KAuroraEditor himself, he just took the time out to work with a few of us, including myself, to get models to compile properly. I stopped modding while he was still working but I'm pretty sure whoever it ended up with when he finished it distributed it amongst the community, I have no idea if he gave them the source and if they made that available but I'm sure he'll be happy to send you a copy if you can get in touch with him


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Old 06-10-2013, 07:33 PM   #36
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Sure, wasn't meant as a personal attack on magnusll (or you for that matter). it's just a bit frustrating how binary-only tools and no docs seem to be the norm in modding communities. Reverse-engineering third-party tools gets old quickly. :P

Would be great if he could give me more info on the format, yes.




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Old 06-11-2013, 12:49 AM   #37
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Quote:
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Which is exactly the one I'm using: https://github.com/DrMcCoy/xoreos-to...kotor_mdl.html

As you can see, this has been added to the xoreos-tools repository 11 months ago, and was in the main xoreos repository before that for another while.

Code:
drmccoy@Tchibo:~$ wget "http://cchargin.home.comcast.net/~cchargin/kotor/mdl_info.html"
drmccoy@Tchibo:~$ diff -s mdl_info.html ~/projects/xoreos/tools/docs/specs/kotor_mdl.html 
Files mdl_info.html and /home/drmccoy/projects/xoreos/tools/docs/specs/kotor_mdl.html are identical
Then do you know what the unkowns are?


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Old 06-12-2013, 02:26 AM   #38
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I've had my share of discoveries, but the reason most are kept to myself is because I'm too lazy to write tutorials.

That and I figure it might be best to just make a program that can do it for the common modder.

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Old 06-12-2013, 04:55 AM   #39
glovemaster
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Originally Posted by DrMcCoy View Post
Sure, wasn't meant as a personal attack on magnusll (or you for that matter). it's just a bit frustrating how binary-only tools and no docs seem to be the norm in modding communities. Reverse-engineering third-party tools gets old quickly. :P

Would be great if he could give me more info on the format, yes.
I wasn't offended or anything I agree though, especially if the job is only half done at least share the source for someone else to pick up where you left off


If you're looking for any of the junk I did a few years ago; you can probably still find it all on filefront
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Old 06-12-2013, 11:16 AM   #40
Fair Strides 2
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Originally Posted by DrMcCoy View Post
You know, this is why I'm a bit bitter about modding scenes. Barely anybody is willing to freely share what they found out, or even, goddess forbid, sources for their tools.

EDIT: Seriously, from my point of view, source releases should be required for all community-built modding tools.

EDIT2: In either case, thanks for the pointer. I'll go ask magnusll.
Tk102, who made the KSE and many other tools, has released the source code for all his tools. I know because I have a new version of KSE ready, but I can't finish it because I'm having issues installing zlib and libpng on Windows 7/XP. Anyone know any way for perl to show alpha-layer compliant images without PNG? Or a guide to installing the parts I can't?


All of my mods are available on Deadlystream.

Always remember modders: "Quality= Effort*Time"

KSE 3.3.4 is LIVE!!! Check it out here.

Check out WalkSwitch, the Walkmesh-changing tool!
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