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Old 09-22-2004, 02:13 PM   #1
Mega Man X
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Question Is a serious Open Source game possible?

Hi there!

Very much inspired by this thread, I started wondering: How safe is it to create an open source game?. Let me explain...

If I create a little game as Super Mario or Sonic Open-Source, it could be pretty easy for peoples to recompile the game and change some settings to make it easier or harder: Increase the speed, higher jump, unlimited lives or energy. That's no problem, I even find it's cool to do what your want to do with _your_ game.

Now, what about multiplayer games? How safe would that be. Look at Counter-Strike, the famous mod for Half-Life. Half-Life had a lot of cheats, specially OpenGL hacks, which were carried on into CS. CS can be quite a pleasure or quite annoying to play sometimes depending if somebody is cheating.

Questions is, how good would be to make an Open-Source game with Multiplayer capabilities? Would I make life for cheaters easier? Because if so, I ratter do a closed-source game...

Please, bear with me, I do, trust into OpenSource, but in a Multiplayer game, I'm not sure if that would work, so I'm open for your views about that. It's like on the Olympics, the winner is the one who practices the most, not the one using steroids. What I mean is, when it comes down to Multiplayer, I worry about the serious players.

This brings into another question: Can a game built using GPL licensed libraries (such as SDL or pygame) be non-GPL licensed? Because if the game just _has_ to be made OpenSource in Linux when using those libraries, I doubt anytime soon we will see a vast number of games being developed under Linux and for Linux only...

Now, just to make it clear, I've been trying to create a game for the past years, without success, but right now I'm not planning anything...

I'd love to hear your views from you...

Thank your for your time!
Old 09-22-2004, 02:32 PM   #2
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Using a language with a GPL compiler does not dictate the code has to be GPL, the liciense only covers derived works where you cant show the distinction between the new work and how the GPL code interacts with it. So you could write software/a game using GPL libraries and still sell it iirc, as long as you provide sources with binaries, and dont claim you write the original GPL bits.

The problem with an OS game would be two main things: The amount of effort required to make a cutting edge game with high quality datafiles and features would probably be better spent by developers making closed source games and raking in funds for their efforts; and as stated any multiplayer solution to cheating might require an irritating amount of overhead to counter the fact that everyone can see the implementation of the connection and transmittion protocols and where they're weakest.

But it definately isn't impossible, it just requires some talented individuals to work selflessly and continuously to reach a high target, which will always be superseded by the next game out 6months later.
Old 09-22-2004, 02:40 PM   #3
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Hi Megaman X !!

I'm not a programmer at all, and I really don't know anything about SDL, pygame or OpenGL programming, but one thing is true, it's that as game's comunity is growing up, cheats usually go down. Take for example RTCW, ET or America's Army. Of course there are cheater, but there aren't more in AA or ET than any other game. I mean, if you wanna cheat, you'll do it. No matter if it's open source game or not. But the point is that you know that it will happen, so it's time to fry those little cheat asses with game protection.
AA, ET, RTCW and more are protected with PunkBuster, so cheating now is quite impossible to do. You have to be a REAL programming freak to find out a way to cheat that PB does not cover. How many people are like this? I don't think too many. And even if that cheat spreads out, you con counter it putting it to game's PB system, so it can be detected.
The thing I want to say, is that cheating is like piracy, no matter how hard you work to stop it, it will always exist. The real job is trying to get it REAL difficult for them to cheat/pirate.

Personally I have never cheated in a multiplayer game. I don't find anything that pushes me to do so. It loses all game's "magnetism". I don't play more OpenSource games because it's easier to cheat, I play them because I like them more than other closed source games.

Hope this helps in some way

Last edited by Hammett; 09-22-2004 at 02:43 PM.
Old 09-23-2004, 03:49 AM   #4
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yes CUBE

Have you seen Cube. It's a very playable game - open source - Quake 3 style
Old 09-24-2004, 12:26 AM   #5
Mega Man X
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Thanks guys for your input. I wanted to reply before, but I got really busy at my job.

Good points though . I've never thought about using a anti-cheat system as Punkbuster, but looks like a great way to stop the cheaters. However, some anti-cheats for CS does _not_ work as Cheat Death or whatever it's called... I've used Wallhack in a server that requires CD and I played without any problems..

I just wanted to make it clear that I used cheats in CS to prove my point. I simply hate that game so playing and cheating in a game I dislike is pretty much like hating Britney Spears then go into a Britney Spears fan forum and moan about her...

I will check CUBE out too, hopefully this weekend

Thanks again for all the replies!
Old 09-26-2004, 09:50 AM   #6
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You're more than welcomed ^_^


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