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Id Software and Activision Wolfenstein Source 146

Posted by timothy
from the surely-great-education-games-will-result dept.
An enthusiastic Anonymous Coward writes: "Id Software and Activision released the sources of Return to Castle Wolfenstein. Single-player and multiplayer included. Unbelievable! Another great surprise from Id Software!" Update: 04/14 15:19 GMT by T : Note: don't get your hopes up -- these are the sources for the game code, not the engine.
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Id Software and Activision Wolfenstein Source

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  • Don't be surprised in a month when suddenly people start missing a lot less often in multiplayer mode.
    • by carm$y$ (532675) on Sunday April 14, 2002 @08:48AM (#3338647) Homepage
      The license agreement (included, and clicked on in order to install), says, under "2. Prohibitions": "j. prepare or develop derivatives based on the software".

      Clear enough for correct people - and if think different, maybe the whole GPL/Open Source concept is flawed...
      • Clear enough for correct people - and if think different, maybe the whole GPL/Open Source concept is flawed...

        No, it shows the 'Open Source' concept is flawed, its a buzzword....
        The GPL and Free Software concept would have prevented such an prohibition and would make the source code actually usefull.

        Jeroen

    • More importantly, don't be suprised that every bitch whiner on earth will now be crying "bot!" every time a good player hops on a server. Heh, come to think of it I guess your post proves its already begun.
    • Umm, wrong-o.

      This is just the game code; it gives *no* access to networking/engine features beyond what the gameplay code needs; it's also what runs on the server. It cannot be used to make hacked clients at all.
      This is just ID's normal release of code to make mods etc. The engine src won't be released for 3 years or so yet!
    • by Masem (1171) on Sunday April 14, 2002 @10:40AM (#3338850)
      Except that v 1.3 and beyond will have PunkBuster software in place. Basically, if a server admin wants to minimize the cheaters on their system, they can force this on their server; all connecting clients will have to have this enabled to play on the server. The software scans key dll and other files in the RCTW folders and other factors to try to determine if any modification has been made to those files, and if so, the client is flagged as a cheater, and typically kicked from the server.

      Last time I checked, about 50% of the 1.3 servers in GSArcade claimed to have PB on and running. And the other thing that I've noticed from playing it is the first 2 or so minutes of playing are typically a bit choppy due to the security tests, so it's not very intrusive.

      • It always frustates me how naive people who should rightfully know better are when it comes to cheat prevention. It's great to see an anti-cheat client actually work and kick the occasional cheater off of a server, but it often gives an irrational sense of hope.

        Anti-cheat clients are a losing battle by definition. There is no way they can possibly be successful. The more effective one is, the more effort people will put forth to break it.

        As long as the client must be trusted on computers that players own (and may therefore hack accordingly), cheating will always be possible.

        The software scans key dll and other files in the RCTW folders and other factors to try to determine if any modification has been made to those files, and if so, the client is flagged as a cheater, and typically kicked from the server.

        There are dozens of ways around this on any modern OS that has basic process debugging functions. Without even getting creative:

        • You can hack the program to disable the anti-cheat client, and run your own anti-cheat client that meets the server's security requirements.
        • Detect when the anti-cheat client runs and redirect its calls to a different, legit set of data.
        • Write cheats that don't depend on modifying on-disk DLLs. When the game starts, modify in-core game data. Since the on-disk DLLs are never modified, the client says all is well.
        • Intercept game system calls to load DLLs and redirect them to a set of hacked DLLs. Take measures to ensure that the anti-cheat client is not also redirected (it probably uses different calls).
        • Impose a proxy between the client and the server that intercepts and adjusts actions accordingly.
        • Run the game under an emulator (legitimate reasons are like how I run Counter-Strike under Linux/Wine). Set up a pristine system environment in the emulator, run all of the cheats from the host OS. The anti-cheat client could never access the host OS (unless the emulator is broken) and would have a much harder time detecting cheats.

        Are there ways to write anti-cheat clients to counter all of these? Probably. But then you open up yet another round of the clever game developers vs. all clever hackers in the world. With each release, the anti-cheat client has to be more clever, more complex, more intertwined, which is only going to make it easier to defeat since there will be so many more points of attack.

        If you want to play games without cheating, play on computers that are owned by a trusted third party (like a lan gaming place). Or play with players you trust. Trusting an anti-cheat client on an untrusted computer in front of an untrusted player is hopeless.

        • by defile (1059) on Sunday April 14, 2002 @11:39AM (#3338991) Homepage Journal

          Meant to include this in the parent post.

          A less hopeless attempt at cheat prevention would be to integrate a "web of trust" system into gaming communities.

          This is all doable through cryptography, but I'll explain the protocol without the implementation details:

          Players take a vow to play cheat free. They get their friends to confirm that they play cheat free. Friends confirm other friends. The web develops. This relationship is published to a well known repository and linked to other webs of trust submitted by other groups based on common participants.

          Alice and Bob have never met before, but they can be pretty sure that niether is cheating because Alice trusts Frank, who trusts Trent, who trusts Eve, who trusts Andrew, who trusts Bob. This many levels of displacement is probaby enough to cover the population of the United States.

          When you join a server to play, the server checks your position in the web of trust to that of others on the web, and tells you their trustworthiness. By playing against people who are trusted by people you trust you can play with higher confidence. You could set policies to only allow players who meet a certain trust level.

          Someone who is actually confirmed to be cheating could damage the trustworthiness of a huge set of players, and would motivate the participants to quickly distance themselves from the cheater or be classified as cheaters themselves.

          A lot of the attacks against this model are based on the implementation, but it sounds more promising to me than pursuing ridiculous anti-cheat clients.

          • i think this has already been done. it's called private/passworded servers :)
          • I'm a good player. I get accused of cheating several times a day. I don't cheat. Really.

            So basically in a web of trust, I'm fucked. Every lamer out there will mark me as a cheater.

          • by ryanvm (247662) on Sunday April 14, 2002 @01:23PM (#3339306)
            Players take a vow to play cheat free. They get their friends to confirm that they play cheat free. Friends confirm other friends. The web develops. This relationship is published to a well known repository and linked to other webs of trust submitted by other groups based on common participants.

            At least one pitfall to this system is that it hinges on social interaction between participants.

            It basically mandates that logging onto a random server and playing for an hour or so every couple nights isn't "good enough". Now you have to engage in moronic chit-chat with the dozen
            retards on the server in order to can gain their trust. No thanks.

            I play CounterStrike because the game is fun. The last thing I want to do is be forced to integrate myself into some "clan" of immature jackasses just so people can be sure I'm not cheating.
            • It basically mandates that logging onto a random server and playing for an hour or so every couple nights isn't "good enough". Now you have to engage in moronic chit-chat with the dozen retards on the server in order to can gain their trust. No thanks.

              Not necessarily. The beauty of such a web is that you don't need to know the people you play with, just that you know common people (which if you pick two random people in the US, they probably know each other with a suprisingly small amount of displacement).

              It means that you need to know at least someone, but in the worst case you may just play on a server where no one trusts you--which is how much they already trusted you.

              The end result is that this is going to be more effective than useless anti-cheat clients, and is really the only hope you've got unless you only plan on playing with people you trust, trust network or otherwise.

          • Mmmm....

            And I was upset about PGP being discontinued. Start selling "PGP Gaming Edition". It'd revitalize PGP. :-)
          • Smarter server-side sanity checking works much better.
          • >
            > Alice trusts Frank, who trusts Trent, who trusts Eve, who trusts Andrew,
            > who trusts Bob. This many levels of displacement is probably enough
            > to cover the population of the United States.
            >
            If you could get one of Kevin Bacon's friends on-board, it'd be a sure thing.
        • Here are some more methods of cheating:

          - Program a standalone program to probe your frame buffer, recognise graphic patterns in the image. Automatically move the crosshair to that position using system calls.

          - more shit here

          The point of all this is that you don't understand the point. I ca think of litterally a million ways of cheating, and punkbuster is not about preventing cheating.

          Have you ever heard of antivirus software? Their goal isn't to patch holes in buggy software written by microsoft. Their goal is to detect known exploits, and disable them. With punkbuster, signatures of exploits (mainly aim bots) can be detected, even if they have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE .DLL's that the game uses to run. It is not only a client side program that authenticates.

          Everyone knows that anti-cheating is an uphill batter. But did you notice that AV software providers make assloads of money?

          Untill game developers start encrypting every packet made by the client, before it is sent off to the network, and on the OS level, the video memory can be locked out, even by the root user, aim bots will exist. and people will use them. Things like PB are the only thing we have to slow this abuse.

          If you want to play with non-cheaters, you had better be playing in a league. I can personally guarantee you that most popular public servers has a few people every now and then running aim bots. This applies to CS,Quake3,Wolf, and other popular FPS games.

          • It's not an uphill battle. It's a losing battle no matter what. It was already lost before it was started.

            With punkbuster, signatures of exploits (mainly aim bots) can be detected, even if they have NOTHING TO DO WITH THE .DLL's that the game uses to run. It is not only a client side program that authenticates.

            So uh, what stops me from hacking punkbuster so that it sees only what it needs to see?

            Untill game developers start encrypting every packet made by the client, before it is sent off to the network, and on the OS level, the video memory can be locked out, even by the root user, aim bots will exist. and people will use them.

            I have full control of my machine. I can break any of these mechanisms if I want to. That anti-cheat client developers don't get this fact means that they're naive. Or think they can make assloads of money by running everyone through the mud.

            Anti-cheat clients will inconvenience legitimate users (you know, people who didn't install the latest fucking anti-cheat tool of the month) and do nothing to people who want to cheat.

      • So what stops someone from hacking PB? If you can hack PB, all you have to know is the right answers to the right questions. Alternatively cheaters could develop a hacked PB client. I wouldn't be surprized if things like these are floating around. Programs of this sort are a nice idea but they're fighting the untrusted client problem, an inheritly unwinnable battle.
      • What happens to players on non windows systems? Are they unable to link to the server due to differences in the files?
  • All they have is an EXE file so far. What good is that for those of us who want to make crossplatform mods?
  • by linzeal (197905) on Sunday April 14, 2002 @08:42AM (#3338635) Homepage Journal
    Already has information [rhinoflatt...stries.net] on how to play with the source code.
  • by adamwright (536224) on Sunday April 14, 2002 @08:43AM (#3338639) Homepage
    ID always release the game logic portions of the game shortly after retail, to allow mod makers to start hacking on it (it's been this way since Quake 2 - Quake 1 came "source included"). The quake 3 engine source won't see the public light of day till probably Christmas 2003, maybe even later.
    • the QuakeC sources weren't included on the retail cd, though I think they were put up for download shortly after the was released.

      (at least, my Q1 cd doesn't have the source on it)
    • true, however... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by spd_rcr (537511) on Sunday April 14, 2002 @11:23AM (#3338945) Homepage
      it's good to see ID keeping with their tradition of slowly opening up their source code. how many other gaming companies out there do this ? many still freak out when you try to play w/ their 20 year old roms. quake 1 is still a great game, fast, and can be run on nearly any machine still operating, of course i don't think they're giving away the NiN tracks, the RIAA would have a fit !
      ID is definately one of the best software companies and definatey at the top of game companies. They're a business, they make money, & they give back to the community.
      so they keep the code for 3+ years, at least they won't go broke and stop having code to give us.
      it'd be nice to see other companies doing this !
      way to go ID Software, thanks for continued good deeds.
      • I agree. I think it's awesome that they have opened up _all_ the source for their older games, so enthusiasts can port them to other platforms and/or make modifications and additions.

        It's a common sense idea that I wish more companies would follow. Old products do not make the company any significant money (if at all), and releasing them gives the community a big bonus. Of course, most folks will still want the latest and greatest when it does come out. I suppose some companies might consider such an action impacting sales of their current products.

        I'm glad that id is willing to take that risk,

        I don't like id games, nor do I play them, but I like the idea of a company that doesn't bury obsolote code for no good reason.

        Now, if Microsoft would only release the source to Windows 3.1....

      • iD has NEVER, I repeat, _NEVER_ given away their games (as your one sentence about the RIAA seems to imply)... Even though the full sources for Wolf, Doom, Quake, and Quake2 are out, you still need to actually posess the game to play it (source without data is useless)
        • Re:true, however... (Score:2, Interesting)

          by spd_rcr (537511)
          source is the only data that really matters. if you're just looking for a free copy of quake, sure they don't give away the complete game, but they do give you everything you need to make your own. collect some textures, throw together your own maps, skin a couple characters, it's no more work than the average enthusiast does when the game's brand new. www.quakeworld.com
          or www.planetquake.com
          i'm just complaining 'bout RIAA, because it'd be nice if you could legally download old NiN or other tracks after the cd's have left the marketplace. what sort of fan wants to spend $30 to replace that old scratched up cd because now it needs to be special ordered in.
          ID has a good idea and it'd be nice to see other industries/companies following their lead.
        • source without data is useless

          Only if you're intending to play the game. If you just want to see how a *really* good coder works, then it's great!

  • for game mods (Score:1, Redundant)

    by romey (259459)
    it looks like it's for game mods. not the full blown source.
    • You would think that after six years of giving away engine source, not game source, people would finally know the difference by now. Yes, id hasn't released the source code to Quake 3, just recently released the source for Quake 2 but they'll release the source for RtCW. Riiiiiiight...

      Also, though I usually don't care what Slashdot posts, how in the hell is this news? I mean, they always give away the source. News should be things like the LOTR Text Adventure for the Atari 2600 that fits in 4K [atariage.com]. Not "the sun came up this morning."

      You know they're just kicking themselves (again) that they can't delete Slashdot stores for fear of ruining people's posts.

      • Though apparently even I don't know the difference, as I got engine and game backwards in my own flame post. Nevermind, I'll just go away now...
  • "Unbelievable! Another great surprise from Id Software!"

    How so? this is _public_ source code, the one you make _mods_ with. It has been standard practice since quake (1) to release this freely and soon after the game has come out. No suprise whatsoever.

    Which is very different from id software releasing the _engine_ code to a game (as it has done for doom/quake/quake2), which would have been truely suprising in the case of rtcw :)
  • by tangent3 (449222)
    ...that they are releasing the full source codes for RTCW before the full source codes for Quake 3 Arena has been released, although Q3A has been released far earlier. I think these are just the source codes for Mods (RTCW Fortress / RTCW CounterStrike anyone?). Q3A has the Mod source codes released some time ago too.
  • Low Quality (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 14, 2002 @08:54AM (#3338655)
    Another low-water mark in terms of Slashdot content quality.

    "Developers: Id Software and Activision Wolfenstein Source" - English is not my native language, but surely, this is a fairly crappy headline. "Developers: Wolfenstein Source Code Released" or something similar would have been way, way better.

    Second, the posting itself is shit, written by an "enthusiastic anonymous coward" who is apparently about 13 years old. Who the hell is reviewing these news items before they hit the front page? Whoever posted this one (hi tim) should have done some creative re-writing, or better yet, picked another submission about the same thing (surely there must have been a couple about something this well-known).

    In its current state, I am very glad I'm not paying a cent for /. access. Stuff like this posting really brings down the average content quality big time.
    • Re:Low Quality (Score:1, Offtopic)

      by Thing 1 (178996)
      In its current state, I am very glad I'm not paying a cent for /. access. Stuff like this posting really brings down the average content quality big time.

      At the point I am posting this, your post currently has 5 replies. Mine is #6.

      My belief is that such "mistakes" have historically garnered a lot more activity. Hence it is in Slashdot's best interest to continue making "mistakes" in order to keep activity high. The more posts per article, the theory goes, the more eyeballs viewed the ad(s) at the top, so they can charge more.

      It's always about the money. And I agree -- the mistakes are easily catchable (duplicate postings), juvenile (witness 4/1/02), and irritating (the headline for this article is just ambiguous enough to make you want to read the damn thing).

      The worst part? Slashdot is addictive; although they're not getting money directly from me in the form of a subscription, they are getting money from me indirectly in the form of page views, which cost the advertisers more; and posts, which probably cost the advertisers more than a page view. So even though I'll most likely never subscribe, my activity is still helping make them money. And if it educates/entertains me in the meantime, well, that's cool.

      My point? Don't worry about it. If the quality has gone that far downhill, we'd start seeing .sig lines hawking alternative news discussion sites at the same frequency as we're seeing the "Great Slashdot Blackout" coming up the week of April 21(ish). But Slashdot is Heroinware [slashdot.org] ; there's plenty of us junkies keeping stats up.

  • by itsnotme (20905) on Sunday April 14, 2002 @08:54AM (#3338656) Homepage
    I managed to get in the ftp sites that wasnt slashdotted already and got a copy of it, you can get a copy from: wolf_source.exe [rit.edu]
  • As everyone previously has said, this isn't the engine code. That cash cow has yet to be fully milked yet. What with Medal of Honour: Allied Assault and Jedi Knight II just released, Soldier of Fortune II on the brink of released, Elite Force II just announced, and Allied Assault 2 *and* an unnamed Bond game on it's way based on the Q3 engine, it's highly unlikely id are going to just start giving it away now, isn't it?

    It's not like id can make their money any other way. Q3A was crap (no, really it was wasn't it, people? CS and UT own it) :)
  • It's news and all. And it's good to be enthusiastic about something, but Id has been doing this sort of thing for a long time. I mean, they were around before Quake 3 you know...
  • ok, (Score:3, Funny)

    by Rhinobird (151521) on Sunday April 14, 2002 @09:16AM (#3338690) Homepage
    Now how long until there's a Gentoo portage thingie?

    And I'll just shut up now...
  • DUH! (Score:4, Informative)

    by dnaumov (453672) on Sunday April 14, 2002 @09:25AM (#3338706)
    Do you REALLY think this is the engine source ? HELLO ?! This is source for the "game" code, that enables mod makers to create the all-popular MODs for the game, like Team Fortress and Capture the Flag for the original Quake. ID Software's policy has always been to: "Make game1. Make game2. Start making game3 and release the source for game1. Finnish game 3. Start working on game4 and release source for game2".

    That way the engine licensees can take their time to release their ID Software engine-based games without losing any profit due to all these custom engine modifications people do in their spare time with games like Doom, Quake and Quake2. You can expect Quake3 Arena (and NOT RtCW) engine source some time after ID starts working on a game AFTER Doom3 (their current project) is released.
    • Re:DUH! (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      As long as you're strictly talking about the engine, Return to Castle Wolfenstein is written using the Quake III Arena engine. So releasing the Q3A engine would give you most of what you needed to have the RtCW engine, less the changes Nerve/Grey Matter made to the engine.
  • its not the engine (Score:3, Informative)

    by krs-one (470715) <vic&openglforums,com> on Sunday April 14, 2002 @09:26AM (#3338710) Homepage Journal
    I think one of the biggest misconceptions when ID does this is that they are releasing the engine. Why would they do that? ID never would when the engine is still being sold. Would you pay 300,000 for an engine you can get for free? Hardly.

    -Vic
  • Advances. (Score:4, Funny)

    by saintlupus (227599) on Sunday April 14, 2002 @09:32AM (#3338719) Homepage
    Oh, goody. This means the market will soon be flooded with significantly more advanced and realistic deer-slaying simulators.

    --saint
  • by krs-one (470715)
    You can find a mirror at this location [openglforums.com].

    -Vic
  • Just in case this is needed: http://shakti.tky.hut.fi/slashdot/wolf3d-source/ [tky.hut.fi]
  • well, as much as everyone is pissed off at /. out them ACTUALLY releasing the game code and the issue of misreporting, it got me thinking a bit. what would be so bad about releasing the engine code? that really wouldnt give anyone anything! when u buy the CD, u are paying for the maps and media NOT the engine, really... binaries are free, right? just the CD needs to be paid for. the only thing they would lose is if someone used the code and improved it. assumming they can stay ahead of the competition (as any company needs to assume...) then what is the problem?

    QED
  • Of course ID Software is going to be in negotiations to license the engine code to other developers. I think its fair practice due to all their efforts to develop one by themselves.Its better now to release the game data for MOD use which will inspire "counterstrike" offshoots, and therefore more purchasers. When the time is right ID will release the engine at about the same time nobody cares anymore. Its the cycle of things, and it works well.
  • Id releases the full source to their games when all of the licensees games are done. And seeing as quake 3 engine games are still in dev(I think, I'm too lazy to look it up), it'll be a while til the full source is released.

    -reid
  • Some of you freaks need to respect the wishes of others. id is spelled the way it is for specific reasons, not because someone's shift key is broken. :P

    http://www.idsoftware.com/
    http://www.google.co m/search?hl=en&safe=off&q=id+e go+superego&spell=1
  • While it IS pleasant news, it was not a surprise. If you read the change log to the last patch, one of the changes was the addition of a mod menu. Hmm could this be because they are releasing the game code? :-)

  • iD is da Bomb. John Carmack, Please Post here to generate traffic.
  • That's not a surprise. They always release the game sources for their latest games, including all the other games based on their engines (Half-Life, Alice...)

    The person who posted that newsitem obviously knows nothing about id. I'm surprised his comment made it to the prestigous /. site.

    Yuioup
  • by screwballicus (313964) on Sunday April 14, 2002 @02:52PM (#3339566)
    It's a shame to see good people making good comments get bad karma for posting useful information, but it's also a shame to see a message board filled with 30 people all saying the exact same thing. How many checked to see whether someone else had posted regarding the code being just game source and not engine source before repeating that fact? Not many, seemingly. 30 people can't have all posted that comment simultaneously. It looks like slashdot is all soapbox and no audience, especially seeing as virtually everyone seems to be well aware of the existing policy on releasing source, anyway.
  • That's sweet. The AI of the bots is fricken amazing. Now I can figure out how they got the Nazis to kick grenades back at you. And how they managed to get the Nazis to sneak up behind you when they have spotted you. RtCW doesn't get that much credit for their AI, but is was quite good for a FPS.
  • by macdaddy (38372)
    I just wish the lazy SOBs would finish the Mac version. Why the hell is it taking them so fscking long?! The last test release was in November '01 for Christ's sake!!!
  • by Junks Jerzey (54586) on Sunday April 14, 2002 @05:06PM (#3340081)
    Note: don't get your hopes up -- these are the sources for the game code, not the engine.

    Speaking as a professional game player, the game-level code is the interesting part. Graphics engines get pretty boring after you've worked on a couple of them. Go back to a graphics book from 15 years ago, back before PC gaming took off, and that's pretty much how graphics engines still work. Game-level code, though, now that's interesting. There are many more open problems in that area, or at least problems that can be solved in hundreds of ways, as opposed to three or four.
  • ... like me for example. Nothing is more valuable than a running source code. I believe we should encourage this kind of education opportunities. Whether anyone can use this to create a game derivative is less significant in this case. Just my 2 cents.

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