What's wrong with the SF version of Uplink?

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Jadiel
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What's wrong with the SF version of Uplink?

Postby Jadiel » Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:58 am

Apologies if this has been said somewhere else. I did search, and read some very interesting debates about the value of relative education systems and projections of spheres onto cylinders, but didn't find what I was looking for. If it has been addressed elsewhere, if you could post a link to the relevant thread, I'd appreciate it.

What I'm trying to find out is exactly what Strategy First did to Uplink that makes it incompatible with mods, and why no-one has come up with a patch to fix it. Presumably it's something more devious than just messing with uplink.exe, because otherwise a patch would fix it.

My reason for wanting to know is that I'm beginning to think about how to release my mod, and I'm wondering how easy it would be to release a version which anyone could use, regardless of where they got their uplink from. Also, if someone could release a "patch" which fixed the SF version, it might reduce the number of problems posted on this forum...

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Postby Darksun » Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:24 am

They edited the world.dat file, and edited the part of the uplink code that checks it's checksum.
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Postby phyreskull » Wed Nov 23, 2005 12:20 pm

Darksun, just out of curiosity (and I know I've been away for a long, long time):

How do you know?
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Postby Darksun » Wed Nov 23, 2005 1:22 pm

Because the world.dat is different, and when you try to use a devmod, it will report an error because the world.dat is invalid.

Actually, I only know this applies to the Trygames downloadable version. It may apply to some others aswell, but I don't know for sure.
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Postby Jadiel » Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:53 pm

So how vome patches work? Don't they restore the old world.dat file checking? Or is the SF version already 1.31? In any case, why hasn't anyone released a version of the game which checks it against one of the other files? Wouldn't that fix all the issues?

Sorry, didn't mean to sound ungrateful - Thanks for the info!

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Postby phyreskull » Wed Nov 23, 2005 3:54 pm

... yeah, sorry. Moment of supidity. Could we not take this into account with the devmods though? Check that it matches one of two world.dat files? I haven't got the code to hand, but I don't think it's that complex.
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Postby vooshy » Wed Nov 23, 2005 5:17 pm

mb chris should make the patch since Strategy First screwed them ova so bad. or sum1 else we all have so much time on our hands. I know i do.
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Postby Darksun » Wed Nov 23, 2005 8:23 pm

phyreskull wrote:... yeah, sorry. Moment of supidity. Could we not take this into account with the devmods though? Check that it matches one of two world.dat files? I haven't got the code to hand, but I don't think it's that complex.


Yeah, it's probably quite trivial to remove the world.dat check alltogether. The question is do we want to.
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Postby NeoThermic » Wed Nov 23, 2005 8:33 pm

Darksun wrote:
phyreskull wrote:... yeah, sorry. Moment of supidity. Could we not take this into account with the devmods though? Check that it matches one of two world.dat files? I haven't got the code to hand, but I don't think it's that complex.


Yeah, it's probably quite trivial to remove the world.dat check alltogether. The question is do we want to.


If I recall the licence correctly, you agree not to remove any copy protection from the code; the codecards and the world.dat check are copy protection.

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Postby Darksun » Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:39 pm

Well, the license states

2.1) You must cause the modified files to execute only if a copy of Uplink purchased from Introversion Software (or one of it's licensed distributors), is also installed on the machine.


The question is whether or not SF/Trygames are still considered a Licensed Distributor.
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Postby NeoThermic » Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:32 am

Darksun wrote:Well, the license states

2.1) You must cause the modified files to execute only if a copy of Uplink purchased from Introversion Software (or one of it's licensed distributors), is also installed on the machine.


The question is whether or not SF/Trygames are still considered a Licensed Distributor.


I was thinking more of:

licence wrote:2.2) You must not release a "stand-alone" binary. By this we mean a version of the Program that will execute without an enforced dependency on installation of a version of Uplink purchased from Introversion or one of its licensed distributors.


The real question is if you relax the game to also accept other world.dat files, have you removed that type of copy protection? (and I suppose your question is still very valid).

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Postby ReflectingGod » Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:16 am

But assuming that SF is classified a licenced distributor, then you would not be breaking that rule, since a check for either world.dat still requires one or the other version to be present on the machine.
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Postby FTR123 » Thu Nov 24, 2005 4:18 am

Let me get this straight if i download the patch 1.31 and install it i can change the world.dat of the strategy first to the world.dat of introversion. yes or no. and why is it different files. Hey, i´m computer technician not a programmer inspector.
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Postby Darksun » Thu Nov 24, 2005 4:43 am

Nope, the patches don't include the world.dat file because it's rather large (well, for dialup users anyway and not actually used in the game
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Postby Jadiel » Thu Nov 24, 2005 5:26 am

So SF versions break if you apply the 1.31 patch?

There's nothing special about the world.dat file as such, at least not as far as the licence is concerned. As far as I can see, you could switch the copy protection to check against another file that comes with the game, and that wouldn't violate the licence (provided of course that it wasn't one of the files in your patch). That way, whether SF is a licenced distributor or not becomes immaterial.

I would say Darksun's first question is far more pertinent...

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