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Thread: openDarkEngine

  1. #101
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2002
    Location: Edmonton
    Will we (YOU) never be able to reverse engineer it?

  2. #102
    Member
    Registered: Jun 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by Aja
    Will we (YOU) never be able to reverse engineer it?
    As it is, probably not. It would stand to reason that you could create a separate (and better) engine that has the ability to load Thief levels and resources and has legacy support for the Dark Engine. The Sith 2 engine is already an example of that. I'm not saying it'll easy, far from it, but it certainly is possible. Jedi Knight had a much simpler engine, but thus far they've pretty much gotten to the first alpha where you could load the original game. From that point on, they're building up.

    Getting around the copyright issue is child's play. Just make a CD-check to ensure that people aren't using pirate versions (ala Underdogs and System Shock 2).
    Last edited by Jonesy; 12th Dec 2005 at 19:59.

  3. #103
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2005
    Location: Prague
    I've placed 0.0.2 version of testing viewer online. Supports static lightmaps and should fix the issue with strict compilers. Let me know if it didn't help. I'm planning an automake system for next release, so it should be okay then.

  4. #104
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: Germany
    Quote Originally Posted by David
    If they were using it at that point then it still has value to it meaning they are less likely to give it away.
    Considering how long it took them to release the TDS editor I would really be surprised if they would ever release the actual sourcecode to anything.

    As to reverse engineering it. I once reverse engineered the complete DOS library for the Commodore Amiga together with a friend because the documentation for it was wrong in many aspects. Even though that library was pretty small (compared to Thief gamecode) and quite focused (after all there was ONLY the DOS library and no other modules) AND we had access to the official documentation, which was usefull despite being wrong on many issues, it took us the better of two months to complete it. And this was pretty fast!

    Now considering how many modules are in Thief, no documentation available and the size of the binaries, I would say it will take you VERY long, if you are dedicated, to actually reverse engineer it. It's not impossible, but considering the timeline, it's as good as impossible.
    Last edited by sparhawk; 13th Dec 2005 at 03:57.

  5. #105
    Member
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Black Squadron
    TDS was released in May 2004 and a decision to release the editor was made prior to October of the same year, which is when I got my grubby mitts on it. That's less than 5 months after release, it's not a long time.

  6. #106
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by Volca
    I've placed 0.0.2 version of testing viewer online. Supports static lightmaps and should fix the issue with strict compilers. Let me know if it didn't help. I'm planning an automake system for next release, so it should be okay then.
    That's grand, but "online" is too vague for me. What's the URL?

  7. #107
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2005
    Location: Prague

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/opde/

    Actual screenshot is also there.

  8. #108
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2005
    Location: Prague
    About the reverse engineering:
    It seems that this should not be needed now. Scripting system is known (telliamed did this great work - mapping interfaces of DarkEngine and the system of function calling). The Mesh Object structure is known to Randy Sybel, who kindly promissed to post me some info. The only thing which may need a further investigation is motion database and AI walk paths. These should not be too hard to do. So if I'm right, the knowledge should be sufficient to implement the engine.

    Of course some problems will emerge while implementing, but I hope the display should be finished before the year's end if things go right (without the skeletal animation and menu - e.g. adding objects and fixing it all).

  9. #109
    Hurm, WinRar says both of those archives are damaged or in unknown format, what are you supposed to use to open Tar.Bz anyway?

    Anyway, you have my full support with this.

  10. #110
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2005
    Location: Prague
    try bzip2 for windows
    http://gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages/bzip2.htm

    also, i think you will need tar
    http://gnuwin32.sourceforge.net/packages/tar.htm

    and also a compiler, for example mingw should do.
    and also an Irrlicht library

    being on linux is much simpler in this matter.

  11. #111
    Dyyyyeaaaarrrrgh.

    So...why not put up an .exe then?

  12. #112
    Member
    Registered: Sep 2005
    Location: Prague
    Sorry, no exe this time. Will try to make one, but I'm not oriented in cross-platform compiling now. Sure there will be one after things get more advanced.

    I would be glad for a person that would watch for windows binaries, preparing them for every version released.

  13. #113
    Like I keep saying - reverse engineering isn't nessecary. You just have to duplicate the same behaviour, doesn't matter how you do it.

  14. #114
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by Domarius
    Like I keep saying - reverse engineering isn't nessecary. You just have to duplicate the same behaviour, doesn't matter how you do it.
    *slap*

    That's what reverse engineering IS.

  15. #115
    *slap*
    No, it's not. I understand reverse engineering to be pulling something appart and re-producing how it works based on exactly the way the thing was constructed in the first place.

    But all that is needed for this project is a black box approach. You just note that patrol points are used to make guards walk to each one, that room brushes are used to propagate sound, and so on. HOW you make the program do those things is up to you.

    This will probably show up a few bugs in the FMs that get down to a detailed level where they start relying on wierd quirks of the DarkEngine that only show up in specific situations, but most FMs never go there.

  16. #116
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2002
    Location: Germany
    Quote Originally Posted by Domarius
    *slap*
    No, it's not. I understand reverse engineering to be pulling something appart and re-producing how it works based on exactly the way the thing was constructed in the first place.
    For reverse engineering there are several methods. One is to dissasmble the machine code and rewrite it exactly like it was before. This may be prohibited in some countries.
    Another method is a kind of blackbox reverse engineering. You throw data at the code and see what it does with it. Then you write a function that emulates the behaviour such that for the same input parameters it will yield the same output. This method is not prohibited currently and is also, for example, the recommended method for developing Wine or ReactOS.

    Of course the first method is quite painfull and slow, but int he end it is much safer, because, ideally, your application will behave exactly as the original did.
    The second method doesn't create any problems with law in some countries, but of course you can never know wether your function will work the same in all cases. Of course it may not be needed to replicate the behaviour 100% and also this method is much faster. It all depends on the flexibillity of your input data. If your data is sufficiently broadranged, so that it covers a good deal of the functionality, then it is much better to use this approach. It would be pretty hard though with a closed engine as a game engine is.

  17. #117
    Yes, and for reasons you stated, I think the black box approach is the best in this case.

    Besides - you wouldn't want an exact replica of the DarkEngine - its so buggy.

  18. #118
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2002
    When talking about computer programs, the commonly accepted meaning of "reverse engineering" is to stare at the binary machine code to find out what the program does and to write new *source code* that does the same (after being translated to machine code, of course).

  19. #119
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by Domarius
    Besides - you wouldn't want an exact replica of the DarkEngine - its so buggy.
    Of course you would. It may be buggy, but obviously it works. Yeah, if issues like SHAS and rope arrow bouncing could be fixed that would be great, but the entire point of such an exercise would be to future-proof existing Thief content. If someone wants to develop in a more stable, modern environment, that's what the Dark Mod is for.

  20. #120
    BANNED
    Registered: Mar 2005
    IF we do go ahead with wrting some sort of script for using Thief content in the Dark Mod, which takes an existing Thief installation on the users HD and uses the content for a Dark Mod missions ( I say content, when what I mean is 'sounds', since all the other THief content is useless), then making a Dark Engine II becomes totally pointless, since the Dark Mod will essentailly be an open source (eventually) Dark Engine II.

  21. #121
    Member
    Registered: Nov 2004
    Location: The Kingdom of Prester John
    Doesn't that rely on someone recreating the original levels from scratch in the Doom 3 engine, though? If all it uses are the sounds, you still have to deal with the brushwork, static mesh placement, and scripting and all that. The Dark Mod script idea would be useful for recreating levels, but not playing them in their original form, which seems to be the point here.

  22. #122
    Member
    Registered: Feb 2003
    Location: On my bicycle \o/
    Not really oDDity,

    There is an existing library of first class FMs. An open source Dark engine means that those FMs remain playable as long as there are people willing to keep the engine up and running - as opposed to being left to rot when Thief won't play on Vista sp2 or nVidia's latest drivers.

    That and Dark Mod using original thief assets is rocking for those of us that have them, but less woot for anyone that want's to take your mod for a whirl, but hasn't. Still, I suppose it's going to happen anyway.

  23. #123
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by oDDity
    IF we do go ahead with wrting some sort of script for using Thief content in the Dark Mod ... then making a Dark Engine II becomes totally pointless, since the Dark Mod will essentailly be an open source (eventually) Dark Engine II.
    First sentence on Dark Mod website
    THE DARK MOD is a total conversion for Doom 3...
    How come that as a Dark Mod developer you do not know that the Doom 3 engine it is based upon is not open source? Essentially, Dark Mod would be a closed source Dark Engine II.

  24. #124
    the Dark Mod will essentailly be an open source (eventually) Dark Engine II.
    Even so, the amount of freedom you have with the oh no closed source Doom 3 engine is gigantic compared to the one the Dark Engine provides.

  25. #125
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2002
    Are you suggesting he has psychic powers and knows beforehand that the Doom 3 engine will be open sourced in the future, despite the fact that the Doom 1 and Doom 2 engines are not?

    You're perfectly entitled to like the Dark Mod or the Doom 3 engine, but if the engine is not converted to open source, it will eventually stop to run on future PCs.

    P.S.: If you quote something to convince people, don't quote like a boulevard magazine. He didn't say that the Dark Mod will eventually be an Dark Engine II.

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