Game wishlist

Requests for games to be added to the site
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MrFlibble
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Re: Game wishlist

Post by MrFlibble »

BTW, has anyone ever compiled a modern port of PoP from the sources that Jordan Mechner found and made public a while ago?
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MrFlibble
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Re: Game wishlist

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May I suggest the Exile series shareware RPG games for Win16 and Mac, which have been made freely downloadable from Spiderweb Software's website? Those are definitely classic games with a loyal fan base.

Here are the releases of Exile games (Win16) that I was able to track down:

Exile: Escape from the Pit Exile II: Crystal Souls Exile III: Ruined World Blades of Exile NOTE: Most archives contain a files called VENDINFO.DIZ that contains detailed release information, including version number and release date. However, apparently due to the VENDINFO.DIZ format specifications the version numbers that contain three digits are presented in a different way compared to how the game itself reports its version number. For example, EXL111.ZIP is displayed as v1.11 in VENDINFO.DIZ, but as v1.1.1 in the game itself (screenshot). The latter is apparently the correct format of the version number.
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MrFlibble
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Re: Game wishlist

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Just found something interesting:
http://www.gog.com/forum/stargunner/neb ... stargunner

Further info on the game:
http://www.holodream.it/nebula_eng.htm

I think the developer should be contacted for more details about the rights for the game. There's a contact form on the website:
http://www.holodream.it/contatti_eng.htm

Also an archived copy gives this e-mail address (probably not functional but still):

nebula@gol-it.com

If it is not possible to negotiate the liberation of the full version, there's still the DOS shareware version available here and the Windows demo downloadable from the official website.
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DOSGuy
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Re: Game wishlist

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MrFlibble wrote:Just found something interesting:
http://www.gog.com/forum/stargunner/neb ... stargunner

Further info on the game:
http://www.holodream.it/nebula_eng.htm

I think the developer should be contacted for more details about the rights for the game. There's a contact form on the website:
http://www.holodream.it/contatti_eng.htm

Also an archived copy gives this e-mail address (probably not functional but still):

nebula@gol-it.com

If it is not possible to negotiate the liberation of the full version, there's still the DOS shareware version available here and the Windows demo downloadable from the official website.
Interesting. There are a lot of cases where a developer puts free copies of their games on their website even though they don't own the rights. If the copyright holder went out of business, that could make it hard to track down the owner. I'll try to look into this.
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MrFlibble
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Re: Game wishlist

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Nebula Fighter was distributed via eGames, but it's not on their current product list. Here's an archived snapshot of the game page from 2001. Already in 2002 Nebula Fighter is only listed as a part of a bundle. It's mentioned again from 2003 on and has its own page (latest valid snapshot at this address is from Jan 2006). It's difficult to tell if the game was available later on, because apparently eGames became a big electronic distribution company for various games, and without a functional search engine for the archived copies of their site it's hard to navigate.

However, there might be a way to circumvent the copyright issues. Apparently, the publisher for the original shareware DOS version, One Reality, shut down before any copies were sold:
One Reality will no longer have a web site. We are no longer taking orders for Crazy Drake and Nebula Fighter. For those of you who had pre ordered Nebula Fighter, your orders have been canceled and the information you sent destroyed. None of your credit cards were ever charged. We only charge the day we ship the product. We are having to seek a new retail publisher at this time. This new publisher will distribute both games to store outlets near you. When we do sign a new publisher we will announce it here. We are hopeful this will be soon. We apologize for this inconvenience.
Source: archived copy of One Reality's website from 1998. There's also the game description page from On Reality website but most other pages are missing.

The distribution rights for both Nebula Fighter and Crazy Drake were transferred to eGames, however Nebula Fighter was ported to Windows at this point (originally called a "Special Edition" or something) and I suppose that any rights eGames has to the game are not extended to the DOS version. The license found in the shareware DOS version (to which I linked in the above post) states the following about the rights:
======================
= LICENSE =
======================

[1] DEFINITIONS: "Program" means Nebula Fighter and its related files,
including this one.

[2] OWNERSHIP: Except to the extent expressly licensed, One Reality owns and
reserves the exclusive right to distribute the Program, and to use the
Trademarks in connection with it. Its content, layout and format are the
property of One Reality and Holodream Software to the extent permitted by law.
Perhaps this may somehow be used as a loophole to get at least the DOS version released for free completely legally?
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DOSGuy
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Re: Game wishlist

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I see eGames game bundles in stores like Office Depot all the time. They tend to be of the "1000 Games" or "100 type of Mahjongg" variety. I think even some of the MoraffWare mahjongg games are distributed by eGames.
MrFlibble wrote:The distribution rights for both Nebula Fighter and Crazy Drake were transferred to eGames, however Nebula Fighter was ported to Windows at this point (originally called a "Special Edition" or something) and I suppose that any rights eGames has to the game are not extended to the DOS version.
Unless the contract specifically said that only the rights to the Windows version were being transferred, I would assume that transferring the rights to Nebula Fighter would apply to any platform for which a version of Nebula Fighter existed. If the DOS version is excluded, then the rights still belong to One Reality and/or Holodream Software, and don't transfer into the public domain just because the copyright holder goes out of business. Whoever owned One Reality would still own the rights, and if that person has died, the rights would belong to the estate and be inherited by his or her next of kin. (Ownership survives corporate dissolution and death. Generally speaking, only expiry due to the passage of time causes ownership to transfer to the public domain.) If there's a way of tracking that person down, we can certainly ask about a freeware release.
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MrFlibble
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Re: Game wishlist

Post by MrFlibble »

I'm a little bit confused about the "distribution rights" thing. It's not the same as the copyright, is it? Can't the copyright holder (which I hope is still the original developer) override the distribution right thing?

Have you tried contacting the author(s) via that contact form?

Also, I just remembered that when I was trying to find any info on Nebula Fighther earlier, one lead was to another publisher, Ionos (who had ties with One Reality as it seems). Here's the Nebula Fighter page at Inonos website (archived copy):
http://web.archive.org/web/199707090804 ... lafighter/
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DOSGuy
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Re: Game wishlist

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MrFlibble wrote:I'm a little bit confused about the "distribution rights" thing. It's not the same as the copyright, is it? Can't the copyright holder (which I hope is still the original developer) override the distribution right thing?
You're right, they're very different things. Copyright allows content to be protected by the State for a set amount of time, after which the rights transfer to the public domain. Distribution rights are just a contract between two or more legal entities. The answer to your second question depends on the terms of the contract. The copyright holder may have signed a contract giving exclusive distribution rights to Company X for a set amount of time, and they would be free to sign a distribution agreement with a new company when the contract expires. Or maybe the contract had no expiry date, giving Company X the distribution rights in perpetuity. Or maybe the distribution contract was non-exclusive, and the copyright holder is free to also sign a contract with Company Y, or distribute it themselves, or give it away. We would need the details of the contract to know what the situation is. The short answer, though, is that a contract is a contract, and if the contract says that only Company X can distribute the game, the copyright holder can't sell that right to anyone else or distribute it themselves.
MrFlibble wrote:Have you tried contacting the author(s) via that contact form?
No, but I'll see if I can set aside some time for it this weekend. Last week was incredibly productive, though. I squashed a lot of bugs, made the code much smaller, and increased the loading time of most pages. Unfortunately those kinds of changes are largely invisible to visitors, but it was well worth doing and took a long time to do. My to-do list is almost clear!
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MrFlibble
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Re: Game wishlist

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Thanks for the explanation!

Anyway, the shareware version and the demo can be added freely to the site even if a legit freeware release of the full version cannot be secured.
DOSGuy wrote:Last week was incredibly productive, though. I squashed a lot of bugs, made the code much smaller, and increased the loading time of most pages. Unfortunately those kinds of changes are largely invisible to visitors, but it was well worth doing and took a long time to do. My to-do list is almost clear!
Great! Hunting down those little errors and omissions here and there can indeed be quite tedious. Glad to hear you're almost through with those chores :)
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MrFlibble
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Re: Game wishlist

Post by MrFlibble »

May I suggest the demo versions of Seven Kingdoms and its expansion, Ancient Adversaries, for addition to the site?

There are two demo versions of Seven Kingdoms with a total of three unique single-player scenarios (plus a unique tutorial map in each version), and two more scenarios in the demo of Ancient Adversaries. All demo versions run in Windows 8.

Download links: I have posted some information on the demo scenarios (with screenshots) here.
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Re: Game wishlist

Post by Lavacopter »

A couple of additions/notes on Exile:

Exile 2 v2.0: EXIL2V20.ZIP

The Exile 1.1 from November is labeled 1.1b on the ingame about page.

Also the pre-registered version of Exile 3 is version 1.0b, modified May 5 1997, doesn't seem to ever have been distributed unregistered, though.
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MrFlibble
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Re: Game wishlist

Post by MrFlibble »

Thanks for the info! :D
Lavacopter wrote:The Exile 1.1 from November is labeled 1.1b on the ingame about page.
Yeah, I should have checked them all I guess to get the proper version numbers, but I got satisfied with VENDINFO.DIZ data plus a post I found at Google Groups where Jeff Vogel stated that an early v1.1 that had a bug was released prematurely.

Anyway, welcome to the forums! :)
Lavacopter wrote:Also the pre-registered version of Exile 3 is version 1.0b, modified May 5 1997, doesn't seem to ever have been distributed unregistered, though.
It seems to be a rather common occurrence for freeware releases being quite different builds, we have just recently discussed a similar issue with Tyrian 2000. And the free full version of Thor's Hammer is v1.0 whereas the latest shareware is v1.1... but I think it's possible to use the v1.1 shareware executable to update the full version to v1.1 as well. Also the free full version of Star Wraith 2 is v1.4c (IIRC), while the latest shareware/demo version (that could be converted into the full game upon entering the registration code) is v1.4b. I think there may be other, similar cases as well.
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Re: Game wishlist

Post by Lavacopter »

MrFlibble wrote:Anyway, welcome to the forums! :)
Thank you! :) I'm a fan of Exile and I've been thinking about investigating them for TCRF, so your gathering up all the versions has been very helpful for me.
MrFlibble wrote:It seems to be a rather common occurrence for freeware releases being quite different builds, we have just recently discussed a similar issue with Tyrian 2000. And the free full version of Thor's Hammer is v1.0 whereas the latest shareware is v1.1... but I think it's possible to use the v1.1 shareware executable to update the full version to v1.1 as well. Also the free full version of Star Wraith 2 is v1.4c (IIRC), while the latest shareware/demo version (that could be converted into the full game upon entering the registration code) is v1.4b. I think there may be other, similar cases as well.
Well, the copy of Exile 3 I have on the Exile Trilogy CD from 2000ish is also 1.0b, so it's not a recent thing. The only difference I've noticed comparing them is that version 1.0 seems to have had all the debug keys left in, like walking through walls, kill all hostiles in area, stuff like that. Most of them are disabled in 1.0b... maybe he didn't want to draw attention to that, idk.
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MrFlibble
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Re: Game wishlist

Post by MrFlibble »

Thanks to Hallfiry's magazine cover CD index I was able to locate an early Windows shareware version of Nebula Fighter on this CD. It's uploaded here:
https://mega.co.nz/#!aFZQCA7Y!uP_W6s76f ... bFHsO-XNAA

The readme indicates it's shareware v1.1, and One Reality is still listed as the publisher. While the game executable is for Windows, the setup programme is still a DOS application.
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MrFlibble
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Re: Game wishlist

Post by MrFlibble »

Thanks (again!) to Hallfiry's CD Index I found (here) yet another version of Nebula Fighter, which identifies itself as "Nebula Fighter E3 Demo 1.2 (12-Jun-97)". For comparison, the shareware v1.1 executable is dated Aug 18, 1997. The demo only has the first two levels of the shareware game. I've uploaded it here.
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