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> Reviving Mordor XP, Developing Mordor XP around a crowdsourcing principle
Einherje
post Oct 22 2017, 09:06 AM
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This post is aimed at all the regulars on this forum, especially Braindead.

I work in software development and would like to revive this project, if it has truly, as the lack of activity suggests, been abandoned. Keep in mind, that this is not an attempt at coup d'etat, but rather a wish from a fan to see the project realized.

For this I would need the following:
  • The blessing of Braindead and the development team
  • Access to assets from the former project
  • The work and dedication of a handful of Mordor veterans who know the mechanics of David Allen's original Mordor intimately

I intend to build the game from scratch around the following principles:
  • The game will be written in C#. The client might be done in Unity, while a server application will be written as a windows service.
  • I will design an XSD-based data model which allows for easy data entry from the community in plain XML. A designated community member will be responsible for maintaining and extending the model as the need arises. I will update my model classes automatically by means of XSD.EXE as the data model grows.
  • Business logic pertaining to all game related flow, like combat, will be designed by the community. A designated panel of community members will collect and consolidate inputs and formalize documentation hereof for me to implement.
  • Development will be Scrum based, featuring small, self-contained, playable increments. I will design and maintain a roadmap with clear milestones. It will have a time schedule for the laugh.gifs.

Let me know what you think.

This post has been edited by Einherje: Oct 22 2017, 09:07 AM
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Danjen
post Nov 12 2017, 09:00 AM
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I happened to peek in over here while visiting another unrelated forum.
The dev forum categories have posts ranging from 2010 to Mar 2016 at the latest. Last activity was ~ 2 years ago.

Just sayin'
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BLauritson
post Dec 25 2018, 08:55 PM
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I appreciate this topic is over a year old now and for all intents and purposes likely forgotten or abandoned by the OP, but...

As a former member of the Mordor XP development team who's recently returned to activity on this forum, for what it's worth, such a concept has my blessing smile.gif

EDIT: To clarify, technically I'm still a member of the development team but as rightly pointed out by Danjen, there hasn't been any activity in the dev forums since 2016 unfortunately. Still, if any other members of the team ever stumble upon this, perhaps there could one day be a revival? You never know smile.gif


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Wyldstylist
post Jan 6 2019, 04:06 AM
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QUOTE (BLauritson @ Dec 25 2018, 09:55 PM) *
I appreciate this topic is over a year old now and for all intents and purposes likely forgotten or abandoned by the OP, but...

As a former member of the Mordor XP development team who's recently returned to activity on this forum, for what it's worth, such a concept has my blessing smile.gif

EDIT: To clarify, technically I'm still a member of the development team but as rightly pointed out by Danjen, there hasn't been any activity in the dev forums since 2016 unfortunately. Still, if any other members of the team ever stumble upon this, perhaps there could one day be a revival? You never know smile.gif


Kingsway is kinda like mordor .
The magic of mordor is that it used windows 95 dialogs thats how it should look like nothing heavy on graphics card just run it as a program and set any resolutions u like biggrin.gif The main problem is the goons behind mordor xp did not opensource their stuff if they did we would be playing now. Just release a beta of the mordor xp work already
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BLauritson
post Jan 7 2019, 09:22 PM
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The original Mordor and its source code is still privately owned as intellectual property, so there are restrictions on what can be done with the Mordor XP source code.

Releasing the source code to Mordor XP isn't permitted for that reason. Not that I have access to it even if we could.


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znork
post Feb 7 2019, 10:55 AM
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QUOTE (BLauritson @ Jan 7 2019, 09:22 PM) *
The original Mordor and its source code is still privately owned as intellectual property, so there are restrictions on what can be done with the Mordor XP source code.

Releasing the source code to Mordor XP isn't permitted for that reason. Not that I have access to it even if we could.

There are no copyright laws that prevent someone from reimplementing a game and releasing the source code. The original source code is copyrighted, the original binaries are copyrighted. A reimplementation where there was no access to the original source code is without question copyrighted the new developer and they can do whatever they please with it.

I haven't heard that the Mordor XP developers used the original source in any way though. If they had access to it, and the new source code is using parts of the original source without permission, that is a violation of copyright even if the source code is not released. If permission has been granted for use only in closed source, derived parts needs to be removed before releasing it as open source.

There can be copyright issues involved in copying art, game design and/or mechanics (e.g. the Tetris company suing clones using the same types of pieces and the same playing field size), but that has nothing to do with open source or not. There could have been a trademark issue over the name, but the trademark has been abandoned for ages.

Edit: I wrote about this in 2010 too: http://dejenol.com/forum/index.php?showtop...ost&p=47993

This post has been edited by znork: Feb 7 2019, 11:09 AM
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korexus
post Feb 7 2019, 08:45 PM
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QUOTE (znork @ Feb 7 2019, 10:55 AM) *
There are no copyright laws that prevent someone from reimplementing a game and releasing the source code. The original source code is copyrighted, the original binaries are copyrighted. A reimplementation where there was no access to the original source code is without question copyrighted the new developer and they can do whatever they please with it.

I haven't heard that the Mordor XP developers used the original source in any way though. If they had access to it, and the new source code is using parts of the original source without permission, that is a violation of copyright even if the source code is not released. If permission has been granted for use only in closed source, derived parts needs to be removed before releasing it as open source.

There can be copyright issues involved in copying art, game design and/or mechanics (e.g. the Tetris company suing clones using the same types of pieces and the same playing field size), but that has nothing to do with open source or not. There could have been a trademark issue over the name, but the trademark has been abandoned for ages.


I haven't seen any of the paperwork, but Decklin has previously said:
QUOTE (Decklin @ Jan 7 2011, 09:46 PM) *
Braindead has a written agreement which can be voided if the terms are breached by revealing ANY of the algorithms etc


That sounds to me like the "permission granted for use in closed source" case.

Removing the copyrighted parts could be quite tricky, especially given how blurry the line can be on what is or is not derrived work can be in software. It would not surprise me if it was easier simply to start again without looking at anything that's copyrighted.

I was never on the Mordor XP team, but I am a bit sick of hearing people complain about them. Yes what they hoped to produce sounded awesome, yes it looks like it will never happen, yes that is sad. But it can be said of plenty of games, open and closed source, free and comercial. It's not as though anyone has invested money in Mordor XP (except possibly some of the devs, who aren't the ones complaining).

If you want a successor, make one*, don't just complain about how no one else is doing it, and don't use Mordor XP as an excuse not to do it. - I haven't seen the MXP source, but I guarantee that for a new person taking on the project starting afresh would be easier than trying to pick that up after the time it's spent languishing.


korexus.

* This is not just words. I am doing exactly this. I've been working on it on and off for about 15 years now. It will probably never be finished, and it is not open source, but it is available to try out for free online. If people do that and come back with bugs or suggestions I'll even try to work on them, but time is scarce and making a good game is hard.
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znork
post Feb 13 2019, 02:35 AM
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Hey, nice link. Really cool to see that discussion with David Allen and Decklin.

I'm absolutely not complaining about anyone, I just think it's important to spread the knowledge of what copyright allows you to do. Copyright is a balancing act with trade-offs between protecting earlier creators and creating an environment where new works can still be created.

So it's important that it's clear to creators that it's not against any copyright laws to remake a game and open source the code even when "the original [game] and its source code is still privately owned as intellectual property".

Anyway, since Braindead has entered into a contract with Decklin, we're not talking about copyright law anymore. I agree that he should not do anything that would breach the spirit of that contract, even if it could actually be legal if you looked close enough. Or perhaps Decklin himself would give permission at this point, the last update I see on Decklin's Domain is three years old, five years ago for anything in the Mordor/Demise categories and the forums are down.

I'm just stopping by here because I'm always reminded of this project when I think of a friend who died young, and I think about the choices we take regarding our limited time here.
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Jason
post Apr 29 2019, 08:16 PM
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QUOTE (korexus @ Feb 7 2019, 03:45 PM) *
If you want a successor, make one*, don't just complain about how no one else is doing it, and don't use Mordor XP as an excuse not to do it. - I haven't seen the MXP source, but I guarantee that for a new person taking on the project starting afresh would be easier than trying to pick that up after the time it's spent languishing.


korexus.

* This is not just words. I am doing exactly this. I've been working on it on and off for about 15 years now. It will probably never be finished, and it is not open source, but it is available to try out for free online. If people do that and come back with bugs or suggestions I'll even try to work on them, but time is scarce and making a good game is hard.


Good idea. This is what I'm going to do as well. I'm only still in the planning stages, but I'm going to write a new game in the style of Mordor, but a little different as well. I'm not really interested in the code of Mordor or Mordor XP and plan to code from scratch. I am thinking Java would be good to write it all in (anyone think that's a bad idea for any reason I'd like to hear your reasons why for consideration). Non-code assets, however, are a different matter. Things like artwork/sounds/music, etc. For that utilizing the assets of Mordor XP wouldn't be such a bad idea. Seems like they were stockpiling a lot of assets. Anyway, if anyone artists from the Mordor XP team wants to contribute to my project, let me know. I'm planning on open source for the code, but other assets can be protected however you want.

Another possibility could be utilizing assets from Mordor, but not actually including them. In other words, you'll have to have Mordor installed on your system and them tell this new game where it's located and it links in those assets. This may be legal since you aren't actually distributing copyrighted material in your program. I remember this back in the days when Doom was hot. I seem to remember that map editors were allowed (no legal opposition) so long as a user owned the full game of Doom, and not just the shareware version. I had code to check this and not work if it detected just the shareware version. Decklin would likely be ok with this sort of arrangement since it would likely increase sales of Mordor, which right now I imagine isn't a big income earner anymore.
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BLauritson
post Apr 30 2019, 06:04 PM
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I'm sure Java would be a perfectly sound language to write your own project in smile.gif

With regards to the assets in Mordor XP, I'm not 100% certain on this but from what I've read on some historic threads it looks like the online repository where the assets were stored is sadly no more, so unless any of the former contributors still have their artwork stored somewhere then likely it's gone for good.

Good luck with it all though, I'm sure you'll find some way forward for the non-code assets.


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korexus
post Apr 30 2019, 07:33 PM
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Java. Ugh. wink.gif

It's a personal choice though. A language you know, or something you want to learn makes sense for this sort of project. The game's unlikely to get to the point where choice of language is your biggest problem.

For images, check out https://opengameart.org/ . It's very varied, but a lot of it is very good, and available under permissive licenses. For audio I'm not sure. I remember someone mentioned making some new music a little while ago, I think it was rb10c, but I can't seem to search his posts to check. There is probably something out there that can be used for free/sheap, but it may take more hunting.


korexus.
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Mordion
post May 1 2019, 01:02 AM
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The most important thing is to use a language you know. Java is great if you're making a windowed game like M1. If you want to do 3D, then use Unity or Unreal. You don't want to have to learn OpenGL while simultaneously developing a game. If you try to learn a new language + new 3D API + make a game simultaneously you have a roughly 0% chance of succeeding.

Windowed game with clip art is the way to go. Mordor is a content heavy game with hundreds of monsters and items. Just typing all that in Excel is a lot of work and that doesn't include the game engine.
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Wabbit
post May 1 2019, 08:10 AM
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QUOTE (Mordion @ May 1 2019, 02:02 AM) *
The most important thing is to use a language you know. Java is great if you're making a windowed game like M1. If you want to do 3D, then use Unity or Unreal. You don't want to have to learn OpenGL while simultaneously developing a game. If you try to learn a new language + new 3D API + make a game simultaneously you have a roughly 0% chance of succeeding.

Windowed game with clip art is the way to go. Mordor is a content heavy game with hundreds of monsters and items. Just typing all that in Excel is a lot of work and that doesn't include the game engine.


Ooo look - I've just remembered about this site! smile.gif

Was having a reminisce on route to work today, and wanted to get back to Mordor.

The choice of language is a huge factor when programming.

I'm a professional C++ developer, while the Mordor MP was written in [I think] VB6 - been a while since I was able to work on it, and as such I am unable to work at my fullest with this source code.

I'm considering re-grabbing the source and trying to convert it to C++ / Java / C#, which of course is not exactly a quick task.

"Unfortunately" I'm still a full time developer, with a family, which means after a full days coding, coming home to the family doesn't leave too much time/desire to code at home as well.
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Jason
post May 1 2019, 03:09 PM
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QUOTE (korexus @ Apr 30 2019, 02:33 PM) *
Java. Ugh. wink.gif

It's a personal choice though. A language you know, or something you want to learn makes sense for this sort of project. The game's unlikely to get to the point where choice of language is your biggest problem.

For images, check out https://opengameart.org/ . It's very varied, but a lot of it is very good, and available under permissive licenses. For audio I'm not sure. I remember someone mentioned making some new music a little while ago, I think it was rb10c, but I can't seem to search his posts to check. There is probably something out there that can be used for free/sheap, but it may take more hunting.


korexus.


QUOTE (Mordion @ Apr 30 2019, 08:02 PM) *
The most important thing is to use a language you know. Java is great if you're making a windowed game like M1. If you want to do 3D, then use Unity or Unreal. You don't want to have to learn OpenGL while simultaneously developing a game. If you try to learn a new language + new 3D API + make a game simultaneously you have a roughly 0% chance of succeeding.

Windowed game with clip art is the way to go. Mordor is a content heavy game with hundreds of monsters and items. Just typing all that in Excel is a lot of work and that doesn't include the game engine.


Agreed. Java isn't too bad. I have more experience with C/C++ but java probably comes in second. For something like this project, java makes the most sense I think. I wouldn't be utilizing 3D graphics for this. From people who have been posting on here, it seems there are some who like the fact that is isn't graphic or resource intensive (original Mordor), so I'd probably want to design my project to be similar. Just more modern and open source. I mean, look at this old game, and how much it's still loved and how much people want a remake. It's not fancy 3D graphics and such that makes it so loved.

I'm going to mostly focus on coding and not worry as much about assets. As it comes along, I'm sure others will want to help out with that stuff for me and could probably handle it better. I'll stick to what I'm best at. I am already aware of opengameart.org but thanks.

QUOTE (Wabbit @ May 1 2019, 03:10 AM) *
Ooo look - I've just remembered about this site! smile.gif

Was having a reminisce on route to work today, and wanted to get back to Mordor.

The choice of language is a huge factor when programming.

I'm a professional C++ developer, while the Mordor MP was written in [I think] VB6 - been a while since I was able to work on it, and as such I am unable to work at my fullest with this source code.

I'm considering re-grabbing the source and trying to convert it to C++ / Java / C#, which of course is not exactly a quick task.

"Unfortunately" I'm still a full time developer, with a family, which means after a full days coding, coming home to the family doesn't leave too much time/desire to code at home as well.


Ya, I understand. I have family to contend with as well. It can be hard to find time for personal projects. And ya, Mordor was written in Visual Basic. Quite the interesting choice for a game like that but I guess it worked out alright, mostly.

Good to see such interest and quick replies.
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