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hardcore_gamer

Ross reviews Strife, also talks a bit about Doom

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Ross, the author of the famous Freeman's mind series, has just reviewed Strife while also talking a bit about Doom.



I found his review to be pretty entertaining. I also must confess that I agree about what he said about Doom's mazelike level design often being very annoying, though I still think the levels are great overall.

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It's neat that he gives the game some much deserved exposure. I don't agree with him on the level design, though. Perhaps I'm crazy, but I like maze-like design.

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I haven't heard people talk about Strife since... like ever. It's generally regarded as a pretty mediocre game, but i liked it. Too bad the source code is lost to eternity...

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schmerr said:

Too bad the source code is lost to eternity...

These days, I wouldn't really say that's the case anymore. The reverse engineering efforts are 99.9% accurate, Chocolate Strife may as well be considered the actual source code at this point. It's the closest we'll ever get.

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Heh, I saw this earlier and I was gonna post it myself. Like others have said, though, I don't quite agree with his sentimentality about games like Doom and Strife being too mazelike. I mean, I get what he's saying, but to me, it's never really been too much of an issue. Maybe it's because I've been playing Doom for so long - but when I think of games with a mazelike feel, I think of games like Wolfenstein. Like, games where it's really difficult to navigate without the aid of a map. Most (good) Doom levels have unique enough style in their architecture that you can find your way around simply by landmarks and whatnot.

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Sodaholic said:

It's neat that he gives the game some much deserved exposure. I don't agree with him on the level design, though. Perhaps I'm crazy, but I like maze-like design.


It depends on how convoluted or enigmatic the mazes are. In Wolfenstein 3D--and let's face it, most any orthagonally based shooters--the extreme repetition can get very annoying, certainly enough that I never finished the entire six episodes of the original Wolf. Doom's maps were never so hard that I needed a walkthrough. I started playing Doom around age nine, and never found the maps so intimidating or confusing that I had to cheat to find the exit. Anyone who picks up Doom and finds it too daunting has either been spoiled by the hold-your-hand nature of modern games, or simply cannot grasp spatial relationships enough to navigate through what is essentially a 2D pathway.

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i dont like that he calls the game abandonware though, that term doesnt mean anything. The game's still a commercial copyrighted game.

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doomgargoyle said:

i dont like that he calls the game abandonware though, that term doesnt mean anything. The game's still a commercial copyrighted game.


Then explain why it's damn near impossible to find a commercial copy of the game compared to how easily one can find it as abandonware.

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MFG38 said:

Then explain why it's damn near impossible to find a commercial copy of the game compared to how easily one can find it as abandonware.


Its not that difficult, Amazon has plenty of copies. The games are either commercial or public domain/open source. Abandonware is a term that doesnt mean anything.

Regarding level design, Strife's maps make more sense than doom, while they still are a bit confusing to navigate through, specially the sewers, damn, i hate the sewers.

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doomgargoyle said:

Abandonware is a term that doesnt mean anything.

I don't think it's fair to say that. Just because something an officially and legally recognized doesn't mean that it isn't an extant classification of software. To consumers, collectors and historians, abandonware at the very least means a game is no longer commercially sold or supported in any way by its rights-holders. Bonus points if it's for what is considered a long time, and extra bonus points if the rights-holders don't even exist anymore.

Regardless of what anyone's personal opinions are on the ethical means of acquiring it, Srtife is undeniably abandonware in every sense of the word. Just because you want to be orthodox and stay on the safe side of present-day copyright law doesn't diminish the term's definitional validity or its practical implications.

doomgargoyle said:

Regarding level design, Strife's maps make more sense than doom, while they still are a bit confusing to navigate through, specially the sewers, damn, i hate the sewers.

Heh, even the game's own characters recognize the convoluted nature of the sewers map. "That brick! Didn't we pass that brick? Oh, nevermind..."

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Sodaholic said:

These days, I wouldn't really say that's the case anymore. The reverse engineering efforts are 99.9% accurate, Chocolate Strife may as well be considered the actual source code at this point. It's the closest we'll ever get.

Yeah. I'd like to believe 100% at this point ;) I thought I might have found a discrepancy the other day but double checked it and it was correct :P

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doomgargoyle said:

Its not that difficult, Amazon has plenty of copies. The games are either commercial or public domain/open source. Abandonware is a term that doesnt mean anything.

Regarding level design, Strife's maps make more sense than doom, while they still are a bit confusing to navigate through, specially the sewers, damn, i hate the sewers.

Any non-boxed non-shrinkwrap copy of Strife on Amazon is illegal. You are being sold pirate goods, just as much as walking up to a street vendor in some eastern European country to buy knock-off DVDs would be.

This is especially the case if any of the aforementioned products are packaging Chocolate Strife with the IWAD. None of these people are in compliance with the GPL and are stealing my work. Please do not support them.

Strife IS abandonware in every legitimate sense that word has, because all of the companies which held ownership rights to it no longer exist. This is a status under copyright law known as an "orphan work". Due to lobbying by record companies and ASCAP, however, such works continue to be protected to the fullest extent by copyright law. There's no one to press charges against you in a civil copyright suit if you illegally copy it, but a capricious federal prosecutor COULD still file criminal charges against you if you leave evidence of your having done so laying around.

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I have never minded Doom's maze-like level design. Also I should give STRIFE a playthrough sometime, looks fun.

Now boring maze-like obscure/mass switch hunts on the other hand....

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Quasar said:

Any non-boxed non-shrinkwrap copy of Strife on Amazon is illegal.


Huh, so just buying the jewel case and the CD, or just the plain CD (As many lose the original packaging) is in fact illegal? Huh, bought Chasm: The Rift like that, as the guy lost all the packaging. Huh, so illegal. ;P

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Maze like level design is a major hurdle for level design in these kinds of games. On one hand the maze like nature provides people with a break from combat.

In modern post Half Life games we are now expected to provide straight forward level design and inject breaks from combat as part of the normal flow.

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Sodaholic said:

I don't think it's fair to say that. Just because something an officially and legally recognized doesn't mean that it isn't an extant classification of software. To consumers, collectors and historians, abandonware at the very least means a game is no longer commercially sold or supported in any way by its rights-holders. Bonus points if it's for what is considered a long time, and extra bonus points if the rights-holders don't even exist anymore.

Regardless of what anyone's personal opinions are on the ethical means of acquiring it, Srtife is undeniably abandonware in every sense of the word. Just because you want to be orthodox and stay on the safe side of present-day copyright law doesn't diminish the term's definitional validity or its practical implications.

Heh, even the game's own characters recognize the convoluted nature of the sewers map. "That brick! Didn't we pass that brick? Oh, nevermind..."


I guess the term abandonware as invented on the internet does apply, but it still doesnt have any legal meaning. It would be more appropiate to call it an "orphaned work". That is, until somebody claims it. Then it becomes copyrighted commercial work again.

I dont remember how i got through the sewers. I think i probably used noclip. :D

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Quasar said:

Any non-boxed non-shrinkwrap copy of Strife on Amazon is illegal. You are being sold pirate goods, just as much as walking up to a street vendor in some eastern European country to buy knock-off DVDs would be.

This is especially the case if any of the aforementioned products are packaging Chocolate Strife with the IWAD. None of these people are in compliance with the GPL and are stealing my work. Please do not support them.

Strife IS abandonware in every legitimate sense that word has, because all of the companies which held ownership rights to it no longer exist. This is a status under copyright law known as an "orphan work". Due to lobbying by record companies and ASCAP, however, such works continue to be protected to the fullest extent by copyright law. There's no one to press charges against you in a civil copyright suit if you illegally copy it, but a capricious federal prosecutor COULD still file criminal charges against you if you leave evidence of your having done so laying around.


"Orphaned work" is more accurate, since abandonware doesnt mean anything. There isnt any legal definition of abandonware, and the term wouldnt be recognized in a court of law. Maybe there should be a Doomworld community-backed move that pushes to make Strife recognized as a freeware or public domain title, ending its dubious copyright status.

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TheCastle said:

Maze like level design is a major hurdle for level design in these kinds of games. On one hand the maze like nature provides people with a break from combat.

In modern post Half Life games we are now expected to provide straight forward level design and inject breaks from combat as part of the normal flow.


I have a design challenge for you. Make an fps game with no height variation in its levels, like Wolf3d, not tedious to navigate through. How would you do it?

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Clonehunter said:

Huh, so just buying the jewel case and the CD, or just the plain CD (As many lose the original packaging) is in fact illegal? Huh, bought Chasm: The Rift like that, as the guy lost all the packaging. Huh, so illegal. ;P


I got my copy of Strife in a jewel case and CD with manual, wasnt aware it had a box. :D

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TheCastle said:

In modern post Half Life games we are now expected to provide straight forward level design and inject breaks from combat as part of the normal flow.

Which is a little ironic, considering Half-Life's level design is anything but straight forward. The base Valve maps are still held in the highest regard by the HL mapping community.

doomgargoyle said:

I have a design challenge for you. Make an fps game with no height variation in its levels, like Wolf3d, not tedious to navigate through. How would you do it?

Easy, just copy E2M3. :P

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doomgargoyle said:

I have a design challenge for you. Make an fps game with no height variation in its levels, like Wolf3d, not tedious to navigate through. How would you do it?


Here is a video of me making a Wolf3D map.

http://youtu.be/XPkpiqWV1aE

You have to try and make every area unique either through texture variance or landmarks. Its actually very hard to make levels that are not mazy in Wolf3D.

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Clonehunter said:

Huh, so just buying the jewel case and the CD, or just the plain CD (As many lose the original packaging) is in fact illegal? Huh, bought Chasm: The Rift like that, as the guy lost all the packaging. Huh, so illegal. ;P

You're taking me too literally. But it's quite likely that if the shrinkwrap's not on, the previous owner(s) probably still have the game installed. I'd love to think we live in a world where everybody's super perfect honest but I think we all know that is not the case :P

I'm mainly talking about electronic distribution in exchange for money, though. There has never been an authorized electronic distribution of Strife. Anybody running one is a crook, no different than electronically distributing your own copies of Doom would be.

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TheCastle said:

Here is a video of me making a Wolf3D map.

http://youtu.be/XPkpiqWV1aE

You have to try and make every area unique either through texture variance or landmarks. Its actually very hard to make levels that are not mazy in Wolf3D.


That looks interesting, which editor did you use?

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doomgargoyle said:

"Orphaned work" is more accurate, since abandonware doesnt mean anything. There isnt any legal definition of abandonware, and the term wouldnt be recognized in a court of law.

To be frank, damn the courts of law. They are corrupt, obtuse, shortsighted and operating on outdated laws made for an entirely different era of technology and culture.

The spirit of copyright law has been twisted over time. It used to be that works would automatically become public domain after a certain period of time, and then Disney and others like them came along and ruined everything. We need serious and heavy copyright law reform in the US to restore that fairer spirit and update the finer details for modern times.

Please note that I am not endorsing warez here: Speaking in a more general sense, when any given laws are clearly unjust and unnecessary, I view it as merely neutral and not bad to bend or break them in the shadows as long as it's not actually harming anyone or their opportunities.

doomgargoyle said:

Maybe there should be a Doomworld community-backed move that pushes to make Strife recognized as a freeware or public domain title, ending its dubious copyright status.

Right, but how do we do that exactly?

doomgargoyle said:

That is, until somebody claims it. Then it becomes copyrighted commercial work again.

And who or what would remotely have any legal authority to do so? I'm no lawyer, but it seems to me that under current copyright law that it's impossible. It's in limbo because nobody can claim it; even former employees of Rouge and Velocity, yet it isn't public domain and cannot be.

My point is; avoid paying for digital copies of the game, especially if they're violating the license terms of more than just the IWADs themselves (you're wasting money, anyway) and try to get a legitimate physical copy if you can. However, I don't think we should be worrying too much about what people do of their own volition, regardless of topic. We're gamers, not copyright police. What those who pirate do is their own responsibility and liability to bear.

BlueFeena said:

Easy, just copy E2M3. :P

That still has minor height variation added to it. You want the legit Wolf 3D-like experience from that level, try the 0.4 version. Hell, I'm tempted to recreate that version's layout in Wolf 3D right now just to see how it plays in an even more primitive form. It's probably the easiest level to directly transfer in the entire game. Close seconds could be E2M2 and E2M7, but none as easy as E2M3.

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It seems to me that we should have some sort of official policy regarding orphaned works. Just seems like you're almost completely missing the point of copyright law if you've got these things sitting in limbo where no one can do anything with them, and yet they're not public domain either. Just friggin' say if no one can legitimately make a claim on a work, it should be public domain. I dunno, I'm no expert no copyright law, but that's part of the problem, I think - copyright law is so incredibly complex and confusing and creates these situations which have nothing to do with why it was created in the first place.

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Sodaholic said:

Right, but how do we do that exactly?


Well, I could think of this: The community organizes a kickstarter-like campaign to raise enough funds to hire an IP lawyer on behalf of doomworld.org and that lawyer begins an exhaustive search of the rights owners. Thing is, lawyers have expensive fees and they charge by the hour.

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doomgargoyle said:

Well, I could think of this: The community organizes a kickstarter-like campaign to raise enough funds to hire an IP lawyer on behalf of doomworld.org and that lawyer begins an exhaustive search of the rights owners. Thing is, lawyers have expensive fees and they charge by the hour.

They'll have their work cut out for them. Amongst people who don't know what happened to Velocity's IP are its own former CEO, the guys who worked for Rogue Entertainment, and anybody that used to work at id.

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