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Thread: Civ ii source code

  1. #1
    McMonkey
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    Civ ii source code

    I don't know about anyone else but I often have warm fuzzy daydreams about how wonderful it would be if 2K Games released the source code so we could make all our Civ 2 fantasies come true. I know the Crusade for the code had been struggling on and off for at least the past five years.

    Without indulging in my usual waffle (as if!) I would like to know how many people there are still around here would know what to do with the source code if we did manage to lay our hands on it. I am happy to experiment with it but I am by no means competent when it comes to programming!!!

    The reason I am asking is that I am more than willing to take up the banner for the "Pretty please, Give us the Source Code" Brigade from Yaroslav and Eivind, as long as there are some people about who would actually know what to do with it and who could back up my pitch with the relevant technical jargon.

    The way I see it, there are people with the talent to work with the code who don't have the time to chase around trying to get it, there are people who would really like to get the code but wouldn't know what to do with it if they did get it and there is a mass of old CivII fans out there who would love love to give a rejuvenated CivII a blast (there were millions of copies sold and everyone is on the net nowadays!).

    The recent correspondence between Eivind and Brian Reynolds (see last couple of pages of: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showth...=88765&page=15) was very encouraging and definitely progress. Although he did not get the code he did receive the blessing of the creator.

    Reading Mercator's comments on the amount of programming work it would take to get stuff done is a fairly daunting, but I would imagine that the release of the source code could rouse some help from the community, a lot of which I believe is silent but still lurking somewhere in cyberspace. I would imagine that something like the release of the code might create enough interest to fire some nostalgia receptors!

    My personal aims for the source code would be fairly simple:
    -Increase the number of Civs available (IE 7+)
    -Increase the maximum number of units available
    -Increase the maximum number of cities available
    -Increase the size of the Events file if possible

    Not hugely imaginative I know, but with these simple additions I could have a lot of fun in multiplayer games and I am sure that the single player devotees would find these and a hundred other minor mods a revelation.

    I'm ranting now but I have drunk a lot of red wine (not my usual tipple) and I'm going to go for it Games like Doom and Sim City (and Call to Power!) have had their source codes released. I have seen many excellent major mods such as Rome Total Realism (admittedly a much more recent game) which must have taken hundreds of hours of effort by dedicated (unpaid) modders. I know these things are possible!

    Maybe its the wine () but I just feel that if we don't get the source code soon then we never will. I'm willing to be as charming and persuasive as I possibly can be in my quest to get hold of the code, or die trying. All I really need to know if that at least one person will know what the hell to do with it if we succeed!?!

    I reason decided to post here rather than at Civ Fanatics (where Eivind last posted) was that this site still some has credible signs of life (sorry to be rude to CivFan diehards) and if anything is ever going to be done with the code if/when it if released it will almost certainly be here.

    I AM waffling now, definitely. If you think there is a realistic possibility of at least getting hold of the code (I mean where would you keep it, I'm that clueless!) then Give me some encouragement. If you think it is a lost cause give me your reasons so that I can weigh up the odds. Can't see that I've got anything to loose by asking!

  2. #2
    Eivind IV
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    I admire your willingness to take on a pretty much lost cause. Sorry, I don't mean top throw cold water on your enthusiasm, but although we share this wet dream of the holy grail that is the civ2 source code, I seriously think the quest and the very existance of the actual grail will remain a myth for future generations. My last post at CivFan pretty much summed up the situation:

    Quote Originally Posted by Eivind IV@CivFan
    This quote is hidden because you are ignoring this member. Show Quote
    Happy new years, everyone!

    Without raising expectations too high, DanQ has reached the PR director of Firaxis which I failed to get a respond from. She said she would gladly(!) forward the letter to 2K and see what comes out of it. She will keep him (DanQ) posted, and he will let me know if anything comes out of it. But as we have met nothing but closed doors up to this point, I think it's important to curb any hopes of an immidiate breakthrough. 2K Games are the ones with the last word in this matter.

    But here's to thinking positive! :beer:
    Not even having used our civ2 contact network to bring it to the very centre of power at 2K could help bring about any results. Unless we actually track down "the powers that be" in person, I think we're pretty much screwed. But hey, I still support you if you want to do anything about it!
    Last edited by Eivind IV; January 11, 2009 at 08:43.
    Find my civ2 scenarios here

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  3. #3
    McMonkey
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    Hi ya Eivind

    I should have spoken to you before posting. I had intended to find out how far you had progressed but the alcohol made me post hastily

    Did you get any response from 2K at all? If not then that's pretty rude. Even a negative response is better than silence!

    Maybe persistence would yield results. Keep on nagging until someone responds one way or the other to shut us up!

    Still the main point of my post was to find out if there is anyone who would know how to program the changes or who could instruct others on what to do. There is no point in continuing with the effort to get the code if there is nobody with the skills to still about!

    P.S. I ended up with two threads because I was trying to alter the title from Civ ii to Civ 2. Again I blame alcohol!

  4. #4
    Eivind IV
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    Ok, I will contact DanQ once more and see what he says.
    Find my civ2 scenarios here

    Ave Europa, nostra vera Patria!

  5. #5
    fairline
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    Good to see you Eivind. How's things?

  6. #6
    McMonkey
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    Thanks Eivind. I have found that in life you sometimes have to nag, pester and nag some more to get things done. If an e-mail turns up on the desk of someone at 2K and they forget about it and we never contact them again then the petition was a waste. If our e-mails keep popping into their inbox they may read and respond just to shut us up...or set us as nuisance senders Please feel free to send me anything that I may find useful in helping you as I know you are busy at the moment. How are things going in Brussels anyway?

  7. #7
    Eivind IV
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    Thanks Gareth, the same to you! I just moved from Paris to Brussels to work at the embassy. Having a blast! How about you?

    And I agree McMonkey. A lot of work was put into the petition process. There are hundreds of petitioners, a greatly formulated letter by Harry Tuttle, and a lot of hours spent by Yaroslavl and myself to track down the men in charge. At one point I even bought a lot of expensive stamps to send the petition by snail mail to Reynolds It would be a shame if everything was a waste indeed. But right now I think we've tried the most likely procedure for success. Unless you or anyone else has some new ideas, I no longer know what more can be done than using the DanQ link...
    Last edited by Eivind IV; January 13, 2009 at 14:02.
    Find my civ2 scenarios here

    Ave Europa, nostra vera Patria!

  8. #8
    curtsibling
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    Would be lovely to get more than 7 civs, and all the rest...

    I am resigned to the fate of never seeing the CIV2 source code...

    But always secretly hoping to be surprised!


  9. #9
    McMonkey
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    Would you mind sending me a copy of the petition, letter and the contact details for 2K and Mr Reynolds?

    I will send you a PM with my e-mail address. Of course if you cannot pass on some of the details because of confidentiality that is fine, but hopefully you know me well enough by now to know I won't do anything shady with them

    I cannot see that a fresh enquiry would do any harm. I'm not going to bombard the 2K inbox or anything silly. Of course if I did manage to get the code I would not try and take the credit, I'm not really after a Hall of Fame badge

  10. #10
    DarkCloud
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    A phone call placed to the appropriate person, accompanied by an email, might work the best.

    I think if Thunderfall (of CivFanatics...yes?) or DanQ delivered it, that might have more panache... What if you guys got in contact with Trip, Jon Schafer who used to post prestigiously on the forums here and who now works at Firaxis? And forward the information to him, then ask him to please send it on? Or ask him if he could relay the appropriate phone number for a contact to Dan or Thunderfall for them to continue the inquiries.

    ~DC.
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  11. #11
    Eivind IV
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    I'm sorry Monkey, but all that is left on my stationary computer in Norway...
    Find my civ2 scenarios here

    Ave Europa, nostra vera Patria!

  12. #12
    McMonkey
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    When will you be back home next Eivind?

    Thanks for the pointers Dark Cloud. I will approach them and see what they think. Would it be best to send them a PM or do you have alternative contact details for them?

    One of my main concerns is our ability to actually do something worthwhile with the code. I suppose if we did get it released it could stimulate enough interest to bring in some programmers who could get some of the basic fixes done. I suppose we won't know until we succeed in getting the code released, a chicken and egg situation! As this is just speculation until the code is released I won't worry about it too much. One thing at a time!

    For now I just need someone who can give me the basic technical advice that I lack. The worst situation would be that someone at 2K agrees in principle to release the code and asks me the practicalities of what we will do with it and where to make it available, because I have no idea and I will look like a fool! It would be good to have someone on hand to consult on technical issues/jargon so that our correspondence will be taken seriously.

    Some of the things I am a bit sketchy on are:

    What format does the code come in?
    Where would it get released to?
    Do 2K games put it on their website or do we need a host site?

    Anybody know such stuff?

    I know I keep saying "when we get the code", I like to keep a positive mental attitude ; )

  13. #13
    DarkCloud
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    Dan usually responds to PMs. If you send him one and he doesn't respond in 5 days, post it here and I'll send it on to him in a fashion that he is certain to notice.
    Also try PMing Jon Schafer and sending him an Email via the Apolyton system... but make sure you know exactly what you're writing- your writing looks professional, etc. If Jon doesn't respond after 10 days, I'll try to get in touch with him. We used to exchange PMs before he went to work for Firaxis. He's an amazing fellow.

    I can't say anything about thunderfall.

    >>For now I just need someone who can give me the basic technical advice that I lack. The worst situation would be that someone at 2K agrees in principle to release the code and asks me the practicalities of what we will do with it and where to make it available, because I have no idea and I will look like a fool! It would be good to have someone on hand to consult on technical issues/jargon so that our correspondence will be taken seriously.

    Well... then before we actually request the code, let's line up interested fellows who actually have plans for using the Civ II Source Code.

    Scattered Ideas written while listening to language learning tapes, apologies in advance for lack of grammar:

    Note1: Assemble a list of all the petitions (by link) here on apolyton and civ fanatics.
    Note2: Track down anyone who expressed an interest into diving into the source code and figure out what they plan to do with it, get their expertise.


    Note3: See: http://apolyton.net/forums/showthread.php?t=183163

    Good Luck.
    -->Visit CGN!
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  14. #14
    McMonkey
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    Before I go any further I need to organize myself, go through all the old threads, gather contact details and make a log of who I have spoken to and when.

    Thanks for the new thread in the General forum Dark Cloud. I will widen the search as much as I can by posting at Civ Fanatics and Civ Webring. I could even collect some more names for the petition to show there is current interest. I am always amazed by the number of new fans that come out of the woodwork!

  15. #15
    DarkCloud
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    Good luck.
    -->Visit CGN!
    -->"Production! More Production! Production creates Wealth! Production creates more Jobs!"-Wendell Willkie -1944

  16. #16
    McMonkey
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    Most of the discussion about the quest for the source code seems to be going on in the General forum: http://apolyton.net/forums/showthread.php?t=183163

    Obviously I will be checking into the Scenario Creation thread regularly and will pick up any posts, but it may be best to add any comments to the thread in the general forum

  17. #17
    Blue Lion
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    In the source code petition for Civ 3 2K posted, that THEY WILL NEVER RELEASE ANY SOURCE CODE TO ANYONE: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showpo...35&postcount=1

  18. #18
    McMonkey
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    I should have posted here as well as in the General thread. It has been conformed that 2K never received the Civ II source code and it seems to have been lost over the years as the rights but not the data were transferred between Microprose, Hasbro, 2K etc...

    As it looks like 2K wouldn't be that willing to release the code anyway there is no point even trying to track down the code even if by some miracle it did survive on an ancient hard-drive Thanks for the info Blue Lion

  19. #19
    curtsibling
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    Looks like insane legalism wins again.

    I was talking to one of Microprose's old staff (he worked on Gunship 2000!)
    last week, who now works for UK's Blackrock Studios, and he did not know
    about the fate of the source code for any of the old games...

    Perhaps lost in time...!

    Just think, there will be an old cream-case PC with the code out there somewhere...!

    Two options now remain...

    1) to continue with CIV2 loyally, till the fanbase dies off and we become Ringwraiths.

    2) We adopt a new game like Freeciv and transfer our CIV2 wisdom to a game where we can make our dreams come true...

    I will not abandon CIV2, but I am ready to try the 2nd option too!


  20. #20
    Case
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    What a shame. I guess that the current owners of the code don't think that it's worth their effort digging up the code and posting it somewhere given how old the game is...
    'Arguing with anonymous strangers on the internet is a sucker's game because they almost always turn out to be - or to be indistinguishable from - self-righteous sixteen year olds possessing infinite amounts of free time.'
    - Neal Stephenson, Cryptonomicon

  21. #21
    curtsibling
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    Lawyers - Always a problem...

  22. #22
    DarkCloud
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    Heya, you don't want to lose rights to your intellectual property...
    -->Visit CGN!
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  23. #23
    curtsibling
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    I'd see their point if we were charging money for our mods, but we are merely keeping the legacy of a great game alive...

    Naturally, the lawyers don't see it that way...


  24. #24
    McMonkey
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    Well the Lawyers are only really an obstacle for the Civ III people. 2K are saying that they never even got the Civ II code when they inherited the rights. Its a shame that such a classic game, loved by millions of gamers over the years, could be handled so carelessly but life goes on!

  25. #25
    DarkCloud
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    Curtsibling, they could still theoretically lose all rights to the game's IP if they let anyone do whatever they want with its underlying code. I doubt that they would lose those rights and have not heard of any company actually losing the rights to their game by doing that, but opening up the underlying architecture of a game seems tantamount to abandonment rather than just "fair use" which game "mods" seem to be covered by.

    They may be afraid that they will lose the rights to the game IP, what makes civ civ; rather than the coding. I hope that's their real worry. The coding is nearly 10 years old and is useless, but the IP "civilization" series and the game design and framework is still all good.

    Remember, Civ has seen its fair share of litigation. (from Avalon Hill, to the Call to Power series litigation, etc.) Perhaps 2KGames really wants to keep themselves extremely safe?
    -->Visit CGN!
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  26. #26
    DarkCloud
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    Curtsibling, they could still theoretically lose all rights to the game's IP if they let anyone do whatever they want with its underlying code. I doubt that they would lose those rights and have not heard of any company actually losing the rights to their game by doing that, but opening up the underlying architecture of a game seems tantamount to abandonment rather than just "fair use" which game "mods" seem to be covered by.

    They may be afraid that they will lose the rights to the game IP, what makes civ civ; rather than the coding. I hope that's their real worry. The coding is nearly 10 years old and is useless, but the IP "civilization" series and the game design and framework is still all good.

    Remember, Civ has seen its fair share of litigation. (from Avalon Hill, to the Call to Power series litigation, etc.) Perhaps 2KGames really wants to keep themselves extremely safe?
    -->Visit CGN!
    -->"Production! More Production! Production creates Wealth! Production creates more Jobs!"-Wendell Willkie -1944

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