X-Com Reborn


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#1 Trowar

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Posted 13 May 2009 - 09:41 PM

Hiya all.

I have a question and as someone here previously worked on a remake of this game, I figured its worth asking here.

Were I able to remake e-mail X-com (no promises) using ripped sprites/sounds what would be the likely legal implications of my actions? Should I seek permission from any particular company?

Basically many years ago I began a remake using The games factory and it got shelved as software limitations meant that completion was highly unlikely. Anyway, I recently upgraded to Clickteams latest software and converted everything across.

I'm now trying to figure out if its worth my while investing time into this project or not as the new software does not have the limitations which previously forced me to shelf the project meaning that given enough time it should be possible.

Any comments/ideas/suggestions?

Below: Current build... I know a LOT is wrong, but its not a release... far from it!
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#2 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 01:09 AM

Using their sprites in the game is a breach of copyright if you include them with your distributions. If people can install this over an existing copy of the game and have it use the image data from there, that's fine.

Though frankly I'd be somewhat surprised if any member of the company that owns the rights to this game (2kgames, at the moment) realises that to be the case.

With UFO2000, the game was initially made to use sprites from UFO/TFTD, though as time went on people began making new imagery that could be legally downloaded and included with UFO2k itself. It now works either way.
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#3 Trowar

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Posted 14 May 2009 - 04:29 PM

View PostBomb Bloke, on 14th May 2009, 2:09am, said:

Using their sprites in the game is a breach of copyright if you include them with your distributions. If people can install this over an existing copy of the game and have it use the image data from there, that's fine.

Though frankly I'd be somewhat surprised if any member of the company that owns the rights to this game (2kgames, at the moment) realises that to be the case.

With UFO2000, the game was initially made to use sprites from UFO/TFTD, though as time went on people began making new imagery that could be legally downloaded and included with UFO2k itself. It now works either way.

That's a good idea, I've just tested a method to import the x-com sprite sheets and it appears to work like a charm. It going to take forever to re-write the level files but thankfully I won't need to edit any other existing code beyond the level loading stuff.

Now it's a matter of time... I'll update every month or two with any progress.

#4 Slaughter

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Posted 16 May 2009 - 07:15 PM

Keep us posted!


#5 Trowar

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Posted 25 May 2009 - 12:23 PM

Okay, I'm currently re-writting my map editor as now the game imports the sprites form a spritesheet my old system has been deemed obsolete.

Does anyone know where I can download the e-mail x-com map editor? I never used it myself but it would be good to take a look to help design the layout on my map editor which I will bundle with the game itself.

Also, any ideas on what game modes I should include? At present I think I will use a system whereby the game client posts data to a site via the POST command where it is stored in a SQL database, the other players client will then be able to download the turn by viewing a php script on the server (server will usually hold moves for about six months or until a game is finished.). I will also add an e-mail option where by you get a block of code and you copy and paste it into the client to play the move.

Any ideas are welcome. Progress is slow but steady at the moment, I'm aiming for a straight remake with very few new features so hopefully it will only take a few months.

#6 Trowar

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Posted 10 February 2010 - 11:54 PM

It's still going... just slooooooooowly,

Stupid work keep slowing me down :D

#7 Pete

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Posted 11 February 2010 - 07:40 AM

Cool - are you able to give an estimate of how far through you are?
May your terror missions always be infested with Chrysalids.

#8 Trowar

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Posted 21 February 2010 - 09:00 PM

View PostPete, on 11th February 2010, 8:40am, said:

Cool - are you able to give an estimate of how far through you are?

About two months ago I decided to start from scratch. I had ran into a lot of problems and knowing what the problems were, I figured out the best way was to redesign the application to prevent them occurring.

An ETA is hard as my work is keeping me so busy I sometimes can't touch the project for a week.

In a couple of months I should be able to give an ETA once I know what new problems await me with the new system.

#9 Pete

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Posted 22 February 2010 - 01:10 PM

No problems - keep us informed :)
May your terror missions always be infested with Chrysalids.

#10 Trowar

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 10:59 AM

Believe it or not after all this time my project didn't die. I had to place it on hold for about seven months due to IRL work commitments but since then things have been ticking along.

My aim is to release the multi-player part of the game first (as a free beta) and I will then later add a single player campaign as a paid release (at a cheap price).

Could I ask if people here think there would be demand for a single player game which uses the e-mail x-com graphics style as opposed to isometric? The theme would remain the same (aliens vs humans) although like e-mail x-com players will not have the ability to kneel and the game will be on one floor level (no elevation). Items would be in the game to assist players (smoke grenades, etc).

The reason for the above approach is  I want the game to be easy to play on an iPad, also the simpler I keep it the higher the chances this game will reach completion.

Please post and comments, feature requests, etc here.

Thanks.

#11 ShadowBlade

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 08:27 PM

I don't think you can put a price on it. Even though you're not providing E-Mail X-COM's graphics, the game presumably can't work without them, so you'd be indirectly profiting from someone else's work.

It would be different if the game ran on original graphics and were 100% your own, with the aforementioned files as a purely secondary option.
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#12 Trowar

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 09:14 AM

View PostShadowBlade, on 4th June 2011, 9:27pm, said:

I don't think you can put a price on it. Even though you're not providing E-Mail X-COM's graphics, the game presumably can't work without them, so you'd be indirectly profiting from someone else's work.

It would be different if the game ran on original graphics and were 100% your own, with the aforementioned files as a purely secondary option.

Ah, perhaps I should have been more clear. The project was initially intended t be a remake but has since changed to be an independant game. It will therefore use it's own graphics, sounds and code but the gameplay, mechanics and game theme will be similar to those of e-mail x-com.

For now I am using e-mail x-com's sprites but as soon as I am happy that the gameplay is running as intended then I will comission an artist to create seperate spritesheets (Just incase things don't go as planned!). For this reason the final product will not contian any e-mail x-com assets although PC users will have the ability to easily import them and create/share maps using them.

#13 Thorondor

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 06:41 PM

Quote

Please post and comments, feature requests, etc here.
I'd favour the presence of a single-player element, though not necessarily a conventional "campaign".

Something sandboxy would be nice: a standard skirmish vs. AI for practice, plus maybe some semi-randomly-generated Episodes which are in no set order but in which you can partly influence the next one you're presented with in opposition or toys you get/will find there depending on how well you handled yourself.

However, and putting myself in your shoes, I'd carefully consider if it's worth your investment in both time and money to make a worthwhile single-player part. You need to ask yourself two questions: is it going to be up to snuff? and will you get your money back?

As you know, a game - any game these days - is judged, and often dismissed, extremely quickly. Even before it gets a chance to show it may have its merits. Will yours have what it takes to make people actually _consider_ buying it?

Be it as it may, you surely have the stamina, so I wish you the best of luck for your project. :P

::

p.s.: as a parting thought: have you ever considered making it a co-op vs. AI game? Each player controlling a fireteam of 3 soldiers. Could be especially interesting as a forum-based game...

#14 Trowar

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 08:39 PM

View PostThorondor, on 6th June 2011, 6:41pm, said:

I'd favour the presence of a single-player element, though not necessarily a conventional "campaign".

Something sandboxy would be nice: a standard skirmish vs. AI for practice, plus maybe some semi-randomly-generated Episodes which are in no set order but in which you can partly influence the next one you're presented with in opposition or toys you get/will find there depending on how well you handled yourself.

However, and putting myself in your shoes, I'd carefully consider if it's worth your investment in both time and money to make a worthwhile single-player part. You need to ask yourself two questions: is it going to be up to snuff? and will you get your money back?

As you know, a game - any game these days - is judged, and often dismissed, extremely quickly. Even before it gets a chance to show it may have its merits. Will yours have what it takes to make people actually _consider_ buying it?

Be it as it may, you surely have the stamina, so I wish you the best of luck for your project. :P

::

p.s.: as a parting thought: have you ever considered making it a co-op vs. AI game? Each player controlling a fireteam of 3 soldiers. Could be especially interesting as a forum-based game...

I haven't fully decided how the single player part will pan out yet. At first I imagined having scripted levels and in between levels you would return to your base. When on non-combat levels (e.g. the base) the game would not be turn based and would give you freedom to find and perform side-quests or to pursue the main quest line (a mission hub). Choosing one mission may make another unavailable and will influence the game ending.

I also think adding non-combat parts to the game would be good for story development so let me know if you think this is a bad idea!

I'm not sure how I could implement a sandbox as the main game play aspect. If you let me know how you think this could be done I may be able to implement it or at least borrow ideas from it. As for skirmishes, you can play the AI on any map, even custom created ones. At present I don't plan to have a world view where you can place bases etc. Instead you have one base at a set location and the missions would be presented to you. (There is another project by someone else doing an x-com clone with base management, etc.)

I think a campaign is the easiest way although I'll look into the idea of semi-randomly generated episodes. Your idea would take longer to develop but would be much better in regards to re-playability. I could create a random pool of missions and vary the AI difficulty... I'll give it some thought.

I've already sank a fair bit of money into the project and plenty of time so I figure I'll keep going forward and will pray things shape up. I plan to allow plenty of game testers so hopefully people will be able to tell me what I'm doing well and what I'm not.

Considering it's a turn based game, I think it would be easy for me to include co-operative play. Map sizes aren't limited to any set size so I would just need to think of a way to keep both players engaged. If I take the co-op route I need to make it feel like as if the the second player is needed and not just tagging along.

The base game engine is about 70% complete (maps, movement, combat) although I'm yet to tough the AI.

It will take a while but I'll try to keep updates more frequent.




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