Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
LivingInThePast

Reverse engineering SimCity 4, a la OpenTTD?

Recommended Posts

I was reading about OpenTTD on Wikipedia (an enhancement to Transport Tycoon Deluxe), and was wondering--could a similar effort be done for SimCity 4? It wouldn't be hacking the EXE or taking wholesale lines of code, and you would be able to use original SimCity 4 components (graphics, buildings, SFX, etc.) provided you owned the program. Is that at all possible, or are we just screwed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahem, OpenTTD Is built on TTD's source code, which were released by the developers. using the source code of sim city 4 would be illegal untill EA make it public.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Reverse engineering the exe in any way is illegal. I guess it can be done at some way but EA wouldn't be amused if that got out. However, one big pro of Simcity 4 is the plugins, there are so many possibilities in this area that you can achieve many things without changing the EXE at all. Some specific features like tunnels, bridges etc. can't be changed a lot (things like Maxis bridges over roads or different tunnel entrances to choose from like you choose bridges for example). Possible stability issues caused by the age of the game can't be solved (completely) either. However, when you have a lot of custom content (and off course the NAM) it doesn't look like the original game at all, especially when you have a block all maxis buildings mod.

 

Whether you can (legally) change a game or not depends on the license of the game. In 2008 EA released the source code of Simcity 1 under the GPL-3 license. This means that you can do anything you want with the source code of Simcity 1. However, this is not the case with Simcity 4. They haven't released the source code of later versions of Simcity. Because it took 19 years to publish the source code of the original game I don't think they would publish the source code of Simcity 4.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a matter of fact, it is possible to reverse engineer the program, but mucho illegal.  It is much easier to do this now with the digital download version of deluxe which is not encrypted, but thou shalt not.  If I did it, even now, I would lose my professional designation which I worked damned hard to get.  Even in retirement I care about that.

 

If EA were even faintly agreeable, I would, however, sign whatever non-disclosures they liked and at least recompile the code for 64-bit, and try to get the OpenGL graphics working, as well as fix the bugs that are currently fixed by all the nice patches.

 

How many of us would pay a small fee for a fixed version of the program that ran 64-bit with full virtual memory capability.  No other changes?  Shouldn't affect any custom content except where there was executable code involved.  Might be nice to get it before the 128-bit machines come out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well actually Transport Tycoon's source code was never released.  OpenTTD's legal status is questionable.  I'm pretty sure that no legal action has been taken against it only because MicroProse was gone by the time the project was started, and Chris Sawyer's interest had shifted away after the failure of Locomotion.  (Of course, that interest is back now with his new game announcement, but I think OTTD is too well-established and liked to be at risk.)

 

But since EA and Maxis are still around, and still making SimCity games, it would be very unwise to reverse engineer SC4.  They definitely won't turn a blind eye.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, EA will probably not release any permission for stuff like that for quite awhile cus of sim city 2013

No question about that.  If they did, they'd have a serious problem with the new program because SC4 would simply wipe it out.  If it was fixed up, even with the existing graphics paradigm, a lot more people who became frustrated with all the bugs would come back.  And as word spread, the marketing efforts at EA would become more and more obviously "mere puffing" as the courts would put it.

 

Imagine having a crash-proof, well documented SC4 with 64-bit addressing and the known bugs fixed in the exe.  It would have to run completely stand-alone with no .net nonsense.  Since it is a C program, I don't see a problem.

 

And let me say again that such a move would not affect any custom content that was purely data files.  Only mods containing code might have to be fixed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an Account  

Sign up to join our friendly community. It's easy!  :thumb:

Register a New Account

Sign In  

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×