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News: Paul & Fred have reached a settlement with Stardock!

+  The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum
|-+  The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release
| |-+  General UQM Discussion (Moderator: Death 999)
| | |-+  WHY isn't there a "revival" company?
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Author Topic: WHY isn't there a "revival" company?  (Read 6566 times)
Novus
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Re: WHY isn't there a "revival" company?
« Reply #30 on: July 10, 2006, 01:53:11 am »

There's another obstacle to these pipe dreams: some older developers had the unfortunate habit of losing the source code during corporate shuffling-around, so even if you get the rights, you might still have to remake the whole game from scratch... which, with a little creative name-changing, is (probably) already legal.
Consider also that most games from the early 80s are written in assembly language; i.e. a textual representation of machine code with textual labels for variables and instructions (that may or may not be cryptic) and maybe some comments. You'd probably have to rewrite the whole thing even if you had the source code, unless you're emulating the CPU or happen to have a compatible one.

For games that old, emulation or rewriting are the only real options except in some special cases (e.g. programs in interpreted languages for which an interpreter is available, "well-behaved" DOS games). Reverse engineering a C64 program of about 40K (including graphics, music, et.c.!) in order to create a carbon copy in another language is also a lot easier than slogging through megabytes of machine-generated machine code from a modern game.

The hard part is legal, really. Getting EA to part with the rights or even convincing them to allow a rewrite for them is probably going to be tough (and/or expensive).
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