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    I wish they’d release the art assets under some kind of CC license, maybe even non-commercial, when they open-source old games. I owned a legal copy of RA, but it has long since disappeared through moving, etc.

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      I wonder if this has to do with a retailer like GOGames or Steam still selling copies/full licenses.

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        I guess the reasoning is that having the code freely available doesn’t cost the publisher anything in sales, whereas releasing everything (including art) would. I think this makes sense.

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          You don’t need the art to make mods. If you want to make a mod that uses the art, don’t distribute it, reference a person’s existing installation. I feel like this is a really fair compromise between profit and mod-ability. This is what id software has been doing for decades now with Doom, Quake, etc. I believe Doom’s source code was released in 1997 or so.

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          Pretty often, it’s that some assets are acquired with a license to only use it in that product. This pretty often applies to music, sound effects and visual art. Very often, the code of old games is produced almost entirely in-house, though, or they just use common API. It’s far easier to make that ready for release.

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          That’s interesting, however OpenRA is already great if you want to play Red Alert :)

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            OpenRA is indeed super, amazingly great. One comment EA said is they are releasing this code under the GPL so it will be compatible with OpenRA, so I assume the expectation is OpenRA can become even better with this.

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              I’m pretty sure the original code will help with some edge cases, but still… it could be remarkable if they released that code when OpenRA needed it for real. Releasing it when OpenRA is already a better engine overall sounds more like “since assets is all we can sell now…”. Even then, idSoftware used to open source their engines before they became retrogaming engines.

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                so I assume the expectation is OpenRA can become even better with this.

                Unless there were secret ancient programming techniques locked away, I doubt this would be the case.

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                  Perhaps “better” means “a more exact rendition of the original”, and yeah, I do think the original code could help there.

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                    It can help understand some game behaviours.

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                    Will the assets be there too?

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                  Title is incorrect: it is Tiberian Dawn not Tiberian Sun that’s been released.

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                    Reading between the lines here, they specifically mentioned DLLs in relation to Red Alert and C&C, so does this mean (especially given the reference to OpenRA) that the engine code itself is going to remain closed source? But that wouldn’t be compatible with the GPLv3?

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                      It’s not compatible for someone to recompile the game DLL, link it to the original engine binary, and then distribute that as a binary (no path to distribution under GPLv3).

                      But it should be OK for OpenRA to link their existing GPLv3 engine to a game library derived from the released source code. (Similar comment here). I’m not super familiar with OpenRA but this seems like a good outcome (modern & compatible game engine, original game mechanics.)

                      (I am a bit curious why EA wouldn’t release the whole thing at this point, though. Maybe they don’t own the entire engine copyright clearly, or maybe they don’t actually have the source any more?)

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                        Yeah, it’s clearly not an issue for OpenRA. What is interesting is the other implications - distributing the game in this fashion is somewhat dubious (although it can at least be worked around by claiming the DLLs shipped aren’t licensed under the GPLv3), and the suggested mod usecase becomes impermissible for redistribution as the GPLv3 is not compatible with linking against non-GPLv3 binaries.