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Petition to open source Operation Flashpoint / Arma CWA code?

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What do you think of a petition to open-source OFP / Arma Cold War Assault code?

 

I know it's been a hot topic throughout the years, but I'm happy to resurrect it here a little.

 

I sometimes play the classic OFP myself and there's some really cool people still improving it, so that'd be a great help towards improving the classic title that started it all.
 

Also - does anybody know if BIS ever made some kind of statement regarding this matter?

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If they made it like how Doom had been GPL'ed I think that would be fantastic!

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This was discussed ad nauseam, and will never happen - there's too many things OFP code has in common with Arma 3, and BI is not going to jeopardize their "latest" game.

 

Not that having access to source code would help anyone much - there are at least two "unofficial patches" done by people who have "somehow" acquired OFP source code. Apparently you'd need to rewrite basic memory handling first, because adding new features/expanding on existing ones is very limited due to memory allocation.

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On 8/5/2021 at 5:00 PM, krzychuzokecia said:

This was discussed ad nauseam, and will never happen - there's too many things OFP code has in common with Arma 3, and BI is not going to jeopardize their "latest" game.

 

Not that having access to source code would help anyone much - there are at least two "unofficial patches" done by people who have "somehow" acquired OFP source code. Apparently you'd need to rewrite basic memory handling first, because adding new features/expanding on existing ones is very limited due to memory allocation.

Thanks for your insights, much appreciated.

 

Btw, how do you there's too many things common with OFP and Arma 3, for example? Where do you get this info from? (I'd love to find out more on this.)

I think if entire OFP engine or at least a part of it became open source, it'd be a great start for other people modding and improving the base game even after 20 years since its release.

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It was mentioned here in older threads by the forum moderators, and people who "somehow acquired" the source code of OFP, had the "ability" to directly compare it to the code of Arma 1 (among "other things").

 

Since I don't feel like discussing illegal actions of others, I suggest you to reach out the authors of various "unofficial patches" for OFP/CWA. They have the code (matter of fact it was posted online for everyone to get - I wasn't the one to dare however), and (excuse me being brutally honest) it doesn't really change anything in terms of modding the game. There are some new scripting commands taken from VBS, and some "hack-job-ish" features like ability to set different item models for different factions. But no one have used it outside of tutorials/examples.

 

The only significant change is enabling the use of 4GB of virtual memory when running on 64bit system - that allows to play more missions before reaching the dreaded "out of memory" error. But every potential new feature that gets added takes away from that 4GB limit, hence lack of interest in further improvements - as I mentioned before, authors of "unofficial patches" said that improving on memory management is what hinders them, and apparently it's a task so vast, you'd be better starting with Arma 1 code anyway. So question is: what's the point in taking A1 and removing it's features so that you end up with OFP but with A1 memory allocation?

 

People are modding OFP/CWA every day, and every night. They haven't moved onto newer games, because they are perfectly fine with OFP limitations - it's a well known water for them to sail on. Remember that every limit removed from the game, requires time and effort from modders to take use of. The limits were removed in A1, A2, A3 and "unofficial patches", and yet 99% of OFP modders rejected these changes. I'd say there's a reason for that.

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Krych basically had the nice version of the answer that I had in my mind which is: Open source will not happen because Arma 3 is 50% OFP code and the code is a huge mess anyway.. 😆

 

How do we know it? Partially because of things the developers said themselves over time. Some potential improvements for Arma 3 were for instance rejected because the features ran on 'old' code which could not be changed, partially because they were a mess. Unfortunately I can't point you to were these things exactly were said, it was on the forums, bug reports etc.

 

Some OFP 'remnants' in Arma 3 are:

* How the helicopter AI flies and lands especially is the same as in OFP. The AI can't flare ('brake') the helicopter to reduce airspeed without gaining a lot of altitude as well. I hate it! 😅
* You can have the 'weapon on back' animation in ARMA 3, which doesn't make a lot of sense in modern militaries, but is straight from OFP! 🙂

* Doors, falling wall animations are quite primitive and the same as in OFP

Having said all this, I have thousands of hours in Arma 3 and even OFP/Arma 1 is right here on my desktop, ready to start up for a nostalgic trip 😄

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Just out of CURIOSITY, is the current build of the DayZ SA Enfusion engine scratch built from ARMA 3 or basically just the Enfusion rendering system + ARMA 3 script system so the above legacy code is technically the same in DayZ as in OPF? 

 

 

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@Valken That's a great question. Before Standalone came out, the devs were saying that they're "porting" the game from RV to Enfusion. But when it came out, the "official story" was that it is a "hybrid" of Enfusion renderer with RV features (which probably includes scripting). But then, there's this (Enforce script introduced in DayZ Standalone).

 

What makes it even more confusing is that Enfusion itself was initially described as a hybrid of Enforce (engine used in Carrier Command and Take on Mars) and RV. So we have RV, Enforce, RV+Enforce hybrid (that's work in progress) and RV+[RV+Enforce hybrid] hybrid (that's in DayZ SA).

 

=============================================================================================================

 

Back to the topic of "gibs OFP source code BI!", I'll also add that the statement "releasing source code will make people play/mod the game!" is almost a "cargo cult" type of thinking. There are about 20 people around the world who still mod the game, and maybe 7 of them are actually creating their own new content instead of porting stuff from other games. And only 2-3 people from that group have more than passing knowledge of programming. OFP fell into obscurity, and outside of die-hards there's not much interest in it - and it keeps being so from at least 10 years if not more.

 

Re-releasing OFP as CWA was it's swan song - the only thing it achieved was to give chance to people with crappier PCs to taste the unique gameplay of Arma. But all those people, when given a chance, tend to move to newer titles in the series. Heck, I myself play A3 more than I play OFP - for me OFP is now just a way to "scratch" my modding itch, mostly because I suck too bad to mod A3.

 

Last month we had OFP 20th anniversary, and after all these years BI decided to finally "do something". That "something" was giveaway of CWA, and apparently over a million people in fact "downloaded" the game. I'm assuming, these were indeed downloads, not just adding the product to Steam account, but who knows, cryptic marketing tweets are cryptic. What effect had it on the people still playing the game? A few angry posts "dis gaem iz crap" here and there, and (next day after giveaway) 10 new nicknames on the servers. After a month, there's now 0 new nicknames on the servers - seems like newcomers caught in the trap of "free" were bored with what indeed is an awfully outdated game.

 

So yeah, the game is just too old to grab attention of people who haven't tried it in last 20 years. And this is not going to change, no matter if we get just the game for free, or the source code. If someone wants to "help the community", the best start would be, for example, making missions. Or scripts. Or mods. Doing things that really matter. Not writing useless "petitions" on forums.

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As an absolute cold war and OFP addict, I've owned multiple hard copies and now have the Steam digital copy (+ several stored as gift cards).

 

I've not touched my OFP install ever since CWR came to A3.

 

For me - as soon as I could play OFP missions, with OFP units, on OFP terrains - but in higher fidelity available in A3, I was done with it.

 

Good memories, but time don't stop. And editing in 3D beats "2D + try + back to editor" any day.

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Even if nobody plays the game or makes mods for it, I don't think it's something that should potentially be lost because "nobody cares." Even if just one person in the whole world wants to see it, I think they should be able to.

 

Of course I know that Bohemia's answer will most likely be a stern "no" for the foreseeable future, for all the reasons outlined in the thread above, but I can still imagine.

 

I still haven't beaten OFP's campaign nor any of the expansions, but someday I mean to go back and do it. A3 is nice and all and CWR is an amazing piece of work, but there's something special and unique about the original with all of its quirks, flaws and rough edges. It's like those people who say "Yeah, Doom is great, once you install this mod and that mod and this sourceport and that level pack and make sure to add bloom and per-pixel lighting and quick kills etc. etc." and while that may be fun, is it really the same game?

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17 minutes ago, itisnotlogical said:

Even if nobody plays the game or makes mods for it, I don't think it's something that should potentially be lost because "nobody cares."

People play and mod OFP every day. There are also at least two groups of people who already have access to the OFP source code (and apparently source codes of every Arma game up until A3 beta). Which haven't changed much for the folks playing and modding the game, even though the code is "out there" since... 2015?

 

It seems to me that the people who "don't care" are the ones who keep constantly writing such silly threads like this. These people are not part of OFP community anymore, and they are either ignorant, or don't care about all the development happening for the game. But they see themselves as some sort of saviours who will "save" OFP from obscurity by making BI "do something". Which is not going to happen anyway, but these people will then proudly announce "we tried!". It's a good idea fairy syndrome mixed with megalomania and magical thinking. And is insulting for the actual OFP community, accusing it of laziness and indifference.

 

So, to all the guys asking for "source code": what have you done? Show me your mods, missions, servers you manage. How come, if you are so worried about the longetivity of OFP, you aren't already in contact with people who do have the source code for the game?

 

27 minutes ago, itisnotlogical said:

It's like those people who say "Yeah, Doom is great, once you install this mod and that mod and this sourceport and that level pack and make sure to add bloom and per-pixel lighting and quick kills etc. etc." and while that may be fun, is it really the same game?

Wait, so you want to get access to source code, and then leave the game in the state it already is? So, why do you even need the source code? It is not logical!

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1 minute ago, krzychuzokecia said:

It seems to me that the people who "don't care" are the ones who keep constantly writing such silly threads like this. These people are not part of OFP community anymore, and they are either ignorant, or don't care about all the development happening for the game. But they see themselves as some sort of saviours who will "save" OFP from obscurity by making BI "do something". Which is not going to happen anyway, but these people will then proudly announce "we tried!". It's a good idea fairy syndrome mixed with megalomania and magical thinking. And is insulting for the actual OFP community, accusing it of laziness and indifference.

I'm not saying that I expect anybody to do anything with it, in fact I expect the opposite. I'm not claiming to be some sort of modding prodigy and I'm not accusing anybody of anything (where did you get any of that from my post?)

 

I just want people to be able to go "huh, that's neat" 20, 30 years in the future, if some weirdo is that curious about the game after all that time. I'm interested in preserving things for their own sake, not because I've got any particular use for them in mind, or because I believe there's an army of potential ARMA: CWA fans just waiting to be introduced (I don't, and there isn't.) But then I actually used to watch deleted scenes on DVDs and be disappointed when there weren't any, so maybe I'm the weirdo.

 

7 minutes ago, krzychuzokecia said:

Wait, so you want to get access to source code, and then leave the game in the state it already is? So, why do you even need the source code? It is not logical!

That was more in response to anybody who would suggest "just play CWR, it's better for [x, y, z] reasons." Even if CWR is the best version of the Operation Flashpoint campaign that will ever be seen, I still think it's worthwhile to play the original game.

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4 hours ago, itisnotlogical said:

I'm not accusing anybody of anything (where did you get any of that from my post?)

So what you were trying to say here?

5 hours ago, itisnotlogical said:

I don't think it's something that should potentially be lost because "nobody cares."

 

This whole thread is based on wrong assumptions. Assumption number one being "OFP source code is not available". It is. Not legally, but that doesn't change the fact. Second assumption is "having access to source code would allow to introduce new features in the game". Which is not true according to the people who have the code. Third assumption is that "community-made improvements of game code would spark a renewed interest in the game, and open new possibilities for modders". Again, proved wrong by the fate of unofficial patches (or extentions like FWatch). And, truth be told, the interest in OFP, and modding scene, is much more active than it was 10 years ago. To put it bluntly, the whole reasoning behind "why BI should release the source code" is based on ignorance.

 

5 hours ago, itisnotlogical said:

I just want people to be able to go "huh, that's neat" 20, 30 years in the future

Except, it doesn't work this way. I can take a look at the source code of Quake, Doom or (a bit more modern example) first version of Minecraft. For me, and 99% of population, it serves no purpose however, not even satisfying some weird curiosity.

 

What makes people go "huh, that's neat" is seeing the countless mods, forks, variations of these games. That's the same thing which still draws some people to OFP, and keeps it alive among a small, but dedicated group of fans. Fans, who don't need the source code, to be able to lift the limitations of the game - that's because those limitations were already removed in OFP three sequels, and OFP fanatics are uninterested in those titles and new possibilities they offer. OFP folks are quite conservative in this regard. Yet, with those restrictions still in place, they keep creating impressive mods and missions.

 

5 hours ago, itisnotlogical said:

I still think it's worthwhile to play the original game.

Well, of course (as proven by several servers running vanilla OFP/CWA), but you don't need the source code to play and appreciate the game. Especially when it is still available for purchase.

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We really need this as OFP/ARMA:CWA performs absolutely horribly for such an old game, and a source port could fix this by allowing for third party optimization the code for newer operating systems and hardware.

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13 hours ago, nesan said:

We really need this as OFP/ARMA:CWA performs absolutely horribly for such an old game, and a source port could fix this by allowing for third party optimization the code for newer operating systems and hardware.

Basically, this would be the main reason for me. Pure maintenance for longevity, maybe have the OSS community replace some legacy APIs or other layers.

 

But I can see that exposing code still in use with ArmA 3 could negatively affect the anti-cheating and cybersecurity of the latter. Maybe once all legacy code is no longer present in an active games still being sold, it could be an option?

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