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DirectPlay is not good...


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#1 electricdawn

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 05:25 AM

I'm kinda mad at the moment. :x

My wife bought Vampires : The Masquerade from the el cheapo bin for her PC, and we both start to like it. So I ordered the Mac version of Vampires (not that easy to get any more) and after updating her version to 1.1 we liked to indulge in some multiplayer. To my surprise (or maybe not) both versions are not compatible due to Microsofts DirectPlay protocol used in the PC version.

As I said above, I'm REALLY mad right now.  :evil:

First Dungeon Siege, and now Vampires... And I know there's more and more games out there that use it. I know there's nothing much we can do about it, but what about the Mac publishers and game porters? Maybe they can at least give some subtle hints (2x4s) to the PC game developers that develop the original games, to switch to a cross platform technology.

Greetings, Andreas.

#2 BenRoethig

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 06:21 AM

As part of the settlement, Micrsoft should have had to release APIs on the Mac and Linux that allow them to communicate with direct play.  Direct 3D and (little used) direct sound are minor hinderences, but DirectPlay is an anti-trust violation if I ever saw one.

#3 loneAzdgari

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 06:58 AM

All I can say is; do some research before you buy mac games to play with peecees. I have gone out and bought a Mac game to play with PC buddies at their LAN parties countless times only to find out they are incompatible. It's all part of the Mac gaming life...

#4 Haberdasher

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 09:27 AM

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As part of the settlement, Micrsoft should have had to release APIs on the Mac and Linux that allow them to communicate with direct play.  Direct 3D and (little used) direct sound are minor hinderences, but DirectPlay is an anti-trust violation if I ever saw one.

I see where you're coming from, but considering Microsoft's policies on proprietary formats and protocols, as well as the technical difficulty in getting such a beast to the Mac or Linux, the chances of it happening are slim to none, I believe.

#5 bobbob

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 10:52 AM

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both versions are not compatible due to Microsofts DirectPlay protocol used in the PC version.

Get mad at someone for not reverse engineering and reimplementing DirectPlay on MacOSX, then, because it's not MS responsibility to port it for you.

#6 MAC_daddy

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 11:31 AM

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both versions are not compatible due to Microsofts DirectPlay protocol used in the PC version.

Get mad at someone for not reverse engineering and reimplementing DirectPlay on MacOSX, then, because it's not MS responsibility to port it for you.

You couldn't be MORE wrong. :roll:

What you are suggesting id very illegal. DirectPlay is not open-source. MS has not made it available to port to OSX so being mad as MS is somewhat justified.  

FYI:
Hearts of Iron is another game that uses DirectPlay. I believe Homeworld 2 is another.

#7 bobbob

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 11:35 AM

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What you are suggesting id very illegal

No, it's legal. Just like WINE legally reverse engineered and reimplimented most of Win32 and other parts of DirectX, someone could legally do the same with DirectPlay.

#8 Tycho Celchu

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 11:38 AM

From what I hear about DirectPlay for windows, is that it uses special integer function in Visual C++ that can't be done in OS X, therefore the games start ok, but after a while lose sync because the integers are slightly off.
"To be great is to be misunderstood" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

#9 MAC_daddy

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 11:45 AM

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What you are suggesting id very illegal

No, it's legal. Just like WINE legally reverse engineered and reimplimented most of Win32 and other parts of DirectX, someone could legally do the same with DirectPlay.

Right.  :lol:
WINE and MS are in litigation right now.

As far as DirectX compatibility:
"Partial DirectX support for games (Direct3D missing)"

From:
http://www.winehq.co...e/wine_features

I'm still thinking it doesn't work for 99% of any games released in recent years. :roll:

#10 bobbob

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 12:08 PM

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WINE and MS are in litigation right now.
Where did you hear that? I don't think you know what you're talking about.

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I'm still thinking it doesn't work for 99% of any games released in recent years.

Did I say it would? The people doing Mac ports would have a much better chance of getting it to work, since the WINE people can't change Windows programs to work with WINE. They at least have some major games working such as Half-Life and Unreal 2 (and games using the same engine, I guess).

#11 MAC_daddy

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 12:24 PM

I saw the WINE/MS litigation headline on a RSS newsfeed. Didn't check it out becasue I just don't care.  :-?

Your statement about Half Life and Unreal 2 running on the same game engines has shed a little light on just how much you know.

#12 Tycho Celchu

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 12:29 PM

I think he was saying other games using the same engines as the games he mentioned.
"To be great is to be misunderstood" - Ralph Waldo Emerson

#13 bobbob

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 01:07 PM

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I think he was saying other games using the same engines as the games he mentioned.

More specifically, there are only Half-Life and CS:Zero using the HL engine, so I wasn't even talking about CS:Zero. I just meant games based on the Unreal2/UT2k3 engine.

#14 bobbob

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 01:13 PM

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I saw the WINE/MS litigation headline on a RSS newsfeed

Are you talking about MS vs. Lindows, by any chance?

#15 Fliedermaus

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Posted 30 May 2004 - 01:14 PM

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What you are suggesting id very illegal

No, it's legal. Just like WINE legally reverse engineered and reimplimented most of Win32 and other parts of DirectX, someone could legally do the same with DirectPlay.

Well, it's conceivable that reverse engineering DirectPlay is legal.  But my hunch is that it would require going through lots of expensive litigation to find out.  Brad Oliver mentioned that MicroSoft had openly stated as much in this thread, near the bottom of the first page.

That doesn't mean MS would be *right* to sue, but practically speaking, I would guess no one involved has the money to find out.

#16 Endymion

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Posted 31 May 2004 - 02:22 AM

Glenda has also commented on the circumstantial difficulty of provoking microsoft's lawyers with a complete DirectPlay rework in one of the many interviews she has done on this site.

Not to mention, once you create a DirectPlay library like this, you have to update it as often as microsoft does, or your game's compatibility will be broken. DirectPlay is integrated with Windows basic networking protocols; this is another reason microsoft doesn't just release it, it could lead to exploits for Windows in general, not just games. And so DirectPlay can easily get updated more often than whatever game in question. Bear in mind how many years down the road microsoft may update DirectPlay. Moving targets that are not under your control or cooperation are not very worthwhile goals.

#17 electricdawn

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Posted 31 May 2004 - 02:59 AM

@Bobbob

To my understanding, DirectPlay (like all DirectSumthin's) is proprietory technology, that Microsoft specifically came up with to draw people to the Windows platform. I think it's HIGHLY illegal to have these reverse enginered and reprogrammed. That would go against Microsofts businessplan.

If it would be ok, we would have an emulation layer by now. And if I recall correctly, some mac developer was already rev. eng. DirectPlay and they received a cease and desist letter from Microsoft. Sorry, don't have prove on that, but I remember reading this somewhere some time ago.

Greetings, Andreas.

#18 bobbob

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Posted 31 May 2004 - 11:47 AM

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I think it's HIGHLY illegal to have these reverse enginered and reprogrammed.
That's not true at all. They can smother you with cease and desist letters and baseless civil suits, but it's not illegal or immoral to reverse engineer and reimplement unless you infringe on one of their patents.

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That would go against Microsofts businessplan

So? Is it now illegal to arrest hitmen because it goes against their business plans?

If you'd ever taken economics, you'd have learned that the advantages of capitalism are a free market with low barriers to entry. That means competition is good for everyone involved. Even if MS wasn't a convicted monopolist, competing with them would still be a good thing. Since they are a convicted monopolist, competing with them is even better.

#19 Endymion

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Posted 31 May 2004 - 12:37 PM

But you are still assuming that it is cheap, easy, and effective to do the thing which you propose. As soon as your company has to defend itself in court this will not be the case, and there are also the several issues of support involved. Why would you want to put yourself in the position of updating your Macintosh game based on a Windows system schedule? It makes very little sense and will only incur a lot of user wrath with the problems that surely will arise.

#20 electricdawn

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Posted 01 June 2004 - 03:55 AM

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They can smother you with cease and desist letters and baseless civil suits, but it's not illegal or immoral to reverse engineer and reimplement unless you infringe on one of their patents.

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But you are still assuming that it is cheap, easy, and effective to do the thing which you propose. As soon as your company has to defend itself in court this will not be the case...

That is the point. I'm not saying that it is immoral to reverse   engineer software, but Microsoft will do anything legal to stop you from doing that to their Intelectual Property™.

Other than that I totally agree with you, that, especially with Microsoft (or Apple), competition is a good thing.

Greetings, Andreas.

@bobbob, just to remind you:

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What lawsuits? MS is going to sue you for trying to be compatible with them?

They have directly said as much in the past when concerning DirectPlay on the Mac. For whatever reason, that bothers them a whole lot more than reverse-engineering the Win32 API.