Re: Games - A question
Keith O'Connell wrote:
> Assuming we are against non-free software and would not contaminate or
> machines with closed-source code, what is the panels view on games?
> I was talking to a friend about the Alpha Centari port by Loki, it is
> for payment binary only as I understand it. Is this an anathema because
> there is no source code? Could it be that it is sensible because a game
> is an end in itself, unlike an editor, compiler or browser which are
> tools that it is reasonable to want to modify?
Perhaps. I myself prefer games that are free software, because they tend
to become much richer over time (look at nethack), and because I am
fairly assured that if I want to play this game again 10 years from now,
I will be able to, both technically and legally. I'll even probably be
able to port it to whatever platform I am using then.
On the other hand, I avoid looking too closely at the source code to
games because it's too easy to ruin the inherent mystery of some games
by doing that.
And if all I want it pure entertainment, *now*, I don't care if the game
is free software or not, I'll drop in my quarter, and play with no
concerns about the underlying code.
> If the source code is there then in a multiplier game, how can you be
> sure that your opponent has not tilted his client to enhance his game
Good design can mitigate this kind of problem. For example, freeciv is a
multi-player network game that has freely modifiyable source, and yet
it's difficult to cheat at freeciv since every action goes through a
central server. Contrast this with quake, where most of the calculation
happens on the client side, and so it's much easier to hack. Anyway, not
providing the source to a game can only obscure the problem: a smart
person will always be able to find a way to subvert a poorly secured
game if they really want to, whether they have the source or not.
see shy jo