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#4556594 - 02/18/21 03:31 PM Somewhat OT: Reverse engineering a game engine  
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mandrews Offline
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Now here's an interesting approach to gaining access to the CFS3 engine: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2021/02/coders-reverse-engineer-grand-theft-autos-raw-pc-source-code . Seems like a lot of work though mycomputer .


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#4556613 - 02/18/21 07:12 PM Re: Somewhat OT: Reverse engineering a game engine [Re: mandrews]  
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Robert_Wiggins Online smile
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Rabbit hole! Rabbit hole! Alert!!

Do we know a team with the required skills. The time to spend on it, and are willing to do it for love of the sim and not profit?

Bring them on, I say!!


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#4556664 - 02/18/21 11:31 PM Re: Somewhat OT: Reverse engineering a game engine [Re: mandrews]  
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BuckeyeBob Offline
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This is all unofficial, of course, and very hush, hush* but there is a guy on the subsim.com forum who was able to crack the Silent Hunter 3 executable. His internet handle is H.sie. I don't know if he would be interested in taking a "crack" at cfs3 but it would certainly open up a world of possibilities.

*Of course, reverse engineering of the cfs3 code is specifically forbidden in the EULA, so I don't recommend this as a solution, as temping as it might be.

#4557299 - 02/22/21 10:41 PM Re: Somewhat OT: Reverse engineering a game engine [Re: mandrews]  
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mandrews Offline
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Had to post the follow up article: https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2021/02/take-two-dmca-takes-down-reverse-engineered-gta-source-code/

The github source code site was taken down due to a DMCA complaint (copyright violation).


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#4557318 - 02/23/21 12:22 AM Re: Somewhat OT: Reverse engineering a game engine [Re: mandrews]  
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Admittedly, I have not closely read the cfs3 EULA, so it may be possible to reverse engineer the executable without violating the agreement.

As long as end users are not charged for the "hack" and are able to verify that they have a legally purchased copy of cfs3 and will not sell the executable to anyone else, they may not be in violation of the EULA.

#4557321 - 02/23/21 12:46 AM Re: Somewhat OT: Reverse engineering a game engine [Re: mandrews]  
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mandrews Offline
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@BuckeyeBob, yes that's true; but I would think that the result of de-compiling something would be considered a "derivative work" and therefore couldn't be distributed (which makes it nearly useless). IANAL, so that take my opinion for what it is ... an (possibly uninformed) opinion.

I'd love to see a deal between MS and ODB along the lines of: ODB gets access to the CFS3 source code (that they keep secret) but that they could work with and distribute updated versions of cfs3.exe in exchange for providing those enhancements back to MS and a small license charge for each copy of WOFF/WOTR sold. Personally, I'd gladly pay an extra couple of bucks for each update to MS just to know ODB could keep the sims alive in the future. I suspect the payoff for MS is just too small to get them interested.


Last edited by mandrews; 02/23/21 12:47 AM.

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#4557323 - 02/23/21 01:02 AM Re: Somewhat OT: Reverse engineering a game engine [Re: mandrews]  
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.

I was under the impression that the reason MS has not made the CFS3 source code available, (at any price), is because it was lost long ago.

.

#4557326 - 02/23/21 01:07 AM Re: Somewhat OT: Reverse engineering a game engine [Re: mandrews]  
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Polak Offline
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Google GHIDRA.And of course IDA.
Still, all this is a long way to go in a deep dark forest. No compass, and mostly at night. Good Luck!

#4557330 - 02/23/21 01:24 AM Re: Somewhat OT: Reverse engineering a game engine [Re: mandrews]  
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BuckeyeBob Offline
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Thanks, Polak.

Definitely a slippery slope and a tangled web (can it be both?), but the cfs code is even older than the code for SH3, and H.sie's work on it has been known for over five years, and so far nothing has happened, so the risk is probably fairly low. I doubt that Microsoft or Ubisoft would be willing to pay a bunch of lawyers to go after a relative handful of internet posters, particularly because of the bad press it would generate. Still, "ya roll the dice and take yer chances."

#4557333 - 02/23/21 01:48 AM Re: Somewhat OT: Reverse engineering a game engine [Re: mandrews]  
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Polak Offline
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No, I was not referring to any legal pitfalls of reverse engineering. Not that it does not exist and this is why all EULAs are for, but such an undertaking is more for educational and entertaining reasons than anything else. Talking about "forest" I was rather thinking of difficulties in RE for the peeps who are not the programmers. Looking at the original SC is difficult enough. SC obtained from RE is even harder.

#4557348 - 02/23/21 03:56 AM Re: Somewhat OT: Reverse engineering a game engine [Re: mandrews]  
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I’d rather see WOFF ported to a newer engine like the Unreal or unity engines to make use of features not available at the time cfs was published.

#4557366 - 02/23/21 10:10 AM Re: Somewhat OT: Reverse engineering a game engine [Re: Robert_Wiggins]  
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Dezh Offline
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Originally Posted by Robert_Wiggins
Rabbit hole! Rabbit hole! Alert!! ....
INDEED!


So yes, the CFS engine is long, long past its prime, but as long as it still runs I'd rather OBD, as a small team, concentrated on giving us what they've been giving us for the past two decades, i.e. well thought out, quality releases of and updates to the world's most immersive WW1 combat flight sim, ever.

And anyway, consider how much CFS has been already enhanced in OBD's hands with the AI, self lighting and shadowing, scenery, maps etc. - already a huge quality uplift for trading back to MS for the source code, IMHO.


Oh that I was back in the dear old PBI.
With no more Triplanes on me tail, nor tracer tracing by.
And no more flames and clickerty-clack and no more blooming sky,
And only a couple of feet to fall whenever I want to die.

No. 56 Squadron Song
#4557445 - 02/23/21 06:53 PM Re: Somewhat OT: Reverse engineering a game engine [Re: Dezh]  
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VonS Offline
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Originally Posted by Dezh
So yes, the CFS engine is long, long past its prime, but as long as it still runs I'd rather OBD, as a small team, concentrated on giving us what they've been giving us for the past two decades, i.e. well thought out, quality releases of and updates to the world's most immersive WW1 combat flight sim, ever.

And anyway, consider how much CFS has been already enhanced in OBD's hands with the AI, self lighting and shadowing, scenery, maps etc. - already a huge quality uplift for trading back to MS for the source code, IMHO.


+1 on this. The heavily modified CFS3 code is what makes possible the crisp terrains, spritely clouds (that to me look better than volumetric ones), also the specific enhancements to the AI, campaign engine, etc. Keep in mind that an entire re-working of the sim. in another engine gives completely different terrains, clouds, AI, possibly also FMs - in other words gives a different sim. - ROFF (Rise of Flanders Fields), WOFE (Wings on First Eagles), etc.

Happy flying all in WOFF,
Von S smile2


// See WOFF on a Mac post for links to FM Tweaks Packages and GPU Tuner Patch for WOFF PE/UE. (https://tinyurl.com/WOFFonMac) // VonS WOFF/WOTR mods. are tweaks of files that are © OBD Software. // FE2 Tweaked FMs & Realism Pack (https://tinyurl.com/FE2fms) // FE2 Representative Vids. (https://tinyurl.com/fe2onamac) //
#4557448 - 02/23/21 07:08 PM Re: Somewhat OT: Reverse engineering a game engine [Re: orbyxP]  
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Hellshade Offline
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Originally Posted by orbyxP
I’d rather see WOFF ported to a newer engine like the Unreal or unity engines to make use of features not available at the time cfs was published.


In some ways, I agree. I would love if BHAH III was a multicore aware, DX12 title. But it would also be about 10 years or more while they tried to re-code everything into the new engine. Unless there's a wildly successful kickstarter that earns the devs a few hundred thousand dollars or more, they'd never be able to afford the extra hired labor to get it all done in a reasonable amount of time. I'd pay good money though just to even have the DX11 finally implemented in the same single core engine. Any word if that's still under development? I did manage to spy the DX11 option still greyed out in the BHAH II preview movie, so I guess that means they at least haven't given up yet. Which brings me to the old question....where's AnKor?

There's an old thread from 2018 about a DX11 demo for CFS3 but not sure whatever happened.
DX11 Demo in SOH.

Last edited by Hellshade; 02/23/21 07:14 PM.

Flying Wings Over Flanders Fields: Between Heaven & Hell II
videos at www.youtube.com/hellshade68

#4557452 - 02/23/21 07:38 PM Re: Somewhat OT: Reverse engineering a game engine [Re: mandrews]  
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mandrews Offline
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@Hellshade - that's probably the best assessment of what a new game engine would truly cost. That's why I posted the original article, it would yield a cfs3 "compatible" engine. I must admit, I am in awe of what OBD has been able to accomplish with what they have.


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