The A2 Source

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posted on July 19th, 2015, 5:29 pm
Access to the Source code.

I understand that there is now a project involving a new engine, but I have investigated the use of the original STA2 source code that may (or may not) help. I have contacted Doca Cola about some proposals.

If you could ask him for those of you who are online in the U.S. (I live in the UK, so communication will be slow) to check his fleetops e-mail regarding this.

Thanks,
Hayden Ravenscroft (rogue6800)
posted on July 20th, 2015, 9:41 pm
they have already tried this and it has been an outright no, activation do not wish to release it assuming they even have it any more, not to mention the new engine will be vastly better than any version of an old direct x 8 A2 engine
posted on July 21st, 2015, 10:25 am
The chances you’ll get through to someone at Activision are slim. It took dominus a year to get to the right people. I am sure Activision as a company wouldn’t be hurt by making the source code available publicly or at least to us for maintain.

And there are people working there who would support us with that idea - in theory. The people who dominus was talking to weren’t sure either of the legal implications of releasing the source code. While all parties somehow gave green light to release the source, i assume in the end it failed because of fear to still violate some kind of legal stuff.
Look at it that way. A person working at Activision allowing us something like that hasn’t anything to gain from such a move. Actually the worst thing that could happen is that he/she could get fired to make such a decision by someone higher up. Still, I don’t really know what happened in the end.

With NX we have taken a different approach. We are free to do whatever we like. NX offers a much more modern platform to built upon. NX wouldn’t profit much from the source release anymore. Internally NX isn’t even remotely comparable to Armada. And for that reason it was probably better we didn’t get the source code back then. NX was built to overcome many limitations we and many modders have faced with Armada 2 and A2-FO all those years. I am not sure if we would have thought of trying to get a look at a different angle at these issues, if we actually did have the source code.

Personally though i’d still be intrigued to get a look at the source code. I have been digging in the Armada binary for many years. From that i only got an idea how the original source code may have looked. But some code parts are agonizing to decipher. I spent many hours, days, weeks, month just doing that. I’d love to have a look at the source files for once. Reading comments by the developers and getting behind the reasons and ideas why they have implemented some things the way they are. But all that only out of personal curiosity …
So, if Activision would for some reason or another ever release the actual source code, i wouldn’t even touch it now. Looking at it yes - but i won’t spend any more minute working on Armada 2. What it’d do is to release the whole A2-FO loader code as reference for others or to even port features and bug fixes over to the stock code.

It is much too late now for a A2 source code release. We all will be having much more fun playing NX :)
posted on July 21st, 2015, 5:30 pm
To add a tiny addendum to that: yup, we had the greenlight from each of the parties to release A2-FO standalone and for the source code - but the latter was contingent on whether Activision could find the source code. Last I knew, they had no idea where the source was and no interest in looking for it.

But the major snag was that at the last minute, after new management was hired, Activision legal got involved and decided it would not be in their best interests to allow any of the above. My contacts there in fact told me that any more inquiries and they were at risk of being fired.
posted on July 24th, 2015, 4:33 pm
Well, I suppose that was to be expected, but many thanks for responding. As it happens I stumbled upon a legal notice from Activision that meant that they don't have the rights to Star Trek material anymore and from what I can tell - Armada has been left behind. And, as you said, they probably wouldn't be able to find the source. If you really wanted (which you don't) then it would really be a case of tracking down Rockstar Games and Viacom and even the individual developers.

Speaking of the new engine - how much different will it be from the current version of FleetOps?
posted on July 24th, 2015, 4:41 pm
Yes, at the time I had already received permission from Ian Davis (Rockstar does not own the rights) and Viacom. The source code does not belong to Viacom, as it is not Star Trek material - it was a product of the partnership between Maddoc (Ian) and Activision. Ian does not have the source code any longer. It's not a question of 'wouldn't try to find' - more of 'is it financially sound'. Activision can't make any money off of Armada II, so they won't try and search for it.
posted on July 24th, 2015, 4:47 pm
It all makes sense. Thanks for clearing that up. I can;t wait to see the next version :) .

If I can help in any way, please let me know.

And who says that the source even exists anymore? There probably wouldn't be much point in keeping it after all this time.
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