• Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  

Unity Saving Acclaim's Summer Heat Beach Volleyball

This topic is 4506 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hello, I recently learned that rights to Acclaim video games are being auctioned. After several weeks into the auction, no one has made a bid for Summer Heat Beach Vollayball. I am interested in acquiring this game, porting it to the PC platform, and releasing the code under open source license. I have experience in 3D graphics on several systems. I ported my 3D dance animation program to Sony's consumer developer kit, Net Yaroze, so I have had some exposure to console development. Before I bid on Summer Heat Vollayball, I need to find out what the nature of the code is likely to be. Is there anyone in your community that could tell me roughly what would be involved in porting this Play Station 2 game? Thanks in advance for your time David

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
1) Are they selling the source code and source assets at all?

To me, that list reads like they're only selling the rights to *publish* and *re-publish* the existing titles on their original platforms. From that my impression is you won't get /any/ source code or assets, only the gold master and a contract of ownership.

Before bidding, contact them to ensure (at least):

a. the publishing rights include the right to port and publish on other platforms.

b. those rights include any licensed assets/IP; for example if you bought the publishing rights to "Bubble Bobble", how does Acclaim's license with Taito who own the Bubble Bobble IP fit in; likewise with the other license; Likewise with any product placement references in Summer Heat Beach Volleyball; Likewise with any licensed music.

c. the publishing rights include ownership of the source code and source assets, and all of it, including any middleware used.

d. the publishing rights include all worldwide territories, particularly North America and Europe.

e. the publishing rights include the right to publish for the original platform. For example, Sony might not legally allow you to re-publish the PS2 version again unless you yourself are a Sony licensed publisher - the rights to a game are unlikely to give you the all rights of Acclaim...

f. that the *complete* source code, *original* source assets, *complete* tool pipeline (and source code), *complete* build environment, and converted assets are intact and supplied with the deal; preferably you should get a period of due dilligence to check that for yourself.

2) If I were in your shoes, I'd seriously hire an IP specialist lawyer with games industry experience to go through those contracts with a fine toothcomb - otherwise you could very easily be left with a worthless piece of paper and a hole in your pocket!

I worked at Acclaim (at the Manchester, UK studio) at the time it went down, trust me, the legal dealings and relationships between the various studios, the publishing division, and the subsiduaries is complicated and a legal minefield (for example: many of the studios were previously independent developers that Acclaim bought, so the rights to some things may have reverted to original owners now Acclaim is gone).

3) At best, you'll get a bunch of CDs/DVDs/tapes/HDDs with:
a. a full backup of the source control tree for the project at the time of gold master, with labels/branches for each territory release and each milestone.

b. a full backup of the asset tree in whatever version control system they were using.

c. the game design document and technical design document.

d. a full backup of the build machine (or the machine itself) from the day the project ended. If you don't have this, expect at least a few weeks of trying to recreate the exact build environment - workarounds for compiler bugs, interoperability between tools etc is a nightmare if you don't have that archive.

e. all proprietary tools *with* source code. Otherwise you'll have a lot of fun reverse engineering custom **studio (and even game) specific** file formats and the like.

f. clean, modular commented and documented source code.

4) At worst you'll get:

a. the assets in final converted format

b. badly commented source code to the game itself with last minute crunch time "fixes" and no source code to the engine or any of the tools (executable and library/archive files to the engine if you're lucky).

5) As for porting to the PC:

a. if the original game was ever cross-platform at any part of its development, then much of the engine should have been abstracted suitably that re-writing the renderer and other core tech for PC will be all that's required coding wise.

b. if the original game was only ever single platform, there's a danger that techniques used for things like the graphics engine were very PS2 specific. Even worse, you may find VU math code and even hardware register pokes scattered through game code itself.

c. some understanding of the PS2 architechture would be advisable before attempting a port. For example, you might very likely see code reading and writing directly from a memory address around 0x70000000; do you know what's so magic about that address?. And documentation for VU microcode would be an essential for porting the graphics engine.

d. the biggest initial hurdle will be getting the code to compile for a target other than PS2. Expect to have to write PC stubs for every PS2 engine function that isn't a library call.

e. the next biggest hurdle is sussing out the inputs and outputs of all of those stubbed functions (assuming it wasn't cross platform); bearing in mind that many of them may hit PS2 hardware registers directly to start things like DMA transfers and IOP programs going.
You'll really need to be able to understand what the functions are doing to be able to write PC equivilents. To do that, you *will* need the developer documentation for the PS2, and ideally a PS2 devkit to run the code on to see what the code does in practice; a PS2 Linux kit /might/ be enough.

f. PS2 is little endian, as is PC, so much of the file format code will at least still work. But texture files will have been converted to PS2-native formats. If you have the source assets, re-do the loading code and use something like DXT for textures; otherwise you'll have to write something to convert format.

g. console games usually do "in-place" loading where a block of data is read off disk and used at the point where it's loaded rather than "converted". So you won't find "CreateTexture" type calls, just a load, some pointer fixups and use in place.

h. I could write a book on cross platform development and porting here. But I don't have the time. [wink] Besides, someone else already has: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1584503793/102-9039722-0852937?v=glance&n=283155&s=books&v=glance

6) In general: be sure you're not biting off more than you can chew & make sure you know exactly what you're getting before you pay a dime.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks for your reply. The auction house was a bit vague last week when I asked about what's included. They mentioned getting about getting 400 boxes of 'stuff' in the next few days. I suspect they might not know how to sort out all of the related components.

Before I asked them more detailed questions, I figured I should determine if this project was over my head. It sounds like it might be.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
What I would do with those rights: develop a 1:1 clone for mobile phones and then offer the publishing rights and game to publishers. Rereleases of arcade classics are mostly a big success on java phones.

My god, the highest bid so far for the rights to 'Bubble Bobble' is $5,100. That's a fraction of what a java cell phone version of that game could earn you.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
  • Advertisement
  • Popular Tags

  • Advertisement
  • Popular Now

  • Similar Content

    • By Manuel Berger
      Hello fellow devs!
      Once again I started working on an 2D adventure game and right now I'm doing the character-movement/animation. I'm not a big math guy and I was happy about my solution, but soon I realized that it's flawed.
      My player has 5 walking-animations, mirrored for the left side: up, upright, right, downright, down. With the atan2 function I get the angle between player and destination. To get an index from 0 to 4, I divide PI by 5 and see how many times it goes into the player-destination angle.

      In Pseudo-Code:
      angle = atan2(destination.x - player.x, destination.y - player.y) //swapped y and x to get mirrored angle around the y axis
      index = (int) (angle / (PI / 5));
      PlayAnimation(index); //0 = up, 1 = up_right, 2 = right, 3 = down_right, 4 = down

      Besides the fact that when angle is equal to PI it produces an index of 5, this works like a charm. Or at least I thought so at first. When I tested it, I realized that the up and down animation is playing more often than the others, which is pretty logical, since they have double the angle.

      What I'm trying to achieve is something like this, but with equal angles, so that up and down has the same range as all other directions.

      I can't get my head around it. Any suggestions? Is the whole approach doomed?

      Thank you in advance for any input!
    • By devbyskc
      Hi Everyone,
      Like most here, I'm a newbie but have been dabbling with game development for a few years. I am currently working full-time overseas and learning the craft in my spare time. It's been a long but highly rewarding adventure. Much of my time has been spent working through tutorials. In all of them, as well as my own attempts at development, I used the audio files supplied by the tutorial author, or obtained from one of the numerous sites online. I am working solo, and will be for a while, so I don't want to get too wrapped up with any one skill set. Regarding audio, the files I've found and used are good for what I was doing at the time. However I would now like to try my hand at customizing the audio more. My game engine of choice is Unity and it has an audio mixer built in that I have experimented with following their tutorials. I have obtained a great book called Game Audio Development with Unity 5.x that I am working through. Half way through the book it introduces using FMOD to supplement the Unity Audio Mixer. Later in the book, the author introduces Reaper (a very popular DAW) as an external program to compose and mix music to be integrated with Unity. I did some research on DAWs and quickly became overwhelmed. Much of what I found was geared toward professional sound engineers and sound designers. I am in no way trying or even thinking about getting to that level. All I want to be able to do is take a music file, and tweak it some to get the sound I want for my game. I've played with Audacity as well, but it didn't seem to fit the bill. So that is why I am looking at a better quality DAW. Since being solo, I am also under a budget contraint. So of all the DAW software out there, I am considering Reaper or Presonus Studio One due to their pricing. My question is, is investing the time to learn about using a DAW to tweak a sound file worth it? Are there any solo developers currently using a DAW as part of their overall workflow? If so, which one? I've also come across Fabric which is a Unity plug-in that enhances the built-in audio mixer. Would that be a better alternative?
      I know this is long, and maybe I haven't communicated well in trying to be brief. But any advice from the gurus/vets would be greatly appreciated. I've leaned so much and had a lot of fun in the process. BTW, I am also a senior citizen (I cut my programming teeth back using punch cards and Structured Basic when it first came out). If anyone needs more clarification of what I am trying to accomplish please let me know.  Thanks in advance for any assistance/advice.
    • By Yosef BenSadon
      Hi , I was considering this start up http://adshir.com/, for investment and i would like a little bit of feedback on what the developers community think about the technology.
      So far what they have is a demo that runs in real time on a Tablet at over 60FPS, it runs locally on the  integrated GPU of the i7 . They have a 20 000 triangles  dinosaur that looks impressive,  better than anything i saw on a mobile device, with reflections and shadows looking very close to what they would look in the real world. They achieved this thanks to a  new algorithm of a rendering technique called Path tracing/Ray tracing, that  is very demanding and so far it is done mostly for static images.
      From what i checked around there is no real option for real time ray tracing (60 FPS on consumer devices). There was imagination technologies that were supposed to release a chip that supports real time ray tracing, but i did not found they had a product in the market or even if the technology is finished as their last demo  i found was with a PC.  The other one is OTOY with their brigade engine that is still not released and if i understand well is more a cloud solution than in hardware solution .
      Would there  be a sizable  interest in the developers community in having such a product as a plug-in for existing game engines?  How important  is Ray tracing to the  future of high end real time graphics?
    • By bryandalo
      Good day,

      I just wanted to share our casual game that is available for android.

      Description: Fight your way from the ravenous plant monster for survival through flips. The rules are simple, drag and release your phone screen. Improve your skills and show it to your friends with the games quirky ranks. Select an array of characters using the orb you acquire throughout the game.

      Download: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.HellmodeGames.FlipEscape&hl=en
    • By khawk
      Watch the latest from Unity.
  • Advertisement