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How to contact Rob Elam? (regarding OMF:2097 on GOG.com)
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tytbone



Joined: 05 Apr 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2014 8:40 am    Post subject: How to contact Rob Elam? (regarding OMF:2097 on GOG.com) Reply with quote

Hi OMF fans,

If you're okay with the idea of OMF:2097 showing up as freeware/ as a free game on GOG.com (bundled in DOSBox), I'd like to ask for your help. Basically, because OMF: 2097 is reasonably high up on the GOG.com wishlist - http://www.gog.com/wishlist/games/one_must_fall_2097 - I'd like to see it come to GOG.

I'm trying to get in touch with the person who could make this happen, and according to Wikipedia, it was the "developers" that declared the game freeware - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Must_Fall:_2097 -, which suggests to me Rob has control over the IP. (If it's actually Epic Games that still has control, do correct me.)

Thus does anyone have any idea on how to contact Rob Elam?

Thanks.
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raptor
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 6:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very short version since I'm in a hurry before work:

The rights lies with Rob Elam, who still holds Diversions Entertainment (alone) and the rights to their games (2), etc. Epic MegaGames had publishing rights, and some rights to some of hte written materials etc, but that isn't all that important.

If you want to get hold of Rob Elam then, frankly, good luck. Justin might be able to hook you up if you're lucky, but don't count on it. Rob currently work at SOE working on Planetside 2, together with his brother (Ryan Elam, also credited in omf2097 btw).

We haven't really heard anything from in in many years, and that doesn't look to change anytime soon. We've mentioned omf on gog, as well as steam, and few dozen other options to him over the years, but he has never really responded to it, nor shown any interest.

Btw, I'm one of those that voted on it for most wanted on gog :)

TL;DR: Oh no, not this question again! ;)
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tytbone



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 06, 2014 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

raptor wrote:
Very short version since I'm in a hurry before work:

The rights lies with Rob Elam, who still holds Diversions Entertainment (alone) and the rights to their games (2), etc. Epic MegaGames had publishing rights, and some rights to some of hte written materials etc, but that isn't all that important.

If you want to get hold of Rob Elam then, frankly, good luck. Justin might be able to hook you up if you're lucky, but don't count on it. Rob currently work at SOE working on Planetside 2, together with his brother (Ryan Elam, also credited in omf2097 btw).

We haven't really heard anything from in in many years, and that doesn't look to change anytime soon. We've mentioned omf on gog, as well as steam, and few dozen other options to him over the years, but he has never really responded to it, nor shown any interest.

Btw, I'm one of those that voted on it for most wanted on gog Smile

TL;DR: Oh no, not this question again! Wink


I appreciate the info. Smile Justin helped me out a little, although I don't have actual contact with Rob yet.

I'm going to see how far I can pursue this as a GOG fan, a fan of marking items high up on the GOG wishlist as "completed", and a fan of "good old games" being preserved.

I'll see if any info can be forwarded to him at SOE. It's worth a shot.
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Malfrex
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to put things in perspective: the closest we've gotten since OMF: BG came out to getting any sort of response was I was able to get a hold of Ryan Elam through LinkedIn about 8 months ago. He was nice to me with his response and told me he would speak to Rob, but I received no further contact after that, even with a follow-up attempt. I would like to have proper support for both versions of OMF, but admittedly my confidence level is rather low.
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Vagab0nd
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't hold my breath, I think Rob/Ryan have moved on (why the rest of us crazies have not is probably a mystery to them).

That said, I think OMF 2097 can live again though the OpenOMF project (full disclaimer - I helped start it). We have a *lot* of things working now, the game is actually playable and we have support for 'modern' netplay, although there are still lots of little things that are buggy/missing.

We're working towards a 0.7 release right now, but when it hits 1.0 we aim to be a 100% compatible clone, using all the original game assets. Since the game and its assets are 'freeware', I don't think there'd be any problems with listing OpenOMF 1.0 + the original assets on GoG if it was free.

Anyway, if you want to learn more about openomf, you can visit http://omf2097.github.io/openomf/

Andrew
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tytbone



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 08, 2014 6:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vagab0nd wrote:
I wouldn't hold my breath, I think Rob/Ryan have moved on (why the rest of us crazies have not is probably a mystery to them).

That said, I think OMF 2097 can live again though the OpenOMF project (full disclaimer - I helped start it). We have a *lot* of things working now, the game is actually playable and we have support for 'modern' netplay, although there are still lots of little things that are buggy/missing.

We're working towards a 0.7 release right now, but when it hits 1.0 we aim to be a 100% compatible clone, using all the original game assets. Since the game and its assets are 'freeware', I don't think there'd be any problems with listing OpenOMF 1.0 + the original assets on GoG if it was free.

Anyway, if you want to learn more about openomf, you can visit http://omf2097.github.io/openomf/

Andrew


(Hey, are you the same, famous Vagabond from GOG?)

It would be nice if GOG were willing to host OpenOMF, although I suspect they might be worried or at least question the legality of using the original game assets w/o Rob's permission.
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takuban



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All information has been passed on to Rob. I know he's busy at Sony these days so I can't make any guarantees that you'll get a timely response or a response. I'm not on this forum much either, but if I hear of any info, I'll be sure to pass it along.

The OpenOMF project looks pretty cool. I'll have to ask Rob if he's seen it.

Anyway, good luck with the GOG thing. I'm anxiously awaiting The Witcher 3 myself. Wink
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Malfrex
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As much as I'd like to have OMF: 2097 moved to GOG it'd be great to try and preserve OMF: BG as well, if possible. As good as it is to be able to have it running in a VM it isn't a very long-term sustainable means, as you could always at worst play OMF: 2097 through DOSBox while you need a legit copy of WinXP to spin up a VM to play BG. I can use the mod tools to extract some data, but with the mod tools in a grey area and no means to try and fix the code its stuck in horrible limbo :/

I'd love it if Rob would release the code, even to just a limited group of people who were previously involved :/

At least I still have documentation a few of us wrote up on how to add pilots/tournaments to OMF: BG with the mod tools so *some* changes are possible if those are released.
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tytbone



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Malfrex wrote:
As much as I'd like to have OMF: 2097 moved to GOG it'd be great to try and preserve OMF: BG as well, if possible. As good as it is to be able to have it running in a VM it isn't a very long-term sustainable means, as you could always at worst play OMF: 2097 through DOSBox while you need a legit copy of WinXP to spin up a VM to play BG. I can use the mod tools to extract some data, but with the mod tools in a grey area and no means to try and fix the code its stuck in horrible limbo :/

I'd love it if Rob would release the code, even to just a limited group of people who were previously involved :/

At least I still have documentation a few of us wrote up on how to add pilots/tournaments to OMF: BG with the mod tools so *some* changes are possible if those are released.


Hey, I'm certainly not against OMF: BG coming to GOG either if most people that have played it think it's a good game. The thing about OMF:2097 is that, as you mentioned, compatibility is reasonably easy via DOSBox, and the game is reasonably high up on the GOG wishlist, at 800+ votes - that's why I'm pushing for 2097 the most.

At 241 votes Battlegrounds can get the GOG staff's attention (as they do take the wishlist into consideration as to what people want and what will sell well), but they are also somewhat limited as to what extent they can make games compatible, and how much time they can spend. Since OMF:BG is reasonably new (2005, right?), I don't think they'd necessarily have too much trouble getting it to work on modern machines (though I can't say for sure; I just heard it suggested post-'99 games are easier for the GOG staff because "programming standards" since came into play and thus tweaking games is easier, something like that).



Maybe Rob would be more motivated if a release for both games on GOG could be worked out? (OMF:2097 for free and OMF:Battlegrounds for $5.99?)



takuban wrote:
All information has been passed on to Rob. I know he's busy at Sony these days so I can't make any guarantees that you'll get a timely response or a response. I'm not on this forum much either, but if I hear of any info, I'll be sure to pass it along.

The OpenOMF project looks pretty cool. I'll have to ask Rob if he's seen it.

Anyway, good luck with the GOG thing. I'm anxiously awaiting The Witcher 3 myself. Wink


I appreciate that, Justin. If Rob doesn't want to bother with the original appearing on GOG (though they'd do all the compatibility work themselves), maybe he can at least give permission for the OpenOMF game to appear on GOG once it's finished by the fans.
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Malfrex
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 3:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tytbone wrote:
...they are also somewhat limited as to what extent they can make games compatible, and how much time they can spend. Since OMF:BG is reasonably new (2005, right?), I don't think they'd necessarily have too much trouble getting it to work on modern machines (though I can't say for sure; I just heard it suggested post-'99 games are easier for the GOG staff because "programming standards" since came into play and thus tweaking games is easier, something like that).


So here's the problem, with reference: OMF: BG was coded in VC++ 6. In the transition to Vista, MS changed *something* about how it handles keyboards, which is 99% of what is broken with having OMF: BG run on Vista/7/... possibly 8. I've tried searching for non-source code related fixes for this issue but I honestly can not find any. It would require access to the source or some clever coding to capture the interrupts.

Reference: http://omf.justinoakley.com/viewtopic.php?t=311340&highlight=vista
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Cyberman



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hm. This thread seems as good as others, I don't want to open a new one, since it fits somewhat.

Throwing out a crazy idea someone else probably though of already:

If Rob doesn't want to release the source for OMF:BG, maybe it could be bought?
I have no idea how many still want to play OMF:BG, but IMO the graphic isn't really any worse than countless other (cheap, I admit) games out there right now.

Maybe start a kickstarter campaign to get enough money?

From what I've read, it probably wouldn't take much to make it useable on modern systems.
There's lots to improve, but I'm guessing that most won't require actual programming.
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raptor
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That idea has been flying around a few times, for both games. So far never seen Rob respond to that either, either way. I flat out asked him once, how much he wanted for the source code for omf2097, but no response.
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tytbone



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cyberman wrote:
...


If Rob honestly doesn't care about these games anymore, or is just trying to move on, maybe it would just be better to Kickstart a "spiritual successor" that could be released on Steam, GOG, Humble Store, etc., rather than relying on Rob to come through. That's happened with many other titles recently.

The new game could probably come close to copying OMF (at least the best concepts) almost entirely without actually breaking copyright law.
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Cyberman



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 10:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

tytbone wrote:
Cyberman wrote:
...


If Rob honestly doesn't care about these games anymore, or is just trying to move on, maybe it would just be better to Kickstart a "spiritual successor" that could be released on Steam, GOG, Humble Store, etc., rather than relying on Rob to come through. That's happened with many other titles recently.

Like what is happening with OpenOMF?

I see what you mean, but to be honest I don't think that would have much success - either it was really close to OMF BG, which might cause legal trouble, or it's different enough to be an unrelated game - what's the point then?

Also, that would require massive amounts of programming. Getting the source and fine-tuning the game should be easier.
(Apart from getting the source, obviously.)
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killer_roach



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2014 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

tytbone wrote:
Cyberman wrote:
...


If Rob honestly doesn't care about these games anymore, or is just trying to move on, maybe it would just be better to Kickstart a "spiritual successor" that could be released on Steam, GOG, Humble Store, etc., rather than relying on Rob to come through. That's happened with many other titles recently.

The new game could probably come close to copying OMF (at least the best concepts) almost entirely without actually breaking copyright law.


The problem is that the appeal to a spiritual successor is if the original developers are working on it, in a situation where they don't hold the rights to their old IP.

In this case you have the original developers holding the IP but not being involved in the project. What you have then is less a spiritual successor and more a fan project.
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