Open source clone of commercial



  •  Hi

    I have been looking for a good open source project to participate in while I am in school and maybe include on my resume.  If I am going to spend that much time on something I want it to be worthwhile but it seems to be pretty hard to find one that is really ideal.   The only one that looks good to me at the moment happens to be an open source implementation of a 10++ year old game engine.   The problem is that I'm not sure if it is a good idea to put the fact that you participated in cloning/reverse engineering a commercial engine on your resume even if no games have been created for it in about 10 years and the company claims to no longer be in possesion of the source code.  Any idea how this would come across?



  • I think it is better than not doing anything. You could always write your own game using that engine. That would add more stars to your resume.



  • @Chame1eon said:

    The problem is that I'm not sure if it is a good idea to put the fact that you participated in cloning/reverse engineering a commercial engine on your resume even if no games have been created for it in about 10 years and the company claims to no longer be in possesion of the source code.

    I'd actually much rather you work on an original property, create one if you can't find an existing one. There's no need to clone games that already exist-- make something new. Not only will you be legally in the clear, but you'll actually be contributing something new to human civilization.

    Or take an existing game engine and create a new world for it. My 9 years experience developing/world-building/administrating a MUD really helped with my resume, and gave me tons to talk about in the interview-- since it was more than just dev, I could talk about more interesting topics. (Like how to keep the game compelling, how to encourage trolls to leave without just booting them, how to deal with player complaints, administration tasks like moving the game's storage from flat-files to a database without taking it down, etc.)

    @Chame1eon said:

    Any idea how this would come across?

    How obvious is it that the project is a clone? Like, is it named "SimPeopleRipoff" or something? Or does it look outwardly like an original project?

    If the former, avoid. If the latter, just make sure you have an answer prepared if an interviewer grills you on it.



  • If a main drive is to boost your CV, then it is probably not going to work out for you anyway, since even hobby projects are hard work. However, I would choose something with a bit of a profile.  That way when people google the project they will actually find that it is something well known within circles, and not just your own little hobby project.

    I wouldn't care at all about legal stuff. You are just trying to have some fun, not building a business. Potential new employers won't care too much, they are too busy ripping off their competetors anyway.  Although you might want to steer a little bit clear from very murky waters like hacking consoles and phones and such. Unless you are really good, then you should definitly go for it and score a job that way.

    Working on a 10 year old game engine is just good clean fun and there really is no issue dispite what people might sometimes think. Unless you absolutely copy a product and give it the same name, you are not breaking any laws. Just make sure you don't go googling for patents pertaining to such things. But that's essentially true for any programmer.



  • @stratos said:

    Although you might want to steer a little bit clear from very murky waters like hacking consoles and phones and such. Unless you are really good, then you should definitly go for it and score a job that way.
     

    You mean good like, I don't know... retrieving a certain loader key?

    if you want your next console to be secure, get in touch with me. any of you 3.

    it'd be fun to be on the other side.



  • Clone Visual Studio 2010 with a Linux port.



  • I'd say do something really experimental, such as devise your own procedural landscape method. That's awesome fun and shows a mix of artistic talent, technical skill and mathematical agility.



  •  Don't worry it's not just for a resume.  I just haven't really seen anything like this game released since then and games don't seem to be made that way anymore.  It would probably be better to do something new, but there were problems with the original engine that were never really fixed and it would just be cool to finally fix them  it's a lot better than the crappy little programs I'm making now anyway heh.



  • @Chame1eon said:

    I just haven't really seen anything like this game released since then and games don't seem to be made that way anymore.

    I've yet to see someone say that and be correct. The usual genre they're referring to is Lucas Arts-style adventure games. And they still make those games all the freakin' time, and always have. Hell, the Back to the Future adventure game came out like this month.

    @Chame1eon said:

    but there were problems with the original engine that were never really fixed and it would just be cool to finally fix them

    But for what purpose? You can't distribute it without getting into legal trouble, unless you've already gotten permission from the owner of the IP. (And this being the Internet, and you being a developer, I know you haven't.) And even if you distribute it anyway, the only people interested in downloading it are the people who've already played the game. So they'll dick around with it for a few minutes, then go "neat they fixed the problems", then go back to playing Halo 4 or whatever. They will not care.

    Besides, the original code has bugs? So fucking what! All programs have bugs! Your version of the program will have bugs! Maybe worse bugs than the original. That's not a reason for doing anything.

    Just make something original. Don't be the stereotypical developer who, when confronted with anything besides dense code, runs away from the computer and whines "but it's too haaard!"

    What people want to hire is well-rounded, flexible, creative people-- if you're just whipping ancient code into a slightly-less-buggy state you're doing none of those things. Demonstrate to employers that you can learn something new. Demonstrate you have the project management skills to take a project from nothing to a demo in a reasonable amount of time. Demonstrate the creativity involved in designing a new game mechanic, or a new fictional world, or some new characters. Nobody wants to hire just coders. (And if someone does, you don't want to work for them.)

    You know what would really impress me on a resume? Negotiating with a game publisher for rights to re-make one of their old forgotten games. It's easy to find developers who can't work with people, finding developers who not only take the initiative to talk to other human beings (before getting into trouble), but actually come out ahead in a negotiation-- that's pretty unique.

    Anyway, do what you like.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    But for what purpose? You can't distribute it without getting into legal trouble, unless you've already gotten permission from the owner of the IP. (And this being the Internet, and you being a developer, I know you haven't.) And even if you distribute it anyway, the only people interested in downloading it are the people who've already played the game. So they'll dick around with it for a few minutes, then go "neat they fixed the problems", then go back to playing Halo 4 or whatever. They will not care.
     

    Just like openTTD, MAME, scummVM and countless other OSS implementations of original game engines.  Oh no wait, none of them had legal troubles.

    There is nothing illegal about reimplementing functionality unless you are violating patents. Sure you can't use any of the original resources like graphics or music, but that hardly stopped just about anyone from redrawing higher resolution graphics and adding new music.



  • @stratos said:

    Just like openTTD, MAME, scummVM and countless other OSS implementations of original game engines.  Oh no wait, none of them had legal troubles.

    I could easily come up with a list of counter-examples, but what's the point? I'm trying to give the guy good advice, and your statement here doesn't make my advice any worse. (Plus it's obvious he had already made up his mind before posting, anyway, so the whole's thread's kind of pointless.)

    @stratos said:

    There is nothing illegal about reimplementing functionality unless you are violating patents. Sure you can't use any of the original resources like graphics or music, but that hardly stopped just about anyone from redrawing higher resolution graphics and adding new music.

    Fine, whatever, strike illegal from the list. That doesn't change my point: it's a waste of time, effort, and not as good a resume builder, to duplicate something that already exists.



  •  Sorry about that. I know I came in here asking about resumes , but I am really looking for something that satisfies a variety of requirements the main one being that this is something I really like to do.  The internships are where I am focusing on a  resume and learning more about commercial programming.  I don't want to devote my whole being to professional advancement.  heh.  What would be the point of choosing programming then?  Why not something easier?

    Thanks for the inside perspective though.   It's hard to find that.  One of my professors told us that the thing that would distinguish us from the rest would be publication.  I find that hard to believe that is the most ideal. 

     I really am very interested in hearing good suggestions though. It's just taken a long time to find something I really want to devote that much time to.  If I could find something that was ideal in both ways though that would be excellent. : )

     



  • @Chame1eon said:

    One of my professors told us that the thing that would distinguish us from the rest would be publication.

    If your profs knew anything about working in the industry, they wouldn't be profs-- they'd be working in the industry for 3x the pay.



  • Yes, professors probably don't know shit about having a job. However, getting yourself out there, either by code, books, articles or otherwise can be important depending on what you want out of your carreer. But those are really more extreme forms of personal branding.

    A more basic step is simpel networking, especially if you are going to be looking for a good first job it is important to decide what you want to do. We might all be developers, or at least IT workers, but there is miles of difference between a web developers, a java software engineer for a megacorp and a games developer. Firstly find out which interests you the most, and actually find out what the job entails and if you could do it. If you are allergic to burocracy you probably don't want to work at a megacorp, and if you start to bleed trough your eyes from stress. Games developer is probably not the best match either. Umm and there is probably something bad about web development as well.

    To find out what these jobs are really like, find their communities. Not this website, but more specific. For instance, for web developer, try to find if there is a user group nearby for PHP or ASP or perhaps language agnostic but web specific. 

    Attend their meetings, meet people, ask questions. Get to know who is who, and hang out on IRC or their forums. When the time for your internship or first job comes, throw it into the community. They will know which companies are looking and are actually good, and which are to be avoided.



  • @blakeyrat said:

    @Chame1eon said:
    One of my professors told us that the thing that would distinguish us from the rest would be publication.

    If your profs knew anything about working in the industry, they wouldn't be profs-- they'd be working in the industry for 3x the pay.

    Yeah, this is patently false. Most of the professors i know get paid far more than any programmers i know. In fact, every professor i know is employed. The same can't be said for my programmer acquaintances

    never mind the fact that some (if not most) professors do it for the desire to teach, rather than the money. With what some of them get paid, there can be no other explanation other than masochism.

    "If the soldier in the Army were any good, they wouldn't be soldiers in the Army, they'd be working for blackwater, &c" - you know, unless the soldier cared more about fighting for their country than some faceless corporation.



  • @GeneWitch said:

    @blakeyrat said:
    @Chame1eon said:
    One of my professors told us that the thing that would distinguish us from the rest would be publication.

    If your profs knew anything about working in the industry, they wouldn't be profs-- they'd be working in the industry for 3x the pay.

    Yeah, this is patently false. Most of the professors i know get paid far more than any programmers i know. In fact, every professor i know is employed. The same can't be said for my programmer acquaintances

    never mind the fact that some (if not most) professors do it for the desire to teach, rather than the money. With what some of them get paid, there can be no other explanation other than masochism.

    "If the soldier in the Army were any good, they wouldn't be soldiers in the Army, they'd be working for blackwater, &c" - you know, unless the soldier cared more about fighting for their country than some faceless corporation.

     

    because anecdotal evidence is apparently all the evidence you need. To me that just says you only know bum programmers, or people who lie about their income to not make you feel bad.



  • @stratos said:

    because anecdotal evidence is apparently all the evidence you need. To me that just says you only know bum programmers, or people who lie about their income to not make you feel bad.

    He's also in California. God knows what profs get paid in that circus sideshow of a state.


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