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Valve's Source on 360 Explored 23

Posted by Zonk
from the freeman-invited-to-redmond dept.
Yesterday, Valve announced that Source will be available as middleware on the 360. Joystiq went back and asked them a few questions about what exactly that means to gamers. From the article: "The version included with our games (A.K.A. the MOD tools) includes a ton of tools and code for the creation of new products. However, there is a fair amount of code reserved for the 'Pro' version. It is certainly possible for end users or professional game designers (who are moonlighting) to create something with the tools included with purchase of our games, and then defer any decisions about licensing and sales until they've got something working. This was exactly the case with Counter-Strike, Day of Defeat, The Ship, and others."
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Valve's Source on 360 Explored

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  • erm.. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:13PM (#16470761) Journal
    Why don't valve just make it so HL2 on the Xbox is as moddable as the PC version. So mods would run natively on both?

    Seems a simple idea to me..
    • "Simple" is not necessarily congruent to "Most Profitable"
    • Simple in theory, difficult in execution. Tuning Source for the Xbox means that certain changes have to be made that would likely break mods developed for the PC HL2.
    • Re:erm.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ford Prefect (8777) on Tuesday October 17, 2006 @12:38PM (#16471327) Homepage
      Why don't valve just make it so HL2 on the Xbox is as moddable as the PC version. So mods would run natively on both?

      The 'code' portion of a Source mod is just an Windows x86 DLL, compiled from a load of C++. There's no sandboxing or anything, so a mod can happily corrupt the game's memory, call operating system functions, you name it. Disadvantages, yes - but the advantages are extremely high performance and versatility as to what the mods can do.

      The original Half-Life operated in a similar way, and later mods for that did all sorts of things which would have been impossible in a sandbox. Like, alternative rendering engines, doing everything through OpenGL - or improved networking, sound or whatever.

      In the case of the Xbox 360, I seriously doubt that Microsoft would allow such control over their hardware - they might as well send out free devkits and code-signing signatures to everyone.
      • by xation (809158)

        ... they might as well send out free devkits and code-signing signatures to everyone.

        Why do you think Windows is so popular? Visual Studio is free and everyone can make programs for Windows.

        Maybe this is what the XBox needs to increase its popularity - allow everyone to make games for it.

      • by NekoXP (67564)
        Far from that, how do you expect to get a Windows x86 binary DLL compiled from C++ to run verbatim on a multithreaded dual core Power Architecture processor? .NET for gaming is what Microsoft would love you to do, and this is a solution, but I really really doubt you could make mods simply port across from the Windows code that easily, considering the architecture of it all.

        However there is a decent incentive for Valve and Microsoft to work on this; you can sell mods on XBox Live. If MS could tie in the fre
    • Because the Win32API isn't available on XBox. I fooled around with the idea of an IRC client inside HL2... it made use of winsock.

      Furthermore, if you know anything about cross-platform programming, you know you have to code differently (IE use libraries supported by all platforms, for one thing) than if you are only coding for one platform... which all HL2 mods are!

    • Why don't valve just make it so HL2 on the Xbox is as moddable as the PC version. So mods would run natively on both?
      One can only wish this were true, but mods are the reason I love PC gaming, and the reason I don't care about console ports of PC games. Also, ignoring keyboards, consoles only have a limited number of buttons to work with.

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