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Hellgate London Code Stolen? 89

The Gamers With Jobs Press Pass is reporting on a rumour that the code for Hellgate:London has been stolen. 'Reliable sources' indicate that Flagship Studios' servers have been taken down (and hopefully secured) in the wake of the incident. From the article: "My source indicates that the virtual break-in was conducted by a Chinese individual who is currently attempting to sell the code from a personal website. For those of you who don't know, Hellgate: London is the first project by ex-Blizzard developer Bill Roper and his new studio, the game has been at the last two E3's and looks to be shaping up very nicely."
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Hellgate London Code Stolen?

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  • by radish ( 98371 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @10:34AM (#15697868) Homepage
    I hope they get it back, I was looking forward to that game.
  • Synical... (Score:3, Funny)

    by LiquidCoooled ( 634315 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @10:34AM (#15697878) Homepage Journal
    If ((CodeLate==TRUE) && hacker.holding( yourcode ))
  • The code is probably no where near finished so whats the point of stealing it other than to piss people off? Sure it might help if someone wants to make their own games, but wouldn't it be obvious to the original author if someone did this and if a major Game mob did this they would have their pants sued off
  • Useless? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Aladrin ( 926209 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @10:37AM (#15697901)
    So... The source code for an FPS that isn't even close enough to release to set a release date was stolen.

    Why not just download Quake's source and be done?? An engine with no data is nearly useless in today's FPS scene. The only possible use it could have would be to crack the game before it even comes out, but as it is so unfinished, even that is pointless.

    "Ten out of ten for style, but minus several million for good thinking."
    • The only possible use it could have would be to crack the game before it even comes out, but as it is so unfinished, even that is pointless.

      It's much easier to devise cheats for the game if you've had a good look at the source too. That can be very detrimental to a game if cheating becomes rampant. So a code leak could seriously impact this game's sales and popularity.
      • If you're talking about an online game, I'll agree. Cheats don't hurt offline games, though.

        I haven't looked this long enough to know if they are planning online support or not. I assumed off-hand that they weren't, but FPS's aren't really my bag.
    • First of all, Hellgate isn't an FPS. It's an ARPG played from the 1st or 3rd person perspective. The game is stat based, meaning your leet FPS aiming skills won't do much good, but rather your RPG item-hunting/stat building will be the winner here.

      The graphics are akin to a FPS, but the major part of the game is the highly anticipated random map generator and actual game content.
      • Eh, It's an FPS. It may have quite a few RPG elements, but the main focus is on shooting and hack n slash.

        This preview [] Says:

        Hellgate is meant to be a hack, slash and shoot kind of game. One of its main objectives is to deliver non-stop fast paced action and for that, having enemies throwing themselves onto your sword is the most satisfying kind of gameplay one could wish for.

        Unfortunately, it also notes that to hack n slash, you will probably be required to use third person mode, and of course, shoot

        • Eh, Nethack is an FPS. It may have quite a few RPG elements, but the main focus is on firing magic and hack n slash.

          The only resemblance between Hellgate and standard FPSes is that it can be played in first person. Can you say Oblivion is an FPS? Can you say System Shock is an FPS? Didn't think so.

          • You do realize that FPS means First Person Shooter, right?

            And yes, System Shock is an FPS. []

            And yes, Oblivion borders on FPS-hood. Only its intricate plot, numerous side-quests, and flexible weapons, armor and magic systems push it over into RPG-land. (I'm an Oblivion fan, but this is still true.)
            • Of course I do, i've been playing them since wolf3d.
              System Shock was a bit different in the sense you could set that the combat to inactive, pretty much removing the whole "shooter" part, leaving more room to plot/puzzles/exploration.

              If you say Oblivion is in the RPG-land, how can Hellgate not be? With its plot (tho probably simplistic), numerous side-quests, and flexible weapons, armor and magic systems that were promised by the developer?

              Anyways, this is an argument about nothing. In my opinion HG will be
  • Remember... (Score:2, Funny)

    by p0tat03 ( 985078 )

    ... it's not stealing, it's copyright infringement!

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

  • HL2 (Score:5, Funny)

    by RalphSleigh ( 899929 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @10:50AM (#15698023) Homepage
    I thought Don't Connect Your Development Enviroment To The Internet was in game design 101 since Half-life 2?
  • by spyrochaete ( 707033 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @11:21AM (#15698271) Homepage Journal
    I fear a theft will cause a huge release delay. The game is slated to have a major multiplayer aspect with massively multiplayer staging areas and instanced group mission areas. If the code was stolen there is a significant risk of cheaters ruining the game for everyone. To be fair, this has happened in pretty much every Bill Roper game since he makes earning stats so tantilizing, but in the past it was (presumably) done without access to the source.

    The big variables here are whether games will be served by the company or by players, what the pricing scheme will be (thus the urgency to fix the game), and, of course, how complete the stolen code was. For reference, the code to every single id Software game was leaked before release, and those games did just fine technically and commercially. No one could reuse stolen code commercially without getting caught, and the publisher could instate whatever crazy engine licensing agreement they want in that case.

    Regardless, I adore Roper's games and I can't wait for the release of Hellgate: London. I hope I don't have to wait much longer to play it!
    • You assume the code is really stolen.
    • If the code was stolen there is a significant risk of cheaters ruining the game for everyone.

      Hacking into servers is bad, but it always irritates me that people think multiplayer games cannot be secure if the source code is open.

      If more eyes are looking at the code, then more people can help fix them or point them out to developers. The problem with most small programming houses and MMOG live teams is that those guys are usually swamped with bug fixes and can't look at the code.

      Sure, there will always peopl
      • You're absolutely right about that. The game hacking community is a great example of this. The Diablo series is riddled with hacks and cheats, and there's a huge community of programmers that share their tips on packet analysis and race condition man-in-the-middle attacks.

        What OSS really needs is a killer app to show that the model can be profitable. How do you go about honouring troubleshootes in a for-profit OSS game? Do you pay them? Do you make them sign a waiver saying forfeiting payment before
      • In FPS type games one form of cheating is in alterering the way the game presents its data to you. For instance what if the game engine you used did not show you a lush tropical forest and soldiers painted in green camo but a black world with transparant plants and red soldiers? Perhaps you would find it slightly easier to spot enemy players?

        MMO's often get around this by doing all the computing on the servers and making the graphical view irrelevant. It don't matter if you can view the enemy, it matters i

  • PR spin (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cliffski ( 65094 ) on Tuesday July 11, 2006 @12:36PM (#15698944) Homepage
    Who even assumes this is true. This is a big news story for a game most people would ignore.
    PR 101.
    • Bill Roper and the crew now working at Flagship Studios are the same people who brought us Diablo, Diablo II, D2:LoD, Starcraft, and

      Diablo, which was released January of 1997, debuted at number one in the United States. The game has sold in excess of 2.5 million copies worldwide and was honored as the number-one selling computer role-playing game in 1997 as well as being named Game of the Year by Computer Gaming World.

      In July of 2000, Diablo II was announced as being the fastest selling computer
      • Re:Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Traiklin ( 901982 )
        you missed the important part of all that,

        Their not FPS.

        Sure the RPG, Magic & Demon elements of the game are going to rock hard but what have they done that is FPS?

        I'm not knocking the game or the developers in anyway (I am looking forward to the game) but I've seen this happen one to many times. A Major person that is responcable for a killer franchise leaves the company that owns it, starts his own and takes a couple of the people with him (for whatever reason)

        They promise the greatest gam
        • FPS? Huh? Have you even looked at the game? It's Diablo but prettier.
          • last time I saw it it was all FPS. The view was from the characters Eyes on the street.

            This was just before E3 so I don't know how much has changed with it.
            • The game is an FPS styled RPG. You have the ability to choose from first person or third person. However, when using melee weapons, the view can only be third person. I spent quite a bit of time playing it at E3 and can't wait for the beta to begin.
    • Have you looked at the videos? Looked at the game itself? It is shaping up nicely. Not to mention being done by Roper. This is pretty big news, outside of the theft.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"