New game, new questions!

This is where you can find help or assitance with Title Bout Championship Boxing.

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count_herout
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New game, new questions!

Post by count_herout » Sat 15 Jun, 2013 10:38 pm

A few questions to get started here:

1. Are you a new company different from OOTPD? If so, did you buy the game outright? Or are you still associated with Andreas?

2. I ask (1) because, when I click on the "belt" on the opening screen of TB2.5, that brings me here, and I no longer can access the forums at OOTPD. Since those forums had some good info on them, I'd like to be able to get at them. Is this still possible?

3. How similar is this new platform to the old one? They look to be pretty close, but the devil could be in the details since, for the way we used it at the WTBA, some modifications needed to be made.

4. One of the things about 2.5 was that the commentaries were in such chewy English, and this strongly detracted from the game. One of the modifications I was able to accomplish was to fix this, but such involved taking a portion of the program apart with a special, outside program. I'm not saying this even is needed with the new version -- I haven't downloaded it yet, so I don't know -- but how easily can the commentaries be modified if I have to?

5. Based upon the response to another post, I'm assuming that my data from TB2.5 readily can be downloaded into TB2013. Please advise if this be not true (and see next question).

6. I have 2 computers with TB2.5 on it. One has WIN7 on it but one still has XP. Is TB2013 compatible with XP? Are there any special things one has to do to plug it into 7?

7. Anticipating the answer to (6) may be "no," is it still possible to get 2.5? I definitely want the game on the XP computer because that is the computer I have attached to the internet and the other WTBA players.

8. What is your policy re continuation of licenses? If one of my computers blows up and I have to get another one, will I need to buy a replacement license? I ask because the answer in the past definitely was "no" (I had a couple of blow-ups, and Andreas always honored the original purchase).

9. I was one who bought 2.5 with a replacement disc (which I still have). Can one get TB2013 on a replacement (or restore) disc?

10. If "yes" to 9, how would one do that, and what would it cost for a past customer?

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Paul Norman
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Re: New game, new questions!

Post by Paul Norman » Sun 16 Jun, 2013 12:36 pm

count_herout wrote:A few questions to get started here:
You have a rather comprehensive list of questions here, I will do my best to answer them..
count_herout wrote:1. Are you a new company different from OOTPD? If so, did you buy the game outright? Or are you still associated with Andreas?
PISD is a separate company to OOTP Developments. We are based in England. I still have a close relationship with OOTP as I assist with OOTP Baseball. As far as TB goes its not an official link, but Andreas is happy to advice me if I need it. PISD now owns the entire game.
count_herout wrote:2. I ask (1) because, when I click on the "belt" on the opening screen of TB2.5, that brings me here, and I no longer can access the forums at OOTPD. Since those forums had some good info on them, I'd like to be able to get at them. Is this still possible?
OOTP have redirected their TB page to ours as we now own the game. The forums are still there, follow this link:
http://www.ootpdevelopments.com/board/
count_herout wrote:3. How similar is this new platform to the old one? They look to be pretty close, but the devil could be in the details since, for the way we used it at the WTBA, some modifications needed to be made.
The underlying tech is completely different. In fact the whole game, except the fight engine itself has been totally re-written. TB2013 is now solid foundation I can use to develop the role playing version from.
count_herout wrote:4. One of the things about 2.5 was that the commentaries were in such chewy English, and this strongly detracted from the game. One of the modifications I was able to accomplish was to fix this, but such involved taking a portion of the program apart with a special, outside program. I'm not saying this even is needed with the new version -- I haven't downloaded it yet, so I don't know -- but how easily can the commentaries be modified if I have to?
I am sure you are not referring to a de-compiler as they are illegal, but also not needed. All the commentary strings are in .dat files in the games data folder. There has been a lot of work on these so I hope they are better now. All the commentary data is entered in an online database maintained by the game community.
count_herout wrote:5. Based upon the response to another post, I'm assuming that my data from TB2.5 readily can be downloaded into TB2013. Please advise if this be not true (and see next question).
Yes, when creating a new game, click on the "Import 2.5" button to read in an old game. Make sure you keep your original game just in case... If you find a problem let me know and I will look into it.
count_herout wrote:6. I have 2 computers with TB2.5 on it. One has WIN7 on it but one still has XP. Is TB2013 compatible with XP? Are there any special things one has to do to plug it into 7?
Nope, you get two licenses per order and either should work on either PC. I am not aware of any issues on win7 so you should be fine.
count_herout wrote:7. Anticipating the answer to (6) may be "no," is it still possible to get 2.5? I definitely want the game on the XP computer because that is the computer I have attached to the internet and the other WTBA players.
I do not have access to TB2.5 so I am unable to comment. However you should not need it!
count_herout wrote:8. What is your policy re continuation of licenses? If one of my computers blows up and I have to get another one, will I need to buy a replacement license? I ask because the answer in the past definitely was "no" (I had a couple of blow-ups, and Andreas always honored the original purchase).
Your serial number can be reused after a "blow up". There are a number of systems in place to handle this, the first being the 'stuck license' system here:

viewtopic.php?f=3&t=2

The last system being me resetting things for you..
count_herout wrote:9. I was one who bought 2.5 with a replacement disc (which I still have). Can one get TB2013 on a replacement (or restore) disc?
No, I am not offering the game on a disk. You can cut the installer into a CD for backup if you wish. I am playing with the idea of creating a bootable USB key that boots the PC directly into TB. It would also work if its plugged into a running system. This means you have your TB on a stick you can take with you as you travel around.

I need time to configure this and then manually create them. Keep an eye on the website as if I get these produced I will mention them there...
count_herout wrote:10. If "yes" to 9, how would one do that, and what would it cost for a past customer?
No CD, USB is only an idea at this stage so no costings worked out.

count_herout
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Re: New game, new questions!

Post by count_herout » Mon 17 Jun, 2013 3:40 am

Thank you, Mr. Norman, for the quick (and thorough) reply. The program referred to is something called a hex editor. :idea: To the best of my knowledge, there is nothing illegal about them -- certainly not in the United States --; however, anyone thinking of using one, either with this platform or the last, should be aware ahead of time that even the slightest mistake can screw up the Titlebout program completely, :shock: and then it won't run at all. :cry: There are do's and don't's for using these things, and custom building can be a strength as well as a selling point; but, readers must make sure they know the rules before they experiment. 8-)

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Paul Norman
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Re: New game, new questions!

Post by Paul Norman » Mon 17 Jun, 2013 9:45 am

Ah a hex editor, I use one a lot. Its very helpful to see whats happening in a data file. So you use this editor to change the ASCII strings inside the exe. I understand what you did.

I know the US copyright laws are different to the UK but I think in this case they might be the same. Using a hex editor is not a problem in itself, but changing a exe is illegal as you are modifying a delivered and copyrighted program file. Its in nearly all game EULA's including TB..

However with TB2013 is not needed. All the commentary text is in the commentary dat files I mentioned above. All the static text goes through the translation system. This means you can create a new language file called "count_herout.xml" and change whatever you want. This will then show up in the options dialog as another language.

count_herout
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Re: New game, new questions!

Post by count_herout » Sun 23 Jun, 2013 7:03 pm

Well, I already have people banging on the door, asking where to buy your game (I assume you've no objection to me telling them that). On the copyright issue, Lewis Galoob Toys, Inc. v. Nintendo of Am., Inc., 964 F.2d 965 (9th Cir.1992), cert. denied, 507 U.S. 985, 113 S.Ct. 1582, 123 L.Ed.2d 149 (1993). appears to be directly on point (there is no copyrightable interest in a compilation of the 37 different ways one can say, "Zaim jabs Jensen," nor can one assert protection against correcting grammatical or spelling errors unless there's some separate reason, e.g., dialect, for their original inclusion; and, I was careful to leave the assembler alone). Needless to say, if it be easier to edit via the .xml process, then buyers should do that.

For clarification: Do I understand by your answer that buying your version of the game and installing it does NOT remove Titlebout 2.5 in any way? This is a key issue for me, since the WTBA is somewhat locked into the earlier platform.

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Re: New game, new questions!

Post by Paul Norman » Sun 23 Jun, 2013 9:41 pm

Yes please do pass on details to anyone you think will like the game. No TB2013 will not alter your TB2.5 installation in any way, tho I would like to know why your WTBA uni won't work in TB2013.

I guess UK and US law differs in this regard, as any mod to the exe is illegal. That said, I think you will be hard pushed to find a court that would rule against a simple spelling change ;)

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Re: New game, new questions!

Post by count_herout » Mon 24 Jun, 2013 5:14 pm

We're no criminals and would not dream of stealing your stuff. We just want a game variant that comports with the rules of the WTBA and creates logs which don't individually require two hours of editing (that was driving me crazy). What was done was no less benign than having some other fan contribute a batch of ring-card-girl or judge avatars (that also modifies the game and was done all the time at the other forum). The modification had no commercial value because, for the replacement file to have any value whatsoever, one first had to buy a game from OOTPD. Trust me: No sales were lost, and perhaps sales were increased. That's not an injury (a key point made in the Nintendo opinion).

The copyright laws of the two countries are closer than perhaps you were led to believe; but, in the United States, a copyright can be no greater than the constitutional grant located in Article I, section 8. Someone reading this may fancy himself the next Charles Dickens and procure a copyright for Oliver Twisted, and that would be valid in both countries. What our aspiring author could not do would be to argue that, because he had a copyright for Oliver Twisted, that protection extended to the underlying sentences, words, or punctuation so that everyone needed his permission to speak or write in English. As the Ninth Circuit made clear in Nintendo, if you invent an office program and I invent a spell checker, you could not block me from selling the spell checker by claiming a "copyrightable interest" in spelling "color" with a "u."

Here the claim is even weaker: We haven't sold anything (as of this writing, exactly two people on earth have the modification, both of whom already had purchased a game).

8-)

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Re: New game, new questions!

Post by Paul Norman » Mon 24 Jun, 2013 10:42 pm

You obviously have good knowledge of US law, while UK/EU does not work in the same way as you described above, I do not see any point in continuing this avenue of discussion. I would like to say to anyone reading this thread, please dont modify the TB2013 exe/elf/app files. If you do it will be detected by the copy protection and your game will fail to function. I feel pretty sure even US law takes a dim view on circumvention copy protection code.

Back to your original post, the translation system should allow you to change almost all text. That it does not cover can be changed using the skinning system. So if you wish to remove the 'U' in colour, you can create a file called, "Engish American.ltf" and add a translation entry. See "Spanish.ltf" for more information on how to write a translation file.

More over what other changes did you need to make for your WTBA uni? Maybe this is something I can add to the game in the future...

If anything fails to translate as you'd expect please let me know and I will assist/look into your specific problem.

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Re: New game, new questions!

Post by count_herout » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 6:24 am

WTBA = Women's Topless Boxing Association (the women are bare breasted, DWW style). Strong sexual element you perhaps don't want to add to your game (let me know if otherwise). However, there is one thing you should consider applicable to any form of women's boxing, and that is the much lower upper-body strength the majority of women have vis-a-vis men. In the original CARD game, where YOU are the computer (there was no .exe file), we simulated this by reducing HP 2 pts' for jabs, 1 pt. for crosses or hooks, and 0 pts. for combinations or uppercuts. In addition, there were a small number of RN cards (among an additional number of cards -- 3 or even 4 decks) allowing for 3- 4- and 5-punch combinations. A fighter's HP was increased 1, 2, and 3 pts. for these.

Also, I personally never was interested in chopping women up. In actual competition, most associations in the U.S. require 10-oz., and even 12-oz. women's gloves, which cuts down on the cutting, though perhaps not the bruising. Any simulation needs to take that into consideration.

The result was to transform a game primarily reflecting heavyweight men into one appropriate for women and all the lighter weights. If you recall the old rules to the card/board game, we simply added an optional section styled "Hitting=Power Reduction for Women." This made the game more one of movement, agility, and speed than power.

The other thing we had to do was change the scoring significantly. The 80-card deck was changed to a 90-card deck, with each card being 2 seconds and the time table on the board eliminated (in those days, it was not yet fixed that women would box 2-minute rounds, and 3-minute rounds were more interesting). All CF sequences involving punches used a minimum of 3 cards, instead of the occasional 2, and types of misses were recorded as well, e.g., whether a punch was slipped, evaded, blocked, spent, etc. (I think the computer version has this in it already, but it wasn't in the original game). This resulted in about 33 scoring opportunities total per round (the entire 90 cards were used, not 40 as in the original card format, and as mentioned, additional decks were obtained). As I recall, this number (33) did not vary a lot because knockdowns were offset by maneuver sequences (which still used only 2 cards).

Well, I don't think you need a computer to see the math problem: If one almost doubles the scoring opportunities, other underlying values have to be changed as well. Experiment showed that, if one doubled the endurance, from, e.g., 85 to 170, and increased other values by about 50 per cent, that gave the best results. In an average round, a fighter would score about 25 points. A good round for Fighter A might divide 30/20 in her favor. For an average boxer-profile card, endurance would go negative after 6-7 rounds. Negative endurance (it didn't simply arrest at zero) had an effect, but that affected primarily some of the more sexual aspects of the game, and I decline to relate those here. The one thing one saw only rarely was see-sawing, lopsided rounds. TB2.5 has a lot more of that than I ever encountered, and in my opinion, you should allow that to happen far less frequently and perhaps not at all where, e.g., A is knocked down in round x, and the round being played is round (x+1).

Another thing I saw too much of in TB2.5 were the large percentage of first-round knockdowns. My own experience from watching real fights is that, sans one fighter being, e.g., Mike Tyson, there was far too much of that in the computer game. Yes, flash knockdowns early happen, but I'd cut back on that as well.

There were other, lesser changes, the point being that we wanted a game of speed and movement reflecting not just women but also smaller fighters. Women scored knockouts not by hauling off and slugging an opponent but via rapid movement and combinations of punches -- what happens in real life. If you want to see the difference for real, locate a video of the bout between Gloria Salas and Angelica Chavezin Albequerque, New Mexico (it's on the internet). Little girls can hit hard, but (with maybe the exception of Lucia Rijker) they rarely can just blow somebody over a la Mike Tyson.

I am, of course, talking here exclusively about things done 40-50 years ago -- You and Andreas were not the first persons to explore resurrecting Titlebout (or other Avalon Hill games); but, in those days, computers were big, dumb, clunky adding-machine/typewriters one hauled around in a house trailer. Only big corporations or universities could afford them (or for that matter had room to park them), so of course we didn't have those beyond our physics lab. These modifications perhaps can be approximated in TB2.5's platform; but, to actually make them requires far more than replacing an underlying .dat file a la Galoob Toys, and that very well could be a copyright violation (I genuinely don't know, though we do have something called "fair use" in the U.S. -- if all one would be doing is changing ones own game).

I suggested several other improvements on the TB2.5 forums. Since I've yet to explore TB 2013, except for editing text in .xml files described above, obviously I don't know if any were used. I found that focusing on endurance in training raised it too much (in my replays, this made it effectively infinite). An increase of c. 50 per cent I thought would have been more realistic. Also, in the original card game, cover-up strategy cards could be played at any time and more than once in a round. In the original card game, this had the effect of removing cards from the deck (effectively shortening a round and lessening chances for the opponent to score). Because we were creating bout logs, even back then, taking the cards out didn't make any sense, but it was just as easy to record misses instead of hits for the number of cards that would have been removed. The point today being that allowing use of only one cover-up per round limits its effectiveness. I don't know how the computer programs resolve this; but, if like the card game, they simply "remove cards" while modifying other factors, e.g., HP, then there is a loss of realism to allow only one CU per round.

Like I said, there probably were other modifications made during the course of 50 years. I recall that the original ring was organized to look more like a chess board or tic-tac-toe layout, and that the movement sequences in the cards were limited to one square at a time (like moving your king). This prevented location from bouncing from one opposite corner to the other (it could move in that direction but only one square at a time). I was always good at math, so I never did try to computerize any of it (though I suppose one still could do it -- underlying structures of Titlebout are well known in this country, with perhaps some -- but certainly not all -- even in the public domain).

But, why go to all that work if, for $10 I can get a finished product from you?

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Re: New game, new questions!

Post by Paul Norman » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 12:09 pm

Wow, thank you for that details analysis. I will make a note of what you have said and when we start to design the next version of the game we can work out how much of this we can integrate. When I start designing TB3 (code name for the next version) I will be building a quorum to advise from the forums. This is the sort of knowledge that quorum is looking for.

I think your right WTBA might be a step too far, however if there are hooks you need to allow you to add these let me know and I will see what I can do to help. You may wish to allow others to download your mods so they too can run WTBA bouts. I dont know how it sits legally, but here in the UK you can buy a newspaper called "The Sun" which has a topless women on page 3 every day which is not age restricted. So I can;t see how topless boxing would be any different. However I leave that decision with you...

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Re: New game, new questions!

Post by count_herout » Tue 25 Jun, 2013 4:06 pm

I know little of British law and almost nothing about the laws of Germany. (I do speak some German.) I do know about the Sun (from the days when JoAnne Latham was the Page-3 Girl). We probably have most of the Sun's topless-boxing photos, along with thousands of others, in the library.

You cannot download a copy of the game (at least the one described). WTBA members are encouraged to buy a copy of yours or Andreas', that they better understand the competitive platform. Trunzo's statistical models, e.g., Joe Louis, may be among the portions of Titlebout AH which remain copyrighted, so we don't use them. Instead, there is a neutral card, and managers of fighters are given $250 in Monopoly money to "buy" additional factors and design their own girl. To be in the WTBA, you need to manage a fighter, e.g., Leilani Dowding (a very nice lady who is the granddaughter of the air marshal who won the Battle of Britain -- she served some time as an amateur boxer for Norm Zadeh's Perfect 10 magazine). In real life, Noreen Zaim probably would spank her ass, and someone like Mia St. John would thrash them both. A topless-boxing actress like Tanya Danielle probably wouldn't last 20 seconds against any of them. But, in the WTBA, all are approximately equal because the cards are balanced, and the competition is among managers, who try to out-think the opponent by devising comprehensive fight plans using TB strategies. So, in a pure simulation (generic managers, no training emphasis, computer-selected strategies, equal CFs), in 1,000 simulations, Mia and Tanya ideally would split about 450/450 with c. 100 draws (in real life, Mia would kill her 100 per cent of the time, probably in the first round).

We are strictly non-commercial, do not sell games, and do not allow gambling (which could be illegal in the U.S. for crossing a state line). We do have to be concerned with copyrights -- not just yours but Leilani's (she gets paid for showing at least some images of her bared bottom). We try to be careful against committing actionable piracy. I think what we're doing is pretty safe and does not infringe.

I have to go to work and will be away from the computer for about a week. If you want to discuss game design in a non-public forum, count_herout@yahoo.com (make sure I know it's you). And, don't be surprised if this is more like snail mail (I won't have access to my mail either).

Peace.

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