Why do we still call Atroxian Realm a Keen 4 mod?

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keenmaster486
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Why do we still call Atroxian Realm a Keen 4 mod?

Post by keenmaster486 » Sun Sep 25, 2016 22:53

Atroxian Realm is built off of Keen Dreams source code. So why do we still refer to it as a Keen 4 mod? It doesn't patch executables, it doesn't just replace existing graphics; everything is brand new. Right? Or am I wrong?

I know AR started out life as a Keen 4 mod, but since it's moved to Dreams code, it kind of seems silly to call it a "mod" now since it's not a "modification" that you can apply to an existing game. It contains so much new code and content that it may as well be a new game entirely.

Besides, if you were going to call it a "mod" at this point, you would have to say it's a "Keen Dreams mod" since that's what it's built on.

So where is my thinking wrong?
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Gridlock
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Post by Gridlock » Mon Sep 26, 2016 2:21

Good question. I've sometimes wondered the same thing myself.

Because AR was a Keen 4 mod for the vast majority of its development, I've never really stopped thinking of it as a mod of that game, especially since so much of its design was informed by the affordances of Keen 4. And, really, though the engine changed, AR still uses plenty of resources that were modded from Keen 4.

But you are right, the end product itself isn't really a mod of Keen 4 at all. I'm only biased towards calling it that because that's how it was for nearly 5 years. It's really more of a new engine that cobbles together pieces from various sources, including K4. But then, what would you call it if not a mod?

Here's the twist: if someone was to make another game that was in fact a modification of AR itself (or at least using the engine), what would that be? I don't think that would be a mod of Keen 4 anymore. These are deep questions :dopekeen
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Atroxian Realm: viewtopic.php?f=4&t=3536
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Post by Nisaba » Mon Sep 26, 2016 6:59

... and the universe threatens to explode....
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Post by Tormentor667 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 10:19

Fun fact... I didn't even notice that it is based on CD...

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Post by NY00123 » Wed Sep 28, 2016 16:10

This is in fact a good question.

I guess it is still a Keen 4 mod in the sense that this is how it originally started, various creatures are based on Keen 4 specific creatures, etc.

On the other hand, I'm not entirely sure how much of the Keen Dreams part of the codebase (which isn't also found in Keen 4-6) was really left.

Let's remind that Atroxian Realm (as a source mod) is based, among other things, on the so-called "Keen Dreams - Unofficial Tech Demo". While about half of the tech demo's codebase is more-or-less grabbed off the Keen Dreams sources, the other half, the ID Engine, is taken off the Catacomb 3-D sources. Keen Dreams also has its revision of the ID Engine, it's just a few months earlier; And Cat3D's revision is much closer to Keen 4-6's.

A lot of Keen 4-6 was still missing, so lemm had to take advantage of some reverse-engineering work, including earlier Keen 5 efforts from the NetKeen and Omnispeak projects. A lot of the Keen Dreams specific parts were obviously replaced in the way.

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Re: Why do we still call Atroxian Realm a Keen 4 mod?

Post by K1n9_Duk3 » Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:03

keenmaster486 wrote: [...] it kind of seems silly to call it a "mod" now since it's not a "modification" that you can apply to an existing game. [...]
I think you can still call it a mod. I've played a lot of Wolf3D mods (or TC's) back in the early 2000's and as far as I can remember, most of the mods came as a complete package, so you could play them even if you did not own the original games. There might be legal issues with that, but the Wolf community doesn't seem to care much about that.

Now, I haven't played AR at all, but from what I read here, it's still very close to the original Keen 4 gameplay, even if the code it uses was recreated from different games. A lot of the Wolf3D mods I've played added some new features to the engine (like textured floors and ceilings) which were used in later games based on the same engine (Blake Stone), but not part of the released Wolf3D source code. And those games were still called mods.

If you cannot agree on wether it is a Keen 4 mod or a Keen Dreams mod, then just call it a Keen mod or a Keen IP mod (IP stands for Isometric Perspective here).
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Post by Levellass » Sat Oct 01, 2016 5:42

Mod or no, game number, engine, version, these do not matter. What matters is that it is Keen.
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Post by Benvolio » Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:43

Does legality come into play? We have traditionally been exceptionally vigilant and explicit about sticking to the golden rules of modding within (our percieved version of) the law. So would it not be favourable if AR was considered a mod, from that viewpoint?

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Post by Levellass » Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:46

Not particularly; within its own framework, compiled from released and customized source code it's in the same legal ballpark, so there's not to much to gain there.
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