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Using .wad for a commercial project

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2020 8:54 pm
by Nash
Someone directed this question to me and I don't have an answer - they asked can their game be distributed in .wad format instead of .pk3. Is there any relevance what file format the base game data resides in?

Re: Using .wad for a commercial project

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2020 9:21 pm
by Rachael
I do not think it should pose any problem. .wad has been used in an Apogee game (before they were 3D Realms) and id Software didn't exactly go after them.

There isn't exactly a patent protecting the format, and the code used to manipulate and read it has been released to the GPL for many years now. I think that person should be just fine.

Re: Using .wad for a commercial project

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:14 pm
by InsanityBringer
the Apogee game (ROTT) did have some sort of agreement with id software, as mentioned in a document included with the source, and a fair amount of doom-era code appears in the rott source (the zone memory manager, wad code, and some snippets of alpha-era code and the doom utilities, among some other things). I think a more apt example would be Amulets and Armor, which used the WAD file format as well as the doom map format (assumed to be so they could use doom editors rather than having to develop a new editor specifically for the game.)

Re: Using .wad for a commercial project

PostPosted: Sat Oct 31, 2020 11:16 pm
by Nash
I figured it wouldn't be a problem, because, for example - even in .pk3 projects, the map files are still stored inside .wad files so there's kinda no way to avoid using .wad files completely, heh.

Re: Using .wad for a commercial project

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 4:05 am
by Gez
InsanityBringer wrote:the Apogee game (ROTT) did have some sort of agreement with id software, as mentioned in a document included with the source, and a fair amount of doom-era code appears in the rott source (the zone memory manager, wad code, and some snippets of alpha-era code and the doom utilities, among some other things). I think a more apt example would be Amulets and Armor, which used the WAD file format as well as the doom map format (assumed to be so they could use doom editors rather than having to develop a new editor specifically for the game.)

Also Birthright: The Gorgon's Alliance.

Re: Using .wad for a commercial project

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 7:41 am
by Graf Zahl
You cannot copyright a file format - only the specification or the implementation for it. And the WAD specs are so primitive that it was possible to write a Doom editor back in 1994 without having any documentation.

Re: Using .wad for a commercial project

PostPosted: Sun Nov 01, 2020 9:15 am
by InsanityBringer
Heh, I didn't know about Birthright. If we're adding obscure examples, I remember in recent years someone on twitter was doing analysis of a printer's firmware updater, which used WAD files to deliver files. (I'd love to use a link but I have no idea how to effectively search twitter...)

Re: Using .wad for a commercial project

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 6:54 pm
by Blzut3
Two second search on twitter came up with this thing regarding a camera? Although the WAD format is trivial it is interesting that they would use it (there are other simple archive formats which would have more readily available tooling), but honestly the more interesting thing to me is that it use a compression bit stream that matched the Catacomb Armageddon source code. But I'm guessing that LZW bit stream comes from some other compression tool, so probably a coincidence.

Re: Using .wad for a commercial project

PostPosted: Mon Nov 02, 2020 7:47 pm
by InsanityBringer
ah, yeah, the camera is familiar, I misremembered and thought it was a printer or a scanner. I also completely forgot about the Catacomb 3D LZW implementation working perfectly, which is surprising but probably a coincidence as mentioned.