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Old 12 January 2017, 08:03   #1
Drew
 
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Question Total Chaos - full version lost forever?

I'm trying to get a full version of Total Chaos AGA. Many links I've found on the internet are either turn limit demos or the links don't work at all. The one on Aminet is also only a 20turn limit demo requesting to email Chaos Lord for the full version, except he and his email are now dead.

I tried another Amiga forum, but it derailed into the health problems/discussions of Chaos Lord rather than the goal of the original post.

There was a "Team Chaos". Anyone know who that is and if they care to keep the game alive rather than have it lost & forgotten?

I don't necessarily need the latest Total Chaos AGA with all the bells & whistles, just a Total Chaos that doesn't end at turn 20.

Finally, I am not talking about Chaos Engine. That's a different game.

Thanks in advance.
 
Old 12 January 2017, 08:40   #2
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found this -

Total Chaos Unlimited -

http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=66290

Then this link from above page -

http://xavprods.free.fr/chaos/index2.html

but download links not working because of old aminet site address

Correct aminet address -

http://aminet.net/search?query=total+chaos

Just relised the aminet one is 20 turns. Oh well
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Old 12 January 2017, 08:57   #3
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Just found this--

http://www.amiga.org/forums/showthread.php?t=71164
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Old 12 January 2017, 11:43   #4
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I've tried repeatedly to contact ChaosLord's heirs to secure development rights to make another Total Chaos version with the rest of the original Total Chaos development team. My emails have not been answered so legally, we can't start development of the new Total Chaos.
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Old 12 January 2017, 11:57   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai_Crow View Post
I've tried repeatedly to contact ChaosLord's heirs to secure development rights to make another Total Chaos version with the rest of the original Total Chaos development team. My emails have not been answered so legally, we can't start development of the new Total Chaos.
James passed away last year. :-(

http://www.amiga.org/forums/showthread.php?t=71164
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Old 12 January 2017, 11:59   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul1981 View Post
Why else would I be contacting his heirs if he was still alive? BTW, I was the original poster of that thread on A.org.
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Old 12 January 2017, 12:01   #7
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Sorry, not enough coffee this morning ;-)
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Old 01 January 2018, 23:48   #8
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Any news on this?

I tried for years to obtain a version of this game and always got some abstract answer when trying to purchase the game. I dared not ask to much as tcl's medical condition was serious.

A great game it was and I respected Chaos Lords work. Hope someone day we get the game in his memory.
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Old 03 January 2018, 14:29   #9
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The team is unable to secure development rights to the game due to the heirs not replying to messages.
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Old 03 January 2018, 17:06   #10
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Damn that's a shame. I still feel sad when I see some of Chaos Lords posts, we really lost an interesting guy there!
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Old 03 January 2018, 17:35   #11
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The team is unable to secure development rights to the game due to the heirs not replying to messages.
Hi, Samuel. Basically I think pursuing this does not make much sense imho.. Here are some reasons:

1) The complete project itself James inherited it from Sean Irvine which in turn was created based on a hack of the original 'Chaos: Battle of the Wizards' for the ZX spectrum. Obviously Total Chaos after many years of development and various versions released is FAR from that original game, but still it remains a port in it's core and an unofficial one, based on a commercial game (source: here).

2) It's obvious that any relatives of James are not interested at all about this. Which makes sense as this was just a hobby project for him (despite the love and the great amount of work he has put into it).

3) Fact is that only part of the code was done by James. Many, many team members over the years have contributed to the game with assets, ideas, work and code, thus the game is more of a collective effort. So, other team members have -at least- partial ownership over this. Other than that, the game itself was build over the years from contributions or assets collected from the community itself and other internet sources.

4) Nobody benefits from this being locked around, James is not with us anymore (may god rest his soul), his heirs are uninterested -as already mentioned, the game itself never had any signifficant commercial value and there are no solid legal grounds for 'securing development rights' as I see it (more so being a port in it's core based on an actual, well known commercial game again). Only ones interested are the remaining Team chaos members and -of course- the Amiga community.

Over and all, what remains from the above is just a vague moral responsibility. From my perspective the one action that would do justice to Jame's memory and work would be to finally release the full game for everyone to enjoy (supposed the other team members are ok with this and there is indeed a free, full copy still around - somewhere). Or even do a remake and dedicate it to him.
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Old 03 January 2018, 18:18   #12
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@Tsak
Total Chaos was based upon the board game "Chaos". James repeatedly denied that the spectrum game was the basis for his total rewrite. The rest sounds right though.
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Old 03 January 2018, 18:51   #13
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Not according to Sean Irvine (if we assume the above source is true). In his own words he is the author of the first and original Amiga port and he clearly explains how the game came to be from his analysis/hack of the ZX spectrum version. It's all explained in detail in his 'Chaos breakdown' Usenet post at 13th December of 1996, shared from this wiki page above.

In any case, not that any of these matter. We all know James has put his soul into this project and nothing can change that fact.
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Old 03 January 2018, 19:04   #14
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@Tsak
Sean Irvine was a rival and not a trustworthy source.

If you want to help with a remake, I have a good programming language.
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Old 03 January 2018, 21:50   #15
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Well, Irvine's post was published when the very first Amiga Chaos version came to be (1996), long before they became "rivals" . After that first version James and Irvine published as partners the second and third OCS versions at 1999 and 2001 respectively. James continued on his own with the rest of the Chaos team releasing the next Total Chaos games for AGA at 2004 and 2008.

In any case, either you believe Irvine or James or none, to my mind there's absolutely no doubt the game is a port of the spectrum one. Down to the last detail, those 2 play exactly the same and share the exact same rules, base spells and monsters. After all, in the 1999 Amiga Chaos version (oldest version which is still on Aminet) Julian Gollop, the author and creator of both the 1985 ZX spectum game AND the 1982 card game (the spectrum version was based on) is vigorously credited in one of the readme files included.
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Old 04 January 2018, 01:25   #16
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Irvine's code failed an internal audit and was replaced. I believe that they did work together though, because he has a character in the game: Mullac d'Irvine, a mid-level undead that summons other undeads if agent casting is enabled.
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Old 26 February 2018, 23:55   #17
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Suggesting that Chaos is not based on Gollop's original is patently ludicrous. Conwell was well aware of the history, the code contains multiple references to Gollop, and I never personally heard Conwell suggest otherwise. It is true, however, that Conwell never played the Spectrum version.

I first played Julian Gollop's "Chaos: Battle of the Wizards" on the ZX Spectrum in 1987 after obtaining a copy from a school friend. During the period up until late 1990, I thoroughly disassembled the game, wrote an editor, and various other games based on the same graphics. All this was done on the Spectrum. None of these were ever distributed and they are all lost now.

In 1990, I bought my first Amiga and immediately started coding a version of Chaos for it. Some initial programming was done with Metacomco Pascal, but that proved problematic in the size of program it could handle. So progress was slow and limited until the Lattice/SAS C compiler became available in 1992. I recoded all the Pascal in C, and a working game was in existence by 1993. After hearing the original had been placed in the public domain, I decided around 1995 or 1996 to go ahead and make the Amiga version publicly available. Shortly afterwards I posted details on the internals of the original Spectrum version to the comp.sys.sinclair newsgroup. While the code contained multiple references to Gollop, in retrospect there should have been a much bigger hat-tip to Julian on the splash screen. Also around this time a number of other completely independent versions began to appear for a variety of platforms.

The Aminet release generated a fair bit of interest and several people sent me improved sprites and other suggestions. After the Aminet release, three people asked for and were given copies of the code based. In particular, in December 1996, Conwell expressed an interest in working on the code. We subsequently collaborated closely on development until approximately 2001 although there were some periods with little activity. We didn't have any formal form of source control and simply emailed the source archive back-and-forth between NZ and the US as required. Actually ``simply'' is a bit of an understatement, as this was still at the time when email wasn't a given and we would run into email size limits; or one or other of us would have hard drive, monitor, or other hardware issues. During the period 1999-2002 I made an effort to have as much of the code as possible compilable with gcc under Linux (minus the code for the actual display etc.). This meant much faster compilation cycles for testing the core engine and development of the AI etc.

I still have a complete copy of source from circa 2003 corresponding to version 4.91. Because of the lack of source control, it is exceedingly unlikely that source for any earlier versions exists; although possibly I have archived backup copies somewhere. In theory the code I have would still compile given an Amiga with SAS/C and a couple of other utilities. The code itself is actually quite embarrassing. There are remnants of an attempt at literate programming on my part and an awful set of macros (called JC) overlaid on the code by Conwell. But fundamentally it is a mixture or C and assembler. It is documented though.

After 2001 my involvement was much reduced. I didn't have an AGA capable Amiga and had other demands on my time. I still made occasional contributions, typically when Conwell asked for particular algorithm work or just to contribute new spells. From around 2000 onward Conwell did an exceptional job assembling a team of people to greatly improve the graphics, sound, and other visuals; that group became various ChaosDev and TeamChaos. He definitely was the one coordinating the work from this date.

Starting around 2000, Conwell and I had several discussions on how we could bring Chaos to a wider audience; for example, via SDL, OpenGL, or rewriting in some other language. However, no concrete plans or progress towards that goal was made. In October 2002, I started work on a Java version. At that time it was unclear if Java could deliver sufficient performance.

By October the following year I had a rudimentary Java version and in October 2003 posted a message to our wider ChaosDev group stating this. I did so knowing that Conwell had no interest in a Java version. I think Conwell considered this a betrayal or perhaps an attempt to take resources from the team and he removed me from the group and my name from subsequent releases made by TeamChaos. Afterwards, I had only occasional communication with Conwell up until 2007. To my mind the notion we were rivals is absurd. Of course, sadly, James is no longer with us, and cannot give his view, so I do not want to speculate too much further about this.

Of course, plenty of evidence of my touches remained in the game and I would be very surprised if lots of code and spells I wrote were not included in one form or another in the later releases. The Mullac is a typical example, it is actually the name of my brother backwards, and was included because my brother would always cast growths when we played. I find it all kind of amusing actually, particularly when other people draw conclusions without facts.

These days I have my Java version which I occasionally tinker with. It is close in spirit to the Amiga OCS releases. It runs well under Linux and ok on the one Windows machine I've tried, but the graphics are definitely not as flash as the AGA ones, but it does for me and the people I play against.
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Old 27 February 2018, 03:06   #18
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Hi Irvine, nice to see you here and thanks for the details shared!

Me and Samuel were among the last members to join TeamChaos btw. I first got involved around 2010 as a gfx artist for a "next gen" version James was planning (which unfortunately never came to be).
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Old 20 August 2018, 19:30   #19
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Originally Posted by adonay View Post
Any news on this?

I tried for years to obtain a version of this game and always got some abstract answer when trying to purchase the game. I dared not ask to much as tcl's medical condition was serious.

A great game it was and I respected Chaos Lords work. Hope someone day we get the game in his memory.
I was wondering this myself again recently. I had the same experience trying to obtain a copy too.

Well it was 99% lost before and I guess it's a 100% lost now in terms of ever actually getting a full copy. That's a shame
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Old 20 August 2018, 23:12   #20
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Turn limit demo. So what if we remove the limit? Would it miss some features? I suppose I wasn't the first with this idea.
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