Wednesday, May 26, 2010

MD3View - A short trip down nostalgia lane

A long time ago, about 10 years, Quake 3 Arena was released.
Within 24 hours Matthew Baranowski and I had reverse engineered the MD3 model format and created a model viewer that could display all the models in all it's Q3A shaded glory.

Well actually it could've been 24 hours after Q3Test, but anyway..

We named it MD3View and released it with the source, and because open source obviously equals GPL we slapped the GPL license on top of it. (at least that's we thought at the time, not that we gave it much thought)

Interestingly enough Raven software found our tool, expanded on it and used it on games such as Star Trek: Voyager - Elite force (We both got a special thanks in the credits because of this) and apparently Star Wars: Jedi Knight - Jedi Academy.

Not long after Matthew, me and Volker Schoenefeld went on an awesome road trip, starting at New York (well technically Volker & I flew to NY from Germany and the Netherlands) and we (well Matt) drove all the way to Siggraph 2000 in New Orleans (which was still in one piece at the time) and finally to Quakecon 2000.

I still remember being nervous as hell talking to a pretty cool Raven guy there, I mean there I was, this young geeky guy actually talking to someone from Raven Software!!
I politely told him, well mumbled, that MD3View was released under the GPL and that the modified source code should be released as well, or something or other.
Some time later we received an NDA through email, and then got a copy of the source code... and unfortunately my memory gets rather fuzzy beyond that.
But for no particular reason, certainly not because of Raven, the modified source code never got released.

I would've never given this any more thought if someone wouldn't, out of the blue, just asked me if I still had the source code.

Which I didn't.
I just couldn't find it.
Not the original (can anyone out there help me with that?) or the version from Raven.

So I figured, what the hell, I'll just politely ask Raven software for it, it's not like it's state of the art technology any more anyway.

Within hours I got an email back from Ste Cork:
Wow, you won't believe how hard it was to find this, 
we stopped using SourceSafe years ago (and that was
the only place this was ever stored), and it took a
while to even install the client (doesn't work on
Vista) and find all the databases and various INI 
files etc, then pick out the one this was in. 
Anyway, as you can see from the attachment our
IT guy finally managed it.
Whoops, sorry to put your IT guy through that! (so sorry!)
But thanks a lot for all the effort!

And after a couple of emails back and forth, making sure that the headers contained the proper legal information and converting it to a more modern version of visual studio: here it is.
Update: Apparently the original hosted file disappeared, so I put it on Codeplex this time, you can find it here.

It's old, it's outdated, and it's yours, all yours.

Update: Matthew confirmed it, 24 hours after Q3Test, not Quake 3 Arena.
Update 2: He also said that we got a cease and desist from Id software and that we had to take it down, wait a couple of weeks until Quake 3 Arena was released before we could put it up again.
I honestly can't remember that... is that a grey hair?
Update 3: Wow, this article brought almost 5000 visitors to my blog in a day!?