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Action Plan.. who's in?

Discussion in 'Bob's Track Builder' started by Phil Blunt, May 10, 2011.

  1. remember way way back when piddy said he would be away for a while because he had a job and needed the cash..? well i think he at least owes this community a post after nearly 2 years!
    i paid for BTB.. i did what i could to support the developer!

    i use this tool a lot.. and i mean a lot, i even understand the need to for piddy to get a day job, but come on the current build is not stable due to the licence issues.

    if piddy is to abandon this project he should at the very least release a patch to remove the current DRM, leaving people who have paid for the software free to use it, not a lot to ask, hey?

    the BTB web site is due to expire in September we as a community need an action plan for piddy to do one of the following..

    1. release a patch to remove the DRM.
    very little work programming wise, easy enough to do in a day.

    2. release a patch to remove DRM and release the sourcecode so this project my continue.
    at least then it might make it to version 1.0

    3. update the community, release some sort of better DRM system, continue the project even if very slowly.

    so how do we has a community do it?
    well from my googling i think piddy is working for a bank, i found his linkdin page.
    what we need to try first is for someone local to piddy to go to his house and ask him for an update.
    if that fails we contact his at his job.
    then if that fails we all join forces in court action. far fetch i know but i think we have grounds.

    so who's in?? are you this communities hero?
  2. >mods please do not move this to the license thread where it will be lost. :)
  3. Kyle Puttifer

    Kyle Puttifer
    @ Simberia @Simberia

    Nice ideas, although I really don't think that court is the right way to go. There has already been someone called Dufoe wanting to sue Brendon for abandoning the software.
    But as you said, he could have at least released the source code.
  4. I had problems with my license and I had to use the cracked BTB, but had problems in win7 64.
    Then I got the source code and recompiled to run on win7 64. As time went by correcting bugs and making improvements.
    I currently have:
    - Runs on win7 32/64 more faster and stable.
    - Improvements to the interface (colored buttons and positioning)
    - Improvements to the background images.
    * Load Sat images using kml file and makes the positioning and resizes automatically.
    * Can lock/unlock images
    - Export
    * Inclusion of Location
    * Inclusion of calculation of fuel
    * You can choose multiple Skybox
    * Creates the MAS files

    Future plans

    - Export to rFactor 2
    - Improvements in handling the terrain.

    For copyright reasons, it is evident that I can not sell or share.
    If the legal situation is clarified Brandon could share the progress.
  5. I've got nothing but thanks for Brendon (and an offer... see below).

    BTB was ~50 bucks.... and many of the names I'm reading on these forums have been entertaining themselves with it for several years now..... what a deal. If you hear of anything else as inexpensive, fun, and usefull, let me know.

    When I started using BTB, I had previously used Autodesk Inventor for mech cadd stuff. With that, I had used a really handy 3D Mouse http://www.3dconnexion.com/ which I now use with 3dsMax.

    At the time, I wrote to Brendon asking him if he planned to implement anything like this. He emailed back pretty promptly (for a coder) and said that he had written them about it, and they had never answered.

    Pretty sure that most everyone here is somewhat creative..... So... havent you ever been working on something great... and then Reality sets in, and you have to stop working on whatever it is to feed yourself(youselves), deal with an illness, pay the rent, & such? Sometimes, life sucks.

    Something that Brendon could do requiring the least amount of involvement (for him), would be to Allow one of us to be selected by him to implement a Plugin Interface into BTB.

    With a Plugin Interface, BTB could be continually upgraded by the community, Brendon can maintain his ownership without releasing his source code (and continue selling a new, improved BTB version), and everybody would be happy. Perhaps he would allow a few bugs (like the xPacker animation frame limit) to be resolved by one of us as well.

    I wouldn't mind signing a non-disclosure and writing some C# on BTB. Pretty sure he must know several people in the community who may also be capable and willing to do this.

    The Key to any of this is Politely relating something like this plugin idea.. via someone who knows him. Maybe Dave Noonan (spelling?) of 3dSimEd fame knows how to contact Brendon. Perhaps someone at ISI.... he must have had to sign the ISI non-disclosure for the info he needed to develop BTB.

    If someone politely approches him with an offer, I think everyone involved will have a better chance of getting what they want.

    From what I've read through the years, torches and pitch forks haven't produced any positive results on this, so they probably still won't.
  6. I agree with that. Seems much more constructive than legal action.
  7. like i said legal action would be a bit far fetched to say the least.

    but i DO think piddy owes this community an patch or something to keep the software working.

    i dont really want to download the cracked version or agree that for the price i should be happy with the usage i have had so far, i bought BTB in 2008 or early 2009.

    real downside for me is am was using BTB to design tracks games i have in development, i really need this tool to.. work.
  8. ebrich

    Premium Member

    Well said sevware. Some positive thinking must be better than searching for a sturdy branch to sling your rope over. I've never seen a hero in a lynching mob.
  9. I have to say that RaceDepartment will not support any kind of crack to remove the DRM or release the source code if not authorised by Brendon Pywell.

    This is not your application or program to manipulate as you see fit, no matter how frustrating the current situation is or whether almost all agree.

    There has to be input from Brendon.
  10. the whole point of the action plan is to get a response from piddy, whether that be a quick patch or source or some kind of response.
  11. just to add i dont use the crack and i never mentioned a lynch mob.
  12. Nobody cares if you use it or not, and it was a parallel ;)
  13. It's a great idea, but in all due respect, I think it is a case of flogging a dead horse. In a worst case scenario, if the BTB site ever closes and licenses cant be renewed, then it will be time to learn new alternatives. I have spent quite a while learning 3dmax and have gotten to the stage where I can get it to do everything that btb does to a certain degree, some things are done a bit different but from laying a track out to creating terrain, walls and string objects, snapping objects to terrain etc etc, it's all possible in 3dmax. The same with blender/simed. BTB just makes it a lot easier and I can guarantee that those of you who have been using BTB for a while will be able to translate to another program in a very short time.

    As an example, check out this lofting tutorial for making tracks.
    It works almost exactly the same as BTB, you draw a spline, edit the control arms, make a cross section, add in cross section points, change the cross section, etc etc. The only big obstacle is uv mapping. where BTB did it automatically, 3d max requires some manual input.

    Let me just say though, I am not trying to move people away from BTB, I am just recommending for BTB users to broaden their horizons so that they will not be without a tool or skills to keep doing this sort of thing.
    I think BTB is a great tool and has been the starting point for a lot of people who have/can advance to bigger and better things. It's a shame about what has happened, but it has happened and I think the best thing to do is to just leave Brendan alone. He has given a lot of people the opportunity to do something they would have never been able to do, he has allowed some people to find a skill they didn't know they had.

    If anyone here can say they would be in a better situation now than before BTB, then they would be lying. So instead of bashing Brendan for not doing something, lets praise him for what he did do. :)
  14. mianiak:

    I have nothing against working with 3DS max or other such tools, and I virtually do all the modeling in there before exporting to BTB. But you can't argue, that it is virtually impossible to know how to build complete track in Max compared to easy usability of BTB. And yes, I have tried and tried to find a comprehensive tutorial of 3DS Max -> rFactor. No luck. All the info I found, relates somehow to 3DSimed which also is commercial product like BTB. So no progress in this area. I know it might be required to make top notch tracks in Max, when BTB lacks many tools that are in Max. Thou I've seen awesome tracks made in BTB, and crappy tracks made in Max. Not to talk about the fact that Max license costs 100 times more than BTB... (Sidenote: there is Blender).

    The problem I see here is not the BTB program itself (even in 0.8 state), but the DRM. Program usability should not be restricted by a Internet web site - something that end user cannot control in any way. There are some programs I still need in other areas, that are made in the 90s and developers of those might be even dead (I hope not). It would be just WRONG that I would need to stop using those because a random web site closes down. Come on guys.

    As I am rFactor player, there is real concern that BTB wont be rF2 compatible at any way so my few days as a track modder will probably end there. But BTB is still used in other games, so it is not dead horse quite yet.

    Btw, BTB has the most powerful graphic engine / interface when working with 3D scenes that extend in to over many tens of kilometers. Something that cannot be said about Max.
  15. i realise this isn't the point of this thread, but about 3ds max track making, http://www.mbdevteam.com/download/Tutorials/index.html - under misc tutorials, by Scott Juliano from ISI (though apparently it was written by another ISI guy before Scott joined, he merely added some bits, and infact apparently uses some alternative methods, just so you know)
  16. RC45

    Premium Member

    I can understand the frustration some folks are expressing. I do feel in the least that current paid up owners should get somekind of permanent license.

    I supported Brendon from way way early on, and even though I never really completed any projects I was excited to see the tool made available for the community to develop great tracks.

    I donated/paid about $225 into the kitty early on as an incentive to keep the dev cycle going, I am probably the one who should be in the most pain if the licenses become non-renewable in the future.

    Hopefully the app can become perpetual in the future.
  17. listen guys i dont t know why people are getting on my back for wanting to get some sort of update (software or verbal) from piddy, i paid for BTB and the software would be totally usable if piddy provided an updated drm system. if he is abandoning the project anyway i see now loss for him to remove the current system.
    i am just fully aware that the site is due to expire soon, not only that people are still buying BTB so piddy must know that he owes the community an update, even if just verbally.

    I never asked in this thread if someone in this community could remove the drm, or for a lynch mob, i was just asking if someone local to piddy could try and get us an update, a bit hard for me from the uk.
    i have been part of the sim community for over 15 years and we are that.. a community. in the pass i have helped complete strangers from across the world purchase steering wheels, games and all sorts, because they are cheaper here and all for the reason that they are fellow sim racers.
    where as that sense of community gone when i ask if we can come up for a plan to resolve an issue we are all facing and get jumped on for totally the wrong reasons??
    sure some of you jumping on my back prolly have the modified version from source, but think of the rest of the community who dont, who have paid.
    also why suggest people learn to use 3dmax.. the program is £2k+.. so most people wont be able to afford it as an alternative to BTB.. i hope your not suggesting we use a cracked version of 3dsmax.

    anyway at the end of the day, i didn't start this thread for my own benefit and can we get back on topic.. that being..
    is there someone local to piddy who can try and get us an update.. even if just a forum post, from piddy?
  18. Norman Biscuits

    Norman Biscuits
    @ Simberia @Simberia

    I found him in 3 seconds on Facebook.
    You could always try a polite message over there.
  19. thanks norman but he doesnt reply to the facebook page or email via BTB website. they only update i can find from piddy that is recent (ish) is his linkedin page.
    hopefully someone who is local to piddy can just politely pop round and see him, say hi and ask for an update.
  20. Oh boy, you really crossed the line then,,,

    All I was doing was offering free advice to help a fellow community member. Then you go ahead and accuse me of promoting cracked software on 2 counts. And your the one accusing others of not having community spirit. If you can't afford 3dmax, then you would use Blender, which is an alternative, I pointed that out, you must have missed it...

    It's people like you who cause the lack of support and help for these things. What is the point of offering free advice when people like you upset the person helping? I gave you 10 minutes of my life that I could have been doing something for myself. So you can shove it where it hurts mate. Good riddance to you.