One EXE for all? (was Re: Legal stuff)

Jim Lowell (
Mon, 18 Mar 1996 20:20:15 -0600

Message-Id: <>
Date: Mon, 18 Mar 1996 20:20:15 -0600
From: Jim Lowell <>
Subject: One EXE for all? (was Re: Legal stuff)

At 03:32 PM 3/18/96 +0100, you wrote:


>I'm not sure if it is a bad thing. Maintaining two different EXE's
>would mean more work for id Software (creating the two versions,
>supporting them, etc.). They cannot simply create a shareware EXE
>which differs only by a few bytes (i.e. a hard-coded flag), because
>some cracker would certainly post a patch to enable all the disabled
>features. Also, it is easier to pirate and distribute a single EXE
>file than to copy the whole CD-ROM, so a different EXE wouldn't
>protect id Software for a long time.


Is there some reason that something couldn't be buried in the shareware
WAD that isn't in the registered WAD that the EXE could look for? Then
the EXE could look for it and refuse to load levels if it finds it.

It could be made sufficently hard to remove if it was a key that was
spread throughout the WAD and was used to construct some weird
checkdigit at the end. It could remain undocumented, so nobody could
remove it and the EXE would be the only thing that had to know how to
look for it.

That way everyone could make whatever editor they wanted, and if you
didn't have the registered WAD, then you would not be able to play
the add-on levels. In fact, the editor-designers wouldn't have to worry
about checking for registered versions of the game at all, because the
EXE would handle it.

Any reason this won't work?

-= Jim Lowell =-