In 1998, three people decided the future of how the scene should shape itself and released a 10-point information document stating how a game release should be conducted. In the past year, many of these rules have been broken by its founding members and other groups have purposely broken the agreement. In lieu of recent events, the deciding figures of three groups, Class, Myth & Divine, have converged and agreed upon a new set of rules based on the original Faction rules and Myth's recent proposal and have been updated, modified and agreed upon by a consensus to a new standard to better suit the scene in this millenium. These groups have been active participants in shaping the scene in the last 6 months, and were given active participation in voicing their point of view. These new rules will allow for a more fair and competitive scene while ensuring a quality-minded environment for the scene. These deciding figures have bestowed themselves to be called the N.S.A., Network Software Association. These rules have been ratified and approved among the three groups and will be recognized and followed immediately on this date, March 26th, 2000. 1. The disk limit is as of now 65 x 2,915,000 bytes. This equates to a total of 189,495,000 bytes of compressed data. Groups may not go over the total size to prevent any future cheating. Acceptable compression formats at this time are ACE or RAR or any future compression that supports multiple volumes and long file names, followed by the traditional PKZIPing. The limit for standard game add-ons is 35 x 2,915,000 bytes for any add- on that includes Music, Speech, Commentary or Play By Play for the original release. Any add-on that does not fit this criteria will be restricted to 25 x 2,915,000 bytes. Only the group that won a game release is allowed to release the add-ons for the game. 2. To prevent sloppy rips, a re-release of a game is allowed to make groups release proper and respectable releases. The following provisions include: a) it can be ripped in >=10 disks less than the previous release by us- ing only lossless compression methods. Lossy compression will not be permitted to compromise the release to fit under this condition. b) it can be ripped in >=15 disks less of the size of the previous release by using mp3-compression while not downgrading any wavs or mp3's sound quality using lossy compression. That means all the essential gamedata must be still included in the re- release. No essential data is allowed to be removed to be considered a valid re-release. A re-release from a competing group may not use tools, original crack or any other files from the previous release that were modified for the original game rip. The re-release of a rip can be done by any group and must be done in at most 48 hours after the release of the original rip, as possibly every game is rippable in a smaller size if enough time is spent. 3. Every release under this limit MUST be a functionally and playable complete game with no essential data missing to complete the game. This means that included will be every component necessary for the successful completion of the game e.g.: - all game executables that are needed, - every level (single AND multiplayer), - every track (including practice), - all actor graphics & models etc, - sound effects - registry settings to play on the Internet (e.g. Zone/DirectPlay) 4. Any lossless compression method to reduce the size of selected game data is ALLOWED (e.g. uharc). 5. Lossy compression is ALLOWED for sound, videos and non-texture graphics (e.g. jpeging of menu screens) but lossless compression is encouraged before using lossy compression. Lossy compression of textures is expli- citly FORBIDDEN to prevent the many problems inherent to that. 6. Sound effects WILL and MUST be included. To reduce the size of rips when possible, standard waveformat files (PCM) should be mp3-compressed if possible in a reasonable state of time and is over the size of 20 disks. If the soundfiles exist inside a bigfile its highly regarded when time is invested to extract those files to compress them. Groups are not to required to index bigfiles though. Downgrade of sound quality to sound files to allow the game to fit the limit will not be permitted. It is allowed to rip music, commentary/speech and ambience files as long as the game remains playable. Speech files MUST be included if there exist no on-screen subtitles. It is okay to remove commentary from a release if size does not permit it. It is highly regarded when all sounds, speech and music are included in a rip and not intentionally put out as addons. 7. It is allowed to remove gamedata that exists in multiple resolutions or formats as long as the game remains playable on a typical system which is defined by a PII-300 with a D3D-card and soundcard. - high-resolution textures for highend systems. - low-resolution textures for low-end systems if there is no possible options to include the high-resolutions in the release. If size permits, it is expected that high resolution be released as an add-on. - high-screen resolution graphics data standard of 800x600 (or 640x480 if other than 800x600 is not applicable) - at least one hardware-dependent data must be included, and must be in Direct3D mode or any other hardware data modes that are accepta- ble (e.g. Glide textures). A release of software mode only with all hardware-dependent data and textures removed will not be allowed in future releases. 8. Movies (intros, cutscenes) should be removed if they aren't game-related. Movies must be ripped in a way so that the gameplay experience is not compromised, e.g. framing of movies is highly regarded. It should always be avoided to create situations in which user-input is necessary on black screens because the video normally shown has been blacked out. 9. Other allowed add-ons for games include: - cutscenes/movies - commentary/speech - music - manual/documentation - editor Intro and Outro add-ons are EXPLICITLY FORBIDDEN. Not more than 2 add-ons should be released for a game release. 10. Children's games (aka Kiddie games) and Edutainment software do not qualify under these rules guidelines for acceptable releases. Kiddie games are usually defined via the game target audience of '5-12 years' as stated by the game's producer. Common sense should be based on common sense by all groups to identify what really is a kiddie game. Platform games are not to be considered kiddie games. 11. Levelpacks, game add-ons etc. for rips are only allowed if they are offi- cially released/authorized by the same company/developer/publisher that put out the original game. If possible by its size, the add-on should be made as a standalone and not needing the original game release. The original missions may be removed to allow the game add-on to become standalone if not size can not permit the original game. It should be explained in the NFO if and why a game add-on isn't made to be standalone. 12. In regard to games distributed in the United States that are LATER distributed in Europe or vice versa under the same or different name / publisher. These games if released AFTER another group's release are counted as DUPES unless it can be proven that there is a clearly noticeable PLAYABLE difference in the latter release (more than just tiny differences in graphics or sound). Differences in filedates and Game Titles between Euro and US releases are NOT a good enough reason to re-release the game. 13. A brief outline of what has been stripped from the game should be clearly stated in the game-release .NFO, as well as information as to whether or not Add-Ons can be expected. 14. Fully cracked Update Patches and Trainers are highly regarded, though they are not the responsibility of any group (including that of which released the original game). If 2 trainers from the same or different groups are released for 1 game, this does NOT qualify as a dupe unless the latter trainer provides no new features over the prior trainer. Beta update patches will not considered a valid release among any game group. No group shall release a cracked patch for a game if a generic patch exists for a particular game in the scene. If a generic crack exists, a new patch-release must specify that the generic crack does not work anymore. 15. If two or more rips of the same game get released, the first working rip wins. Sites should not nuke any release until the winning rip has been proven to work correctly and follows the above ruleset. 16. No group shall do a rip using another's groups work, be it an iso crack or tools written by another competing group. Any third party tools shall be acceptable. A crack from an ISO or past release (even in other languages) shall not be used unless permission is given from the cracker/creator of the original release group. All appointed HQ (Headquarters) should abide by these rules to the fullest extent permutable. Any group that competes in the gaming rip scene will and must abide by the above rules to allow fair competition among all competitors. Signed, Leaders, Council Members and Seniors of Class, Myth & Divine.