Standard Rip Rules (S.R.R). In 1998, and again on March 26th 2000, three rip game groups collaborated to bring about rules with the hope of ensuring quality in a constantly evolving rip fscene. These rules lasted a long time, but as technology moves forward, so to must the rules governing it. It is time once again for the standards by which the games scene operates to be updated. As we are all aware there have been major developments in the scene. These new rules may seem to be quite radical as a result. Those fearful of change may very well be opposed to them - but let us not forget that had there never been any change, we would not have any of the existing rules in the first place! In lieu of past events, the deciding figures of: Myth, Divine, Vace, and Instinct have converged and agreed upon a new set of rules based on those that came before. These new rules have been updated, modified, and agreed upon by a consensus, and should provide a new standard better suited to the scene in this day and age. These groups have been active participants in shaping the scene in the last six months, and were given active participation in voicing their point of view. These new rules will allow for a fair and competitive scene while ensuring a quality-minded environment for all, bringing game rips forward into a new era and restoring their relevance. It should be noted that CLASS and BACKLASH chose not to attend due to their reduced role within the scene. However former NSA groups (such as CLASS and BACKLASH), who have chosen not to sign up for these new rules, will still be required to abide by the former NSA rules, which they signed. In the past, groups setting the rules have been called the SPA, The Faction, or as in the most recent case the NSA (Network Software Association). Some have claimed the exclusive nature of these organizations have locked them out of the process. Hence from this time forth there shall be no organization dictating to the others. All groups are invited to adopt these rules, and every effort has been made to contact the various players in the games rip scene. These rules shall be identified simply as the Standard Rip Rules (S.R.R). They have been ratified and approved among the four groups and will be recognized and followed immediately on this date and thereafter: March 5th, 2004. The Standard Rip Rules are as follows: 1. Files: The disk limit is as of now 55 x 5,000,000 bytes. This equates to a total of 275,000,000 bytes of compressed data. Groups may not exceed the total size (including when crack.ace or similar files are are needed in the first disk of a release) to prevent any future cheating. Groups caught cheating on file size WILL be nuked! The limit for standard game add-ons is 25 x 5,000,000 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 these criteria will be restricted to 15 x 5,000,000 bytes. Only the group that won the game release is allowed to release the add-ons for that game. Due to an increasingly limited number of file names, and the ability of all modern operating systems to handle long file names, it is now permissible to use file names up to a maximum of 12.3 characters (filename/extension). 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 traditional packaging methods (ZIP/DIZ) shall be maintained, with a DIZ file being present in each zip. 2. Proper Rips: To prevent sloppy rips, a re-release of a game is allowed to ensure groups release proper and respectable rips. The following provisions include: it can be ripped in >=7 disks less than the previous release or less than half the size of the previous release by using only lossless compression methods. That means all the essential game data 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. A group may NOT use DDS conversion on a proper rip unless used on the original rip. Lossy audio conversion is allowed in proper rips; downsampling is not. The re-release of a rip can be done by any group and must be done within 48 hours of the original rip, as possibly every game is rippable in a smaller size if enough time is spent. 3. Functionality: Every release under this limit MUST be a functional and playable complete game with no essential data missing to finish 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 (Zone/etc.) - if the serial of the game is checked online thus making it impossible to play online with any possible rip, it is allowed to rip out multiplayer, LAN play should still be fully included if it exists 4. Packers: Any lossless compression method to reduce the size of selected game data is ALLOWED (e.g. uharc). 5. Lossy Compression: Lossy compression is ALLOWED for sound, videos and non- texture graphics (menu screens and loading screens) but lossless compression is encouraged before using lossy compression. Lossy compression of textures is allowed only using DDS. If a game includes separate texture sets for hires AND lowres systems you are allowed to rip lowres only but the game still has to work on all hardware platforms. 6. Sound: Sound effects WILL and MUST be included. To reduce the size of rips when possible, standard wave format files (PCM) should be compressed. If the sound files exist inside a big file it's highly regarded when time is invested to extract those files to compress them. Groups are not required to index big files though. A downgrade of sound quality to sound files to allow the game to fit the limit will NEVER be permitted. Acceptable sound compression formats are: <22/1 <22/2 22-32/1 22-32/2 44-48/1 44-48+/2 (khz/channels) mp3 32 32 48 56 56 112 (kbit) ogg 32 32 48 48 56 64 (kbit) wma8 20 20 20 32 32 80 (kbit) wma9 16 16 16 20 20 64 (kbit) 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. Speech can be downsampled, but only to the above SOUNDS quality or to WAV 22.050 quality. No lower. 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 add-ons. 7. Movies: Movies (intros, cut scenes) should be removed if they are not game related. Movies must be ripped in a way so that the game play 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. Downsampling of Movies is allowed under the following guidelines: Divx 3-5 / Xvid / Original codec (used in game): - Kbit rate: 650 kbit+ - Quality: 93%+ - Quantizer: 4.0 (no more) RadVideo (BIK): - Compress to 50%+ of the original file size. Windows Media Video (WMV) / MPEG2: - Allowed resolution change, but no less than 50% of original resolution (width/height divided by 2). - Allowed recompression to same resolution but with lower kbit rate. *NOTE* Movie conversion on enduser machine is FORBIDDEN. 8. Add-ons: Other allowed add-ons for games include: - cut scenes/movies - commentary/speech - music - editor No more than 2 add-ons should be released for a game release. Intro and Outro add-ons are EXPLICITLY FORBIDDEN. Only the group that released the initial game release can release the above add-ons, unless there is a problem with the release. This is to prevent third party groups that may not understand how to release these properly to correctly support the initial release, and to prevent multiple add-on dupes from appearing. This will be ENFORCED on group SITES! 9. Kiddie: 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 applied by all groups to identify what really is a kiddie game. Platform games are not to be considered kiddie games unless explicitly stated by the developer/publisher. 10. Official: Level packs, game add-ons etc. for rips are only allowed if they are officially released/authorized by the same company, developer or 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. 11. Dupes: 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 file dates and Game Titles between Euro and US releases are NOT a good enough reason to re-release the game. 12. Information: A brief outline of what has been stripped and any explicit lossy compression used should be clearly stated in the game-release in the .NFO or CRACKTRO file. This file should be placed within the first file of a release so everyone knows where to find it. 13. Enhancements: Trainer releases & Update patches: Fully cracked Update Patches and Trainers are highly regarded, though they are not the responsibility of any group (including the group which released the original game title). 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. Patches that are the same do qualify as a dupe. Also beta patches fall under the area of betas and should also be nuked accordingly. Even the companies that make beta patches do not support them so, why should the scene? All trainers must work the same on all formats that the game supports. If the game supports W9x/WME/NT4/WXP/W2K3 /WOW64, then the trainer's options must work on all those formats too. No TMK/Magic or trainer making utility releases will be allowed in making trainers. These will be banned as they lack the quality that a real trainer employs and can be unreliable on games that check for these in later levels or situations. 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. 14. Competition: If two or more rips of the same game get released, the first complete working rip wins. Sites should not nuke any release until the winning rip has been proven to work correctly and follows the above rule set. 15. Stealing: No group shall use another's groups work - be it an iSO crack or tools written by another competing group. Any third party tools are acceptable. A crack from an iSO or past release (even in other languages or iSO's) shall not be used unless permission is given from the cracker or creator of the original release group. This permission can only be given by crackers and not leaders or seniors. Thus making sure crackers control their own cracks and are not dragged into group politics. It should be noted that most iSO cracks are actually cracked by rip group crackers. Thus without permission from the rip group, said crack cannot be used by other groups. Even if no rip currently exists, as that would be stealing. An example of this is groups like TECHNIC who steal cracks all the time and should be banned and nuked on all sites for reasons of quality. If however a group or member makes their said tools/source public, then they loose their right to prevent others using their tools as they have made it public domain. This should act as a deterrent to crackers who wish to brag to everyone as protection companies gain an insight into the scene when people make standard scene tools public. This then in turn hurts the scene when protections get updated. 16. Flaming: While baiting and harping within a groups release has always been a part of the scene, at times groups have taken this too far. This causes all groups to look lame and childish within the eyes of end users; worse still it can lead to security breeches. In order to avoid this being taken too far in the future, direct naming/nicks of individuals (not groups) within NFO files and other materials is STRICTLY PROHIBITED. 17. Ancients: No game can be ripped where the latest file date of a file on the original media (CD/DVD) is older than 6 months prior to the releases of the rip. This is to avoid the emergence of new technologies being employed to resurrect past un-rip able games & create a mess of hundreds of ancient games being released. And to promote faster rips at the time of game release. No rips that were deemed unrippable before the date of March 5th, 2004 shall be released because the new rules deem them rippable! 18. Rules: These rules should be placed in the first zip file of every rip release. It is hoped that this will prevent groups down the line from feigning ignorance of the rip rules. This should also allow these rules to travel far and wide in the hope that all sites/groups will adopt these standards for game rip releases, thus ensuring the quality we have come to expect within the scene. 19. Sites: It is highly regarded for all groups to establish a /GAMERIPS directory on their affiliated FTP sites which will contain game-iso rips and (optionally) DVD rips. Trainers and patches belong to 0day. 20. DVD Amendment Rules: With the advent of games on DVD media, albeit in minor quantities, it has been decided to pre-empt any more rule changes in the future by including the following DVD rules. These rules will be based mostly on the existing rip rules and will allow people to get used to this new and developing scene. a. Installation: The DVD rip release should install from the CD and only run the game from the hard drive. HD running of a game is the goal, not running off CD. This is the usual way with rips. b. Size: The game size for DVD RIPS should be made into a burnable CD iSO format for easy burning and distribution. The .bin and .cue format where possible. The release must not have more than 3CD's of 80mins. Regardless of how many DVD's there were. This should only be the case where the normal rip sizes cannot apply and the original media format was indeed DVD. It should not be used as an excuse to rip down 6 CD releases, as these have been proven to be rippable even under the old rules in the past. c. Format: Release files should be in RAR format or any future compression that supports multiple volumes and long file names, followed by the traditional SFVing. And in also rip sites/places should therefore adjust their scripts to handle the new DVD rip formats as well as the usual ZIP files. Siteops UPDATE your SCRIPTS! d. Valid: A rip release of 55 x 5,000,000 bytes and the release of a DVD rip of the same game, are allowed as they will accommodate to different users. e. Singular: No add-ons are allowed for DVD rips as the current size should be enough. For patches and trainers the current normal rip rules should apply. f. CD/DVD availability: No DVD rip of a game is allowed if a certain publisher releases a game on CD and DVD unless the DVD game increases some game features (like highres movies, etc.). g. General: In general the standard rules should be applied also to DVD rips. If a group removes any allowed data and a competing group can leave the data in and make it the same CD count, their release is considered a proper and is the valid release. It is preferred to include as much data as possible on DVD rips. Only if it is not possible to fit all data on 3 CDs by downsampling and other means of compression it is legit to remove data from the game. This means a 3 CD release with movies included is preferred over a 2 CD release with movies ripped out. Reasons for proper are: A) If a group can rip a game to the same CD count as the previous groups rip by including gamedata ripped out by the previous group. Downsampling IS ALLOWED. The size of the cds do not matter in this case. B) If a group can get 350mb smaller in size as long as all previous data in rip is included and NO downsampling occurs. C) If a group can get 1 CD smaller in size as long as all previous data in rip is included. Downsampling IS ALLOWED. To cease any confusion examples are provided: Scenario A) If group A releases a 2 CD DVDRip with movies and some audio ripped, and group B releases their rip which is also 2 CD's with all movies/music included but downsampled, group B's is the valid release. Regardless if group B's release has bigger sized cds. Scenario B) Group A releases a 2 CD DVDRip with everything included, both CD's being 700mb. Group B releases a 2 CD rip with everything included but because of better technique CD1 is 700mb and CD2 is 350mb, hence half a CD smaller as long as movies are NOT downsampled it is the valid release. Scenario C) Group A releases a 3 CD DVDRip, 2 CD's being 700mb, CD 3 being 200mb. Group B releases a 2 CD rip with everything included from previous rip, because of better technique or downsampling it is the valid release. This is true regardless of the size of the last CD, be it 700mb or 10mb. S.S.R. March 5th, 2004 Signed and ratified by Leaders & Council Members of the following groups: Myth, Divine, Vace, Instinct, Dynasty, Oceanine, Cubic, Delice, Bowling, NLrip and Storm.