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Tommo & BMS changes to Falcon 4.0

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From Boxer: 


Hi Everyone:

It is my pleasure to be able to tell you that the BMS team has reached an agreement with Tommo, current owners of Falcon 4.0 copyrights, that will allow us to resume making Falcon BMS community add-on releases now and for the foreseeable future with Tommo's approval.

The next release which will be version 4.33.1 incorporates two kinds of changes:


  1. Fixes and updates to the Falcon BMS content based on bug reports and other inputs to the team; and
  2. Some changes specifically related to the agreement with Tommo.

I won't telegraph the punch on the first of those categories; a change log will come with the release as you would normally expect and the documentation will be updated to match. That's all I'm going to say on that front so for details you will just have to be patient for a little longer icon_wink.gif

The second category may require a bit more explanation in particular because everyone will need to be prepared for changes in the way the Falcon BMS installs and runs on your systems. For the most part, you _should_ be prepared already in most cases if you have run Falcon BMS before but to be on the safe side, I want to make clear how things will work from this point on in case people want time to make sure their systems meet the requirements.

The biggest visible change is in how the installer and the game executable launch.

It has always been the BMS team's approach that Falcon BMS is an add-on for use with licensed copies of the original Falcon 4.0 game. As the primary element of the agreement with Tommo, the game now reinforces this principle more strongly. Specifically, the installer will check to see that a complete copy of the Falcon 4.0 game (we recommend patching to 1.08 to be on the safe side) is present on storage media in the system on which the installer is running. Similarly, each time the launcher is used to start the game, the same check will be made. In other words, to use Falcon BMS on your system, a licensed copy of Falcon 4.0 must also be installed and present on that system. You do not need to have run Falcon 4.0 after installing it before you try installing or running Falcon BMS; simply completing Falcon 4.0 install successfully is sufficient. Note that presence of a CD [or ISO] copy of the original game will not help you: Falcon 4.0 must be installed correctly and completely on the system for the checks to succeed. For the avoidance of doubt, only copies of the original Falcon 4.0 game will work for use with Falcon BMS (any other later variants such as Allied Force are not compatible). For clarity, the checks performed are entirely local to the system so both installing and running the game will work on a system that has no internet or other network connection.

If you have Falcon 4.0 resident on your local system, then the first visible difference you will see is a new splash screen. That screen shows a Falcon BMS logo and logos for Tommo, Retroism and the BMS team together with copyright and trademark statements that outline terms of use. You will note from this that the Falcon BMS community add-on is made and distributed with permission from Tommo. That permission is conditioned on the install and runtime checks mentioned above as well as reinforcing that, in line with the BMS team's long-time policy, Falcon BMS is only available for non-commercial uses. The splash screen is displayed in time that is used to load the game in the background so, in other words, no additional start up time should result from the splash screen (compared to earlier Falcon BMS versions).

If you do not have Falcon 4.0 installed on your local system then the next thing you will see is a Windows message box pop-up that tells you that the installer or the game is unable to find a copy of Falcon 4.0 on your system. The message box has a button to dismiss it (once you have read the message) and then the game will exit immediately. As I said, if you have used Falcon BMS before then you should already have Falcon 4.0. However, for those who may be new to the community, the message box mentions some possible sources of licensed copies of Falcon 4.0 that you may like to use to acquire a legitimate copy if you need to do that. Other sources are possible and viable; for instance private sale or eBay to find a copy of the [increasingly-rare] original hard-copy game materials. [Note there were some issues with copies of Falcon 4.0 purchased from Steam (it was made available there in January 2016) -- these are now resolved as we helped Tommo get the Steam install process working correctly -- thus Steam is a viable (and convenient??) source for copies of Falcon 4.0 if you need one.]

We had planned for 4.33.1 to be a small incremental patch for 4.33. As a result of the changes described above, this will not be possible. Instead, 4.33.1 will be a complete from-scratch installer. You will have to use this to make a fresh install of Falcon BMS. That install will be separate and independent from any other you may already have on your system. There are a few exceptions (see docs when available) but in the main, file content from 4.33 will be compatible with 4.33.1 so things like key files and log books can probably just be copied over to the new 4.33.1 install directory. For the avoidance of doubt there is no way, supported or otherwise, to get 4.33.1 features inserted into an existing 4.33 install...that just won't work so we would recommend not wasting time trying it.

While the above might cover most things you have in mind, there may still be reasonable and constructive questions to ask so we'll try and keep this thread open so long as it remains useful to do so.

In closing I want to thank on behalf of the entire BMS team those of you who have waited patiently while this situation resolved and for the support and encouragement received in the meanwhile. We hope you will agree that this is a good day for the Falcon community





As an aside: please know that the BMS team has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to discussion or use of anything other than legitimate, licensed copies of Falcon 4.0 for use with Falcon BMS.

Don't do it, don't encourage it, and don't enable it.

Keep in mind that legitimate copies are readily available again now and for a tiny fraction of the cost of the system you need to run the game. No one is required to buy a new copy -- if you own one of the originals (I have three copies myself icon_wink.gif) that will work fine. However, there is simply no excuse for not owning a legitimate copy anymore.

Put another way: you jeopardize the ability of the BMS team to keep improving Falcon BMS in future if you go around the requirement for owning a legit copy of the game before you install and run Falcon BMS.

That is why we have zero tolerance.

Edited by MigBuster
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yup GOG has it and I think Steam will do so too given the older Falcons are on Steam already

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