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A letter to Core Design

The letter below was emailed to Andrew Thompson, Core Design's Operations Manager, on July 24, 2002. As of today, it has not been answered.

From: <me>
To: Andrew Thompson, Core Design, UK
Date: July 24, 2002
Subject: Rick Dangerous Distribution Agreement

Mr. Thompson,

About ten years ago, I discovered Rick Dangerous. I so much enjoyed the game that, once I had completed it, I started to reverse-engineer it to figure out "how it worked". I had very little time to work on it, but I kept digging, years after years, until I came to the point where I knew enough of the internals of the game to rewrite it in C and thus have it run on Windows or Linux.

That was about two years ago. At that time the only contact email available on Core Design web site was, so I sent a couple of emails asking for permission to publish my code, but never got an answer.

Finally, I decided to make my code available under some sort of disclaimer stating that people should probably own an original copy of Rick Dangerous to use it. After all, Rick Dangerous could already be downloaded for the Amiga, Amstrad CPC, etc. from all over the web, and my code is only an exact port to Windows and Linux.

Things could remain like this forever, maybe. Yet I would feel better if the situation was clarified, from a legal standpoint. This is why I have decided to contact Core Design again today.

I would like to know the position of Core Design regarding the possibility of an agreement over Rick Dangerous, that would:

  • a) legalize the free distribution of old Rick Dangerous binaries for platforms such as the Amiga, the Amstrad CPC, etc. (this distribution seems tolerated at the moment) ;
  • b) legalize the free distribution of my code ;
  • c) ensure that Core Design retains all rights that you feel you have to retain, such as the name "Rick Dangerous" itself, or the right to create new versions of the game.

Rick Dangerous was quite a popular game. It is still appreciated by many, who unfortunately have to rely on more or less legal sources to obtain a version that they can run on today's hardware and OSes. idSoftware has opened a way by open-sourcing old versions of Doom or Castle Wolfenstein, while retaining essential rights on the games. Would you be willling to give Rick a second, official, life?

Thank you for you attention,
Best regards,

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