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XBOX Open Source Xbox Live?

Greg2600

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One of my favorite AG discussions, which kind of went dark last year, was whether we could build or rebuild the Xbox Live environment....


Anyone know if there's been any further progress?
 

Anthony817

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Ah man, what could have been. I last spoke to my old friend Kiwidog about a year or so ago and he said he was off the team. Dude is still young and in college so it eats up a lot of his time. Plus he was working on from scratch modding tools for Battlefield 3 and other frostbite engine games, so that also took more of his free time.

I am big into gaming on Xbox, and I would love to see this go somewhere.
 

Morphic

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Ah man, what could have been. I last spoke to my old friend Kiwidog about a year or so ago and he said he was off the team. Dude is still young and in college so it eats up a lot of his time. Plus he was working on from scratch modding tools for Battlefield 3 and other frostbite engine games, so that also took more of his free time.

I am big into gaming on Xbox, and I would love to see this go somewhere.
Small world, I work with him on Venice Unleashed. :p
 

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Small world, I work with him on Venice Unleashed. :p

Nice! Yeah back in early 2016 I founded and created the official Steam group for it. I used to host bi-weekly gameplay sessions so people could all play easily at the same time. We had quite the little community there with over 600 members. But, I decided to stop with it and since Rime modding tools were takling so long I started modding BF2. Already released 2 historical total conversion mods and currently remaking Batttlefield 1942 in BF2 engine.

Hopefully the mod tools will further mature and we can see proper mods made with frostbite games.

I just hope someday the OG Xbox can get some form of revived online functionality for games.
 

Morphic

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Nice! Yeah back in early 2016 I founded and created the official Steam group for it. I used to host bi-weekly gameplay sessions so people could all play easily at the same time. We had quite the little community there with over 600 members. But, I decided to stop with it and since Rime modding tools were takling so long I started modding BF2. Already released 2 historical total conversion mods and currently remaking Batttlefield 1942 in BF2 engine.

Hopefully the mod tools will further mature and we can see proper mods made with frostbite games.

I just hope someday the OG Xbox can get some form of revived online functionality for games.
Nice!!! Venice Unleashed is coming along very nicely, a lot of talented guys with us. :)
 

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Xlink Kai anyone?
 

Greg2600

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Xlink Kai anyone?
Well as I said on AG, it's IMO too difficult to get working. I'm an IT pro and found it to be too much trouble. Need something more like what Dreamcast Live uses.
 

Anthony817

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Yeah I agree. Way too much work jumping back and forth from a PC to the console to get it working. Granted it isn't really hard to do, and people might just say we are lazy for not wanting to use Xlink Kai in the end, but really it is 2019. We should be able to have something more updated to bring other consoles back online similar to how DreamPi is. Such a great solution for getting the Dreamcast back online.
 

Anthony817

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I just found out about this over at Dreamcast-Talk and came here to see if it had been mentioned yet! Such an exciting project for sure! Can't wait to see people coming back in droves to the OG Xbox to play classic games online. Xlink is just still too technical for most average people to set up, not for us we are power users but this will get the barrier to entry way down!
 

Greg2600

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I just found out about this over at Dreamcast-Talk and came here to see if it had been mentioned yet! Such an exciting project for sure! Can't wait to see people coming back in droves to the OG Xbox to play classic games online. Xlink is just still too technical for most average people to set up, not for us we are power users but this will get the barrier to entry way down!

Yeah same here. Obviously there's some issues if you've modded your Xbox, though they can probably be corrected. My concern is whether MS would step in and lawyer the project out of existence.
 

Anthony817

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SPPV over at EmuXtras made a good point. The OG Xbox and 360 use the same type of network protocols. Meaning that if you make a homebrew live replacement for one, there lies potential to support the other console too. If MS catches wind of this they may go ape shit. Live is still supported on 360, 15 years later. The Backwards Compatibility program all but ensured that they will continue supporting that platform into the foreseeable future.

People on the MVG video above were maybe a little too optimistic. Granted, MVG himself also think this should be in the clear since it is not using actual Xbox code. So maybe there is a way to keep this legal. After all the Supreme Court of the US did say that reverse engineering online networks for games was protected and that communities could revive abandoned networks without repercussion from the companies who abandoned them in the first place.
 

Greg2600

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Perhaps, but he also didn't seem to have a grasp of what P2P game servers were and did on the OG XBL. He ranted that the Insignia service would need to spend mountains of money on server capacity that is actually not required at all. One area the project doesn't touch, at least to my knowledge, are System Link games. Those only made use of the LAN feature, and currently work with X-Link Kai.

Mr. Usher describes the process much more to Kotaku. Quite interesting, 8 months of painstaking work on a custom Kerberos server. He further stated that the announcement was done solely due to the rumors of the Xbox code leaking. He does not want to be associated with that, and will NOT even look at the code. No DLC will be hosted (not difficult to find/install that on modded consoles yourself). Furthermore, while a good number of games should work (out of the box), some had more sophisticated custom servers like EA Sports or PSO. Though he thinks once XBL authentication is passed, gamers should be able to use current PSO servers. Xbox 360 will not be supported as long as MS continues it's own 360 support.

 

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Ah well that lends more credence to this project if he revealed it so as to not look like he used the source leak to produce this. Good thinking on his part. That gives me hope then that this is completely legally protected. It makes me wonder if he were to make this project open source if it would add an additional layer of protection to this project keeping it from being shut down, so that anybody can look at the code to see it is 100% legal and not made with any official libraries or any code owned by Microsoft.
 

Greg2600

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Apparently he has either shared the source, or made plans with a few others in the event he can no longer continue with the project. So that should the need arise, others would be able to continue with the work. This represents 2-3 years of semi-work, and 8 months of fairly intense work, and Insignia's goal all along and moving forward seems to be centralized work. Which is something I agree with, as the outcome will be better than way.
 

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I'm a bit bummed out by Insignia being closed source (for now anyway). Not necessarily to run and maintain personal servers, but for development purposes. I'm also not convinced that an open source code-base would create segmentation as it'd take some effort to run a good, low latency service. If the sources were out, it would allow people (myself included) to help with efforts of bringing game servers back online. Right now we can only wait & pray. It would also be nice to evaluate the security in place considering the Xbox has very little in terms of input validation in place. Hacking one, even through an online game, is quite trivial.

I'm sure Insignia will find some way to let people develop servers, perhaps by agreeing that your XBL tag is re-routed to your dev server for a specific game. But that's an extra hurdle I'm sure many don't want to deal with, not to mention that the infrastructure for it needs to be in place first.

Oh and I don't mean to be grumpy. I'm very excited about Insignia and what it will bring. And I tip my hat to Luke for developing it from scratch clean-room style, I'm sure it took a ton of dedication.
 

Greg2600

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Just run through some updates over the last 3 months via Discord....

May
We figured out how the 'create session'/'host game' api works, we can see lobbies in some games! Note that there is currently no way to join the session, but at least it's something. It's not just MechAssult, Amped 2 can start a game session too! and Counterstrike.

June
It seems we got Unreal Championship working

Luke and Mike were able to play a bit on MechAssault!

What's this, I wonder? Another game?

July
Luke has been doing some fun Dashboard stuff today, so I wanted to show some of it for you:- Dashboard now allows PIN setting (and subsequent removal)! This PIN is used in games to ensure only authorised people can play as you. Account recovery is also functional, allowing you to recover your account if you've somehow lost it (broken Xbox, deleted it on accident, etc)
1. This will use a fake credit card number.
2. This will re-roll your key, again - this means (and it even says on the screen) that if you have an account on Xbox A and you recover on Xbox B, only B's account will work and be valid. This is not like Xbox 360's "Download Profile", you will need to copy your account via Memory Unit if you wish to use it on multiple Xboxes (however, you can just keep the account on a Memory Unit and use it across all Xboxes

August
Just to explain our recent slowdown on public progress: @Luke Usher [UK]’s child was born today at 2:57am (U.K. time), so his free time will now be limited. We’re still working whenever we can, however!
 

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Fascinating project. I'm really excited to see what becomes of it.
 

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New footage signing into Insignia in Halo 2!

 
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