Reply To: Sierra and Half-Life 2

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(re: re: Sierra and Half-Life 2) Some evil hackers stole the source code for Half-Life 2. It won’t be coming out until April at the most.

Posted by: skcll on 10/17/2003

This reminds me – there was a question here I forgot to answer, about what we used to do to protect our source code.
In this particular case, it would be fun to have more details. Something about it is strange. It’s tough to believe that someone both STOLE, and DELETED the source code for Half-Life 2, and that NO BACKUPS existed.
That said…. it did happen one time during my days running Sierra. One of our developers, John Harris, lost his source code to Frogger, and fell into such a funk over it that it took me MANY months to get him motivated to write the code over again. In those days (early 80’s) source code wasn’t on central servers – it was on a floppy. I think John lost it due to a floppy read error.
In modern times, source is usually stored in a source library, on a central server, and backed up every night. For someone to steal the source, they would have had to get past the firewall at Valve, figure out the password to the source archival system, download the source, and then delete it. Then, to really have an impact, they would need to find the backups, and delete all of them. Possible – but, not likely.
-Ken W