Contents

DM Champion Extraction Utility v1.0

Overview

FTL Games developed the free tool DMPACK.TOS for Atari ST and posted it on GEnie.
Here is the description built into the tool:
This utility compresses a Dungeon Master saved game into a shortened format which can be read by the Chaos Strikes Back Utility Disk. It removes all data from the saved game which is copyrighted by FTL Games/Software Heaven, Inc. The shortened saved game is intended solely to enable CSB owners to exchange advanced Dungeon Master Champions for import into Chaos Strikes Back.

Technically, this tool opens a Dungeon Master for Atari ST saved game file (DMGAME.DAT) and replaces the dungeon with an empty mini dungeon. All other parts of the saved game are not changed (and not even decrypted).

Here are the messages posted on GEnie by Wayne Holder about the creation of this tool:

Category 9,  Topic 38
Message 66        Fri Jan 05, 1990
FTL                          at 23:40 EST
 Regarding the practice of uploading saved games with super Champions.
 I think it spoils much of the fun of a role playing game to do this, but
 more importantly, to us, we cannot approve of this practice because the
 data file created by DM or CSB, in addition to the unique data related to
 a particular game, also contains copyrighted material which we are legally
 obliged to protect.  While I don't want to be heavy handed, I have had
 discussions with Sysops about this in that past and I hope this practice
 stops soon.

Category 9,  Topic 38
Message 75        Tue Jan 09, 1990
FTL                          at 15:43 EST
 Regarding Saved Game Uploading:  I don't mean to make a big stink over
 this, but unfortunately there are more serious problems we face, such
 as piracy, that require us to protect our copyrights aggressively.  If
 we allow some materials to be copied, but restrict others it could
 weaken our position with regard to piracy.  The idea to separate user
 created data and copyright data is a good one.  We just didn't consider
 it before, but I'll look into it.
 However, we encourage you to upload Champion Portrait files which are
 your own creation.  That was why we defined a separate portrait file type.
 If anyone is interested, we could publish the file format?

Category 9,  Topic 38
Message 91        Wed Jan 17, 1990
FTL                          at 19:56 EST

 Regarding the debate over my request to stop uploading saved games.
 I think I can propose an alternate solution.  As I mentioned before,
 my concern is primarily protecting our copyrights.  I really don't
 want to discourage people from trading Champions.  However, currently
 the saved game file contains more than the Champion stats.  In
 discussing this with my staff we came up with the idea of creating
 a utility that would extract only the Champion data from a game file
 and convert it into a form that could be uploaded and directly read
 by the Chaos Strikes Back Utility disk.  Would this be an acceptable
 solution?

Category 9,  Topic 38
Message 118       Thu Feb 01, 1990
FTL                          at 20:11 EST

We have completed programming the utility to compact the DM save games so that
they can be uploaded for Champion swapping.  We will test for a day or so
before we upload, but are there any volunters for further testing?
 -Wayne-

Category 9,  Topic 38
Message 119       Fri Feb 02, 1990
FTL                          at 21:40 EST

I have uploaded the Dungeon Master saved game packer "DMPACK.TOS" This is a
"beta" release.  I'd appreciated any feedback.
 -Wayne Holder, FTL Games-

Category 9,  Topic 38
Message 121       Tue Feb 06, 1990
FTL                          at 22:57 EST

We considered allowing the packer to export CSB games, but we felt that would
be too powerful of a cheat because some enterprising soul would recycle
Champions through CSB until they were simply invincible.  It's a good idea,
but I think would tend to devalue the accomlishment of of people who build
their own parties the hard way.

Category 9,  Topic 38
Message 123       Wed Feb 07, 1990
FTL                          at 20:57 EST

Currently, Champions do not exist separate from a saved game file.  The CSB
Champion Portrait Editor is able to extract Champions from one game and insert
them into another, but currently we have not yet defined a format for export
of Champions alone.  The DMPACKER program was a quick way to solve a problem
caused by the fact that saved games contain info copyrighted by us.  It simply
strips a saved game down to bare bones so that it can be uploaded.  The
problem is that the CSB Champion Portrait Editor was only designed to
currently import DM games.  CSB games are in a different format.  I understand
your request and we are currently considering how we can support this in the
future, but it's not the kind of thing we can do now because we first need to
consider how this will fit into other future plans we have.  Sorry.

Downloads

Tool_DMPACK.7z Tool_DMPACK.7z
This archive contains the program.

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