Licensing for uDevGames

viszneki
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Post: #1
On Aug 23, 2004, at 4:44 PM, Donny Viszneki wrote:

This is an e-mail from Donny Viszneki (smirk@thebuicksix.com)

Let me start by saying if this was an inappropriate place to ask this question, please let me know so that I can try asking some place else, thanks in advance!

A friend and I have decided to enter the uDevGames contest.

We want our game to be open source, but we'd also like to encourage customers to pay for it. We want to sell access to a public game server as a way for paying customers to find new opponents, and connect to play against friends painlessly (in case router or firewall trouble would get in the way of a direct connection.) We would also like to distribute a free media package for use with the game for those who don't want to pay for it, but a higher quality media package for paying customers.

Could you please recommend an open source license for our project that is compatible with the uDevGames.com contest?

I would post the above in the forum and see what the community says.

-----

I hope that brings you up to speed, if you have an opinion or an answer please post!
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Joined: 2003.08
Post: #2
Well, that is confusing, but I beleive a udev entrant's game must be totally free. I think that includes inside costs to connect to other people. A contestant can sell it later, after the contest is done, if he updates it, etc(not too sure about this rule) but the game during the contest must be open source, and free totally.

Alex
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Posts: 328
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #3
Could the free version be the uDevGames entry and the "bonus" paid stuff still be released during the contest period, but not judged??? Or would Donny and his team need to wait until the contest ended before releasing all the paid bonus stuff?
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viszneki
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Post: #4
I have just read the rules twice, and I've made the following observations:

The rules do no explicitly mention original media with restricted distribution rights, it does however cover the free media in your game under section five:

"Developers may include free or commercial, publicly available libraries, frameworks, engines, artwork, and music as part of their projects. However, (a) such use must be acknowledged in the game's credits, and (b) the developer should have substantial original material apart from such public content."

Part B suggests that iDevGames wants you to use substantial original media, but doesn't actually discuss said media in their official rules. Presumedly then, they are to be covered by your OSI license of choice.

So, I read through a couple OSI licenses, and they all seem to skip media entirely. Now, were it not for the contest, a person could easily write an open source game, and distribute a copy of it with better media that you _must_ purchase.

However, it seems that if you want your project to be judged with the great media that you worked so hard on, you must distribute it for free.

OH WELL
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Post: #5
viszneki Wrote:Part B suggests that iDevGames wants you to use substantial original media, but doesn't actually discuss said media in their official rules. Presumedly then, they are to be covered by your OSI license of choice.
No, your media may be covered by a separate license of your choosing, including plain old forbid-everything copyright. Just make it clear which license covers what in your documentation.

Quote:However, it seems that if you want your project to be judged with the great media that you worked so hard on, you must distribute it for free.
I think you're right, you'll either have to only provide the lesser quality media for the duration of the contest, or you'll have to provide the high quality media for free.

If you wanted to be sneaky, you could close your source after the contest, modify it so that it doesn't support the free high quality media that you supplied for the contest, then make people pay for it! Ninja

Neil Carter
Nether - Mac games and comic art
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viszneki
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Post: #6
Well I'd like to make my game open source. It is educational for people who want to get into the industry. People can add features they want without me having to personally agree to it. Before I heard of this contest, I was going to do my best to try and open-source every game I released once I had another game prepared for people to purchase. High quality open source applications also help raise awareness for OSI and Linux. I don't know where I'd be today without so many open source projects.
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Post: #7
I think if I were you, I'd give away the high quality media for free and concentrate on the money making potential of the server idea. At least that allows you the greatest chance of doing well in the contest without running into trouble with the rules.

Another way you could get the high quality media back into a position where you can charge for it after the contest would be to add more material to the game. Anyone who wants to play the extended (post-contest) version of the game with high quality media will then need to pay for it or revert to lower quality.

Neil Carter
Nether - Mac games and comic art
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