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To give source code or not to give source code, that is the question.

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I''ve been working on my 3rd game for about two and a half months now and it''s really quite good. It uses an engine that I made myself. The engine is a combination of a bunch of other smaller engines that I created. The engine could easily be used to create nice looking games in other genres in the future. But right now, I''m debating whether or not to give out the source code. I know that if I developped this game more and made the engine a bit better, it could actually sell and make profit. But what do you guys (or girls ) suggest? Rob Loach OverTech Technologies ----------- "Life moves pretty fast. If you don''''t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it." - Ferris Bueller

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GIVE GIVE GIVE GIVE
LOL, no really i should learn a lot from you


[edited by - michel on December 2, 2002 1:53:11 PM]

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I''d give out the source. Realistically you really don''t have to worry about people making a spectacular game with your engine and you getting ripped off by it. There is too much additional work that goes on to make that a problem.

I''d GPL it with an option to license the source if they don''t want to distribute their modifications. That way you too could get the added benefit of people making enhancements to your engine. This is what iD software uses with the Quake 2 engine.

And one more thing.. any money says that 2 years from now it will just be source sitting on your hard drive doing nothing anyway. Give to the community. It''s a good feeling. =)

---
Michael Tanczos

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I''m no lawyer, but there are a couple of things to consider.

First if you license the game under the GPL then other people can contribute to it but they can''t use it commercially. And you can still sell it (without their contributions) because you still earn the code.

Secondly, to sell it''s going to need to be pretty good, because there are a lot of good projects out there which are LGPL and so can be used commercially. E.g Crystal Space, OGRE, etc.

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ya. i''m going to have to agree with the other posters so far. i''m generally of the opinion that any hobby work should be open sourced or free sourced or wahtever. mostly it makes sense to do that (at least for me) b/c i''m not really interested in doing anything commercial with the work. it''s more of idea/concept/technology exploration. and it''s definitely a really fun feeling just giving out your source code. it''s such a powerful teaching tool for people trying to get started in the technology.

-me

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Guest Anonymous Poster
let those lazy people make their own engines. open-source is exactly like plagarism. why would you give something you worked at for countless hours to just give it away for free. screw it!

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I really think you should give for free, just include a "readme"
file saying. "Please include my name in your game credits" or
something like that. A well commented engine is a powerfull source
for begginers to learn from.

Linux is totally free, and it''s source code is free aswell, Linux
is the result of people who worked for free, and it''s a exelent
OS.

The only reason Linux is not much used as windows is the lack of
software......

Now publish your source-code for free in the internet, you''ll get
lots of programmers thanking you for your offer, and that MUST
be a great feeling!!!

Kamikaze

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Thanks for all this feedback guys...

I''ll talk with my boss and tell him what you guys suggested.

Thanks again,

Rob Loach
OverTech Technologies
-----------
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don''''''''t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."
- Ferris Bueller

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If you don''t plan on selling it, I might release it under a BSD-style license, as it provides more freedom with what someone could do with the source code, which is why I tend to prefer the BSD license to the GPL license - it actually makes the source ''open'' as in ''you can do whatever you want with it and you don''t have to give anything back.''

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Sell it or Freeware it. If you dont think it''s ready to sell or you dont want to put that polish on it to sell then freeware it, as long as its solid it may help you build up a bit of a base before your next game.

But from my perspective your asking the wrong question. WHy are you in this,

Hobby
"Get into the Industry"
Start an indie
Shareware author

Based on what you want to do defines how to answer.

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Well, truthfully, I would like to see this game of yours first. Whoever said we are our own worst critic was smoking something. While I''m not saying it''s going to be bad, nessecarily, chances are it may be really cool, but... given the precedent, ... you know what i mean.

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Patients dear grasshoper...

I''m talking with my boss as we speak... That doesn''t really make sence over the internet, but you know what I mean .



- Rob Loach
OverTech Technologies
-----------
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don''t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."
- Ferris Bueller

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Kamikaze15
The only reason Linux is not much used as windows is the lack of
software......



I beg to differ. I''d say it''s more the lack of support for generic cheap-o hardware and the complexity of finding and installing drivers, etc. that prevents a lot of newbies from attempting installation. For most people all the software they would ever use is available once the OS is installed.

but back on topic...

But being a relative newbie to programming (definate newbie at game programming), I''d say give out the code. If you want to make it truly useful and really help out the newbies like me, document, document, document.

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An update:
I talked with my boss, and we are going to re-do the graphics, re-make the content and then sell it commercially. After its release, I hope to release the engine source code, or maybe even make some tools for modifications .

- Rob Loach
OverTech Technologies
-----------
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don''t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."
- Ferris Bueller

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Rob Loach
An update:
I talked with my boss, and we are going to re-do the graphics, re-make the content and then sell it commercially. After its release, I hope to release the engine source code, or maybe even make some tools for modifications .

- Rob Loach
OverTech Technologies
-----------
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don''t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."
- Ferris Bueller



Something smells...You have a "boss" who makes decisions based on what a couple of faceless people on a BB said. Especially, when no of the responses relate to the eventual decision.

I smell something very fishy.

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If it''s a really great engine you might as well stick to the source code a few years or so... although it would actually help a lot of people I assume.
I had that question as well, when I released my first ''real'' program and so many people asked for the source and if I was going to release it etc...
But thinking about the community that used my application I was pretty sure 80% would just rewrite 2 lines of code and say it was their product, so I didn''t release it.
But I think that AP is right, you shouldn''t really consult a BB for that decision

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i think you should go to the nearest patent office and copyright your code before someone steals it from you and makes lots of money selling your hard work.

[edited by - niyaw on December 3, 2002 7:05:33 AM]

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I have a good engine too. It''s in my Mercedes.
Though I''m not planning on opening the hood. Somebody might put it in a Hyundai and claims he invented the damned thing.

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster

Something smells...You have a "boss" who makes decisions based on what a couple of faceless people on a BB said. Especially, when no of the responses relate to the eventual decision.

I smell something very fishy.



How do expect me to respond to this? What do you want me to do? Prove that I work for OverTech Technologies?

http://www.overtechtechnologies.com

[edit]
Are you putting down GameDev.net?
I offer to give out my source code, and this is how you repay me and GameDev.net.....
[/edit]


- Rob Loach
OverTech Technologies
-----------
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."
- Ferris Bueller

[edited by - Rob Loach on December 3, 2002 1:21:13 PM]

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All I want to know is what kind of game is it?

3D, 2D; RPG, Action?

I''m just curious.

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It''s a 2D action/adventure/RPG. We''re working on the graphics right now.

- Rob Loach
OverTech Technologies
-----------
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don''t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."
- Ferris Bueller

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Guest Anonymous Poster
"open-source is exactly like plagarism"

somebody smack''em...

sourceforge owns
linux owns
gnu owns
free knowledge owns
open-source owns
you''re ignorant

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quote:
Original post by Anonymous Poster
let those lazy people make their own engines. open-source is exactly like plagarism. why would you give something you worked at for countless hours to just give it away for free. screw it!


It''s very very hard to make a complete engine and whoever has actually succeeded in doing it knows that it is. These people are, usually, willing to help others through the battle of doing it by a number of ways. They could make some tutorials to lead as a guide for others or, in my case, give out the source code so that people could learn from it.

- Rob Loach
OverTech Technologies
-----------
"Life moves pretty fast. If you don''t stop and look around once in awhile, you could miss it."
- Ferris Bueller

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You could also give out the source, and not the content :-P

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