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Concerns about Model Intergration & Usage

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Hello Everybody. I know that the Quake (1, 2 & 3) models and engine are open-source. But I am a little unfamiliar with the laws of open-source. Say if I had my own 3d Engine written from scratch. In order to cut down on my poor busy coders so that we don’t have to write a character model ‘engine’ from scratch, use the model types from Quake. That way it will look better as well as cut back the development time and I don’t have to watch my coders break down and cry. If the laws of Open-source do not allow me to make my own modifications then release them as not ‘free’ then are there other options? Or are the models/object usage ‘free’ for any or all use in Open-Source games? If I can use those models above, what are my other options (besides integrating my own models from scratch)? Thanks a lot. Jeff Rosen

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The Quake I source is available free under GPL for commercial use (but your title must be released under GPL. You can also pay $10k if you don''t want to release under GPL.

Quake II and III have more expensive licensing fees. You can''t use the engines OR the tools for a commercial project without paying.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions (www.obscure.co.uk)
Game Development & Design consultant

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How recent is that info? They have released the Quake II source, and below is the readme that accompanies it:


This is the complete source code for Quake 2, version 3.21, buildable with
visual C++ 6.0. The linux version should be buildable, but we haven''t
tested it for the release.

The code is all licensed under the terms of the GPL (gnu public license).
You should read the entire license, but the gist of it is that you can do
anything you want with the code, including sell your new version. The catch
is that if you distribute new binary versions, you are required to make the
entire source code available for free to everyone.

The primary intent of this release is for entertainment and educational
purposes, but the GPL does allow commercial exploitation if you obey the
full license. If you want to do something commercial and you just can''t bear
to have your source changes released, we could still negotiate a separate
license agreement (for $$$), but I would encourage you to just live with the

All of the Q2 data files remain copyrighted and licensed under the
original terms, so you cannot redistribute data from the original game, but if
you do a true total conversion, you can create a standalone game based on
this code.

Thanks to Robert Duffy for doing the grunt work of building this release.

John Carmack
Id Software

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I would also like to point out that although the Quake engines have been released under GPL, but the media: models, sound effects, textures, etc. are not GPL.

To the OP's question. It depends on what you mean by 'character model engine'. If you mean having your engine load md2 or md3 files thats perfectly legal and would not require anything special.

However, if you take the model loading code and model animation code from one of the Quake engines, then your entire application must comply with the GPL.

[edited by - yspotua on March 21, 2004 8:36:27 PM]

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