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marvinm

Should I go open-source?

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marvinm    122
I am finishing up my first actual game soon. It is a 2D tile-based RPG It won''t make me any money, but I want to make sure that I get all the credit that I am due. I would like to make it open-source to help any game developers I can, but I fear that someone will take all the work and change some things and claim it as their own. Is this a valid concern? Has anyone ever had this problem? I would go COMPLETELY INSANE if anyone even hinted at stealing my 13 months of hard work and claimed it as their own. Even if the theif didn''t make any money, just the idea angers me. Has this happed to anyone? Or am I just being paranoid... The full game has outside files (the bitmaps and text logs) but I have hard-coded some points in the game with my name (along with my artist''s name) so anyone that plays it will see the correct creators'' names at some point. I wouldn''t mind someone taking the art and code and making an even cooler game then I did, as long as I get credit for all of the work (less the improvements, of course). But I don''t want someone getting in to the hard-coded part of the game and taking full credit for my blood sweat and tears. Any thoughts on this? Anyone have good/bad stories with making an open-source game that they can share? Thanks in advance!

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DJ_House    122
I wouldn''t make it open source. If you put that much effort into it, why should you? If you want to help new programmers, set up a tutorial page or something explaining how to do tile games (which I''d love to see). But 13 months of work is a long time, and you deserve all the credit, not some guy who modifies your code...

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Muzzafarath    146
What license do you plan to distribute your game under? If it's the GNU GPL, then people can take your game and make an even cooler game of it. But they must disitribute it under the GNU GPL and give you full credit for your game.

quote:

I wouldn't make it open source. If you put that much effort into it, why should you? If you want to help new programmers, set up a tutorial page or something explaining how to do tile games (which I'd love to see). But 13 months of work is a long time, and you deserve all the credit, not some guy who modifies your code...



You know, even if someone modifies the game, they would still have to give marvinm credit for his/her game. What about bigger project like Linux? Torvalds has spent like 10 years working on that project and even if people can take and modify his code and no one gives him less credit because of the fact that someone else has modified his code

Edited by - Muzzafarath on November 3, 2000 4:13:38 PM

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Novalis    122
Bottom line-> You can hard code your name after every line of code in the program and it is still a matter of minutes to replace it with my name. Not having the source code is only going to slow down somebody who wants to claim they wrote your game.

Besides... Who gives a damn? If I spend my entire life coding a project and some 13 year old in tells his girlfriend he wrote it, I really couldn''t care less. I know I wrote it, and more likely then not, anyone who''s opinion I give a damn about knows I wrote it. So?

If you''ve got a chance to make some cash off of a hot new algorithm or something, I say go for it. And while your at it, stick your tongue out at everyone else who can;t figure out how you did it But otherwise, open source it and let the world see how great your code is.

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marvinm    122
It isn''t written for Linux, its for Windows.

I am totally OK if some little kids tell their friends they wrote it. It is another thing entirely to see it up on Shareware.com as a popular download with the author listed Jack A. Thief instead of me. I would like to use this game as future resume material and if an employer (or venture capitalist, or whatever) just goes to a download site and sees my exact game with someone else''s name on it, I just lost that job/capital/contract.

There are lots of benefits to making and finishing a game besides any money that comes out. What if someone desides to re-compile it with the source I provide and put it on his site and a publisher wanders by and likes it...

But I am very curious to hear if anyone has ever even heard of the problems I am describing. I would also love to hear of a story where someone made a game (non-commercial, obviously) open-source and didn''t have any problems. Obviously, a commercial release is heavily guarded by the publisher and this game will be just me putting it on a few shareware sites as freeware.

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Fluffe    122
NOTHING is as frustrating as when some retard gets all the credit
for something you spent years working on.
I think we all agree on that.

Here''s my opinion:

If your game has the potential of a commercial game you should sell it. When it has been on the market for some time you can release the source.

If it aint worth shit then no one would steal it.
But then again no one would have any use for it so
you shouldn''t make it open-source in the first place.

If it is good but not good enough to make you rich then you could
release a demo-version before releasing the full game or even the
source.

I have never had any use for open-source. I''ve always found it easier to write a game from the bottom than to learn how some other guy''s code works.
As DJ_HOUSE says: if you want to help anyone you should write a tutorial.

But in the end there will always be a risk.
Every time some one builds a web page, writes a tutorial or does some really cool grafics Mr. Retard is lurking around the corner
with nothing but one thing in his mind: STEALING YOUR WORK!!!

I deeply apologize for my silly humor.

May the source be with you.

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marvinm    122
That''s a good point, but it leads to another question I have...

How can I tell if my game is commercial quality? I like it, its super-big and fun. However, I don''t know if it''s only fun to my friends (people with personalities like mine) or the general public.

A demo (limited shareware version) wouldn''t be too hard...just only give 1/10th of the maps, monsters, items, etc and cut it off when they reach the end and request money. But money isn''t the primary for this, the game is. For me, its getting a project done (a sizeable one, at that). For my artist, its getting his artwork out to as many people as possible. We both want to get everything from this game, but we also want to give everyone a chance to view the whole game without cost. Is there such a thing as donation-ware?

My delimna boils down to this: If we give it away as freeware with open-source we give the most to our audience (deeply satisfying). However we run the risk of someone else making money off of it or profiting in some other way. On the other hand, we can charge for the full game and keep the source a secret and run the risk of making a whopping 15.00 from one guy and shutting out a large portion of our potential audience from most of the game.

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e    122
You act like there is nothing that you can do if someone does steal your game and claim it for his own. Send him a threatening letter (or email) telling him that you will castrate him if he doesn''t stop stealing your stuff (J/K, but you can threaten to sue him. That worked for my dad [suing, not castrating]).

If you think someone is going to claim it as their own, and you really care, don''t give out your source.

quote:
My delimna boils down to this: If we give it away as freeware with open-source we give the most to our audience (deeply satisfying). However we run the risk of someone else making money off of it or profiting in some other way. On the other hand, we can charge for the full game and keep the source a secret and run the risk of making a whopping 15.00 from one guy and shutting out a large portion of our potential audience from most of the game.


You can give it out freeware, not open-sourced. That way you have a large audience, and don''t run the risk of having your game stolen.

-e

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fungame    122
Well, I am thinking about taking the "Donationware" approach, like marvinm mentioned before. I know that this tends to work well for large games like MUDS, and some gaming communities. I figure that the worst that can happen is a whole bunch of people download my game, and no one donates. But you might still make the $15 from someone =)

My 2 cents,
Fungame

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