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Nineteen

I've been feeling ambitious lately.

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[color="#2a2a2a"]So I'm a Junior in college as a CS major. My goal is to get into the gaming industry, whether that be as an indie developer or working for a major developer. My university is a member of MSDNAA, which means as a CS major, I get a bunch of free software from Microsoft. This includes (but is not limited to) Win7, Visual Studio '10, XNA Game Studio, and DX9 SDK. Of course, as a part of the EULA, I cannot create programs for commercial use.

[color="#2a2a2a"]I've been wanting to play around with this stuff, and maybe create a simple game as freeware for the PC and possibly Xbox. [color="#2a2a2a"]So I guess I have a couple questions for the lawyers out here.

[color="#2A2A2A"]1. [color="#2A2A2A"]If I were to create a game with this software and sell it, how much trouble do you think I would get in with Microsoft?

[color="#2a2a2a"]2. [color="#2a2a2a"]If I corroborate with someone here to create a game, does that mean that the game has to be freeware because of my software?

[color="#2a2a2a"]3. Does anyone know if this software is industry standard? As in, if I go work for, say Bethesda or Activision/Blizzard, will I be using XNA or Visual Studio?

[color="#2a2a2a"]Thank you for your time!

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XNA Game Studio and DX9 SDK are free. Instead of using VS10 professional, you can instead download the free "express edition".

Visual Studio is very standard, every software company I've worked at has used it. XNA is not standard, it's a tool for hobbyists mainly.

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[color="#2a2a2a"][size=2]
[color="#2A2A2A"]1. [color="#2A2A2A"]If I were to create a game with this software and sell it, how much trouble do you think I would get in with Microsoft?


Well considering you can get a license to sell an XNA game ( and use XNA Studio ) for like 99$ via the creators club, I don't think this is much of an issue. There is also The Dreamspark program available for pretty much all students.


[color="#2a2a2a"]3. [color="#2a2a2a"]If I corroborate with someone here to create a game, does that mean that the game has to be freeware because of my software?
[/quote]

... normally 2 comes after 1. :) Technically yes, but as the reality of my first answer implies, commerically releasing a product developed using Microsoft tools would basically be trivial. Your bigger possible catch is, if you sold your game, your license of Windows 7 probably expires, if anything.


[color="#2a2a2a"]2. Does anyone know if this software is industry standard? As in, if I go work for, say Bethesda or Activision/Blizzard, will I be using XNA or Visual Studio?
[/quote]

Visual Studio or GCC are the predominant C++ environments in the industry, generally depending on platform in question. Chances are you will not be using XNA as it more targets smaller developers and Indys.


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Yes, look for the Dreamspark project of microsoft. With this project you can have access to Visual Studio Professional, XNA, doesn't have windows though, and you can publish what you do here.


XNA Game Studio and DX9 SDK are free. Instead of using VS10 professional, you can instead download the free "express edition".
[/quote]
With Visual Studio Express Edition you can't publish your stuff. Note that there is no 'setup and deployment' option for this version.


Visual Studio or GCC are the predominant C++ environments in the industry...

Visual Studio is a good standard IDE for C++ development, but what does GCC means to you? For me it is just the GNU C Compiler, which is not for c++ (see G++ for c++) and has no interface, it is the compiler.

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Look at it this way, you are publicly putting into question your own personal ethics. If you acquired the software through your university, then respect the EULA. If you want to make software, and subsequently sell it, use the free versions of those tools if available or alternatives. *Uninstall the tools that fall under the University EULA agreement and your problems are solved.

Sure, any trouble you might incur would/might be minimal, depending on what you created and/or it's financial footprint. Yet consider this, a future employer would be hesitant to place anyone on staff that takes lightly the legalities of software licensing and end-user-policies [Professional Ethics]. You would be surprised at how many companies have either been sued, suffered a lost of revenue, and or development time, mainly due to engineers knowingly or ignorantly violating EULA's. Happens all the time with baked in third party tools and libraries.

...Just my two cents...

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Visual Studio is a good standard IDE for C++ development, but what does GCC means to you? For me it is just the GNU C Compiler, which is not for c++ (see G++ for c++) and has no interface, it is the compiler.


I'm not really sure why you got downrated by someone, but it was probably this statement, which is I assume just an error and a justifiable one at that.


GCC is a bit confusing, because gcc was literally the command you used to execute the C compiler, but in all things GNU naming, there is more to that. GCC actually stands for "GNU Compiler Collection", referring to all the various languages it actually supports, including G++ ( and Objective C, Java and various other languages ) as a whole.

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Look at it this way, you are publicly putting into question your own personal ethics. If you acquired the software through your university, then respect the EULA. If you want to make software, and subsequently sell it, use the free versions of those tools if available or alternatives. *Uninstall the tools that fall under the University EULA agreement and your problems are solved.

Sure, any trouble you might incur would/might be minimal, depending on what you created and/or it's financial footprint. Yet consider this, a future employer would be hesitant to place anyone on staff that takes lightly the legalities of software licensing and end-user-policies [Professional Ethics]. You would be surprised at how many companies have either been sued, suffered a lost of revenue, and or development time, mainly due to engineers knowingly or ignorantly violating EULA's. Happens all the time with baked in third party tools and libraries.

...Just my two cents...


I think you are a bit quick to judge on this one. I think the fact he is asking the question is speaking (favorably) towards his ethics, the question itself is about clarification of the license.

It isn't obvious or straight forward and the majority of people don't care or simply pirate, so I wouldn't call this guy out on trying to clarify what his license does or does not permit him. Hell, I had (have) an MSDN license for over a decade and almost nobody, not even people at Microsoft, can really do a good job of clarifying what you can or can't do with it. For example, my last work place had a volume licensing agreement and we were trying to determine if my headcount ( being MSDN licensed to Windows and Office for development purposes ) counted towards VL cals, or if my MSDN license covered me as I was obviously using both the OS and Office systems for development purposes. Our rep said I didn't need a license, online support was split, MSDN support insisted I did and in the end, I did need a license ( FYI to all you MSDN licensees, your OS licenses are only actually valid for active development/testing purposes, so if you are using it for your general purpose OS that you happen to develop and test on, you are in violation, not that anyone is going to come after you ). but by no means was the process clear.

So, long story short, the guys question is extremely legit, and his morality ( so far as this post goes ) is intact.

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[quote name='a_insomniac' timestamp='1316033710' post='4861729']
Look at it this way, you are publicly putting into question your own personal ethics. If you acquired the software through your university, then respect the EULA. If you want to make software, and subsequently sell it, use the free versions of those tools if available or alternatives. *Uninstall the tools that fall under the University EULA agreement and your problems are solved.

Sure, any trouble you might incur would/might be minimal, depending on what you created and/or it's financial footprint. Yet consider this, a future employer would be hesitant to place anyone on staff that takes lightly the legalities of software licensing and end-user-policies [Professional Ethics]. You would be surprised at how many companies have either been sued, suffered a lost of revenue, and or development time, mainly due to engineers knowingly or ignorantly violating EULA's. Happens all the time with baked in third party tools and libraries.

...Just my two cents...


I think you are a bit quick to judge on this one. I think the fact he is asking the question is speaking (favorably) towards his ethics, the question itself is about clarification of the license.

It is obvious or straight forward and the majority of people don't care or simply pirate, so I wouldn't call this guy out on trying to clarify what his license does or does not permit him. Hell, I had (have) an MSDN license for over a decade and almost nobody, not even people at Microsoft, can really do a good job of clarifying what you can or can't do with it. For example, my last work place had a volume licensing agreement and we were trying to determine if my headcount ( being MSDN licensed to Windows and Office for development purposes ) counted towards VL cals, or if my MSDN license covered me as I was obviously using both the OS and Office systems for development purposes. Our rep said I didn't need a license, online support was split, MSDN support insisted I did and in the end, I did need a license ( FYI to all you MSDN licensees, your OS licenses are only actually valid for active development/testing purposes, so if you are using it for your general purpose OS that you happen to develop and test on, you are in violation, not that anyone is going to come after you ). but by no means was the process clear.

So, long story short, the guys question is extremely legit, and his morality ( so far as this post goes ) is intact.
[/quote]

It's pretty black and white with no shades of grey as far as I am concerned. If you have to ask questions about violating the EULA...really? You either use the software in the way you "agreed" to or dont install it. Period. The fact remains that other options exist for what the OP wants to accomplish overall, no one is disputing that. You can't start off talking about tip-toeing around the EULA, and wondering about how much trouble you can get into in the hopes of validation from others.

Are you suggesting [that] was asking for clarification?... sounds like validation. The morality issue was brought into play by the OP - not me; hinting towards violation put his personal ethics into the conversation.

Any professional worth his pound of salt knows that "ignorance is not an excuse". With that said, the OP qualified himself as a junior in college; I'm sure he has taken something along the lines of a "Critical Thinking" class.

Regardless, my comments were not intended to offend. I am calling it how I see it, but you are free to box with kid gloves if you choose to. We are both entitled to our opinions...I respect yours even if I dont agree.

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[color="#2a2a2a"]So I'm a Junior in college as a CS major. My goal is to get into the gaming industry, whether that be as an indie developer or working for a major developer. My university is a member of MSDNAA, which means as a CS major, I get a bunch of free software from Microsoft. This includes (but is not limited to) Win7, Visual Studio '10, XNA Game Studio, and DX9 SDK. Of course, as a part of the EULA, I cannot create programs for commercial use.

[color="#2a2a2a"]I've been wanting to play around with this stuff, and maybe create a simple game as freeware for the PC and possibly Xbox. [color="#2a2a2a"]So I guess I have a couple questions for the lawyers out here.

[color="#2A2A2A"]1. [color="#2A2A2A"]If I were to create a game with this software and sell it, how much trouble do you think I would get in with Microsoft?

[color="#2a2a2a"]2. [color="#2a2a2a"]If I corroborate with someone here to create a game, does that mean that the game has to be freeware because of my software?

[color="#2a2a2a"]3. Does anyone know if this software is industry standard? As in, if I go work for, say Bethesda or Activision/Blizzard, will I be using XNA or Visual Studio?

[color="#2a2a2a"]Thank you for your time!



Restrictions. You may not use the software:
for commercial purposes; or

to develop and maintain your own administrative or IT systems.
[/quote]

Commercial use is use within a company, when you start selling stuff online as indie developer you become a business and have to declare income tax and pay this. This invalidates your license and you will become liable for its use. The MS licenses for businesses and academia are a pain in the ass once you break them they have a fine associated with them that has no limit defined.

A little further one in the license agreement you will find this:"e. No commercial use. If your faculty or students use the software to create software programs, they may only commercially use or offer such software programs upon the purchase of an appropriate commercial license for the software." That explicitly tells you what you need to do in order to be able to sell the software you created.

All this comes form the online license agreement on one of the MSDN sites.

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Thanks for the replies, guys! Just to be clear, I had no intention of selling anything I created with this software, because I have a bad business head to begin with. I was just wondering because I'd maybe like to be a part of a project on these forums, and I know some people's projects are intended for the purpose of making a profit. I wanted to find out if I needed to put that as a disclaimer if I were to apply to any of these projects, and let them know that any software that I work on has to be free.

I also didn't know if there were any court cases pertaining to this situation, so I would know exactly how severe breaking the EULA would be. That was for my own knowledge.

Serapth: I'm not sure what you meant by the DreamSpark option. It's like MSDNAA, but with fewer programs and the same "non-commercial" limitations.

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