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Jack P

Purchasing Development Software

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Hi, I had a question. Clearly, any software being used during development has to be purchased (such as Max 4, Photoshop, etc.). When does the software have to be purchased? Before actually using it, or before releasing a product that has used the software? Would someone be able to not purchase the software but still have a copy of it and use it to do work on a game and sometime during the development (definately before release of product), officially purchase it? Or does the software have to be purchased before any kind of work at all is done? I wanted to know about that. Thank You.

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I dont know where you are from, but here (and probably the whole world) you have to buy (or license) the tools before you start working with them, I assume you are talking about using ilegal copies (piracy) to make your game/app and pay for em when you are ready to release your product.

Here (Costa Rica), you could get away with that, but anyone could point their finger at you, and get you audited, caught, and sent to jail for at least 3 years (who would point the finger? angry programmers,artists designers, the competence, that neightbour who never relly liked you, anyone you tell about your project is a treat).

there is an option here where you can turn yourself in, pay for the licences and everyone is happy, but why risk being turned in by someone else?.

Use The Gimp instead of photoshop (its superior anyway), mingw instead of VC++, and licence Milkshape or AC3D for your 3d needs, they''re both under $50, and avoid jail

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or just use older versions. do you really NEED MAX version 4? i use version 3 and its absolutely fine. My copy of Photoshop is very old as well, but it does the job for the kind of stuff I work on.
Dont be trciked into thinking you need thousands of dollars worth of tools. But dont use warez, your only hurting fellow software developers.

http://www.positech.co.uk

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I'd suggest Photoshop 5 or 5.5, and Milkshape (it's like $20.00 to register Milkshape and the program is great) or 3DSMax 3.

------------------------------
Simple DirectMedia Layer:

Main Site - (www.libsdl.org)
Cone3D Tutorials- (cone3D.gamedev.net)
GameDev.net's Tutorials - (Here)

OpenGL:

Main Site - (www.opengl.org)
NeHe Tutorials - (nehe.gamedev.net)
Online Books - (Red Book) (Blue Book)


Edited by - Drizzt DoUrden on January 29, 2002 5:26:46 PM

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I dont think using older versions is an option, abandonware does not exists per se, companies still hold copyrights of all their software even if it is not making any profits, unless they release it as public domain you are still breaking the law.



Edited by - kwizatz on January 29, 2002 5:38:24 PM

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I agree with Kwizatz's comment on using older software. It is still illegal to use 3ds max 3 unless you have paid for it. And I do not believe paid-up licenses are transferable. They might be, but you'd have to find someone willing to give up their paid-for license. And upgrades do not count as new licenses....really their is still just one license for the old and new version.

I'd recommend Blender for general 3D modeling work. It's darn nice, although it isn't perfect. For example, it supports IK and skinning for character animation, but as far as I know you do not have access to that information through their Python-based API. Its small yet extremely full featured, and runs on most platforms under the sun. For free. www.blender.nl

Graham Rhodes
Senior Scientist
Applied Research Associates, Inc.

Edited by - grhodes_at_work on January 29, 2002 5:41:16 PM

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I think cliffski''s point was that old versions of software are going to be cheaper. I wonder where I could buy 3DS Max 3, though...

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Umm.. the point is that the software is older. If it is older, it is cheaper. You don''t have to worry about price that way, so you can just purchase it the whole time.

You should never used illegal software.

------------------------------
Simple DirectMedia Layer:

Main Site - (www.libsdl.org)
Cone3D Tutorials- (cone3D.gamedev.net)
GameDev.net''s Tutorials - (Here)

OpenGL:

Main Site - (www.opengl.org)
NeHe Tutorials - (nehe.gamedev.net)
Online Books - (Red Book) (Blue Book)

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Thanks alot for the replies.

I guess cheaper programs are the best option. But I did have another question regarding 3D Studio Max:

Can a company purchase 3D Studio Max 4 license and allow for all employees to use it? I checked around discreet''s website and there isn''t any mention of purchasing multiple licenses. If a company purchases the license, do all employees working on the same project have the right to use the same product? Or does the product have to be purchased multiple times for each employee or each PC?

Thanks again.

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I think for 3D Studio Max you have to pay a licence per seat, dont really know so don''t quote me, it has some server-client functionality, but I am not sure if thats to allow client workstations to run the program from the server or just to use the server as a the rendering machine, so you can work while other machine renders your movie.

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I haven''t worked with newer versions of 3dMax, but I assume it still has some kind of hardware dongle to prevent you from using it on multiple machines. So I''m assuming that you are only to use it on one machine per copy per person. Naturally, this could have changed in the past... 5? years. Boy, its been a long time.

And to chime in with everyone else: do not use illegal software, it''ll only hurt you in the end.

Charles Galyon

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quote:
Original post by Kwizatz
I think for 3D Studio Max you have to pay a licence per seat, dont really know so don''t quote me, it has some server-client functionality, but I am not sure if thats to allow client workstations to run the program from the server or just to use the server as a the rendering machine, so you can work while other machine renders your movie.


Max 4 uses software licensing. The dongles are gone. With the software license, you can transfer a license from machine to machine, but only one machine can be active at a time. So, you only have to purchase one copy for all your employees, but only one employee at a time will be able to use the software.

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This forum has been extremely helpful. Thank you all

I just had one last question.

Lets assume that the employees are not on the company staff and the work is done with a contract. The company makes a contract with the artist, asks for a certain design, pays the artist and receives the rights to the design. The company does not hold anyone on staff and the artist works in his own home. In effect, it is done similar to a web-design contract. In this case, who is responsibile if the artist did not have the legal software? The company has one legal license, which is used to check all designs given by the artists and therefore, there is no need for multiple licenses. The artist can do the work however he/she wants and the company is simply purchasing the models/pictures/textures/etc. from him. If the artist does not have a legal license, who is responsible? The artist? The company? or both?

I am only curious about the way software licensing works.

Thanks again.

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The ownership of the intellectual property created by using the product is not affected. That would be like claiming ownership of a book just because the writer stole his pen from you to write it with. Licensing is nothing to do with the end product, it''s to do with having the right to copy and use the software in the first place. If the artist uses software that they are not legally entitled to own, then it is they who have broken the law and they who are subject to further ''proceedings''.

[ MSVC Fixes | STL | SDL | Game AI | Sockets | C++ Faq Lite | Boost ]

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If the artists is freelance (not on staff) then they are responsible for ensuring that they work within the law and have the necessary licenses for their tools.

Dan Marchant
Obscure Productions

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Guest Anonymous Poster
quote:
Original post by Kylotan
The ownership of the intellectual property created by using the product is not affected. That would be like claiming ownership of a book just because the writer stole his pen from you to write it with. Licensing is nothing to do with the end product, it''s to do with having the right to copy and use the software in the first place. If the artist uses software that they are not legally entitled to own, then it is they who have broken the law and they who are subject to further ''proceedings''.



Further criminal proceedings, so the contracting company wouldn''t have to worry about criminal fines or other penalties.

They would have to worry about civil actions being used against them over the IP, though. You''d need to consult a lawyer to know what kinds of threats you could encounter there, but it would definately be a drain on profits. Remember, we''re talking about works for pay here, not licensed artwork or publishing deals. The company would definately be at least partially accountable.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
in some cases you can buy a student edition of VC++, and when you''re ready to release buy the pro/enterprise ed.

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quote:
Original post by CheeseGrater
Max 4 uses software licensing. The dongles are gone. With the software license, you can transfer a license from machine to machine, but only one machine can be active at a time.


I''ll take this into the gen. programming forum for further detailed questions I have about software licensing, but since you know the specifics of Max 4''s software licensing: is the license tied to one machine by some kind of hardware signature? I mean, do you have to contact the company to transfer the license to another machine and maybe somehow destroy the old license?

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quote:
Original post by Diragor

I''ll take this into the gen. programming forum for further detailed questions I have about software licensing, but since you know the specifics of Max 4''s software licensing: is the license tied to one machine by some kind of hardware signature? I mean, do you have to contact the company to transfer the license to another machine and maybe somehow destroy the old license?


Here''s what happens. You export your license onto a floppy disk. This causes 3DS Max to stop working on the machine you have exported from. You carry the floppy over to another machine, and import it there. This enables Max on the machine you import to, but deactivates the floppy.

You don''t need to contact the company to do anything odd with encryption keys or passkeys over the phone with them. You get all the same functionality as a hardware dongle, but you do it with floppy disks and not the expensive dongles. Same system as before, but cheaper for discreet to produce units.

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I''ve thought of doing it that way but how do you (they) handle the case where a customer claims that the original computer has crashed and is unrecoverable (massive hard drive failure or something)?

Also the floppy-license thing is not quite as convenient as, say, the USB plugs like Aladdin produces (ealaddin.com). In that case you could actually have the software installed on many different machines and quickly move the plug from one machine to another as needed. The floppy license-moving scheme sounds slightly more time-consuming. Of course, moving a USB plug is not very convenient if the back of your machine isn''t easily accessable, unless you have ports in front, an extension cable or a hub.

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quote:
Original post by Diragor
I''ve thought of doing it that way but how do you (they) handle the case where a customer claims that the original computer has crashed and is unrecoverable (massive hard drive failure or something)?



I imagine that they just mail out a new one. One license plus or minus isn''t so terrible. What they''re trying to quell here is 20 artists using 1 licensed copy.

quote:

Also the floppy-license thing is not quite as convenient as, say, the USB plugs like Aladdin produces (ealaddin.com). In that case you could actually have the software installed on many different machines and quickly move the plug from one machine to another as needed. The floppy license-moving scheme sounds slightly more time-consuming. Of course, moving a USB plug is not very convenient if the back of your machine isn''t easily accessable, unless you have ports in front, an extension cable or a hub.



Well, yeah, but it''s cheaper to send out a disk than a custom piece of hardware. There was really nothing wrong with parallel port dongles either, but it''s cheaper to go software only. Besides, it''s not like any company wants to band over backwards to support license-moving... they''d much rather you just buy a second one.

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quote:
Original post by Eric
I think cliffski''s point was that old versions of software are going to be cheaper.


Yes, I agree with that now.

quote:
Original post by Eric
I wonder where I could buy 3DS Max 3, though...


Would be nice if discreet would continue to sell the older copies, at perhaps 80% off, wouldn''t it?



Graham Rhodes
Senior Scientist
Applied Research Associates, Inc.

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quote:
Original post by Kwizatz
I think for 3D Studio Max you have to pay a licence per seat, dont really know so don't quote me, it has some server-client functionality, but I am not sure if thats to allow client workstations to run the program from the server or just to use the server as a the rendering machine, so you can work while other machine renders your movie.


Prior to 3ds max 4, a dongle was used.

We use 3ds max 4.2 here, 3 licenses I think. There is a software-protected license. It is tied to your computer by using the hardware ID of the ethernet card---you receive an encoded key-code via email from discreet when you authorize the product, and the key-code is just a string that is encrypted with (an also encrypted) version of the ethernet hardware MAC address. This ethernet MAC address is unique from machine to machine so you cannot use a single license of 3ds max on more than one machine at a given time. HOWEVER, they do allow you to freely transfer the license from one machine to another.

You can re-authorize with a phone call should you have a crash that breaks something. When you transfer from machine to machine, the transfer itself has to happen within 3 days (I think) or you're required to reauthorize even if nothing went wrong.

The *good* news is that you can use as many machines for rendering as you want, with only one machine authorized for editing and to act as the render server (it submits render jobs to the render farm).

Graham Rhodes
Senior Scientist
Applied Research Associates, Inc.

Edited by - grhodes_at_work on January 31, 2002 5:51:49 PM

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I hear a lot of people have problems with 3DS Max's c-dilla licensing system. I wonder why they chose to drop the dongles.

By the way, the commercial version of Blender 2.25 will support exporting via Python when it comes out in February. I wonder when this feature will make it to the freeware version.

I wish there were more cheap/free pro-quality 3D tools. So far everything I know of is either expensive or insufficient. I've been thinking of Rhino 3D as a somewhat expensive option, but I wonder if there are cheaper alternatives. Animation Master, perhaps? I'm not convinced its SDK is any good for games.

Edited by - chronos on January 31, 2002 6:56:48 PM

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You can export from Blender now using Python. I wrote a very basic exporter to Microsoft .X format over a year ago, using Blender 2.0x or something. The later versions are better, but I still don''t see a way to export everything you''d want. And the Python Blender docs are just not sufficient.

Graham Rhodes
Senior Scientist
Applied Research Associates, Inc.

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