Tagged: GPL

Luiz Felipe Pereira contacted me about his game in development named Questverse ,and he is currently trying to raise funds on Indiegogo.

This game was being worked on for one year now and the (solo) developer uses free/open source tools to create the game.

If the Indiegogo campaign will succeed the game will be released for all under the GPL and Creative Commons.

 

Questverse is a comedy, anime sci-fi RPG which is easy to learn and is inspired by the freedom and immersion of the original pen-and-paper RPG games. It is being developed in blender game engine by a sole person, and its planned supported platforms in priority order are GNU/Linux, Mac and windows.

 

Features
Questverse puts you in the role of an agent of the galactic quest agency, your task? Make a living! For that you will need to accept the most strange quests, so you can receive a well deserved reward for your generosity; but maybe things will go far beyond what you expected… Questverse includes:

- Create your character(currently just nightkin and female, solarians are planned), choosing your race(from two), looks, powers, skills and personal details.
- Easy to learn, no loads of rpg stats, the game will be more about roleplaying your character.
- Lenght limited only by the number of quest packages you have.
- No two games will be the same, randomness and non linearity.
- Learn true facts about the cosmos while playing
- Combats will require more thinking than just attacking your opponent until him or you is defeated; gameplay also will require some thought.
- Original history, characters and concept
- And more…

 

General Information:
Genre: Action/Comedy/RPG/Simulation
Tools: Gimp, Inkscape, blender3D, LMMS, Audacity
Status: Under development
Code: Python, GLSL
Game Engine: Blender GE
Idiom: English and portuguese(BR)
License: Code – GNU GPL(If funding acquired) / Arts – Creative Commons NC ND
Target OS’s(in priority order): Linux > Windows > Mac OS X > Android
Team: Myself
Type: Free base game IF funding is raised throught indiegogo.com

So if you want to help make this game a reality AND make it free for all, then donate and make it happen !

PixelLight is a free source, cross platform 3D engine and framework released under LGPL3 and GPL3 licenses.

About
PixelLight is a cross-platform application framework for any kind of 3D applications like games, interactive simulations or visualizations. It’s based on a highly flexible scene graph system that allows you to compose and visualize any type of 3D scene for your application.
PixelLight is written in C++ and has been designed with flexibility and extensibility as one of it’s main goals. Therefore, it’s not only a 3D engine, but a consistent framework that allows you to combine all the components that you need for your application without having to care about the differences of the actual libraries, APIs or operating systems that you are using. The underlying systems and libraries are abstracted by a powerful reflection and component system, which makes it easier and more effective to create applications for different platforms and target components such as rendering, sound, physics, network, scripting and so on.

Feature List

Platforms

  • Microsoft Windows (XP, Vista, 7)
  • Linux
  • Maemo 5

Rendering

  • OpenGL render
  • OpenGL ES 2.0 render
  • Deferred rendering support

Plugins

  • Flexible plugin architecture
  • Sound: OpenAL, FMOD and FMODEx
  • Physics: Newton, ODE and PhysX
  • Support for many input devices (e.g. SpaceNavigator, WiiMote)

API

  • Completely programmed in C++
  • Well structured and understandable code due to strictly object oriented design
  • Advanced reflection-, component- and plugin-systems making PixelLight highly flexible, portable, modular and quite universal
  • Flexible scene graph system which makes it easy to create even very complex scenes
  • Sophisticated application framework enabling you to “just start” quickly with your application development

Tools

  • Autodesk 3ds Max export plugin that can export whole scenes with nodes, meshes, materials and even morph targets with just one click

Documentation and examples

  • Detailed documented code with explanations of parameters and return values, examples and notes
  • A lot of sample applications

Screenshots

Video

Links
PixelLight
Pixel Light Youtube Video Channel

Thanks SlickMcRunFast for submitting those great news to LGN.

Frogatto is a new free source (but not art) 2d platform game released for GNU/Linux, Windows, MacOS and even iPhone !

Frogatto is now a fully playable, fun, classic adventure platformer with over thirty levels, version 1.0 representing the first stable version of the game.
Frogatto also contains a fully functional editor that allows you to create your own fun levels or edit existing levels. The engine is heavily moddable, and as an Open Source game we welcome new talented contributors.

Frogatto is a “platformer” or “jump-and-run” videogame. Like many older arcade/nintendo/sega titles, the world is viewed as a cross-section seen from the side, and your character walks and jumps between solid platforms, whilst avoiding being hurt by monsters. We’re not a clone of any specific game; although just by being a platformer, it’s impossible not to have something in common with games like mario or sonic. So we are trying to innovate a bit.

Frogatto is also the protagonist’s name. It’s eponymous.

Open Source?
Frogatto’s code, but only the code, is open-source. Open source means you can see (and reuse) the code we built the game from. This makes frogatto infinitely moddable (and fixable, and maintainable, unlike closed-source ‘moddable’ games which leave you permanently stuck with engine bugs or future incompatibilities). Even more importantly, this means you could take frogatto’s code and build your own 2d game out of it. We can help with advice on that – we’d love to see that happen.

This also means we’re open to translations – at least, once we have code support for it. We’re not going to bother until after the game is released.
The license on the code is the GPL; if you’re going to reuse our work, we insist you “pay it forward.” Our content, though, is not GPL – we’re reserving all rights to the art and music, because we want to be the only people who can sell it.
Also, people have suggested a CC-Non-Commercial license for the content, but we’re not interested. That would expose us to the very real danger of someone releasing the game for free on a platform we’re trying to sell it on. Whether likely to happen or not, if it did happen, it would have a catastrophic effect on sales, so it’s too much of a risk for us.
Those interested should note that some old pieces of our content have been completely open-sourced, and can be found at OpenGameArt.

Can I help out?
Sure. We’re open to level designs, and new puzzles. However, keep in mind that if you do help out, we’re not going to pay you, and anything you give us is ours to sell. We’re not jerks, here, we’re just covering our butt by not making any promises. (Realistically, we’d probably put you in the credits.)

Screenshots

Links
Frogatto
Frogatto Download Page
Frogatto GPLed Source Code
Frogatto Forum
Frogatto 1.0 Release Announcement
OpenGameArt

Thank Sven Arvidsson for the good news

Aquaria is the last game from the Humble Indie Bundle project to free it’s sources, the other games being Lugaru, Penumbra Overture and Gish.
Now we need to wait and see (or better yet, do something like code) what comes out of it.
While the sources of those games are free, the content (art and music) is not, therefore you have to buy those games in order to make use of the modified source code, but if you donated to the Humble Indie Bundle – you have no problems.

As with other games Ryan Gordon worked hard to polish and release the source code to the public.

Aquaria goes open source!
By David on June 3rd, 2010
Aquaria has gone open source under the GPL! Now all four of the games that pledged to open in the Humble Indie Bundle are officially open source — the others are Lugaru, Gish, and Penumbra Overture. I am especially excited about the modding possibilities for Aquaria because of its excellent level editing tools. Here’s a video showing an early version of the editor:

I show off their editor more in the beginning of the Aquaria Design Tour

This kind of freeform layer-based manipulation is the basis for most modern 2D games, so it’s important to have good tools. Having access to a user-friendly editor like this could be a big head start both for Aquaria modifications and for separate total conversion projects.

I would like to thank the developers of Aquaria, Gish, and Penumbra for releasing the source code to their awesome games, as well as Ryan Gordon for handling all of the logistics and details to make it actually happen. There have already been a lot of work done on the games, and we are going to be highlighting some of the coolest patches from the early contributors over the next few weeks — and hopefully more as they come!

Details from Ryan Gordon
Aquaria is now open source, rounding out the Humble Indie Bundle! If you want to explore this codebase, here’s what you need to know:

Getting the source:
You can grab the source from the Mercurial repository here:
http://hg.icculus.org/icculus/aquaria/
Everything you need to know about Mercurial can be learned from Joel Spolsky’s tutorial at http://hginit.com/ … it’s a fast read, and funny, too.
While many Mercurial and git clones will likely pop up, this repository will be updated with good patches, changes, fixes, and improvements from the community.

Getting the game data:
The game data is not shipping with the source code. Please buy a copy of the game (your copy from the Humble Indie Bundle will work just fine).

The code:
…this is almost the exact code that shipped for the Mac OS X version in the Humble Indie Bundle, with the (disabled anyhow) Steamworks and DRM code stripped out. The Linux version was built from a slightly older version of this code, but this code still builds on Linux. This hasn’t been tested on Windows, and Ryan likely broke it in (hopefully) small ways. There’s little doubt that any issues will be corrected within a few hours, though.

Mailing list:
There’s a mailing list that can be used for discussion of the Aquaria source code. You can subscribe and read list archives here:
http://icculus.org/mailman/listinfo/aquaria

Things worth doing right away:

  • Make the game 64-bit clean. It’s mostly there, but there are some pointers cast to ints and passed around in Lua that have proven difficult to track down. The initial code release needs to be built as 32-bit to work.
  • Improve the achievement code. Ryan added a quick-and-dirty thing to replace Steamworks. Make this a full part of the in-game UI.
  • Fix that bug that’s been bothering you.
  • Clean out some source files that aren’t actually used any more.
  • Build a mod.
  • Add some cool shaders and effects.
  • Render real 3D meshes for some of the characters.
  • Fix the “Li’s twin” bug: (bug 4495).

Links
Aquaria Goes Open Source ! – The Original Post
Aquaria
Ryan Gordon
Aquaria Source Code
Aquaria Mailing List
Humble Indie Bundle

Dariusz Dawidowski let me know about his new game “Maxi Mini Golf” which is a Commercial mini golf game that offers 36 holes, realistic physics, special score system and up to four human players.
Easy to use mouse or keyboard interface.
Download the demo for Ubuntu 32 and 64-bit (about 70 MB), more GNU/Linux versions coming soon !
You can order the game from within the game menu.

Many FOSS programs where used to develop this game : Panda3D, Bullet Physics, Blender, Gimp, Python and more…

Community Links
An official “Maxi Mini Golf” website is not up yet, but there are community links :
Download “Maxi Mini Golf” for GNU/Linux
Twitter Page
Facebook Page
Myspace Page

After the huge success of the Humble Indie Bundle, and the raise of over 1 Million Dollars in donations – the games in this “project” are “freeing their sources”.
After Lugaru and Penumbra Overture freed their sources, Gish is now following their example.
The source is under GPL and can be downloaded from here.

As always Wolfire Games write about this on their blog :

Gish goes open-source
By John on May 30th, 2010
As promised in the Humble Indie Bundle, the classic indie game starring your favorite 12-pound ball of tar, has now had its secret sauce released under the GNU General Public License. Ever wonder how Gish’s famously fluid physics system was put together? Well now you can take a look for yourself. Alex Austin has just made the source code available for download here.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WzGQQOIcp8&hl=en_US&fs=1&]
Gish Trailer: Watch on YouTube

This is really exciting. Who knows what crazy mods may emerge? The first project that pops into my head is making Gish a 13-pound ball of tar but I have a feeling Gish fans will be way more creative than that. What are you waiting for? Go check out the source!

Links
Gish
Gish’s Source Code
Humble Indie Bundle

A few days ago I’ve posted about new FOSS science fiction game under development named Avaneya.

Today I publish the interview I’ve made with the project starter Kip Warner :

1. Tell me about your game, you wrote :
“Avaneya will combine elements of a science fiction real time
strategy, adventure, and some of those of the classical city building
and management genre. “

A. To what game can we compare it too ?
How will the city building be like ? AoE ? Settlers ? SimCity ?
other ?

To be honest, I never played Age of Empires, but I have heard great
things about it. I didn’t know much about software as a kid, but even in
my teens, I smelt a rat when I saw the Microsoft logo on the box. I
think that’s probably why I was too stubborn to try it. Nevertheless,
outside of philosophical reasons, it looked like a good game. I never
played Settlers and don’t know much about it, so I can’t comment.

SimCity, however, I played a lot and really enjoyed it. It wasn’t that I
was trying to deliberately avoid senseless violence in video games, but
at the time of SNES which I was playing it on, it wasn’t really
represented as an unorthodox alternative but as just another game.
Looking back, I see that, at least with respect to most games these
days, it’s very unusual in that respect.

SimCity had a reasonable amount of breadth for the capacity of the
hardware at the time (and thus people’s expectations). Crime, pollution,
population density, and so on, where various interacting dimensions to
it. What it lacked though was more substantial breadth and depth.

By depth, I mean it didn’t really probe too deeply into how any of
things might be related. In some sense, it kind of taught people that
getting your society to work was about finding the balance within that
paradigm of neo-classical economics. This is interesting to explore, but
it still leaves me wondering as I’ve come to view that school of thought
as a vehicle for unchecked assumptions. As time goes by and I learn
more, I am realizing that the whole paradigm is broken. Rather than just
reminding many of us of what we already are starting to figure out, it
would be more constructive to propose something useful to address that,
like the GPI.

Society is not a thing in itself, but perhaps a holistic or “emergent
property” of many people doing many things. Having said that, I’d like
to take Avaneya in the direction of embracing this.

Also, I didn’t mention SimCity in the FAQ, though I wanted to, because I
was unsure of the legalities of doing so. This might be an issue, given
my company is incorporated and this is a commercial game. I didn’t want
to step on any landmines.

Something I’d also really like to draw from SimCity is how, after a
certain point of user interaction, the city seems to take a life its own
and seems “alive”.

B. What kind of RTS can we expect ? AOE style or non-combat ?

I would like to see predominantly non-combat, as we saw in SimCity.
However, conflict is real and it would be unreasonable to white wash
society by removing it. So I will not rule that out, but it will be
presented in a non-traditional light.

It’s important that I am cautious in describing the game in terms of any
other game. If I could do that with a perfect one-to-one mapping, I
wouldn’t feel driven to create a new one. So I hope it will be
interpreted as somewhat cross-genre.

C. What is the adventure part in the game ?

One of the challenges I am facing is to see if there is room to
incorporating a personal dimension to the game. A story is necessary,
but characters, which is what I mean, are difficult. Traditional city
building games typically involve the player at a macroscopic level,
whereas traditional RTS like StarCraft have their heroes. I think there
is a creative solution to this that will reveal itself in time to
balance this need for both a high and low level of abstraction.

Another source of adventure is the user trying to solve old problems in
novel new ways.

D. The single player mode will be free while the online mode won’t,
tell me please about the online mode…will it be like a MMORPG, or a
single map online match like HoN or other RTS games ?

Single player I would like to see both a campaign mode (story driven)
and a separate quick game mode where you select a scenario and play it.

I am thinking multiplayer on a Martian regional / planetary scale. This
could allow players, each acting as governor of their respective city
state, to interact through trade, expansion, or what have you. This is
something that is difficult to do because there is the inherent problem
of what happens to your infrastructure when you are not online?

Another possibility would be to have players engage in scenarios where
they have, say, a time limit to raise their shared city to a certain
minimum GPI. StarCraft had a multiplayer mode where players shared
control of the same team.

I know I am being vague, but take it as a hint that many things are
changing right now.

2. Are you making this game alone ? (code and art) can people join your team ?

I am the sole soul behind the engineering at this point, but there are
countless people who have asked to be involved in some way or have
already contributed. I am also doing modelling, art, website, and
cinematics as well.

As I’ve mentioned in the FAQ, many in the academic community, from the
Department of Forestry and the Centre for Sustainable Food Systems at
the University of British Columbia Farm to the Rubenstein School of
Environment & Natural Resources at the University of Vermont have
already made contributions. I’ve received a lot from them in the way of
academic papers, useful methods of measuring the GPI, environmental
models for the interaction of soil and deforestation and other
literature.

I’ve had many already step up to the plate to volunteer their modeling
skills. One of the challenges though is getting the data out of Blender
into a format the engine can use. This will involve likely writing a
exporter plugin, but the problem is that Blender’s API is predominantly
Python based. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just it’s another
language I am going to have to pickup. I’ll figure that out though.

Music is really the most exciting part for me right now, even though I
am anything but a musician. I can’t even read music. Nevertheless, I
have an awesome crew that is coming together for that. Mike Verde,
Izmar, Von Magnet, Rone, and some others are all on-board right now and
I’ve been enjoying their music long before I dreamt up this game. Some
of the music is already in the works and is, as we say, executing in
another thread as I work on the engineering side of things.

Obviously I will decide what music gets included and what does not, but
besides it resonating with the game, it needs to be in a free format.
Our musicians need to submit their work in FLAC at 24-bit / 96kHz to
make transcoding to Ogg Vorbis for different platforms as flexible as
possible.

This is distant, but we are also considering releasing a separate
Avaneya official soundtrack. This is popular in Japan where game
soundtracks on people’s shelves are commonplace. A challenge though is
figuring out the format. Regular red book? Well, that will work in
everyone’s car or home stereo, but you’re limited to 2-channels,
16-bit / 44kHz.

Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails, to name a few, have released albums in
the past in surround sound. We’d like to consider doing that, but the
problem are the legalities surrounding encoding to Dolby Digital (AC3)
or Digital Theatre System (DTS) and that they are non-free. Red-book
might be the way to go, but give people the choice of FLAC and Ogg
Vorbis as well. Given that most of the people who buy it will be
probably playing it back on their computers, this isn’t unreasonable.

The proceeds from the OST can, and should, go to the musicians. Since
many of them are not big names, getting their name out is really
important for them as well.

3. What engine are you going to use for your game ? some FOSS engine or costume ?

I am developing a custom one. It’s called the Ares engine.

My goal is to have it as data driven as possible, but still context
specific enough to the type of gameplay of a RTS / city builder. This is
a good compromise between trying to balance code re-use and the
performance benefits of a context specific engineering approach. The
physics, renderer, collision detection, audio, and so on will all be
written in C++.

The data that it operates on will be provided in AresPackages which are
binary archives that can carry shaders, textures, vertex attributes,
scripts, and so on. The AresPackages are defined through an XML
interface and enforced against an XML schema as they pass through a
compiler which transforms them into a binary format containing EBMI
data. EBMI is akin to XML, but binary. It’s what makes Matroska
possible. Indeed, it was created for that.

The logic of the game itself will be driven by Lua scripts, embedded in
the AresPackages.

An idea I have been flirting with is to have scenarios provided by the
community, in addition to the official ones that will ship with the
game, and have the authors compensated proportional to the number of
people playing on the server in it. That way, people are encouraged to
provide the best content for the game; secondly, it brings more people
to the game itself; and third, it invites those with domain specific
expertise to educate everyone due to their in depth knowledge of the
mechanics of agriculture or what have you. Everyone wins. But I need to
think more carefully of the logistics of doing this to ensure it is
sustainable and that I don’t make promises I can’t keep.

4. What kind of graphic quality can we expect ? do you have a screenshots yet to show us ?

I spent a lot of time going through some pretty advanced literature on
algorithms, shaders, lighting, and so on, so I will hope to do my best.

There isn’t much visually to see at the moment. There is code written,
but it is mostly for low level algorithm stuff that isn’t really
interesting to look at for the average end user. However, for the
developers out there, expect to see the Subversion repository come
online soon.

In the mean time, here are two render tests of the fluid dynamics aspect
of the physics engine simulating water. The engine just needs to know
the fluid’s viscosity (stickiness), temperature, atmospheric pressure,
and it will automatically generate it and respond to any disturbances
made. I create a disturbance by clicking with the mouse. It does all of
this through a differential method that was very tricky to implement,
but I was very happy when I finally got it to work. All of the number
crunching is done on the GPU, so the CPU doesn’t really do much.

http://www.thevertigo.com/temp/water.avi

http://www.thevertigo.com/temp/water2.avi

5. From your description about trees and water, while logical and real – most people won’t get it.
They are not environmentalists and can’t know many things you see as obvious.
Will you offer some explanation before they make the mistakes ? or, how would the tutorial work ?

You raise a very important point. It is peoples’ lack of awareness of
that which is a major motivation behind this game in the first place. If
you recall, the philosophy that drives Avaneya is to assist users
unlearn some things, learn other things, and enjoy the process of
transition.

It’s not that people are trying to keep themselves unaware with these
phenomena, it’s just that we’ve been able to live in a system of such
abundance for so long that we didn’t have to worry about that very same
system caving in on itself like now.

The Buddhists say you cannot teach anyone anything, but they can only
teach themselves. It is my hope to have the GPI integrated into the game
in an obvious manner. By this, I mean possibly built right into the GUI,
like other metrics in SimCity and other games. This way you are always
being advised of the effect of your interaction with the world.

I too was a stranger to the GPI and had heard only of the GDP. When I
realized that the GDP was just an income sheet and the GPI a total net
balance sheet, a light went on in my head and it all made sense why so
many things are dysfunctional now. We’ve been looking at the wrong gauge
all along, like the pilot following the wrong instrument in the cockpit
while trying to navigate and ending up in the side of a ravine.

The interesting thing is that most companies, to a certain extent,
already conduct their business by looking at their net balance sheet
(Net Profit). It wouldn’t make sense for you to look only at the fact
that you had made $10,000 in sales (Gross Profit) one month, but neglect
the cost incurred in materials and labour of $45,000. Unfortunately this
is the kind of logic that has taken hold of our policy makers as they
rely on the antiquated and dangerously limited GDP as a measure of
progress.

Here is a good example that GPI Atlantic
(http://www.gpiatlantic.org/publications/abstracts/fisheries-ab.htm)
provided on their website:

“In the late 1980s, Nova Scotia’s fishery for cod and other groundfish
seemed to be booming. The media reported steady catches, high exports,
and strong contributions of the fishery to the province’s Gross
Domestic Product (GDP), the conventional measuring stick of the
economy.

A few years later, many fisheries were collapsing and the fabric of
many coastal communities began to unravel. Our conventional economic
measuring sticks – such as catches, exports and GDP – did not warn of
the impending disaster. While catches were kept high, the decline of
the groundfish stocks remained hidden from public view, as we focused
excessively on a narrow set of economic measures that failed to
incorporate all that we value in the fishery – notably healthy fish
stocks within a healthy ecosystem, supporting strong fishing
communities and a sustainable fishing economy.”

Hopefully Avaneya will be able to make the GPI a household term and also
make people think twice when they hear policy makers cite the GDP as the
basis for something.

I wouldn’t say the GDP is the root of all evil, but it certainly
contributes to more messes than most things by providing short term
gains at the cost of mortgaging much larger losses into the future. It’s
had a free ride for decades and Avaneya will try to contribute to
putting an end to it.

6. What is the big differences between Avaneya and Simcity from user perspective ?
Except environment you have mentioned “human rights” and “social “justice”
… can you explain in more depth ?

Since the GPI is very holistic in nature, it measures many things. If
you produce, say, a $1,000,000 worth of goods and services, but it came
at a cost of that same amount in costs incurred through crime and
pollution, then the GPI will be zero. Any rational individual looking at
that will know immediately that things aren’t working properly and
something needs to be changed.

Since the end of the Second World War, we’ve seen the GDP in most
developed countries, on average, continue to rise. One would think that
kind of economic growth would be good. But as it turns out, household
debt (at least in my country), pollution, lack of satisfaction with
one’s career, potable drinking water, air quality, divorce, dangerous
foods, and so on all continue to be compromised. If people are worried
about their next meal or the air they are breathing, they are not free
and things generally continue to degrade from there on.

So as you probably see now, it will be similar to classical city
building games like SimCity, but aim to have much more breadth and depth
with far more metrics involved. I hope that answers that.

7. Will there be any combat at all ?
How will a winner be defined in an online game ?

Winning is something I need to determine. Remember that in SimCity for
SNES, while there were some scenarios that had goals, like surviving a
natural disaster, there was also a mode where you just built and
maintained your city. You could spend hours beautifying it or
experimenting. That is one mode.

The other scenarios I will leave up to the community to provide through
the engine’s Lua based interface. Want to see the effects of
McDonaldization or Coca-Cola in your city? No problem. However, some
scenarios will be official and distributed with the game. That way there
is already high quality content with goals that vary from scenario to
scenario, and also the process of creating new scenarios is documented
via the existing ones.

8. The game takes place on Mars – wouldn’t the materials be different there ?
What about life forms ?
I mean – Mars shouldn’t act like earth, what we know about earth
doesn’t necessary apply to other planets.

Absolutely. That is partially why I chose Mars in the first place -
because it affords more of a creative license for some things.

Nevertheless, many things will still be the same. Mars is comparable in
many respects to Earth, but the people there will be absolutely
identical in terms of their actual needs to their terrestrial
counterparts. They still need water, oxygen, food, shelter, a means of
sustenance, security, and so on.

As for non-terrestrial life forms, all I will say is that, if they do
make a presence in the game, it will be as consistent as possible with
the most plausible of scientific hypotheses regarding potential life on
Mars. I won’t say more about that now though.

Thank you Kip for this wonderful interview !
I hope we will hear more about Avaneya and in time more interviews will be made.
For more QA about Avaneya, don’t hesitate to read the FAQ on the projects website !

And if you want to contribute to this FOSS project, don’t hesitate to contact Kip :
kip [at] thevertigo (dot) com

Links
LGN News-flash about Avaneya
Avaneya
Avaneya FAQ

Avaneya is a science fiction FOSS game exclusively for the GNU/Linux platform.
It focuses on social justice, human rights,city building, adventure, strategy, economics and sustainability amidst a Martian planetary setting in the future.

This project was started 8 months ago by Kip and expected to be finished within 3 years.
This is a very unique game project because of several things :

1. Avaneya will be released under the GPLv3 license and the content of the game under the Creative Commons, thus making it free for all.
Kip the man who started the project is very passionate about free software, he just couldn’t go against his believes by closing his game and surrendering to the “dark side”.

2. Avaneya will be compiled exclusively for the GNU/Linux platform.
Kip doesn’t want to lock the users in chains of the non-free OS’s like Windows or MacOS, thus he won’t compile Avaneya to run on those platforms.
although because Avaneya is free software other ports might be made by other people.
This reminds me of other developers who developed AstroMenace, the GNU/Linux version is free and the source code is available under the GPLv2, but the Windows version costs money.
Funny enough that even as the source code is free none compiled a free Windows version of that game.
“Since we consider it unethical to encourage people to use non-free software, it is unlikely that the primary maintainers will undertake such an endeavour. However, it would also be unethical to deliberately design it in such a way so as to hinder porting to non-free platforms. Thus, since Avaneya will rely on portable libraries, it shouldn’t be unreasonable for someone in the community to do this if they do not share our values.

3. Avaneya will offer a new economic model, the single player campaign will be free, but in order to be able to play online at the official servers you will have to subscribe, which costs money.
Some people have tried to make a living out of FOSS games, while this is more then possible with programs and GNU/Linux distributions, with games it was always challenging.
There was one small company named “Sixth Floor Labs” which made a space shooter and offered to release it under the GPL for $39960, but the project failed because the game wasn’t better then what we already had released as FOSS, and the amount of money they asked was ridiculously high for their game.
Avaneya on the other hand will try a different approach, the game will be fully freed under the GPLv3 but the online play on the official servers will cost money via subscription.
There already were topics about this issue on some forums (can you make such model economically viable ?, what keeps the users from forming their own free server and play there ?), so it would be very interesting to see in practice.
Some who prefer not to challenge the status quo, argue that commercial free software, especially with respect to games, is not sustainable. One of the goals of the Avaneya project is to prove otherwise and we are hell bent on doing this

4. Avaneya is very wide game in terms of gameplay and might not fit into a single category like “RTS” :
The philosophy that drives Avaneya is to assist users unlearn some things, learn other things, and enjoy the process of transition.
Avaneya will combine elements of a science fiction real time strategy, adventure, and some of those of the classical city building and management genre. The setting is on the Martian surface.
The environment will aim to be rich, three dimensional, and possibly even based on real topographical data obtained from the Mars Global Surveyor’s orbital laser altimeter. NASA has provided the data into the public domain (that is, not copyrighted) and in a free format. They chose deliberately not to store it in a proprietary format in order to “ensure the long-term viability of the data”. A technical issue, however, is whether the spatial resolution will be sufficient to render it useful for Avaneya.
A major distinguishing characteristic of Avaneya with respect to traditional RTS and city building / management games is the sense of awareness the user experiences of externalities in game play.
In other games, it may be possible (even encouraged) to bulldoze large amounts of natural capital to accommodate the expansion of a city. Through the perspective of GDP, strictly an income sheet, this may appear beneficial to your society.
Viewed through the perspective of the GPI as a net balance sheet, however, one is left with a different impression of very costly ramifications. Bulldozing your natural capital would have deferred greater costs than those immediately amassed by mortgaging them into the future.
The dumbing down of our perception of reality, which is ubiquitous in the software entertainment industry, is necessary, for among other reasons, to accommodate the limitations of finite computing machinery. Nevertheless, if we tell a lie loud enough and long enough of this sort, we may eventually find ourselves strangers to the reality we were born into.
George Box once noted that all models are wrong, but some are useful. Avaneya aims to be useful.

There is a lot to be expected from Avaneya, read their FAQ for more info and stay tuned for the interview with Kip and updated on this wonderful project !

Links
Avaneya
Avaneya FAQ

The FREE GPLed Arena FPS game Nexuiz from Alientrap has going trough some major changes …and it doesn’t seems good.

The founder of the Nexuiz project with many of it’s major contributors agreed to “sell” their domain and GPLed sources to IllFonic, LLC.
While the GPLed Nexuiz will remain free the “New” Nexuiz (which is developed for the consoles) will be closed source.

From the IGN article :

Illfonic Brings Underground Arena FPS, Nexuiz to Console Gamers
Cult futuristic based shooter coming to consoles in 2010.

March 2, 2010 – LOS ANGELES – Independent developer and publisher, IllFonic, announced today its plans to launch the futuristic arena first-person shooter Nexuiz across downloadable console platforms in 2010. Originally developed by Alientrap Software as a free open source shooter in 2005 for the PC, Nexuiz has been downloaded by over 4 million unique users. IllFonic’s remake of Nexuiz for console gamers features a new Victorian influenced art style that is simultaneously futuristic and sophisticated.

“Since its launch in 2005, Nexuiz has become a cult hit with hardcore arena FPS players from around the globe”, said Chuck Brungardt, President of IllFonic. “With its unique setting, new features, and slick ranking system we are looking forward to bringing Nexuiz to a new community of console gamers.”

“IllFonic is not only introducing Nexuiz to an entirely new set of gamers, but also completely updating the graphics for the next generation while staying true to the gameplay refined over the years through open source development”, said Lee Vermeulen owner of Alientrap Software and creator of Nexuiz.

For centuries the Kavussari and Forsellians have waged a galactic war. Over time the two races entered into treaties with the Herald Accord, a union between different cultures in the galaxy. Even though peace settled across their planets, the seething hatred between the races kept the fire of war simmering under the fragile truce. Sensing their newest members could spread war throughout the galaxy; the Herald Accord gave the Kavussari and Forsellians a choice. Pit their warriors against each other in the arena rather than on the fields of war, or face total annihilation. The Nexuiz was formed, a series of battle arenas on the home planets of the Kavussari, Forsellian and the ruined planet of Atavirta.

Nexuiz is a fast paced Arena first-person shooter with extremely competitive game play made specifically for consoles. The game will feature a mutator system that allows players to change the rules of the match; as players rank, new mutators become available for them to use. Leader boards are designed for social networking, letting players feel more engaged with the community.

Nexuiz features a heavyweight soundtrack from artists including Flying Lotus, Dam Funk and Trisector. On launch Nexuiz will feature multiplayer modes including Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag. New games modes, models, and maps will be available as downloadable content post release.

IllFonic will be showcasing Nexuiz at this year’s Game Developer Conference in San Francisco.

For more information on Nexuiz, go to www.nexuiz.com or www.illfonic.com.

About IllFonic:
IllFonic, LLC, was founded in 2007 by musician Raphael Saadiq, engineer Chuck Brungardt, and game designer Kedhrin Gonzalez. IllFonic is committed to delivering AAA games digitally to consoles and PC at an affordable price. IllFonic utilizes many avenues in pop culture to cross brand its products in film, television, sports, music, and clothing. With offices in Los Angeles and Denver, IllFonic has built a team of artists, developers, producers, and musicians that believe providing fun game-play means conveying the highest level of visual awe, an immersive environment and a sick soundtrack. For more information on the company, go to www.illfonic.com.

About Alientrap:
Alientrap Software was founded in 2002 by Lee Vermeulen and is an online community of international game developers. They are currently working on their second title, Capsized, for release to console and PC platforms through digital distribution.

Here is what Kedhrin Gonzalez the Lead Designer and Co-Founder of IllFonic, LLC has to say about that :

Hello all,

My name is Kedhrin Gonzalez, Lead Designer and Co-Founder of IllFonic, LLC. I know a lot of you in this community have a lot of questions as to what is going on with the recent announcement.

Before we get started, I’d like to forward you guys the official press release -> http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/107/1073381p1.html

Here is some press recently put up from Shogun Gamer -> http://www.shogungamer.com/news/preview … ect-nexuiz

You can view higher resolution screen-shots we released last night on gamespot -> http://www.gamespot.com/ps3/action/nexu … ow;thumb;3

So after we put the site up at Midnight MST (-8:00), I got on the #nexuiz IRC chat room to see what some of the concerns you guys in the community had. I’ll try my best to address as many questions as I can.

Firstly, I’d like to mention who I am. I’ve been involved within the independent community since 1997. I started off with Quake and moved my way through mod communities, eventually getting involved with independent full games – then getting into professional game development. I fully understand and can relate to the concerns you guys have about this project and how this effects the game you love and have worked on for so long. Some of you may have heard of my personal project ‘Quake 10 Year’ I was working on in 2006. With that said I want to support you guys as much as I can. Let me be very clear that it is not our intention to snuff the GPL Free Nexuiz out in any way.

IllFonic was started 2 years ago by myself, Charles Brungardt (President) and Raphael Saadiq. When we first started our studio, we focused on making a game called ‘Ghetto Golf’. This game is still in production, using Unreal Engine 3 as its backbone. Our team includes many Quake based developers – including Paul ‘Echon’ Jackson as our Lead Programmer (Author EGL Quake 2 engine and admin of Quakedev.net), Forest ‘LordHavoc’ Hale (Author DarkPlaces and huge contributor to GPL Nexuiz), Chris Holden as our Lead Artist, who started his professional career working on the Quake 2 Extremities mission pack. After playing Nexuiz, seeing it grow, I saw this project as being a great milestone for us to open our publishing arm to independent projects. Nexuiz has achieved a lot of great things, which you guys should be very proud of. This is the next chapter in the achievements you guys have accomplished.

Let’s be very clear on some specific bullet points.

- We’ve worked out the deals with Alien Trap and Dark Places for our version of Nexuiz. All parties are very supportive and eager to get behind bringing this to the console. I’m not the person to talk to about Legal stuff but we are definitely working together.

- Think of this Nexuiz as a 100% separate entity from the Nexuiz you guys know and love. The game play in our version of Nexuiz is very similar. However, in order to properly port it over to consoles we’ve tweaked a few things here and there – we want to make sure this is a different project (yet still similar) out of respect for your version of Nexuiz. There are no plans at this time to make content we make, including source code, open to the public. Please keep in mind we are spending a lot of money on this project, my team and I have been slaving away on this for the past 2 months – working 12+ hours 7 days a week in order to get it to where it is. We are very passionate about this project as well.

- I know this will come as a shock to some of you. I apologize for us having to keep this in the dark from you guys for so long. Some of you felt offended by this project being kept in the dark. Let me personally say this was not our intent. If anything, we want you guys to feel great about the things we are doing. We had to keep things in the dark until we locked in the rights from Dark Places and Alien Trap.

Here are some perks for you guys with what this project will bring.

- We are using a Licensed version of Dark Places. With that, a lot of the tweaks LordHavoc is doing will be brought to you guys in the engine. These include a lot of performance boosts, features, etc. Although right now the focus is getting this project running and looking great on consoles, there are a lot of things he will be able to trickle down into the GPL version of Nexuiz. Please note: not everything will be brought over but some will.

- We will be talking about the community and game you’ve developed over the years to Press and within our marketing material. It is even mentioned on the new web-site, which will be growing over time. We have this web-site as Nexuiz.com because we are launching a commercial product. Please keep in mind there will be a lot of new players, press and more coming to this web-site for information about our version of Nexuiz. The GPL Nexuiz is still linked on this web-site. This is necessary for the commercial marketing of the project. Our projections show you guys will actually get more players in the GPL version of Nexuiz through all of this than not. I know it feels like you guys are in danger of losing your community, but I trust you will see you are not. In time, I believe firmly you will see the benefits from this.

- AlienTrap is not empty handed in our deal. As much as I’d love to recommend things, it is not my place to suggest what you guys do with your version of GPL Nexuiz or AlienTrap. Concerns such as those should be directed at AlienTrap and not IllFonic.

Ok, let’s get into what exactly this project is…

The Name: We decided to keep the name ‘Nexuiz’ for this release because the audience coming to the console version of Nexuiz will mostly be new to the game. There is a great divide amongst the new FPS Console crowd born out of the explosion of recent mega-hit FPS games on consoles. I can’t mention here other mods and independent games turned into commercial games, but I’m sure some of you guys could name quiet a few. In my MOD days, it was always a dream to get your work picked up by a studio and turned into a commercial game. I know it’s not like that for all of you. Some of you pride yourself on your work and proving that an independent scene can still exist. Our version of Nexuiz is targeting console players only right now. I cannot go into specifics about my speculations, but a lot of great things are possible for you guys out of this.

Console: Some press reported we are targetting the Wii. This is not true. There is no way this game could be played on a Wii without drastically changing the game…. We have no plans for a Wii release at this time. With thumbstick play, what makes Nexuiz great can be lost. (I cannot discuss what consoles right now) Nexuiz is very fast paced, and if you play GPL Nexuiz right now on PC with thumb sticks – you will be dominated most of the time. There are no plans for Console Players and PC Players to be playing against each other at this time. No Mouse and Keyboard support will be available on the Console. . We want to capture that twitch game play still. Nexuiz is one of the fastest Arena FPS games out there. We want to make sure that vision is transferred over to Console game play. But, with that some things need to be adjusted. With console games, some players expect certain things and we have to adapt to those needs. While Nexuiz is a PC arena game These changes will be announced soon.

Artistic Revamp: The art in the new version of Nexuiz is done by a small team.We are 3 programmers, 1 Artist, 1 AnimatoHello all,

My name is Kedhrin Gonzalez, Lead Designer and Co-Founder of IllFonic, LLC. I know a lot of you in this community have a lot of questions as to what is going on with the recent announcement.

Before we get started, I’d like to forward you guys the official press release -> http://xbox360.ign.com/articles/107/1073381p1.html

Here is some press recently put up from Shogun Gamer -> http://www.shogungamer.com/news/preview … ect-nexuiz

You can view higher resolution screen-shots we released last night on gamespot -> http://www.gamespot.com/ps3/action/nexu … ow;thumb;3

So after we put the site up at Midnight MST (-8:00), I got on the #nexuiz IRC chat room to see what some of the concerns you guys in the community had. I’ll try my best to address as many questions as I can.

Firstly, I’d like to mention who I am. I’ve been involved within the independent community since 1997. I started off with Quake and moved my way through mod communities, eventually getting involved with independent full games – then getting into professional game development. I fully understand and can relate to the concerns you guys have about this project and how this effects the game you love and have worked on for so long. Some of you may have heard of my personal project ‘Quake 10 Year’ I was working on in 2006. With that said I want to support you guys as much as I can. Let me be very clear that it is not our intention to snuff the GPL Free Nexuiz out in any way.

IllFonic was started 2 years ago by myself, Charles Brungardt (President) and Raphael Saadiq. When we first started our studio, we focused on making a game called ‘Ghetto Golf’. This game is still in production, using Unreal Engine 3 as its backbone. Our team includes many Quake based developers – including Paul ‘Echon’ Jackson as our Lead Programmer (Author EGL Quake 2 engine and admin of Quakedev.net), Forest ‘LordHavoc’ Hale (Author DarkPlaces and huge contributor to GPL Nexuiz), Chris Holden as our Lead Artist, who started his professional career working on the Quake 2 Extremities mission pack. After playing Nexuiz, seeing it grow, I saw this project as being a great milestone for us to open our publishing arm to independent projects. Nexuiz has achieved a lot of great things, which you guys should be very proud of. This is the next chapter in the achievements you guys have accomplished.

Let’s be very clear on some specific bullet points.

- We’ve worked out the deals with Alien Trap and Dark Places for our version of Nexuiz. All parties are very supportive and eager to get behind bringing this to the console. I’m not the person to talk to about Legal stuff but we are definitely working together.

- Think of this Nexuiz as a 100% separate entity from the Nexuiz you guys know and love. The game play in our version of Nexuiz is very similar. However, in order to properly port it over to consoles we’ve tweaked a few things here and there – we want to make sure this is a different project (yet still similar) out of respect for your version of Nexuiz. There are no plans at this time to make content we make, including source code, open to the public. Please keep in mind we are spending a lot of money on this project, my team and I have been slaving away on this for the past 2 months – working 12+ hours 7 days a week in order to get it to where it is. We are very passionate about this project as well.

- I know this will come as a shock to some of you. I apologize for us having to keep this in the dark from you guys for so long. Some of you felt offended by this project being kept in the dark. Let me personally say this was not our intent. If anything, we want you guys to feel great about the things we are doing. We had to keep things in the dark until we locked in the rights from Dark Places and Alien Trap.

Here are some perks for you guys with what this project will bring.

- We are using a Licensed version of Dark Places. With that, a lot of the tweaks LordHavoc is doing will be brought to you guys in the engine. These include a lot of performance boosts, features, etc. Although right now the focus is getting this project running and looking great on consoles, there are a lot of things he will be able to trickle down into the GPL version of Nexuiz. Please note: not everything will be brought over but some will.

- We will be talking about the community and game you’ve developed over the years to Press and within our marketing material. It is even mentioned on the new web-site, which will be growing over time. We have this web-site as Nexuiz.com because we are launching a commercial product. Please keep in mind there will be a lot of new players, press and more coming to this web-site for information about our version of Nexuiz. The GPL Nexuiz is still linked on this web-site. This is necessary for the commercial marketing of the project. Our projections show you guys will actually get more players in the GPL version of Nexuiz through all of this than not. I know it feels like you guys are in danger of losing your community, but I trust you will see you are not. In time, I believe firmly you will see the benefits from this.

- AlienTrap is not empty handed in our deal. As much as I’d love to recommend things, it is not my place to suggest what you guys do with your version of GPL Nexuiz or AlienTrap. Concerns such as those should be directed at AlienTrap and not IllFonic.

Ok, let’s get into what exactly this project is…

The Name: We decided to keep the name ‘Nexuiz’ for this release because the audience coming to the console version of Nexuiz will mostly be new to the game. There is a great divide amongst the new FPS Console crowd born out of the explosion of recent mega-hit FPS games on consoles. I can’t mention here other mods and independent games turned into commercial games, but I’m sure some of you guys could name quiet a few. In my MOD days, it was always a dream to get your work picked up by a studio and turned into a commercial game. I know it’s not like that for all of you. Some of you pride yourself on your work and proving that an independent scene can still exist. Our version of Nexuiz is targeting console players only right now. I cannot go into specifics about my speculations, but a lot of great things are possible for you guys out of this.

Console: Some press reported we are targetting the Wii. This is not true. There is no way this game could be played on a Wii without drastically changing the game…. We have no plans for a Wii release at this time. With thumbstick play, what makes Nexuiz great can be lost. (I cannot discuss what consoles right now) Nexuiz is very fast paced, and if you play GPL Nexuiz right now on PC with thumb sticks – you will be dominated most of the time. There are no plans for Console Players and PC Players to be playing against each other at this time. No Mouse and Keyboard support will be available on the Console. . We want to capture that twitch game play still. Nexuiz is one of the fastest Arena FPS games out there. We want to make sure that vision is transferred over to Console game play. But, with that some things need to be adjusted. With console games, some players expect certain things and we have to adapt to those needs. While Nexuiz is a PC arena game These changes will be announced soon.

Artistic Revamp: The art in the new version of Nexuiz is done by a small team.We are 3 programmers, 1 Artist, 1 Animator and 1 Designer right now (Full-time In house) and have a motion capture animation system. Our characters/weapons are modeled by Art Bully Productions (http://www.artbullyproductions.com). Keep in mind our team is extremely small. What you’re seeing is the work from this team, and the hired backing of Art Bully Productions and a few freelancers in 2 months. I am very proud of our team and what we’ve pulled off here for the alpha test. And yes, this is running on a console. We made the content a more Victorian elegant Sci-Fi style. More information and content will be revealed over the course of development.

What’s Next:

This is clearly a post directed at you guys specifically. I cannot reveal too much about the game right now other than what has been released. I wanted to let you guys know that we do listen to you. We are not some big corporate mega company coming in who can’t understand where you are coming from.

GDC 2010

This announcement was intended for our build up to GDC this month. At GDC, we have a booth on the floor, here we will be showing press the game and doing a full announcement of the project. Lee Vermeulen and Forest Hale will both be with us during our Press, party and more at GDC. We are very excited to reveal this project to the public and get their hands on the alpha test we have to offer.

In the screenshots, you are seeing 2 character models of the 2 Factions in Nexuiz. The level they are playing on is ‘Strength’ with a new face lift and slight design modifications. The weapons you can see in the screen shots are the Machine Gun, Hagar, Nex, HLAC and Shotgun. There are a lot more things in production, but this is where we are so far.

I am sorry I cannot go into legal matters about our situation. I hope you guys enjoy the version of Nexuiz we are creating. We will be announcing more information soon, as well as putting our official IllFonic site back up soon.

I’d like to invite you guys to follow us on Twitter and Facebook (look up IllFonic). Also, you can add me personally on myspace via http://www.myspace.com/kedhrin where i post updates as they come from press, events, etc.

I will try to check back on this forum periodically. I am still very busy but wanted to take the time to introduce myself, IllFonic and what we’re doing. I expect there to be a tidal wave of questions asked when I post this. So please don’t be offended if I’m not able to get to them all and not in a timely manner. We’re still crunching for GDC, we want to make sure this looks as great as it can and we bring as many players to Nexuiz as we can.

Thanks,

Kedhrinr and 1 Designer right now (Full-time In house) and have a motion capture animation system. Our characters/weapons are modeled by Art Bully Productions (http://www.artbullyproductions.com). Keep in mind our team is extremely small. What you’re seeing is the work from this team, and the hired backing of Art Bully Productions and a few freelancers in 2 months. I am very proud of our team and what we’ve pulled off here for the alpha test. And yes, this is running on a console. We made the content a more Victorian elegant Sci-Fi style. More information and content will be revealed over the course of development.

What’s Next:

This is clearly a post directed at you guys specifically. I cannot reveal too much about the game right now other than what has been released. I wanted to let you guys know that we do listen to you. We are not some big corporate mega company coming in who can’t understand where you are coming from.

GDC 2010

This announcement was intended for our build up to GDC this month. At GDC, we have a booth on the floor, here we will be showing press the game and doing a full announcement of the project. Lee Vermeulen and Forest Hale will both be with us during our Press, party and more at GDC. We are very excited to reveal this project to the public and get their hands on the alpha test we have to offer.

In the screenshots, you are seeing 2 character models of the 2 Factions in Nexuiz. The level they are playing on is ‘Strength’ with a new face lift and slight design modifications. The weapons you can see in the screen shots are the Machine Gun, Hagar, Nex, HLAC and Shotgun. There are a lot more things in production, but this is where we are so far.

I am sorry I cannot go into legal matters about our situation. I hope you guys enjoy the version of Nexuiz we are creating. We will be announcing more information soon, as well as putting our official IllFonic site back up soon.

I’d like to invite you guys to follow us on Twitter and Facebook (look up IllFonic). Also, you can add me personally on myspace via http://www.myspace.com/kedhrin where i post updates as they come from press, events, etc.

I will try to check back on this forum periodically. I am still very busy but wanted to take the time to introduce myself, IllFonic and what we’re doing. I expect there to be a tidal wave of questions asked when I post this. So please don’t be offended if I’m not able to get to them all and not in a timely manner. We’re still crunching for GDC, we want to make sure this looks as great as it can and we bring as many players to Nexuiz as we can.

Thanks,

Kedhrin”

Some-Guy asked IllFonic, LLC this question :

Is there any chance that some artwork/code could be opensourced, maybe something like how id has done (release, after a while opensource the code) ?

And got this answer :
Right now releasing things to the public is uncertain. There are a lot of things related to the SDK’s for the consoles, etc. that do not allow for GPL usage. You have to keep in mind the content we are creating is a lot different than the content made for GPL Nexuiz. I know you guys would love to see it there. I just cannot give you a definitive answer on this right now.
In other answer he said :
At present we have no plans to change the Nexuiz name or distribute our content to the GPL Nexuiz.

Also they would contrebute parts of their code to the GPLed Nexuiz project :
I’m from the open source community. I know all about it, and where you guys are coming from and why you’re making the points you are. However, what we are doing is not open sourced. Yes this is a commercial project. Things are done differently. We’ve made up our minds on a lot of things. I want to discuss why we’re doing things specific ways where I can. Some things we can shift on that aren’t a big deal. Some things we cannot. That’s just how it is. I know there are hardcore, gun-ho open-source people in this community who pride themselves on being involved with a Free Game. I respect them I do, but at the end of the day I want to give players a great experience and support developers where I can. I cannot make everyone happy.

That’s why I keep saying we’re separate entities. We are not touching GPL Nexuiz in a bad way. But the benefits you guys will see from our development will be on the tech side. Game Design changes and features are my design and part of this new Nexuiz. There are a lot of things that will be coming your way that we have been working on with LordHavoc on the engine. You guys will see these changes and it will make your experience better on GPL Nexuiz.

If you’re concerned about you getting a gain from this deal because you contributed so much – IllFonic is not responsible for that.

…We have many things planned for the community existing, including giving away some of our hard work on the source code – for free, crediting the original community in the credits (as supplied by the community) as well as Beta Invites and potentially free copies of the game. These are things I can talk about and want to talk about. As well as much much more, including features, how we work, what our work flow is etc…The texture pack may not be relevant as most textures that could be used for BSP are rather simple. Almost all of our textures are made for custom unwraps, some are tiling but I don’t see how you could use them without a massive global revamp of all your assets (like what we’re doing). The player models may be possible – keep in mind when we acted these animations out we kept in mind the armor on our character concepts. So they may not be too good. However, we do have a shit ton of extra mocap animations that do require animations. We can also potentially offer tutorials on how to use the new animation system (which allow for upper and lower body blends as well as other improvements). This is further down the road, however.

About the legality of this move the main community contributors / project managers and IllFonic, LLC keep their silence as it’s under NDA.
But other FOSS enthusiastic had what to say…and it’s still doesn’t sounds good…

[First of all, a disclaimer: I'm nobody. I don't play Nexuiz regularly, I can't claim to be a member of this community, I'm not a developer, nor a contributor of any kind. I have no affiliations to anybody related to Nexuiz.

I'm just a guy with some understanding of the issues regarding the Nexuiz relicense and a hobby-level interest in FOSS and software licenses. I'm also part of a fellow game community (Tremulous) so I can empathize with you guys.

I'd like to share my knowledge. I'm hoping it will clear the air. I'm putting some time and thought into this so please read it through at least once. (If you don't have the time, I've marked key ideas so you can skim through.) Thank you.]

1. IS WHAT HAPPENED LEGAL?

What makes up Nexuiz, the game:
* The engine (Dark Places).
* The game data (artwork, maps, models, textures, sounds etc.)
* The name.

1.1 IS TRANSFERING OWNERSHIP OF THE ENGINE AND DATA LEGAL?

Yes.

The engine and the game data fall under copyright law. Since Illfonic claims to have signed contracts with certain legal entities regarding the engine and game data, it automatically means (in order for the contracts to make sense) that the legal entities they signed with were the sole copyright holders for their respective stuff (source code, artwork etc.)

It has been mentioned above that SVN access to the Dark Places engine source code was conditioned by assigning all copyright to Forest Hale or Alien Trap (the company). That would make Forest Hale/Alien Trap and ID Software (the original developer) the sole copyright holders. Also, it has been mentioned in this thread that Illfonic got in touch and secured rights from the relevant copyright holders for the game data (maybe all of it, maybe just the parts that interested them).

If all that is true, it means that Illfonic now has a legal right to the engine and the game data. Of course, that may mean lots of things. The terms of the contracts are unknown; there may be more (or less) involved than full copyright transfer. There may be just licensees, with certain rights.

Nevermind. What it means is that Illfonic got a copy of the engine and data with which they can do as they please.

Note: If something slipped by and there are pieces of code or artwork for which Illfonic doesn’t have the rights, the copyright holders for those pieces may raise some legal claim. That is pure speculation without any proof. Occam’s Razor suggests that Illfonic will have taken all precautions. Then again, there’s human error, laziness and stupidity. If any of you wishes to investigate further, do so.

1.2 IS TAKING OVER THE “NEXUIZ” NAME LEGAL?

Yes.

Names/brands fall under trademark law, not copyright. To have the rights to a trademark, you have to register it, and you have to actively protect it, in order to be able to claim rights to it and not lose those rights by being idle about it.

AFAIK, Alien Trap owns a trademark for “Nexuiz”. Presumably, they have transferred it to Illfonic (or otherwise permitted them to use it, possibly exclusively). That means that Illfonic has a legal right to the name “Nexuiz”. You, the community, have none. You have a moral right, sure, but I’m afraid that doesn’t count, legally.

2. WHAT HAPPENS NOW?

2.1 WHAT HAPPENS TO THE NAME “NEXUIZ”?

The trademark owner gets to decide who can and who cannot use the name. I have no idea what Illfonic intends to do, but please understand that as the trademark owner they could very well require everybody else to simply stop using “Nexuiz” dead cold. Even more, as a commercial company they will be forced, to at least some extent, to aggressively protect this brand they now own, from their competition.

If that happens, the community won’t be able to use it anymore. They will have to find another name. And Illfonic will be able, legally, to make sure it’s not too similar a name. Sorry. You have no choice in the matter. So you might as well stop proposing that Illfonic give up the name or let you use it. It. Won’t. Happen.

Of course, I don’t know what will happen. Since Kedhrin talks about a “GPL Nexuiz” it might hint that the community may be permitted to keep on using the name, at least for a while. Again, it might not.

Worst case scenario: the game you know and love as “Nexuiz” will have to be called something completely different in the future. Live with it.

2.2 WHAT HAPPENS TO THE ENGINE AND GAME DATA?

Nothing. Yes, that’s right.

Why nothing? You have to understand how licensing works.

A person (or other legal entity, such as a company) creates something (code, artwork, etc.) In most countries, the creator automatically becomes the copyright holder. You can also aquire the copyright from the holder (presumably that’s what Illfonic did).

The creator has full rights to the stuff they created, and other people have none. So, in order for other people to be able to do anything with that stuff, the creator gives them a license which allows them to do certain things.

The creator can give how many licenses he wants, and they can be different licenses for different people.

In this case, Alien Trap and ID Software already gave the world at large the Dark Places engine under the GPL license. Then they also issued another license (or transferred copyright ownership altogether, which would mean they stop being the holders) to Illfonic.

But the interesting thing is that copies of the stuff that was already distributed under GPL cannot be “recalled”. You cannot go back and say that you want all those copies destroyed, returned, require people to stop using them or developing them etc. Same goes for the game data.

Basically, there’s absolutely nothing anybody can do to stop the community from picking up from the last official release of Dark Engines and the release of the game data and keep on going.

Look at it like this. Nexuiz, as you all know and love it, is now twins. One brother goes to live with uncle Illfonic and one stays at home. They both start from the same place. They are identical. But they will evolve in different ways in the future. How — that depends on you, the community, vs Illfonic. Each party will take their twin in a different direction.

You haven’t lost anything. Illfonic cannot take anything from you. If their game becomes a success and yours dissapears it will be mainly because of what you do, not about what they do. Here’s hoping they both will do great.

2.3 WHAT HAPPENS TO THE WEB SITES AND DOMAINS?

Unfortunately, the trademark owner controls all kinds of uses of the brand. This includes domain names. This means that, worst case scenario, all domains that contain “Nexuiz” and are deemed undesirable by Illfonic can be asked to give it up or get sued otherwise.

Nexuiz.com is currently owned by Lee. I assume it will be formally passed over to Illfonic representatives. They own the website now and Kedhrin has already mentioned some of the plans they have for it. Be content with the small type mention of “GPL Nexuiz”. IMHO, it will be gone at some point.

alientrap.org is also owned by Lee, and the website too. This means the forum, the website etc. You, the community, have to ask yourselves what ties remain between you and Alien Trap. Because, should the worst come to pass, you may discover that you are now strangers on a stranger’s website. This means that an important part of what makes the community (the website) may cease to exist.

I’m not saying it will happen (soon, or ever). But it can and it might. You have to face reality.

3. WHAT SHOULD THE COMMUNITY DO

Please note that these are just mere suggestions.

* Keep the goodwill going between the community and Illfonic/Alien Trap. If for nothing else but for the fact that you can do a lot of harm to them and them to you. But it doesn’t need to be like that. They don’t have to wipe you out, and you don’t have to call them names and say they “stole” things.

* Identify your de-facto leaders. Then see which of them will take responsability in these trying times and are willing to actually lead you.

* Start thinking of a new name. Pick one ASAP.

* Get organized. You will need a domain name, a website, and a forum first of all. Get cracking on moving the forum contents from Alien Trap to your own site and your own install of phpBB (if Alien Trap will be willing to assist you). Start migrating contents (downloads, screenshot galleries etc.) to the new site. Then you will need all kinds of developer tools (code repository, bug tracker etc.) Here’s a suggestion: you can start at SourceForge, which offers all of these things (and more) for free.

* Learn from what happened here. If you don’t want this to happen again, make sure in the future that no single person or group of persons has full control. I don’t know if the Nexuiz community is big enough, strong enough and dedicated enough to put together a legal entity to represent their interests in the future. I’m talking about an organization, an association, a foundation etc. with a publicly elected board of directors. There are other FOSS projects that do this. It certainly would simplify legal matters and make sure the community is represented from now on properly. Or, you can put your trust in a handful of people and hope for the best. There’s even more FOSS projects that do that.

Thanks for reading.

The Nexuiz community however wrote an open letter to IllFonic, LLC :

To whom it may concern,

We, the Free, Open Source Nexuiz community, are writing this letter to all the people out there, who actually care. On the 1st of March 2010, we were all struck by very unexpected and sad news: Lee Vermeulen, the founder of our beloved open-source game “Nexuiz” had sold (//maybe: “given away” is better here) the domain “nexuiz.com” and licensed the title “Nexuiz” to the Colorado-based video game developer “Illfonic”. Illfonic is currently working on a first person shooter to be published under the name “Nexuiz” for consoles.

The founder of Nexuiz, Lee Vermeulen stopped contributing regularly to the project four years ago. The Nexuiz project evolved through contributions of countless developers, artists, musicians and player feedback into a game that is perceived as one of the most successful open source projects of its genre, making its way into official benchmarks of Phoronix and GPU producer NVIDIA.

(//is that (the NVIDIA part) really true? Heard about it, too lazy to verify myself atm.
// Nexuiz is part of the Phoronix benchmark suite. Can’t comment on nvidia having their
// own benchmark that uses nexuiz
// FruitieX: Yep, Phoronix part is sure, dunno about NVIDIA, really need confirmation for that

###Lee Vermeulen claimed he was confined by a Non-Disclosure-Agreement which he and “Illfonic” signed.//I’d say this is irrelevant because an NDA is something you agree to anyway.)

The community was told that there was something “great” about to happen to the main domain “nexuiz.com”. It was more than a shock for most people in the community to discover what happened on the 1st of March 2010: a group of software developers named “Illfonic” revealed that they are planning a console mockup of the game the Nexuiz community created with lots of love and passion over the years. Besides making use of community-developed code that was licensed under the GPL, giving rise to debates about license violations, Illfonic also intends to publish its console game with exactly the same title, while claiming it would be a good thing for the Nexuiz community to happen*.

//*= “be a good thing for tho nexuiz community as a whole”?
//*=it turns
It turned* out that some of the main developers had been asked if they would object to parts of their code being commercially re-used, and they gave their permission to such re-usage. None of the developers were informed that the commercial re-usage of the code would involve the commercial usage of the name “Nexuiz”.

On March 3rd in 2010 Kedhrin Gonzalez – “Lead Designer and Co-Founder of IllFonic, LLC” posted on the official Alientrap Nexuiz boards: “I know this will come as a shock to some of you. I apologize for us having to keep this in the dark from you guys for so long. Some of you felt offended by this project being kept in the dark. Let me personally say this was not our intent. If anything, we want you guys to feel great about the things we are doing. We had to keep things in the dark until we locked in the rights from Dark Places and Alien Trap.”

After the immediate uproar from the community, suggestions arose as to how a peaceful coexistence could be realised.* To avoid confusion it was suggested that Illfonic uses any kind of derivative name or a suffix in connection with the title “Nexuiz”. Any approaches on part of the Nexuiz community to reach a compromise were rejected and Illfonic refused to cooperate in any way:
//*This sentence does not flow well. Suggestion: After the immediate uproar, the community brought forward measures that could enable a peaceful coexistence.

“Unfortunately, I have nothing else to say on this thread. I’ve responded in a professional format, way more personal than I usually do in a public forum these days trying to connect with. Unfortunately, I will not listen…” // ( …to demands or snappy comments.”) I’d not quote this, as it suggests there were snappy comments, which I think weren’t (considering the circumstances…). // Don’t start editing any quotes here, leave that part in IMO. //I was referring to the entire quote :o)//well. I think we should not be the judge’s of this. I suggest we move around this issue by supplying urls to what we refer to in the end of the statement and let reality to speak for itself.

Illfonic also made clear that there is no intention of supporting Nexuiz – which Kedhrin Gonzalez began referring to as ‘GPL Nexuiz,’ – in any way. The only benefits for Nexuiz as a result of this deal will ostensibly be game engine updates by Forest “Lord Havoc” Hale, the developer of the Darkplaces engine who also has signed a Non-disclosure agreement with the Illfonic team.

When the thread started to get a high Google rank for the term “Illfonic Nexuiz”, it was locked by Forest “Lord Havoc” Hale, who still is a moderator of the Alientrap forums. This happened on request of Kedhrin Gonzalez. This is a short quote from the official Alientrap developer IRC channel, to show what the situation is about:
// the topic is now unlocked and Lord Havoc said he was also annoyed (for the lack of a better word) by the happenings in the thread. Meaning the reason was not solely Kedhrin’s wish. Of course, it does not mean Kedhrin’s wish was in any way more justified and the paragraph should reflect the immoral way the thread locking was done.

” locked that topic at Kedhrin’s request
-.-
Seriously?
yes
he said it’s the top result on google and looks like it will never end
Meh I think i’m — Meh.
he doesn’t mind people making other topics for it, just that one is becoming too much of a headache for him
Tell him to come to this channel, clearly you’re talking to him from somewhere.
so now he gets to moderate gpl nexuiz forrum?”

All this happened while Kedhrin was still claiming to respect the community. As a free software project, Nexuiz has always been a place of open-minded and respectful people and a place where rational discussion and free speech was held important. Abusing its connections to Alientrap forum moderators to limit or stop the ongoing discussion about the Illfonic project in this way is perceived as an affront and open gesture of disrespect by the Nexuiz community. // “towards the Nexuiz community” sounds better imo? mmh, not sure – I wanted to express that the Nexuiz community perceives this as an affront, not that the general public perceives this as an affront towards the Nexuiz community…
Please feel free to visit the thread that was locked at www.alientrap.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=6043 and find out for yourself if the nature of the discussion deserved this kind of treatment.
//mmm not quite happy with that wording. neither am I. Im pondering this.

This leads to the question, how we, the Nexuiz community, are supposed to feel great about all this? If Illfonic had good intentions like they claim, why did they not arrive and interact with the community much earlier and more openly? Why didn’t Illfonic discuss its plans with the Nexuiz community, the people that have made Nexuiz what it is today both through playing and creating? Without all the work and free time many people have contributed to this project, it would have never become what it is today. Yet, despite all reaffirmations of Illfonic’s goodwill, there was no room for a single compromise on any issues that were raised constructively from the Nexuiz community.

That being said, it is not surprising that the Nexuiz community is shocked and offended by the recent developments. The name “Nexuiz” has a value, which has been built up by community members like divVerent, esteel, Samual, [-z-], Morphed, FruitieX, MrBougo, tZork, mand1nga, Merlijn, C.Brutail and many more. Not to mention the collaborative brainpower of the community that went into this project in the form of feedback, suggestions and discussions about gameplay and game content. These things are of course lacking a ‘papertrail’ of commit logs in svn and such, yet they contribute to the value of the name Nexuiz.

The Nexuiz community objects to this value being sold without giving anything back to the community in return. Illfonic clearly stated there will be no contribution art-wise to the open-source Nexuiz. All the community can hope is that improvements to the Darkplaces engine, made by LordHavoc while porting it to the consoles under contract with “Illfonic”, will be useful on the PC platform. Not a big reward for the harm the whole action has done to the “free software Nexuiz” community.

The Nexuiz community also objects to the name being taken from its project. Having two games published under the same name is just confusing. In case Illfonic refuses to change the name of its project in even the slightest way, the Nexuiz community will be forced to use a different name for the Open Source Nexuiz project for no comprehensible reason.

We hope YOU are interested and willing to support our cause. Spread the word as much as you can on the web, the international* media and of course to your friends, because friends are actually what makes a community what it is.
//* Really? “media” would be enough in my opinion. Unlikely that the NY Times will pick it up.

As the direct communication with Illfonic seems to have failed, we really hope the pressure of publicity will be able to turn things around for the better as a last resort. The game is NOT published yet, so effectively Illfonic should still be able to get out of this situation by adding at least a suffix or subtitle to the game title.

Don’t get this wrong, we don’t think the console version of Nexuiz is a bad idea in general and we are not against Lee Vermeulen, LordHavoc and other parcticipating developers making a little profit out of Nexuiz. They have done great work for the community in the past and still today – Nexuiz would not be what it is without their achievements and contributions. We would like to express our respect and gratitude about their fantastic work.

// This next paragraph is confusing IMO, maybe leave out?
We are just disappointed and sad about the way things were handled. On one side, the Nexuiz developers, emphasize the community and the Free Software roots they are all coming from, and speculate about respect for all the members, fans and freaks around the Nexuiz scene, and in the end little to no respect is shown for what this community established over all the years. Effectivley hijacking its fine label for a commercial console port without telling a single word, until it was all set.

What are the Nexuiz community’s suggestions?
//Th

We suggest that both games don’t share exactly the same title. This would only result in total confusion and would definitely not only harm the community, but also the “commercial Nexuiz” (or FeeNex™, as it is now referred to by some community members), since the marketability of products suffers from such ambiguity. Confusion could be easily avoided by adding any kind suffix or subtitle to the title “Nexuiz”.

Also, we suggest to establish a portal site on nexuiz.com where both games are represented in an equitable way. It only has to be a single page giving the visitor the choice to visit either the commercial console port or the original ‘Free, Open Source Nexuiz’. That way confusion would be easily avoided and the connection between the two projects would become more transparent for the customer. Also, Illfonic’s Nexuiz for console would profit from the publicity and the image of the name Nexuiz all the same.

On behalf of the Free Software Nexuiz Community.


Although it seems legal as the contributors/community gave the rights to the Nexuiz project founders to do what they want with it, even to fork it under a different license, I still think it was morally wrong to do so on the back and hard work of the community.
It was done before with the Ogre3D engine which changed it’s license from GPL to MIT – it was legal, but was it moral ?

Alientrap did not sell the domain name, that’s why I put it in quotes…they simply gave it away.
But they did sell the GPLed source code in the sense that it now could also be used us closed source for their new project.
The original source code will off course remain free as it is.
But what they did sell is the community – which is worse.

I am 100% sure that if they made the community vote for it – the majority would not agree to sell their code.
It’s immoral and against the GPL spirit in the way that Alientrap sells them the code which was made in a big part by the community – and IllFonic, LLC don’t want to give the free project a reasonable share of their work.
They won’t contribute the art that Nexuiz (GPL) is so badly needs, nor major parts of their code – they will only contribute small parts of the engine code – which is pathetic.

I wouldn’t object if the agreement stated that they could use the GPLed code and obeying to it by releasing their game (code and art) as GPL.
Remember that they are developing their game for the consoles – so they have really nothing to lose.
I wouldn’t object if they built their game by themselves from the ground us – I buy proprietary games and see nothing wrong with it.

But when you take from the community – you must give back, if not by license (GPL) then by your morality.
I’m not that mad about IllFonic, LLC – it’s their business to develop and sell games, but Alientrap which basically sold the community – that’s something else.

The question should be how a GPLed project could come to the state of basically changing it’s license and forking the project ?
How can we be sure that the projects we contribute to, won’t fail us in this way ?
And why they let IllFonic, LLC to use the code without the obligation to give anything back ?
I’m not sure all the contributors to Nexuiz were aware of this step – I just can’t believe that all of them would agree to such move.

It’s indeed a sad day that raises much more questions and directly related to other FOSS projects.

It would be interesting to see what the future holds for this wonderful FOSS project and for the fork by IllFonic, LLC .

Links :
Nexuiz (GPL)
Alientrap
“New” Nexuiz
IllFonic, LLC
IGN article about the “new” Nexuiz
Alientrap Thread about Nexuiz Case

Are you a Zelda fan ?
If so then you would be happy to know that a new FOSS project to clone Zelda and fix the “flaws” released it’s first “demo version” .
Mystery of Solarus DX is licensed under the GPL and is available in 4 languages : English, French, German and Dutch !

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3e7t0QvImY&hl=en_US&fs=1&]

Zelda: Mystery of Solarus DX is an enhanced remake of our first creation, Mystery of Solarus. Written in C++, the project was unveiled on April 1st, 2008. Its objectives are to correct the many flaws of its predecessor: the battle system, the bosses, the use of items, etc. However, that is hardly all of of it as new graphical elements and musics will accompany you throughout the game. This Deluxe version will be the opportunity for you to relive the adventure in a brand new way, or even to discover it for the first time if you’ve never played it before!

Screenshots

Links
Mystery of Solarus DX
Downloads
Screenshots
Video

Thank Max Zettlmeissl for letting me know of yet another wonderful game.