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Microsoft Game Studios says: Our Game Assets are Free to Use.

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Posts

  • MechMantisMechMantis Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    So wait...I can't make a Shadowrun RPG because it would be an unofficial sequel?

    Oh well, back to making Less-Than-AdequateLightingSprint.



    Debatable. You could probably still make it, because there really isn't much Shadowrun there anymore.

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  • RaslinRaslin Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Lets read this line more carefully.

    * You can’t add to the game universe or expand on the story told in the game with “lost chapters” or back story or anything like that.

    You can't add to the game universe. Alright. To use an example, lets say someone wanted to make a starcraft FPS(I know, thats blizzard, but its the easiest way I can explain this personally). We all know that the zerg infested Mar Sara, and the terrans had to fight them. We fight in some of these battles in the game. It would be ok then to have a level in the FPS where you play as a terran fighting off the zerg on mar sara. This is something that explicitly happened, you're just showing whats going on in first person basically.

    You cant expand on the story told in the game with “lost chapters” or back story or anything like that. With this rule, the same thing applies. In the aforementioned starcraft fps, this is neither backstory nor "lost chapters". Just another perspective on what happened in the game.

    I also expect that this won't be very important in games like forza, etc, where there is very little story. Or that if you create a multiplayer game, say, in the vein of BF2, but using Halo characters and vehicles, that there will be a problem. There's no story, you aren't changing anything in the story.

    Basically, as far as I can tell, you just have to follow Canon in your creations.

    I cant url good so add me on steam anyways steamcommunity.com/id/Raslin

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  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Raslin wrote: »
    Lets read this line more carefully.

    * You can’t add to the game universe or expand on the story told in the game with “lost chapters” or back story or anything like that.

    You can't add to the game universe. Alright. To use an example, lets say someone wanted to make a starcraft FPS(I know, thats blizzard, but its the easiest way I can explain this personally). We all know that the zerg infested Mar Sara, and the terrans had to fight them. We fight in some of these battles in the game. It would be ok then to have a level in the FPS where you play as a terran fighting off the zerg on mar sara. This is something that explicitly happened, you're just showing whats going on in first person basically.

    You cant expand on the story told in the game with “lost chapters” or back story or anything like that. With this rule, the same thing applies. In the aforementioned starcraft fps, this is neither backstory nor "lost chapters". Just another perspective on what happened in the game.

    I also expect that this won't be very important in games like forza, etc, where there is very little story. Or that if you create a multiplayer game, say, in the vein of BF2, but using Halo characters and vehicles, that there will be a problem. There's no story, you aren't changing anything in the story.

    Basically, as far as I can tell, you just have to follow Canon in your creations.

    I think you're missing the point here a little bit. The reason the sequels and lost chapter clause is in there is because MS doesn't want you making a game that they might make in the future. It's not about following canon, it's about you not releasing a free version of something they could make money on. It doesn't matter if you take Shadown FPS models and make it a Shadowrun RPG. That still treads into their territory. Take the Shadowrun models and make "Bob's Cyberpunk RPG Extravaganza" and you're OK. Or take the Halo models, but don't ever mention anything from the Halo story, call it "Future War Action XXtreme" and you're OK.

  • RichardTauberRichardTauber King of the north Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    The thing I get from all of this is the fact that they (Microsoft) preserve the right to chose what to allow and what not to allow. If that Halo RTS is deemed to not lessen the value of the Halo franchise it could potentially be allowed as long as it didn't attempt to claim that it tells any new stories of the Halo universe. "In this mission you will be fighting a hypothetical battle between ..." ;-) Not probable, but ...

    Intoxication emerges from an elementary desire to rise out of time
  • jothkijothki Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    MechMantis wrote: »
    So wait...I can't make a Shadowrun RPG because it would be an unofficial sequel?

    Oh well, back to making Less-Than-AdequateLightingSprint.



    Debatable. You could probably still make it, because there really isn't much Shadowrun there anymore.

    People have been making unofficial sequels to Shadowrun for years, they're called gaming sessions.

    I wonder if Microsoft is overreaching here. People have been making a fuckton of 'unofficial sequels' for Starcraft and Warcraft using Blizzard's official tools, despite not having (as far as I'm aware) legal permission to do so. And if Blizzard tried to stop them, it would get laughed at.

    Since Microsoft clearly wants to still maintain absolute control over its IP, I'd say that this announcement is worthless bullshit. It's just a formal statement of the traditional unspoken agreement to allow fan works as long as the company is too lazy to stop them, spruced up to sound like Microsoft is giving something away.

  • edited August 2007
    I see this as Microsoft saying "since you're going to be doing it anyways; these are the rules and this is what we will do if you cross certain lines". User created media is endemic; Microsoft is simply trying to regulate it.

    I'm not smart, but thanks to the internet I can pretend.
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  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    jothki wrote: »
    MechMantis wrote: »
    So wait...I can't make a Shadowrun RPG because it would be an unofficial sequel?

    Oh well, back to making Less-Than-AdequateLightingSprint.



    Debatable. You could probably still make it, because there really isn't much Shadowrun there anymore.

    People have been making unofficial sequels to Shadowrun for years, they're called gaming sessions.

    I wonder if Microsoft is overreaching here. People have been making a fuckton of 'unofficial sequels' for Starcraft and Warcraft using Blizzard's official tools, despite not having (as far as I'm aware) legal permission to do so. And if Blizzard tried to stop them, it would get laughed at.

    Since Microsoft clearly wants to still maintain absolute control over its IP, I'd say that this announcement is worthless bullshit. It's just a formal statement of the traditional unspoken agreement to allow fan works as long as the company is too lazy to stop them, spruced up to sound like Microsoft is giving something away.

    This isn't entirely accurate. Blizzard has shut down mods that it felt infringed their IP, and they didn't get laughed at, they go their way. There was some underwater Starcraft thing that I can't remember the name of. It was almost done when Blizzard shut them down. Never saw a public release. Square-Enix does the same thing for FF mods that get too popular. It's a bit ridiculous to say that MS shouldn't want absolute control over their IP. That's kinda what a company does.

    Gaming sessions are entirely different. These people aren't releasing campaign packs without FASA's permission. If you created a website that hosted created campaigns similar to what you can buy from FASA, you would get shut down too.

  • OrogogusOrogogus San DiegoRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    jothki wrote: »
    I wonder if Microsoft is overreaching here. People have been making a fuckton of 'unofficial sequels' for Starcraft and Warcraft using Blizzard's official tools, despite not having (as far as I'm aware) legal permission to do so. And if Blizzard tried to stop them, it would get laughed at.

    Since Microsoft clearly wants to still maintain absolute control over its IP, I'd say that this announcement is worthless bullshit. It's just a formal statement of the traditional unspoken agreement to allow fan works as long as the company is too lazy to stop them, spruced up to sound like Microsoft is giving something away.
    No one really gets away with making those unofficial sequels using other game engines, though, do they? I mean, if the game is set up as moddable then, duh, they want you to use the assets. But I've seen a fair number of mods get shut down when applied to other companies' game engines. The Aliens mod for DOOM got shut down way back in the day, but I don't think Fox would go out of its way to squash one for, say, Aliens vs. Predator.

    Also, that traditional unspoken agreement is pretty darn shaky. Fox, Disney, LucasArts and Disney are pretty well known for being extremely litigious when it comes to their IPs (well, cease-and-desist letters anyway; I've never heard of anything ever going any farther than that). If Marvel said that its properties were free for general use to anyone who didn't want to insinuate themselves into continuity, I'd think that would be a pretty big deal.

  • DelzhandDelzhand motivated battle programmerRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Sweet! I can finally finish that Kokuto Chojin fan-game I was making!

    Seriously, though, they've got some good titles, but I don't know if, Halo notwithstanding, there are any really recognizable characters.

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  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    jothki wrote: »
    What exactly does 'personal use' mean, anyway? Does that mean that you can't publicly distribute anything involving that content, which would still kill off any mods?

    Even if you can't distribute, where do you draw the line between giving away what you make, and simply telling other folks how to make it.

    Hell, even in the "worst case scenario" there is nothing stopping folks from distributing the pieces of code that they made themselves, and just telling folks what bits of Microsoft stuff to stick where in it.

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  • EvanderEvander Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Huh. Official license here:
    http://www.xbox.com/en-US/community/developer/rules.htm

    Game Content Usage Rules

    We know that people like you love our games and sometimes want to use things like gameplay footage, screenshots, music, and other elements of our games (“Game Content”) to make things like machinima, videos, and and other cool things (your “Item” or “Items”). We’d like to make that easier for you. So long as you can respect these rules, you can use our Game Content to make your Items.

    EMH: So this is focused more towards RvB than games? (Not that this part has any legal weight)

    What can I do?
    Here’s the magic words from our lawyers: so long as you respect these rules, Microsoft grants you a personal, non-exclusive, non-transferable license to use and display Game Content and to create derivative works based upon Game Content, strictly for noncommercial and personal use. We can revoke this limited use license at any time and for any reason.

    EMH: Note the revocation clause.

    If you share your Items with your friends or post them on your web site, then you also must include the following notice about the Game Content. You can put it in a README file, or on the web page from where it’s downloaded, or anywhere else that makes sense so long as anyone who sees your Item will also find this notice.

    [The title of your Item] was created under Microsoft’s “Game Content Usage Rules” using assets from GAMENAME, © Microsoft Corporation.

    You can also put a link to this page so people know what the Game Content Creation Rules are.

    EMH: Standard enough.

    So what does that mean?
    What we’re giving you here is similar to the Creative Commons “Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike” license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/3.0/), except that we don’t grant the rights described there as “share” meaning you don’t get to copy, distribute, or transmit our game (obviously!). You don’t have to post the content on your own site – you can link to a third-party site containing your Items if you’d prefer to store them there.

    And by the way, these Rules only cover games published by Microsoft Game Studios and where Microsoft owns the copyright. We can’t give you permission to use games from other publishers or games where Microsoft doesn’t own the IP. Sorry, but you’ll have to contact them for that. Where you see a link to this text on a game’s community website, then you’re good to go. As you can see, this will give you access to some of the most popular titles on the PC and Xbox 360, including:

    * Age of Empires (all versions)
    * Flight Simulator (all versions)*
    * Forza Motorsport (all versions)*
    * Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, and Halo 3 (when released)
    * Kameo
    * Perfect Dark Zero
    * Project Gotham Racing (all versions)*
    * Rise of Nations (all versions)
    * Shadowrun
    * Viva Piñata

    * Use of individual vehicles may require permission from their manufacturer.

    EMH: Also standard

    What can't I do?
    It’s tough to predict everything people will do, but there are some things that you can be sure will get our attention.

    EMH: Now hold on here. Are you saying there are other items that are disallowed, but are unlisted?

    * You can’t reverse engineer our games to access the assets or otherwise do things that the games don’t normally permit in order to create your Items.

    EMH: OUCH!

    * You can’t use Game Content to create pornographic or obscene Items, or anything that contains vulgar, racist, hateful, or otherwise objectionable content.

    EMH: So no swearing, violence, or corpse-humping. Got it.

    * You can’t sell or otherwise earn anything from your Items. We will let you have advertising on the page with the Item on it, but that’s it. That means you can’t sell it, post it on a site that requires subscription or other fees, solicit donations of any kind (even by PayPal), use it to enter a contest or sweepstakes, or post it on a page you use to sell other items (even if those other items have nothing to do with Game Content or Microsoft).

    EMH: Non-commercial, in other words...

    * You can’t use the soundtracks or audio effects from the original game. We often license those from third parties and don’t have the rights to pass them on to you.

    EMH: Nothing really they can do about this

    * You can’t infringe anyone’s IP rights in your Item, even if the IP rights being infringed don’t belong to Microsoft. Among other things that means you can’t use any of Microsoft’s trademarked logos or names except in the ways described in the pages linked from www.microsoft.com/trademarks.
    * You can’t add to the game universe or expand on the story told in the game with “lost chapters” or back story or anything like that.

    EMH: Almost everything you want to do with the models is likely to infringe this clause. They're trying to prevent an unofficial Halo 4 from appearing, but the wording is very broad.

    * You can’t grant anyone the right to build on your creations. We don’t mind if other people help you out, but you have to be clear with them that it’s not you giving permission, it’s us. (That’s how we make sure everyone plays by the same rules.)

    If you do any of these things, you can expect to hear from Microsoft’s lawyers who will tell you that you have to stop distributing your Items right away.

    There’s still a way to do some of these things we’ve excluded, but you have to contact us for a commercial license. Thanks, and have fun!

    EMH: Don't expect to get a commercial license, for much less than a million.



    tldr: They say it's based on the CC "Attribution-Non-Commercial-Share-Alike", but it isn't. In particular, there is no good way to be certain you are non-infringing, and MS can revoke your license at any time for any reason. This license is almost completely useless for games, and of only slight use for movies. In particular:

    The Halo RTS would infringe under the "no unofficial sequels" clause, and maybe the "no reverse-engineering" clause.

    Most other games would infringe under the "no reverse-engineering" clause, as there's usually no way to extract the data without that.

    Many movies would infringe under the "no unofficial sequels" clause.

    Quite frankly, I'm slightly insulted (not a lot, but it's there) that they said it was based on a CC license, while sticking a revocation clause in there. The entire point of a CC license is that you don't *need* to check with a central authority before sticking the CCed content in. Bit of a philosophical issue, but I think this stuff's important.

    I don't see any issue with having the revocation clause in there.

    They are a comercial entity, in the business of making money. What they are saying is that you can go ahead and use their stuff, but just so long as you aren't hurting their sales in any possible way, or making money off of it yourself.

    I know that, were I a shareholder, I would demand something along the lines of that revocation clause, because if somehow everyone were to start playing fan made games, and stop buying the comercial ones, that's a whole lot of lost sales.

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  • ZetaZeta Registered User
    edited August 2007
    So does this mean theoretically some people could crank out an online goldeneye multiplayer arena type thing? Because I am all for that.

  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Zeta wrote: »
    So does this mean theoretically some people could crank out an online goldeneye multiplayer arena type thing? Because I am all for that.

    I fail to understand this question. EA holds the James Bond franchise and though MS bought Rare, Goldeneye was published by Nintendo, not MSGS.

  • ZetaZeta Registered User
    edited August 2007
    anable wrote: »
    Zeta wrote: »
    So does this mean theoretically some people could crank out an online goldeneye multiplayer arena type thing? Because I am all for that.

    I fail to understand this question. EA holds the James Bond franchise and though MS bought Rare, Goldeneye was published by Nintendo, not MSGS.

    Yeah but rare is now an in house for msoft which would make the assets available right? I mean obviously you wouldnt call it goldeneye or james bond or anything but everyone would know what it was.

  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Zeta wrote: »
    So does this mean theoretically some people could crank out an online goldeneye multiplayer arena type thing? Because I am all for that.

    Goldeneye source exists (and it's not that great)

    but Goldeneye's licensing issues are rather convoluted, I am not sure if this would allow that. (iirc Nintendo Published goldeneye and own the game code, EA now has bond license, Rare/MS might own things like level designs and stuff)

  • MHYoshimitzuMHYoshimitzu Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    LewieP wrote: »
    Zeta wrote: »
    So does this mean theoretically some people could crank out an online goldeneye multiplayer arena type thing? Because I am all for that.

    Goldeneye source exists (and it's not that great)

    but Goldeneye's licensing issues are rather convoluted, I am not sure if this would allow that. (iirc Nintendo Published goldeneye and own the game code, EA now has bond license, Rare/MS might own things like level designs and stuff)

    If Nintendo owns the code, why isn't it allowed to be released on the Virtual Console? Diddy Kong Racing was released on the DS, albeit with Rare's characters removed. As far as I know, Nintendo has said that they are unable to release some games on the Virtual Console, and Goldeneye was one of them.

    Spoiler:
  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    LewieP wrote: »
    Zeta wrote: »
    So does this mean theoretically some people could crank out an online goldeneye multiplayer arena type thing? Because I am all for that.

    Goldeneye source exists (and it's not that great)

    but Goldeneye's licensing issues are rather convoluted, I am not sure if this would allow that. (iirc Nintendo Published goldeneye and own the game code, EA now has bond license, Rare/MS might own things like level designs and stuff)

    If Nintendo owns the code, why isn't it allowed to be released on the Virtual Console? Diddy Kong Racing was released on the DS, albeit with Rare's characters removed. As far as I know, Nintendo has said that they are unable to release some games on the Virtual Console, and Goldeneye was one of them.

    Hmm, I wasn't aware that Goldeneye was on that list. I guess we'll find out once someone figures out where the hell we can download these assets.

  • Waka LakaWaka Laka Can use nun-chucks. Melbourne, VicRegistered User regular
    edited August 2007
    Project Torlan (aka UT2K4 Halo Mod) is now allowed completely?

    Holy hell, Halo mods up the ass from here on in.

  • LewiePLewieP Registered User regular
    edited August 2007
    LewieP wrote: »
    Zeta wrote: »
    So does this mean theoretically some people could crank out an online goldeneye multiplayer arena type thing? Because I am all for that.

    Goldeneye source exists (and it's not that great)

    but Goldeneye's licensing issues are rather convoluted, I am not sure if this would allow that. (iirc Nintendo Published goldeneye and own the game code, EA now has bond license, Rare/MS might own things like level designs and stuff)

    If Nintendo owns the code, why isn't it allowed to be released on the Virtual Console? Diddy Kong Racing was released on the DS, albeit with Rare's characters removed. As far as I know, Nintendo has said that they are unable to release some games on the Virtual Console, and Goldeneye was one of them.

    It might be a case of nintendo owning the code, but Rare owning the Assests. I used to know 100% what the deal was, but can't remember exactly right now, I know the upshot is that it will never get ported or remade.

    It would be nice if Sega released their version of Goldeneye on VC though.


    Edit: Aparently Activision now have the Bond license, and Treyarch of all devs is working on a 'Next-Gen' bond game.

  • ZetaZeta Registered User
    edited August 2007
    LewieP wrote: »
    LewieP wrote: »
    Zeta wrote: »
    So does this mean theoretically some people could crank out an online goldeneye multiplayer arena type thing? Because I am all for that.

    Goldeneye source exists (and it's not that great)

    but Goldeneye's licensing issues are rather convoluted, I am not sure if this would allow that. (iirc Nintendo Published goldeneye and own the game code, EA now has bond license, Rare/MS might own things like level designs and stuff)

    If Nintendo owns the code, why isn't it allowed to be released on the Virtual Console? Diddy Kong Racing was released on the DS, albeit with Rare's characters removed. As far as I know, Nintendo has said that they are unable to release some games on the Virtual Console, and Goldeneye was one of them.

    It might be a case of nintendo owning the code, but Rare owning the Assests. I used to know 100% what the deal was, but can't remember exactly right now, I know the upshot is that it will never get ported or remade.

    It would be nice if Sega released their version of Goldeneye on VC though

    Yeah that's what I am getting at. It wouldnt be too impossible to get the feeling of the game back through patience with coding and trial and error but having the assets there to use aswell will send the nostalga off the charts. Bring over your buddies and have 4 player "GoldenrodRetina" on the 360.

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