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Dylanblitz

Is it okay to use existing assets from modders?

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I've seen a common complaint with past Doom WADS in which players would point out that the authors used existing assets that were created from past modders. Most of the WADS I have seen with these assets often have this complaint.

 

However, I am curious to know, is it okay to use already existing assets from past modders; Or, is it another scenario in which the original creators should be credited if one were to do so?

 

I'm referring to mods that may include weapons, items, enemies, or textures.

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It's OK to use existing assets if and only if both of the following are true:

1. the original author said you could (either as part of a blanket permission, or in response to a direct request from you); AND

2. you credit the original author

 

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54 minutes ago, Dylanblitz said:

Most of the WADS I have seen with these assets often have this complaint.

 

Where, exactly? Most of what is released on idgames on Doomworld does not use their custom assets without permission. A good chunk will get their custom assets from resource wads intended for mass use.

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59 minutes ago, Dylanblitz said:

I've seen a common complaint with past Doom WADS in which players would point out that the authors used existing assets that were created from past modders. Most of the WADS I have seen with these assets often have this complaint.

 

However, I am curious to know, is it okay to use already existing assets from past modders; Or, is it another scenario in which the original creators should be credited if one were to do so?

 

I'm referring to mods that may include weapons, items, enemies, or textures.

Where can I ask for permission, at least?

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Scenarios where it's okay: The creator said you could as a blanket rule.

You asked the creator and they said yes.

 

Scenarios where it's not okay: They said you couldn't as a blanket rule.

You asked and they said no.

You didn't follow the rules they had for using their textures (Otex basically)

 

In terms of contacting them, find their internet presence and ask. If you can't, check to see if they left instructions along with the wad (Often in readme).

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29 minutes ago, Magicana said:

Scenarios where it's okay: The creator said you could as a blanket rule.

You asked the creator and they said yes.

 

Scenarios where it's not okay: They said you couldn't as a blanket rule.

You asked and they said no.

You didn't follow the rules they had for using their textures (Otex basically)

 

In terms of contacting them, find their internet presence and ask. If you can't, check to see if they left instructions along with the wad (Often in readme).

What about assets on Realm667?

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26 minutes ago, Dylanblitz said:

What about assets on Realm667?

If they wanted to "protect" their custom assets they would not have made them available for download. Pick what you want from there, give credit to the creators of said assets, and you'll be fine.

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Here are some difficult scenarios:

  1. You want to reuse some music used in some old Doom wad, but it's uncredited, you can't tell who made it, asking on the forums will get you no answer, and even if you find out, you still don't know if original author accepts distribution (so you assume no).
  2. A big resource wad contains media from many authors, but the collector didn't bother crediting them individually. You know a few of the authors are really protective of their creations, so you need to ask them all if they made resource X from that wad before you can take it into your mod (OK, this can fall under "resource wad" rule of thumb where it's assumed they allow use, but what if your use is radically different, or only wants to take sprites without sounds etc.)?
  3. You really want to use resources from Heretic into Doom, from Doom 1 into 2 and so on, but you're not allowed because they're copyrighted commercial resources.

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I've seen people complaining about reused assets before, mainly about Brutal Doom, Complex Doom and other etc mods. You'll see this come up in servers as well as comment sections on Youtube, Reddit and stuff. there's so many different revisions of those modern-ish mods which have used so damn many sprites for all the weapons and enemies and stuff, it's not surprising that some have gotten reused along the way. I don't know why people complain about it, to me it's like complaining that the standard Doom guns always use the same sprite or something. Yes, you may have seen the sprite before, so what? But you know how people are, they like to bicker about random stuff.

 

Keep in mind that if you find a resource that's very old the author is not likely to be around anymore and probably won't care. I've re-used TONS of assets that I lovingly borrowed from wads made in 2000 and before without express permission and in some (rare) instances where the author stated "may NOT reuse" or whatever in the textfile. A totally original piece of art is one thing, but a slightly modified Doom sprite or texture or something? You're really gonna try to hoard that? Come on, man..

 

I've never gotten in trouble with anyone when doing this, never once have I received an angry message or whatever else about it. I'm sure that's mostly because the creators are no longer a part of the community, but perhaps it's because I always do my best to credit everyone even for very minor things. 97% of the time you can find the author simply by googling the name of the wad or pk3 which you're looking through anyway, https://www.doomworld.com/idgames and https://www.wad-archive.com/ and other sources have .txt files with info on just about every mod ever released. Most of what you'll ever want or need can probably be found on Realm667 though.

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If I had to guess, it probably became topical to complain about after it also became well known that brutal doom stole some assets it used(s).

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As someone on both sides of the coin (having stuff that I've made be used by others, and someone who re-uses assets by others) it's generally fine; though where possible I ask the author for permission if it's not evident upfront from the original resource. An example of this - I reused some sprites by CWolf and FuzzballFox (torches and keycards respectively) in a recent release of mine, Eviternity. Both were actually very happy to give me permission to use these assets, and generally you'll find most people will be pleased to see their work getting used.

 

Most will simply ask for credit, if you have a text file with your wad just list who made what assets, and likewise, if you have in-game credits, try to be comprehensive there too.

 

If a source is unknown, for example, in Printz's 1st example, I'd err on the side of not using the asset, or if you REALLY can't find a suitable alternative, be sure to credit the original wad that had the file in and explain that in the text file.

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I am personally one who believes that anything I give out freely can be used without permission, as long as credit is given. I like to see the final work if I can as if they are using my stuff, it's probably something I would enjoy too. But others don't have the same beliefs, so I ask permission when borrowing. It's strange though, there has been cases where I simply don't get responses; everyone has their quirks. Sometimes I think I should just take the possible heat and just release stuff (even with the non-responses) and give credit where possible.

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12 hours ago, Dylanblitz said:

I've seen a common complaint with past Doom WADS in which players would point out that the authors used existing assets that were created from past modders. Most of the WADS I have seen with these assets often have this complaint.

 

Are you talking about when maps are posted on DW with screenshots that clearly show non-stock assets that are particularly recognizable but the post is silent about that? In that case, the "complaint" comes from people recognizing that its good form to credit the creators of that asset.

 

The way I see it, this is how you should proceed:

 

  1. If the creator has explicitly allowed permission in a text file or on a website, then the resources may be used without contacting the author.
  2. If the creator has explicitly disallowed permission in a text file or on a website, then you shouldn't use them, but, if you're still interested, you can contact the author directly to ask.
  3. If you ask the creator and that person provides explicit permission, you may use the resources.
  4. If you ask the creator and that person explicitly denies permission, you can't use the resources.

 

Regardless, you should always credit the original author by name (however they choose to identify themselves, either by real name or handle). I agree with the previous comment that if you can't find the original author for some reason, then credit the wad file that the resources were in.

 

If the author hasn't explicitly allowed permission and you can't reach them for whatever reason (they've left the community, they are incommunicado, they died, etc.), you should err on the side of not using the resource out of respect for the author. If you still really want to use the resource in this situation, it's unlikely that there would be any negative outcome for you to just use it anyway, but it's really bad form and you will generate a poor reputation within the community if you do this sort of thing repeatedly.

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as somebody wrote some time ago in a similar discussion, in the end it usually depends of the quality of your work. if you did something good, people tend to skip over some small things (and even not that small, yeah). but if your work is very poor (and especially if you promoted it as a good work), people will find each stolen pixel, and you won't get away with it.

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