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SecularSteve

Today I've just learned that "Chex Quest" has it's own Freedoom counterpart

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I learned about this recently as well, because apparently the same person is making a libre data replacement for Duke Nukem 3D called Luke Ken 3D.

 

However, unlike the Luke Ken project, the Chex Quest one doesn't seem to be anything more than a clone of the Freed∞m repository for now. To be perfectly honest, I don't think it is a very good idea to run multiple projects of this scope at once, and would have much preferred that the project leader concentrated on the Luke Ken one.

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This isn't even the only attempt at a "FreeChex", as the Chex Quest community previously tried to make something similar called "Breakfast Trek", but it failed to get anywhere.

 

I'd link to the relevant thread on the Chex Quest forums, but they closed it off from public viewing.

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Oh hey it's my friend, @ZNukem!
 

I love the work he's putting into Luke Ken 3D, but yes, he's also working on Freedoom Scoops.

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9 hours ago, Melodic Spaceship said:

the Chex Quest community previously tried to make something similar called "Breakfast Trek", but it failed to get anywhere.

Can you tell how far it has got?


The Freedoom Scoops repo contains this title pic:

titlepic.png.0ae8a6200b412bf76f4cba1d0fe58ab9.png

I'm not sure it's a great idea to have a design this similar to the original Chex Quest. Surely there are other ways to create non-violent enemies than just replicate the look of Flemoids.

 

BTW, the other day I stumbled upon this pretty cool GZDoom game called KLOINKS, which is, incidentally, also food-themed (somewhat). I'm not suggesting to copy that in any way, but it gives you an idea of how one could go around making a libre Chex Quest replacement while staying more original.

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I think they managed to make a handful of textures and sprites before it got abandoned. Some of these textures would later be used in Chex Pack. I wonder if some of what did get done with Breakfast Trek could be contributed to this new project.

 

Also, in my opinion this won't be a proper Chex Quest replacement unless it has leftover levels from Freedoom: Phase 1 in the E1M6-E4M9 slots complete with messed-up textures.

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40 minutes ago, magicsofa said:

Isn't chex quest already free?

It is, free as in free beer. But it is still proprietary, because Chex is a trademark, and I don't think any of the assets were released under a free license.

19 hours ago, Melodic Spaceship said:

Also, in my opinion this won't be a proper Chex Quest replacement unless it has leftover levels from Freedoom: Phase 1 in the E1M6-E4M9 slots complete with messed-up textures.

:D

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4 hours ago, MrFlibble said:

It is, free as in free beer. But it is still proprietary, because Chex is a trademark, and I don't think any of the assets were released under a free license.

 

But that's only relevant if you want to use the assets in some other project. Which, if that's what you wanted to do, would not be helped anyway by creating knock-offs (you would just have to ask permission or not use them).

 

You can just make maps for Chex Quest and everyone can play them without paying since the IWAD is free. The point of Freedoom is to allow people to play PWADs without having to purchase the original game.

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2 hours ago, magicsofa said:

The point of Freedoom is to allow people to play PWADs without having to purchase the original game.

that's 1 (one) feature of Freedoom.

a "free, as in freedoom" license is a major point of Freedoom's very existence.
not just a "free, as in free beer" iwad to replace doom.wad/doom2.wad/tnt.wad/plutonia.wad.

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I think I should also point out that the first Chex Quest being free is actually dubious. Sure, it is downloadable from most shareware DOS game sites that typically only have DOS games you can legally get for free, but on the other hand the ZDoom Wiki lists it as a commercial game rather than a free-to-play game. And there's also the fact that it contains a lot of leftover content from Ultimate Doom, further calling into question its legality. Plus I've seen one YouTuber joke that it was the game you were buying and you got the cereal for free.

 

So therefore, in addition to this project being free-as-in-freedoom it would also be unambiguously free in general.

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9 hours ago, Melodic Spaceship said:

I think I should also point out that the first Chex Quest being free is actually dubious. Sure, it is downloadable from most shareware DOS game sites that typically only have DOS games you can legally get for free, but on the other hand the ZDoom Wiki lists it as a commercial game rather than a free-to-play game. And there's also the fact that it contains a lot of leftover content from Ultimate Doom, further calling into question its legality.

At some point around 2018-2019, the official Chex Quest site run by General Mills contained the link to download Chex Quest 3 from Charles Jacobi's website:

https://web.archive.org/web/20190524001342/https://www.chexmix.com/chexquest/

 

Which I suppose indicated official recognition of the game and its freeware status. However, soon after the release of Chex Quest HD the site has been redesigned to only promote that game instead.

 

From what I remember, the leftover content are just the maps, which Romero has released on his own anyway (even attaching a GPL license or something), plus some graphical stuff (IIRC) that cannot amount to the complete game. While the original DOS version of Chex Quest indeed does not come with its own freeware license, I don't think that its original intent as an advergame makes it automatically commercial. Proprietary, yes indeed, but the gain was more marketing/PR oriented than monetary (they did not up the cereal box price because the game was included, right?). So I guess maybe the ZDoom wiki should be updated on that. Also, while I'm not sure what the Chex brand owners actually thought of kids that would pass the game around after finding the CD in their cereal box, at least the ENDOOM screen says nothing along the lines of "do not distribute!" (which is what the registered version of Doom does), instead directing users to visit the Chex website and download the free additional campaign.

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You can still download it from Jacobi's site, it just isn't linked to the main site:

 

http://www.chucktropolis.com/gamers.htm

 

11 hours ago, elf-alchemist said:

a "free, as in freedoom" license is a major point of Freedoom's very existence.
not just a "free, as in free beer" iwad to replace doom.wad/doom2.wad/tnt.wad/plutonia.wad.

 

I mean, I guess if you are absolutely desperate for a bunch of knock-off graphics that you can use in your own projects, sure. I just don't see the appeal of putting in all those hours of work to recreate something that is already free. I can't foresee any problems with including modified chex assets in your PWADs, considering they will still require the (still free) chex IWAD to play. The idea just seems very dilutive to me... it is almost like distracting people away from the original work, and implies that the original is not free. It would be much cooler to just make an original game inspired by CQ, which would be the same amount of work for a superior product that can stand next to, not over, the original. And really, that is what FreedomScoops is. It is just bizarre to me to say "this is the equivalent of FreeDoom" when really it isn't. It is the equivalent of just making a new free game based on an existing free game. A fine pursuit, but not really helping anyone in the way that FreeDoom helps people. And since there is no need for replacing the IWAD, there should be no need for emulating it either. Yet FreedomScoops aims to be "compatible with Chex Quest." Ok? Why do I need that? So I can play re-skinned CQ? I have Chex Quest and so does everyone else who cares to download it.

 

I know I'm just yelling at clouds here, and I do see the point of "now we can rip anything from FreedomScoops". It just seems like misplaced effort to make the same game over again, after all if it is compatible with CQ then that would mean everything behaves like it does in CQ which by the way, is almost identical to Doom anyway. The changes that matter (zombieman and shotgun guy only shoot when close to the player, baron doesn't move) can easily be done with any modding tool since Dehacked. So really my point is, the door is wide open, you could make a totally original game instead of restricting yourself to this compatibility that nobody really needs. Eh, to each their own!
 

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11 hours ago, Melodic Spaceship said:

I think I should also point out that the first Chex Quest being free is actually dubious. Sure, it is downloadable from most shareware DOS game sites that typically only have DOS games you can legally get for free, but on the other hand the ZDoom Wiki lists it as a commercial game rather than a free-to-play game.

Yeah, because it was a promotional thing so the only way to get it (back then) was to buy the cereal box which contained the disc.

11 hours ago, Melodic Spaceship said:

Plus I've seen one YouTuber joke that it was the game you were buying and you got the cereal for free.

I'm sure this was how a lot of kids saw it at the time, especially if they preferred other cereal brands... but this one had the game.

 

1 hour ago, MrFlibble said:

So I guess maybe the ZDoom wiki should be updated on that.

Thing is, everything is automatically copyrighted. Did Digital Café or General Mills officially release Chex Quest 1 with a free redistribution license? As far as I'm aware, no. That makes any download of CQ1 the dreaded crime of copyright infringement, better known as 𝓢𝒪𝔉𝖂𝓐𝕽𝓔 𝓟𝕴ℜ𝒜𝕮𝓨, ahoy matey, yarr! For more on this topic, see Abandonware and also why it's stupid to have copyright terms lasting for a century especially for software when the associated hardware lasts for maybe a decade, but things are not as I would like them to be, they just are as they are. Which is usually suboptimal and disappointing, I know.

 

On the other hand, CQ3 was freely downloadable from Chuck Jacobi's website, and obviously General Mills was okay with it since they did, as you mentioned, acknowledge it on their website and didn't sue anyone about it.

 

So as far as the ZDoom wiki is concerned, CQ3 is legit freeware, CQ1 is genuine abandonware which is to say, nobody's gonna care if you download it from wherever but it's still, technically, illegal because sometimes the laws are stupid. And as official documentation for a project that is increasingly used for commercial purposes by various people, we're just going to keep playing it safe, and put Chex Quest in the categories of games that used to be bought (in the grocery aisle of the local mall) but is no longer sold.

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4 hours ago, Gez said:

Did Digital Café or General Mills officially release Chex Quest 1 with a free redistribution license? As far as I'm aware, no. That makes any download of CQ1 the dreaded crime of copyright infringement, better known as 𝓢𝒪𝔉𝖂𝓐𝕽𝓔 𝓟𝕴ℜ𝒜𝕮𝓨, ahoy matey, yarr!

It is my understanding that this could be actually up for debate. If you know RGB Classic Games, you might also know that that site's owner, who also personally negotiated official freeware releases of several old PC titles, is very scrupulous and methodical when it comes to upholding the copyright laws. I have noticed that in cases where multiple releases were associated with a game that became liberated, his rule of thumb seems to be that any prior version should be counted as freeware as well.

 

For example, the site has the registered version of Tyrian 1.1, although IIRC, Epic only released the registered version 2.1 as freeware, and also the registered version of Halloween Harry 1.1, while 3D Realms very certainly only made the registered version of Alien Carnage 1.0 (a later re-release of HH) available as freeware. I think there are other examples with less known games that I don't remember ATM.

 

I was just extrapolating this logic over to Chex Quest. If General Mills are/were okay with CQ3 being freeware, on the surface there seems to be nothing to suggest a different stance towards the original DOS release. On the other hand, CQ3 does not have any license attached to it that explicitly provides for free redistribution either, very much like the DOS version. The endorsement in the form of the link on General Mills' website came years later after CQ3's release, as far as I can tell.

5 hours ago, magicsofa said:

The idea just seems very dilutive to me... it is almost like distracting people away from the original work, and implies that the original is not free. It would be much cooler to just make an original game inspired by CQ, which would be the same amount of work for a superior product that can stand next to, not over, the original.

As much as I am a fan of FOSS projects, I am inclined to agree here. While there are theoretical benefits of making a fully libre equivalent game, the practical gains from this effort would likely be minimal, unless one imagines some kind of large-scale, wholesale art-creating effort that would actually somehow benefit or be more efficient, the more sprites and textures it was tasked to produce. But since it sounds like a rather improbable scenario, I'll just reiterate what I mentioned above, namely that I think it would be more productive for @ZNukem to focus on the Luke Ken project.

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47 minutes ago, MrFlibble said:

For example, the site has the registered version of Tyrian 1.1, although IIRC, Epic only released the registered version 2.1 as freeware, and also the registered version of Halloween Harry 1.1, while 3D Realms very certainly only made the registered version of Alien Carnage 1.0 (a later re-release of HH) available as freeware. I think there are other examples with less known games that I don't remember ATM.

I guess he got the okay to distribute older versions of freeware games.

 

48 minutes ago, MrFlibble said:

On the other hand, CQ3 does not have any license attached to it that explicitly provides for free redistribution either, very much like the DOS version.

Yeah, but the author's site is still online, so you can get it from there. That's where the link on the ZDoom wiki goes.

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I'm always supportive of libre game projects, but it's not like there are a ton of Chex Quest PWADs to play with this, so this strikes me as more of a novelty than anything. I wonder whether the effort would be better spent on Luke Ken, or on a wholly original game that doesn't purport to mimic an existing IP.

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if has to be financially beneficial for the copyright holders sake. as in it has to be determinative to there income.  i highly doubt general mills will come after this. i say do it.

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Posted (edited)
On 6/5/2024 at 2:20 AM, Shepardus said:

I'm always supportive of libre game projects, but it's not like there are a ton of Chex Quest PWADs to play with this, so this strikes me as more of a novelty than anything. I wonder whether the effort would be better spent on Luke Ken, or on a wholly original game that doesn't purport to mimic an existing IP.

 

Honestly, I see it as beneficial in the "Freedoom: KFE (Kid Friendly Edition)" sense.

 

The same way parents didn't complain about the actual Chex Quest, or Super Noah's Ark 3D.

 

These days, a lot of advocates have been pushing for kids to learn the benefits of development for Open Source Software at an early age, especially in the Raspberry Pi field, and this could be useful as one of those things that attracts them while at the same time keeping their guardians on a "no issues here" basis.

 

Sure, there's stuff like Sonic Robo Blast 2, but even that's kind of in a very grey area.

 

But that's just my opinion. I'm open to discussion if you have any arguments.

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Posted (edited)

You're right Snake Plissken PMW. Don't think they will, long as I am doing my own thing.
 

Also just to clarify to others and give some insight, I'm not creating a direct one-to-one clone of Chex Quest. Instead, I'm aiming for something new and interesting, incorporating fresh content to keep all my ideas as original as possible.
 

While I haven't updated the readme for Freedom Scoops to reflect the project much yet, I have a lightly detailed story doc and asset concepts that are still in progress. I'm also focused on creating mostly compatible assets that can be cross-translated for other levels, which I believe will significantly benefit the modding community by generating more user content in the long term. Hey, I even want to make it work under DOS. lol!
 

I've been quite busy setting up Luke Ken 3D Planet Invasion to be playable game, not much done to get it there yet. I've also written a lot of lore about Luke Ken's character just show he is distant from Duke. And doing some work on my spare time. You guys are right; I should focus on one thing. But wanted to do Freedom Scoops because just wanted to. Sometimes good to take brakes in between to refresh your mind. Won't lie about LK3D, It's hard, although I wish I had more help onboard to speed this up, some of whom are busy or waiting for tool development. It's not easy, I can tell you that. Hopefully, that changes soon, but I never cancel anything or want to give up. I always have a backup plan if one doesn't work out.


Fun fact: Freedom Scoops is a spin-off set within the Luke Ken universe, exploring the Freedom Scoops game that inspired Luke's journey to become a fully trained space enforcer for G.T.F. offers glimpses into what that game is like and why its poster is in LK3D. Something new to learn today, right? ;)
 

At end of the day these projects are purely a hobby for me, something I do in my spare time without being bound by deadlines or pressure. As much as I like to explain everything thoroughly, I'll keep it brief for now. If you want to learn more about both projects, please contact me on Discord. I'm happy to chat with anyone and provide insight. Also, don't hesitate to reach out if you'd like to contribute. Thank you for taking the time to read this. I wish I were more active on Doomworld, but I'm more involved on Discord. I'm not great at writing, to be fair. I'm more of a voice chat guy, to be honest.
 

Hey lets move forward btw, there have been recent updates to Freedom Scoops over the last few months, including a relaunch of a new repository due to bugs preventing changes and commits. As a result, the old one was archived just a few days ago. Regarding ongoing changes, I now have Freedom Scoops development builds that automatically generate updates whenever changes are made, making it easy for anyone interested to grab and play. Feel free to drop by and check out the CI builds. You can grab Freedom Scoops Development Builds here https://github.com/FreedomScoops/FreedomScoops/releases/tag/dev
 

For Freedom Scoops Gold, the four chapters were cut back. I've decided to release only the First and Second Crunch chapter 2 and 3 as a two-part IWAD for now. I'll save the prequel (ep1) and epilogue (ep4) for another day when I return to the Gold version once everything is figured out. Additionally, there's a multiplayer IWAD as a bonus. At the end of the day, everything is a work in progress and subject to change. That's all I want others to know.
 

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and I hope you all respect my views and wishes. Please understand that I am only responding politely. I hope I have not offended anyone by posting this response. I know that others want to see this project succeed. Anyways feel free to reach out if you want to contact me. As always stay cool. 

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Posted (edited)

While we're mentioning legally unbinded placeholder assets, I've noticed that this Megathread wasn't updated in years, let alone the map conversions:

 

 

Seems interesting to revise this thread if the maps are still incomplete. But that's just my observation.

 

Edited by SecularSteve

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On 6/3/2024 at 8:25 PM, Melodic Spaceship said:

I think I should also point out that the first Chex Quest being free is actually dubious. Sure, it is downloadable from most shareware DOS game sites that typically only have DOS games you can legally get for free, but on the other hand the ZDoom Wiki lists it as a commercial game rather than a free-to-play game. And there's also the fact that it contains a lot of leftover content from Ultimate Doom, further calling into question its legality. Plus I've seen one YouTuber joke that it was the game you were buying and you got the cereal for free.

 

So therefore, in addition to this project being free-as-in-freedoom it would also be unambiguously free in general.

In this sense a free-content version of Chex Quest would mostly just be useful as a last resort for the Chex Quest community tbh, in case worst does come to worst

 

General Mills does have a legal right to take down all the Chex Quest download hosts out there whenever they want, but I doubt they're dumb enough to do that. Why would they try to do one of those private equity shakedowns and destroy whatever community Chex Quest has, when they could instead just dump another HD re-release onto Steam with an actual budget this time? Would be a much better way of monetizing the series again

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5 hours ago, WASFDDDDD said:

In this sense a free-content version of Chex Quest would mostly just be useful as a last resort for the Chex Quest community tbh, in case worst does come to worst

 

General Mills does have a legal right to take down all the Chex Quest download hosts out there whenever they want, but I doubt they're dumb enough to do that. Why would they try to do one of those private equity shakedowns and destroy whatever community Chex Quest has, when they could instead just dump another HD re-release onto Steam with an actual budget this time? Would be a much better way of monetizing the series again

I also doubt General Mills would do that. Chex Quest 3 and Chex Quest HD both only exist because of the Chex Quest community, and Chex Quest 3 was also initially unofficial but it was made retroactively official by General Mills. They're a cereal company, not a gaming company, so they'd probably only care about threats to cereal sales, and Chex Quest fan projects would only help such sales given they're basically free advertising.

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Posted (edited)
On 7/3/2024 at 1:30 PM, ZNukem said:

Won't lie about LK3D, It's hard, although I wish I had more help onboard to speed this up, some of whom are busy or waiting for tool development. It's not easy, I can tell you that.

I learned about LK3D from @SecularSteve's topic at the Duke4.net forums. There, I asked if perhaps the devs of Project A.W.O.L. would contribute some of their original textures that kind of resemble Duke3D ones to your project. I've not been able to contact the devs of that game yet though. Perhaps you could try reaching out to them via Discord?

 

However, user Reaper_Man mentioned CC0 remakes of certain Duke3D textures made in Material Maker:

https://forums.duke4.net/topic/1093-what-are-you-working-on-for-duke-right-now/page__view__findpost__p__367846

https://forums.duke4.net/topic/1093-what-are-you-working-on-for-duke-right-now/page__st__10470

 

I guess those could be included with/contributed to LK3D?

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20 hours ago, MrFlibble said:

I learned about LK3D from @SecularSteve's topic at the Duke4.net forums. There, I asked if perhaps the devs of Project A.W.O.L. would contribute some of their original textures that kind of resemble Duke3D ones to your project. I've not been able to contact the devs of that game yet though. Perhaps you could try reaching out to them via Discord?

 

However, user Reaper_Man mentioned CC0 remakes of certain Duke3D textures made in Material Maker:

https://forums.duke4.net/topic/1093-what-are-you-working-on-for-duke-right-now/page__view__findpost__p__367846

https://forums.duke4.net/topic/1093-what-are-you-working-on-for-duke-right-now/page__st__10470

 

I guess those could be included with/contributed to LK3D?


Unfortunately. The textures used in Project A.W.O.L. do not share the same theme. Luke Ken 3D is more of a 90s retro futuristic genre, with vibes similar to Deus Ex and Blake Stone. Maybe some will work. Furthermore, this is not meant to be a direct clone of DN3D. Which may require others to create new textures and assets if they are interested in such a thing .This would significantly benefit the project. Just throwing it out there. : )

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1 hour ago, ZNukem said:

The textures used in Project A.W.O.L. do not share the same theme. Luke Ken 3D is more of a 90s retro futuristic genre, with vibes similar to Deus Ex and Blake Stone. Maybe some will work.

Have you considered using Freed∞textures and other assets at least as temporary placeholders? There are assets that have been submitted to Freed∞but rejected, some look interesting, like this, this and possibly this.

 

My contention is that if you have a working version of the GRP available, even with a good deal of placeholders and possibly only the shareware episode (like what Freed∞once did), it might attract more people to contribute original art to the project. From this standpoint, it seems reasonable to get suitable placeholders whenever you can get them, and then gradually phase them out once there are more artists eager to help out. I suppose that if the A.W.O.L. team is not against it, it would be a nice thing to use some of their art to speed up the project to a playable state.

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17 hours ago, MrFlibble said:

Have you considered using Freed∞textures and other assets at least as temporary placeholders? There are assets that have been submitted to Freed∞but rejected, some look interesting, like this, this and possibly this.

 

My contention is that if you have a working version of the GRP available, even with a good deal of placeholders and possibly only the shareware episode (like what Freed∞once did), it might attract more people to contribute original art to the project. From this standpoint, it seems reasonable to get suitable placeholders whenever you can get them, and then gradually phase them out once there are more artists eager to help out. I suppose that if the A.W.O.L. team is not against it, it would be a nice thing to use some of their art to speed up the project to a playable state.


Having actual placeholders would be nice as well, as long as they are compatible with the current license. I believe it should be fine for the most part. I've been using a 16x16 question mark image as a placeholder for quite some time now. lol!

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I guess If you all want, I can create an official Freedom Scoops thread on doomworld. To be honest, I am unsure how active I will be to maintain it. It's best to catch me on Discord, where I'm most active. Here's a link in case anyone is interested. This is where all of Luke Ken and Freedom Scoops projects are stage at. https://discord.gg/TSFYwTPqUk

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4 minutes ago, ZNukem said:

Having actual placeholders would be nice as well, as long as they are compatible with the current license.

Your current license already is fully compatible with Freed∞m, LibreQuake and Blasphemer, and anything CC0 should be fine too.

 

You could probably try asking A.W.O.L. devs to relicense the stuff that you'd find useful under either BSD-3-Clause or CC0. I guess even CC-BY will do. No harm in asking, right?

 

The same goes for The AMC Squad -- IIRC, the recent releases have replaced out some of the textures and possibly props from Duke3D with original art. You could try reaching out to the project devs and ask for permission. Even if the design does not fit your own art style, if you get the permission/licensing, you could at least use these assets as a base for your own work, without having to worry that the result could be considered derivative from proprietary art.

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On 7/7/2024 at 6:34 AM, MrFlibble said:

Your current license already is fully compatible with Freed∞m, LibreQuake and Blasphemer, and anything CC0 should be fine too.

 

You could probably try asking A.W.O.L. devs to relicense the stuff that you'd find useful under either BSD-3-Clause or CC0. I guess even CC-BY will do. No harm in asking, right?

 

The same goes for The AMC Squad -- IIRC, the recent releases have replaced out some of the textures and possibly props from Duke3D with original art. You could try reaching out to the project devs and ask for permission. Even if the design does not fit your own art style, if you get the permission/licensing, you could at least use these assets as a base for your own work, without having to worry that the result could be considered derivative from proprietary art.

That would be nice. It's all entirely up to them. If they want to submit this or run it by me for the project. I'd be fine with that. I can always replace it later down the line. As the project further advances.

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