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samiam

Can FreeDOOM resources/maps/textures be altered?

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I have just downloaded Freedoom and have wasted my entire weekend playing this wonderful game in single player mode.

One thing I have noticed, however, is that the wads are far from complete. For example, a lot of maps do not have difficulty levels implemented, and it is impossible to complete E1M6 in the "shareware" WAD. E1M9 also looks nice, has an exit, but doesn't have any items nor monsters.

I have noticed that the copyright and license for FreeDOOM is ambigious. It is listed in the Sourceforge project page as having a "BSD License", and the submission page states "we plan to license the FreeDOOM wad in such a way that requires credit to be given to the FreeDOOM team by people who reuse work". Based on these two statements, I assume that FreeDOOM will be BSD-with-"obnoxious"-advertising-clause licensed. (See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/bsd.html for details)

I don't mind the advertising clause. What I do mind, however, is an idea among the community, that may or may not be here, that it is not possible to distribute modified versions of FreeDOOM WADs. The reason why this is of concern to me is that there are a number of excellent maps and other resources in the FreeDOOM wad, which would be suitable for distributing with a 100% free OS--but someone needs to touch things up. For example, adding monsters, items, and an exit to E1M6, or adding difficulty levels to other levels.

A lot of these levels haven't been touched in two or more years; it appears that many people have moved on to other things. This is OK, of course. A number of open source porjects have survived the original developers losing interest and moving on to other things.

For example, FreeCIV is an excellent game. It was started by one group of developers, and another group of developers did the 2.0 release.

Is it against the wishes of the designers of FreeDOOM for a modified version to be distributed?

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samiam said:

One thing I have noticed, however, is that the wads are far from complete. For example, a lot of maps do not have difficulty levels implemented, and it is impossible to complete E1M6 in the "shareware" WAD. E1M9 also looks nice, has an exit, but doesn't have any items nor monsters.


Neither E1M6 nor E1M9 are complete - see
http://freedoom.sourceforge.net/doom1levels_list .

samiam said:

I have noticed that the copyright and license for FreeDOOM is ambigious. It is listed in the Sourceforge project page as having a "BSD License", and the submission page states "we plan to license the FreeDOOM wad in such a way that requires credit to be given to the FreeDOOM team by people who reuse work". Based on these two statements, I assume that FreeDOOM will be BSD-with-"obnoxious"-advertising-clause licensed. (See http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/bsd.html for details)


Apologies if it appears that the licence is ambiguous: Our documentation (website, etc.) are in the middle of an overhaul. This is the version of the BSD licence we use: http://freedoom.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main/BSDLicense , which I hope you are happy with.

samiam said:

I don't mind the advertising clause. What I do mind, however, is an idea among the community, that may or may not be here, that it is not possible to distribute modified versions of FreeDOOM WADs.


I'm not sure where this concern comes from: That's one of the major points of the whole project!

samiam said:

The reason why this is of concern to me is that there are a number of excellent maps and other resources in the FreeDOOM wad, which would be suitable for distributing with a 100% free OS--but someone needs to touch things up. For example, adding monsters, items, and an exit to E1M6, or adding difficulty levels to other levels.


Being able to 'apt-get install doom' was one of the major reasons we started this project, and indeed, there's a freedoom package in Debian/sid these days. But yes the quality of the resource varies wildly.

Would you be interested in contributing some improvements? What is your 'background'? Most of the people who have worked on freedoom are from the doom community rather than the open source community and we are trying to bridge the two. It would be great to have some work from the latter. Working on resources is also quite a relaxing break from coding :)

I've recently been triaging the assignments people have requested and removing old ones : I recently dropped some which were over 3 years old, for example. However I did not touch 'in dev' entries (and I may not until demand for level slots makes it necessary) nor DOOM1 levels, as our focus is on completing the DOOM2 resources.

If you were interested in helping out but didn't know where to start, let us know, as I want to put together some guides from people who have put together resources on the best way to go about it.

samiam said:

Is it against the wishes of the designers of FreeDOOM for a modified version to be distributed?


Absolutely not. The aformentioned 'freedm' project was a spin-off designed for DM play, although that has disappeared. A number of projects (for doom and other games) have used our textures too.

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Thanks, Jon, for the clarification. My contribution would probably be pretty low key. It would consist of taking some of the "Doom2" levels, putting them where there aren't levels in the "Shareware" wad, adding difficulty to the levels that don't have them (A lot of level designers have this bad habit of designing their levels with only "Ultra-Violence" level of difficulty), and making something that feels complete.

I can't guarantee anything right now, since I have a term paper and a midterm next week.

- Sam

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samiam said:

Thanks, Jon, for the clarification. My contribution would probably be pretty low key. It would consist of taking some of the "Doom2" levels, putting them where there aren't levels in the "Shareware" wad,


In the long run I think some people would prefer there to be unique levels but I don't have a problem filling in the resources in this way in the short term. Actually, what I would like to do is data-mine the /idgames DB (I've asked for permission to do this and it might be possible) for levels which have a compatible licence, then run some kind of automated profiling over the result set to determine which levels are big enough / have the correct spread of items etc. to fit into various slots. However fraggle isn't keen on including someone's resources, even if the licence permits, without asking them first :)

samiam said:

adding difficulty to the levels that don't have them (A lot of level designers have this bad habit of designing their levels with only "Ultra-Violence" level of difficulty),


That would definitely be a valuable contribution to levels which are marked 'done' but need it.

samiam said:

and making something that feels complete.


This sort of thing is really a 'polishing off' - i.e., once you have (say) all of the E1 levels in place, making sure the entrance/exits match up, consistent texture usage, adjusting the progression (which weapons/monsters appear where) etc. which could only really be done once the levels were in place.

samiam said:

I can't guarantee anything right now, since I have a term paper and a midterm next week.


Good luck with that. Don't worry, do as much or as little as you like, and let us know if you need any advice. One of the things I want to do on the new site design (imminent) is make sure we have a great spread of info on how to do this sort of stuff.

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