Should Freedoom guy wear gloves?

fraggle said:

(thoughts)

I don't care about a different style, and I'm not proposing anything "slavish". It really is a matter of things not clashing with each other too much.

Judging by the fact that you linked an actual bug, it's pretty much like I said: you won't be too upset about Freedoom resources being any degrees of bad from the interchangeability standpoint. It's not a technical problem. I have a suspicion (and I hope it all doesn't sound too much like a straw man) that a major texture overhaul is pending, because even if you replace textures that are lazy copies of their Doom counterparts, you'd still have some material that looks "different yet similar".

What I don't agree with is the distance you can go to improve "artistic compatibility" without waiting to be C&D'd to the moon and back. Obviously, you did a lot more research on the topic, so I won't pretend to know the exact outcome of doing things my way. Besides, I'm not that invested in Freedoom to begin with. Still, I think this matter shouldn't be neglected for the "IWAD substitute" fork.

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it should be without gloves and the broken manacle like rjy said, you know, to symbolize freedom :)

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Da Werecat said:

It's not a technical problem.

"It's not a technical problem" is really the key point here. At some point it has to be reasonable to say "if you care that much then just buy/use the original IWADs". It's reasonable to assume that people using Freedoom exclusively (either for philosophical reasons, or other) are aware of its limitations, and that if they play a mod that originally used Doom's graphics, there's a chance things might not match up perfectly.

I have a suspicion (and I hope it all doesn't sound too much like a straw man) that a major texture overhaul is pending, because even if you replace textures that are lazy copies of their Doom counterparts, you'd still have some material that looks "different yet similar".

I haven't suggested anything like this, but I think it would actually be a really good idea.

Back in the early days of the project, as the texture submissions progressed towards completeness, I used to enjoy opening two games side by side, one running Doom and one running Freedoom, just to see how the same levels looked with the different textures. It was quite nice to see, just because we've all seen Doom's textures hundreds of times at this point and it's actually really nice to see something completely fresh and new (and visibly not just an unimaginative copy of the originals). One example that sticks in my mind is Espi's triangular STARTAN textures. Those to me are a really good example of "compatibility" done well: perfectly usable as a replacement for the originals, but simultaneously new and visibly different. I was sad when they got replaced.

Ultimately it's the legal thing that worries me the most, but regardless, it's actually quite a fun challenge to make something that's visibly different.

Still, I think this matter shouldn't be neglected for the "IWAD substitute" fork.

Got that fork backwards I think, the discussion was about making a fork that didn't focus on compatibility. I don't see mainline Freedoom abandoning PWAD compatibility any time soon. I'm deliberately not starting such a fork since it needs to be run by artists from the start. But I would like to see it happen.

I'd feel far more comfortable in this discussion if the fork already did exist, because at least we'd still have one IWAD left if one got taken down. There's no reason we can't have as many free IWADs as possible, but for now, Freedoom is the only one we've got.

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The impossibility to achieve perfection from the artistic standpoint doesn't mean a whole lot. Well, it means that you should get rid of your OCD, but it's not a good excuse to stop bothering altogether, for example.

fraggle said:

One example that sticks in my mind is Espi's triangular STARTAN textures. Those to me are a really good example of "compatibility" done well: perfectly usable as a replacement for the originals, but simultaneously new and visibly different. I was sad when they got replaced.

I can see why they were replaced. A typical STAR texture is a collection of panels and rails. Mappers often create their geometry around these elements. If you drastically change the shapes, alignment will go out the window. Unless we're talking about something like a flat 128x128 wall, of course.

When I was making new STAR textures for Freedoom (I never finished them), I had some ideas about how to make the panels look different, but I left the seams more or less where they always were.

fraggle said:

Got that fork backwards I think, the discussion was about making a fork that didn't focus on compatibility.

Apparently, I misused the work "fork".

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fraggle said:

Ultimately it's the legal thing that worries me the most

Is there any objective measure that can be used to determine how "risky" an asset is in this respect? I mean, Scuba Steve's pistol is undoubtedly closer to its Doom counterpart than Sodaholic's, but is it close enough to make copyright infringement a valid concern? What about the mascaron switches?

fraggle said:

But there's a deeper point here that I really want to stress. It's really, really important that Freedoom should have a distinct art style and be as original as possible. We've been pushing in that direction already by eliminating some resources recently which looked or sounded too close to the Doom versions.

Then I suppose it is equally important to point out that some recent resource replacements actually introduced assets which are more reminiscent of their Doom counterparts:

  • Super Shotgun by Eriance
  • BFG by Eriance
  • liquid flats by Sodaholic

    (old left, Doom centre, new right)

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This post is not legal advise and I am not a lawyer.

This could lead to mass paranoia which can completely just stall and kill the project.

Also remember that there is no copyright/patent claim until one is actually sued, at least in the US.

However, personally I feel that Freedoom is compatible fair use (since we have no stolen resources to our knowledge, just inspired (and inspiration is not illegal, unless it violates a patent)). Even though Doom has been GPLed, using the Commercial IWADs amounts to vendor lock in (thus the original creators have a monopoly on compatible Doom-derived engines). Freedoom is also not a complete game, it is just data. Without an engine to use the data, then Freedoom is useless.

So really the only way to be sure is to pay for actual lawyers.

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mrfibble those assets you cited are clearly different from the originals and the previous versions where replaced for being too low quality. you are of course welcome to create new better assets

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raymoohawk said:

mrfibble those assets you cited are clearly different from the originals

There's no doubt that they are different, and I never claimed otherwise, but in the light of that copyright lawsuit fraggle mentioned on the previous page I'm quite a bit concerned:

fraggle said:

It's really, really important that Freedoom should have a distinct art style and be as original as possible. We've been pushing in that direction already by eliminating some resources recently which looked or sounded too close to the Doom versions. If you don't understand why, understand that copyright is not simply a matter of "I drew it myself so it's okay". As an example of how broadly copyright can be interpreted, read about this lawsuit for example.

If what fraggle says is right, then implementing a very strict content control might be a priority. It's better to be on the safe side than jeopardize the project because of non-essential details. Especially if more originality also means higher quality assets.

I like the new skull cursor, and the poison/radiation signs Sodaholic made are quite polished, but all these are more similar to their Doom counterparts than their respective previous versions.

The problem is that apparently there are no objective criteria which we could use to clearly distinguish similarity from originality in the cases like Eriance's BFG and SSG. However, we know for sure that he created those sprites as replacement of their Doom counterparts, so this already implies a degree of similarity. Conversely, Freedoom's weapons could be ultimately anything. There's no reason not to make the BFG a magic staff for example, or replace the chaingun with an automatic rifle.

I've said a couple of times here that superficial changes (like the colour of the megaarmour) do not really add to a separate identity. But the truth is, enough small changes will definitely result in something that is sufficiently different so as to be "safe" in respect to what fraggle said.

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Why not have gloves, but make them a different style and/or color? Maybe longer sleeves on them?

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@mrfibble

the doom weapons are pretty much standard shooter weapons, that is why its not much of a problem if our shotgun replacement is a shotgun

about the new sodaholic stuff none of his assets represent things that are id software property, bfgs, imps those belong to idsoftware, things like poison signs do not

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i think soda said he was going to use his dads arms to make new sprites, but i cant find the post

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raymoohawk said:

i think soda said he was going to use his dads arms to make new sprites, but i cant find the post

While his arms are certainly hairier and thicker than mine, they look a bit too old on second thought.

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raymoohawk said:

about the new sodaholic stuff none of his assets represent things that are id software property, bfgs, imps those belong to idsoftware, things like poison signs do not

Well, I certainly do hope it's okay! But if there's no confidence I would suppose erring on the side of caution and making new assets as different from Doom ones as possible would be logical.

For example, in the lawsuit referred to by fraggle the company that filed the lawsuit does not own rights to the images of English double decker buses or the Houses of Parliament, but the court ruled that the defending company had reproduced a "substantial part" of the suing company's image.

I'm trying to find any quotes of what John Carmack told fraggle when the project was initially negotiated. So far I only found this:

fraggle said:

I agree. They are very good but disturbingly close to the originals. I'd much prefer if they were different. Remember, we're supposed to be creating something original - Carmack explicitely said we cant copy anything.

fraggle had a link to John Carmack's reply posted here, but it is no longer online, and the WM did not archive it. A part (?) of that message is quoted a few posts below:

You can't re-create anything that is clearly our work.

You can make a completely different game using the code with our blessing, but if it has imps, cyber demons, BFGs, etc, then you are treading on thin ice.

I hate to be the one to tell people this, but the reality of the business is that we are obligated to defend our trademarks and copyrights, so we can't just let things like that happen, even if they aren't perceived as a "threat".

You could make and release a new DOOM wad that replaced everything with similary looking original art, but it would still be bound by the restrictions we place on community derivative work, so it wouldn't be "free" in the sense that the GPL'd codebase is.

John Carmack

It seems to clearly state that "similarly looking original art" cannot be part of a truly free IWAD.

As an example, Sodaholic's POISON sign has the same shape as the one from Doom. The text and image on the sign are similar in both games. At least the previous DANGER sign (upon which Sodaholic's version is based) was mirrored vertically and had different text, although I suppose that a similar approach as with the RADIOACTIVE sign (different colours and shape) would be more preferable.

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MrFlibble said:

As an example, Sodaholic's POISON sign has the same shape as the one from Doom.

Reason I kept the same shape instead of having it vertically flipped is in case there are any maps that might depend on that shape. For example, there could be a map where there's a sector inlay into the wall that contains the triangular sign. Using a vertically flipped version would screw that up and leave gaps in the corners while cutting off the rest of the sign. As a wall patch, that's less of an issue, but remember that many high-detail maps rely on some basic shape.

FWIW I do agree that changing its appearance to be less like id's version would be nice, I just don't think we should screw with the shape and size of things.

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Well, instead of a triangle, why not an octagon; with that hazard symbol (you know, the one with those interwinding curves)?

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Voros said:

Well, instead of a triangle, why not an octagon

Because that would screw up any high-detail maps that have a triangle built right into the geometry.

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MrFlibble said:

It seems to clearly state that "similarly looking original art" cannot be part of a truly free IWAD.


John Carmack is not a lawyer and I am not either.

Copyright law varies by country and international treaties between countries. There are works which I can copy freely in the US without any consequence, however if I were to take that same work and copy it in the UK I would be violating the law.

Personally, since I am a citizen of the US, only copyrights valid in the US apply to me.

http://copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-protect.html#idea

Copyright does not protect ideas, concepts, systems, or methods of doing something. You may express your ideas in writing or drawings and claim copyright in your description, but be aware that copyright will not protect the idea itself as revealed in your written or artistic work.


The texture GRASS1 for example conveys the idea of grass, that is something which cannot be copyrighted. Otherwise you would have Atari suing id Software because they used grass in their game. Freedoom as a project can be sued for anything. A company can actually sue Freedoom because it uses a 64x64 grass texture. Freedoom of course would have to defend itself in a court of law if the case is not dismissed.

-----------

Going hyper-paranoid when it comes to Freedoom would be very detrimental to the project. Imagine Freedoom with a dedicated research to find potential infringement it may cause where it could take months or years to submit even a single texture, sound effect, music, or level.

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Sodaholic said:

Because that would screw up any high-detail maps that have a triangle built right into the geometry.

A symmetrical diamond shape (with the upper part mirroring the lower) would fit well into said geometry. Also there's no reason for the sign to say POISON where DANGER was a similar but not identical warning.

In fact, I think if you just keep your skull & crossbones sign centred in the diamond shape, that would be both original and not interfere with any theoretical map design peculiarities.

GhostlyDeath said:

Going hyper-paranoid when it comes to Freedoom would be very detrimental to the project. Imagine Freedoom with a dedicated research to find potential infringement it may cause where it could take months or years to submit even a single texture, sound effect, music, or level.

I'm not suggesting to go paranoid. But there are lots of ways to make original assets that will have only slight resemblance to their Doom counterparts and yet work well with PWADs. Some of the best textures and flats in Freedoom are exactly that. If it's possible, why not aspire for such higher standards? I can only agree with what fraggle said here:

fraggle said:

In any case, regardless of the legal standpoint, it would be nice if freedoom could be an original work and not simply a straight copy of the original.

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Tarnsman said:

So Doomguy has gloves on in 3 weapon sprite sets, no gloves on in 2 weapon sprite sets, no gloves in his player sprite, gloves on the box art, and this is consistency?


Wrong, He has gloves in every weapon sprite set except for the 2 MELEE ones. Thats 4 gun sprite sets. Pistol/Chaingun/shotgun/supershotgun. Thats called consistency yes.
Player box art trumps in game player model IMO because what people think of when they picture Doomguy since we didn't really look into mirrors during the game. The reason they removed it from the melee weapons is probably just because it looked better (and perhaps doom guy doesn't want to get blood on them) and not because they couldn't decide on which route to take. ie not inconsistency.

Lets just vote on it mate.

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I Could make some fist sprites.

 

 

 

:EDIT: Never mind. I'll just leave that to Sodaholic or anybody else that isn't me

Edited by MrD!zone

Posted (edited)

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