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Legality of iwad assets used in other wads

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I think I recall that at some point id allowed some use of iwad resources in pwads for convenience or editing purposes or something, but I've never seen an official statement to that effect, and so I'm curious about exactly what kinds of permissions, if any, were given.

I know in practice no one cares, especially these days. It's not an entirely rhetorical question, but it's more for my own curiosity than a "these wads are illegal!" kind of thing.

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Unmodified iwad assets are a big no-no (though The New Chex Quest Generation 2 base iwad seems to get away with copying all the Doom 2 maps...)

Modified iwad assets (like recolored monsters, for example) can and have been done before, but they can't be used in a commercial product.

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Linguica: Well, those are definitely some words.

Danfun64 said:

Unmodified iwad assets are a big no-no

But what about, for example, including Doom 1 textures in a Doom 2 map?

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plums said:

But what about, for example, including Doom 1 textures in a Doom 2 map?


Or how about the music?

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If we don't talk about it too much, then it's not illegal.

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Strictly speaking, it's not legal to copy assets from one game to the other. Using Doom assets within the same game is covered by the license.

Realistically speaking, nobody cares. Just don't try to do anything commercial with such mods, that will bring the lawyers into the game quite efficiently.

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Technically you can't port HeXen Ettins into Doom to replace Imps, but as said, no one is likely going to care unless you try to sell it.

The Doom community seems to be rather lax with said things, but I remember the Jedi Outcast/Academy communities being very anal about this kind of thing. They did not like it if you wrapped Darth Sion's KotOR textures around an existing model and post it as a download, even if you weren't claiming it as your own. With Doom, there's countless mods using sprites from other games or model rips (Like those usually awful looking Half-Life rips).

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Graf Zahl said:

Realistically speaking, nobody cares.

I think it's a bit of an overstatement to say that nobody cares. This is a question that often transpires in the community, and it regularly comes to pass at one ultimate location: the idgames Archive. Whatever stance the community holds on the legal status of content contained in certain WADs, some form of final judgement has to happen here. Unfortunately, there's no concrete answer to be found in the decisions made here either. I can't forget the troubles the Switcheroom release went through despite being comprised of nothing but demonstrably original maps.

Graf Zahl said:

Using Doom assets within the same game is covered by the license.

Is it truly? And is this notion in agreement with the general consensus of the community?

I've a number of examples to counter this, but there's one that especially hits close to home for me: my Doom 2 Minor Sprite Fixing Project. I made certain that every single included lump in the WAD files were verifiably modified which could be easily confirmed through third party means. However, the WADs were nonetheless rejected from the idgames archive for not being "substantial enough" modifications.

While that might sound like a reasonable assessment, it's an inconsistent one that doesn't bear scrutiny. What differences is there between my rejected sprite fixes, which I can't stress enough are all objectively modified lumps and only account for a fraction of the total IWAD sprite count, and the accepted and highly esteemed Sunlust release, which includes the entirety of Doom 2's IWAD sprite assets in an unmodified form? Yes, I know Sunlust uses a custom color palette which is why the IWAD sprites are all included. However, they were included to deliberately appear as visually indistinguishable, if not purely identical, to the normal IWAD sprites. They are "modified" but invisibly so. Nonetheless, they all have a technical reason for being there. The thing is, the same is true for every single lump in my Sprite Fixing Project. What justifies one instance as being "substantial enough" and the other not?

Clearly, modified assets and using "Doom in Doom" are not a universally accepted rules in the community. There is a threshold on display here, but what is it? And does it stand up to rational examination? Nobody bats an eye at including the entirety of Hexen/Heretic/Strife/Duke/Wolfenstein/whatever's assets in a Doom PWAD. However, make your Doom PWAD using Doom assets that look too similar to Doom? Those are grounds for rejection, it seems.

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Revenant100 said:

I think it's a bit of an overstatement to say that nobody cares. This is a question that often transpires in the community, and it regularly comes to pass at one ultimate location: the idgames Archive. Whatever stance the community holds on the legal status of content contained in certain WADs, some form of final judgement has to happen here. Unfortunately, there's no concrete answer to be found in the decisions made here either. I can't forget the troubles the Switcheroom release went through despite being comprised of nothing but demonstrably original maps.


Just have a look at the technically illegal stuff in /idgames. There's tons of mods that 'borrow' from commercial sources, and it has been like that since the beginning of its existence.

Revenant100 said:

Is it truly? And is this notion in agreement with the general consensus of the community?


Yes, one of the KDiZD members got confirmation from Todd Hollenshead himself shortly before its release.

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I'm curious about this too. I do feel too many mappers use external resources a bit liberally. Though on the other hand, I guess that's what people make them for.
As a rule for myself I no longer put anything into my wads that aren't from the IWADs unless ive created them myself. This goes for all resources in my wads, including textures, graphics, and music. Though I do have a bit of hesitation when cross pollinating a wad with sources from multiple IWADs.

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