Author Topic: Ocean's Heart  (Read 5043 times)

Max

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Re: Ocean's Heart
« Reply #60 on: October 16, 2018, 04:55:01 am »
Thanks! I'm not planning on licensing all the graphics, but I am going to release quite a few after I release the game.

The code though I'm definitely all about sharing : )
My reasoning is I'd like to be able to maintain some identity for my game visually that's unique and marketable, but I definitely want to make creating games easy for others because they're fun to play! If you're interested in any of my code let me know and I'll share it.

alexgleason

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Re: Ocean's Heart
« Reply #61 on: October 16, 2018, 06:23:38 am »
My reasoning is I'd like to be able to maintain some identity for my game visually that's unique and marketable

I can definitely understand the concern - you don't want the art to become diluted and used in ways you didn't intend. I wouldn't want that, either. I've been thinking about this for a few minutes and I keep finding counterarguments, though. Like, if someone used your graphics in a crappy game nobody ever plays... oh well? Like, it might make me cringe, but realistically there's not much loss there. But if someone uses your graphics in a game that becomes very popular, then it's like "by the way, all these graphics were actually created for this great original game Ocean's Heart." Then there becomes a context and a history, your art spreads, and becomes imbued in culture.

I guess I just don't think spreading art around defiles its virginity. On the contrary, it helps it learn and grow. It frees it, and this is what free culture is all about.

The third possibility is that your art is proprietary and someone copies it and profits off it without giving you credit. This is always a possibility because some people don't follow the law. So, would you actually sue? The answer is "it depends" I'm sure, but nobody wants to sue. It's an extremely stressful and exhausting thing and most of the time you're better off just letting it go so you can continue to focus on building your own life up rather than tearing down enemies. Not to mention the public controversy of a lawsuit - nobody wants to join the ranks of Nintendo by suing over IP, not even indie game devs. If I'm totally misreading the situation, I apologize, I'm projecting my own situation onto this argument. But if you wouldn't sue if someone copied, and there's a lot to gain from people copying, and not much to lose from it, I personally am very much in the CC-BY boat. Anyway, that's my argument haha. Just wanted to share, but I respect your decision to do whatever you want. ;D Looks like it's gonna be a great game either way.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 06:25:31 am by alexgleason »
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Diarandor

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Re: Ocean's Heart
« Reply #62 on: October 16, 2018, 11:16:27 am »
Thanks! I'm not planning on licensing all the graphics, but I am going to release quite a few after I release the game.

Actually, this terminology is wrong. All works have a license, even when you don't choose it (laws nonsensical stuff). The correct is to say that you are not planning to license all as free (as in freedom), but only some of them (the rest would have a non-free license chosen by Max).
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 11:30:38 am by Diarandor »
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Max

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Re: Ocean's Heart
« Reply #63 on: October 17, 2018, 01:03:28 am »
Valid points, both of you! And yes Diarandor, thanks for point out my mistake. What I mean is I'm planning on freely licensing many of the graphics after release via CC-BY or whatever, but keeping a few out of public use.

Alex, I suppose I haven't given it as much thought as I ought to, so I appreciate you engaging me on it! : )

To clarify, I haven't been like, sorting assets into piles of "share" or "don't", but if I had been, the "don't" pile is fairly small. Basically just like, my game's main characters. My plan so far has been once I release, to create a kind of general assets pack. Tilesets of mountains and trees and cities and stuff are pretty useful to everyone. I might not include like, the graphic I recently made of a pile of orange peels, which is almost uselessly specific.

But, as far as keeping graphics private until after I release, I stand by that practice- with the small exception that I already did make most of the tiles I made during my first year of development available on this site already :p
But, it's kind of possible (although probably unlikely) that someone might use my graphics, beat me to release, and I'd be seen as a copycat, which would be hilariously frustrating. But you've got a great point, that there's very little to be lost after I've established whatever brand identity I might by CC-BY'ing the assets, and plenty to be gained. You're making me rethink a lot of this, which I love!


I guess I have two counter-counter arguments. Neither of them are good.

If I'm thinking about re-using assets in future games, and assuming the best case scenario where I release graphics freely and a whole damn genre sprouts out around them, my next game might get lost? Haha, that's probably a bit unlikely.

But part two, I feel like many developers who want to use an assets pack are likely newer developers, and while a large set of common assets can be great so they can focus on something other than asset creation, it has the potential to counter-intuitively limit creativity, kinda? So, say I hand someone a box of legos, and inside there's a ton of bricks specifically from Star Wars sets. Lightsabers and spaceship engines and cockpits and stuff- they're probably going to build a spaceship, because that's the best use of that particular box of legos, honestly, you'd be wasting the special space parts otherwise. But on the other hand, say I give them a smaller box of more general bricks. They might create anything!

I think that when a set of resources meant to encourage creativity contains many hyper-specific instances, it instead encourages one to design around those resources and in a way, stifles creativity. As a small point, look how many Zelda fan games include a rooster statue in their village's central square, just because it's a nice looking asset to take from Link to the Past. Or on a bigger scale, have an ice-themed area instead of a rainforest-themed area, just because that's the assets they have. If I want to encourage creativity, I don't think all my assets would benefit those who would use them. Again to the graphic of a pile or orange peels I mentioned earlier, if someone received that in their game-makin'-resource-pack, they'd at least think, "how can I use a pile of orange peels in my game", instead of "how can I make the best game".

So, obviously,  my logic isn't foolproof, but that's at least part of my rationale behind keeping a few assets out of any resource I create and share freely. I still am rethinking some things in light of your arguments though, and will probably release more than I had initially planned, but I'm interested to hear more of your thoughts on how to best leverage your game's resources for everyone's benefit.

alexgleason

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Re: Ocean's Heart
« Reply #64 on: October 17, 2018, 07:46:09 am »
Nice! I appreciate your thoughtfulness. You seem like a nice person. I'll just address the parts I have counterarguments for. I agree with a lot of what you wrote.

Quote from: Max
As a small point, look how many Zelda fan games include a rooster statue in their village's central square, just because it's a nice looking asset to take from Link to the Past.

I realize you're using this as an example to illustrate a larger point, but I'm gonna talk about this literally for a sec. The rooster statue is a meme. I don't think reusing it is uncreative, it's just a cultural reference. But even if you don't think that, this isn't a Creative Commons asset anyway, it's an asset being copied without permission, which Nintendo could sue for.

People feel some ownership over old Nintendo graphics (rightly so). It was a part of a lot of people's childhoods. It's common for people to copy these graphics and use them in fan creations. It took us 26 years to get to that point with the rooster statue, though. Nintendo is a big company, and they can afford to prevent fans from spreading their work. As indie creators, I'm not sure we can afford not to encourage people to share and reuse our work. 26 years is too long.

I want to believe my game will become very popular. But the truth is that it probably won't. It has potential, but this is a competitive industry. Freeing the assets will at least give it a fighting chance for notoriety. It would be a worse mistake for me to spend so much time creating something that is relatively obscure and locked away from reinterpretation and reuse.

Quote from: Max
Or on a bigger scale, have an ice-themed area instead of a rainforest-themed area, just because that's the assets they have. If I want to encourage creativity, I don't think all my assets would benefit those who would use them.

These people are ignoring copyright anyway, so they have the whole world in their hands in terms of assets they could use. If they wanted to creatively reuse assets, there is virtually nothing standing in their way. They could have combined assets from Super Mario Bros and Portal. Most of them didn't, but the creator of mari0 did, and it certainly reinforced the cultural affection for both series.

I don't think being creative is an innate quality of a person, but there is a trend I can't ignore: some people are creative, and some aren't. A creative person can start with any arbitrary pool of resources and create something awesome. I do think we can teach people to more creative, but it would be a deep change in modes of thinking, not altering a resource pool. I mean, jack-o-lanterns involve literally carving a giant piece of fruit with a knife and look at what some people can do with that.

Quote from: Max
If I'm thinking about re-using assets in future games, and assuming the best case scenario where I release graphics freely and a whole damn genre sprouts out around them, my next game might get lost?

This sounds like a great problem to have. I guess you'd just have to rise to the challenge and create a far more innovative game than before. :)

Quote from: Max
So, obviously,  my logic isn't foolproof, but that's at least part of my rationale behind keeping a few assets out of any resource I create and share freely.

It sounds like you're a bit afraid to let go of the main character, and maybe the game's identity. Keep in mind that it can go both ways. If someone created a sequel to my game and I didn't have to lift a finger, I'd be thrilled. The only reason someone wouldn't is because of an egoistic attachment to the creation. It can be hard to separate the creation from the self, but doing so can be even more personally satisfying in the long term.

Quote from: Max
pile of orange peels

I dunno, I've searched for some very specific terms for free graphics ("trash bags", "vitamin") and was bummed there were no free graphics to go off of. I can't imagine that having more options would be a bad thing as long as sites like OpenGameArt.org are properly searchable and curated. You never know, maybe someone really needs a pile of orange peels, haha. I'd love a situation where everything you could think of has at least one free graphic online. Doesn't mean you have to put that graphic front-and-center, though. You could present generic graphics on a curated sprite-sheet, and just let people dig into your game's data to pull out whatever else they want. Up to you.

EDIT: Since we just had a whole conversation about a pile of orange peels, it has some cultural significance now, and I want to hide your pile of orange peels in my game somewhere only so the few people reading this thread can understand the inside joke.

EDIT2: Oranges are vegan.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2018, 07:58:02 am by alexgleason »
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Max

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Re: Ocean's Heart
« Reply #65 on: October 18, 2018, 03:31:33 am »
Hahahaha, orange peel attached. CC-0.


I really like the way you think, Alex : )
I think the stance I've been taking in my head- that it's possible my game would do so well that the value of my assets would be considerable- is less optimistic, and honestly more egotistical. So thanks for bringing it up, because that attitude, even when not consciously embraced, hurts the potential value of what I create as a shared resource, so I'd like to let it go. Maybe the individualistic mindset of valuing one's own creations as personal brand assets above the value they have as a shared resource is probably symptomatic of undervaluing our community, and that's a shitty thing to realize about myself. But realizing it is necessary to addressing it! And will help me be more compassionate toward my community going forward.

Anyway, I've definitely gotten a wonderful dose of having to reassess my preconceptions from talking about you, so just know I appreciate that- and we agree about almost everything, but I enjoy talking to you, so I'm going to keep engaging on a couple points.

Quote from: alexgleason
The rooster statue is a meme. I don't think reusing it is uncreative, it's just a cultural reference.

The reason I think much of this kind of asset reusage is influenced more by asset availability than the real depths of creativity that amateur devs could be drawing on, is based on personal experience. When using some [stolen nintendo] assets, I've had the experience of being like, I've got all these tomb stones, I should make a graveyard, rather than coming up with some other area that might be more creative or fit my game better. Or even if I needed a graveyard, creating tombstones that reflected the culture of the fiction I've created. If I've got a statue of a rooster, maybe I should make this village have some special connection to roosters, rather than something more supportive of the story I'm trying to tell.

To take it more into an abstract discussion than one particularly about nintendo assets, I've found myself multiple times when creating a fictional world, devising some kind of forest of giant mushrooms. It's a cool idea, but isn't particularly creative- it's been done many times before. Were it not for the cultural abundance of giant mushrooms, would I have thought of some hitherto unexplored botanical fantasy? Maybe.

I guess, while I take your point and am inclining toward releasing all my graphics, I still think about the potential negative impacts of releasing assets designed around a specific scenario and setting. To be sure, it's a very minor point. The benefits of allowing someone who otherwise wouldn't be able to create for lack of assets, or wouldn't have time to develop other systems for hours poured into asset creation, or whose strength is in other fields, or who would be illegally stealing others' assets without free options, or any number of other things- the benefits to these people greatly outweigh the potential negative effects on creativity. And I'm not a teacher, trying to nourish and refine some creativity muscle. So I don't know where this thought fits in, but I think I've seen the effects of relying on cultural references stunt my creative growth in at least some small measure.

Quote from: alexgleason
These people are ignoring copyright anyway, so they have the whole world in their hands in terms of assets they could use.
Just a small point, with the wealth of artistic styles in video games, this isn't always feasible if you want your game to have a cohesive aesthetic. Added to that, I've seen a lot of sentiment in fan game communities that a consistent aesthetic is paramount, and if "your perspective isn't quite right" or you've got a couple assets with a different shading or outlining style, you need to learn all about pixel art to fix them or else you've made the wrong choice. Specifically in Zelda fangames, I've seen weirdly negative comments about mixing graphics from like, Link to the Past and Minish Cap. God forbid adding in something from Link's Awakening or you're a fashion criminal, lol. This further pushes amateur developers toward using the specific settings and scenarios provided for by their game's assets. Like I mentioned before, this isn't honestly a real big problem or worth keeping assets out of developers hands for, I just think about it.

Anyway, thanks for having a real discussion on the internet! You've actually changed my mind on a lot of things.

EDIT:
After eating some dinner and upping my blood sugar levels, I'm reconsidering this scenario: I'm a huge success. There's dozens of indie games using my assets. A full half of them have weird sidequest about finding a stolen orange with just the peel as a clue, or a specific NPC that only eats oranges. After some thought... this alternate timeline has almost no measurable downsides. The people of the alternate future have you to thank, Alex.




Side-note: I usually try to write my posts in fairly simple english, because I know there are a lot of non-native english speakers on this site. This one got a little complex, I'm sorry. But I really appreciate everyone who puts in the effort to speak a language other than your own! I know how difficult that is, and I really really appreciate that I can understand and participate in this community, even though I only speak one language fluently : )
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 03:39:12 am by Max »

alexgleason

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Re: Ocean's Heart
« Reply #66 on: October 18, 2018, 07:18:24 pm »
A full half of them have weird sidequest about finding a stolen orange with just the peel as a clue, or a specific NPC that only eats oranges. After some thought... this alternate timeline has almost no measurable downsides. The people of the alternate future have you to thank, Alex.

Glad we're finally on the same page. ;)

https://vimeo.com/295845034 password: naranja

Vegan on a Desert Island officially takes place in the same fictional universe as Ocean's Heart! This is canon.
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alexgleason

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Re: Ocean's Heart
« Reply #67 on: October 18, 2018, 08:31:34 pm »
Anyway, I've definitely gotten a wonderful dose of having to reassess my preconceptions from talking about you, so just know I appreciate that

I know! Orange you glad we had this conversation??

I really like the way you think, Alex : )

Likewise!

I think the stance I've been taking in my head- that it's possible my game would do so well that the value of my assets would be considerable- is less optimistic, and honestly more egotistical. So thanks for bringing it up, because that attitude, even when not consciously embraced, hurts the potential value of what I create as a shared resource, so I'd like to let it go. Maybe the individualistic mindset of valuing one's own creations as personal brand assets above the value they have as a shared resource is probably symptomatic of undervaluing our community, and that's a shitty thing to realize about myself. But realizing it is necessary to addressing it! And will help me be more compassionate toward my community going forward.

I agree, this is the same realization I came to. I started out as an artist, and the open source software thing really shook up my ideas about intellectual property. Now I mostly write code, but I always feel really satisfied to share my other creations. I have gone through great lengths to reorganize my life around giving. And I've been burned by people many times who want to take advantage of that, but I try to focus on the people who are giving back.

We've built a society where the default option is to not give. You quite literally have to go against the grain of society and become a "free thinker" or whatever to see an alternative path. But maybe if we all gave, we'd all have so much more.

Even though some people will burn me, I'm still indebted to all the people - dead or alive - who gave me things I didn't ask for. To Bach, da Vinci, Linux, Solarus, and now you. Nintendo never game me anything that didn't come with a price tag and a EULA, but I don't live for them. I would choose for Ocean's Heart and Children of Solarus to become notorious even at the cost of A Link to the Past being totally forgotten.

On that note, I'd like to introduce you to Nina Paley. She's a professional artist and copyright abolitionist:


Needless to say, she's a personal hero of mine, lol. If you click any of these links and ignore the rest, please choose the first one.

I still think about the potential negative impacts of releasing assets designed around a specific scenario and setting.
And I'm not a teacher, trying to nourish and refine some creativity muscle.

Kinda seems like you addressed your own point. I get your concern, especially because throughout the creation of my game I've been repeatedly making stupid novice mistakes. And I realize these things, and ask myself, "hasn't someone already figured this out before?" But unless you want to be a teacher, I wouldn't worry too much about this. I think it's a separate problem. My concern with freely-licensed assets is that people have been deprived the freedom to copy and share, and I want to take steps to counteract that. To hopefully foster a culture around giving.

But if you wanted to, you could be a teacher. Why not? Include some advice with your assets, or write some blog posts about things you learned about game design. People who are eager to learn will learn. For the rest, we might just have to accept they will be creating mushroom forests.

There are multiple ways you could present your game assets. If you present them all in the context of "Ocean's Heart graphics" rather than "generic zelda-like tileset" then at least people can recognize it as a part of a whole project, which might make them more considerate of the way the use it.

Anyway, thanks for having a real discussion on the internet! You've actually changed my mind on a lot of things.

Totally, and likewise! I feel kinda hopeful for humanity now, hooray!
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 08:37:08 pm by alexgleason »
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alexgleason

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Re: Ocean's Heart
« Reply #68 on: October 19, 2018, 12:38:33 am »
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alexgleason

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Re: Ocean's Heart
« Reply #69 on: October 20, 2018, 03:39:49 pm »
Sorry for quadruple post, but I wanted to clarify that I'm not saying don't sell it. I'm planning to sell VOADI, and I ask for money on Patreon. All I'm saying is, I am encoraging people to copy and share my work and I won't threaten to sue them. I think this is better for the game dev and better for society.

(Also the bit about "being burned for giving" had nothing to do with intellectual property. I was just ranting a bit, whoops. :P)
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Max

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Re: Ocean's Heart
« Reply #70 on: October 20, 2018, 06:35:07 pm »
Haha, post away. And yeah, I figured you weren't against selling anything.

So, to ask you the cliche "would you still be vegan even on a desert island" type question, what about the idea of someone taking your unprotected work and as a whole game, or a loosely reskinned one, and going and selling it? Maybe it's unlikely, but that is what copywrite protection is designed to prevent, and it does happen.

alexgleason

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Re: Ocean's Heart
« Reply #71 on: October 20, 2018, 08:05:56 pm »
Haha, post away. And yeah, I figured you weren't against selling anything.

So, to ask you the cliche "would you still be vegan even on a desert island" type question, what about the idea of someone taking your unprotected work and as a whole game, or a loosely reskinned one, and going and selling it? Maybe it's unlikely, but that is what copywrite protection is designed to prevent, and it does happen.

It's a good question. The simple answer, in theory, is that the exposure you gain from releasing a freely-licensed work will counteract any perceived loss in sales. For example, if someone else is honestly able to market and sell your game better than you are, they will have broadened the game's audience beyond your own capacity, which will drive a fraction of these people back to you.

I don't have any case studies and I'm not an economist, but for an indie creator I think this makes intuitive sense. Let them sell it, just ask them to give you attribution (CC-BY does legally require this, so you could sue if they didn't attribute you). Giving attribution is a pretty small ask, and I often wonder how things could have been different if Urban Outfitters would have just given credit for the indie designs they reused.

As a side note, I have mixed feelings about Nina Paley's commitment to "legal nonviolence." I think using CC-BY-SA and GPL to stand up to corporations and force them to share is a good thing.

Feel free to keep sending question, counterarguments, what have you. :) PM me if you don't want to continue in the thread. I'm having fun with this.
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alexgleason

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Re: Ocean's Heart
« Reply #72 on: October 20, 2018, 08:14:35 pm »
that is what copywrite protection is designed to prevent

Oh I forgot to address this one part. The original purpose of copyright law was to benefit society as a whole. The deal was that authors would receive protections for their work, which would incentivize them to write more books, which would mean that society as a whole would receive more books. It was a good deal, at the time. Printing machines were large and expensive, so normal people couldn't copy books. Therefore, the "don't copy" rule applied only to print manufacturers.

These days we have computers with high-speed internet. Everyone has the capacity to distribute works of authorship, not just print shops. We have the ability to educate the world for free, but we keep research papers and textbooks locked up, and we have the police raid people's homes and imprison them for sharing. So, I argue that copyright law is no longer serving its original purpose of improving the greater-good of society. In fact, it's Orwellian and oppressive more than it is liberating.
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