Author Topic: Pool to Pools conversion  (Read 6339 times)

Offline bravedogbfg

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Pool to Pools conversion
« on: October 27, 2014, 12:28:07 PM »
Now that DC is launched, what are the community's thoughts on recreating some of the GoldBox games in DC.  You could actually put a whole series into one DC module.  That is what I would like to do - try to redo Pool of Radiance through Pools of Darkness in one game.  Also the dragonlance games

I doubt there are any copyright issues at this point, but it it something to consider.  It would be a lot of work to convert a bunch of games over only to have to scrap it.  But I am willing to put in the effort if there is interest (and help).

As an aside, on a group project, is there a way to import just a single level from another design?  That way, people could each be working on a separate level on their own for a group project.

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Pool to Pools conversion
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2014, 01:19:01 PM »
Now that DC is launched, what are the community's thoughts on recreating some of the GoldBox games in DC.  You could actually put a whole series into one DC module.  That is what I would like to do - try to redo Pool of Radiance through Pools of Darkness in one game.  Also the dragonlance games

I guess my first question is, aside from "because you can," why would you want to do that?  In some of the games, there is a massive passage of time (for example, "Pool of Radiance" to "Pools of Darkness" spans a decade in story time).  There's also the fact that, thematically, not all the games would necessarily work together.

That being said, I guess there's no reason not to do it, but it doesn't make a lot of sense, necessarily, and I've never understood why someone would think it's important to do it.

Quote
I doubt there are any copyright issues at this point, but it it something to consider.  It would be a lot of work to convert a bunch of games over only to have to scrap it.  But I am willing to put in the effort if there is interest (and help).

Actually, there would be a lot of copyright issues.  Wizards of the Coast owns everything D&D related, the story elements, and the Forgotten Realms and Dragonlance settings.  Last I checked, EA was in possession of the SSI name (after buying a company that had bought them), so they might also own some part of it as well.

Remaking actual Gold-Box games in FRUA is one thing.  SSI and TSR explicitly allowed users of FRUA to use their properties with the toolset.  Using DC to do it opens up a whole new can of worms, especially if you're planning to distribute it on the Internet afterwards.  Don't say you weren't warned.
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Re: Pool to Pools conversion
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2014, 02:24:13 PM »
Let me give you some thoughts... :D

First off, I agree with everything Ben said. :)
But, I also appreciate that everybody has their own thing for their own reasons. Personally, I have not want to do the whole Pool series, but I've been working on Secrets of the Silver Blades because I wanted to update the art and to do a sequel. Then I got some work done on Pool of Radiance, because that seemed fun.

Okay, some answers:
Group projects - when I was doing "The City", I created a base design as my master with all of the levels added and sized (but blank). I then made that available to download and people were assigned a range of levels. Upon completion, they can send you the level and you just pop it into the master...there are more management issues, but that is essentially it. Now, however, there is another option. People can import and export issues in the editor. I'm not sure how well this is working, to be honest, but since the FRUA conversion is coming along quite nicely, I think Paul will be able to use some of that for importing/exporting (if he isn't alread).

SSI - while SSI is no more and emails I had sent in the past to EA and Atari got the response of, "The company that did what now?", the guys who were behind SSI are now back with a new company called TSI, and I bet you could ask them if they know who to contact about copyright stuff.

Offline Jaesun

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Re: Pool to Pools conversion
« Reply #3 on: October 27, 2014, 02:49:50 PM »
Last I checked, EA was in possession of the SSI name (after buying a company that had bought them), so they might also own some part of it as well.

UBISoft (not EA) bought SSI and owns all of its Intellectual Properties.

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Re: Pool to Pools conversion
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2014, 03:09:01 PM »
Last I checked, EA was in possession of the SSI name (after buying a company that had bought them), so they might also own some part of it as well.

UBISoft (not EA) bought SSI and owns all of its Intellectual Properties.

Thanks for the correction. :) Also, SSI never owned the system, only rights to use it (the AD&D 1e system) which belongs to Hasbro. SSI also did not own the copyrights to the art used that was converted from painted AD&D art, the artists hold those rights and no one is sure who holds the rights to the original artwork created for the game, i.e. does the artist own them, or did SSI. The SSI guys don't know either.

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Pool to Pools conversion
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2014, 03:56:49 PM »
Yeah, I screwed up on the Ubisoft thing (which is odd, since I knew that).

Anyway, the point is, WotC owns a lot of what is in those stories.  And WotC is owned by Hasbro.  They might not be happy to see a remake of their intellectual properties without their permission. 

Which is why I also don't know if it's wise for folks to remake their modules either.  Sure, Ray did it in FRUA, but as already established, TSR gave permission for that kind of thing.  For DC, no such permissions were given.  I would tread lightly.
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Offline Jaesun

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Re: Pool to Pools conversion
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2014, 03:57:59 PM »
If I recall correctly, (in general) Wizards of the Coast are actually "OK" if you use any of the D&D art from any of the Gold Box Games or any older D&D art, for a game/mod that is free. And as long as the content of the game/mod uses the D&D setting and is fitting of the D&D brand.

Just like basically all of the hundreds of FRUA modules.

Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Pool to Pools conversion
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2014, 04:03:21 PM »
Can you provide a source for that?
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Re: Pool to Pools conversion
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2014, 04:10:27 PM »
If I recall correctly, (in general) Wizards of the Coast are actually "OK" if you use any of the D&D art from any of the Gold Box Games or any older D&D art, for a game/mod that is free. And as long as the content of the game/mod uses the D&D setting and is fitting of the D&D brand.

Just like basically all of the hundreds of FRUA modules.

That would have been before WotC decided to start re-releasing the 1e stuff in PDF format.

Offline Jaesun

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Re: Pool to Pools conversion
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2014, 04:49:00 PM »
If I recall correctly, (in general) Wizards of the Coast are actually "OK" if you use any of the D&D art from any of the Gold Box Games or any older D&D art, for a game/mod that is free. And as long as the content of the game/mod uses the D&D setting and is fitting of the D&D brand.

Just like basically all of the hundreds of FRUA modules.

That would have been before WotC decided to start re-releasing the 1e stuff in PDF format.

Ahhh OK. I didn't know they were releasing those old modules.

Offline Jaesun

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Re: Pool to Pools conversion
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2014, 05:21:37 PM »
Quote
If I recall correctly, (in general) Wizards of the Coast are actually "OK" if you use any of the D&D art from any of the Gold Box Games or any older D&D art, for a game/mod that is free. And as long as the content of the game/mod uses the D&D setting and is fitting of the D&D brand.
Can you provide a source for that?

That is just my thoughts in general. I've never heard of WotC resorting to draconian measure to have someone remove the older TSI art from a mod or website.

Offline bravedogbfg

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Re: Pool to Pools conversion
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2014, 06:31:57 PM »
I guess it begs the question, can DC use ANY elements which would be considered part of the WoTC rights?

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Re: Pool to Pools conversion
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2014, 06:45:37 PM »
There is a reason that we are not using conversions of the default FRUA art. ;)

The gist of it is that if you are a hobbyist and not trying to make any money off of your design and not portraying the licensed material in a negative way, then most companies not owned by George Lucas look the other way. If your game gets so well-known that it starts to get some media attention, they may ask you to remove it or remove certain contents because you have just become competitive.


Offline ProphetSword

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Re: Pool to Pools conversion
« Reply #13 on: October 27, 2014, 08:05:08 PM »
It's one thing to use the art.  It's another thing entirely to copy a series of games and release them in this manner.  For all we know, Steam or Good Old Games could be working on a deal to bring the Gold-Box Games back to PCs (just happened with the Star Wars X-Wing and Tie-Fighter series). 

Not telling you not to do it.  Just telling you what kind of issues you could face.

In regard to fangame legal issues, I found this on wikipedia:
Some companies shut down fangames as copyright infringements. The term foxed is often used to describe these incidents, stemming from the original coining of the term from 20th Century Fox's shut down of an Aliens-themed total conversion of Quake. Original copyright holders can order a cease & desist of fangame projects, as by definition fangames are unauthorized uses of copyrighted property. Many fangames go as far as taking music and graphics directly from the original games.A notable case in late 2005 involved Vivendi Universal shutting down a King's Quest fan project, King's Quest IX: Every Cloak Has a Silver Lining. It was to be an unofficial sequel granting closure to the series, which had its last release in 1998. After a letter-writing campaign and fan protests, Vivendi reversed its decision and gave permission for the game to be made. As part of the negotiations, the developers were required to remove "King's Quest" from the title. Conversely, fan protests for the shutting down of Chrono Resurrection (a remake demo of Chrono Trigger) in 2004 have yielded no result on Square Enix's action to block the project.


An attorney (Mona Ibrahim) posted this as a warning in regards to making clones or fangames:
"...the law doesn’t really care, and is not on your side here if you relied on or used any of the other elements noted above. Even if you create the images, sound recordings, etc. from scratch, if those same components are clearly derived or ripped off from the original game, all your hard work may mean absolutely nothing from a legal perspective."


And one last piece I found on the Internet with a minimal amount of searching:
Wired.co.uk spoke to Alex Tutty, a digital media IP expert from London-based solicitors Sheridans, who's advised and represented clients in relation to areas like games, apps, website development and virtual goods. He's seen a rise in fan games too ("Whether this is due to the accessibility of tech to create them or just that people are getting nostalgic, I don't know," he remarks).
Essentially, a game like Streets of Rage Remake or Chrono Resurrection would be seen as simple trade mark or copyright infringement, and considering that these games slavishly emulate or reference the games in question, it would be effortless for a legal team to demonstrate the infringement in court.
"To the extent that a fan game uses the title of the game it is paying homage to in its title, this may be trade mark infringement," explains Tutty. Take Streets of Rage Remake, which uses Sega's trade marked phrase, "Streets of Rage", in its name. Even if you alter the name ("perhaps Roads of Rage", Tutty suggests), if Sega can "show that the fan game has used a similar mark for similar/identical goods and that there is confusion," they'll win.
 
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Offline SilentThief

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Re: Pool to Pools conversion
« Reply #14 on: October 28, 2014, 01:08:38 AM »
I know for a fact that tolkiens lawyers shut down a mod project of middle earth made for morrowind. Depends on the lawyers and the holders of the intellectual rights.

You can make anything you want, the moment you try to distribute it then changes things...

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