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Potentially unwanted model modifications


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1 hour ago, peter_spy said:

Out of curiosity, how that actually contributes to any workflow? I get that you can whip up something with DR brushwork and add details in Blender. But you don't need to export models from DR, if you have model source, and if it's not your model, it's safer to ask the original creator to make changes, as they know how a model was made.

I've found some value in this, specifically in order to combine several models into one.  I over-modularized some pieces in my walls, and once I was sure of the sizing I was going to use I combined a wall, window sill, horizontal spacers, etc into two different 3-story wall slice models which are still highly reusable but much simpler to place.  I've tried to avoid too much premature performance optimization but I also expect combining models to sometimes be a valid technique for reducing entity counts and drawcalls if modules or detail/clutter models push things over the edge. 

 

I think the best thing we can do as creators is make our intentions for our work clear by choosing and applying the right license.  For instance, as my FM will tell my own unique story, I'll release the map itself as CC BY-NC-ND.  OTOH I consider the assets I'm creating for the FM to be more of a means to that end and I'd be happy for others to use them as they saw fit to create their own stories, so I'll make those CC BY-NC-SA.  If I was creating high-quality, highly-unique assets I might feel differently about them and choose a different license accordingly.

We can't really prevent bad actors from doing what they want, but we can make things easier for everyone who is acting in good faith.  Maybe we could come up with a way to increase the visibility of the licenses to other mappers somehow.  Or maybe we should at least have a wiki article that encourages content creators to both include a license with their work, and to check for and understand the licenses that come with others' assets.  We could either link here or provide our own simple examples of what the different CC licenses mean.

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Just skimming through the topic here so I may miss some of the nuances of the conversation. I've been part of the Thief community since 1999.  From the very beginning, mappers have made use of ex

Loosely following the discussions on Discord, I think I know where this topic is coming from. The conclusion to solve the past problems by removing the model export functionality from DR is wrong on s

I get the sentiment here, I really do. However, if someone wants to take models (my own included) and change them for better or for worse - I consider that their problem and not mine. Thats just

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6 hours ago, Xolvix said:

TDM is an open source project, and as such there are certain ideological aspects that tend to come with such projects. Not everyone cares about that of course, but the idea of copy-protecting resources in an open source project doesn't really go down well. It's the kind of idea that tends to be a part of corporate/proprietary software, not a free and open project. I'm not sure how widespread the abuse of freely provided assets in different projects is, although I've definitely seen it happen.

It's something of a balance between the interests of the artists and that of the project. If you're worried about assets you created been taken later, reused and possibly modified out of your control, the only practical option is to not put such content out there. The good thing seems to be that, while it does sometimes happen that someone go nuts and forgets even the basics of asking for permission before messing with other people's content, it's generally quite rare that this happens. A project such as TDM doesn't survive unless people have the confidence to create assets for it without worrying about post-release manipulation.

That's repeating the old-school argument that for open-source project you have to go full or go home; there's only extremes and no middle options. I can guarantee you that very, very few artists (modellers, musicians, etc.) are prepared for such commitment. That doesn't pose a risk of TDM not surviving, more like being stuck in certain era. If you want to go beyond certain level of quality with assets, you simply won't find people that are willing to make a sacrifice this big. The effort that comes with creation is simply too big.

Again, I'm thinking about optional package encryption. Maybe something similar to DoomBFG or RBDoom, or Thief 3 actually, where you launch a map with special console command that puts it all in one file.

 

2 hours ago, jonri said:

I've found some value in this, specifically in order to combine several models into one.

That's really good example, thanks. Performance reasons are always good ones, although, on a tangent, it begs the question: why semi-modern engine like this still has such low entity limit (8192, IIRC)? Even the good old Thief 3 had 16536, and that was in 2004. Quite some time ago Snobel managed to raise that limit to bloody 1 million, just to never to deal with it again. Ultimately it's mappers who have to take responsibility for their maps being optimized, and no artificial constrain like that will help, if they don't want to ;)

Oh, and in terms of entity count, paradoxically, making stuff from brushes could help here, since brushes are treated as one entity, so-called entity0 IIRC.

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1 hour ago, peter_spy said:

That's repeating the old-school argument that for open-source project you have to go full or go home; there's only extremes and no middle options. I can guarantee you that very, very few artists (modellers, musicians, etc.) are prepared for such commitment. That doesn't pose a risk of TDM not surviving, more like being stuck in certain era. If you want to go beyond certain level of quality with assets, you simply won't find people that are willing to make a sacrifice this big. The effort that comes with creation is simply too big.

Again, I'm thinking about optional package encryption. Maybe something similar to DoomBFG or RBDoom, or Thief 3 actually, where you launch a map with special console command that puts it all in one file.

Perhaps I'm just seeing this from the viewpoint of a player and not a content creator. I wasn't going to speculate on what artists think of contributing to an open-source project, but it seems like projects such as TDM have done pretty well so far for what is a niche game to begin win. Is there any evidence that someone has wanted to contribute assets to TDM but stopped short because of the lack of encryption? It appears this is all in relation to a Discord discussion which I haven't been following so I'm probably missing some context, but still.

A word of warning, Agent Denton. This was a simulated experience; real LAMs will not be so forgiving.

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That Discord discussion isn't directly related to the topic, as it was about a TDM dev team member who modified and released updates to a core mod mission by another dev team member, without turning to him first. He asked another team member instead, because...? At least to me, this is very weird, since the mission author is around. That's an argument against using community's common decency and trust as grounds for anything, as people have very different standards when it comes to that. IMO you can use the 'bad communication' excuse forever. But obviously, this is a core mod mission, so it's not about putting it in encrypted package, nor it is about doing the same with core mod assets.

It's more about giving content creators options on how to release their work, and it also opens up possibilities for mappers to use different (and higher-quality) assets in their missions while honoring their respective licenses. For many music tracks, even free ones, this is a baseline requirement, actually, to have it distributed as part of unopenable package. There are many different scenarios here, but I guess the overall question is: would you like to play a mission with some fine content, that may be unique to this particular mission only (or it may appear in other missions, but won't be integrated in the core mod), or you'd rather not experience such content in a mission at all?

1 hour ago, Xolvix said:

Is there any evidence that someone has wanted to contribute assets to TDM but stopped short because of the lack of encryption?

Perhaps not literally, but there are more coders here than content creators in general, and that also applies to idtech4 world as a whole. If you take a look at idtech4 discord, there are many coders, and everyone and their mother wants to have their engine fork, but that didn't translate into a game with great assets or a mapping community. Everyone's still testing their ideas on core Doom3 assets. Content creators are elsewhere, doing stuff for engines that offer some basic control over your work.

Speaking strictly from a personal perspective, I have a small FM in the works with full-quality assets I post here from time to time. It runs the same, if not better than an average mission with stock TDM assets, due to certain optimisation tricks and best practices I know and use in my modelling. I don't want these assets to be mixed with stock TDM assets, as I've already seen that with my previous asset pack. They don't mesh well. Instead, I'd like to release a separate asset package, e.g. without specular materials, perhaps with some textures downscaled, so they blend better with everything else. Without any choice on how I can release my stuff, you force me to downgrade it for the mission release. I guess I should also stop posting pictures of such assets, at least in full quality, as this would be false advertising.

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If the incident from Discord is what I think it is, that issue involved someone repeatedly making unapproved artistic and gameplay changes to other users WIP maps when they had only been given permission to do some performance optimization.  We're talking major gameplay and map design changes and when those major changes weren't embraced, that user would become angry that their efforts, unwanted as they were, might not be embraced.

If this is more if an aesthetic thing, I would say just ask people not to use the high quality assets from you FM.  Heck, add a Pop up screen after the TDM logo on mission launch telling people not to use these assets as they do not meld well due to their higher quality.  Then release the lower quality versions.

The majority of the community is respectful and it's small.  Thinking in terms of numbers here....we don't have hundreds of mappers.  

This tiny community has lasted 20 years for a reason. Trust and mutual respect.

If you don't want your assets folded into the core mod for distribution, that's fine too but I stand by my earlier post.  Encryption doesn't fit our model... outdated as openly sharing may be...it is the heart of our community.

Ask and the majority will respect your wishes.

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3 hours ago, peter_spy said:

It's more about giving content creators options on how to release their work, and it also opens up possibilities for mappers to use different (and higher-quality) assets in their missions while honoring their respective licenses. For many music tracks, even free ones, this is a baseline requirement, actually, to have it distributed as part of unopenable package.

I may have to see such a license to understand what is truly required, because from a technical perspective, an "unopenable package" is clearly nonsense. The game would have to be able to open it, and with the game being open source, that would immediately tell anyone who is interested how to do it. Add to that the potential effort and added complexity to implement any sort of protection (which takes dev time away from other areas) and potential increase to load times, I'm very sceptical this would be worth it. For me, this is a common theme with DRM measures - they tend to hurt the honest people more than the dishonest ones.

As for the broader topic: there should be no doubt that authors have the sole authority to dictate how their works should be used. This is typically guaranteed by copyright law, but even if not, it isn't up for debate. Obviously, if your work builds on existing work, you have to adhere to any restrictions that come from that.


Now, as a coder I may have a slightly more relaxed stance concerning my own contributions, because with the advent of the open source movement it is now fairly common practice to release code under a permissive license, and I typically do so even if I'm not obligated to (as TDM code contributions are by the original Doom3 GPL license). Yes, it is initially scary to do this, to "let go" of your own creations, knowing that anyone could do any kind of stupid shit with it. But it can also be very liberating, and the benefits usually outweigh the bad outcomes. Personally, I think asset creators could also benefit from a more relaxed approach here, because I frankly don't agree that code is somehow fundamentally different. In fact, I find that a little demeaning, as it suggests asset contributions are somehow of an inherently higher value that deserves greater protection?! But again, this is an individual choice and your choice alone.

What I do strongly suggest for anyone to do is to make the terms of what you deem acceptable usage clear. To that regard, every mission, asset pack etc. should include a license.txt that states what uses are acceptable and also lists any non-core third-party assets included and their respective author and license. This is common practice in the software development world, and I think it would also benefit the mission-makers. Because more so than any DRM mechanism, it clearly states the acceptable terms of use, and whoever then disregards those is simply a dick.

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There is lots of info here and long texts that so mistake me if i didnt read it.

But is it true that we and the thief community dont have a modding codex?
Is there no context driven codex for tdm?

TDM is by now almost 12 years old, you could still set a codex of rules up for it.
I think that would help alot. Make every mission from that point on that wants onto the tdm list dependant on a codex.

Edited by Filizitas

Can we have more scary Zombie Horror maps?

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41 minutes ago, Filizitas said:

There is lots of info here and long texts that so mistake me if i didnt read it.

But is it true that we and the thief community dont have a modding codex?
Is there no context driven codex for tdm?

TDM is by now almost 12 years old, you could still set a codex of rules up for it.
I think that would help alot. Make every mission from that point on that wants onto the tdm list dependant on a codex.

It has pretty much always been handled as it was in the Thief Modding community.  Ask for permission to use and if permission is given, list your sources.

The issue here is really an edge case and not the norm.  It really doesn't make sense to enact such protections in such a small community.  We operate in good faith here.  

It feels like a big ask to develop and incorporate such encryption into the mod as an option and to remove a very helpful export feature from Dark Radiant.

I don't mean to dismiss the concerns but given the small size and generally considerate conduct of this community, I don't think it's warranted.

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1 hour ago, cabalistic said:

I may have to see such a license to understand what is truly required, because from a technical perspective, an "unopenable package" is clearly nonsense. The game would have to be able to open it, and with the game being open source, that would immediately tell anyone who is interested how to do it.

Thank you. I can't believe this thread is now two pages long and nobody until now has noticed that you cannot have DRM in an open source project. This has nothing to do with ideology, people "believing everything must be shared" or anything else. It is literally impossible.

Yes, you could encrypt the PK4s if you like, but in order to play them, the game has to decrypt them, which means the decryption key has to be accessible from within the game source, which means that everyone who has access to the game source (which is everybody in the world, because it's GPL) is also able to decrypt those packages. So your encryption has achieved absolutely nothing except waste developer time and CPU time on the player's system.

DRM doesn't work particularly well even in closed source software, but it cannot work at all in open-source software. This is why there will never be an officially-licensed open-source DVD or Blu-ray player for Linux (the players that exist have to bypass or crack the DRM), and why viewing DRM-encrypted video streams in open-source browsers requires you to download closed-source components like Widevine.

The only way to implement such DRM in the mod would be to make it entirely closed source with a decryption key carefully hidden in the binary so that it is very difficult to extract without step-by-step assembler debugging, then constantly update that key if and when people do manage to extract it (which means you need a revocation mechanism, a way to update existing missions with new keys, and all other key management headaches). But none of this is an option, because you can't legally take GPL code and turn it into a closed-source project.

By all means continue to discuss the benefits and drawbacks of DRM, the impact on the community, the social contract and implications regarding user trust, and everything else. But in my opinion such discussions are a waste of time when the underlying technical proposal is so completely infeasible that it can never happen even if the entire community were 100% agreed that it would be a good thing. You might as well be discussing whether we should build a football stadium on the surface of the Sun.

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1 hour ago, OrbWeaver said:

Thank you. I can't believe this thread is now two pages long and nobody until now has noticed that you cannot have DRM in an open source project. This has nothing to do with ideology, people "believing everything must be shared" or anything else. It is literally impossible.

I agree. And I would suggest that everybody who doesn't want his assets to be used states this either in their readme or darkmod.txt which is shown when playing the mission.

But I want to come back to the unfinished fan mission that was mentioned here in this thread. If the original author can't be reached it would be showing respect, in my opinion, to finish and release the mission nevertheless. Sometimes real life takes over and all the work would be lost to the public! Since the beta forum has been opened I noticed several beta missions that have never been released, although they were quite playable. Something similar happened when my Bloodlines Prelude mod team members vanished due to real life issues at one time: I gathered everything we had done for part 1 and released it. The resonance was so positiv that we are currently working on part 2. I would guess this wouldn't have happened if nobody had ever seen part 1...

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6 minutes ago, wesp5 said:

If the original author can't be reached it would be showing respect, in my opinion, to finish and release the mission nevertheless.

Not if you don't have his permission. Do not try to guess what someone may or may not find respectful. If he vanishes in the middle of his work, that does not give you the right to decide what should be done with it. This is the part where I have to agree with peter_spy strongly.

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10 minutes ago, cabalistic said:

Not if you don't have his permission. Do not try to guess what someone may or may not find respectful. If he vanishes in the middle of his work, that does not give you the right to decide what should be done with it. This is the part where I have to agree with peter_spy strongly.

 

Absolutely agree.  What if he comes back in six months with a plan to finish it, only to find someone else finished and released it without his consent? 

 

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1 hour ago, cabalistic said:

If he vanishes in the middle of his work, that does not give you the right to decide what should be done with it.

I was not thinking about really unfinished missions, but rather about working ones which for whatever reasons never went from beta to released. Should it not be possible for the TDM team to release a mission that already successfully went through beta testing on the beta board? In that case the mission has already been published to the public and if the author returns later of course he could make updates as he wishes. I agree with you that somebody else should not try to complete missions that are clearly not yet finished...

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4 hours ago, New Horizon said:

If the incident from Discord is what I think it is, that issue involved someone repeatedly making unapproved artistic and gameplay changes to other users WIP maps when they had only been given permission to do some performance optimization. 

No, we're talking minor change to a core mod mission that was included in the last TDM update. Person who made these changes preferred to ask other TDM team member, but not the mission author. So not that severe, but still another weird case, given the mission author is around. Thus the conclusion that there's no such thing here as community-wide agreement on things like: what's ownership, what constitutes decent conduct or respect towards original author, etc. What is weird or awful to me seems like a normal thing to others.

In terms of encryption, I think we're talking extremes again. Obviously, even most sophisticated systems will be broken in a few days, if someone's good enough. And I'm pretty sure you'd easily find someone who'd do it just for fun. Let's be real here, this is to deter the 70-80% script kiddies out there, and to be able to comply with aforementioned licenses.

By the way:

Quote

What uses are forbidden?

As a rule of thumb, you may not use the 3D asset in a way that allows others to use or access the 3D asset as a stand-alone. 

That's standard license for platforms like Sketchfab.

 

But yeah, the paradox of GPL license was pointed out to me on another discord as well :)

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5 minutes ago, wesp5 said:

Should it not be possible for the TDM team to release a mission that already successfully went through beta testing on the beta board?

Again, not without permission. Unless otherwise stated, it is an author's perogative how he chooses to distribute his work. The beta testers forum is publically accessible, so posting the mission there does give everyone the ability to download it as long as the provided link remains visible. It does not, however, imply a right to redistribute the work on any other servers including the official missions mirror.

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6 minutes ago, peter_spy said:

What uses are forbidden?

As a rule of thumb, you may not use the 3D asset in a way that allows others to use or access the 3D asset as a stand-alone. 

I would steer clear of such a license. It is too vague to know if your use is acceptable or not, because in its most extreme interpretation, it is simply unachievable. At best, you could contact the author to clarify and/or give you explicit permission for what you want to do. But otherwise, that's just a garbage statement, and that wouldn't change at all if we had any kind of package obfuscation/encryption.

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13 minutes ago, cabalistic said:

The beta testers forum is publically accessible, so posting the mission there does give everyone the ability to download it as long as the provided link remains visible. It does not, however, imply a right to redistribute the work on any other servers including the official missions mirror.

Okay, I can understand that you can't put them on the official servers, but could these missions at least be mentioned on the web page listing as being available as beta on the beta board? Otherwise nobody will find them who isn't somehow involved in beta testing... Also I just noticed there is no link to the main site from here! The banner could be it.

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5 minutes ago, cabalistic said:

I would steer clear of such a license. It is too vague to know if your use is acceptable or not, because in its most extreme interpretation, it is simply unachievable. At best, you could contact the author to clarify and/or give you explicit permission for what you want to do. But otherwise, that's just a garbage statement, and that wouldn't change at all if we had any kind of package obfuscation/encryption.

We're talking about dismissing one of the most popular model hosting / selling platforms out there. Having closed packages adheres to the terms, there's no requirement on security measures being on par with those used in banks or military.

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13 minutes ago, peter_spy said:

We're talking about dismissing one of the most popular model hosting / selling platforms out there.

Too bad. This is an open source project based on free licenses (GPL and Creative Commons). The team is not obliged to implement utterly worthless and trivially-defeatable DRM systems just so a few mappers can more easily use assets with non-free licenses.

13 minutes ago, peter_spy said:

Having closed packages adheres to the terms, there's no requirement on security measures being on par with those used in banks or military.

You're not getting it. There are no such things as "closed packages" which can be opened by open-source software. The "security measures" you propose are not simply weak, they are non-existent. Anyone who knew basic C++ would be able to remove the "protection" within an hour, and release the DRM-free version of the mod on GitHub so all the "script kiddies" could simply use their version without needing to do anything themselves. Or just release a command line tool which would convert a "closed package" into an open PK4 in a single step.

The likely outcome of trying to force such DRM into the mod is that the development team would split, between developers who wanted to maintain the DRM (if there are any) and those who only wanted to work on a DRM-free version. Based on past experience (Oracle buying Sun, XFree86 vs X.org, etc), when open-source projects start trying to close stuff down, pretty much everybody jumps ship to the open version. I'm not sure this would be a great outcome for the mod or its player base.

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Hi Everyone,

I am jumping over from the discord, from a tangentially related discussion which was occurring there regarding including “licensed” assets in FMs. Admittedly as a new author the idea that I could not include ostensibly “free” textures or ones I had purchased with a commercial license in my FM did not occur to me, though it retrospect it was perhaps obvious. One of the reasons this did not occur to me as I have years of images I have gotten from sources like cgtextures.com, many of which I used to use when I was tinkering around with TDS editing and I recognized right away many of TDM’s core assets are available from the same source. Many of these are my some of my favorite textures in the game:

https://www.textures.com/download/BrickOldDirty0080/40417

https://www.textures.com/download/BrickOldDirty0067/39621

So I assumed this was a kosher source to derive TDM textures from. This appears to violate CGTextures terms of use which states they you may not “release the Content or derivative products with Content under Open Source Licenses” https://www.textures.com/about/terms-of-use

If you go through the core asset library there are other examples. Hopefully there is some record of these textures being sourced originally as CC, and CGTextures.com are the actual bad guys here, but it felt like quite a blow to me and peter_spy thought I should share that with all of you.

Hope it is helpful.

 

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44 minutes ago, OrbWeaver said:

Too bad. This is an open source project based on free licenses (GPL and Creative Commons). The team is not obliged to implement utterly worthless and trivially-defeatable DRM systems just so a few mappers can more easily use assets with non-free licenses.

This is just a discussion and I'm pretty much aware that dev team isn't obliged to do anything, but I doubt such dismissive attitude towards mappers or content creators will help with anything.

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9 minutes ago, peter_spy said:

but I doubt such dismissive attitude towards mappers or content creators will help with anything.

There's probably a joke about not having developers interact with end users. :awesome:

Source: Am developer, pls don't make me interact with anyone.

PS. I love how this particular emoji exists here, but it looks kind of mangled, lol.

Edited by roygato
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^ Currently I'm test automation developer by trade, but a hobbyist modeller, imagine that! Such an abomination! I know, I know, test automation guys are not "real" developers anyway :D

Btw. @Wellingtoncrabthanks for posting, this is bad news indeed. I was really surprised that textures.com has such a lousy license, given they're not exactly the best site in the world, when it comes to textures or materials. In fact they're awfully behind the times and pricey.

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@peter_spyha yeah - been that way for years! I imagine they basically have a depreciated business model as I don’t think there are so many people looking for single angle photos (many which are untileable) to convert into materials these days. Though I guess they have some PBR stuff now. But if you were diligent with your 15 free credits per month you could get a decent reference stockpile. Some of mine I downloaded probably over a decade ago - who knows maybe even their licensing info was different back then.

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Huh, I remember using their stuff in my TDS mapping days as well. That was ages ago, back when having 512px textures was considered high res :D I have no idea how much of that ended up in actual missions, but I mostly made WIPs that were never published. Most of their stuff was simple photos, typically with visible shadows, and you had to make them tileable, yeah. While they do have PBR stuff now, it's nothing compared to what you get with substance subscription. I still got like 500 points left from my subscription days, and on substance site it's 1 point = 1 material.

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