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Any plans to get the game on Steam ?


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I fail to see what kind of problems and why shall some contributions bring any problems to TDM as long as there are many mods that are published on Steam with no issue whatsoever. Thereby there should be no question to TDM neither.

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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51 minutes ago, Anderson said:

I fail to see what kind of problems and why shall some contributions bring any problems to TDM as long as there are many mods that are published on Steam with no issue whatsoever. Thereby there should be no question to TDM neither.

TDM is no longer a "mod". Mods are (mostly) indemnified by Steam, particularly for Steam games because they generate revenue for the IP owner of the original game by way of promoting the purchase of said game to utilize the mod.

Other "standalone" open source games on Steam would have had to agree to the contractual terms. The owner of those projects took on the liability of legal risks and if anyone takes legal actions the owner of those projects will be going to court on behalf of them. It is likely that such projects have studiously documented their assets and associated licenses so there is no wiggle room to sue them for infringements.

Solution? Go back to being a Doom 3 mod and require a Doom 3 purchase so that (Microsoft owned) Zenimax promotes TDM rather than possibly being under threat from them? Anyone want to make a Dark Mod "Doom 3 mod" fork for Steam?

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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1 hour ago, nbohr1more said:

TDM is no longer a "mod". Mods are (mostly) indemnified by Steam, particularly for Steam games because they generate revenue for the IP owner of the original game by way of promoting the purchase of said game to utilize the mod.

Other "standalone" open source games on Steam would have had to agree to the contractual terms. The owner of those projects took on the liability of legal risks and if anyone takes legal actions the owner of those projects will be going to court on behalf of them. It is likely that such projects have studiously documented their assets and associated licenses so there is no wiggle room to sue them for infringements.

Solution? Go back to being a Doom 3 mod and require a Doom 3 purchase so that (Microsoft owned) Zenimax promotes TDM rather than possibly being under threat from them? Anyone want to make a Dark Mod "Doom 3 mod" fork for Steam?

I guess it's easier to ask the experience of other free "mods to standalones" developers than to second guess.
No More Room in Hell; Alien Swarm, Sven Co-op; Fistful of Frags for example.

I mean, the worst case is a cease and desist letter. It doesn't go to court just like that. Then you just delist the game from Steam in the worst case. And fix the problem that they are upset about. Then back to Steam. Easy.

Edited by Anderson

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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"No More Room in Hell" is using the "Source Engine" it is practically part of Valve

"Alien Swarm" uses Source SDK ( basically part of Valve as well )

"Fistful of Frags" == Source Engine

"Sven Co-op" == Source Engine

All these "free conversions" promote Steam \ Valve and promote the use of their own ecosystems.

Please visit TDM's IndieDB site and help promote the mod:

 

http://www.indiedb.com/mods/the-dark-mod

 

(Yeah, shameless promotion... but traffic is traffic folks...)

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11 hours ago, Dragofer said:

Steam probably just wouldn't accept a submission from a legal entity that's in a country without copyright enforcement. If the copyright claimants can't get at the "owner" of the game, then they'd just go for Steam itself?

Steam definitely allows a single person from Russia to have multiple games (paid and free) on their platform:
https://store.steampowered.com/developer/AleksandrGolovkin

I doubt, that Steam actually cares about Copyright. It is probably more a compliance thing for them. They have to let someone sign something so they can say that they did all they could.

This game clearly comes from a country famous for their copyright-enforcement (and yes, it isn't even available in english):
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1029500/_the_Three_Kingdoms_of_China

So while the majority of games on Steam seems to be western world Indies, they certainly do not exclude the less copyright-sensitive countries...
And they actually have nbo reason to - as has been already said, they can just remove a game on an incomming copyright claim until it has been resolved.

What they seem to do check for (now, it was way different some years ago) is a minimum level of quality - which TDM definitely offers.

9 hours ago, MirceaKitsune said:

I don't remember if other open-source projects like Xonotic or 0ad are on Steam too, I believe at least Red Eclipse is...

Red Eclipse 2 is:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/967460/Red_Eclipse_2

Battle for Wesnoth is too:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/599390/Battle_for_Wesnoth

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7 minutes ago, Abusimplea said:

The question then is how they did it, what differentiates us from them. I imagine their code is also GPL licensed (at least Cube / Tesseract engine is) and they also use CC licensed assets contributed over time by different people. Only difference with us is some of our assets are non-commercial, which isn't a problem as long as we set TDM as free.

Edited by MirceaKitsune
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Notice how both of those list a single person/company as a publisher on Steam.

Battle for Wesnoth is published by Wesnoth, Inc — an incorporated company which has paid a lawyer to register their trademark. However it does appear to be a fully GPL game, which indicates that Steam does not have a blanket policy forbidding all GPL content.

Red Eclipse 2 is published by a single person Quinton Reeves. This is not a GPL game; the code is Apache license and the assets are Creative Commons but importantly not NC-only (their EULA even calls out the fact that they won't accept NC-only contributions, presumably for the reasons I mentioned earlier).

So the questions are:

  • Is there somebody willing to be our "Quinton Reeves" and take individual personal responsibility as the publisher of TDM on Steam, or alternatively set up our own Dark Mod, Inc to be the publisher (which will cost money)?
  • Does the presence of NC-only CC assets present an obstacle to publishing on Steam (this is up to Valve to decide, not us)? If it is a problem, then publishing on Steam is completely impossible for us unless we replaced all NC-only assets with our own assets under a more permissive license.
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On 6/28/2021 at 12:32 PM, mouser said:


A flashing gemstone of good quality will surely always attract some people, and then it will be the right people, those who can truly appreciate it.

This. I also don't think releasing on Steam would attract the right audience anyway. Would they even be able to rate it? Just imagine 12yo Fortnite boy downloading TDM and not being able to run and 360 noscope blackjack everyone. This game hasn't even a 16 missions campaign that is fully voiced and narrated in state of the art 3d renderings. Also, some of the missions are really weird as almost as they weren't built by one development team but by many different people with different skills. I can see the ratings like that already. It's not worth the time, nor the financial risk. People with a love for stealth games or even Thief will already know TDM anyway.

 

Edited by SeriousToni
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"Einen giftigen Trank aus Kräutern und Wurzeln für die närrischen Städter wollen wir brauen." - Text aus einem verlassenen Heidenlager

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2 hours ago, Abusimplea said:
Quote
  • Pay the app deposit fee with any supported Steam payment method as detailed below.
  • Complete the paperwork with your bank and tax information as well as identity verification so that we know who we’ll be doing business with.

...

  • Company Identification
    We'll need accurate, legal identification of the entity signing so we know who you are and who you represent.
  • Payment information
    We'll need accurate bank information, such as routing number, bank account number, and bank address so we know where to send payments from sales of your application.
  • Tax information
    You’ll be directed through a brief tax questionnaire to determine your tax status and withholding rate. The information you need in order to complete the questionnaire will depend on whether you are signing up as an individual or as a company, and where you or your company is located. US citizens and corporations will need information similar to that found on form W-9. Citizens and corporations in a country with US tax treaty status will need information similar to that found on form W-8BEN. All required information is necessary to get you set up in Steamworks.
  • Product Submission Fee
    In order to get fully set up, you will need to pay a $100 USD (or equivalent) fee for each product you wish to distribute on Steam. You can pay this fee with any payment method supported by Steam in your region.

So, who's volunteering to do all of this on behalf of the Dark Mod team?

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4 hours ago, SeriousToni said:

This. I also don't think releasing on Steam would attract the right audience anyway. Would they even be able to rate it? Just imagine 12yo Fortnite boy downloading TDM and not being able to run and 360 noscope blackjack everyone. This game hasn't even a 16 missions campaign that is fully voiced and narrated in state of the art 3d renderings. Also, some of the missions are really weird as almost as they weren't built by one development team but by many different people with different skills. I can see the ratings like that already. It's not worth the time, nor the financial risk. People with a love for stealth games or even Thief will already know TDM anyway.

That's one good point I didn't think about: TDM is more in line with how games used to be 20 years ago, back when they were actually ingenious and innovative and players didn't expect to have their hand held every step of the way. Nowadays in a world where 95% of modern games are identical consumer products with zero soul put into them, and players are used to a tutorial popping up every 5 seconds explaining how pressing a button on your keyboard works, we'd likely attract the type of player who will rage "why didn't anyone tell me I must hold the fire key to charge an arrow, I was spamming the attack button for an hour trying to shoot but the arrow kept unloading or falling to the ground".

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18 hours ago, OrbWeaver said:

So, who's volunteering to do all of this on behalf of the Dark Mod team?

That they want to know who you are and how to handle payment and taxes if you ever sell something on their shop, really is to be expected and shouldn't surprise anyone.
That they want 100 USD upfront is their way to prefilter against the worst shovelware (which became a real problem some years ago).

The things listed aren't the reason, nobody (including me) does it.

The thing not on the list is the problem:
If, whoever currently owns the Thief IP, sees the game on Steam and claims copyright, Steam tells them to contact you. And if you are legally reachable, you then have a legal department of basically unlimited resources and life time on your arse.
That is the worst case, but it can happen if you are living in a democratic lawful country where it is to be expected that a copyright law suit financially ruins you for twenty years even if you win in the end.

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https://c.tenor.com/ZpWIgnTC1dQAAAAM/shia-la-beouf-just-do-it.gif

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"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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11 hours ago, Anderson said:

[Just do it!]

I don't know anything about the legal system in Moldova, but it is a small former soviet state, not in the EU, and has a low GDP...
You might indeed be immune to the legal risk preventing everyone else from doing it.

So yes: Just do it!

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Just remembered something: Wasn't TDM officially developed under the team name Broken Glass Studios? I know that's not a registered company or anything, but I was wondering if there's more meaning to it beyond just a simple word the devs decided to use, in a way that could be relevant to this in some form.

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I had mentioned this somewhere a long time ago, but I was part of a farmers market project years ago.  In order to protect ourselves, we formed a type of cooperative where our organization, Empress Merchants, could be disolved and no individual held responsible for any debts.  As it turned out, the business failed and we had to do just that.  I wasn't involved in the day to day running of the market but I took care of the debt collectors who tried to threaten us.  Once I told them the type of cooperative we had and that it had been disolved....they went away.

I don't know if that would work for a broken glass cooperative but might be worth looking into if someone in Canada is so inclined.

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That's what I thought, aren't some types of companies designed specifically so that you can only lose everything the company owns and not anything that is a property of you as a person? Of course starting one would still cost money, yes. I imagine that if someone volunteered to actually do it and go through the bureaucracy, the community would chip in and get the money together. But I'm not going to be the one who volunteers.

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Indeed, that is the primary purpose of a limited company: to allow people to carry on some kind of business without being personally liable if the business fails (so they won't lose their home, their car etc).

Setting up a limited company isn't necessarily difficult, and it can be done by a single person (at least in the UK). But it still requires some time, commitment, cost (in administrative and lawyers' fees) and decision-making by one or more specific people, who in this particular case don't stand to gain much personally from the effort. So it's not too surprising that so far nobody has volunteered.

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I already looked all this up earlier (and maybe already posted it here). IIRC I was going to re-state it in this thread last week or so, but then thought I didn't need to go into all the details.

If we did create an entity, there's not much to debate that it should be under Canada law (where we have the most important members, so we're likely to always have someone engaged with an address there). And IIRC there was two basic options for our kind of situation, a non-profit and a trust.

And I thought of those two, the trust is the one that fit a little better. There'd need to be a set of trustees. They're not claiming to own the game, only that they're responsible for its best interest for the public's benefit. So we'd pick a set of people we could, well, trust. And then there are some pretty basic duties like reporting, rules for voting, etc., nothing too bad. Since no money is really involved, I don't think fedicuary duties really apply.

But I looked into this ages ago, so I'd have to remind myself of all the details, and I could be misremembering it just now.

Yes, I think it's mostly come down to needing a champion in the inner circle, and we can't exactly have someone outside the inner circle making decisions about it; cf. the trust thing again. I don't think it's any big conspiracy, just maybe a good amount of contentment with where we are with the game already.

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What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know that it's mine.

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4 hours ago, demagogue said:

Yes, I think it's mostly come down to needing a champion in the inner circle, and we can't exactly have someone outside the inner circle making decisions about it; cf. the trust thing again.

If a random dog from the Internet would decide to bring TDM on Steam, he could do just that as TDM is released under a set of licenses permissive enough to allow just that (as long as you do not in any way profit commercially from it).

But i like the idea of using a non-profit for it - as that legal vehicle exists in a lot of countries and might indeed allow to claim responsibility without actually doing so... 😇

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On 8/19/2021 at 8:03 PM, nbohr1more said:

"No More Room in Hell" is using the "Source Engine" it is practically part of Valve

"Alien Swarm" uses Source SDK ( basically part of Valve as well )

"Fistful of Frags" == Source Engine

"Sven Co-op" == Source Engine

All these "free conversions" promote Steam \ Valve and promote the use of their own ecosystems.

How does it hurt to learn from their experience in creating their legal form of organization insofar as to be eligible for Steam?

"I really perceive that vanity about which most men merely prate — the vanity of the human or temporal life. I live continually in a reverie of the future. I have no faith in human perfectibility. I think that human exertion will have no appreciable effect upon humanity. Man is now only more active — not more happy — nor more wise, than he was 6000 years ago. The result will never vary — and to suppose that it will, is to suppose that the foregone man has lived in vain — that the foregone time is but the rudiment of the future — that the myriads who have perished have not been upon equal footing with ourselves — nor are we with our posterity. I cannot agree to lose sight of man the individual, in man the mass."...

- 2 July 1844 letter to James Russell Lowell from Edgar Allan Poe.

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I definitely think one of the reasons The Dark Mod community is rather small, besides being based on an older niche stealth game, is because of a mixture of lack of advertisement and not being on more popular platforms.

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1 hour ago, Kurshok said:

I definitely think one of the reasons The Dark Mod community is rather small, besides being based on an older niche stealth game, is because of a mixture of lack of advertisement and not being on more popular platforms.

FOSS games in general are tragically underrated. Sometimes understandably so as only a handful are good, TDM being pretty much at the top in many ways. That's the one reason why Steam support would have been important in my book, to get even more players and attention.

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