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Libre version of TDM


Fiver

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23 hours ago, Fiver said:

One appealing aspect of the Debian repository is that it is a curated collection of software (currently some 60 000 packages) that is hosted by the Debian project. I perceive an inclusion there (right or wrong) as a stamp of approval.

An AppImage is something TDM would host ourselves and any prospective user would have to find us by themselves first, right? In that case the current installer works just fine. But I know little about this. Maybe you can elaborate?

Well there is for example:

https://www.appimagehub.com/

I actually like programs to be self contained, so I can move them around at will and easilly modify the files (this is more important with tdm) as well, so probably it wouldn't be for me anyway.

Apart from that, many (Linux) gamers use an Arch -type distro (I use Manjaro), so for that the Debian repo is not useful. I'm in favor of a universal Linux version approach and your idea kind of goes against that.

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11 hours ago, stgatilov said:

A license that allows commercial usage but efficiently forbids making money from it is considered free (GPL and AGPL).

GPL guarantees end users the four freedoms to run, study, share, and modify the software. It puts restrictions on any derivative work that it must be distributed under the same or equivalent license terms, but it does not prohibits from making money.

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8 hours ago, chakkman said:

I suggest you use the term "I", to make clear that it is something YOU want, and that you speak for yourself.

Well, I did write "something we may want". It was intended to investigate if it was true and to invite to discussion. But I get your point.

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5 hours ago, nbohr1more said:

The problem is that most TDM contributors would strongly object to allowing their work to be used by 3rd party commercial projects

It is important to honor that. That is why I suggest a "TDM-libre"-version does not include work from anyone who has not agreed to it.

 

5 hours ago, nbohr1more said:

A Libre version would need to be a fork that is maintained outside our community so that we can still clearly state that we prohibit all commercial usage.

Would it not be possible to release regular TDM with current restrictions for commercial use, and "TDM-libre" under a libre license? It must of course be clear which license applies to which version.

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4 hours ago, datiswous said:

many (Linux) gamers use an Arch -type distro (I use Manjaro), so for that the Debian repo is not useful. I'm in favor of a universal Linux version approach and your idea kind of goes against that.

When I write about "TDM-libre", I don't see it as targeted at any specific Linux distro, or even OS. I merely mention Debian as one example.

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As much as I'm a big fan of FOSS, it gets messy when it involves assets with a whole mix of licenses. The engine? Sure that'll work, but TDM is useless with just the engine. Even if you have a separate libre version with verified assets, you've now split the project into a full version and a libre-only version and for what? Some entry in a niche wiki and the Debian repo? Once people want actual full missions to play you begin to drift away from the restricted licenses imposed on the libre version and have to code and accommodate for that.

If TDM was developed with the day-one intention of only allowed libre licensed assets then there'd be no problem, but it hasn't and what your asking is probably too much work and effort for little benefit.

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

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39 minutes ago, Xolvix said:

a full version and a libre-only version and for what?

To cater to both audiences.

 

40 minutes ago, Xolvix said:

Some entry in a niche wiki

I mentioned LibreGameWiki as one example. nbohr1more mentioned other uses. Explicitly allowing reuse and spread will help TDM reach a wider audience and would hopefully attract more volunteers. More volunteers which can help improve both TDM versions.

 

40 minutes ago, Xolvix said:

and the Debian repo?

There are several benefits for a project of being in the Debian repo. One is that TDM Debian-users can report defects on any package directly to Debian (no need to register on separate forums). Debian may then fix the issue themselves (in their "TDM-libre" package) and will offer the patch upstream to TDM, who can then choose to accept or reject the patch.

 

40 minutes ago, Xolvix said:

Once people want actual full missions to play you begin to drift away from the restricted licenses imposed on the libre version and have to code and accommodate for that.

I envision "TDM-libre" to have the same capability of downloading any mission as regular TDM. The only difference is that "TDM-libre" would come packaged with the regular engine (which is GPL+BSD) and an included mission that has libre media/gamedata.

When I play TDM by myself, I want the unlimited-play and can accept commercial restrictions. But if I were to promote it somewhere, or charge for a stream when playing online, or make a video, I would want a version without commercial restrictions (and can temporarily accept limited-play) to make sure I don't violate anyone's copyright.

40 minutes ago, Xolvix said:

what your asking is probably too much work and effort for little benefit

Perhaps. That's what I'm trying to find out. 🙂

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Personally I can see some ancillary benefits from trying to move TDM from non-commercial-libre to true-libre, beyond getting off the FOSS community's naughty list. There are a fair few indie devs who have tried to make modernized Thief-likes. None of them have done half as good a job as this community. I think that is generally down to the engine. All the detection and movement systems take a lot of time to implement, which you guys have already paid down.

Imagine if those indie devs had the option to use TDM as the base for their games. More of these games would be published, and more would be successful. And this in turn would grow the public knowledge base about working in Dark Radiant and TDM. Some of those devs might make their own public FMs. Some might contribute to the wiki and documentation. Some might contribute to project maintenance or even donate new features that they develop. Personally I would call this one of the bigger things that you could do to keep the project alive.

It would definitely be a big project to bring the project assets into compliance or to fork off a compliant TDM-lite. A year ago I would have said it is impossible, but AI is changing things. It can make art and it can write code, and especially when it has a working example of the thing it is recreating to learn from. It still would not be easy, but at least possible.

Let this be a lesson for creators to select your licensing carefully. It is not always easy to change after the fact.

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17 hours ago, nbohr1more said:

most TDM contributors would strongly object to allowing their work to be used by 3rd party commercial projects

As I understand the TDM license there are roughly three types of contributions to the TMD project as a whole:

1) Contributions to the source code of TDM: These are licensed GPL or BSD and can therefore be used already today by commercial projects.

2) Contributions to the 2.3 GB media/gamedata included in TDM at install: These are licensed CC-BY-NC-SA and restricts commercial use.

3) Contributions of fan missions that can be played using TDM and are added by the end-user after the install (either by the ingame downloader, website, or other source): These are not part of the core product and the license says "Any missions [...] are the property of their respective authors, and different licensing may apply.". This means the FM creators can choose any license they want, anything between CC-0/PD and strict copyright. Possibly even put additional restrictions on its use (e.g. say "You may only download and play this on regular TDM"), right? It is up to the end-user to abide by the stipulated license.

The included missions "Training Misson", "A New Job", and "Tears of St Lucia" appears to fall into category (2) according to "Unless explicitly stated otherwise, all [...] non-software components that are distributed with The Dark Mod are licensed under [CC-BY-NC-SA]". Does anyone know if their license says anything else?

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21 hours ago, nbohr1more said:

The problem is that most TDM contributors would strongly object to allowing their work to be used by 3rd party commercial projects

It's much simpler than that: TDM includes numerous 3rd-party assets which forbid commercial usage. Even if every single team member approved of a license change, it would still not be possible without identifying and removing all of those 3rd-party assets (and any derived assets based on them) and replacing them with free alternatives.

21 hours ago, nbohr1more said:

Debian and other similar distros need an easy way to allow users to install projects that are strictly non-commercial rather than forcing all open projects to permit 3rd parties to resell their work.

They do. There are numerous easy ways to obtain and install non-FOSS projects on Debian. You can download and extract a tarball, run a dedicated installer, add a custom PPA from Ubuntu or some other source, install an AppImage, or install a FlatPak. You can even install non-FOSS projects directly from Debian using the non-free repository. At no point do they "force" anyone to do anything.

What they don't allow is adding non-FOSS or otherwise restricted content into the main Debian repository, which is their right as a free software project.

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9 hours ago, OrbWeaver said:

TDM includes numerous 3rd-party assets which forbid commercial usage.

Is "assets" synonymous to "media/gamedata"? And are you referring to the 2.3 GB media/gamedata included in TDM at install?

 

9 hours ago, OrbWeaver said:

Even if every single team member approved of a license change, it would still not be possible without identifying and removing all of those 3rd-party assets (and any derived assets based on them) and replacing them with free alternatives.

If all 2.3 GB media/gamedata were removed from the "TDB-libre" version, then no license change would be needed.

Say then we have a small fan mission that is entirely libre, built entirely from libre assets and created to intentionally avoid using any of the current 2.3 GB media/gamedata. If we wanted to play that mission using only the source code, what media/gamedata components would be missing to do that?
* GUI graphics and music?
* HUD elements?
* Any in-game sounds?
* Inventory objects?
* ... anything else that can neither be included in the mission's own media/gamedata, nor avoided during mission design?

I'm assuming here that a mission actually can include its own media/gamedata (textures, sound, models), but I may be wrong and I'm grateful for any explanation that helps me understand.

9 hours ago, OrbWeaver said:

There are numerous easy ways to obtain and install non-FOSS projects on Debian.

If you ask me, the TDM-installer works perfectly already today, and the instructions are brief and easy to follow. Installation from the Debian repository would be somewhat easier, but I also see other (perhaps greater) benefits which I mentioned earlier.

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2 minutes ago, Fiver said:

Say then we have a small fan mission that is entirely libre, built entirely from libre assets and created to intentionally avoid using any of the current 2.3 GB media/gamedata. If we wanted to play that mission using only the source code, what media/gamedata components would be missing to do that?
* GUI graphics and music?
* HUD elements?
* Any in-game sounds?
* Inventory objects?
* ... anything else that can neither be included in the mission's own media/gamedata, nor avoided during mission design?

Yes, all images, models and sounds would be gone. Even if you made a barebones replacement that only provides a very limited selection of assets you would need to create thousands of files just to achieve basic game functionality (movement sounds, guard clothes and speech, menus, tools and weapons etc.). It's probably orders of magnitude more work than when TDM got rid of all Doom3 assets for going standalone in v2.0.

Technically it's probably possible for an FM to contain a full game's worth of assets, except for the code itself. IIRC some Doom3 mods had custom .dll's to extend the base code, though.

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34 minutes ago, Dragofer said:

Even if you made a barebones replacement that only provides a very limited selection of assets you would need to create thousands of files just to achieve basic game functionality (movement sounds, guard clothes and speech, menus, tools and weapons etc.).

I'm thinking a mission that is really as small as possible: one-room, one-puzzle, one single environment, indoors, no guards. Maybe something like get-the-candle-out-of-the-box in the Training Mission. Maybe some boxes and barrels to try some climbing and mantling.

If by "menus", you refer to the Main menu GUI, then I'm thinking as basic as possible there too: white text on black background for a start.

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We had extensive discussion of why our license is the way it is, especially when we were going standalone. There are reasons it's CC-NC-etc., and one of the big ones is that anything that tries to link the mod with money and formalization has been trouble for us, like team-breaking trouble. Well the asset license was settled long before that just in dealing with the contributors (and the engine came with GPL3 from the start of course). There would be asset creators that would (rightfully) riot if money were able to flow to some creators and not to them, because they didn't spend 1000s of hours on this mod for some knucklehead to spend 2 hours for some crap whatever and get paid for it. But the debates happening during the run up to 2.0 validated it.

But even before that, we've talked a lot about the basic principles for how the team works, and avoiding entanglements with money and formalization are like two of the central pillars that most of us (I understand) wouldn't like to open back up to debate.

What I see from this whole line of discussion is that you want to make a branch project with the engine. That's fair by itself. The engine license let's you do that. But it's something that should be a true branch, like you ought to make your own forum for it and develop it there. Then I think it's fair for you to let us know it's happening and even ask if anyone is interested in joining you there, and some people may want to do that. But I think it's best if you branch off and develop it separate from this forum and team if you're going to drop one of our central organizational pillars in what's gotten us this far.

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10 hours ago, demagogue said:

anything that tries to link the mod with money and formalization has been trouble for us

I understand, and I would distinguish between the two possible cases where
* we make money from it, and
* someone else can make money from it.
As long as we don't make money from it, it should not get us into trouble, right? I also don't see further formalization as as a requirement, so both pillars can remain intact.

 

10 hours ago, demagogue said:

There would be asset creators that would (rightfully) riot if money were able to flow to some creators and not to them

If they licensed their assets under CC-BY-NC-SA then that licensing prevents their assets to be monetized without their consent. I don't see how a creator can object to which license other creators choose to use, or if others choose to monetize assets they create.

Also, even if a creator once licensed their assets under CC-BY-NC-SA, it doesn't prevent themselves from monetizing it. It's their assets. (They can't revoke the CC-BY-NC-SA license, nor is that necessary.)

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Just want to mention some locations that are hosting our data, as examples.

Like our game(-sourcecode) can be installed from opensuse official game repo. And darkradiant from a ubuntu repo. We got the game(and assets) on moddb.

I tried to get tdm installer / binary on several app repo's, but others succeeded. And We all tried to get tdm (game & assets) on steam and Gog.

But got it my old installer-frontend on tdm's download page and a package on playonlinux (tdm windows on wine). And my written tdm-wiki article about installing tdm on several os'ses.

https://software.opensuse.org/package/thedarkmod?locale=si

Official game Repo listing:

https://en.opensuse.org/openSUSE:Games

Opensuse Build service: https://build.opensuse.org/package/show/games/thedarkmod

Darkradiant on ubuntu

https://packages.debian.org/sid/darkradiant

Tdm wiki article:

https://wiki.thedarkmod.com/index.php?title=Installer_and_Manual_Installation

Edited by freyk

Info: My portfolio and darkmod graphical installer
Amnesty for Bikerdude!

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I'm definitely interested in this. In the past it used to worry and upset me that some of the assets are CC-BY-SA-NC: Not because I'd care to sell them in any conceivable format, but because it made the project seem less libre and FOSS and Linux friendly. I remember my only disagreement was with some developers being against FM authors taking donations for their own work on their personal maps and stories, I think that's more problematic but ultimately accepted and respected it since to me that's secondary and I'm just happy TDM and DarkRadiant exist for us all to create worlds with.

As stated before, many of the existing assets would need replacements that look the same way. Since the authors of old FM's can't be expected to re-texture all of their maps, those replacements would need the same names or an automatic conversion script, and have to look in such a way that they fit the old textures just right at any transformation. This isn't impossible but something I find unlikely as few people willing to do the effort may find it useful enough to work on one.

Such a transition could perhaps be considered if we ever switch to high-res textures: Many of the images could be upgraded with replacements someday... maybe this time we can avoid going for semi-libre assets and use fully FOSS compatible ones. I've also been dreaming of a cyberpunk conversion for years, to have a TDM that's less Thief and more DeusEx taking place in a futuristic environment... also unlikely to happen but the hope in my attempt was to ween off of the stricter assets.

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TDM is already a niche genre. If we release it to a niche platform, it will be niche²! Since we would have to strip TDM off all its assets, recreate some and build a demo FM around it, it wouldn't be more than a tech-demo, i.e., there is no game, which would be niche³. It's just not worth it! We even did not release on Steam due to licensing issues and on that platform, we actually could have gained a huge player-base.

No TDM dev has ever showed interest in doing such a thing and that also goes for most of our community.

It's not going to happen unless you do it yourself. Be prepared to put at least 2 years of full-time work into this project.

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On 2/2/2024 at 5:12 PM, MirceaKitsune said:

many of the existing assets would need replacements that look the same way

I was thinking of creating new libre assets that will complement existing NC assets. Not necessarily replace them.

 

On 2/2/2024 at 5:44 PM, STiFU said:

We even did not release on Steam due to licensing issues and on that platform, we actually could have gained a huge player-base.

I'd be interested in hearing more about what the licensing issue on Steam was. If it was the NC assets, then a TDM-libre with a basic libre mission released initially could encourage a mapper to create a more developed map, also with with libre assets, that may qualify for inclusion on platforms currently not allowing NC assets.

 

On 2/2/2024 at 5:44 PM, STiFU said:

It's not going to happen unless you do it yourself.

Perhaps. Or perhaps a developer decides to join the project because they like the idea and want to work on it. In that case this thread will provide a good overview of different aspects of this.

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30 minutes ago, Fiver said:

I was thinking of creating new libre assets that will complement existing NC assets. Not necessarily replace them.

Existing maps wouldn't be compatible then: New FM's would need to be designed with knowledge in mind as to which asset is libre and only add those that are to the map. It would probably end up being a new project, which alone might be more effort than it's worth: Most likely this would go well with an initiative to upgrade existing textures to higher resolution versions.

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15 hours ago, Fiver said:

I'd be interested in hearing more about what the licensing issue on Steam was.

After we were green-lit in just a couple of days, we were informed that we would have to form a legal entity, so that somebody can be held liable for potential copyright claims, and that we'd have to guarantee that there is no copyright infringement in the game. Since we are not 100% able to guarantee the latter, the prior poses quite a risk to the legal representative of the mod. So, we decided to drop this endeavor.

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23 hours ago, MirceaKitsune said:

Existing maps wouldn't be compatible then

I'm thinking existing maps are kept as they are today, and keeps using the same assets as today. This so they can stay the same as today and won't deviate from how their author intended them to be. The existing missions won't be libre, but it is quite possible that the authors don't want them to be libre. If an author of a mission said "this mission itself is libre, but it relies on NC assets" then it would be possible to replace the NC assets to libre assets and the entire mission would be libre.

 

23 hours ago, MirceaKitsune said:

New FM's would need to be designed with knowledge in mind as to which asset is libre and only add those that are to the map.

Yes. If a mapper wanted to create a libre mission they would need to restrict themselves to only using libre assets. In this post, I suggest that Dark Radiant should allow mappers to search/filter media/gamedata by license (if DR does not already do this). Such a filter functionality would help facilitating the creation of a libre mission.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Something I was thinking of: Even if some assets are non-commercial, are all assets at least accounted for to make sure they're credited accordingly and can be distributed? I ask following an issue in another great project I work with called Red Eclipse: They don't have NC assets but did have a few texture packages they had to remove because they later found out their clauses were incompatible with the project. If this hasn't happened in well over a decade it's very unlikely anyone would complain today and request removal for any reason, but if any resource had its license misunderstood that could destroy existing FM's unless perfect replacements were found. Obviously I presume the team never included any asset randomly found on the internet without verifying their explicit requirements in detail, but it doesn't hurt to check.

I think the best that can be done otherwise would be to have a list of which assets are libre or have the NC clause: That way a map can choose to use those models and textures that are free if the author wants their FM to be fully libre, albeit this would handicap an author in what packages they can use. If core assets like character models or textures are also NC, the idea is likely pointless as you can't make a FM without those, at best you can skip a few texture packages... not sure about other things like core scripts or defs, since they're technically code I presume those are GPL?

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On 2/18/2024 at 8:07 PM, MirceaKitsune said:

Even if some assets are non-commercial, are all assets at least accounted for to make sure they're credited accordingly and can be distributed?

The attribution ("BY") part of the CC-licenses requires:
1) You must give appropriate credit,
2) provide a link to the license,
3) and indicate if changes were made.

The TDM license provides a link to the CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0 license, so part (2) could be said to be fulfilled. For (1) I would expect that each asset author is somehow credited by name and a link if the asset was found online, and for (3) I would expect a comment saying something if a change was made to the asset before it was added to TDM.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but there are currently no core assets licensed as anything else than CC-BY-NC-SA. If there are, please tell me how to find them and how I can read their respective licenses. I don't think there is a way to track licenses on a per-asset-basis. I raised that question in this topic.

On 2/18/2024 at 8:07 PM, MirceaKitsune said:

If this hasn't happened in well over a decade it's very unlikely anyone would complain today and request removal for any reason

Given the thousands of hours of work put into this game, I wouldn't want to leave it to chance...

This licensing stuff may not be the hottest topic, but it may be worth talking about to prevent unpleasant surprises.

On 2/18/2024 at 8:07 PM, MirceaKitsune said:

have a list of which assets are libre or have the NC clause: That way a map can choose to use those models and textures that are free if the author wants their FM to be fully libre

Agree. And that a mapper working in Dark Radiant can see the license for each asset when they choose which asset to use, as suggested in the "tracking licenses"-thread I mentioned above.

On 2/18/2024 at 8:07 PM, MirceaKitsune said:

this would handicap an author in what packages they can use

Yes, a mapper who wants to create a libre mission will have restrictions on which assets to use. If they don't require their mission to be libre, it will work as usual. If there is a way to add libre assets to the core assets, then it will get easier with time.

On 2/18/2024 at 8:07 PM, MirceaKitsune said:

If core assets like character models or textures are also NC, the idea is likely pointless as you can't make a FM without those

Under current circumstances, a libre mission will not be nearly as good as any of the few missions I have played so far, but I wouldn't go so far as to call it pointless. I think it would be good enough to qualify the mission+engine as a game and get it into e.g. both the Debian repository and the LibreGameWiki. It's a starting point and hopefully it can attract the attention of more people wanting to work on the game.

On 2/18/2024 at 8:07 PM, MirceaKitsune said:

not sure about other things like core scripts or defs, since they're technically code I presume those are GPL?

"def files" are CC-BY-NC-SA according to the TDM license. Does anyone know which license the core scripts are?

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