Legal Questions

David Pesta Is anyone aware of the flexibility of this software for commercial game development?

My apologies if this topic came up somewhere already.
AGI1122 Well, the interpreter is owned by Sierra so the legality of putting them out commercial is kind of vauge... but the resources you make are legal.
Brian_Provinciano Well, technically, if you use SCI Studio to make your game and freeSCI to run it, there's nothing exactly stopping you from distributing your games, and, erm... selling it commerically. However, the template does use my code which I built from reverse engineering Sierra's, so it's not 100% in the clear for commercial use. Well, let's just say, if Sierra wanted to, they could attack. Also, if you do that, and don't give a percentage of your profit to SCI Studio and FreeSCI, you're not going to be on anyone's good books. hahaha

I'd hate to see someone making a game with SCI Studio make more money than SCI Studio, lol!

I really like open source/free software, as do 99% of the population. Make your game for enjoyment, not to try and make money. No offense, but I seriously doubt many (or any) would pay for a homebrew EGA adventure game. With so much for free on the internet today, be it software, music, movies, etc. very few people will pay for something they don't need to. For example, there are hundreds of freeware adventure games already.
Robin_Gravel Well. Freelog (a french magasine freeware) has put Abrah l'orphelin de l'espace on their cd rom (an agi game).

Neither me or the magasine got sue by Sierra.

I guess it's not a problem to put sci fanmade games on the cd rom with little fee.

Robin Gravel
David Pesta Well, I guess it was more of a theoretical question. If someone were to go through the trouble of making tremendous resources for a massive SCI game, it wouldn't be too much more trouble to code an engine that pieces them all together without SCI Studio. That can't be too hard if they used the SCI Studio source code to serve as a general model for how it's done. But as a person of philosophical principal, that solution just doesn't feel right.

Here is one of the ideas that provoked that question. Robin Gravel wrote this in another thread that was started by someone to promote an incentive toward making good games: "If you're looking for SCI quality games like Sierra did, you'll be disapointed. You know, we're making games for fun, not to make money." This would seem to mean that profit is neccessarily promote product. Maybe there are people who want others to profit so that they can play even better games. Is it ethical for an SCI Studio license to discriminate against such a community?

Being someone who likes to drive an issue into the ground, I have some more provoking thoughts about this question. I was under the impression that the open source community serves to enhance the free market with cheaper and superior tools for their projects so that humanity can accomplish better things as a whole, whether that market is powered by capitalism or not. That happens to be some of the principal behind academic research as well.

Let me show you what I mean with some examples. I was considering other open source development environments (i.e. the Python programming language, wxWindows, etc.) and all of them that I can see allow the development of commercial applications. Look at the Pygame readme about the distribution license: It says, "Closed source and commercial games are fine." (There is a lot of historical precedence for this. Look at how much Red Hat profits off of linux.) So, what is the difference between the SCI Studio development environment and any other development environment, except that it might be higher level and more specific than some of the others. Where does one draw the line?

I guess I can understand why some people feel that profit through the use of free tools is taboo. Someone spends time and effort on something that profits and they don't get anything for it. Make sure that you safeguard yourselves from this. The only solution I can think of is require people who profit to sign a contract that contributes royalties to the great group of people who provided such an excellent tool. Maybe that can get put into the license. Sierra can't sue people for profiting from games with a similar genre, and if they can sue for using a similar file format, then all you need to do is implement a feature that saves everything into a new file format. And add some features that don't exist in the typical Sierra game. (I hope that you don't strictly limit yourselves to Sierra style capabilities for some nostalgic reason.)

Just some afternoon thoughts. ;)

David Pesta Well, I guess I answered my own question. Someone is already planning on doing this:
"Additionally, Tierra Entertainment plans on bringing out original, commercial adventure games in the near future! These games will include new puzzles, new lands, new characters, and entirely new experiences, but with the same nostalgic feelings associated with the games of yesteryear! We're confident that we can produce quality adventure games, and we hope that by charging a small fee for our original titles, we can continue to produce adventure games for the years to come!"
dreamweaver Tierra use AGS , and Chris Jones don't require they pay any fee when they change to commercial side. But I think that it's not fair when nowadays ,classic adventure games almost dead and just keep alive by fans. So why they download KQ1 remake ??? Just to play a new game ?? I think no . It's just a collection of old games from loyalty fans. So why they want to charge anyone just because they recreate old game ? It's just reasonable when they make a completely new game. I really like open source when everyone can create fanfic games as much as they want and so , adventure game will come more popularity. A game company can make a good game , but a big community can make GREAT games ....and FREE :-D
creichen Hi,

I'm not certain what Brian's standard scripts are licensed as, but the concrete license of SCI Studio should not result in any licensing issues for any of you (unless you intend to ship modified versions of SCI studio with the game).

But, strictly apart from that: The GPL does not prevent you from creating "commercial" software. It simply requires you to distribute the source code on demand and to allow the sources and binaries to be distributed.
This does not imply anything about your graphics and sound, which you can license separately.

-- Christoph
Brian_Provinciano I did, in fact, do the scripts as GNU GPL, though many refuse to distribute their sources, and were highly opposed to making their games open source.

As well, The scripts were made by reverse engineering Sierra's original scripts. Most of the scripts compiled into bytecode will be byte for byte identical to Sierra's in most areas. We are kind of in a grey area with them, but since everyone so far has been doing non profit games, it's been fine. However, if you start selling your games, no matter what, Sierra _could_ attack if they wanted. The only way to really clean out the game would be to write a new class system from scratch without any reference to my class system, or sierra's original. That of course, would be impossible, since the class system in built up of class upon class which interfaces directly with the interpreter, so for example, without reverse engineering, you'd have no idea how to format your objects.

As an example, they interpreter would not properly recognize this:
(class View
It needs:
(class View

That may seem trivial, but later on it get's more complex. Without reverse engineering, or referencing my scripts, one could not create a complete class system that did everything the game needs efficiently.
A game company can make a good game , but a big community can make GREAT games ....and FREE :-D

What a good idea!

maybe we should make a whole game making team some day, I just hope to find time and motivation to learn making games with SCI studio, rather than simply appease myself by editing some games from time to time.

Till next time stay cool 8)