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Old September 18, 2022, 15:03   #1
PoleaxeGames
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Commercial Angband fork using lib/gamedata

I'm a long-time game developer who has always been a fan of classic roguelikes. I wanted to develop a commercial rewrite of Angband using the design, rules, and lib/gamedata files from. I wouldn't use the existing source code except as a reference.

The goal is to present a modernized version of the game with higher fidelity graphics and a redesigned interface, using the Unity game engine.

I'm not certain if this is permitted, as the lib/gamedata files themselves do not contain a copyright notice.

If my described usage isn't permissible under the current license, or if the devs don't wish for the data files to be used in this manner (which I respect), I'd like to ask permission to do this. As long as the devs are open to the idea I'm happy to discuss in more detail privately through email.
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Old September 18, 2022, 15:16   #2
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No way. Many monsters are borrowed from D&D or Tolkien. Those are both copyright--minor free software is in the grey area for fair use. The monster descriptions are copyright the authors (and sometimes Tolkien.)

Same holds for artifacts.
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Old September 18, 2022, 15:25   #3
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Thanks for the quick response, I expected that might be the case. I might do non-commercial instead as I think it would be a fun exercise.
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Old September 18, 2022, 17:40   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete Mack View Post
No way. Many monsters are borrowed from D&D or Tolkien. Those are both copyright--minor free software is in the grey area for fair use. The monster descriptions are copyright the authors (and sometimes Tolkien.)

Same holds for artifacts.
Would it work if I were to rename the monsters, spells, etc. while keeping the design otherwise the same?
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Old September 18, 2022, 20:51   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoleaxeGames View Post
Would it work if I were to rename the monsters, spells, etc. while keeping the design otherwise the same?
No. If you take a copyrighted work and modify it, you are creating a derivative work - you can't just call it your own. The copyright of Angband is fairly clearly detailed here:

https://github.com/angband/angband/b...cs/copying.rst

As a whole the game is distributed under the Angband licence (which has no explicit provision for modifications at all but has a clear not for profit clause) or the GPLv2 (which allows distribution for profit but the code must remain open source). So if you reuse game files then you're creating a derivative work that you're selling, you'll have to use the GPLv2 and as a result distribute the source code too.
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Old September 18, 2022, 21:05   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PoleaxeGames View Post
Would it work if I were to rename the monsters, spells, etc. while keeping the design otherwise the same?
Yes (sorry, takkaria) Wipe all Tolkien's references from lore and just go with GPLv2 license (which as takkaria said works for Angband). The only thing which you need - publish all your game source files. For Unity it's ezpz to do, there are plenty of open-source Unity-based games. Put source at github (together with lib files) and sell your game in Steam or at any other platforms
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Old September 18, 2022, 21:32   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tangar View Post
Yes (sorry, takkaria) Wipe all Tolkien's references from lore and just go with GPLv2 license (which as takkaria said works for Angband). The only thing which you need - publish all your game source files. For Unity it's ezpz to do, there are plenty of open-source Unity-based games. Put source at github (together with lib files) and sell your game in Steam or at any other platforms
The plan is
1. Free
2. The code I write is open source
3. The code and assets I don't have a license to redistribute (including Unity) any downloaders of my source would have to get on their own.
4. I'll rename anything that a commercial entity has a copyright to.

I checked online and there seems to be disagreement as to whether #3 is allowed or not. Ultimately it depends on what the Angrand devs want to enforce or not, so I'd like to get official blessing to move ahead with this.
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Old September 18, 2022, 22:15   #8
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I suppose it won't be be a problem if people will be able to build full functional game from your source which you provide. If to do so they will need to install Unity IDE - it's not a problem - as it could be considered as 'compiler', which is not included to Angband, of course.

I mean - to compile Angband you need to have C compiler and it's not shipped with Angband; you have to download it from side website (eg GCC). With Unity it's the same. So far if you published your legit source code with all your assets (eg changed *band lib) which 100% will work with Unity IDE (so people will be able to build application with it from scratch) - you are ok to go with GPLv2.

Considering official blessing - there are no really 'official' stuff there, it's kinda community driven game. There is a maintainer (Nick) of course, but his blessing won't influence legal stuff. All legal stuff comes out from the license file - so far as you follow it - you are safe
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Old September 18, 2022, 22:22   #9
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Also...

When Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit will be entering the public domain:

Europe: 2043 (Life + 70)
Canada: 2023 (Life + 50)
U.S: 2043 or 2050

Wait 1 year and go with Tolkien lore ;D Just publish the game from Canada
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Old September 18, 2022, 23:12   #10
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Tangar: that is only half of it. D&D is still pretty heavily used (floating eyes, druj, Vecna, etc.)
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