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 Post subject: BOTF 2, similar project
PostPosted: Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:28 pm 
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Krill Swarm

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If yall are not aware(I tried searching the forum to see if there was a note on this yet), there is a project to create BOTF 2:

http://www.botfii.armadafleetcommand.com/index.php

Since this game seems similar, perhaps there is a potential for sharing some resources/content. I can't imagine what, and surely you wouldn't won't to use something very specialized like a model of the Star Ship Enterprise, but there might be other more generic content that could be useful.

Perhaps just getting a mutual agreement to post links between our sites will make volunteers aware of similar projects they might be interested in contributing to. At the very least we'd probably get more testers, as I know quite a few people will play beta/free games on a regular basis. It's just hard finding such games.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 11, 2007 12:30 am 
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WebSnozz wrote:
If yall are not aware(I tried searching the forum to see if there was a note on this yet), there is a project to create BOTF 2:

http://www.botfii.armadafleetcommand.com/index.php

Since this game seems similar, perhaps there is a potential for sharing some resources/content. I can't imagine what, and surely you wouldn't won't to use something very specialized like a model of the Star Ship Enterprise, but there might be other more generic content that could be useful.

Perhaps just getting a mutual agreement to post links between our sites will make volunteers aware of similar projects they might be interested in contributing to. At the very least we'd probably get more testers, as I know quite a few people will play beta/free games on a regular basis. It's just hard finding such games.


We have a page on our wiki that lists various space strategy games. However if we are going to share content, it's necessary that both game's licenses be compatible. A quick look around your site didn't turn up any mention of licenses. I do wonder if any though has been put into that since your game is based on the content that's probably copyrighted.

These are our licenses.


It's actually not hard to find other free games, though there aren't very many in this category:
http://www.happypenguin.org/
http://freshmeat.net/
http://sourceforge.net/

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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 12:03 pm 
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Space Squid

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There are some major updates with regards to project(s) mentioned here in this thread. One of them (the more advanced one) named Birth of the Empires or BotE has undergone a complete content overhaul resulting in removing each and every bit of Star Trek content and replacing it with a new self-made one. Artwork has been asked and gotten permission for from various skilled artists over the web (one has even worked for Mass Effect at BioWare, Tim Appleby his name) and from Space Empires Modder Atrocities and was then put together to achieve a consistent universe.

Some screenshots of our current build:

Image
ImageImageImageImage

A gamedev.net thread explaining more details can be found here: http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums ... _id=490501

Features of our current alpha:

* Up to 4 playable races and 142 so-called minor races
* Relatively large 30x20-sector 2D galaxy map with one sector representing 20 lightyears in diameter
* TCP/IP LAN and internet multiplayer as well as singleplayer against an AI with scalable difficulty levels, also with non-cheating level
* Ship battles and invasions (no visualization yet which is in progress)
* Complete empire management like planetary build-ups and resource trading
* Diplomatic interactions like alliances, war pacts, trade agreements and bribing with all occuring species in-game

In-game music btw. is usable for non-commercial projects when the following attribution line is written in the credits page: "Music by Eric James - http://www.myspace.com/ericjames".

We recently worked on improving our galaxy map a little and since you guys already coded a nice planetary rotation system view (which you've thankfully already given to Mike Strobel, the creator of the other BotF 2 Project named Supremacy, years ago), it'd be a nice thing if we perhaps could work together somehow to get it into BotE too which uses Windows MFC library and GDI+ for our graphical UI. Btw. the game runs extremely fine and stable under Linux using latest WINE build though of course that isn't as nice having it natively there, is it ;).

Btw. the BOTF2 forums link above isn't working anymore. Posts are currently transferred to another host. Our native german forums however can be found at http://www.birth-of-the-empires.de.vu.


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 10:58 am 
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I don't think we've actually given anything to anyone, but due to the open nature of this project anyone is free to take what he wants of course, as long as credits are provided and proper licenses are used.


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 11:12 am 
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Space Squid

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That is sure the case with Supremacy, since it's fully open-source (http://www.codeplex.com/Supremacy) and has the same licenses as your project. I can only recall what Mike said 2 years ago. Maybe he meant that some of your programmers helped him implementing and understanding the parts in question so it was a bit easier than just scour the whole source code on his own. But I could be wrong of course.

Problem now is that we from the other botf2 project (though we do not call us that way anymore due to copyright and trademark worries) don't use pre-written licenses. We have our own self-made license due to the nature of our contributions. Most are personal artwork of high-profile 3D artists and their stuff is only given to us on a non-share and non-derivation basis but other stuff can be used and derived by others so a distinction which is what and vice versa is way too complicated. So the lowest common denominator was a non-commercial use solely for and strictly tied to the BotE project with the "manual" option to ask each author for the permission to reuse and alter the respective images for other projects too.

With our source code it's a similar thing. Some libs like the network ones were contributed with a protected source restriction.

So we're very flexible in terms of licenses as long as the two prerequisites non-commerciality and free-to-use for our project are met. I hope there's a way to make your planetary rotation system into our game in agreement to your license and share-alike terms.


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 2:18 pm 
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If you want to use FreeOrion code in your project, you'll either have to license the whole project under the GPL, or get permission from the writer of the code in question (tzlaine, most likely) to use it under your license.

However, I'm not sure what you're hoping to get from FreeOrion. Planets on the sidepanel are just rotating, lit, textured spheres in OpenGL... There's nothing particularly interesting or complicated in doing this when using OpenGL or a similar 3D rendering API. Are you looking for the code that does it, the theory behind how it works (of which there really isn't any, that I'm aware of) or do you want the planet art?

If you want the code, it's probably useful if the rest of your program is using windows GDI calls, beacuse FreeOrion rendering uses OpenGL.

If you just want the art, you can probably use it without too much licensing difficulty, as it's licensed under a Creative Commons Share-Alike license. Art as part of a program is considered a collection, and releasing a collection that includes a CCSA work doesn't require licensing the whole collection or all its parts under the same license.


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 2:22 pm 
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I've noticed that credit has not been given in Supremacy. Our license however asks for proper attribution. Neither freeOrion as a whole - which would have been the easiest way - nor individual artists or programmers are mentioned anywhere.
I've contacted Mike Strobel and I hope we can work this out, because as it is now this is a license violation.
Thanks for bringing this to my attention.

If you have plans to use some of our artwork(or code) then please make some effort to provide proper credit.
I doubt we can afford the time to actually help porting some of our code, but I'll let Geoff or Zach comment on this.


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 2:36 pm 
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Space Squid

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I was not aware that Mike forgot about mentioning you on codeplex and in-game (he certainly mentioned you on our old botf2 forums, that's why I never checked). Probably it just slipped under the desk during some revision indeliberately. He's by far not the stealing type of guy ;). I'm sure this solves up rather quickly.

At our botf2 project, we are very aware of giving credits (our credits page is miles long :lol:).

@Geoff: Okay, the art part was clear to me. What I'm hoping to get is the permission for using the code from the original author, apparently tzlaine. Going open-source and hence using GPL licenses for our project is a thing for version 1.0 most likely, not right now (v0.62).

Our game is built upon MFC using GDI/GDI+ calls. We're just not really familiar with OpenGL and everything surrounding 3D parts, that's why we're interested in seeing the code to see if we can as easily implement it into our game as Mike Strobel did with Supremacy.

So basically, I'm just waiting then until the original author shows up and gives his final verdict about us ;).


Last edited by M4lV on Sun May 11, 2008 2:39 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 2:37 pm 
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pd wrote:
Our license however asks for proper attribution.

If tzlaine or another programmer gave permission to use code he wrote (which may have been contributed to FreeOrion - this is irrelivant) under some other license, that does not make it a violation of FreeOrion's license, because the code was not being used under the FreeOrion license. Contributing code, or art, to FreeOrion does not mean the contributor loses rights to use that code, or art, in some other way, as long as the contribution is new work, and not a derived work of existing FreeOrion code, or art. We didn't have any 3D rendered planet code before tzlaine wrote some, so it's doubtful there's any limit on his rights to relicense to someone not under the GPL.


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 3:06 pm 
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M4lV wrote:
Our game is built upon MFC using GDI/GDI+ calls. We're just not really familiar with OpenGL and everything surrounding 3D parts, that's why we're interested in seeing the code to see if we can as easily implement it into our game as Mike Strobel did with Supremacy.

tzlaine is away for a month or so, so it might be a while until you hear from him.

Until then, you can see the relevant code in this file:
http://freeorion.svn.sourceforge.net/vi ... iew=markup

In particular, the RenderPlanet and RenderSphere functions are of interest.

You're probably better off reading through an OpenGL tutorial on how to set things up and do basic rendering. There are plenty of books and web tutorials out there. There's nothing particularly special about how FreeOrion does it that makes it unique or ideal for rendering planets. Also, unless tzlaine feels like spending a lot of time to tutor you on basic OpenGL use, you're going to need some background in how to use OpenGL to make use of the FreeOrion code.


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 3:18 pm 
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Supremacy has used all our planet textures(done by obiwan and myself) and the atmopshere overlays(done by me) They've used the asteroid belt sequences(done by me) and they've used our galaxy selection images(ring, cluster, and so on - done by Satyagraha).


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 3:46 pm 
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Space Squid

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@Geoff: thanks for linking to the svn page. I think with that and some tutorials on the web we should at least be able to understand what tzlaine did before he gets back and decides upon us being able to use parts of the side panel code.

@pd: I see. There's definitely time now for Mike to add a credits page to the game's menu.


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 3:58 pm 
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Krill Swarm

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Hi all,

First let me offer my profuse apologies for neglecting to include proper attribution for the freeOrion artwork used in Supremacy. Below is an e-mail conversation I just had with Mathias (pd):
Quote:
On Sun, May 11, 2008 at 10:09 AM, Mathias Koehler <info@optisch-edel.de> wrote:

Hi,

it came to my intention, that Star Trek Supremacy is using artwork originally created for the freeOrion project. All freeOrion artwork is using the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license, which asks for proper attribution. Unfortunately, I couldn't find any freeOrion artists and coders, nor the project as a whole being credited in your project. Being the graphics lead and creator of some of the graphics in question, that upsets me.

I hope we can find a solution to this.

best regards

--
Mathias Koehler
freelance 3D Artist
http://www.optisch-edel.de
Quote:
Hi Mathias,

This is really quite embarrassing. The addition of a "credits" screen to Supremacy has long been on my "to do" list, but I've kept putting it off in favor of working on gameplay elements. This is inexcusable, and I apologize. Considering that Supremacy is a community-driven project, I should have ensured that all contributors were properly credited in every release. As I have long since been the primary, often the sole developer of the project, I understand how much time and effort goes into projects like Supremacy and freeOrion. That kind of hard work and dedication should certainly be acknowledged, regardless of whether such attribution is required by license. Failing to include those acknowledgements in the game has been my fault, and I accept full responsibility for that oversight.

I will make the addition of a "credits" screen my top priority this week, and ensure that the freeOrion content creators are properly credited. Could you tell me where I can find the names of the artists who produced the planet and asteroid graphics used in Supremacy? Also, do I have your permission to credit you by name, or do you have a pseudonym that you would rather use?

My apologies once again for this oversight. I hope we can resolve this matter to your satisfaction.

Best regards,
Mike Strobel

I want to ensure that all creative content is properly attributed. According to this thread, we are currently using the following images:

Planet Textures - pd and obiwan
Asteroid Belt Animations - pd
Atmosphere Overlays - pd
Galaxy Selection Images - Satyagraha

If these artists have any specific names by which they would like to be credited, please post them here or PM them to me. Otherwise, I will include the names as they appear in the freeOrion credits. Note that I will also include credits thanking the FreeOrion project, complete with a link to the FO site.

For anyone who's wondering, Supremacy does not include any code from the FreeOrion project, as the programming language and platform are incompatible. However, parts of its architecture and class structure are based on FreeOrion. I had originally contacted Tyreth back in February 2006 and obtained permission to use FreeOrion graphics and architectural ideas in what was currently an academic project entitled Galactic Supremacy:
Quote:
Tyreth,

I'm not sure if you're the correct person to contact for this matter, and if you're not, then I apologize. I'm currently developing a 4X strategy game for a video game design project as part of my undergraduate coursework, and I was wondeirng if I could use some of the artwork from FreeOrion. I'm particularly interested in the planet images. I would gladly give credit to the appropriate artists.

Also, I have "adopted" the Effects system that you and your team have developed. Although I cannot use your source code (as I am developing my project in C# with a rather different game API), I would still like to give your team credit for the idea. Is there any particular way I should note this in my credits? I could credit the individual programmers, or simply "The FreeOrion Project".

Thank you for your time. I look forward to hearing back from you.

Best regards,
Mike Strobel
Quote:
Hi,

You are certainly welcome to use our artwork. We currently have it under the license detailed in this thread:
viewtopic.php?t=351

So as long as you follow that, you should be fine.

If, in your game, you are including a menu with an 'about' or 'credits' then simply put a reference to the FreeOrion team in there, including a link to our website. You can include further copywrite details/credits in a text file if you wish.

Also do the same for effects. I think you may need to include a copy of the above license for the artwork, so that others who use your project know what the conditions of the artwork are.

Hope that helps,
Mark
At the time, proper credits were included in the game. While Star Trek: Supremacy evolved out of Galactic Supremacy, the code base had been completely restructured and much of the game rewritten (including all of the graphical client). As a result, the original credits screen was lost, and as I explained to Mathias, creating a new one has unfortunately been something that has repeatedly fallen through the cracks. I just want everyone here to know that I have the utmost respect for the freeOrion developers and community, and I hope I have not planted any seeds of discord here. I will make every effort to complete a new in-game credits screen this week, and update the Supremacy pre-release download page accordingly.

Best regards,
Mike Strobel
Lead Developer, Star Trek: Supremacy

P.S. In case anyone noticed, Supremacy also uses music written by Kenneth Welch, aka LunarMongoose of the freeOrion project. Kenneth is a friend of mine, and has granted me permission to use his music under the same CC license used by freeOrion. I will naturally be crediting Kenneth for his valued contributions as well :).

P.P.S. Someone had suggested a mutual linking agreement by which Supremacy and freeOrion included links to each other's websites. I would be more than happy to accomodate such an arrangement. Supremacy has actually generated quite a bit of excitement in the sci-fi gaming community lately, and I've had several developers come forward and offer to work on the game--more than I can currently accomodate. It's certainly possible that some of those developers would be interested in working on freeOrion as well, particularly since most of them have stronger backgrounds in C++ than C#/.NET.


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 4:11 pm 
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Space Squid

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Hi Mike ;). Didn't think about the two architectures being incompatible source-wise so sorry about the use-of-code part. I just recalled some staff room thread back then on our old boards, but only faintly :).

It's quite taking some time with Nemitor setting up the new forums, doesn't it? I really begin to worry that maybe the board is broken like the old botf1 afc one..

Did you hear something from him lately?


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PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 4:21 pm 
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Krill Swarm

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M4lV wrote:
Hi Mike ;). Didn't think about the two architectures being incompatible source-wise so sorry about the use-of-code part. I just recalled some staff room thread back then on our old boards, but only faintly :).
No worries, I was just setting the record straight to put any GPL/Ms-RL license incompatibility questions to rest :).

M4lV wrote:
It's quite taking some time with Nemitor setting up the new forums, doesn't it? I really begin to worry that maybe the board is broken like the old botf1 afc one..

Did you hear something from him lately?

Nemitor's been a bit preoccupied with college applications I believe. I just messaged him, and he's going to spend some time on the forums today, so hopefully they'll be up soon :).

BTW, I recently e-mailed SirP about a C++-based implementation of the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), which is the UI framework that I use for Supremacy. It's pretty far along, and it allows you to do everything that I do in the Supremacy client: resolution-independent, vector-based UI; custom control and screen skins; integrated 3D support; Direct3D rendering; support for the XAML declarative programming language; etc. It may be worth it to look into rewriting the BotE client using it. See here.


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