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  Open source on retail games.  (Read 1078 times)
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Offline Rayvolution

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


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Resident Crazyman


« Posted 2014-06-10 18:22:51 »

I'm curious what you guys think about going open source on a game you plan to sell, what are the potential impacts? I plan to sell both of my projects here on JGO eventually, and I've been asked by several people in my livestream if it is open source. Even though people can read my code in the stream easily, it's actually not an open source project. In fact, the source files aren't on the internet anywhere. I don't even use github. I keep rolling daily backups on my pen drive, desktop and laptop harddrive.

I never planned to go open source, not because I wanted to hide my work or because I wanted to perpetuate any kind of greed or piracy prevention. I just simply never planned it. The reality is, you can decompile java applications anyway, so it's not like I can really hide anything anyway. All I can do is make the process more complicated.

So, what are your guy's input; Would you open source your full retail game? I can't see much harm in it beyond code-theft, but lets face it, most the people who bother to steal code to the point they're ripping off your game are usually not good enough programmers to do you any financial harm anyway.

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
Retro-Pixel Castles - Survival Sim/Builder/Roguelike!
LIVE-STREAMING DEVELOPMENT: http://www.twitch.tv/SG_Rayvolution
Offline Grunnt

JGO Kernel


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Complex != complicated


« Reply #1 - Posted 2014-06-10 18:26:10 »

Hmm, if by "open source" you mean making available the full source code and assets of your game for any purpose then you are basically giving away the game. Which I think kind of conflicts with trying to sell it. But I would think there are license options that allow you to open source your project without others legally being allowed to distribute compiled versions or something, or while retaining the copyrights to assets.

Most important reason, I suspect, is that the source code to most retail games is pretty much a mess and of not much use to anyone Wink

Offline BurntPizza

« JGO Bitwise Duke »


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« Reply #2 - Posted 2014-06-10 18:27:38 »

Cas did it: http://www.java-gaming.org/topics/revenge-of-the-titans-source-code/24119/msg/202029/view.html although it's just the source, no assets. I thinks that's a pretty good strategy if you don't want to effectively hand over the game for free but still have the source open.
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
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Offline Rayvolution

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


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« Reply #3 - Posted 2014-06-10 18:31:06 »

Cas did it: http://www.java-gaming.org/topics/revenge-of-the-titans-source-code/24119/msg/202029/view.html although it's just the source, no assets. I thinks that's a pretty good strategy if you don't want to effectively hand over the game for free but still have the source open.

Well, I never actually considered how I would handle open source. But what I may do is have a clause you can't resell/redistro anything in the source code in any way what so ever, or any of the assets. Then, pack the /src/ folder into the retail jar. So everyone who buys the game has access to the source as well.

So, I guess that makes it half-way open source, since you technically should legally own the game to have access to the source code. (Pirates will get the game regardless with or without a sourcecode, so no point in fighting that)

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
Retro-Pixel Castles - Survival Sim/Builder/Roguelike!
LIVE-STREAMING DEVELOPMENT: http://www.twitch.tv/SG_Rayvolution
Offline Cero
« Reply #4 - Posted 2014-06-10 19:14:40 »

Even Doom3 was released by Carmack... long after initial release, but yeah.

available source != open source license

Will less people buy your game because the source is available ? Absolutely not, we discussed this topic over the years plenty of times on this forum. There is also no need to encrypt or protect your code: nobody cares about code.

The only reason why you couldnt do this is license issues, as in you use proprietary code or algorithms that have NDAs or similar.
For example Cas built a Java steam API and he only gives out that to people who have signed the NDA

Offline Rayvolution

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 222
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Resident Crazyman


« Reply #5 - Posted 2014-06-10 19:25:00 »

Even Doom3 was released by Carmack... long after initial release, but yeah.

available source != open source license

Will less people buy your game because the source is available ? Absolutely not, we discussed this topic over the years plenty of times on this forum. There is also no need to encrypt or protect your code: nobody cares about code.

The only reason why you couldnt do this is license issues, as in you use proprietary code or algorithms that have NDAs or similar.
For example Cas built a Java steam API and he only gives out that to people who have signed the NDA

Yeah, that's sort of what I was thinking as well. I can't imagine many ways being open source could harm anything, beyond expert programmers picking apart my code and laughing at me. Tongue

You're right though that there is a difference between the concepts of open source and available source. I guess this is more of an "Available source" deal, because I wouldn't mind people distroing parts of the compiled source for modding purposes, I just don't want people sharing the .java files or trying to make their own entire games based on my code. I'd rather they have to buy the game to have access to them, and any distribution of the compiled files is for mod purposes only. Beyond that if they just want to poke around and see how I built the various systems like Pathfinding, lighting, etc, they can learn from my work and rebuild their own work based on it.

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
Retro-Pixel Castles - Survival Sim/Builder/Roguelike!
LIVE-STREAMING DEVELOPMENT: http://www.twitch.tv/SG_Rayvolution
Offline saucymeatman
« Reply #6 - Posted 2014-06-10 19:52:15 »

You could release the source and assets and probably only loose a couple sales.
Its not like the game is going to be marketed to people that know how to compile the project.
If its popular enough to steal, they'll torrent it, they dont need the source to steal it.
Online princec

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


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Eh? Who? What? ... Me?


« Reply #7 - Posted 2014-06-10 22:15:01 »

Honestly, my source is like a giant red herring, riddled with traps and bugs for the unwary. It's more a lesson about how not to do things than a useful reference.

Cas Smiley

Offline LiquidNitrogen
« Reply #8 - Posted 2014-06-11 00:20:21 »

Honestly, my source is like a giant red herring, riddled with traps and bugs for the unwary. It's more a lesson about how not to do things than a useful reference.

Yeah, I poked around at it a little and then.. "Well that was very interesting and all but I didn't learn anything besides how to set up an entity extending system"

Offline Rayvolution

« JGO Spiffy Duke »


Medals: 222
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Resident Crazyman


« Reply #9 - Posted 2014-06-11 00:26:55 »

Honestly, my source is like a giant red herring, riddled with traps and bugs for the unwary. It's more a lesson about how not to do things than a useful reference.

Yeah, I poked around at it a little and then.. "Well that was very interesting and all but I didn't learn anything besides how to set up an entity extending system"

I'm guilty at sucking at reading other's code. I usually poke around a bit and pick out some cool concepts here and there. But I'm awful at seeing the entire project scope as a whole unless it's mine. :/

- Raymond "Rayvolution" Doerr.
Retro-Pixel Castles - Survival Sim/Builder/Roguelike!
LIVE-STREAMING DEVELOPMENT: http://www.twitch.tv/SG_Rayvolution
Games published by our own members! Check 'em out!
Legends of Yore - The Casual Retro Roguelike
Offline Cero
« Reply #10 - Posted 2014-06-11 23:36:45 »

I'm guilty at sucking at reading other's code. I usually poke around a bit and pick out some cool concepts here and there. But I'm awful at seeing the entire project scope as a whole unless it's mine. :/
Thats normal. Reading other's code is like 4 times as difficult and time consuming. That is why no one bothers.



I just don't want people sharing the .java files or trying to make their own entire games based on my code.
It's simply not going to happen. People dont care about your code. Especially not your java code: Who even uses java to make games, excluding Android of course ? Nobody but us. :|

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