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Author Topic: Crucible: Publish or Perish (forge spinoff)  (Read 15126 times)
Christopher Kubasik
Member

Posts: 1153


« Reply #15 on: November 12, 2003, 11:48:00 PM »

Edited into non-existence.
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"Can't we for once just do what we're supposed to do -- and then stop?
Lemonhead, The Shield
RaconteurX
Member

Posts: 262


« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2003, 01:57:09 AM »

Quote from: Ben Lehman
Game systems and settings are not subject to copyright, only the expression of that system or setting in particular prose, tables, or artwork.


Both systems and settings are governable by trademark, however, and you will find that trademark laws are considerably more draconian than their copyright counterparts mainly because you can lose a trademark if you fail to defend it. A particular iteration of a system or setting is still a copyrighted work, but it is the trademark which prevents you from "filing off the serial numbers" and rephrasing Player's Handbook (or any other game book) so you can claim it as entirely your own original work.
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Ben Lehman
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Posts: 2094

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« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2003, 09:54:15 AM »

Quote from: RaconteurX
Quote from: Ben Lehman
Game systems and settings are not subject to copyright, only the expression of that system or setting in particular prose, tables, or artwork.


Both systems and settings are governable by trademark, however, and you will find that trademark laws are considerably more draconian than their copyright counterparts mainly because you can lose a trademark if you fail to defend it. A particular iteration of a system or setting is still a copyrighted work, but it is the trademark which prevents you from "filing off the serial numbers" and rephrasing Player's Handbook (or any other game book) so you can claim it as entirely your own original work.


BL>  The thing is, in practice, trademark is far too specific to protect from such actions.  It stops me from using the WotC logo, sure, but it does not, in any way, stop me from filing the serial number off the player's handbook and printing my own version (e.g. Everquest RPG).

  The main point of the post is that whilst one can try to create a "freeware mentality" among RPG designers, there is much less pressing need to do so, because the guts of most RPGs (system and setting) are essentially undefendable.  This was established for RPGs, in particular, with a number of lawsuits from TSR in the mid-80s.

  Now, most RPG designers are both polite and have their own ideas, so these legal matters don't come up often.  But we don't need a Linux of RPGs.  All RPGs are, legally speaking, more like Linux than Windows.

  This is slowly drifting off topic for the thread.  If anyone is interested in discussing it further, let's start another thread (perhaps in Publishing?)

yrs--
--Ben
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2003, 10:26:45 AM »

Whoa - definitely time.

Discussions of trademark and copyright need to be taken to the Publishing forum, big-time.

This thread, which presented Apeiron's notion and my and Clinton's response, has been resolved and is now closed.

Best,
Ron
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2003, 10:46:37 AM »

H'm, on reflection, I think that I was a bit hasty. Further discussion of the Crucible idea is permitted here, if anyone wants. And thanks to Apeiron for being willing to make a further effort to communicate what he's after.

Nix on that copyright talk though - that really does belong elsewhere.

Best,
Ron
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Marco
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Posts: 1741


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« Reply #20 on: November 13, 2003, 11:18:57 AM »

Well ...

I really wasn't gonna post (I think the Crucible idea is not such a good one as stated) but ...

In writer's circles you bring your stuff and everyone else brings their stuff and you read their stuff and they read your stuff and you discuss. I think *that* (which is not so dissimilar to the Crucible idea--but writiers circles have about 5 people vs. many) would be decent.

I mean, Valimir posted an adventure--last I looked (and I checked the adventure out--but haven't had time or energy to write a response) there was nuthin. Responses to the JAGS posts were not bad but a *little* anemic (IMO--I'm not complaining).

If I knew I'd get a full round of discussion on my latest world book then I'd make time to make sure I had time to go over other people's stuff.

But like I said, small groups. And no "must be published" stuff.

-Marco
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---------------------------------------------
JAGS (Just Another Gaming System)
a free, high-quality, universal system at:
http://www.jagsrpg.org
Just Released: JAGS Wonderland
Emily Care
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Posts: 1126


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« Reply #21 on: November 13, 2003, 11:42:30 AM »

Apeiron,

You may want to post on the Connections forum to find other folks who might be interested in doing this.  

As Marco said, starting a small working group of people committed to giving feedback on one another's games might be a worthwhile way to pitch it.  Instead of a whole new game a month, the commitment could be a new draft a month, or substantial text/rules etc.  

Having a committment like this from a group would have certain advantages over the indie games forum as it stands. Each person would be guaranteed regular creative input from their fellow designers.  Continuity of criticism would be great too--these folks would have seen your game at various stages, and would probably end up with a fairly in-depth understanding of it. Comraderie and peer pressure help keep on on task. But asking everyone to come up with a whole new game each month doesn't sound feasible.  

Finite term commitments might be a good idea too--take 5 people who commit to working together for 6 months with a finished product being the goal at the end of that time, or a year, etc.

And, if you're not familiar with them already, there are several creative ways that people (well, Mike Holmes and Philip Reed) have found to spur on the production of games on the Forge. See the following threads:

"Iron Game Chef" Lives!
Iron Game Chef - Simulationist!
24 Hour Game

Bon chance!

Regards,
Emily Care
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Black & Green Games
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 2341


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« Reply #22 on: November 13, 2003, 12:25:01 PM »

Hey Marco, Em,

Y'know...I'm not sure he cares about writer's group style feedback and quid pro quo. Unless I'm misreading, apeiron is more taken with the idea that folks will produce stuff, and then other folks will produce improvements and variations, and gradually the truly excellent stuff floats to the top. Perhaps the closest thing we've seen to this are all the Pool variations. James is cool with people doing it, so we've had variations, and variations of those variations, and we've had scenarios written for variations.

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
Marco
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Posts: 1741


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« Reply #23 on: November 13, 2003, 12:56:39 PM »

Probably not--but I'd have to get something out of such a group to want to participate. What I suggested was, IMO, a valuable variant on what he was suggesting ... kinda like one of those Pool variants you mentioned.

-Marco
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---------------------------------------------
JAGS (Just Another Gaming System)
a free, high-quality, universal system at:
http://www.jagsrpg.org
Just Released: JAGS Wonderland
apeiron
Member

Posts: 135

[ MAKE YOUR FUTURE PERFECT ]


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« Reply #24 on: November 13, 2003, 02:38:09 PM »

Quote from: Marco
In writer's circles you bring your stuff and everyone else brings their stuff and you read their stuff and they read your stuff and you discuss. I think *that* (which is not so dissimilar to the Crucible idea--but writiers circles have about 5 people vs. many) would be decent.
If I knew I'd get a full round of discussion on my latest world book then I'd make time to make sure I had time to go over other people's stuff.
But like I said, small groups. And no "must be published" stuff.

-Marco


@ Cool, this is good to know stuff.  This actually taps into part of my intention, is that teams form either by congealing or by design.  Part of what i want is for people to take helping each other seriously.

@ What does "edited into non-existence" mean?
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If you live in the NoVA/DC area and would like help developing your games, or to help others do so, send me a PM.  i'm running a monthly gathering that needs developers and testers.
apeiron
Member

Posts: 135

[ MAKE YOUR FUTURE PERFECT ]


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« Reply #25 on: November 13, 2003, 03:03:27 PM »

Quote from: Emily Care
Apeiron,

You may want to post on the Connections forum to find other folks who might be interested in doing this.  

As Marco said, starting a small working group of people committed to giving feedback on one another's games might be a worthwhile way to pitch it.  Instead of a whole new game a month, the commitment could be a new draft a month, or substantial text/rules etc.  

Having a committment like this from a group would have certain advantages over the indie games forum as it stands. Each person would be guaranteed regular creative input from their fellow designers.  Continuity of criticism would be great too--these folks would have seen your game at various stages, and would probably end up with a fairly in-depth understanding of it. Comraderie and peer pressure help keep on on task. But asking everyone to come up with a whole new game each month doesn't sound feasible.  

Finite term commitments might be a good idea too--take 5 people who commit to working together for 6 months with a finished product being the goal at the end of that time, or a year, etc.

And, if you're not familiar with them already, there are several creative ways that people (well, Mike Holmes and Philip Reed) have found to spur on the production of games on the Forge. See the following threads:

"Iron Game Chef" Lives!
Iron Game Chef - Simulationist!
24 Hour Game

Bon chance!

Regards,
Emily Care


@ i think you are picking up what i'm throwing down.  i'm not asking for whole games, just a PRODUCT of some kind.  Maybe this month i can crank out 20 pages, the next month i'm swamped at work, so i only publish an edit of the previous document.  Somehow early on, ppl got the idea that i was asking ppl to write whole games or massive tomes.  i just want people to write fractions of a game on a regular basis, eventually a whole game would be made as long as things stayed on track.  It makes me sad when a brilliant game comes to nothing because they just forget about it.  i think the sort of "dude, we know you can knock this out of the park, get to work" talk amoung the teams would have great results.  Plus the "hey, i know a woman who could draw what you are talking about, i'll tell her what is going on here" factor.

@ i have seen the amazing results of sub team game production on QuickDraw.  It was just 3 of us vigorously working on a game.  i want that multiplied by dozens of games and teams.  

@ i will take a look at those threads.  Thanks!
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If you live in the NoVA/DC area and would like help developing your games, or to help others do so, send me a PM.  i'm running a monthly gathering that needs developers and testers.
apeiron
Member

Posts: 135

[ MAKE YOUR FUTURE PERFECT ]


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« Reply #26 on: November 13, 2003, 03:06:54 PM »

Quote from: Paul Czege
Hey Marco, Em,

Y'know...I'm not sure he cares about writer's group style feedback and quid pro quo. Unless I'm misreading, apeiron is more taken with the idea that folks will produce stuff, and then other folks will produce improvements and variations, and gradually the truly excellent stuff floats to the top. Perhaps the closest thing we've seen to this are all the Pool variations. James is cool with people doing it, so we've had variations, and variations of those variations, and we've had scenarios written for variations.

Paul


@ i feel that it should be a little bit of both.  What are these Pool variations?  i would like to know more.
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If you live in the NoVA/DC area and would like help developing your games, or to help others do so, send me a PM.  i'm running a monthly gathering that needs developers and testers.
apeiron
Member

Posts: 135

[ MAKE YOUR FUTURE PERFECT ]


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« Reply #27 on: November 13, 2003, 03:18:07 PM »

Quote from: Paul Czege
I think what might motivate me to participate would be a carefully crafted policy for how the communal material can be used in games that participants publish independent of the community. Ron's Sorcerer mini-supplement policy, for instance, totally works for me. He has to approve it, and it can only be sold from his site, but the writer/designer makes the money from sales. Greg's policy in Epiphany doesn't work for me, even though I think the system is fantastic and I'd like to do something for it.

Paul


@ Thanks for your response.  i think i botched my first attempt to explain it, i thank you all for your patience.

@ What would you recommend for publication policy?  My heart tells me to use Copyleft or some similar Open Source scheme.  That way if i see a mechanic i like here, and a setting i like there, i can combine them into something new, which in turn, someone else might adopt part of my work.  Perhaps the one who starts the project gets to set policy.  If you post a game, you can say "publish supplements all you want, just give me X%".  i am open to suggestions.
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If you live in the NoVA/DC area and would like help developing your games, or to help others do so, send me a PM.  i'm running a monthly gathering that needs developers and testers.
Paul Czege
Acts of Evil Playtesters
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Posts: 2341


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« Reply #28 on: November 13, 2003, 03:31:58 PM »

Hey,

What are these Pool variations? i would like to know more.

James V. West designed http://www.randomordercreations.com/thepool.html">The Pool. Lots of folks have played it, and lots of folks were inspired by it to write variants. James has collected a lot of the variations http://www.randomordercreations.com/thepoolvariations.html">here, but there are more floating around. http://www.twistedconfessions.com/products.php">Snowball is Alexander Cherry's variant. It inspired Guy Jobbins to write http://www.smartgroups.com/vault/swords/Public/Rought_Night_in_Roundstone.pdf">a scenario.

Paul
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My Life with Master knows codependence.
And if you're doing anything with your Acts of Evil ashcan license, of course I'm curious and would love to hear about your plans
J B Bell
Member

Posts: 267


« Reply #29 on: November 13, 2003, 03:40:24 PM »

Apeiron,

For the Pool, go to the "Resource Library" link at the top of your screen and search on "pool".

Check out The Creative Commons for ideas on lawyer-vetted alternative licensing.

Invisible City Productions' Games Section puts out a new game every month. They seem to really be into the whole free-as-in-freedom/open source trip. The games I've checked out have been pretty neat, running the gamut from parlor games to board games, with some role-play elements on occasion.

Of course, I never get tired of tooting the wiki horn--do a search at google on "wiki" and feast your mind on a technology that facilitates collaboration very nicely.

I think this looks like a neat project. Kudos to all for de-escalating the snarky beginnings of this thread.

--JB
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"Have mechanics that focus on what the game is about. Then gloss the rest." --Mike Holmes
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