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Custom assets - opinions?
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MrBehemoth Offline
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Posts: 409
Joined: Feb 2014
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Post: #1
Custom assets - opinions?

Howdy. I'm trying to canvass opinions about the re-use of custom assets. Most modding communities have a strong leaning one way or another, but it varies (and searching the forum for the words "custom assets" was understandably useless).

First, my feeling and the thinking behind it... (slightly OT and self-indulgent)
Spoiler below!
My own personal reason for embarking into the world of Amnesia modding is that I am trying to get development practice and start building a brand that I am eventually going to launch into a small, part-time indie studio (hence the Aetheric Games logo's I stamp all over my work). I've already got a free point-and-click game on Desura and after Black Aether my next project will be a commercial one. I love story-driven dark-fantasy/horror games, so modding for HPL2 makes sense, especially as it comes with the relevant narrative tools and an enthusiastic and reachable audience.
That's why, with The Trapdoor, I wanted to do something that actually changed the game mechanics, in however small a way, and with Black Aether I am also trying to create a mod that no longer looks and feels like Amnesia. My hope is that when my first commercial game is released, the target audience (fans of narrative driven horror) will recognise the Aetheric Games brand. Grandiose pipe-dream or sensible marketing strategy, it is what it is.
Also, I'm putting in a lot of hours at the moment creating models and materials. I would hate for someone to play Mod-X and then play Black Aether and think "Oh, this guys just re-used all the furniture models from Mod-X". On top of severely kicking my puppy, I think that would harm the brand I want to build. I dunno.
...All of that is why I want to protect the custom assets that I'm creating. Maybe it makes me a bad person, but I'd prefer it if people didn't re-use them. At all.

But, for the most part, this is a very supportive and inclusive community and I appreciate that, so I want to know what people's thoughts are before releasing anything plastered with warnings or even before I put in too much of Aetheric Games' energy into it, if that makes sense. So, my questions are these:
  • As a community, do we expect to be allowed to re-use custom assets?
  • Would a mod developer be seen as stingy or precious if they assert copyright?
  • Will people go ahead and re-use anyway?
  • Has anyone had any positive or negative experiences with either sharing or protecting their assets?
  • Am I over thinking this?

Cheers!
And apologies if this has already been discussed - I just couldn't find anything about it.


Edit: Also apologies if you came here expecting to see some custom assets - I just realised the title could imply that. The first trailer for Black Aether is not far off, so I'll show some stuff soon.

(This post was last modified: 07-24-2014 09:08 PM by MrBehemoth.)
07-24-2014 08:49 PM
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Mudbill Offline
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Posts: 3,527
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Post: #2
RE: Custom assets - opinions?


  1. I do not think it's expected to share your hard work in that way. Most people will always ask if they can use assets that aren't explicitly allowed beforehand. Of course there will probably be those who will try to use them no matter what you tell them, but I think that will be a very small minority, and if you say your assets are restricted access, then they might even get reported and receive a penalty for it, which can be an obvious sign for people to stay away from it.
  2. I don't think so, because anyone who has made a lot of custom assets will know the work put into it. Then again most people probably haven't made a lot of custom assets, but I do think they'll understand if you explain it to them. It depends on approach, in my opinion. If you say: "Stay away or ye will regret it," then yes, maybe you'll be seen as stingy.
  3. As I mentioned, a few probably will, just like people do many things they aren't allowed to. For example ripping content from other commercial games and releasing it, maybe even getting paid for it. I know this is a monstrous deal on deviantArt regarding art thieves, and I think it should be serious. But most people are probably rational enough to avoid such if they are proud of their work.
  4. Personally I haven't had much experience. I did work on a few assets for a mod once, though I never restricted access to them and ended up just uploading them to the public as available for use. It depends on what the mod is and what you want to be associated with. With quality work like yours I can totally understand why you'd want to be exclusive Tongue It is, after all, your original work.
  5. I have thought about such things before myself regarding people claiming to own work I've released (because it has happened). I made a Minecraft mod once, and I occasionally saw people re-upload it as their own mod. Luckily people recognized it and reported it, often before I even got to know about it, which makes me happy. I'm sure that if you say this is restricted work, should people happen to use it, those who know you made it and know you do not allow re-use will report it to staff or yourself if they see it.
I sometimes thought about adding a few hidden details to prove the work to be mine. I would add small comments that would be rather tricky to hide from a pontential thief. For example in the .dae files, you can of course specify the author of the model. A lot of people probably wouldn't know to edit that, if they are dumb enough to try to steal it. There's your legitimacy, in case the worst would happen that people start thinking you're the thief of their work.

Oh, and for "A Coward's Debt," the creators mentioned they didn't want re-use of their monster. Perhaps they have some input about this?

(This post was last modified: 07-24-2014 09:50 PM by Mudbill.)
07-24-2014 09:49 PM
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MrBehemoth Offline
Senior Member

Posts: 409
Joined: Feb 2014
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Post: #3
RE: Custom assets - opinions?

(07-24-2014 09:49 PM)Mudbill Wrote:  For example in the .dae files, you can of course specify the author of the model.

Good call I'll do that. In fact, you've given me an idea, which I'll keep up my sleeve for now. Smile

07-24-2014 10:29 PM
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JonnyAnomaly Offline
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Posts: 179
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Post: #4
RE: Custom assets - opinions?

I don't think its unreasonable to request that people don't re-use your assets if you intend for it to be a kind of demonstration of your skills for a portfolio piece or something. I would imagine just stating something like this in the readme would be alright Smile
07-24-2014 11:02 PM
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