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 Forum index » Modding Central » OpenRA Editing Forums
Standalone Games = Profit?
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Atomic_Noodles
Defense Minister


Joined: 05 Oct 2011

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 1:36 pm    Post subject:   Standalone Games = Profit? Reply with quote

If you built an entirely new IP game through ORA can you charge for it or do I have to release it for free? If you can sell it I'm guessing I have to share the profits with the ORA team?
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Isaac_The_Madd
AA Infantry


Joined: 16 Jul 2015

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You have to release it for free, the main reason being the shp and other Westwood file formats owned by EA.

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OmegaBolt
President


Joined: 21 Mar 2005
Location: York, England

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 3:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He said entirely new game. However, the answer should lie in the license. https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/wiki/License
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^Rampastein
Rampastring


Joined: 11 Oct 2008
Location: Finland

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As far as I've understood from reading the GPL license, you're allowed to charge for OpenRA engine games that you've created. However, if you modify the engine, you must make the source code of your modifications public. Also, anyone who has bought your game is free to redistribute at least the engine for free. I'm not sure if that would also apply to the assets of your game though.
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Blade
Cyborg Commando


Joined: 23 Dec 2003

PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If all the assets are custom and not in any way derived from the Westwood developed ones, then in theory, yes, you could sell the game. You would have to release the source code to the engine with any modifications you made, but the assets would be your copyright assuming you either made them or commissioned them as a work for hire.

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Matthias M.
Jumpjet Infantry


Joined: 15 Jun 2012
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want to make profit, the game source code has to be Open Source. That does not cover the game assets, so you just license those under a regular EULA.

Indeed the file formats may be problematic. They are anything but IP clean. We need open file formats for that matter, which will also ease modding:

Images: https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/issues/5075 or https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/issues/6179
Sound: https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/issues/5491
Palettes: https://github.com/OpenRA/OpenRA/issues/11385

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Atomic_Noodles
Defense Minister


Joined: 05 Oct 2011

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 11:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So basically I'll still need to run things through with EA if I make everything by hand and use all currently made logics,etc. from ORA.
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pchote
Cyborg Soldier


Joined: 06 Feb 2015

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

EA have no claim to the wav format for audio or to 6-bit VGA palettes.

The sprite formats have been completely abstracted away from the OpenRA engine, so that is also not a problem unless you are relying exclusively on the logic shipped in our mod "standard library" (which will be unlikely if you're working on a completely new IP – you're going to want at least some custom mod code).  It would be nice to include an open format parser upstream, but this does not block a downstream game from doing it themselves in the shorter term.

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Matthias M.
Jumpjet Infantry


Joined: 15 Jun 2012
Location: Germany

PostPosted: Sun Jun 05, 2016 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Atomic_Noodles wrote:
So basically I'll still need to run things through with EA if I make everything by hand and use all currently made logics,etc. from ORA.

The OpenRA game logic itself is clean. You can't patent/copyright the idea on how real time strategy works and also OpenRA wasn't decompiled or otherwise reverse engineered, but instead reimplemented from scratch often in a much more generic and modular way to allow more modder freedom. What we are referring to are some compression algorithms such as the custom blowfish for mix file encryption and the various SHP formats. Those are the only things you need to avoid. Simply create your own GIF/PNG/APNG/MNG whatever you prefer file format parsers or hire someone to do it for you.

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Blade
Cyborg Commando


Joined: 23 Dec 2003

PostPosted: Mon Jun 06, 2016 9:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is nothing patented about any of the algorithms used in the various C&C formats and even if there were, they would have expired by now. I think it would be a stretch for EA to try and claim any copyright over a project just because it used the shp format, the OpenRA parsers are built on format descriptions as far as I can tell rather than directly on the original code which would be the only thing that would give EA any kind of claim. I've not thoroughly audited the code, but only the Mix file RSA implementation might be based on code reversed from the original. Might not stop them draining you of money trying to fight a claim though, no matter how baseless it might be.

BTW, nothing about the mix file header encryption is custom, its just standard Blowfish where the key is protected by a standard RSA transform, it just so happens that the OpenRA implementation is based on the XCC implementation which was developed before it was figured out exactly how the encryption worked on mix files.

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