[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Distribution of media content together with GPLv2 code in one package?

Firstly, the Debian Games team would very much welcome new games in
Debian and even better would be new people willing to help the team
with existing and new games in Debian.

Regarding licenses, even if the license doesn't require source code
distribution, Debian does, see DFSG #2. Some Debian members don't
agree about whether or not that applies to fonts, images,
documentation and other non-program software though.

Really, what is the "source code" is extremely dependent on the exact
situation. The best way to determine this is to think about the
different kinds of modifications other people might want to do and
whether or not they could achieve that using the "source code" you
have sent them.

Regarding music, I have been thinking about how to switch from
pre-rendered audio to using csound, STK or similar to create
dynamically generated music. This would completely sidestep the source
code issue. In addition, it would reduce required disk space and
probably provide better and or more interesting music. The other,
simpler alternative is to remove all music and let the user play music
from their music collection. There are free sound fonts in Debian, it
might be possible to build-depend on them and create audio files at
build time from them. This stuff probably applies to sound effects

Regarding textures, procedural generation has been done before and
might be a good way to go.

Regarding fonts, it is always best to load fonts at runtime and render
text using them. This also enables i18n and l10n, which are both
unfortunately rare in games. For Debian, it is best if those fonts are
standard system fonts or are packaged separately to the game since
fonts are useful outside of games.

Regarding places to get DFSG-free game assets, you probably know about this:


Regarding specific GPL or DFSG issues in existing games, please file
bugs as you find them.

Destructive editing is a huge problem in games that is a hinderance to
collaborative development, which I very much think needs to be avoided
as much as is possible. It might be worth looking at Blender's
YoFrankie! game for ideas on how to do that properly. Dynamically
generated content is probably one of the ways forward here.

I see this whole set of problems to be partially a cultural issue;
artists of various kinds are very much individualist, and often there
is only one version of a piece. Another part of the problem is that
the tools are usually GUI tools rather than automated build tools like
with programs, which encourages situations like what you describe with
rosegarden/audacity. Another part of the problem is that audio, video
and graphic formats are much more malleable than source code and
executables, one can be very creative with derivative works using only
the 'binary' generated at the end of the artistic process, but
modifying executables in creative ways takes a lot of skill and
advanced tools. You might like to start a discussion about strategies
for solving these problems on one of the fora for free software game

BTW, I notice the nexuiz website works with free Flash, nice! I'd
personally prefer using web standards like HTML and JavaScript though.
The jquery framework could probably enable the kind of effects you are
using there.



Reply to: