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

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

On Sun, Apr 04, 2010 at 03:43:32PM +0800, Paul Wise wrote:
> 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.

One argument against supplying "full" source code commonly raised by artists,
is that a 3MB large music piece can depend on several gigabytes of "source
data", if applying the source requirement recursively.

BTW: is it DFSG and GPL compliant to compose music using CC-BY released
samples? CC-BY does not require anything about the license of derived works
(only CC-BY-SA does). And can't the source requirement of the GPL be fulfilled
by providing the original samples and the info how to combine the work from
these samples (project file) - which however then are under CC-BY?

> 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
> too.

Sorry, but I have NEVER heared any good sounding dynamically generated music,
or procedurally generated sounds. Sounds often are mixed from hundreds of
recorded samples from the same event (e.g. throwing a can on the ground).
Artists then tend to delete the single recordings, and do further improvement
based on the mixed recording.

Also, the available free soundfonts (like freepats) are VERY poor quality.

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

So basically you say - kick out all artists, and make a coder-only game? Nobody
would want to LOOK at that.

> 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:
> http://www.freedesktop.org/wiki/Games/Resources

Well, because of the source requirement, CC probably is not DFSG-free then?

> 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.

One can clearly see that in the poor quality of the game screenshots.

> 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.

The website also works just fine without Flash - the video is provided as an
OggTheora download link too.

In case you mean the site http://www.nexuiz.com/ - this deal was made without
consent of any of the developers and caused the developers to leave Alientrap.
But that is another issue.

Best regards,

Rudolf Polzer

Reply to: