The Legend of Mazzeroth - legal or not?

Founder
Posts: 1,138
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #1
Hi iDevGames!

I am a developer on a project called The Legend of Mazzeroth and we have signed up for uDevGames in hopes of being accepted to participate.

I had a couple questions I wanted to ask.

First, we had a previous code base that we released screenshots for. Since then we have ditched that code and have started fresh and have not released any screenshots except to other members of our team which was only 1 image showing the client can put a picture on the screen, no actual gameplay elements. Would that alone disqualify us?

Second, I think this is answered in the rules or FAQ but I wanted to make sure I understood. Our submission only has to be a playable demo atleast, correct?

Thanks for hosting such a great contest and we look forward to your approval!

Thanks!

-Trevor Allen
- The Legend of Mazzeroth

Carlos A. Camacho,
Founder
iDevGames
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 1,560
Joined: 2003.10
Post: #2
Trevor Allen Wrote:First, we had a previous code base that we released screenshots for. Since then we have ditched that code and have started fresh and have not released any screenshots except to other members of our team which was only 1 image showing the client can put a picture on the screen, no actual gameplay elements. Would that alone disqualify us?

This seems fine. It sounds like the new code is essentially an entirely new project, so it doesn't sound like the previous iteration should disqualify the new one.

Trevor Allen Wrote:Second, I think this is answered in the rules or FAQ but I wanted to make sure I understood. Our submission only has to be a playable demo atleast, correct?

Although we encourage full games rather than demos, I think we've had demos entered in the past, and plenty of games that only had enough "final" content to be considered a demo by the end of the contest. So, though there's some chance you'll get lower scores for it when voting time comes, I don't think this is explicitly disallowed.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 452
Joined: 2008.04
Post: #3
I agree with Alex. New code, new project, you are good to go. And in terms of a demo... As long as you concentrate on having something fun to do in your game, you're good. You don't need hours of content for a contest game.

Howling Moon Software - CrayonBall for Mac and iPhone, Contract Game Dev Work
Quote this message in a reply
DoG
Moderator
Posts: 869
Joined: 2003.01
Post: #4
A project does not only consist of source code. The rules clearly state that
Quote:Entries with screenshots, movies, or any playable form (i.e. beta, demo, release, etc), released to the public or outside testers before December 2, 2008 at 12:01 AM GMT are ineligible.

From http://legendofmazzeroth.wikidot.com/ it is clear that this game has been in development for quite some time, with public exposure in the above sense, therefore it does not qualify.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 335
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #5
If it's all new everything. rename it Legend of Mazzeroth 2 (or another name) to disassociate it from the other game. That should solve the problem.
Quote this message in a reply
DoG
Moderator
Posts: 869
Joined: 2003.01
Post: #6
Zwilnik Wrote:If it's all new everything. rename it Legend of Mazzeroth 2 (or another name) to disassociate it from the other game. That should solve the problem.

Seriously, WTF.

It's clearly *not* all new everything, it uses assets previously displayed to the public, it uses code written long before the contest start. Also, since the project sits in a public repository, binaries based on the "new" codebase have also been available to anybody (the public) inclined to click build on the xcode project, so even that should be enough to disqualify. Even if every single file is different that since the last screenshot was posted, you can't seriously claim this as now a new project.

Under Rule 5, using open source code is allowed, but
Quote:the entry should have substantial original material apart from such public content.

Suggesting that the project is just renamed "Foo 2" to circumvent the rules is completely preposterous, certainly not in the spirit of the contest, and most definitely unfair to those people who do not have projects with a 10 month public history.

Under Rule 5, the code and assets can be used, but if the resulting game is just a slight variation of what existed prior to Dec.2, then it does not qualify. So a blanket answer can't be given at this point, the content of the finally submitted game will decide.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 335
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #7
the first part of my answer.. "If it's all new everything."

If it is, then it's as valid as any other dev writing a new game from scratch but knowing exactly how to do it because they've written something similar before and have a ton of old code to base it on.

If it's not, then it's not valid.

Ultimately, there's no real way to enforce this other than in blatant cases, so it's pretty much on the honour system and judges' decisions.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 384
Joined: 2002.08
Post: #8
I agree with the "if it's all new everything."

They seem to have had some pretty nice art assets in the publicly released screenshots... I would expect none of those art assets to be reused, and everything to be new.

As for the demo portion, fine, whatever one thinks constitutes a demo that will be good enough to win a contest is fair game.

But this entry seems to have had a lot of development done in the past, possibly on a different code base, so I would expect all new everything. I think good faith on the part of the entrants and judges would need to be shown...

Do they have a completely new code base that is not the stuff in their sourceforge project?

KB Productions, Car Care for iPhone/iPod Touch
@karlbecker_com
All too often, art is simply the loss of practicality.
Quote this message in a reply
Moderator
Posts: 452
Joined: 2008.04
Post: #9
funkboy Wrote:They seem to have had some pretty nice art assets in the publicly released screenshots... I would expect none of those art assets to be reused, and everything to be new.

Can we use assets that have been publicly released? I know I plan to use assets that were posted in the old iDevGames asset collection and the ones offered on this site:

http://lostgarden.com/2007/05/dancs-mira...-game.html

(although not those, I can't find the exact link now)

Howling Moon Software - CrayonBall for Mac and iPhone, Contract Game Dev Work
Quote this message in a reply
Nibbie
Posts: 1
Joined: 2008.05
Post: #10
The code we are currently working on is brand new, none of the code that produced those screenshots are being used as its being completely done from scratch and design.

All artwork from those screenshots are also not going to be used in this project because we want all original artwork. I hope this clears any hesitation.

Our new code currently does nothing but loads an image, thats it. I would be sad if that alone disqualifies us.

Also, I read the rule about having some kind of playable demo at least but wanted to verify it with you guys to make sure I clearly understood the rules. We were not going to just submit source code.

-Trevor
Quote this message in a reply
Nibbie
Posts: 2
Joined: 2008.12
Post: #11
Hello, everybody. I'm the project lead for The Legend of Mazzeroth.

I understand some of the concerns that have been raised and I wanted to set the records straight.

The Legend of Mazzeroth is a game idea I had long ago back in 1997. Since then it's gone through a number of different phases and three different computer languages.

The screenshots that are available on the WIKI are from the old code which was based on The Mana World. We decided in June that we would completely dump the code and rewrite our own since TMW's code... well simply put, doesn't work very well. Almost none of it was useful and most of it was poorly put together. Suffice it to say that we learned nothing from using the TMW code.

Anwyay, we decided that we'd write our own code from scratch. We cleared out the SVN repository hosted on SourceForge on September 22 as you can see from SVN Revision #225. The first new code that was actually written was comitted on September 23 at Rev. #226. So our official code development date is September 23, 2008 -- e.g., we've been developing code for exactly 70 days prior to December 2nd. If this is too long before the contest start date than base it on the fact that true development began at the end of September.

If you must, you can look at all of the source code prior to Revision #225 with the current code base and see that not only are we using completely different code and that not even a single line from the old source base appears anywhere in the new code base but that we took a completely different approach with our software than the TMW team's programmers.

If you really want to argue the point than you can say that LoM has been in development for 11 years but can you really count old code written by a 14 year old in QBasic or again by a 20 year old in C as being part of the development time despite said old code obviously not appearing in the current project?

I see no reason to rename the project as its name has remained the same since I first had the idea of it way back when. The end result may be the same but the project itself is indeed new.

As far as assets are concerned, the old screenshots show, once again, old assets that are publicly available to anybody for any reason. We had planned to completely change them anyway as soon as we were ready to seek out artists and the plan hasn't changed. In fact, we will be using different temporary graphics available publicly from http://www.lostgarden.com/index.html (which is mentioned in an earlier reply in this thread). As far as I know publicly available assets do not necessarily disqualify a project.

The only argument at this point that I can agree with is if concept artwork is counted as part of the game assets regardless of whether or not they actually appear in the game itself. To that end, yes, we've had publicly visible concept artwork available since around March/April (I don't remember exactly).

To bring this [lengthy] post to an end, I think it is pointless to go back and forth with arguments about why or why not our project is qualified for this contest. It would be great if it could be as it would give us a real kick in the butt to get our offline RPG mode out in March as we had originally intended but if indeed we are ineligable for entry, by all means don't hesitate to tell us. I don't want to violate rules and I see no reason to have bad blood between the members of this project and the members of all of the other projects.

To that end, I leave the decision up to the administrative staff here at iDevGames. Thanks for your patience in reading my reply... Smile

(I don't know if my previous post went through so hopefully thsi doesn't end up as a double-post. If it does, I apologize, one of them can be removed)
Quote this message in a reply
DoG
Moderator
Posts: 869
Joined: 2003.01
Post: #12
Quoting myself,
Quote:Under Rule 5, the code and assets can be used, but if the resulting game is just a slight variation of what existed prior to Dec.2, then it does not qualify. So a blanket answer can't be given at this point, the content of the finally submitted game will decide.

So, you are saved by the fact that the project is under the GPL, but if you don't manage to get significant work done on your project until the contest ends, you will neither have a chance to win nor qualify. I suggest keeping a rigorous developer diary to document your work during the contest, to squelch any doubts.
Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply