Recommend
22 
 Thumb up
 Hide
35 Posts
1 , 2  Next »   | 

Race for the Galaxy» Forums » General

Subject: RFTG Online rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Josh Riley
United States
Boulder
Colorado
flag msg tools
mbmb
Hypothetically speaking *ahem*... say I have coded a crude, but playable, RFTG Online game (with Solitaire and multiplayer-semi-asynchronous play and stats/analysis, etc) so my friends and I can get our RFTG fix between game nights (and, you know, when we have downtime at work). And, say I wanted to share this online with others (just for fun... not for profit). Would this be a bad idea from a legality standpoint? Would Rio Grande Games care? How does a site like BSW get away with making online playable boardgames? I figure I will send an email to Rio asking first but I wanted to know if anyone had any experience or opinions with this sort of thing. thx.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rob Neuhaus
United States
New York
NY
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I sent an email to the game author, here is what he said.

Quote:
Hi Rob,

I'm copying this to Jay Tummelson of RGG. Numerous people have approached us regarding computer rights, which I suspect are worth some real money to a gaming web portal (since the volume of generated plays is probably quite high).

You'll need to discuss this with him. With regard to Wei-Hwa, he has thought about how to do it but both Google and I keep him pretty busy ;-). Certainly, if you do implement a computer AI, I would strongly urge you to contact him for his ideas.

Thanks for all your enthusiasm. I appreciate it.

Take care,
tom


I am not a lawyer, but I was considering implementing the game, running a server open to the public, and then just taking it down when asked by RGG. Until there is a commercially available implementation, I see no harm in this. In fact, I'd even be willing to give my code to whoever bought the computer rights to the game for free. It's not as though you or I want to cause any harm to the market for the game. I bet both of us would like to see it become a wild success. I believe a hobbyist implementation available in the mean time will only help grow its adoption. I have hard time believing that you'd get in trouble if you did this. On the other hand, I don't think you would have any legal standing to prevent you from getting sued.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Gabe Alvaro
United States
Berkeley
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm not a lawyer either, but I work in book and journal publishing and deal with copyright fairly regularly. I would estimate that 99% of actual copyright enforcement happens within the activities of a)asking permission (the requestor) and b)sending out cease and desist letters (the holder) when permission has not been obtained. i.e. violated. In relation to the total of all rights and permissions activity, lawsuits are very rare especially when the activities take place in an area where there is little money to begin with. And let's face it, boardgames are not a big industry.

It sounds cavalier, but I'd have to agree with with Robert's no harm approach. Why let the trivialities of the law impede your creative efforts to help make such a vision a reality? If you are truly worried, then you could avoid using any of the actual pictures, icons, names, or titles and just boil it down to mechanisms. You can't copyright mechanisms.

(Though at least one company, WoC, has patented a mechanism. See MTG's "Tapping".)
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Wood
United States
Davis
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
blindspot wrote:
If you are truly worried, then you could avoid using any of the actual pictures, icons, names, or titles and just boil it down to mechanisms. You can't copyright mechanisms.


I have coded a solitaire version of Deadwood Studios USA which I sent a copy to the author.

However, I also have a text-version of the card game Brawl which I put up on one of the internet chat rooms. Just the mechanics and built for speed-readers. However, I decided to be nice and include in the help file of the game words to the effect: "If you want the really cool pics, graphics and to play this with your real-life friends, get the game here!" followed by a link to the publisher's web site. You may want to consider adding such a link to your web game site, providing some free advertising is likely to encourage copyright holders to smile ever more tolerantly.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh Riley
United States
Boulder
Colorado
flag msg tools
mbmb
Thanks. You are right that I am not looking for rights or anything; not wanting to harm the market; and happy to take it down whenever there might be a conflict of interest. Just a hobbyist boardgamer and programmer. And, I wrote it in about a weeks time so i don't think anyone would want the code. I like your idea of not using original artwork and text. Maybe let the user optionally upload those things and assign them and have the code generate the interface procedurally for them. If you hear any more from these people Jay and Tom, plz let me know. I will probably soon write them myself asking for permission, etc.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Smith
Australia
Footscray
Victoria
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
I'm not trying to play devil's advocate here but I have to agree with the previous posters. If you want to get your online game up and running for the public then starting this thread is your first mistake!

I've created 23 VASSAL modules for a whole variety of games from different publishers and have not had a single letter of complaint; But I'm almost certain that if I had asked permission, many of these would not have seen the light of day.

So get your software out there, then wait for a cease and desist.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Quintal
United States
Burlington
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Some dude on this website created his own java version of Kingsburg and posted the link to it here on bgg. Not sure what happened there. Used all the graphics straight from the game. Don't think he was sued or anything. Just make sure if you're going to post it, you send it to me a week in advance so I can personally playtest it.

There are also homebrews of Titan and such.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thomas Arnold
Germany
Griesheim
Hessen
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
That Kingsburg-dude was me.

I DID ask for permission first - I sent an E-Mail to the designers and the publisher of Kingsburg, and after they had a look at it, they gave me the permission to use all their graphic material and publish my application for free. An added advantage was that the designers helped me improving my game, which was very nice!
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Link?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean
United States
Mechanicsburg
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
I don't want happiness by halves, nor is half of sorrow what I want. Yet there's a pillow I would share, where gently pressed against a cheek like a helpless star, a falling star, a ring glimmers on the finger of a hand.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm sure the bigger the game the bigger the buzz about it would be. Keep us posted
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael J
United States
Folsom
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I created an on-line MTG system 10 years ago, and was sued by TSR (the owners at the time). I figured since there was another on-line tool already available (I think it was called Apprentice), that I could do the same. Apprentice, however, obtained permission, whereas I did not.

All I can say is that if you put something like this on-line without obtaining the publisher's permission, expect a cease and desist letter by the end of the month. But keep in mind that for every copyright violation (e.g. EVERY download of your software), you may be liable for fines (6 figures for each violation). There is no rule that says a company must send you a cease and desist letter without suing you. This is so even if you put some admonision on your product saying "if anyone objects, I will take this down immediately". That's great, but you can be sued with no advance warning.

Also note that there is a big difference between some games that aren't as popular, where any added popularity is helpful, and a game like RFTG where on-line rights could net thousands of dollars.

With that said, you can probably share it with your friends, and THEM ONLY. While this is technically a copyright violation, I don't think you'll face prosecution for it, so long as you protect yourself by restricting access to them only.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
B C Z
United States
Reston
Virginia
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Restricting access on the internet is like catching water in a collander.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pasta Batman
United States
Tustin
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
mjacobsca wrote:
Also note that there is a big difference between some games that aren't as popular, where any added popularity is helpful, and a game like RFTG where on-line rights could net thousands of dollars.

Note that the Kingsburg computer game is purely a solo-versus-not-so-tough-AI, stand-alone game. As such, I think it serves very well to promote sales of the board game. For RFTG, I doubt there is sufficient demand to charge for such a solo-game, unless perhaps the AI was very good (something in the class of Keldon's Blue Moon AI, based on neural networks). Even then, I hope the owners of the rights would allow free distribution of such a program. I know I would not have bought either Kingsburg or Blue Moon had I not first played those programs. As popular as RFTG is, perhaps such a good-will PR gesture would make it reach even greater heights.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Josh Riley
United States
Boulder
Colorado
flag msg tools
mbmb
I've been asked not to post it, so I won't. Sorry. It doesn't sound like a good idea from what I've heard, and that's what I wanted to learn about. In any case, I bet/hope there will be a licensed, professional version appearing online at some point in the future. In the meantime, I guess I'll just be refining my RFTG skills on my private version at work so I can destroy my friends at gamenight.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael J
United States
Folsom
California
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
yoshele wrote:
I've been asked not to post it, so I won't. Sorry. It doesn't sound like a good idea from what I've heard, and that's what I wanted to learn about. In any case, I bet/hope there will be a licensed, professional version appearing online at some point in the future. In the meantime, I guess I'll just be refining my RFTG skills on my private version at work so I can destroy my friends at gamenight.


It was a good idea to ask for permission. Why cause yourself the headache later? You took the smart road on this one.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Hodgson
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
As far as I can tell there are several GENERIC online cardplaying facilities out there for which you can write your own modules and insert your own images. I've written one myself. Consequently, if you do want to play race online you can already. If you have trouble getting started feel free to ask here!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Kundlak
Slovakia
Bratislava
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Redking wrote:
As far as I can tell there are several GENERIC online cardplaying facilities out there for which you can write your own modules and insert your own images. I've written one myself. Consequently, if you do want to play race online you can already. If you have trouble getting started feel free to ask here!

My fundamental questions here would be:

- does the interface support RftG fully, or are there limitations that you have to live with?
- which cardplaying facility do you mean?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Vawter
United States
Walled Lake
Michigan
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
ThunderFall wrote:
That Kingsburg-dude was me.

I DID ask for permission first - I sent an E-Mail to the designers and the publisher of Kingsburg, and after they had a look at it, they gave me the permission to use all their graphic material and publish my application for free. An added advantage was that the designers helped me improving my game, which was very nice!


I'll make sure to let them know that they got a sale due to your version. I picked up the game last week from my FLGS after I showed it to my wife. She loved it and wanted the game to play with friends on our game nights. Thanks so much for taking the time to code it, the publisher should be giving YOU kick backs for doing such a awesome job.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Hodgson
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Joeyeti wrote:
Redking wrote:
As far as I can tell there are several GENERIC online cardplaying facilities out there for which you can write your own modules and insert your own images. I've written one myself. Consequently, if you do want to play race online you can already. If you have trouble getting started feel free to ask here!

My fundamental questions here would be:

- does the interface support RftG fully, or are there limitations that you have to live with?
- which cardplaying facility do you mean?


Try looking at some of the following facilities already out there:
http://www.dvorakgame.co.uk/index.php/Links
If you think these are unsuitable I'd be grateful to know why...

There are likely to be limitations with these (having not researched them in depth) - but as far as my personal one, I have been making and will continue to make tweaks as required. I'm happy to let people play with my own base program and cards module if they like, and will take recommendations for improvements! Message me if you want the software pack, and online play requires the (free) smartfox server.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Kundlak
Slovakia
Bratislava
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thx.

With LackeyCCG we came to some limitations in the engine, mainly the need to manually discard cards etc. (no shared deck possible - yet?) and the issues with cards needed to be turned over (to be concealed).

As I see, Apprentice also does not allow a common deck.

Nomicville and Thoth I do not know, so maybe others can comment on them.

Gatling does not work - link is dead.

EDITThx for the offer, but I guess I could not run the Foxserver (as I am in a shielded environment etc.).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Hodgson
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm looking at Thoth and it seems promising. I'll post more if a R4TG conversion works. As for your shielded environment, does this mean you won't be able to play online anyway??
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Kundlak
Slovakia
Bratislava
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Redking wrote:
I'm looking at Thoth and it seems promising. I'll post more if a R4TG conversion works. As for your shielded environment, does this mean you won't be able to play online anyway??

Depends highly on the protocols used... I can play for instance via all html portals and maybe some clients...

That I would have to try.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ben Hodgson
United Kingdom
London
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
For reference there is an existing Vassal module for R4TG here:

http://www.vassalengine.org/community/index.php?option=com_v...

It is in French though, and have yet to try it, but frankly most avid players know the cards by now anyway. Looks fun.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John Harley
Canada
Toronto
Ontario
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
I think the rights holder intends to be quite strict with this title, so I dont think he would grant you permission to release it. Ever.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
Saint Joseph
Michigan
flag msg tools
designer
I would do all the things I have ever dreamed of doing. I would love to become a professional whistler.I'm pretty amazing at it now, but I wanna get, like, even better. Make my living out of it.
badge
Bffffttt, Pffffttt, Buuuuurtt........
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Demo_Boy wrote:
I think the rights holder intends to be quite strict with this title, so I dont think he would grant you permission to release it. Ever.
If the rights holder (ie RGG) is going to be so strict, I'd wish he would get a commercial version out there, so I can buy and play it. yuk
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.