GPL'd code exists, but not GPL'd art
Posted Mar 13, 2008 19:04 UTC (Thu) by anton
In reply to: GPL'd code exists, but not GPL'd art
Parent article: Ryzom returns?
I don't think that art is a problem in general, but it is a problem at
Here's why I think that art is not a problem in general: For many
(proprietary) games there exist free mods or levels, some with
considerable artwork. As an example, take Grand Prix
Legends (aka GPL:-), a proprietary racing car simulation from
1998, which was not even commercially very successful; the game itself
came with 11 race tracks. For this game hundreds of tracks have been
created, some looking much better than the original ones. There also
exist lots of other add-ons for this game.
The license of such mods is usually not the GPL (if the authors
have thought about licenses at all), but I think that the authors of
the mods would release them under a free software license if that was
the culture of the community (as it would be for a GPLed game).
(There is also the issue of getting licenses for using the names
and/or designs of real-world objects such as race tracks, but that's
not a problem for all games).
I think the main problem for getting free art is that a free game
has to become popular enough that there are a lot of players, some of
which will start developing new art etc. in order to scratch an itch.
For this to happen, the game has to be complete enough and interesting
enough that it attracts an initial following, and for that it already
needs some decent art. So the game has to be developed by a team
containing programmers and artists with a common vision. And even
then success is not guaranteed: lots of games try to become popular,
and only some of them succeed.
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